Myopic

25 Aug

My blog post today welcomes Gary Starta.

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Gary Starta is a former journalist who studied English and Journalism at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

His love for science fiction compelled him to write his first novel What Are You Made Of?, published in 2006. Inspired by Isaac Asimov, the science fiction novel focuses on intelligent artificial life and whether sentient androids should possess the same rights as humans.

Starta cites Stephen King and Dean Koontz as inspirations for his novels Blood Web and Extreme Liquidation which are also reminiscent of the The X-files television/movie series. Contemporary authors Laurell K. Hamilton, Rachel Caine and Jim Butcher fuel his aspiration to create paranormal suspense.

Myopic continues Starta’s quest to write dramatic science fiction where characters are essential to the plot. An alien race demands humans clean up the earth, but tell only one man, an emotional, irrational author who must convince a logical, scientist girlfriend of their existence.

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When aliens contact suspense author Wilfred Diamond demanding he spread a message to his fellow humans to go green – or else-he confides in his new love interest, EPA scientist Sonja Hoffs. Learning a technology is available which would cure the earth’s pollution woes, Diamond urges Hoffs to help him bring it to the light of day. But there are many who want the technology to remain in the dark and these people are just as dangerous as any alien invader. Knowing the risks, Hoffs lets her heart-and not her brain-guide her to take the plunge into not only a new romance but the perilous waters of political conspiracy.

Excerpt:

“Mr. Diamond, we know you’ve seen us. In fact, you are the only human on this planet able to do so. We have contacted you today to petition the human species for change. Please heed our directive, because if you don’t, every living organism on the planet will die a horrible death.”
     Wilfred Morgan Diamond, America’s most popular suspense novelist, immediately removed his glasses. He feverishly polished his lenses using the greasy cloth napkin that had enjoyed a home on his coffee table for the past two weeks.
     The words continued to scroll across his plasma television screen, plain as day. He should have been seated at a command console, riding aboard some galaxy-class starship. Instead, he slumped upon a lumpy couch riddled with salsa and ketchup stains.
     “Time is of the essence, Mr. Diamond. We currently work to rid your atmosphere of the toxic filth you have unleashed upon it. However, we cannot keep pace. Unless your race establishes an efficient ecosystem within the next five Earth years, an extraterrestrial species will visit your planet to devour all vegetation on your planet, resulting in the complete extinction of every living organism.”
     Wilfred attempted to compose himself for a response, his throat parched with anxiety. He swallowed the last sips of a tepid diet soft drink from the bottle that had been sitting on his coffee table for days on end. He whispered–in fear a neighbor might hear him, hoping this interaction was simply a hallucination or dream.
     He hoped the same for the visions that first appeared three weeks ago. Since then, tiny neon green specks briefly fluttered in front of his eyes every time he put on his latest prescription eyewear. Diamond desperately wanted to believe the sparkling specks of neon were a result of degenerative myopia, a condition where images come into focus in front of the eye. It was the most logical deduction.
     Every year Wilfred had undergone an eye exam his vision had worsened. The most recent test confirmed his myopia once again. He wasn’t surprised. Working fifteen hours a day writing manuscripts had taken a toll on the old eyeballs. But had all this writing also taken a toll on his sanity? Could whispering at a television screen confirm the fears nipping at the deep recesses of his troubled mind? Was he clinically insane?
     Or had he made contact with a new species capable of making dire predictions for either the continuation–or elimination–of the human race? In any event, he managed to utter two words to the beings invading his home entertainment center. He hoped he kept his voice down. He sure as hell didn’t need nosy Mrs. Willis eavesdropping on his last moment of sanity. He could feel her presence without gazing outside. Mrs. Willis spent the better part of her days perched on her balcony, fifteen meters across from Wilfred’s townhouse. She waited like a crow on a telephone wire. Empty air and the empty courtyard below formed the only buffer zone. Thanks to a pair of sliding glass doors, Mrs. Willis enjoyed a perfect view of Wilfred’s living room from her high-rise vantage point.
     The microscopic organisms attempted to answer Wilfred’s question––Why me? They utilized the broadband capability of Wilfred’s digital cable system, allowing two-way real time dialog. Wilfred cursed the day he upgraded from analog.
     He rushed to draw the curtains on pesky Mrs. Willis. He never appreciated her interest in his celebrity. She felt more like a stalker than a fan. Move on to somebody else, you whack job. Wilfred sarcastically mouthed I love you at Willis before closing the curtain on her show.
     He returned his attention to the TV screen. The scrolling began again. Words raced across the screen in vibrant blue.
     “Your brain operates differently. You have a unique condition which allows you to see us. When your species becomes telepathic, you will be able to hear us without the trappings of technology. But we can’t wait for that someday. A deadline is at hand.
     “That is why we chose you, Wilfred Diamond. Your thought patterns radically differ from the beings on the planet you call scientists. While we believe your scientists will one day discover us, their rational minds will condemn them to over-think the reason for our existence. We need a more emotional, reactive mind like yours so you will spread our message proactively. Besides, you have seen us with your own eyes.”
     “You mean the scientists haven’t discovered all of Earth’s species yet?”
Wilfred’s preoccupation with fiction was painfully obvious. If he had kept up with the news, Wilfred would have known scientists had recently discovered a transparent jellyfish-like creature known as salps. The scrolling resumed. It was as if Wilfred had a wealth of knowledge available only for the asking. The beings explained salps are tiny thumb-sized creatures that keep tons of carbon from reentering the atmosphere, thus reducing the harmful effects of greenhouse gases.
     “Mr. Diamond, the salps and organisms like us can only do so much to restore the planet’s damaged atmosphere. You must do your part. Find a way to stop the humans from dumping harmful emissions into the air. Convince them the threat is real, because if we fail to complete our task, a species known as the Purifiers will wreak havoc on your rainforests until they have eliminated all life on Earth.”
     “Why would they do that? Why won’t these Purifiers help us?”
     “They are helping––in their own way. The Purifiers will eliminate any chance your species has of contaminating other worlds with your disease and pollution.”
     “How could we spread this?”
     “You will soon find a way to colonize. Bases are under construction on the moon. The Purifiers are gatekeepers, programmed to protect the future, and they won’t let humans travel the galaxy just to escape their dirty world. Unlike the Purifiers, we are native to this planet. We awoke from a dormant state as a result of your pollution. Our only purpose is to cleanse the ecosystem. If we don’t succeed, our species–along with you and everyone else on your planet––will suffer death at the hands of the Purifiers.”
     Wilfred stumbled over empty pizza cartons and old newspapers to get a better look at his TV. “I don’t even know your name. How can I trust you?”
     “If an introduction encourages trust, then think of us as environmental restoration organisms.”
     “I’ll never remember that. How about I just call you EROs for short?”
     “You may use this acronym if you like. But if you fail in your quest, names won’t matter anymore. The Purifiers will not stop once they begin their feeding. We suggest you get to work. There are only 1,800 days remaining.”

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/GaryStarta.html#MyopicExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Myopic-ebook/dp/B00440DPEA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377412324&sr=8-1&keywords=myopic+gary+starta

 

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