By 8:11 a.m. on October 19th, 2076, Brian Medlock has transformed the planet with his theory of persistence and his invention of anti-gravity. Climate change is on the mend, political and social barriers have begun to be dismantled, crime is at a historic low, and religions have accepted the timeless Fabric, theorized by Medlock, as one and the same as God. By 8:12 a.m., everything has changed. That’s when the anti-gravity control grid fails, causing aerial vehicles to start dropping from the sky by the thousands. Jack Woods, the mild-mannered US Deputy Director of National Safety, is handed the most consequential investigation in history.
Set against the dramatic backdrops of Washington DC and Milan, Jack and the supremely ridiculous 95-year-old Medlock, along with quantum genius Olivia Martorana, must navigate spinning photons, old nemeses, international intrigue, and even the Catholic church to piece together the clues. The clock is ticking. Jack’s only child Erik is stuck alone at five hundred feet. If they do not discover and fix the cause of the crisis by 8 p.m., Erik will die.
TAMING THE PERILOUS SKIES is a hard science fiction thriller. It combines a level of detail and humor similar to Wells’ Murderbot series with the suspense of a thriller-mystery akin to Dan Brown’s Origin. Like Brian Medlock, I am a gay scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. Medlock’s theory of persistence is actually my own, and it provides a unique scientific underpinning for all my writing. TAMING THE PERILOUS SKIES visualizes a technological world with philosophical and religious implications for our own. When asked “How was that anti-gravity book?” my hope is that readers will say, “Uplifting,” and “I couldn’t put it down,” and the publisher will add, “It flew off the shelves!”
Taking place a year after The Fall of 2076, acclaimed science biographer Sagan Franklin interviews Brian Medlock whose invention of anti-gravity saved the planet but also made the tragedy possible. As we journey through Medlock’s history of discovery and invention, we gain insights into the human toll that invention can bring. We also learn that Sagan’s motivations for the interview are personal, and her discoveries could be profound. She doesn’t have much time. With Medlock’s advanced age and failing health, his death is scheduled for the next day. This will be his final interview.
Somewhere in the recesses of his mind, Dr. Wendell Cooper knows it is New Years Eve at the dawn of the 22nd century. Since he was a young boy, from when Brian Medlock’s anti-gravity began transforming society, he had fixated on the age he’d be at this very moment. And yet, as fireworks and colorful aerials marked the milestone, he struggles to remember that number. Was it fifty-four? Fifty-six? It barely registers that he can no longer remember his own age. He only knows it is an occasion for shame and bitterness.
“Coop” had set out to prove an outlandish theory: memories are created and maintained through the entanglement of elementary particles between our brains and the timeless Fabric described by Medlock. Moreover, he had invented a prosthesis that maintains the connection to the Fabric to preserve memories. If only he had been successful, his invention could have finally treated the rare form of familial dementia that had taken his mother and was consuming him, memory by memory, day by day. As he slips into the indeterminate void of darkness, a miracle occurs.
It is the year 2126. A century has passed since Brian Medlock’s Theory of Persistence described the Fabric of our universe and paved the way for his invention of anti-gravity. Twenty-six years have passed since Wendell Cooper was reborn when his “Cooper Caps” cured dementia and set off yet another revolutionary change. Not only have the devices allowed us to relive every memory in vivid detail – sunsets, wedding days, dreams – but we can now store and share those memories with others as well.
What no one expected was that our overlapping memories, combined with our augmented reality bots, would create a convergence of what we accept as the truth. Even more astonishing is that this collective truth has created a conformity of thought, attitude and behavior. Even irony and parody have become nearly extinct, as these rely upon clever twists of reality.
Saila Pinkerton is a researcher at the Cooper Memory Institute, and a proud purveyor of sarcasm. Following the unexpected death of a colleague, she discovers a mysterious, deep-seated memory shared across all her study participants. It is not a memory from childhood, nor is it connected to any particular time or place. What’s even more mysterious is that she herself can recite the exact same memory… of a round, dimly lit ring or disc.
Saila and her childhood friend Derek Ross become fixated on the gate and its meaning. Derek uses his pattern recognition programming skills to untangle the gate’s imagery, and with the help of an acclaimed and dashing iconographer, they piece together the greatest discovery in human history: this memory was deliberately laid in the timeless Fabric for us to find. Successfully unlocking the gate would be our first glimpse into another world.
According to the gate’s translation, the key to open the gate has already been provided to us at the time of first contact … a first contact that no one knew happened. Unfortunately, time is running short. The memory of the gate is fading and there are only weeks, maybe only days, left before it disappears completely. The rate of its fading, however, provides a clue. The signal would have been strongest when it first appeared, which extrapolates back to around the middle of October, 2076. That’s when the greatest tragedy in human history, The Fall of 2076, claimed the lives of more than forty million people.
With the clock ticking, Saila and Derek begin a quest to find the key and open the gate. Digging into the past with Erik Woods, Kavi Batra, and Marco Fabrizio (Taming the Perilous Skies), they piece together the never-disclosed cause of The Fall. Little did they know that there are still dark forces lingering from the days of The Fall that will do whatever it takes to stop them. The Fall may have been caused by the same superior intelligence and we may be opening Pandora’s box by accepting their invitation.
We have just been introduced to our first extraterrestrial civilization. The invention of the Cooper Caps allowed us to tap into the timeless Fabric where we discovered a message left for us by an ancient species. These ambassadors, from what we come to know as World One, have left for us their dramatic story of first contact with the world before them, World Two.
WORLD ONE is a hard sci-fi novel built upon the prior works in my Persistence Universe. I hope it will be the first of many, each telling a fantastic story from yet another of many ancient worlds that have crossed our path in the timeless Fabric.
“Welcome to a Fantastic World.”