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Cyraria is a hostile world with weather extremes beyond imagination. With Opposition, the worst portion of the heat season on the way, Dirck Brightstar and his father, Laren, take on the challenge of modifying their primitive shelter to withstand the hostile environment in what is rapidly becoming a dystopian nightmare. Their attempt to build a heat exchanger (air conditioner) to maintain a survivable temperature is interrupted when Laren is arrested in a midnight raid and incarcerated as a political prisoner as a part of Augustus Troy’s Integration recruiting efforts. Dirck is thus left on his own to fend for his family, more separated now than ever before. His friend, Win, proves to be a valuable ally though his little brother, Deven, becomes the real hero, thanks to his strange alliance with an indigenous race known as the bnolar. Creena, another family member separated from the family in a previous incident, experiences increasing trouble as well when she and her ‘troid, Aggie and vegemal, Thyron, land on a planet seeking a more capable vehicle for the trip back to the family's homeworld, Mira III, to obtain assistance. Their efforts are thwarted when authorities impound their ship and separate them as targets for government scrutiny and investigation. Creena’s options are severely limited and further complicated by Integrator attempts to abduct her, the evil purpose of which she can sense but doesn’t understand. With no other choice but to adapt to a primitive and alien lifestyle until her situation is resolved, when it finally comes time to leave she discovers she’s grown more attached to this backward world than she ever thought possible. [NOTE:--Readers with a strong interest in science will particularly enjoy these stories in which the author demonstrates numerous scientific principles and their importance through entertaining plot action. This is Volume II of the Star Trails Tetralogy. Enjoying this episode does not depend on reading Volume I.]
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When I finished "Beyond the Hidden Sky" it was apparent that the story wasn't over yet. I didn't initially plan it that way, but that's what happens when your characters come alive, have a past that's catching up with them, and as they say, "the plot thickens."
This book presented a significant challenge to write as I designed Cyraria. It's been said that fantasy stories take place in "worlds" and science fiction takes place on "planets". I wanted it to be different, not just another planet in a binary system that orbits both stars at once. Thus, I set it up so the planet orbited the two stars separately, in a figure-8 pattern, and as if that wasn't enough of a challenge, I turned its axis of rotation on its side, similar to Uranus in our solar system. This set the stage for some extreme weather conditions that the Brightstars have to deal with on top of all their other troubles, like being targeted by devious high government officials.
My physics training certainly was essential to figuring the seasons out and various other details, such as the distance the planet would be from the stars, etc. I have an entire notebook with the calculations, which was actually some of the most fun I had writing this installment of the story.
Marcha Fox has loved science fiction since she was a child with the stars always holding a strong sense of mystery and fascination. Her love of astronomy resulted in a bachelor of science degree in physics from Utah State University followed by a 21 year career at NASA where she held a variety of positions including technical writer, engineer and eventually a manager. Her NASA experiences included trips to Cape Canaveral in Florida, visiting other NASA centers in Mississippi, Alabama and Maryland as well as trips to the European Space Agency in The Netherlands but the most memorable was the sad task of helping to recover space shuttle debris in East Texas following the tragic Columbia accident in 2003. She writes the kind of stories she enjoys herself which in the Star Trails series include the various exploits of an entire family along with a variety of alien and mechanical personalities trying to survive in a hostile world of scientific and political intrigue. Beyond the Hidden Sky is the first volume with the second, A Dark of Endless Days, and third, A Psilent Place Below, also available. The final volume entitled "Refractions of Frozen Time" is expected sometime in 2014. Never at a loss for something to do, her study of the heavens continues in yet another realm, that of astrology. “Just because the scientists can’t explain how it works doesn’t mean it doesn’t. What they fail to tell you in astronomy class is that Kepler, Galileo, Copernicus and Newton were all astrologers on a quest to obtain more accurate data.” She sees no conflict with modern science other than the fact that technology has not yet advanced far enough to determine how it works. Her astrology clients span the globe, accessing her through her website at www.valkyrieastrology.com. She is the mother of six grown children, 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and currently makes her home in Texas.
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Book Description Kalliope Rising Press, 2012. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0615671241