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Marcha Fox has loved science fiction since she was a child with the stars always holding a strong sense of mystery and fascination. Her love of astronomy resulted in a bachelor of science degree in physics from Utah State University followed by a 21 year career at NASA where she held a variety of positions including technical writer, engineer and eventually manager. Her NASA experience was primarily at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas but included trips to Cape Canaveral in Florida, visiting other Centers in Mississippi, Alabama and Maryland as well as visits to the European Space Agency in The Netherlands. Her most memorable experience, however, was the sad task of helping to recover space shuttle debris in East Texas following the tragic Columbia accident in 2003. "NASA was a great career experience, but writing is what I've always wanted to do. To me there is nothing more exhilarating than bringing a character to life."
She has made it a point to "do the math" regarding various elements in her books to assure accuracy and hoping to instill an interest in science and engineering to her readers in an enjoyable and entertaining way. She admits that Cyraria's figure-8 orbit around a binary star system is a bit of a stretch but maintains it is mathematically feasible even though it would be unstable with life on such a planet beyond challenging with its seasonal extremes. "But that's what makes it a good setting for the story," she adds.
Born in Peekskill, New York she has lived in California, Utah and Texas in the course of raising her family and currently resides in the Texas Hill Country. Whether “Refractions of Frozen Time,” the fourth and final volume of the Star Trails Tetralogy series will be the last she states, "These characters have a life of their own and may move on to other adventures."
on May 30, 2017 :
Get ready for Thyron. He is a peda flora telepathis; in other words a sentient, bipedal, telepathic plant. He not only communicates telepathically, he acquires knowledge remotely. While imprisoned at the infamous Area 51, he stumbled onto a treasure trove of information and overdosed himself by assimilating it, which caused him to lapse into a dormant state. This triggered a panic in Gabe Greenly, astrobotanist for NASA. Greenly nursed Thyron back to a healthy state and was rewarded with a handful of seedpods.
Thyron’s vegetable chauvinism makes him highly opinionated. He bristles at the nature of paper, he thinks lumber is a crime against botany, vegetarians are serial murderers, and a harvester is a weapon of mass destruction. He cuts Gabe some slack since he is a fruitarian and can gain sustenance without killing the fruiting plant. This makes for a strange relationship, because Gabe is bound by his security agreement, which forbids abetting an escape, and Thyron’s goal is to get off the earth at all costs, along with an artificially intelligent robot—since disassembled—and a humanoid girl.
Marcha Fox has not only created a phyla, she has invented multiple vocabularies. The psychic terminology is plain enough to understand, but you might want to read The Terra Debacle on an ereader with a built-in dictionary to help decipher the botanical terms. This is a brilliant story, extremely well written and with great character development. It is off-the-wall in a way that is similar to how Tom Robbins grabs the reader and shakes him. The research is profound and convincing. It is loosely aimed at the young adult audience, of which I am not a member; however, I recommend it for anyone who wants to venture into a leafy new world.
(reviewed the day of purchase)