Many of my favourite stories feature time travel. I think they fascinate not just me but many people because our relationship with time itself is mysterious and deeply personal. There are other forces in the physical world for which we have gleaned enough understanding to manipulate and tinker to better suit our needs. We’ve learned about the intricacies of the atom, in particular the movement of electrons. You’re probably using electromagnetism to read these words off a screen. We use chemical knowledge in everything from transportation to better…

Recently I was struggling with a story where there was a deep mystery for the protagonist to uncover as the story went on. As I got feedback from readers, I realized the problem was that the mystery was so opaque that readers didn’t have enough information to have any hope of anticipating what was to come. I wanted the story to be both mysterious and suspenseful, but without any insight into the future, suspense was out of the question. While the question of how to balance the right…