A Face on Cydonia
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, two unexplained heat emanations from the butte, and 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 on 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, and each finds exactly what they do not want to find.
This is Book One of a trilogy, “First Contact”.
Ian Miller is a semi-retired scientist who is married and lives in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. He took first class honours in chemistry, followed by a PhD from the University of Canterbury, and despite most of his working life being in the private sector his subsequent scientific work has led to about 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, mainly on the structures of seaweed polysaccharides, energy from wastes and biomass, photochemistry, and theoretical science. He has also written about 35 other general scientific articles, and was on the Editorial Board of Botanica Marina between about 1998-2008. He has owned Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd, a New Zealand private research company since 1986, and during this period he has embarked on setting up or helping new businesses based on chemistry, including the manufacture and uses of pyromellitates (a cursed venture) seaweed processing, the development of Nemidon gels (www.nemidon.co.nz) and fuels through hydrothermal processing.
As result of a student bet, he completed one work of fiction, which quite rightly at first did not succeed, and when subsequently revised was unlucky, but now in later life he has returned to writing fiction. In semi-retirement he is now self-publishing ebooks, including scientific ones to present theoretical work that is otherwise not published, or futuristic science fiction.
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