Today in Fun Facts, a series of articles about characters and plot devices I’ve used in my stories, I’ll be talking about Dr. Gleichstein.
Dr. Gleichstein is a character readers are introduced to in “The Time Saving Agency”, book 2 in Quantum. By reputation, he’s a quantum physicist – and by reputation, I mean perhaps the whole world (in this case, Deanna) knows he has an unfortunate habit of losing his eyebrows as a result of his unorthodox lab experiments!
While Doktor Gleichstein has the shock of white, wild poofy hair appropriate for his line of work, the matching pair of white, wild fluffy eyebrows is generally strangely absent from his features – at least, most of the time!
Quantum physics, as anyone (who lives near the Herr Doktor) might tell you, is just like ordinary physics, only more quantum – and you spend a lot of time looking for your eyebrows! Well… you do if your name is Dr. Gleichstein! No university will employ him as anything other than a guest lecturer – and certainly wouldn’t allow him on the premises beyond using a laser pointer and printed textbooks – or where actually conducting scientific research or experiments is concerned! This unfortunate state of affairs hasn’t left much in the way of opportunity for our friend the Doktor, so he moonlights as a lecturer at Atro City University several days per week, and devotes the rest of his free time conducting his own research and experiments at home.
Not that the poor Doktor is particularly accident-prone, but – well, let’s just say he doesn’t let little setbacks like accidentally blowing up the garage of his house (or the lounge, or the kitchen – or blowing off the legs of the dining room table and sending the top into an inter-dimensional time-warp) get him down like ordinary folk would!
Aside from his debut as a secondary character in “The Time Saving Agency”, the Doktor also appears in “Bang, Splat!“, this time in the spotlight – er, that is if he doesn’t actually get upstaged by his little dog Vluffy.
Vluffy is a particularly clever little dog – who has turned avoiding getting incinerated, turned inside out or plain vaporized by the Doktor’s
experiments calamities into something approaching a fine art. Not that the Doktor is unkind to Vluffy – he’s very vond… I mean fond of Vluffy – it’s just that wherever the Dr. conducts research into quantumness, well, shit blows up.
In fact, the doc is so fond of Vluffy that he gave him a little flame-proof doggy-jacket – and that’s saved his fur more than once!
The house shared by the Doktor and Vluffy is also inhabited (unsurprisingly) by some strangely intelligent mice – who threaten to leave if something isn’t done about the rampant mutant cockroach problem!
In “The Time Saving Agency” the Doktor is the unwilling dupe of the villain, Brad Xyl – who has designs on blowing up not just the tranquil (and slightly eccentric) colony Deanna – but the entire universe along with it!
Following his little frolic of destruction in “Bang, Splat!” he appears again in “Prodigal Sun” and is due to reappear again in the forthcoming seventh title in the Quantum series where he has a hand in developing… – whoops, I almost told you! *wink*
To sum up, Doktor Gleichstein is a disaster of epic proportions!
Where can you get “the Quantum Series“? Right here!
For South African readers, Kobo lists all available titles in South African currency!
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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.