THE VISITOR - A Science Fiction Story by Tony Harmsworth

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AUTHOR

THE AUTHOR: Tony Harmsworth, is an accomplished storyteller who has spent most of his life presenting history and mystery to visitors to the Highlands of Scotland in an entertaining and innovative manner.

As part of this he conceived the Loch Ness Centre, designed and scripted the Macbeth Experience and created the largest private heritage centre in Scotland at Fort Augustus. He also spent over twenty years writing the most comprehensive and authoritative book on Loch Ness, which finally explained the mystery.

Retiring from his career in tourism he has now written two 'old school' science fiction novels. This book features an academic heroine and contains concepts and ideas which will make you think about life, death, religion and politics.

He is looking for an agent or publisher to take THE VISITOR and his other novel, MINDSLIP, to the world.


WarningSYNOPSIS

WARNING - The synopsis is a spoiler written for publishers, not readers! Read the extract on the following link instead.

CLICK THIS LINK TO READ THE EXTRACT INSTEAD OF THE SPOILER SYNOPSIS

THE VISITOR Synopsis EP: Astronaut Evelyn Slater finds a small, damaged, ancient, alien artefact in orbit during the first space junk elimination mission. Amidst a security clampdown, amazing discoveries are made within the device. She battles paranoia, xenophobia and government secrecy to bring the alien’s revelation to the world.

The novel is set mainly between 2027 and 2030. The protagonist is female scientist/astronaut, Dr. Evelyn Slater (31, astronomer and psychologist, cool, competent, clever, determined). She quickly shows herself to be a freethinking and capable commander of a unique space mission which operates out of the International Space Station.

The Scaffy Wagon, Evelyn’s two-person spacecraft with arms for grasping space débris, sets off on its first mission with pilot Yuri Bulgakov. They discover a three-metre long, hundred-million-year-old orbiting alien artefact, badly damaged by a meteor strike.

Secrecy envelops the discovery and while examining the device, it comes back to life briefly endangering the Scaffy Wagon. It was not as dead as they thought it was.

Battling the device and concerns about further damaging it, they bring the object to the ISS orbit where the Cluster research lab is constructed to study it in orbit. The first scientists arrive, but Evelyn and Yuri's seven month stay in space is over and they return to Earth.

Evelyn is appointed director of the government research facility at Goonhilly. Now the main liaison with the Cluster scientists, her team discover images in the data being received from the alien craft. The pictures show a fertile Mars, Earth taken in prehistory, the aliens’ home world and an image of one of them, which is like no living creature on Earth.

Concerned about defusing potential xenophobia, Evelyn formulates a method whereby the alien’s outlandish appearance could be introduced to the public without prejudice. Secrecy is still enforced.

Meanwhile, a Martian probe discovers a second, undamaged alien device in Mars orbit. Evelyn uses the discovery to convince governments to remove the secrecy and she is permitted to present the alien to the world.

Now famous, she appears on a worldwide-syndicated chat show. On live TV, a religious zealot murders some of the audience including Evelyn’s partner and the host. She survives but remains in a coma for three months.

Now seriously crippled, she returns to Goonhilly and is told the second alien object is coming to life en route back from Mars. The electronics in the device contain the mind of one of the aliens.

Evelyn, despite her disabilities, is desperate to take part in the meetings with the alien, which is thought to have a message for mankind. A new low-G launch, using alien technology, allows her to fly to the Cluster and lead the six-person diplomatic team. The alien has learned English en route from Mars. His name is Nsyncadma (Cadma for short).

The momentous meeting begins, but the alien senses a nuclear bomb attached to the cluster. It was intended as a security precaution in case the alien became hostile. Evelyn defuses the diplomatic incident and a rapport is established between the two of them.

Now Cadma’s confidante, Evelyn sets up a world tour which is to culminate in him addressing Congress. Things go awry in the White House when he takes issue with President Parker’s religious beliefs that the world was created six thousand years ago. Parker takes umbrage and ends the meeting.

In their hotel, Cadma senses surveillance bugs and cameras and decides to change his Congress speech. Evelyn counsels against it, but he is determined to give Earth some home truths.

During the speech, he lambasts mankind's failings, wars, intolerance, xenophobia and variety of conflicting religious beliefs. Support and anger are equally balanced in the aftermath.

Back in the UK, Cadma lives at Goonhilly. Evelyn becomes afraid for his existence, but it is her own life which is in danger - not from fanatics this time, but from a cancer she had unwittingly ignored.

In the penultimate chapter of 38, The story follows Evelyn's physical deterioration as her relationship with Cadma becomes an asexual love affair, human with machine. It grows ever stronger as she approaches death.

[Major spoiler]: After her death, the final chapter leaps forward in time. Cadma despairs of the ways of mankind. He helps ESA build a starship and constructs a small duplicate vessel, which he uses to escape back to his home world, taking the alien device which had been orbiting Venus. His ability to shut down his systems means that the two devices can sleep until they have completed the journey which takes many centuries.

Back on his home world, Cadma awakens the other machine. It contains Evelyn's mind. She is amazed. He had transferred her just a day before her death. Now, in safety and virtually immortal, they decide to explore the universe together. Their asexual love for each other is both incongruous and wonderful. Machines in love, but dreading that humans will one day spread through the galaxy dragging their xenophobia, greed and selfishness with them.


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Contact: Tony @ Harmsworth.net


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