The Big Dark Sky
June 24, 2022

The Big Dark Sky

Well, we’ve taken down the Maypole, eaten the last of our Mayflower-and-mayo sandwiches, washed them down with May wine, put away Ms. Elsa’s May Queen crown (though she caused a bit of doggy mayhem in her effort to hold on to it), and now it’s time to prepare for mayhap everyone’s second-favorite holiday of the year, Summer Solstice, when we fire up the barbecues and put our Solsts on ice to drink ourselves into oblivion by the time the fireworks start.

June is also a great month for summer reading and a great month to prepare for your July reading by preordering The Big Dark Sky, my novel that will be released on July 19th. Booklist’s advance review calls it “absolutely riveting” and an “A-plus thriller,” and in all modesty, I am going to refrain from arguing with that assessment.

One of the things the novel deals with is what C.G. Jung called “synchronicities,” seemingly impossible coincidences, and what they might mean about the nature of the world that quantum mechanics has revealed to us. In my novel, a character named Ganesh Patel recounts some real-world synchronicities, including this one:

On March 1, 1950, the fifteen members of the choir at the West Side Baptist Church in Beatrice, Nebraska, were scheduled for choir practice at 7:30 in the evening. None had ever been late. That evening, every one of them was late, each for a different reason—and two minutes after they should have gathered there, the church was obliterated in a gas explosion that would have killed them all.

And here’s another true synchronicity from Ganesh Patel’s collection: Anthony Clancy of Dublin, Ireland, was born on the seventh day of the week, the seventh day of the month, in the seventh month of the year, in the seventh year of the century, the seventh child of a seventh child, with seven brothers—which is a total of seven sevens. On his twenty-seventh birthday, at a racetrack, Anthony saw a horse in the seventh race. Horse number seven was named Seventh Heaven, with a handicap of seven stone, and the odds were seven to one. Clancy bet seventy-seven pounds on Seventh Heaven—and it came in seventh.

All the characters in The Big Dark Sky are drawn to a Montana ranch (and a dark place) not by mere coincidence, but by a strange synchronism. I’ve wanted to write a novel structured around synchronicity for more than forty years, and at last I have.

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