Was Lasting Integrity inspired by Escher, or the movie Inception, or something else?
I'm sure that both Escher and Inception had a role in that. Absolutely. Though, curiously, I was writing these weird walk-on-the-walls things long before I saw Inception, so it's probably both kind of reaching toward the same dream-like state. One of my earliest stories involved this surface-specific-gravity stuff, and I read a little bit from a later story that did the same thing. (The story I read at the launch party, The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora.) That dream-like quality. I wanted something about Lasting Integrity that said, when you got to it, "This is just not part of our world. This doesn't feel like it could be in the real world. The laws of physics are different here. And it's inhabited by beings that see the laws of physics in a different way." And that was what I was reaching for in creating that situation. Where my inspirations were? Probably all over the place. But Escher is definitely an inspiration there. And some of those descriptions in the Harry Potter books, of how the stairwells in Hogwarts work, I'm sure, were partially inspirations.