- I intend to publish a sequence of "science in fiction" novels that cover two and a half millennia. Those available now as ebooks include:
- Puppeteer - set about 2030
- 'Bot War - set about 2040Troubles - set about 2050
- Red Gold - set 2075-2076. A review here
- First Contact Trilogy
A Face on Cydonia. set around 2130-2135. A review here.
Dreams Defiled - set from 2135-40. A review here.
Jonathon Munros - set following 2142. A review here.
- Gaius Claudius Scaevola Trilogy
Athene's Prophecy - set about 34 - 39 AD
Legatus Legionis - set from 39 AD - 44 AD
Scaevola's Triumph - set on exoplanets covering about 1600 years
- Miranda's Demons - set in our solar system from 2285 - 2287 AD
- Ranh - mainly set about 2298 on a planet around Epsilon Eridani
In a future when resource shortages, crime and corruption are crippling world economies, terrorism is becoming strangely sophisticated. When Lt Colonel John Maxwell refuses to cover up his commanding General's failure, he is put illegally in charge of an antiterrorist operation that is clearly designed to kill or discredit him. After first placing her as a suspect, Maxwell forms a dysfunctional relationship with Tamsyn Farish, and to everybody's surprise, they seem to have success. The questions are, why was he given reason to suspect her, and why are they successful when nobody else is? These questions are answered when they learn the Puppeteer is playing both sides, and is also playing a very high stakes game with three nuclear bombs. Hundreds of millions of lives and billions of dollars of property are at stake. Meanwhile, two young scientists who are carrying out undersea minerals exploration at Kerguelen are suddenly put into the game, and they are critical to the outcome, except they have no idea that they are even in it, let alone what they have to do. Puppeteer is an action story with a touch of romance that is also intended to illustrate what life could be like if we do nothing about finding an alternative fuel for when oil production declines. Its resolution depends on the answer to a puzzle that the reader is invited to solve.
Walid Hasan has one aim in life: to make as many Americans as possible pay for the bombing of his home, and the killing of his family. James Grey, of Grey Capital, knows how to make money, but he wants more. One way is to make a massive short on a stock that will sustain a severe price drop. One way to make the price drop is to blow up major assets of the company. Grey plus Hasan is a marriage made in hell. Each need the other; Hasan to get things done, Grey to provide the means. The means involve the acquisition of an enormous number of robotic war machines, designed for the US Army.
John Maxwell wants a quieter life than that of providing security for the wealthy at a time when even law and order is being privatized. However, the experience of his company is needed to help counter the war machines, and soon he and a small team are all that stand between order and the total collapse of society.
Following a great world-wide economic collapse, the wealthy live in gated communities where law is based on user pays, while the masses exist on residue-ridden food hand-outs in the remains of cities, where law is based on the gun. In one part of a decayed city, known as the Green Zone, Lawrence Foster, an expert sniper, enforces order, but he is dying of cancer caused by the polluted food. He uses bounty money to send his daughter, Suzie, to college, and he teaches Henry Adams, who had an ill-fated crush on Suzie, to be a sniper to replace himself as an enforcer.
The development of fusion power will permit economic growth, so fortunes are to be made. David Sheldon, with the aid of some thugs, intends to become very rich by any means. Susan works for an emerging Corporation and with the aid of a machine pistol she advances rapidly. Henry, remaining in the Green Zone, has a dream in which everybody has the freedom and opportunity to flourish by themselves, and benefit from their own endeavours. Then David Sheldon and Suzie Foster turn their attention to the Green Zone.
David Gill has trouble selling food to the hungry, but when, in the early summer of 2075, he arrives in Los Angeles to seal a deal with Robbie Newall, his troubles get very worse, very quickly. He is made an offer he cannot refuse: set up food production facilities in Hellas Planitia, supply a venture run by Robbie Newall, and come back wealthy, or have a contract taken out on him. He needs help from the mercurial Jacqui Tennant, a Space Corps pilot, but she wants to keep the corporations off Mars. Then he finds that Newall wants everything: first his wife, then his land, then he discovers Newall is generating a massive stock fraud on Earth, and he has to stop it. On Mars, that will be difficult, because Newall has the only guns on Mars, and men to use them. A thriller that has a touch of romance, a little economics and enough science to show how Mars might be colonised.
It was while writing this story that the author got the idea for his theory of planetary formation.
While by 2100 everybody knew the Face of Cydonia was simply a battered butte, on a live TV program the battered butte morphed into the Viking image and winked. A great joke, but nobody could have done it. As a consequence of this, of two unexplained heat emanations from the butte, and of signals originating from the nearby star Epsilon Eridani, the issue of alien life arose. Grigori Timoshenko, Federation Commissioner for Defence and Science, is forced to form a party and settle for once and for all whether there had been alien activity around this butte.
The expedition seems doomed, as there are at least three attempts to murder at least one of the party, which comprises: Fiona Bolton, an expert at sonic imaging and a well-known anti-corporate; Nathan Gill, from Theppot and who owns a registered dome near the Face; Jonathon Munro, a corporate who has been responsible for part-funding the expedition, and who wants to bypass the law and take his Corporation to Mars; and Sharon Galloway, a corporate who has developed the most advanced excavating device known. Each of these has a problem with all of the others, each has some expectation of what they will get from the expedition, each rises beyond their comfort zone, and each finds exactly what they do not want to find.
A Face on Cydonia can be found at Amazon, and is Book One of a trilogy, First Contact.
As the party that saw the first evidence of alien civilization leave Cydonia, they each had dreams of what their future would hold. All Nathan Gill wanted was to be left alone. Grigori Timoshenko wanted to build a defence force capable of deterring advanced aliens, Fiona Bolton wanted to make life fair for the independents, Sharon Galloway wanted to successfully manage the greatest engineering feat in human history, while Jonathon Munro wanted to be important. They should have taken more notice of the saying, be careful what you wish for: dreams rarely correspond to reality, and in this dystopian future, murder and sabotage make achieving dreams unusually difficult, while there is more to the alien hologram than meets the eye. The very worst aspects of a dysfunctional society together with the flaws in their characters ensured that nothing was to turn out as they dreamed.
Dreams Defiled is Book Two of the First Contact trilogy, and can be purchased at Amazon
Dreams of revenge may be sweet, but the consequences are not, and there were plenty of desires for revenge going around. Jonathon Munro, rather pointlessly and for no good reason, wanted revenge on his wife. Others, for very good reasons, wanted revenge on him. Prolonged revenge required a substitute, and what is better than an android that is indistinguishable from the original and capable of learning everything about the original? Jonathon Munro had grown to be one of the most evil men imaginable, which meant that so would be the replacement. But what if the android were to self replicate? Worse still, Jonathon Munro had access to all Federation computer messages and he knew the secret of the Cydonian face. Once that secret was exposed, a treaty that protected Earth would expire. The clock was running, and unless the Jonathon Munros could be stopped, all civilization on Earth was at risk, either from the androids, the aliens, or both. But how do you stop machines with no conscience, and which follow no rules of society?
Jonathon Munros is the third book in the trilogy First Contact, and can be purchased at Amazon
Book one of the Gaius Claudius Scaevola trilogy
In the 25th century, the classical historian Pallas Athene learns how to send messages to the past, but when a technician somehow manages to have humanity exterminated in the near past, Athene must get alien help. Thanks to relativity, that request must start through a young Roman soldier, Gaius Claudius Scaevola, who must be abducted by a passing alien ship, but to get the aliens to take interest in him, Scaevola must do something that would change the course of human civilization had he not been abducted. Athene gives him three tasks: prove the Earth goes around the Sun, design a workable steam engine, and become a significant military strategist. On Rhodes, Scaevola receives his instructions in the form of a prophecy from Athene. While Gaius does not believe in Gods, parts of the prophecy gradually come to pass.
All does not go well. Timothy proves to him the Earth cannot go around the Sun, Tiberius dies and Caligulae abolishes his military appointment, then in Alexandria, when Gaius sees the toy steam engine, he knows he cannot build it bigger. Then, in the anti-Jewish riots, a further part of the prophecy comes to pass, and when he does what he should, Caligulae appoints him as Tribunis Laticlavius in the Fulminata, where he becomes involved in the emerging Christianity, a battle against Parthians, and finally, the crisis at the Temple in Jerusalem. Besides having three near-impossible tasks, he must also survive the erratic Imperium of Caligulae.
A historical novel that also shows part of what science really is. Could you prove the heliocentric theory based on what Romans could observe?
Available from Amazon
Book two in the Gaius Claudius Scaevola trilogy.
The prophecy given to Gaius Claudius Scaevola by Pallas Athene continued to be unerringly accurate. Caligulae reverses his decision and gives Scaevola a legion, he meets a most beautiful woman, Valeria Vipsania, and ignores her when he makes an important scientific discovery, thus bringing two parts of the prophecy to fruition at once. But then it seemed to abandon him. His love for Vipsania is poisoned by the realization that her father is plotting against, first Caligulae, then following the assassination, against Claudius, to whom Scaevola owes everything. Athene had given him four near impossible tasks, and now more are thrown at him. He must restore his love while stopping the plots and help secure Claudius as Princeps. To do this, when Claudius makes him commander of Legio XX Valeria and he is ordered to take part in the invasion of Britain, he must find a way to make Claudius appear to be a successful military commander, recognized by the army as an Imperator, and be given a triumph, all while a number of plotting senators are trying to undermine Claudius.
A historical fiction with a touch of science fiction, and including an illustration of what real science is about pitched at a level where no background scientific knowledge is required.
Available from Amazon
Scaevola's Triumph is the third in the Gaius Claudius Scaevola trilogy. Scaevola, his wife and his sister were abducted by aliens and taken to the planet Ulse; to a civilization vastly ahead of their own, but which also seems to be losing a war. They must first learn to live in this society, and to do this, Scaevola's sister has to accept that, thanks to the relativistic time dilation, seeing her husband again is impossible; Scaevola has to live with the fact that he is outnumbered two to one by women who do not believe in the Roman habit of the man ruling the house; and Vipsania has to work out how to keep the group from self-destructing. All three have to work out how to be accepted by beings who consider them to be hopelessly primitive and barbaric, but Scaevola has a bigger problem: from a prophecy he has received he believes that the abduction has been organized in order for him to do something that will save the Ulsians from being exterminated. How can a Roman find a way to save an advanced civilization from being exterminated? Especially when his first problem is how to get out the front door of his apartment, which is opened by thought, operated by a device embedded in Ulsian brains.
Available from Amazon
In 2285, thirty-four exhausts are seen travelling at relativistic velocities to end on Miranda, the innermost moon of Uranus. On Earth, GenCorp wants to expand to Mars, where it was not supposed to be. GenCorp does a deal with the alien battle fleet: give us Mars and we shall give you what you need, which is slave labour. Natasha Kotchetkova, the Commissioner for Defence is faced with an alien race that totally outclasses any Earth military technology. War is coming, but even if Terran forces can win, who wins the following peace?
An epic with 18 major characters, four alien races, several romances, not all of which end well, treachery, a variation on "The Prisoner's Dilemma", and is set variously in 3 continents, the Earth-Moon L-4 space station, Mars, Iapetus, the asteroid belt and Miranda, and, thanks to relativity, a Roman Legatus returning from an alien planet to offer what help he could, and to meet his prophesied "only woman remaining in his life", who was also the ugliest woman in the world.
Available from Amazon
Ranh is a planet that was seeded with Cretaceous life from Earth and has evolved a technologically advanced race of raptors, many of who feel the main virtue of a mammal is its taste. Governed by a theocracy, there are always some who wish to remove mammals from the Planet of Creation (Earth). While a treaty with other advanced civilizations previously forbade them, that treaty has expired, and Natasha Kotchetkova arrives at Ranh to negotiate a further treaty. The agreed plan formulated on Earth is simple. The Kuyrills head the Space Curia, Kuyrill Kazyn would present Natasha to the Curia and his father would ensure the treaty was signed. That plan failed. On arrival home, Kazyn finds the Kuyrill's in disarray and his father dead. Kazyn suspects assassination, and shortly Kazyn is accused of murder. Somebody does not want this treaty. While he has the perfect alibi through Seppet Methrell of the Military Curia, Methrell, perhaps the most dangerous female on Ranh, puts Kazyn on the run. Is she trying to sort out what is going on? Is she testing Kazyn as a possible mate? Or are her motives more sinister? Kazyn's only ally was Baht, unacknowledged, the lowest of the low, who was forbidden to hurt a fly or stand up for herself, yet she must do what no other unacknowledged has ever done or there will be interplanetary war. And will Natasha and her associates survive long enough to get to the signing? A tale of plotting, conspiracy, religious fervour, murder, treachery, honour, diplomacy, and tail-ball.
Available from Amazon
Gemina ISBN 0 7223 2057-4 Hardback, 1986. A thriller set on the West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand, based on genetic engineering as imagined in the early 1960s. Out of print, although a few aged copies remain.