Tuesday, October 16, 2018
The Crying of Ross 128 by David Allan Hamilton - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway
by David Allan Hamilton
GENRE: Science Fiction
America has splintered into various independent republics after a brutal civil war. Against this backdrop, space exploration is on the cusp of new technological breakthroughs. Jim Atteberry, a mid-30s English professor at City College in San Francisco, spends his free time listening for alien signals on the amateur radio astronomy bands. His life as a single parent to his precocious daughter is turned upside-down when he hears an intelligent cry for help from the Ross 128 system and realizes we are not alone. This signal unleashes a chain of events pitting Jim and his brilliant, mysterious colleague Kate against a power-hungry scientist with his own secret agenda. Jim must learn the truth about the signal, the strange disappearance of his wife Janet, and the meaning of true love before it’s too late in this first contact thriller.
I wondered how the author would handle a much used concept and found that he handled it very well. This is as much a mystery as Science Fiction. It is full in everyday characters set in a background that could become reality. A hard to put down book that will make you think while entertaining you.
"How long does it take a subspace signal to travel from Ross 128 to Earth?" he asked.
The machine responded verbally. “Twenty-two minutes, 13.4 seconds with current subspace technology.”
Atteberry recorded the time on his notepad, then looked at the screen. “Is there any history of alien signals coming from Ross 128?”
“Negative. Although in 2017, unknown signals from that system were received at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. They were later dismissed as Terran satellites.”
Ghost signals. That happened sometimes due to the multitude of satellites orbiting Earth back then, and now around the moon and Mars. Signals would bounce and echo off them all the time, like ripples in a pond bouncing off rocks and plants.
“Speculate as to the origin of this signal if it’s a ghost.”
“If the signal is a ghost, it is most likely an artifact of the Second American Civil War circa 2070. The Northern Democratic States and the Confederate States often used ghost signals as decoys to confuse enemy communications.”
So that’s it, Atteberry thought, he’s been chasing old civil war ghosts. Yet the question of subspace remained, and, as far as he knew, neither side in the civil war used the emerging FTL technology. It wasn’t sufficiently developed until after the new republics separated.
“What is the likelihood that these Ross 128 signals are satellite ghosts?”
“What’s the probability the true source is the Ross 128 system itself?”
Atteberry leaned forward on his workbench and realized the results were inconclusive. “What’s the probability that these signals are naturally occurring... a pulsar or a quasar for example?”
“Zero percent. The signals are artificially produced with slight variations in pattern frequency, suggesting unknown transmission methodology.”
“Improbable. There are no known humans in the Ross 128 space.”
Atteberry feared asking the next question; he swallowed hard. “Alien?”
“99.8 percent probable.”
David Allan Hamilton is a teacher, writer, and multipotentialite. He is a graduate of Laurentian University (BSc. Applied Physics) and The University of Western Ontario (MSc. Geophysics). He lives in Ottawa where he facilitates writing workshops and teaches. When not writing, David enjoys riding his bike long distances, painting, and knitting.
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