Parallel universes, Polish Town, holographic realities and love — these are all mysteries that local author Izzy Doroski explores in his new science fiction novel, The Inverted Mask.
The book’s journey may begin on the North Fork, but it sends its protagonist on a trip through the universe to explore questions of reality and multiple worlds that modern scientists are grappling with today.
“I wanted this book to be an experience,” said Doroski in a phone interview. “When people read this book, I want them to think differently about their life, the universe, the world. They’re going to be different people.”
The disappearance of a renowned physicist from a fictitious national lab on eastern Long Island leads the book’s protagonist and his fiancée on a hunt for answers to questions that are much larger than the lab’s sleepy town. They must fight to uncover long-hidden secrets that involve evil experimentation at the lab, multiple worlds and “the nature of reality itself.”
“This book was inspired by real science,” said Doroski, who is a retired senior environmental health science for Suffolk County. “I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours researching the science behind this novel, and I found that scientists are discovering that reality is stranger than fiction.”
Doroski spent three years in the ‘90s at Brookhaven National Lab monitoring a radiation leak. Even though The Inverted Mask may be Doroski’s first novel, the concepts behind it were many years in the making, much in part due to the years spent working at the lab. “My time there influenced me tremendously,” said Doroski. “I became very familiar with the lab, and I spent a lot of time with scientists from all over the world. It gave me a lot of ideas for the book.”
That influence is apparent in the diverse cast of characters working at the lab in the novel, which Doroski said reflects the “international experience” of working at Brookhaven. “I made the characters as realistic as possible,” said Doroski. “You really want to meet them.”
The book’s science is not the only thing based in reality; many of the locations in the novel will be familiar to local readers as well. As a lifelong Riverhead resident, Doroski incorporates many references to his hometown. Much of the book takes place on Long Island: the main character lives on a beach in Aquebogue, his covert investigation sends him exploring through the Pine Barrens, and he is engaged to a woman whose uncle owned a meat shop in Polish Town, USA. The Riverhead Grill and Cliff’s Rendezvous on Main Street also both make appearances.
“The beauty of eastern Long Island definitely inspired me,” he said. “I wanted to write about what I knew.”
Doroski spent two and a half years working on the book. It is his first endeavor into writing novels, but he says he has always loved reading science fiction.
“There are so many mysteries in this book,” he said. “It’s a book about good over evil — about questioning reality and consciousness. There’s suspense, action, romance — there’s a lot going on.
“It made me think about myself differently,” he said. “I left my old world behind and entered a new one.”
The Inverted Mask is available for purchase on Amazon in both e-book and paperback formats. There are also two copies available at the Riverhead Free Library.
Doroski will be holding a book signing at Riverhead Free Library on December 20 at 1:30 p.m.