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Harry Marku is the pen name of a Livermore, CA scientist working in the fields of alternative energy, whose novel is inspired in part by the characters and stories he experienced growing up in the Ukrainian and Romanian immigrant communities of the Western Canadian prairies. Although remotely settled and seemingly mundane, the people of this dying immigrant culture were larger than life, having survived wars, depression and want after risking their lives to escape across the Atlantic to forge a future in the New World. They were hard as nails, a trait well suited to surviving the harsh and unforgiving climate of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Drawing on his workplace experiences as well, Marku explores scientific and social themes in his book, such as the rejection of science as mere hypothesis and devaluation of the human individual in the present economy.