Tag: novel

Abducted by Aliens

Abducted by Aliens

No, actually, I’m still here. I’ve been working on the next two (yup, 2) books coming out soonjaguar. Another novella, a prequel, and another novel, the second of three beginning with Paradox. Of course, Captain Thomas Jackson leads the adventures, and Quixote makes his appearance in both stories as do a few other memorable characters on the bridge and among the crew.

Novissimus: Space Station One, is Earth’s first space station, a collaboration with three other space faring species, set in motion around the fifth planet of Omicron, an orange star seventeen light years from Earth. The mushroom shaped orbiting facilitynovissimus-cover is known for its magnificent arboretum that acts as a complete biological component of the station, as well as its state of the art medical facilities and top notch space vehicle repair services.

Going from a dark star planet filled with fossils, the Linus Pauling is called to Novissimus to collect medical equipment needed on Silverado Six, which is fighting an outbreak of Altarian Fever, a virulent pneumatic virus that needs not only the equipment, but a live, attenuated vaccine, in stasis. Little did they expect the fossils they collected would be so much trouble, and so much help, in completing their mission.

Symbiosis: Titans of Cassiopeia, is set one year after the end of Paradox, The Alien Genome. Captain Jackson, Rianya, and Zalara return to Earth only to be sent back into space with a new, faster ship, the S S Maria Mitchell. Taking doctors on an errand oyersiniaf mercy to Eta Cassiopeia’s fifth planet, they stop at its fourth planet to collect a unique artifact that can’t be explained by anything other than as proof of time travel! Upon arrival at the fifth planet, and with confirmation that Pegasi are in the area, the artifact begins to shed some light on the centuries-old problem of antibiotic resistance causing an entire population to suffer, and die.

We’re introduced tomriyquito Dr. Jane Ferris, a human with a curious ancestry. The remnants of radical genetic manipulation show in her face that startles most people, at first. When Captain Jackson is taken hostage on the planet, Rianya is taken ill with the bacteria on the Maria Mitchell in orbit, and neither knows the peril of the other. Are Pegasi and Kiians colluding for profit or just innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire? The key is held in the data banks of an abandoned space ship from the future, confirmed by a beautiful stone in the pilot’s pocket, and the information it reveals changes Tom and Rianya’s family forever.

Coming soon on Kindle and in Paperback. Follow me on Twitter @hsrivney or Facebook From the Stratosphere, or Goodreads author HSRivney

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Homochirality – the foundation of life

Homochirality – the foundation of life

This is interesting as hell if you are a geek. If you’re too busy ranting about the election, sitting in front of a game console, or watching soaps, go ahead and skip this post. For those of you still with me, we’re talking about the subject of my first novel, PARADOX. We’re talking about chemicals, DNA, atoms, and the forces that make the world go round.

limone

The image above is the molecule LIMONENE. A molecule is a compound of atoms, remember, which are the smallest units of a single element. A center has the neutrons and protons, and in shells around the nucleus zing the electrons. Molecules, like atoms, are three dimensional things. Think of them as Tinkertoys, it helps.

Water is a molecule, made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. It is always the same no matter how it combines because the two hydrogen atoms always sit in the outermost shell of the oxygen atom. That will never change.

Most molecules are chiral. They can exist only if the atoms hook up together in the correct order at the correct electron. DNA is one of those molecules. You’ve all seen an illustration showing the twisting molecule, sometimes two meters long, all scrunched up into a microscopic package – it’s truly amazing. All biological DNA but for a few archaic bacteria twist to the right.

Huh? Thglow-dnae only way I can explain it is this: The strips of DNA in the foreground are spiraling down FROM the right in the picture. If you see a drawing of the strips in the foreground going left, it is drawn incorrectly. But that’s not what the post is about. What I want to explain is how it got like this and why it’s important. The geeky part is coming, hang in there.

IT MATTERS which way the thing goes, because if you take a look at the LIMONE molecule above, if it chirals to the left, (L or S) it smells and tastes like lemons. If it spirals to the right (R or D) it smells and tastes like oranges. The molecule cannot match up with it’s own mirror image in 3D. Your hands are like that. The palms can meet, but that is not because they are symmetric. If they were symmetric they would look the same from your viewpoint. Place one over the other in front of you (not palm to palm).They are not mirror images of each other.

Where am I going with this? Remember, salts, minerals, chemicals can and mostly are asymmetrical. All over the world with few exceptions (which I’ll theorize about shortly) amino acids spiral to the right and sugars spiral to the left. In a lab environment, we’ve created compounds that still spiral, but in both directions. Why in nature are these compounds homochiral, but heterochiral in the lab?

soupWhat mechanism drives the biological compounds to homochirality back in the prebiotic world? If you think back to our atoms and their electrons, could it be that a tiny (really tiny) bit of energy happened to pull the molecule a little one way or the other? It could have just as easily been to the left as to the right. This small imbalance in the two different enantiomers is real and in my humble opinion could have been the result of the direction of planetary motion. Earth revolves counterclockwise around the sun and its own axis. By considering the earlier Earth and its molten core, a bit of centrifugal motion may have been the magic ingredient to push biology one direction or another.

I’m at the really geeky part now. If this might be true, then it might be true that on Venus, which spins clockwise on its axis, lifeforms would have the opposite chirality. And here is something we don’t know. How long ago did Venus flip? Most likely, it was early on when the solar system was forming, and models suggest that it was hit by some planetessimal, possibly the fragment of which became Mercury. Another time for that avenue.

So, if Venus were not such a hot and hostile place, would we be able to eat vegetation that arose there or only if it formed before the planet was kicked over? Are the theoretical life forms on Venus opposite from Earthlings and does their DNA spiral left? Are there both biological creatures – those that developed before the collision and after? Wouldn’t it be a fantastic mission, to land on Venus, pick up some creatures, and find out which way they tick?darwin-soup-252x300

More fodder for my science fiction novels, Paradox is exactly this scenario. The planet around Beta Hydri suffered a collision with a space body and was turned upside down so that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. And the first life forms to develop were similar to Earth – right enantiomer DNA until the planet changed, and then new life forms developed with left enantiomer DNA.

In the last 20 years or so, the classification of biological life forms has itself evolved, and now we have Daredevil Kooky Prince Charles On Friday Goes Surfing. Daredevil stands for DOMAIN, and further divides the kingdoms into Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya (this last one holds fungi, plants, and animal kingdoms).  Should we find such life forms, on Mars or one of Jupiter’s moons how will we classify them? Do they get their own Domain or Kingdom,  will they exhibit the D enantiomer or the L, and why? Finding life on another world is more than exciting, it’s an entirely new science to explore. A hundred years ago there was no job for the pizza delivery man. A hundred years from now, I guarantee we will have exobiologists answering these very questions.

 

Reasons to Read

Reasons to Read

If Carl Sagan doesn’t convince you, I’m not sure I can. But from the shelves of Dr. Seuss to Dr. Hawking, books, paper or electronic, expand your mind, your experience, your heart. School teachers claim that the most important thing a parent can do to help their kids learn easier is read to them as children.bookcarlsagan

Relaxation is another top notch reason to read. Isn’t the best time to read in bed when you’re on your way to Nod? Books aren’t so boring that they put you to sleep – they are so relaxing that you can go to sleep.

Stimulation of your brain is another great reason to pick up a book. Non-fiction such as biographies, self help, and even about a hobby will give you tools and resources, insight into others’ methods and thoughts. Every book’s author can be a friend.

Reading makes your memory more efficient. Reading boosts your analytical skills. Reading alleviates boredom.

Your vocabulary will improve, and your writing skills will leap. Have you ever needed to write an essay, a business letter, a note to your boss? When you read, well edited books that is, not the comics and sadly not the newspaper, you absorb proper skills without even trying.

Television is passive and boring. More books exist than television programs ever have and many are serialized, offering a chance to participate in the characters’ lives over several years.

Knowledge. Yes, even fiction can bring you information you didn’t know about – everything from how a rocket to arsenic works!

I think we all know how many worlds you can visit and people you can know by reading. Even if you just read the side of a cereal box, you’re going to learn something. So read. Go read a book. Find your favorite subject (mine is science fiction), narrow it down (space travel) and look for reviews that are comprehensive, not so much what are best sellers and have lots of numbers. And while you’re out there, spread the word! Be prepared the next time someone asks you “Have you read any good books lately?”

 

Book Signing in Las Vegas

Book Signing in Las Vegas

Hi Sci Fi Friends,

If you live in or are visiting Las Vegas, Nevada, come and meet me! I’ll be at The 221 Restaurant and Bar inside the JW Marriott Resort (on 221 N. Rampart), Saturday, November 5th, from 1 to 4 pm, signing my newest release, PARADOX: The Alien Genome. Hope you can drop by! If you have a friend or two that enjoy Science Fiction, send them out to get an autographed copy. They’ll thank you for it!  As a bonus, if you get Paradox, you will get Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games as a free bonus e-book on the spot as a gift from me. If you want to contact me with questions or to say hello, just submit the form below.

paradoxTAGParadox is about the follies of genetic engineering and the serendipitous discovery on a last resort planet, 24 light years from Earth. Everything that is wrong for the shipwrecked humans is right for the disaster happening on Earth. Time is their foe, the native population of Beta Hydri Four becomes their foe, and some humans on Earth will do anything to get the miracle DNA, even if it means an innocent baby girl must die.

 

 

 

One Week Away

One Week Away

Next Monday September 26th, all day Monday, my novella Gamma Ray Games will be FREE
in the Amazon Kindle Store. You can read it on any device, no E-Reader necessary!
Tell a friend!
If you think a thorium reactor is harmless, think again.

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 Get Your Copy Here
We’re over the hump!

We’re over the hump!

Placeholder ImageActually, I didn’t realize it was half way through the week until I checked on the Goodreads Giveaway – tomorrow is the last day to enter the give away for a signed paperback copy of Paradox: The Alien Genome. There’s over 200 requests, but the odds are better than average!

Speaking of Over the Hump – here in southern Nevada to the west of Las Vegas is a mountain range separating it from a rural town called Pahrump! They have a great little library there and I expect to be doing a reading there this fall. If you live in the land of Nye County, stay tuned and I’ll be updating when I know a firm date.

Also looking at doing a reading at the Neon Science Fiction Book Club here in Las Vegas. Again, no firm date, but wanted to give you something to think about. I’ll be visiting at the Vegas Valley Book Fair on October 15th downtown, but I was a bit too late for this year’s vendor list. Maybe next year I can make it!

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Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games

And one more announcement. Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games will be FREE on Amazon Kindle one day this month, on Monday, September 26th. As always, it’s free to read if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber. It’s a poolside read, just a couple of hours and it’ll give you a great introduction to Captain Thomas Jackson and some of his crew.

Contest – just one skill needed

Contest – just one skill needed

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/201699-paradox-the-alien-genome

Hello Friends,

Sol seen from Titan
Sol seen from Titan

It’s another give away for Paradox – because the Amazon Give Away was a great success! This time you have to go to the Goodreads site and join for free, then you can enter all the book  give aways you want! All genres and authors, from one copy to a 100, try a new author and you might be surprised, and glad, you did. No risk, no money, just click that link above Saturn and enter.

By the way, Paradox is not the only available “read” – no time for a long novel? Check out my novella, 1/4 the size, 1/4 the price, currently available, Dangerous: Gamma Ray Games  at (yes) Amazon ($0.99).

One more reminder: If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, read both for free! No contest needed!

Do you know a friend who might like a hard science fiction read for September? Intelligent readers wanted! No dystopia, no apocalypse, no invasion of Earth, but much in common with what we face today at home. Share this post with them. They’ll thank you if they win!

 

Give Away

Give Away

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Crashed on Beta Hydri Four, it’s the humans that are the aliens in this story of discovery and deliverance. 

If you’re not a member of Goodreads, you need to go sign up. Thousands of books and dozens of genres, a huge community of like minded book lovers all hope for an worthwhile read. Make friends, rate books, set goals for yourself and get your “Want To Read” shelf filled without any hassle from the “Big Online Retailer”.  Find trivia, quizzes, and events, and a new favorite of mine, Giveaways! We authors want you to peek at our books, and in exchange, you just indicate you want to get one free! We don’t keep your name, email, phone number or address on file and cannot solicit you, so it’s a “no strings attached” deal. That was the wind up.

Here’s the pitch: Starting at midnight, I’m giving away 10 signed copies of my paperback, Paradox: The Alien Genome. All you have to do is click. In the meantime, join a group, create a list, open a discussion, ask authors questions, and challenge yourself to read something new this year. Let your friends know where to shop for your holiday gifts when they throw up their hands and say “you already have one of everything!” GOODREADS

 

 

 

Last Chance 2016

Last Chance 2016

 It’s the last day this year that PARADOX: The Alien Genome will be available for FREE on Amazon. If Science Fiction isn’t your cup of Earl Grey, Coffee, or Passion Fruit Iced Tea, do a friend a favor and share this post with them!

Don’t Miss Out

Don’t Miss Out

paradoxTAG

My e-novel, PARADOX, is FREE, no strings attached! Today, Saturday and  tomorrow, Sunday, August 27 & 28, through Amazon. Check out the short trailer below, and get in one more good read before school starts!

Click here:  Free This Weekend Only

 

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