The Eight: Möbius Strips

“As far as anyone knows, the universe may be a Möbius strip, without beginning or end.” -Katherine Neville 

When I was editing The Eight my editor-in-chief, Robert Wyatt, phoned to tell me that the publishers were planning to put a Möbius strip on the book jacket.

I said, “Oh, that’s great, because the book describes Möbius strips.”

Bob said, “What are you talking about – the whole book is a Möbius strip!”

“You’re right,” I told him, “because even though the book in two separate time dimensions (1790s and 1970s) we readers experience it as happening all at once!”

Katherine’s Formula for Creating a Möbius Strip
1. Take a long strip of paper the width of a ruler.
2. Place a piece of tape on your finger.
3. Twist the paper, just once.
4. Then tape together the two ends.

If you pull the sides of the circle apart, you will see that it forms a figure eight.

Start drawing a line, as if you were an ant, along the paper’s surface. From your perspective, as an ant, it appears you are walking along one side of a piece of paper, by the time you have completed your course along the paper, you have actually traversed both sides of the strip of paper, without leaving a single surface.

A Möbius strip is a way of traversing two universes without ever perceiving that you have left the single universe.