I’ve always been drawn to puzzles, to books that keep you guessing what’s really going on, that make you try to decipher the hidden currents under the surface. Fittingly, the idea of Refractions started as a simple puzzle: a colony planet gone mysteriously silent. But as I probed deeper, the story developed into a nesting doll of puzzles, each new question revealing a deeper truth about the characters and their world.
On the outside, there is the colony: after two decades of apparently thriving, Bethesda, the first human settlement in another solar system, has ceased all communication. With multiple colony ships already on the way to other planets, each carrying thousands of hibernating passengers, a volunteer crew rushes out to investigate what happened on Bethesda, lest the same fate befalls the other settlers.
But that brought me to another, more compelling puzzle. With the colony light years away, the volunteers will spend decades in hibernation. By the time they return, everybody they knew and loved will be gone. Who would volunteer for such a mission? Or maybe what they are really doing is running away?
The answer to this question was the spark that gave life to the idea: a crew of strangers, each harbouring their own secrets, each running away from their past, hoping that by the time they return their sins will be forgotten…
Source: The Big Idea: M V Melcer