Apparently, a few weeks back, at a fan expo in Regina, there was a line-up to meet and get an autograph from author Sagan Jeffries, who's building a fan base with works of science, both fiction and theory.
His 2013 novel, "The Trillionist," had roused some interest in the sci-fi set and led to a breakthrough of sorts, as well as some new found fame that must have seemed at least a little familiar.
While Jeffries, who's about to release his second book "Supernova Universe Theory" is becoming more and more known to literary fans, it's safe to say that he'd be recognized more readily in just about any curling rink he walked into. But, most of those folks would call out: "Hey, Eddie!"
Sagan Jeffries is, in fact, Canadian Curling Hall of Fame member Ed Lukowich, the two-time Brier and one-time world champion. He's writing books on the origins of the universe, based partially in accepted theory, partially in his own. Some of those theories explode what is generally accepted by communities which study and further explore the origins of time.
Makes perfect sense. I've always argued that to get curling - to really get curling - you need to be bright enough to understand the intricacies of astrophysics. I don't now if Neil Degrasse Tyson can throw a clean out turn, but I'm sure he could concoct Olympic-level strategies as a skip. You know, given time.
Lukowich is obviously a smart guy, skipping those champion teams back in the 1980's. Skips are smart (Very, very smart. Just ask any of them). He'd written four books on curling through the years and has recently gotten back to one of his longtime loves; science fiction.
“When I was a kid I always loved reading sci-fi and I stayed with sci-fi books and science books pretty much my entire life when I was reading things," Lukowich said while being interviewed on CBC Radio's "The Morning Edition," in Saskatchewan. “It was an early passion with me.”
The name - Sagan Jeffries - is an interesting choice. You don't really need to be a rocket scientist to figure out where the first part of that came from; Lukowich got it from Carl Sagan, the astrophysicist and host of the original "Cosmos" series.
The Jeffries part? Don't bother scanning Wikipedia for a list of astronomers or sci-fi writers with that name. Lukowich grabbed that portion of his nom de plume from the names of a couple of cousins named Jeff. (Note: Below, you'll find a list of curlers and my suggested pen names for them)
Lukowich's book, "The Trillionist," is described this way on its website:
A miraculous young man (Sage Rojan) on Planet Tidon is possessed with incredible abilities right from his birth. If only he knew where they came from?
It is up to him to overcome his villainous nature and save his world from devastating catastrophic consequences. In the process, he uncovers incredible secrets as to how black holes grew our universe to its present prodigious size of 74 quadrillion stars within billions of galaxies.
“Trillionist is not a word in the dictionary yet. I’m trying to get it there," Lukowich joked in his CBC interview. Well, why not? If "selfie" and "tweep" can make it, why not "trillionist"?
As for his latest book, Lukowich forwards a theory that the universe did not begin with the big bang almost 14 billion years ago.
“Those are my new theories of the universe which bash the ‘big bang’ and say the universe happened a different way. My theory is that the universe is much older than the 13.7 billion years that ‘big bang’ says."
These theories, you might imagine, are meeting with some push back.
“People love to talk and present their own ideas," Lukowich told CBC.
In that, it's not unlike the life of a skip, now is it? Instead of fans telling him he should have played a draw instead of a hit, or that he didn't build his team's tenth end properly, they can tell Lukowich his ideas on our origins are out to lunch, if they like, and give their own thoughts a little air.
That's something that Sagan Jeffries and Ed Lukowich have in common, then.
You know, other than being the same guy and all.
SUGGESTED PEN NAMES FOR CURLERS WHO MAY WANT TO BECOME SCIENCE FICTION AUTHORS:
Wayne Middaugh: Galileo Overton-Clapham
Jennifer Jones: Halley Hubble
Kelly Scott: Tesla Nordby
Kevin Martin: Copernicus Karrick
Stefanie Lawton: Curie Laliberte
Brad Jacobs: Einstein Peele
Jeff Stoughton: Sir Isaac Ferbey
Kevin Koe: Newton Degrasse-Gushue
Cheryl Bernard: Hawking Friese
Mike McEwen: Duguid Doppler