THE MINERVA PROJECT - A development of the multi-national corporation ScienceStart
SCIENCESTART - Colin Bourke’s company whose main aim is to develop financially viable scientific achievements.
Six of the finest scientific minds in the western world are working on a venture to lay the foundations to control the last bastion of our natural world- time. This unique experiment becomes a disaster when the Minerva Project suffers a catastrophic malfunction causing five members of the team to find themselves no longer on Earth. The sixth member of the team remains on his home world to ponder his part in this devastating failure. Along with the five members of the project’s initial research team, numerous other people from across Earth are summarily torn from their lives and deposited without rhyme or reason on this foreign world. These unfortunates include the last surviving members of a doomed British military expedition on the mountain of Isandhlwana in Africa, an Iroquois helicopter crew from an ill-fated mission during the Vietnam War, a hunted man from the streets of a city in Ireland, an SS officer on the run from justice in the aftermath of World War Two, a group of soldiers on opposite sides of the American Civil War and a suburban family innocently on holidays.
Many other people are also transferred to the world of Perencore where they face a constant battle for survival in a harsh existence against seemingly overwhelming odds. Earth and Perencore are not the only worlds involved in this terrible violation of the natural order. The remnants of a mighty tribe of a people known as the Appor arrive in this new setting from their own planet. They too must face a constant fight to survive and find themselves battling a dreaded enemy from a time long past.
These different characters individually, or as a collective begin an exploration of this extraordinary setting to seek answers to many questions about their current state of existence. More importantly they desperately search this new planet for a means of returning to their former lives on their home worlds. Some of the people involved in this dilemma find their lives uncomplicated enough to manage in this new society while others are forced to deal with a brutal existence where each and every day may bring about a sudden death at the hands of Perencore’s inhabitants. Their only means of defence on this world is their superior know-how, intellect and advanced technology.
The main threat to the lives of this world’s new arrivals come in the form of a wide ranging group of merciless bandits called the Anhil. Another threat to the lives of the new inhabitants soon referred to by the local people as ‘Beyonders’ is the fact a long simmering feud is slowly escalating into a full-scale war between two mighty powers. The benign Hamaforth Kingdoms under the command of King Entell Thellon the Third have long been under threat of invasion by those persons overseeing the enemy state, The Azzil Territories whose overlord, Ruler Jom Azzer has vowed to take control of the entire Kingdoms at all costs. By the end of this volume some of the new arrivals to this planet have, with the kind assistance of the more benevolent members of the local community assimilated themselves into this rudimentary and antiquated society. Others find their fight for survival an endless nightmare and one character advances to the upper echelon of the nobility. In these, their new lives they unknowingly become involved in the machinations of ongoing hostilities between the two forces which include numerous assassination plots and an attempt to overthrow the Hamaforth Kingdoms’ monarchy by a bloody coup.
Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist!
From bestselling author Neal Stephenson and critically acclaimed historical and contemporary commercial novelist Nicole Galland comes a captivating and complex near-future thriller combining history, science, magic, mystery, intrigue, and adventure that questions the very foundations of the modern world.
When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. The young man from a shadowy government entity approaches Mel, a low-level faculty member, with an incredible offer. The only condition: she must sign a nondisclosure agreement in return for the rather large sum of money.
Tristan needs Mel to translate some very old documents, which, if authentic, are earth-shattering. They prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for centuries. But the arrival of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment weakened its power and endangered its practitioners. Magic stopped working altogether in 1851, at the time of the Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace—the world’s fair celebrating the rise of industrial technology and commerce. Something about the modern world "jams" the "frequencies" used by magic, and it’s up to Tristan to find out why.
And so the Department of Diachronic Operations—D.O.D.O. —gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that can bring magic back, and send Diachronic Operatives back in time to keep it alive . . . and meddle with a little history at the same time. But while Tristan and his expanding operation master the science and build the technology, they overlook the mercurial—and treacherous—nature of the human heart.
Written with the genius, complexity, and innovation that characterize all of Neal Stephenson’s work and steeped with the down-to-earth warmth and humor of Nicole Galland’s storytelling style, this exciting and vividly realized work of science fiction will make you believe in the impossible, and take you to places—and times—beyond imagining.