Book
The Science
NASA photo of 1.75 billion year old nuclear reactors.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021016.html

Oklo
Scientists call the nuclear reactors at Oklo "natural." But then, what else can they call them?

The Phoenix Diary
   Legends speak of a mysterious and powerful record that might be a formula for free energy to rebuild the lost civilization or an ancient tome written by a man from the stars telling of mankind’s true beginning and ultimate destiny. Now three teens - Otero, Rhia, and Marc - set out to find the Phoenix Diary with the help of hints from their own genetic memories. But a mysterious man pursues them relentlessly through the ruins of Denver and into an ancient vault in the Rocky Mountains; he knows the Phoenix Diary is everything the legends say and more. It is humanity’s past, present, and future.

 

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Excerpt


“The consequences of the Big Bang should have flowed like rows of falling dominoes; the physical universe should be predictable. But it aint, because intelligent life forms are messing with it.”

  Ambrose Phoenix

 

   Stene held up his glass to view the morning sunlight through the wine. Lovely. “Why is that, Dan? Ever wonder? Why is life on this world so violent?” He sipped, rolling it back on his tongue. Memories of other wines, ancient and wonderful, added to his pleasure.

   “It just is. No reason.”

   Stene erupted in laughter and a regrettable spray of wine. “Many things are not reasonable, my friend. But nothing ‘just is.’ Everything and I mean every-thing, has a history.”

   “A history?”

   “What things were before. How they came to be the way they are. What science describes as causation.”

   “Hmm." The librarian leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees.  "Scientists believe the same things always happen the same way because they like their world orderly and predictable. But, Stene, don't you have to know the reasons? If you don’t know the reasons, how can you predict similar outcomes?” He pointed at a large rock next to the street. “That granite boulder was half buried in my yard when I moved in. It was probably deposited there by a receding glacier at the end of the last ice age. I dug it up and rolled it to the street. Geologists of the future will not know that rock is where it is now because somebody bet me I was too old to move it.”

   “And your point?” Stene couldn't hide his amusement.

   “Things aren’t always the way they’d be if left to nature. Those old scientists missed something.”

   “That is half a thought, my good antiquarian,” he smiled. “Finish it.”

   “Well, People change the world around them. They make changes that don’t occur naturally.”

   “Go on.”

   “We've been changing things for millions of years, making them different from the way nature would. So, this is not a natural world. It should be predictable, but it ain’t,” he grinned. “Because people are messing with it.”

   “Bingo, Dan! Intelligent life changes things in unpredictable ways.”

   Dan relaxed back in his chair, obviously pleased.

   But now Stene's thoughts turned to the deeper colors of his wine. He waved a weary hand at the dead town around them, “What went wrong?”

   “What are you getting at?”

   “Something went wrong on Earth, Dan. Something is out of whack here, can’t you feel it?”

   "Like what? War, evil or are you running low on wine?"

   "How does evil rise up and engulf a world?"

   Dan leaned towards him, “What caused evil, Stene?”

   “Ambrose’s Error! It made you unable to access your genetic memory. Without the experience of past mistakes, each generation constantly overreaches. It outgrows its resources and eats its neighbor. At least animals have instinct; they're born with a little experience from their past - and carnivores eat each other only to survive. Humans though, they have intelligence and yet they make war to take more than they need. And how do you make people mad for war, Dan? By awakening them in each life with no experience of their past lives. They know only what side they are on and what they want. This is all a mistake!" He paused to catch Dan's eye.

   "So we lost Eden." Dan sighed and sat back in his chair.

   How disappointed he seems, Stene thought. "I know what I am talking about Dan. This is not the alcohol talking; it is reality, my friend."

 


Amazon Review
4-star
"...this book encourages me to read more sci-fi - hoping that what I come across will be as convincing and as good."
 -
Curtis Bausse - Author of the Magali Rousseau detective stories

   I'm not an avid reader of sci-fi, so I was a little wary starting this - but I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe my wariness stems from the huge amount of substandard fare that's been published in the genre, but this isn't among them. It's very well thought out, carefully plotted and well written.
   Most impressive is the invention of a complete cosmology and history of the earth's evolution, which (within the world created by the book) comes across as totally plausible. One can well imagine this as a computer game. It has all the ingredients: a post-apocalyptic world (the Collapse following the end of cheaply available energy), a history (involving genetic memory), and a quest (characters in search of the diary of the title). In the mix we get villains who are more complex than the average push-a-button-destroy-the-world type and a situation which includes life and death struggles alongside moral dilemmas. My one reservation is that the world creation aspect is so well conceived that less thought was given perhaps to the characterization and the dialogue. The reader does identify with the characters in their quest, but it could have been stronger if they came across more distinctively. There's a fair amount of description which adds to the visual detail (again reminding one of a video game) but detracts somewhat from the pace. But on the whole, this book encourages me to read more sci-fi - hoping that what I come across will be as convincing and as good.



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The Phoenix Diary  All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2015 G.D. Deckard.
All Rights Reserved. This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Cover Art by Rachel Cohen

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