Parker's Folly eBook Published
Doug L. Hoffman's new science fiction novel, Parker's Folly, has been published in eBook format on Amazon.com. Parker's Folly is a space opera in the tradition of Heinlein and EE Doc Smith that delivers speculative science, a bit of romance and lots of action. It is the first book of the T'aafhal Inheritance trilogy that follows the adventures of Captain Jack Sutton and his crew as they discover the world shattering truth behind a war fought long ago among the stars and how things on Earth were forever changed by its outcome.
It started with Air Force nuclear detection satellites picking up radiation from the middle of West Texas, and rumors that an eccentric oil billionaire was building a spaceship in an old abandoned dirigible hanger. A TV news team, a squad of Marines and a bevy of law enforcement personnel soon converged on TK Parker's ranch, forcing the crewmembers on board Parker's Folly to depart hastily, trapping the news people and Marines aboard.
With a skeleton crew, Captain Jack Sutton managed to reach orbit in time to rescue three stranded cosmonauts from the International Space Station before a massive solar eruption killed them. From there, the ad hoc crew continued to the Moon where they found something no one expected: aliens—hostile aliens. The adventure for Captain Sutton and Lieutenants Curtis and Bear is only beginning, as they discover the fate of humanity and all life on Earth is in their hands.
Having previously teamed with Allen Simmons on two successful non-fiction books, The Resilient Earth and The Energy Gap, one might wonder why Dr. Hoffman would venture into the realm of science fiction. In the book's preface, the author explains the genesis of Parker's Folly:
This is a work of fiction, a science fiction novel of the type sometimes called a space opera. Over time that term has often been used derisively, though sometimes lovingly. I use space opera to denote a particular type of science fiction that I read as a youth; works penned by such old masters as Arthur C. Clarke, Issac Asimov, L. Sprague de Camp, Robert Heinlein and E.E. “Doc” Smith. Smith in particular defined this genre for me with his Skylark of Space series, the first novels I recall purchasing for my own reading pleasure.
Many, though certainly not all, of the novels from these giants of SF started on Earth, more or less in the present day. Not long ago, in a galaxy far, far away; not star-date 24-something-or-other; but in the here and now. That is what hooked me on Smith's first Skylark novel—the heroes were contemporary human beings that, through their own intelligence and effort, managed to construct a spaceship and blast off into the Galaxy on an amazing adventure. In short, the reader could imagine such a thing happening to them.
Few books are written like that anymore. Most seem set in a distant future and the ones that are set in the near term are usually dark, gloomy portrayals of post industrial dystopias. What a bummer. So here is my modest attempt at an old fashioned space adventure, an adventure that anyone could find themselves in the midst of with a little luck. The science within is either based on present knowledge or is possible without violating current understanding. The boundaries are stretched a bit, after all this is a work of science fiction.
Those of you who read and enjoyed the previous books by Simmons and Hoffman might wish to read Parker's Folly as well, but understand—this is a work of pure fiction. There is real science in the mix, and also some speculation, but this is a novel driven by plot and its characters. Here is the teaser from Parker's Folly:
Upon landing the rear ramp lowered to the ground and the squad of Marines exited the rear of the Osprey led by Lt. Merryweather and GySgt Rodriguez. The squad fanned out and formed a perimeter about 30 meters from the aircraft, who's rotors were stirring up large volumes of dust. As the Marines knelt down facing outward from their ride and toward the looming hangar, Rodriguez turned back to the Osprey and gave a thumbs up signal. The MV-22 immediately started to rise and headed off to the south.
'The Gunny waited 20 seconds for some of the dust to clear and for the noise of the aircraft to fade. There was no response from the building. She looked over at the Lieutenant and Cpl Sizemore. As soon as she had their attention she used hand signals to indicate they should advance to the side of the building, each team taking up stacked position beside their target doors.
The Gunny stood up and started forward at a trot. Simultaneously, the rest of the squad was in motion, headed for their assigned objectives. Damn if we don't look like we know what we're doing, Rodriguez thought. The squad quickly flattened themselves against the outer wall of the building.
I wish we had some grenades, no, we wouldn't be able to use them until we know what's inside. As usual with combat operations, the worst part was before making contact with the enemy. That's when all the doubts and second guessing happens. Once the bullets start flying, training and instinct take over. From the far side of the door, facing the rest of her team and in sight of the Lieutenant's team farther west along the building wall, she motioned for the squad to enter the hangar.
Reagan reached out and grasped the doorknob. The door was unlocked. He pushed the door open and entered the building, followed closely by Davis and Sanchez. The Gunny and corpsman White brought up the rear.
Still no contact. The team crossed through a deserted work area filled with tables and machine tools. On the far side, opposite the entrance, there was a ramp leading to a pair of swinging doors that opened outward, into the hanger proper.
“Up the ramp! Move it!” With that the Gunny launched herself up the ramp and threw open the right hand door as Davis did the same to the one on the left. The rest of the team flooded into the brightly lit hangar, instinctively taking up defensive, outward facing positions.
Rodriguez could see the rest of the squad similarly deployed, twenty meters to her left. The Lieutenant was standing in the middle of his team, looking up, pistol in hand with his arm hanging at his side. That was when the Gunny became aware of the large gleaming cylinder towering over them. I'll be damned, she thought, it is a rocket ship.
If you have a passion for good, old fashioned science fiction adventure, then Parker's Folly is just what the doctor ordered. Purchase it today from the Amazon Kindle Store.