“It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key”
An airliner vanishes without a trace
There is no crash site. The airplane with 200 passengers and crew is completely gone. The country goes on high alert and a team is sent out to search for the missing aircraft.
a 26-year-old astrophysicist with a remarkable gift for complex mathematical structures. She also has a strong sense of E.S.P.
a widowed counterterrorism operative who is struggling to cope with his wife’s untimely death.
a NASA scientist who has a theory about what may have happened to the missing aircraft.
The unlikely trio travels on a NASA jet to the area where the airliner vanished when the plane encounters severe turbulence and crashes in an unknown and otherworldly place. They have no idea where they are. Henry thinks they’re being subjected to a government experiment while Monty and Dr. Hyman believe they have been transported to an alien planet. They think the airliner with 200 passengers may have ended up there as well. While they set out to find the missing aircraft and figure out where they are and how to get back to Earth, Monty has premonitions of something that looks like an inverted star, a black star. They realize that an alien intelligence may be controlling their destiny and that something big is about to take place in the universe.
Henry and Monty are forced to confront their deepest fears as everything they have ever known about the Universe will come into question. Guided by her inner voice, Monty must use her mathematical mind to solve a riddle that will unlock the mystery. In the process, she finds herself face to face with the biggest mystery of all: the black star?
I wrote the three books in the Black Star series (Svart stjärna) together with my brother Jesper. He had previously written several crime novels but was moving into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He remembered that I had a Sci-Fi story that I had tried to develop into a screenplay but the story was too long for a two-hour movie so I had abandoned it. Storytel, one of the largest audiobook publishers in the World, had asked Jesper to write a series for them and he suggested we try my story as a book. I had never written a book before and thought it sounded like an exciting idea. As a screenwriter, I had written over thirty screenplays but I had no experience with writing books. A screenplay is not a finished product; it’s a blueprint for a movie, similar to an architectural blueprint for a house. A book, on the other hand, is a finished product. A book is like a movie with the pictures, sound effects, and music drawn with words. As it turned out, I didn’t have to write a single word in the book, Jesper took care of that.
Writing a novel is a long and lonely process in which writers open up their inner feelings and emotions and let them populate the pages of the book. Yet, many writers collaborate on novels. I have always wondered how they do that. Do they write a chapter each? Do they open up their inner feelings to each other as if they were in a therapy session?
I was curious about how Jesper and I would go about the job. Straight out of school Jesper started writing screenplays with me and our brother Patrick but quickly decided he’d prefer to write his own stories without having to deal with movie directors, producers, and studio executives. So he left the film business and became a novelist. He answered to no-one and his publisher left him alone as long as he delivered on time.
I was used to teamwork and brainstorming sessions and figured collaborating on a book would be the same thing. But we never had time to discuss the workflow, Storytel gave us a very tight deadline and we had to go to work immediately. There was no soft start or thinking period only an immediate take-off. To get rolling Jesper asked me to break down the story into chapters or episodes as Storytel calls them (this new audiobook format is structured like episodic television). Since I had the story for the first book mostly figured out I hit the ground running and started outlining. Jesper read the outlines and gave me notes and suggestions. It was in that collaborative process the story found its true self. Then Jesper started writing the book. I gave him notes on the book chapters and he revised on the fly. During that whole time, we hardly saw each other. We worked in solitude and only communicated via notes. We didn’t plan to do it that way, it just happened that way and that’s the way we wrote all three books.
G µν + Λgμν = 8 πTμν ·
We hope that when you have finished reading Black Star and the ending has sunk in, you will start to see a bigger picture in there, something that has been right in front of you the whole time. Something familiar. Something you may have always known to be true…
Safe galactic travels!
The information Monty receives arrives not only by her inner voice but also through her dreams. Strangely, both Jesper and I had several remarkable dreams while working on the books. Two of my dreams even made it into the story as Monty’s dreams. Sometimes it was hard to know what was fiction and what was real. Did someone talk to us about what to write? Did the same voice that guided Monty also guide us and tell us what to write about Monty? This is what Black Star is all about. The outer world intermingling with our inner world. Our perception of what is happening juxtaposed what is really happening. And how do we know what is really happening? What version of our experience is real?