Avi Datta - Dense, Intricately Detailed Sci-Fi

Avi Datta - Dense, Intricately Detailed Sci-Fi

Dr. Avi Datta is the award-winning author of the best-selling Time Corrector series. Adept at weaving masterful plots that employ non-linear storytelling as well as fantastical plot devices and other-worldly concepts, Avi's writing resists the confines of a singular category. Instead, he uses his eclectic interests and academic fortitude to create masterfully intricate tales packed with as much imagination as critical details.

Through the Time Corrector series, Avi challenges the core assumption that causality and time are linear, which allows him to explore human emotions of love, loss, friendship, and artistic passion with the same unique perspective he applies to the intricacies surrounding politics, racism, alternate realities, music, and artificial intelligence.

A Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Illinois State University, beyond his research, teaching, and fiction writing, Avi is an avid painter, watch collector, and coffee enthusiast who is inspired by a wide range of music, from classic rock to classical. Learn more about Avi at his website: avi-datta.com.

Please give us a short description of what The Reset is about.

The Reset opens Dramatically after the events of The Movement. But the first two chapters will make the readers question, “How did that happen?” Because it once took place after Reset—in a different reality, and another year after Vincent Abajian’s time on Earth, but in this reality. In both cases, the readers who have read the previous books will keep questioning and slowly find answers as the story progresses in a non-linear narration.

What inspired you to write this story? Is there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?

I left The Movement on a cliffhanger and still believe I have an alternate reality: somewhere in Japan. In fact, I stayed in Japan for three months while writing this. I spoke with Japanese men and women to understand their nuances. It was essential to scrutinize the characters and challenges of Akane, who has to deal with problems of biracial identity and being a woman. (BTW—I went to Japan on an academic assignment)

I believe I know Akane from a different reality, and she exists in this one. Hope this book reaches her. I often said that an alternative title to my series would be Emika’s song. Reading The Reset should make the readers understand that. I wanted to write something worthy of that title.

Your writing style in “The Reset” has been praised for its intricate plot twists and non-linear storytelling. How do you approach crafting such a complex narrative, and what challenges did you encounter while writing this book?

I love intricately designed products—for instance, the case-back of automatic watches or looking at a W-16 engine. Moreover, time is not a linear entity with no absolute past or present, so I chose a non-linear approach to storytelling. And lastly, our memories are not linear either.

Regarding how I approach a complex narrative? Well, my notes are several thousand pages long, colored-coded with fountain pens. The biggest challenge was asking myself, did I solve that sub-plot? Are there any plot holes? All these become daunting in a non-linear narrative but also more fun.

The protagonist, Dr. Vincent Abajian, faces numerous challenges throughout the series, including personal sacrifices and moral dilemmas. How does his character evolve in “The Reset,” and what do you hope readers will take away from his journey?

The biggest takeaway is that even till his last moment, all Vincent wanted was to live. He was astronomically successful, with his net worth reaching over four trillion dollars, but in the end, he only wanted to lay with his dog and watch his daughter grow. Maybe start a life with Akane and get some closure with Emika. Takeaways? We don’t always get what we want, but we can still leave the world a slightly better place than how we found it. And that’s what Vincent did, and his survivors continued on.

The relationship dynamics between characters, such as Vincent and his adversary Philip Nardin, are central to the story and very realistic. Are they inspired by people you know?

According to my former Graduate Assistant, Vincent Abajian is Avi Datta on steroids. Philip Nardin—well, that's entirely imaginary.

The book has been described as “relentless in its invention” and “filled with shocking reveals.” Did you plan out all the twists before writing, or did some just “happen” along the way?

It’s a bit of both. During chapter 4 of the first book (The Winding), when Emika first appears, I knew how things would end between her and Vincent. But I was not clear on the path they would traverse. That happened as I wrote. Yes, there are several dramatic turns in The Reset. In fact, the number of turns in chapter 9 (The Lunatic(s)) is more than the first two books combined. Despite the drama, I wanted to make them plausible and natural.

As a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, how does your academic background inform your writing process and the themes explored in “The Reset”?

It just makes me more patient and persistent with the plots.

Beyond the Time Corrector series, you’re also an avid painter, watch collector, and coffee enthusiast. How do your diverse interests influence your storytelling, and do you find any parallels between your creative pursuits?

People say that my scenes are very pictorial. Maybe because in my heart, I am an artist first and an author next? If you open the case back of a watch, you will see nothing moving linearly. So why should time be linear? Vincent Abajian does not see or experience time linearly. And why should there be an absolute present and past? Quantum Mechanics says otherwise. I own both Vicent’s and Akane’s fountain pens. But I will never be rich enough to own the wristwatches they wear.

What is the first thing you do when starting on a new book?

I make a barebone plot while listening to my favorite music. The plot usually reveals itself after an initial hide-and-seek.

What are you working on right now?

A fourth novel. I have not named her. I don’t even know if I will publish it.

Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?

There are numerous ways. 
They can write to me through https://avi-datta.com/contact/
Join my mailing list at https://avi-datta.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avimanyu.datta/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/avimanyu_datta 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoravidatta 

The Reset (Time Corrector Series, Book 3)
Avi Datta

The Reset is a culmination of worlds colliding, timelines interweaving, and relationships that seemed indestructible, reaching dire breaking points. Love that transcends reality and the sacrifices masquerading as selfish acts, the final book of the award-winning Time Corrector series is a whirlwind of unexpected events.