IN THIS INCREDIBLE, SWEEPING SAGA across thousands of years and hundreds of light years we come face to face with our fears and deep prejudices. It is here, in SEEDS OF MEMORY, that we get an idea of what it means to be "HUMAN" and what "HUMAN" really means. It is here, in SEEDS OF MEMORY, that we are confronted with the need to know colliding head-on with reality. Are we, HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS, truly the only form that humans can take, and is our history the only history? Might there not be others, or others created out of the very stuff of life who are, after all, our brothers and sisters, kith and kin?In this story we find that the lines that divide have indistinct, fuzzy edges, and that we are the ones who make those divisions. Here we discover humanity at its magnificent best, its seething worst, and everything imaginable between, while we make an uncertain attempt to reunite two peoples separated by time and space...and other things....This is a speculative look into a far-flung future disaster that could actually happen (and well might, someday) and how the human species reacts to it. It could even be said that it is a look at a future history...a history we might not be able to survive.
J gives an overview of the book:
On the afternoon of 15 October 2219, the pressroom of the International Space Administration in Detroit was packed beyond capacity with journalists and science writers. The great hall hummed with conversations cut short in the past and old disagreements resumed, with loudly expressed friendships and animosities renewed. Dr. Andrew Longbow, spokesperson for the Institute of Planetary Sciences in London, stepped up to the lectern and silence traveled in a slow wave to the back of the hall.
"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. You all know who I am, and I know who most of you are, so we may dispense with preliminaries. We are going to run this session in reverse order today, because there are a lot of rumors and misleading speculations circulating in the media, the result of which will be catastrophic if we do not put an end to them...today. So, I will entertain questions first, then we will have a brief statement issued by Dr. Charlene Clark, Director of the International Space Agency. First up...Ms. Carlisle."
"Dr. Longbow, do we know what this...thing is? Is it true that it may be a piece of a fractured neutron star?"
"No, Ms. Carlisle, we do not have any hard information on the makeup of the object. Its density remains unknown at this time, though its mass is reasonably well established. But, yes, it is possible that it is a fragment from a collision of two or more dense objects. However, it is very difficult to imagine something as dense as a neutron star being fractured by any known mechanism other than being ripped apart in an encounter with a black hole, in which case it could not be expected that any of its fragments would escape the episode. We have launched a probe from Uranus One. That occurred at 0100 hours UST yesterday, and we should have useful information by late tomorrow. Yes...Mr. Benson."
"Dr. Longbow, we have received reports that the object is more massive than the sun and, if so, what danger does it pose to the system as a whole...Earth, Mars, and the sun in particular?"
"Mr. Benson, I suspect I know the origin of those reports, but we have determined, based on perturbations observed in the outer planets, that the object is approximately zero point seven solar masses, that is, about seventy percent the mass of the sun. Whether it represents any major threat to the inner planets or the sun remains unknown. It is doubtful that the object poses any danger to the sun, but we need to gather more data before we can begin to model possible effects with a reliable degree of accuracy. What we can say is, AFO-8 will certainly have an effect on the orbit of Mercury, although we cannot yet predict what that effect will be. Venus and Mars will be relatively close to the event, but we doubt, owing to the speed of the object, that there will be any serious disturbance to the orbit of either of them during the pass. Earth will be in a place positioning it as far from the event as possible, minimally two hundred million kilometers, and should be perfectly safe. Let’s see now...Mrs. Leary, is it?"
"Yes, Dr. Longbow. You have a phenomenal memory, sir. Um, you called this object AFO-8. Can you tell us, specifically, what that means?"
"AFO is an acronym of the phrase Astronomically Free Object, although it would be more accurately described as Gravitationally Free. That is to say, an object not bound by the gravitational attraction of any other body, or system of bodies. The velocity of this object and its mass render it free from capture by anything but the most substantial of gravity wells. For example, if it were to pass close enough to a substantial black hole...
I have been writing professionally since 1956. I started out as a technical illustrator/writer for Butler Publications and progressed in that company through copywriting, advertising design, and editor over a couple of years. In the beginning our primary line of work was in...