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."
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Star Trails Tetralogy
by Marcha Fox
When Laren Brightstar, the galaxy’s premier terralogist, refuses a job offer from power-hungry despot, Augustus Troy, he knows it makes him a target. Hoping to put as much distance between them as possible, he accepts a prestigious position on a primitive world. While enroute to their new home via starcruiser, his teenage daughter, Creena, is jettisoned in a malfunctioning escape pod. Whether or not it's an accident is questioned when they discover the ship's captain is none other than the infamous Troy. Laren negotiates use of Troy's personal ship so he and his son, Dirck, can go find her but their pursuit further complicates the situation. As the family members left behind, Laren's bondling, Sharra, and their young son, Deven, arrive on Cyraria they find themselves facing a difficult decision which leaves them destitute on a hostile world where the weather alone could kill them. Meanwhile, Laren and Dirck encounter a multitude of hazards and difficulties while Creena is desperately trying to get home again. Thus begins this family saga space adventure where, torn apart by space and time, each member faces hostile forces which threaten to separate them forever.
The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51
by Marcha Fox
(5.00 from 1 review)
In May 1978 a UFO lands at Hill AFB in Ogden, Utah. NASA astrobiologist, Gabe Greenley, is called in to investigate a strange plant found onboard. Psi-sensitive, he quickly learns the specimen is highly intelligent and potentially dangerous. Taunted by a ground-breaking discovery he can never share, his security oaths eventually result in an ethical dilemma with treasonous and deadly implications.
Beyond the Hidden Sky
by Marcha Fox
To escape Augustus Troy's wrath for refusing his job offer, terralogist, Laren Brightstar, accepts a prestigious position on a primitive planet on the other side of the galaxy. Onboard a starcruiser during the move, his teenage daughter, Creena, turns up missing. Circumstances imply it was no accident. Laren has to find her before Troy does, regardless of cost, changing everyone's life forever.
A Dark of Endless Days
by Marcha Fox
Plunged into a web of political intrigue for his failure to lend his terraforming skills to a wannabe despot, Laren Brightstar finds himself on a planet cursed with lethal weather extremes where survival can never be taken for granted. Protecting his family becomes impossible as old debts come due, leaving his son, Dirck, to complete the daunting task Laren began to assure the family's survival.
Refractions of Frozen Time
by Marcha Fox
Creena Brightstar believes the cavern's crystals can reunite her family at last. Before she can unlock their timely secrets, however, Integrator forces find their underground hideout, forcing a harrowing escape loaded with unexpected consequences. The lonely days that follow change Dirck forever while ultimately providing the answer. But will it be enough to defeat the enemy's ultimate weapon?
A Psilent Place Below
by Marcha Fox
Taking refuge in Cyraria's network of caverns to survive the planet's heat season is a literal life-saver for the Brightstars. Strange shared dreams generated by the cave's mysterious depths quickly come, however, promising death or worse unless immediate action is taken. Will Dirck and his friend, Win, succeed at rescuing his father from territorial prison or will he be exiled and lost forever?
Whobeda's Guide to Basic Astrology
by Marcha Fox
If you want to learn more about astrology but currently know nothing more than your own Sun Sign, then this is the book for you! This witty & easy to comprehend guide provides all the information you need to understand astrology's basic principles (signs, planets, houses) plus some of its many applications such as career selection, parenting, getting along with others & timing any endeavor.
The Sapphiran Agenda
by Marcha Fox
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Thyron is a flora peda telepathis from the planet, Sapphira. His world is occupied by his species of telepathic walking plants as well as a race of pygmies who worship them as gods. Encounters with humans generally don't end well. Face it, humans are omnivorous and plants a popular source of nourishment. Attempt this on Sapphira, however, and the food chain is likely to change rather quickly.
Star Trails Tetralogy Box Set
by Marcha Fox
The Star Trails Tetralogy Box Set comprises the four novels in the series of that name: Beyond the Hidden Sky; A Dark of Endless Days; A Psilent Place Below; and Refractions of Frozen Time as well as The Star Trails Compendium which includes terms, definitions, detailed descriptions of the planet on which the story is set, and a discussion guide with lesson plan suggestions for science educators.
Star Trails Compendium
by Marcha Fox
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
The Star Trails Compendium includes a glossary of terms as well as additional information pertaining to the four novels which comprise the Star Trails Tetralogy. Further explanation of the political structure, weather patterns and Cyraria's indigenous race, the bnolar, are likewise included plus topical discussion guides with more in-depth information for book club members and educators.
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Baby Girl Book 4: Bite the Big Apple
on Jan. 14, 2015
Fans of the "Baby Girl" series can now enjoy the long-awaited conclusion of this suspenseful saga about Cleo, a girl virtually orphaned at the age of twelve who not only has to survive on her own but elude someone who is trying to kill her. Cleo's travels have taken her near and far, partly to escape from whoever is pursuing her with evil intent, but also in search of her true identity since the woman she knew as her mother clearly wasn't her biological parent. This missing piece leaves a gaping hole within herself which she's desperate to fill with the truth.
As Cleo follows additional leads toward the answers she has sought for years, she finds herself in New York where she finally succeeds in finding her biological roots. I don't want this review to be a spoiler so won't go into it any more than to say it's a surprising yet very satisfying ending which answers all the questions presented in previous episodes. I do suggest, however, that readers might want to refresh their memories of how Baby Girl 3: "City by the Bay" ended because this one picks up at that point without fanfare. In fact, if you haven't followed Cleo throughout her quest you should read all previous episodes first to fully appreciate this great conclusion.
There is plenty of food for thought in this volume as Cleo synthesizes some important lessons. One is that a person's biological family is often not the desired source of nurturing and love you might expect. Orphans and adopted children tend to fill this painful gap in their background with an idealized version of who their parents are, which is seldom accurate. At some point it becomes apparent that parental surrogates and role models who have been there when you needed them as well as friends who have accepted, helped and loved you for who you are, even when you didn't know yourself, are your true family as opposed to blood relatives. Often when people think they're bereft of anyone who loves them it's simply because they have not yet learned to know and love themselves.
Throughout this series Cleo has assumed various personas such as Justine when she was in Paris and Shanna in San Francisco as she attempted to hide from her unknown enemies. These were never entirely comfortable for her because she knew they didn't represent who she really was. When she eventually discovers the identity of her biological family and finally answers the question which has haunted her most of her life, she realizes that it doesn't change as much as she expected. She's still the same person she's always been and is actually better for her experiences than she probably would have been if she'd been raised by her biological family. This knowledge frees her at last just to be Cleo, who she's been all along.
Latitudes & Cattitudes
on Sep. 05, 2015
If you love cat adventure stories and, even better, if you're already a fan of Xander de Hunter, Sea Purrtector, you're sure to enjoy this prequel. Xander was not always the daring purrtector you met in "The Red Claw" and "Purranoia." He, like most heroes, started out as an ordinary cat with typical fears. Not surprisingly, one of these fears was of water. In this story you get to see Xander as you've never seem him before. Rather you watch him become the self-assured, courageous, daring feline 007 you already know and meet his mentor, Merlin, who's definitely worthy of a story of his own as well. If you're looking for an entertaining, quick read and another exciting cat adventure don't miss it!
on Dec. 17, 2015
This well-written novel is the worthy third book in the Sci-Fa Chatterre Trilogy. The author does an excellent job of melding science fiction and fantasy together in another convincing story of another world. This particular world is similar enough to what ours was a century or two ago to be vaguely familiar then mixed with high technology imported via a spaceship wreck you can learn about in the first book, "Star Bridge." Having not read the second book, "Thunder Moon," I was a bit lost on the full context of this one, but the immediate action and suspense were enough to grab my interest without knowing the full story of how Tem Aki got into her precarious situation.
Tem Aki is on a quest to find her brother, Larwin, whom you meet in "Star Bridge." Her journey is substantially complicated when she finds herself on the other side of the planet via an encounter with a time/space anomaly. Fortunately, there's a settlement nearby where once again you are treated to Jeanne Foguth's outstanding ability to depict major culture clashes when Tem Aki meets Cameron, the somewhat reluctant leader of a tribe-like culture. Since she emerged from the ocean, albeit in a spacesuit, he thinks that she's a goddess who has arrived to help him celebrate an upcoming religious ceremony as well as deal with some troublesome individuals who are losing their religious faith as well as trying to undermine Cameron as their leader.
Cameron's culture is well-developed as is their traditional belief in the madrox dragons, specifically the great dragon-mother, Shaka-uma. The problem lies in that fact that no one has seen her in a long time so a few troublesome doubters are declaring that they never existed. Meanwhile, Cameron is trying to prepare for their annual pilgrimage to honor Shaka-uma, which his adversaries are trying to sabotage. Tem Aki is thrown into this controversy which is further complicated by the fact that there are no other females around in the immediate environment which can best be compared to a monastery.
The misunderstandings between them are at times hilarious and if nothing else demonstrate how easily such confusion can develop when two cultures collide. Tem Aki's technology, which includes my favorite android, GEA-4 (whom you can also meet in earlier volumes), of course convinces Cameron of her godhood. His fascination when GEA-4 stares into the sun to recharge is classic. Tem Aki's revulsion toward the primitive, chauvinistic culture is certainly convincing as is the rationale Cameron maintains that she's some form of divinity.
Cameron's challenges alone would make a fascinating read but adding Tem Aki into the mix is the coup de grace for a great story. I don't want to delve any further into the plot because I don't want to throw any spoilers out there, but believe me when I say that there are plenty of complications, surprises, believable characters, Kazza is joined by another delightful mystic cat, and a satisfying ending. I recommend reading the books in sequence, though this one can stand on its own if you've at least read "Star Bridge."
on March 18, 2016
Xander de Hunter fans will be delighted to know that their favorite undercover cat is at it again in this exciting and vividly rendered adventure tale (or tail, as the case may be). If you've already read "Purranoia" (and you should, to fully appreciate this sequel) you'll know that there were many unanswered questions at the end. Furthermore, Xander picked up a lovable sidekick, appropriately named Mischief. Her rebellious and inquisitive yet highly intelligent nature adds another important member to Catamondo. She continually rubs Xander's fur the wrong way, especially her weird love of water sports, making the Sea Purrtector wonder if choosing to mentor her was really a good idea or not. The tension between these two adds conflict and more suspense, further enriching the story and plot.
The tale gets started when Xander's buddy, Merlin, reminds him of the many unsolved issues from their Haitian adventure, driving him to follow up on the situation. This takes them to Jimaní in the Dominican Republic's Independencia Province, where Mischief's tante, Lucy Fur (be sure to say that aloud to get the implications) resides. They'd never fully determined the objective of Dr. Moreau's genetic engineering operation. Furthermore, what happened to Damon, Chester, Mingus, Matsu as well as Clade and Allele, the odd cat-snake mix known as the vi-purrs?
An entertaining cast of characters including a rat named Scar, a chameleon named Mars, another cat named Sharkey who loves to quote Native American wisdom, and numerous others join with Xander and Mischief to find the answers. Their efforts are further complicated by a hurricane, adding to the suspense and intrigue. As always, the settings are described in vast detail such as can only be accomplished by an author who's been there.
The complex world of Catamondo just gets better and better. If you love cats and a good adventure story that would make an excellent animated movie, this series is for you.
on June 07, 2018
This is one of my very favorite series, ever, and this episode further confirmed that whatever science fiction sub-genre this happens to be, it's what I'd choose if I had to, over just about anything else. I guess it could be called something like "snarky, politically incorrect, hard sci-fi" and I love it. It has technology and theoretical physics speculations to feed my nerdy, physicist brain; sarcasm that makes me wish I could be as witty; and snarky undertones to evoke hysterical laughter, such that my cat glares at me for disturbing her sleep when I'm reading in bed.
It was so much fun to get a glimpse of half-breed, Terrie Dreshler, now fully grown not only to adulthood, but middle age, to say nothing of her mother, Carrie Player, now an old lady, at least chronologically, and stepping into that role where she admonishes those around her for their every faux pas.
Every time Terrie called Deshler "Dad" I cracked up. I can just see this entire series as an uproarious sit-com that comprises a family where the father is a grey alien; the mother, human; and the daughter, well, mostly human, other than her eyes. It just gets better and better. Such a show could even beat out my two favorite sit-coms of all times, "Third Rock from the Sun" and "Alf."
Situations involving interdimensional time travel sometimes left my head spinning with regard to when and where they were, but things sorted themselves out eventually. The new alien, Emelda, a towering Nordic wonder, was a great addition to the group. Her penchant for Uncle Eddy was hilarious, as well as her insisting repeatedly that Mars was still a "sh*thole", in spite of the earthlings' innovative terraforming efforts. Then there's Terrie's renewed relationship with Marcus, which adds a touch of something bordering on romance. The inclusion of a character who was supposedly Elon Musk's grandson, to say nothing of the involvement of SpaceX, tied the story into current events, which gave it even more credibility. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to see Terrie turn up on the news one of these days, or an equivalent of their electronic personal assistant, Casseopeia, in the local Wal-Mart.
While the author does a tremendous job of tying in events from previous books as reminders and plot gap fillers, I highly recommend reading this series from the start. The evolution of the absurd situation that started in Roswell in 1947 as well as the roles of this diverse cast of characters is priceless. Trust me when I say you don't want to miss out on any of it.
Anything that can make me laugh is worth its weight in gold. I've already read the first book twice. These are definitely stories that I'll read again and again, which is extremely unusual for me since I tend to have a very long To-Be-Read list. But who doesn't go back to their favorite stories, whether it's a two year old wanting mommy to read the same tale every night, or a great-grandma who's found a series that couldn't be more perfect if it were written expressly for me?
Keep 'em coming, Scott! I think the entire "Alien Affairs" series is nothing short of magnificent. (But be warned, you probably won't agree if you think it's important to be politically correct. It's not, but somethings just need to be said.)