It’s May 30, 1978 and a normal night at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah–until a bogey shows up in their air space. It gets even stranger when the UFO requests permission to land, then changes its mind, but by then F-16s escort it to the ground. A human girl in her early teens and a robot exit the craft, a strange botanical lifeform found onboard later that night by a USAF landing party. The vehicle, robot, and the strange plant are impounded, then subsequently sent to Area 51.
NASA astrobiologist, Gabriel Greenley, PhD, is called in to study this new lifeform, which at first appears similar to a botanical species known as oxalis. As a psi-sensitive, Greenley quickly learns the specimen is highly intelligent and potentially dangerous when he attempts to take a leaf sample.
He backs off, frustrated, desperate to investigate the scientific details of this new botanical species that combines intelligence with a metabolism based on photosynthesis. Meanwhile, the specimen, a flora peda telepathis named Thyron from the planet Sapphira, is investigating his new environment through all frequencies of the electro-magnetic spectrum to say nothing of his suite of psychic abilities, which includes remote viewing.
Greenley eventually gets his leaf sample, then makes a ground-breaking discovery that he can never share, due to his security oaths and research agreement at this Top Secret facility. Shortly thereafter he’s confronted by an ethical dilemma that forces him to make a treasonous and potentially deadly decision.
A unique combination of hard science fiction, suspense, intrigue, and a touch of humor, this story has been described as a “dark version of ET: The Extraterrestrial.” Strong characterizations, a mysterious setting loaded with intrigue, and unexpected plot twists make this an unforgettable tale whether you’re a science fiction fan, botanist, UFO aficionado, or simply enjoy a good story.
[NOTE–“The Terra Debacle” is a standalone novel, but if you’ve read “A Dark of Endless Days,” you’ll recognize that this story originated there. While that volume of the tetralogy described what happened to Creena, if you’re curious regarding what Thyron and Aggie experienced, this will not only tell you, but introduce a few additional plot twists to be explored in later works.]
Audio Book Now Available!
The audio version narrated by Hollywood actor T. W. Ashworth is now available on Amazon (where you can listen to an audio excerpt), iTunes, and Audible. (If you’re in the UK, please use this link.) Give Audible a try and you can get it for FREE! If you’re already a member and would be willing to leave a short review, contact me for a complimentary copy at email@example.com. But hurry! I only have a few left!
Listen to a short excerpt!
Audio Book Review Excerpts
“I totally geeked out as I listened to this book and am still sitting here a bit stunned. This is hard science fiction that challenged me yet used vocabulary that I could understand. I went to Cal and there were times I felt like my instructors were speaking a foreign language. That’s how lost I would be. I could follow along with Marcha Fox’s writing which was not only a relief but stimulating also. You forget how much you crave that stimulation. If you like Vernor Vinge or Peter K. Hamilton then I think you’ll like this.”
“Tongue in cheek sci-fi, a little quirky in places, funny and a lot of fun to read/listen to.”
“The science, references, and writing is all top notch!”
An Alien Lifeform
Dream Job Gone Bad
Book Excellence Award Finalist
I’m happy to report that The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51 was a finalist in the 2017 Book Excellence Awards! To quote the notification:
It is with great pleasure to announce that you have been selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for the following book and category:
Book Title: The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51
Category: Science Fiction
There were hundreds of entries from around the world and your book was selected for its high quality writing, design and market appeal.
You can find it on the Book Excellence Awards website here and a list of all finalists here.
It has also been nominated for the 2017 NY Literary Magazine’s Best Story Award.
Recent Blog Reviews
Excerpts from Tome Tender Book Blog Review
UFOs, aliens, Area 51…no science fiction geek worth their salt hasn’t wondered what secrets lay beyond our planet or what secrets lay buried in one of the government’s most secretive facilities. Are you one of us Sci-fi geeks? Do you believe anything is possible? You’re in luck, Marcha Fox has a tale to tell, one that will entertain non-stop from start to finish!
THE TERRA DEBACLE, a fictitious tale of a captured extra-terrestrial being will tease your mind with Thyron, a sentient botanical life form with the power to communicate telepathically with NASA astrobiologist, Gabriel Greenley, his keeper, his potential tormentor and soon to be his greatest ally and friend.
Of course, Thyron is just a “thing” to be studied by many, but his relationship with Greenley becomes more than a cold, scientist to specimen thing and not only does it lead to some hysterical moments, it leads to danger for Thyron and an act of treason for Greenley.
Science fiction at its best as secrets are uncovered, bonds are formed and one extraterrestrial neighbor fails to get a warm welcome to our planet. Marcha Fox has combined fact, fiction, speculation and just plain fabulous story telling in this fast, fun and furiously entertaining tale that may change the way vegans look at their food!
Excerpts from Readers’ Favorite Review by Paul F. Murray
The Terra Debacle by Marcha Fox will appeal to readers who like a hefty dose of science with their science fiction….I liked the idea behind The Terra Debacle by Marcha Fox: a science fiction novel that actually has some science in it, albeit a lot, and has a unique plot which is a refreshing alternative to the endlessly rehashed plots in other sci-fi novels about space battles and star ships. But be aware—the science in this novel is real. There are a lot of five-, six-, and seven-syllable words here. The Terra Debacle will appeal to the sort of reader who can comprehend language such as, for example, “ethidium bromide”, “p-hydroxybenzoic acid”, “electrophoresis”, and “multi-dimensional photonic crystal morphometry”. An actual background in science and/or engineering might be helpful in reading The Terra Debacle.
Excerpts from John Reinhard Dizon’s Blog:
Fox could not have selected more fertile ground for such a cross-genre romp. This is easily comparable to a dark version of ET – The Extraterrestrial, though the author herself evokes Little Shop of Horrors in her preface.
A highly entertaining, suspenseful and thought-provoking sci-fi novel surrounding the exploits of Thyron, a mutant form of sentient plant life with highly-developed thought processes and [un]limited extra-sensory perception.
The Star Trails Tetralogy was an essential indie lit sci-fi contribution, standing comfortably alongside Star Wars and Star Trek in the space opera genre. This novel takes us in a new direction as we consider not only the possibility of life in space, but that of being able to communicate and learn from it.
Excerpts from Elle Klass’s “Troubled Oyster” Blog:
The story takes place in the ‘70s when I was a very young girl but I remember enough to suffer several fits of laughter while reading the story with the references to Mork, Star Trek and MASH. Among the laughter was plenty of suspense that built throughout. I was sweating bullets the last few chapters as the story climaxed. What an ending! What a story!
Marcha’s books always contain sound, plausible science. As a biology teacher I was in my element with the science presented in this book and the tests run. It’s very clever and I’m sure I will always think differently about plant chloroplasts and bulbs in the future.
A fantastic story that doesn’t miss a beat!
Excerpts from Scott Skipper’s Blog:
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.
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.
Story Excerpts on Bublish
“Dream Job Gone Bad”
“An Alien Lifeform”
“Experiment Ethics Present a Dilemma”
“An Astrobiologist’s Dream Job”
“We’re Being Watched”
“Exploring Area 51”
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Autographed Copy of “The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51”
Buy directly from the author and get an autographed copy for the same price, postage included! (USA only. Send requests regarding international rates to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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