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Refractions of Frozen Time Review:
As the fourth and final book in the series Refractions of Frozen Time a fitting end to the struggle against INTEGRATOR. I have been drawn to this series since the first book and have quickly become a Marcha Fox fan. She integrates actual science into science fiction, creating worlds, customs, and life forms outside the world we live. Her creativity and imagination never fall short but always leave me wanting more.
In the final book we see Laren Brightstar arrested and on a one way ship; destination Bezarna- a black hole. His children Creena and Dirck, work overtime to come up with a solution to save him, but the forces and time are against them. Their hiding place and recent home have been discovered leaving them no other option than to vacate whilst their younger brother Deven has just made an awesome discovery. Each character has been carefully crafted and developed. As a reader I enjoyed watching the children develop and
grow from bickering teens to collaborative young adults.
The suspense builds from chapter 1 as the Brightstar family fights against all odds along side allies and friends they have found amongst their journeys. The evil Troy and Spoigan create havoc as their goal is geared towards the destruction of the Brightstar family and anything that represents “good”. The final climax had me shivering as the forces of dark and light came hurtling together into an unexpected and shocking end.
My Previous Reviews
Interview with Win Sendori (He first appears in "A Dark of Endless Days" and proceeds to become a major player from that point on.)
Q: What was your first impression of the Brightstars when they walked into the Supply Depot (SD) where you worked as a clerk?
WS: It was like being hit by a lightning bolt. I felt I'd either known them before or that they'd be important to my life in some way. That first time I looked Laren in the eye I knew we were bonded in some way. I sensed his intelligence and importance immediately and that we'd do something big together. Of course much later, when I discovered we were both in the Ledorian Order,
it made even more sense. Dirck immediately felt like an old friend. I could see he felt a little lost and having been there myself I could empathize.
Q: You seem to know a little about just about everything, perhaps what is referred to on Earth as "a jack of all trades and a master of none." How did you learn so much more about life than most people your age?
WS: Going through the Academy on Mira III helped me develop a good memory. If I read something once, it sticks. When I'd get bored, which was a lot, I'd pick a subject at random and learn all I could about it. It was almost weird how often those things would eventually be something that got me out of a bad situation. I'm also good at learning vicariously from other people's experiences, especially their mistakes. When I'd watch Concurrency Reviews, which we call CRs and you Earthlings call "the news," I'd always put myself into the situation and think about what I would have done that would've resulted in a different outcome. When people got out of line on Mira III they always got caught and then the Directorate made an example out of 'em. I would always ponder why they got caught and how they could 've gotten away with it, whatever it was. That fault tree exercise Dirck and I went through for the prison rescue was a natural process for me. I just never knew it had a name.
Q: Were you fully aware of how much trouble you would have been in if you'd gotten caught helping the Brightstars?
WS: [Expletive deleted.] Yeah. I totally knew. When I worked for that creep at the Territorial Tower I saw what those people with even a little political clout could do. I not only saw it but it was my job to enter it into the records, which would set supposedly appropriate consequences in motion, deserved or not. At first I thought these people had done something horrible and deserved it. Until I knew one of them personally and was fully aware the charges were fake. That did it. I got so reeked it's a good thing my boss was on TDY to some other planet because I know I would have done something stupid like demand an explanation. After I calmed down and thought it through, I understood I could do more to undermine it by keeping quiet. He'd check on my work from time to time, though, seeing if the person he'd targeted had been arrested or whatever, so I had to put the stuff in there like he said. When the billet opened for that position at the SD I knew that was a place I could make a difference. I knew I'd be doing a whole lot more than handing out plumbing supplies. But to answer your question, while I knew what would happen if I got caught, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be, that I knew enough to operate covertly and get away with it. I saw it as an opportunity to make a difference, not a risk.
Q: What about that wild ride through Guipure Canyon? Any comments on that?
WS: [Laughs] I've never told Dirck, but there were a few moments I doubted we'd survive. But that's one thing about being Ledorian, you're not afraid to die. Death is just a threshold to another plane of existence. If Dirck had died it would have been really bad, though, leaving his mother and brother on their own with his father an eppy in the Epsilon lockup. And that made me feel that somehow we'd be okay. Sometimes you get in a situation that's so bad it has to be fate and all you can do is hope you didn't make a huge mistake. It was really the turning point for Dirck. He started to get it after that and really leave Mira III and all its culture-based compliance crap behind. I think it takes looking death square in the eye before you really understand life.
Q: So now that things have settled down, at least on Cyraria, what are your plans? Find a nice girl and settle down? Or more adventures?
WS: [Smiles.] I don't know, maybe both. To be honest, I'm getting a little bored. Things are too quiet. And while things have settled down here for a while, I don't think it'll last more than a cycle or two. There's still a lot of crap going on out there galactically. They'll be back, especially now that this place is turning into a halfway decent planet. Laren promised Sharra he'd stick around, at least 'til Deven's raised, but he's pushing for me and Dirck to go to Esheron and really get into this Order thing. And I gotta tell ya, I'd love to meet that gal, Antara, who stood up to Spoigan. That's my kind of woman. So let's just say only time will tell.
MARCHA FOX GUEST BLOG POST
I ♥ Sci Fi
I've been a science fiction fan for as long as I can remember. It started when I was in grade school and discovered H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Robert A. Heinlein. I couldn't even begin to name my favorite sci-fi books. The list would be far too long, though I did attempt to include a few on Amazon's Listmania which you can find here: http:/www.amazon.com/Favorite-Science-Fiction-Stories/lm/R2ZY3ZD3AXZJXG/.
My love of the genre was further fueled by the original Star Trek TV series (yes, I'm that old), then years later by movies such as Star Wars and its sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. I absolutely loved Back to the Future I and III as well as ET: The Extraterrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Alien which all maintain a solid grip on my list of favorites. Needless to say, these movies were popular upon release and continue to live on via cable and satellite TV, Net Flix and, of course, DVDs. Obviously, lots of people at least like sci-fi enough to be considered a fan. After all,
the nerd population alone cannot explain the success these flicks enjoyed at the box office.
But there are fans and there are Fans. To be a Fan takes your dedication to the next level. I remember someone cozying up to me one time in church so she could whisper in my ear. I expected her to tell me my slip was showing or I had a massive run in my pantyhose but instead she asked somewhat conspiratorially, "Are you a trekkie?" I'm not sure how she could tell, but clearly it showed, if not my slip, and this otherwise rather spiritual woman recognized me as one of her own.
That alone probably doesn't necessarily qualify me as a Fan, only weird. But I'm sufficiently obsessed with sci-fi that I've actually been to a few Sci-Fi Conferences, or Cons as they're affectionately called. No, I wasn't tromping around in chainmail (and ONLY chainmail) or dressed like Princess Leia, but I definitely understand the humor behind Bimbos of the Death Sun. Surely you've heard of it--no? Okay, nevermind. Let's just say it's a cult classic in the Con crowd. And actually, quite a few people go to Cons, but would the truth be known, there are two different categories of attendees: After all, there wouldn't be sci-fi fans (or Fans) without sci-fi authors.
I'm not saying this to brag, but I've been writing science fiction since 6th grade when I penned (or rather penciled) stories on lined, yellow paper explaining our teachers' origins (at least the ones we didn't like). This has continued, though it's no longer teachers who populate my tales, placing me in the "author" category. This, in turn, takes me slightly beyond Fan and qualifies me as a FAN. Unless you're a total masochist you're not going to turn out over a thousand pages of science fiction, some of which was done on a manual typewriter, unless you're also a huge FAN.
But beyond that there are FANS. These people (mostly) are the ones so totally obsessed with science fiction that they live it. I, my friend, am here to confess that I am one of those. Initiation into this category is not for everyone. At the least, it involves numerous long nights exerting mental effort sufficient to spawn a brain hemorrhage. It's multivariable calculus applied to electro-magnetic theory. Orbital dynamics or reference frame transformations. Deriving Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity as well as General Relativity plus knowing the difference between the two.
These are not problems that the average Star Wars fan or Fan would recognize if they hit them upside the head. These are typical problems that physics majors confront as they attempt to discover exactly what the science comprises behind science fiction. Which is exactly what a person totally obsessed with science fiction is likely to subject themselves to.
Yes, I am that weird. I got a bachelor's degree in physics as part of my obsession for science fiction. Then I was lucky enough to work at NASA for over twenty years. And now I'm retired and finally get to fully return to my first love, science fiction.
You've probably heard the saying, "You don't have to be crazy to work here but it helps." To paraphrase, "You don't have to be a physicist to write science fiction, but it helps." Not only does it help but it provides you a plethora of great ideas because the more you know about this stuff the weirder it gets. It's a total blast. Writer's block? Just read the latest research and you've got more ideas than you could develop in fifty lifetimes.
Surely not all science fiction fans are physicists but I would dare say that the converse is true and the vast majority of physicists are
sci-fi fans, Fans, FANS or perhaps even FANS in that sci-fi had an effect on them similar to mine. And I truly hope that my attempt at this genre brings my readers (and hopefully fans) even a nano-bit of enjoyment. Whether I could possibly inspire any of them to become FANS like those early sci-fi genre pioneers did for me I'll probably never know, but I can always hope I run into one at a Con someday or maybe in a galaxy, far, far away. Until then, may you Live Long and Prosper (RIP, Mr. Spock), May the Force be with You, and may you can find me at the links below.
Read Chapter-length Excerpts on Bublish:
The Fickle Finger of Fate
Commandos Raid the Caverns http:/www.bublish.com/bubble/stream/4666/
The Heart of the Scorpion: http://www.bublish.com/bubble/stream/4730/
Time in Different Reference Frames: https://www.bublish.com/bubble/stream/4761
A Difference of Opinion: https://www.bublish.com/bubble/stream/4828
The Bezarna Express' Dirty Little Secret: https://www.bublish.com/bubble/stream/4898
Follow me on #Bublish to be notified of more updates! http://www.bublish.com/author/view/3111
Where to find Marcha:
Amazon Author Page
Bublish Author Page