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  • Jordan D. Smith

Local Teen Publishes First Novel

For many teens, writing is something reserved for English class, or perhaps a 180 character screed on Twitter. Portland native Joshua Snitgen however has turned that stereotype on its heels with the publication of his first novel. Snitgen is a sophomore at St. Patrick Catholic School and is interested in pursuing a career in science and technology but may write on the side. “I want to start a rocket company,” he says, “I know it’s ambitious!” Snitgen says his goal is of making rocket travel more affordable through innovations in reusable rocket technology and creating fuel using water. He dreams of his “personal rockets” traveling on earth for super sort flights as well as to destinations in low earth orbit, the moon, and Mars.

For a teen shooting for the stars, it is perhaps no surprise that he chose an equally ambitious quarantine project. This past year taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill during extra time spend at home due to stay at home orders or quarantine has become common, with some people taking up baking sourdough bread, learning a language, or painting. In his free time over the past year, Snitgen decided to pursue his interest in writing and science which culminated in the publication of Project Higgs. According to Snitgen, “it was mostly an experiment; why not write a book? I’ve always been interested in science fiction topics like the multiverse and time travel so I just put those things together.”

The science-fiction adventure follows the exploits of a teenager, Elias Lonsdale. Elias’s life is turned upside down when a scientific experiment goes terribly wrong killing dozens of onlookers, including his physicist parents, and alters the fabric of reality. Nobody else remembers the catastrophic events. Teaming up with a mysterious stranger, Elias sets out to set things right by traveling through the multiverse.

“There are several theories about the multiverse,” says Snitgen, “this universe isn’t the only one. It may be one of an infinite number of universes.” According to Snitgen some theories of the multiverse are akin to time travel in that any event that has ever happened in this universe is still occurring somewhere in an alternate universe. Other theories take a branching tree sort of a path where each event has many possible outcomes, each of which occurs in a different universe thus creating infinite branches of possibility. Snitgen says that this is the multiverse theory that his story explores.

Snitgen is currently working on his second novel also in the science fiction genera, though not a sequel. No other details are available at this time as it is in the very early stages of development. So far, Snitgen reports that sales of his first book have gotten off to a great start with some purchases even coming from readers internationally. Project Higgs is available for purchase as an e-book or paperback on Amazon.

DISCLOSURE: When not writing for The Beacon, Jordan Smith teaches high school science at St. Patrick Catholic School.

PHOTO: Courtesy Joshua Snitgen.

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