“Where do we come from?” is perhaps the most popular existential question. Over the years, there have been numerous possible answers: the Big Bang, divine creation over seven days, adaption from single-celled organisms. Ultimately, the answer to the question is not necessarily about where we came from, but why we are here. William N. Ellis III’s latest book, The Outer Edge, explores a theory that seeks to answer both.
Jampa and Pammy are siblings from the Outer Edge, the perimeter of the universe. As young members of the Ancient Good, they protect the unified grid from beings like Riverway, a member of the Ancient Evil. The outcome of the battle leads Ancient Good to journey to a blue planet called Earth.
There, the story switches to Gene, a common salesman, living with his wife and family in Ohio. After a near accident in his home, Gene discovers he has an extraordinary gift and opportunity. Under the guidance of Pammy and eventually Jampa, Gene must defend Ancient Good against Ancient Evil in a great debate.
The Outer Edge is a modern quantum mysticism parable, similar to works like What the BLEEP do we know?! It champions knowledge, compassion, and love as a way to work with and shape the universe. Ellis claims to have used automatic writing, in addition to having received ideas for the story as messages from the spirit realm (that’s why he’s the messenger, not the author). The result is clear, precise writing, particularly when it comes to crafting tense, powerful scenes. After Jampa makes a speech, Ellis writes, “The entire hall erupted in a frenzy of applause. From left to right to top to bottom, warriors slammed their palms together and parted their lips to cheer and whistle. Briefly, a tear trickled in Jampa’s eye, for the idea of living beings committed to lives of goodness never failed to move him.”
Ellis commits a portion of the book to building up for a war, but after a skirmish between two characters the author goes straight to negotiating the treaty. The story does have very strong central characters. For instance, Riverway, his antagonist, is chilling and diabolical, yet strangely sympathetic after you learn why he is like he is. Although Ellis might rush his characters through plot points, he gives them clever, descriptive dialogue. In one scene, Pammy advises Gene, saying, “Battling against evil is like trying to floss using barbed wire.”
The Outer Edge is fascinating. It’s the perfect work for introducing others to the concepts in quantum mysticism. Even if readers only comprehend The Outer Edge on a surface level, it’s an interesting tale of good versus evil with a sci-fi bent. While it might be slightly confusing to those unfamiliar with the ideas, it’s a thought-provoking answer to anyone who wonders how humankind got here.