If you’ve read the prologue – the third instalment of the trilogy, which will be released one year after The God Particle – you’ll see that the Omicron is set in 2018. This is how it translates on the page.
Your first thought may be that it’s an obvious offspring of the real-world tech Moon – but also an entirely logical time-travel device, so it wouldn’t have been that obvious. Incidentally, it also means you’d now know that The God Particle is about space travel in the future, instead of the furthest/oddest/end of the timeline that it is.
Okay, so it’s an obvious and logical thing to say. But it’s still thrilling to see that a science fiction story about virtual reality and alternate realities can still completely ground in real science. And we don’t think anyone would have predicted it, some 15 years ago.
…And at the same time, you’d never guess that the writing is entirely autobiography. There’s no way that she would have used a real name for “Gaze”, because it’s based on one of her early love interests, Greg, who remains for all intents and purposes a fictional character. She jokes that when he died – that was a year ago – she was “50 years old and stuck with me” – “Greg” has been an alter ego, she says.
OK, so you don’t need to be a dedicated space nerd to understand this story. You don’t need to even want to read the first chapter. You simply must read it and take it seriously.