That is the word I found to be my word of choice
for this book. The switch is one great read I
was lucky enough to come upon while searching
for a science fiction/fantasy book. The cover
and the premise intrigued me enough that I made
this the next book on my agenda, and was so glad
I did! The story starts out simple enough to where
I almost wondered if it really could be defined
as a science fiction book. It did not take long
before it sped up and hooked me in by doing so,
while also expanding to have a breadth that seemed
infinite. I loved the turns it took. I loved every
character (To be totally transparent I have to
say my favorite character was Gordon. Loved that
guy!) that was met along the way. Each character
was different in their own way and each brought
something to the tale. It was easy to put yourself
in the story and be a fly on the wall because
the writing style put you there, from the descriptions
of the sceneries to the facial expression on each
person when they told us how they felt at the
time. The book also used minimal analogies from
movies and books, which I loved. Sometimes books
use too many to where the story is using them
as a crutch and not really relying upon their
own writings to describe what is happening. Not
here. This is a great read for any book lover
and me personally, I would love for an executive
from FX, AMC, or Netflix to get their hand on
this and make this into a series. I would DVR
it. No doubt.
The authors of this have agreed to take
a few moments out of their busy schedule to answer
a few questions to give the MyShelf readers some
insight as to who there are.
Let me start by saying congratulations on a great
book. It shows a lot of thought, not to mention
a lot of hours of writing to get everything right.
I have no doubt readers will be loving this for
years. How did the idea for The Switch
come about? What was the spark that ignited this
Hill The spark was a child’s curiosity,
combined with my propensity to speculate about
things of which I know little, like theoretical
physics! Nathanael and I had lots of hours to
fill in rainy, sleepy Northern Belgium, and so
we spun all sorts of “what if’s.”
One of his was “what if there was a switch…”
Hill: I could be remembering this incorrectly,
because I was pretty young, but I think I had
the idea of writing a book like this with my father
while living in Chicago, around maybe the age
of 10 or 11. Obviously, nothing really sprung
from it, since it was sort of a pipe dream, but
once we found ourselves in a pretty uneventful
point in our lives, it seemed feasible.
Some parts of the story have some deep and profound
questions about life, and everything around us.
Where there any points while writing this, even
the two of you had moments of clarity, where it
made you question what is going on in the real
Hill: All the time. Along with the “what
if’s,” there were the “what
if not’s,” like ‘what if you
and mom had met three years earlier, or two years
later…and still made a baby? Would it still
be me?’ ‘What if someone had assassinated
Obama before he was elected president?’
It makes you realize just how tenuous and contingent
things are. It also makes you realize—if
you accept the ‘many worlds’ hypothesis—that
these things, in fact, may have happened.
Hill: Of course! The kind of Man In the High
Castle-esque thinking that the book lends itself
to is something I love to discuss with people.
There’s also the question of what we consider
the “real world.” If every branch
is explored in another universe, it seems to trivialize
whatever happens in this one. However, since we
unfortunately don’t have access to a Switch
(at least, not one we would tell you about), all
we can do is affect our own world, and hope the
best for the others out there.
When you started writing the book, did
you have the ending in mind, or did the story
dictate how it would be concluded?
Hill: The only thing we knew was that the
travelers had to get home in some manner. We did
briefly consider a sequel-baiting cliffhanger,
but that seemed like a cheat. The question was
always what it would mean to get home.
Hill: I think that some planning was made,
but the final product ended up being drastically
different than the blueprints we would have laid
out regardless. What was interesting was seeing
the characters grow as we wrote them out on the
page… It was almost as if we weren’t
dictating their actions, we were just telling
their story. In the end, the book simply became
a product of the world we created for our heroes.
Do you have anything other books (or
other projects) coming out in 2018?
Hill: If only. I did have a book about film
music (my other life) published this year. And
I’m working on an adult novel about who
leads a kind of evangelical crusade against artificial
intelligence in a world of the nearfuture. But
that’s more likely a 2019 book—assuming
it gets picked up at all! As for Nathanael, he’s
gotten a taste, and now-
Hill: Well, personally, it’s unlikely.
I’m interested in writing in the future,
but with as much change as will be happening in
my life the next couple of years -- what with
college, moving, and whatever else -- I can’t
see much opportunity to sit down and write a book.
Once I’ve settled down, however, keep an
eye out for my name in your local bookstore! (If
they still exist).
Lastly, if your readers got one thing from The
Switch, what would you want it to be?
Hill: A slightly altered way of looking
at the world that emphasizes linkage and connectedness
rather than simply causality. Branching possibilities.
I think people would give more thought to their
words and actions. I also think it might be the
best way for ordinary mortals to understand quantum
Nathanael Hill: A more philosophical
view of the world. Today’s cynics see the
world as very cut and dry, which hurts me. I can
only hope that we make our contribution to this
world by showing people that perhaps not everything
in the world is as it seems, and to always think
of life as something to be given your full attention
Be sure to visit them at www.awhill.net&