"The Hum" is about 15-year-old Gordy Broome
who blacks out into another reality,
and finds himself on a little-known island
in the Southern Indian Ocean.
The Island's location...
...and what it looks like from 400 miles up.
Gordy's story begins in a California Beach town in 1964.
Gordy enjoys comic books,
and a soothing sound he calls The Hum.
As far as he knows,
he is the only one who can hear it.
A week after this newspaper article appeared,
Gordy Broome witnesses a family crisis so horrible he passes out on his bed.
He falls into a very strange dream where his neighbor, Mr. Barnes,
tells him to get on a raft waiting on the street because
a huge tidal wave (now called a tsunami) is about to overwhelm
his coastal neighborhood.
Mr. Barnes had supplied the raft with food, water, and maps.
The map above showed Gordy his progress across three oceans.
(Mr. Barnes is a cartographer far ahead of his time.)
After Gordy washes ashore,
this more-ordinary map causes him no end of trouble
when a Soviet navy shore patrol finds it.
Gordy is taken to Soviet navy headquarters,
in what is now Victoria Harbor.
He is accused of spying for the Americans.
Navy-headquarters cafeteria workers Janie and Louise
see The Hum in Gordy's eyes,
and they help him escape.
Janie takes Gordy on a six-day hike up the Island's eastern coast.
The map above shows their route to her home town of Gifford Haven.
First they have to climb over the Highlands...
...before they reach the eastern coast and places like Alison's Beach.
...the settlement of Ostend...
...and the cliffs near Ignatz.
On his journey,
Gordy learns the ways of Islander culture and celebrations,
such as the Wave Dance.
He hikes across the north coast to Samantha's Wild North,
where he meets Roselin, a brilliant witch-scientist.
As an archeology student at Putney University,
Roselin had found an ancient text in these ruins.
From the text, which she calls the Kwanlin Codex,
Roselin had discovered a method to harness Hum energy.
Gordy is there when Roselin's research triggers a destructive two-dimensional
explosion seventy miles away.
Roselin realizes what caused it, and she is devastated.
They must travel to Putney, the Island's biggest city,
to retrieve the now-dangerous Codex from Roselin's old University Professor.
They stay at the Westend Hotel, at the end of this street.
Having stolen the Codex,
Gordy accompanies Roselin to mysteriously haunted Gottfried Island,
several miles offshore, to hide out for a while.
Roselin must come to terms with the explosion,
and the Hum's dark side.
She must also prevent her notes and the ancient Codex,
from ever getting into the hands of the Russian military.
Gordy is severely tested.
Roselin finds a solution.
Roger's Dreamland is only accessible only through
the Three-Rocks Portal,
those rocks in the surf.
It is another reality altogether,
and a place where secrets can be kept.
Throughout the story,
Gordy explores much of the Island...
...on the mail boats...
...around Putney on the trains...
...and on foot over the Island's Path System.
Several maps, like this one,
show Gordy's progress.
And there's more.
Gordy meets Lane, an adventurous girl his age,
who also likes comic books.
She takes him on a hike to Hopp's Store, above, in the desert,
where they find a trove of comic books from all over the world.
Later, Gordy and Lane hike into the Coast of Nevermore,
where they discover each other.