The Martian among Us: The Unexpected Saga of Elon Musk and Space

The Martian among Us assumed published copyright and written by Dexter Franklin.

This book sub-titled “The Unexpected Saga of Elon Musk and Space, A science-Fiction Novel” opens with an explanation about Mars – a planet, fourth rock from the sun, that Earthlings called Mars – was more than a red planet of desert hills and valleys inhabited by weird creatures. Instead, the author presents a far different picture of the true planet, one with a vital civilization of intelligent beings living in an underground city. Physically, they were structured similarly to humans but with a head size about double, very large eyes and a small nose and mouth. They were immensely intelligent. Their one aerospace scientist, Dr. Dor, working through an extinct volcano, hopefully would be able to construct a space ship that would transport the entire population to another inhabitable planet. Changes in planet dictated such a move within the next one hundred years. They had no idea of earth, or any other plants. Simultaneously, Elon Musk is attempting to be the first person from Earth to set foot on Mars. His wife, Justine just lost her baby (crib death). He is an extremely successful and highly innovative entrepreneur with many businesses and a huge net worth. He awakens from a dream in the middle of the night that a spaceship is going to crash and he knows where. He gets up and rushes off. He does not find anything except a large hole with no discernable unusual debris. He does meet Dr. Dor however, who neutralizes him and assumes his identical physical and mental shape, memory and abilities, after which, he completely disintegrates into his individual component molecules which then erase all evidence that any Elon Musk exists except the one assumed by the Martian. Justine is unaware of any change except reappearance of the man she had learned to love.

As time passes, Dr. Henry Malcom, a geologist who was drawn to the scene, can’t find any evidence of a meteorite but finds an impression of a body plus a car key to Musk’s Tesla, which the Martian had forgotten to take before reducing Musk. He returns it to the Martian/Musk and his actions raise questions for the geologist. Additionally, Dr. Fredrick Wilson, one of Musk’s employees actually knew what had happened to the real Elon Musk and uses this to pressure the Martian to provide a better position for himself. The new Musk continues with gaining investors for his already begun space ship to Mars and complications continue to mount for all characters involved leading to a most interesting and unexpected finale. Provision of more details would constitute require a “Spoiler’ designation.

Discussion: Devotees of Alien/Sci-fi tales may find this book to be somewhat below their expectations. Activities of several of the Earth characters are difficult to accept as are some of the Martian. Younger readers perhaps may find it appealing.

3*  4* interesting plot; -1* apropos discussion.

Diary of a Time Travelling Alien

Diary of a Time Travelling Alien ISBN: 9781234567890 assumed published, copyright and written by Yaakov C Lui-Hyden.

The story is of a fictitious Alien who begins with: “dear reader, be this a tale of woe and hope; two things you love above all else. It is difficult to write. To collect my thoughts of a millennium and my motives for doing so I’m not even sure of. Perhaps simply because I can.” He then continues to describe how he belonged to a race that destroyed itself in wars, not foolishly fought on their own territory, but that of others, until they were the conquerors. Further, this was the cause of the wars, they fought for ‘souls’ which their technology had developed technics to move from one body to another. With shortages as a result of the wars (with technical advancements again allowing the bodies to be maintained [rather than killing]. Their fantastically advanced society, once arriving at their conqueror state, led to complete destruction ultimately through infighting among themselves. He had been a soldier and his last days on his planet he was dead, or as he explains: “Not dead because we had gone far beyond that”, but his consciousness was dormant. He now, and for some millennia, was destined to travel the universe as a bodiless wraith that, if desired could again enter another’s body. The story is of his attempt to do so and the disastrous consequences of his action.

Discussion: The author has generated a fast moving tale that offers a unique and distinctly different plot. It is one that lives up to providing suggested insights into the human condition with sarcasm and wit. Most unfortunately, these insights are mostly momentary statements. The opportunity and desire for expansion not only is there, but looked forward to by this reader with thwarted anticipation. Certain episodes also, such as with the dinosaurs, is too extensive for the material offered, as are occasional others. There also is a certain amount of confusion in following the action, part of which is handling of the unusual subject matter. Judicious editing would have helped tremendously. It is my understanding that this is the author’s first novel and as such problems encountered are no more than can be expected. However, this book demonstrates the advent of an author with a tremendous amount of promise.

3* fine effort from a new author demonstrating 5* uniqueness in plot design.

After Olympus

AFTER OLYMPUS ISBN: 9781733801713 Lone Think Press copyright by Desmond Mascarenhas written by Santiago Xaman.

Description/Discussion: Pragmatically, and referred to by the author as “pseudo-fiction”, this most unusual book follows a rambling plot following the lives of three men besides the story teller and their wives or significant others as their lives play out after discovery of a hitherto unknown/unreported Russian Space craft of unusual components and containment. The tale is a tumultuous mixture of mystery and mythology with overtones of mysticism (?), occult (?), history spread over a wide section of the world ranging from Guatemala to Russia, the Serengeti and other parts of Africa, India, throughout much of the U. S. and Europe. The four protagonists all are exceedingly well educated and from backgrounds (families/cultures/traumatic occurrences) that make them prone to a somewhat different manner of living, employment and in their reactions to these matters. The pages are replete with thought provoking messages on such matters as the fact that every subject deserves empirical, intuitive and pragmatic contemplation; everything good grows from the bottom up (plants, trees, cultures?); everything projected from the top down is bad – organized religions, governments et al. – these latter often ‘dodge’ by forming protocols that ‘adapt’. Good comes from people thinking alone; e.g. Plato, Einstein; bad from organizational groups at the top claiming from their collective decision that they are right and everybody else wrong. And unfortunately, even authenticity is vulnerable if railed against at a high level maintained for a sufficiently long time. The author seems most interesting, but who is the author? The book includes a previously published “Opinion Piece” of interest in itself, as is another “Rebuilding the House” that discusses replacing organized religions, governments, corporations “with better versions of themselves”. Also some notes About the Author are quite fascinating when contemplating the entire book and the thoughts that arise from the ‘experience’ of reading this book.

5* Unusual, divertingly intriguing experience for certain readers.

Red Flag

RED FLAG A modern Air Combat Novel assumed published, copyright and written by Mike Solyom.

Before the story begins, an opening statement by the author explains that during the Vietnam War the U. S. Air force discovered that pilot’s chances of survival were dramatically greater after completing ten combat missions. Thus, simulated air combat and other unexpected conditions exercises were created to teach new pilots. They were called Red Flag operations. This is a fictional tale about one such test. The story opens with a pilot and Weapon Systems Officer flying a F/A-18 F Hornet from a carrier in the Pacific. They witness a most unusual performance by a strange UFO, now more politically correctly referred to as UAP, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena about which the pilot, nicknamed ‘Digger’ Graves, sends a message to the Carrier and lines up possibly to engage. He receives orders not to do so. He continues following, however, until suddenly it just stops from its running velocity of some 600 mph. Digger moves quickly to avoid hitting it and moments later it dives straight down. They are flying over the Magellanic Deep, one of the deepest trenches in the world. No one knew what was at the bottom. Instruments sent down to investigate had never returned and manned attempts regrettably suffered the same fate. Digger radio’s it’s disappearance to the Carrier and is told to return to base. He tells Chute, his Weapons System Officer in the rear seat, he has seen this before and that it will be scrubbed from their records when they arrive back at the carrier, so not to argue when mechanics come in to confiscate any of their equipment. Chute says O. K. but tells Digger “I got it all here” and holds up a thumb drive. From here the story switches to the Red Flag operation that includes pilots from several nations including Greece, Egypt, India, Russia and several other countries engaged in fighting the insurgent Caliphate, a war in which America has decided they should not participate. However, two experienced American pilots are ‘on leave’ form the Air Force and are working for a secretly established CIA unit as ‘private contractors’ so they can participate in fighting against the Caliphate. The story proceeds by following the Red Flag operations with a most interesting relationship developing between the Russian Ace and the similarly experienced CIA pilot and strengthening when the UAP makes an unexpected appearance wreaking havoc on the Red Flag exercise.

Discussion: This is a tale quite obviously written by a highly knowledgeable man with respect to modern aircraft, their design, faults and capabilities. It also is a tribute, as well as description of the intense amount of training necessary to successfully operate these deadly flying computers, as well as to the almost instantaneous mental adaptations that must be made by these pilots. The book is very well-written and should be enjoyed not only by those devoted to stories of Aliens, UFO’s (ATP’s), thrillers, war, flying, or any similar, but from this reader’s perspective also is a book any type of reader may learn much about modern warfare that so constantly is thrust upon our minds. As a most interesting aside, the author also has included a very enlightening observation with respect to Russian thought that is not apparent to most unacquainted with their culture. The Russian pilot in conversation with his American counterpart states: “The people and the government are not always the same. I am absolutely loyal to my countrymen as they are to me. But my government is capable of very dishonorable things. They only care about their powerful allies and benefactors. Not the people.” His American counterpart is somewhat astonished: “Russians had always baffled Lee. They were such different people with a culture that only superficially resembled his own. He could never get a grasp on why they acted the way they did and why they always insisted on being so adversarial. But this he understood. Family always came first. It was more important than the whims of people who happened to be in power.” He then recalled a statement made by the American humorist Mark Twain: “The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing. It is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to. Institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. To be loyal to rags, to worship rags, to die for rags, to worship rags – this is loyalty to unreason, it is pure animal. It was invented by monarchy. Let monarchy keep it.”

Summary: A fast-paced, interesting and from many aspects even most thought provoking novel from the creator of the Century City Series.

5* Fast-paced, many faceted, thought provoking novel. Highly Recommended.

Trinity’s Fall

Trinity’s Fall assumed published, copyright and written by P. A. Vasey.

A prologue describes a man awakening in unusual surroundings somewhat similar to those of a hospital room with various leads retracting into the wall. Finally recognizing himself but strangely not functioning under his own thoughts, when a young woman enters he attempts to kill her. But again suddenly, he crashes emotionally, recovers and finds the woman gone. The first chapter then opens with a woman in Detroit answering her cell phone when a man asks “Is that you Kate?” She answers that she is Dr. Sara Clarke and whether she can help him? His answer “I don’t want to freak you out” She asks why should she? And she is told he is directly across the street and waves. He is a man she does not remember, but he tells her his name is Pete Navarro and that she actually knows him very well. He wants to know from whom she is hiding because of the name Sara Clarke. Eventually they connect and she discovers that she had been Sara functioning as an ER physician in rural Indian Springs when a man was brought in after being struck solidly by a large truck travelling down I-95 while walking down the highway at night. She had called Navarro, another physician, in for consultation because upon examination the patient’s tests had showed weird components rather than those normally found in the human body but that he seemed ‘to be alive although comatose’. She has no memory whatsoever of Indian Springs, the man brought in to the ER, nor of the man with whom she was speaking, although he had been her co-worker. From this unusual introduction the reader begins to follow a complex plot involving the attempted take-over and eventual destruction of the human race by the alien Vu-Hak who first entered earth through a wormhole that served as an intergalactic portal that had evolved from the crater created at the atomic bomb testing site.

Discussion: further details certainly would be a disservice to the prospective reader. There is a sizable number of characters who are not particularly ‘well fleshed-out”, but sufficiently to elicit at least varying amounts of empathy. The aliens, and humans converted to alien-like components to a degree, can read minds, manipulate electrical fields, gravitational fields and more and can exhibit bursts of special activity, mental as well as physical when required, and are almost indestructible. The plot is of a complexity that makes for somewhat lesser enjoyment for this particular reader, but no doubt will appeal to most devotes of this genre. (An admittedly most irrelevant aside – Navarro likes Suntory scotch liquor. I’ve never had it outside of Japan where we had it occasionally if it was the only scotch available.)

4* 5* probably for alien genre devotees.

Trinity’s Legacy

Trinity’s Legacy a Sci-Fi Alien thriller assumed published, copyright and written by P. A. Vasey.

The book opens with an explanation, Trinity’s Legacy: The Vu-Hak are “An ancient and malevolent alien race, once organic, now entities of pure thought, drifting between the stars, limitless and immortal. An alpha species. A species that colonizes on a galactic-scale.” (Destroying the original populations en route.) Supposedly their galaxy is far too removed from ours for their malevolence to be of concern. However this is not the case. Apparently the early atomic bomb experimentation during the Cold War Era had opened a ‘knothole’, or small slit through which aliens could enter our world, and our scientific attempts to contact other civilizations in some manner had aided the attraction, So, for whatever unfathomable reason, the breach had opened and reached far beyond our galaxy to one at the very edge of the universe. The tale itself, opens with Kate Morgan, single parent of charming 5-year-old Kelly whom she has been forced to bring with her upon occasion as she functions in her position as ER physician in a Chicago hospital. She left the child, entranced with a program on her little personal computer, with an understanding Chief Resident in the waiting area as she is called to treat a ‘gang’ member with a bleeding abdominal wound. Other apparent members were with him and when a rival gang member appeared with gun in hand at the same time Kelly rushed in to see her mother, shooting began and little Kelly tragically was killed. Kate, obviously devastated, begins a downhill slide but eventually recovers sufficiently to move to a small hospital in Indian Springs, Nevada, where she again begins to function in a more normal fashion. Still desperately grieving, she had chosen this sparsely populated area as a place where she had once known some degree of happiness when her father had been stationed in the area during her childhood. Unfortunately, one morning a man is brought into the ER who was struck and thrown completely over a truck going 50 mph. Amazingly, there were none of the extensive injuries evident that usually would be encountered in such an accident, and the patient, although seemingly alive, produced none of the vital signs and Cat Scan results were unbelievable. Gradually he awakens, at first communicates with Kate through mental telepathy then changing to normal means of communication. Gradually, he explains his relationship to the aliens, and his need for her aid to save earth’s population and the tale begins to unfold and progress to a strange ending. An epilogue opens the way to the subsequent volumes that supposedly will provide possibilities of saving earth’s population from annihilation, although as here presented, makes one wonder as to what that survival might be like.

Discussion: This is the first in a trilogy to be followed by Trinity’s Fall to be released in 2019 and Trinity: Extinction with an expected 2030 publication date. This initial offering opens and continues for a considerable time in a ‘different’ and intriguing manner. However and regrettably from this reviewer’s perspective, the action climbs to a chaotic level that moves the story and a subsequent Adam/Karen relationship into a questionable area if the thought is for them to remain in this world as it exists. However, the story as presented along with the material set forth in the epilogue conjure up thoughtfully speculative ruminations. As presented in this first volume, both characters have been empathically provided in a ‘normal’ earth environment. But then as stated, the Epilogue leaves the reader in a thoughtfully speculative status.

Summary: An intriguing alien/sci-fi tale that provides several messages in a vehicle basically interestingly written, but with a few hiccups. Thus, readers’ scoring can range quite widely depending upon his/her mind-set and subsequent evaluation. Sci-fi/alien aficionados will discover a unique and intriguing possibility.

4* with wide variation dependent upon readers’ mind set and evaluation.