Duane’s Fiction

February 10, 2012

The Trans-Atomic Era

Update 12/1/2012

The first four episodes are NOW available at Amazon!

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Author’s Note (included as part of the description for each episode):

I have always loved the classic ‘Golden Age’ style of Science Fiction where the main characters were heroes, the storylines were fun and upbeat, and ‘Big Science’ was optimistically used to solve problems rather than cause them. I have a hard time finding very many people writing in this style these days, so I decided to do my own adventure in this old school style.

This series is inspired in part by the old Republic movie serials ‘King of the Rocket Men’, ‘Radar Men from the Moon’, and ‘Zombies of the Stratosphere’ and uses some similar technological devices like rocket planes and jetpacks. I have moved the time frame from the early 1950’s to 1936 because I thought adding Nazis to the mix would be fun. (Hmm, should Nazis and fun really be used in the same sentence?)

In keeping with the movie serial concept, where each episode ran about ten minutes and ended with a cliffhanger, I have decided to do something similar here. Each episode of this story runs about 100 pages and ends in some kind of a cliffhanger.

As I was writing the second and third episodes, I began to realize I really like this format. It seems like lately I have been buying lots of books that run 400-500 pages, but a lot of that just feels like filler. Frequently, I end up getting bored and give up after only reading the first 100-150 pages. However with this format, I am forced to come up with something interesting every 100 pages to convince the reader to stick with the story for another episode – so the story is forced to move along at a brisk pace. Hopefully readers will come to like this style, too.

Have a great day, Duane

Special Note: These ebooks do NOT have DRM.  Hopefully this will help if you need to convert the file to ePUB or some other format to be compatible with your preferred reader.

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The Trans-Atomic Era – Episode 1: Aerial Warships – The year is 1936 and it has been ten years since the extremely high energy trans-atomic elements were discovered. The first practical applications like trans-atomic powered ships and trains are beginning to roll out.

Margaret ‘Stoney’ Stonehaven, the head of Stonehaven Industries, a ship and aircraft manufacturer based in Long Beach, California, has just arrived in England for the annual running of the Stewart Cup Air Race with her new trans-atomic powered craft, Shooting Star. She is expecting an easy victory until the Nazis show up with a trans-atomic powered entry of their own.

However with race day still almost a week away, Stoney receives an urgent message from President Roosevelt. Mysterious flying men have attacked the American Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia and kidnapped the Ambassador. The President needs Stoney to investigate. Ever since her college days at Stanford shortly after the Great War, Stoney has been an occasional special operative for the clandestine arm of Stanford’s Hoover Institute, which does assignments for the President that can’t be publically acknowledged. So when the President tells her to jump, all Stoney can ask is ‘How high?’

Therefore Stoney takes Shooting Star and a small team to Bolivia where they discover an unknown adversary with technology and weapons more powerful than they had ever imagined.

The Trans-Atomic Era – Episode2: Have Jetpack, Will Travel– As a result of her first disastrous encounter with the mysterious adversaries, Stoney and her team have been stranded in the hinterlands of Bolivia. Their only hope to make it back to civilization? Break out the jetpacks!

With the aid of her unexpected Nazi allies, Stoney races back to Europe in search of clues to who is behind their unknown adversaries. Because with weapons like the Great War era battleship that has been converted to fly through the power of trans-atomics, this foe can strike anywhere in the world with impunity.

But with an agenda of their own, the opposition is not sitting still and their path will once again collide with Stoney in the skies over Paris.

The Trans-Atomic Era – Episode 3: Empress of the Sky  – Stoney has been captured and taken to the adversaries’ remarkable city-sized flying flagship. While there, Stoney will finally learn the identity of their leader and of her plans to create the ultimate trans-atomic weapon.

Meanwhile Stoney’s compatriots are forced to battle on without her. And a battle it is, as their adversary unexpectedly attacks a major U.S. city. Now it is a race to round up sufficient resources between the Americans, the British, and the Nazis to defeat this seemingly unstoppable foe.

The Trans-Atomic Era – Episode 4: The Moon or Bust – A terse, cryptic message from Stoney sends Sam and Horst in pursuit of the enemy’s elusive city-sized flying flagship. The message also accelerates President Roosevelt’s schedule for retaking Manhattan resulting in a rushed plan the new, hurriedly finished, completely untested American, British, and Nazi flying warships might not successfully implement against the enemy’s more experienced forces.

In the end, it may be up to Dr. Dorothy ‘Dot’ Lang, the brilliant young engineer behind Stonehaven Industries’ revolutionary Jetpack, and her newly recruited team of Army Aviators to save the day. However this first foray out of her lab and into actual combat will test her in ways complex design problems never had.

Meanwhile, Stoney is still being held captive by the Empress of the Sky. They are aboard the Empress’ personal rocketship on their way to her secret moonbase where the Empress will deliver a revelation that turns everything Stoney thought she knew on its head. The dangers to America and the rest of the world may be far greater and far stranger than she ever imagined.

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Coming Soon – Episode 5: Mermen of Neptune

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Update 12/4/2011

To help me picture in my head the characters as I write (and, frankly, to dream a little about this story someday being turned into a big budget movie), I’ve picked out the following actors who I think could play the main characters:


Jeri Ryan as Margaret ‘Stoney’ Stonehaven (38).  Together with her younger brother, Tommy, Stoney runs Stonehaven Industries, a ship and aircraft manufacturer based out of Long Beach, California.  A graduate of Stanford, she is an occasional agent of a clandestine branch of the Hoover Institute, which handles special secret projects for the President.  In her spare time, she is a world class airplane racer.

Katee Sackhoff as Samantha ‘Sam’ Anderson (36). Sam is Stoney’s chief mechanic and best friend.  The two women met in France during the closing months of the Great War on the day Sam lost her hearing while working as an ambulance driver at the Front.

Tim Olyphant as Truman Cartwright (34). Truman, a Major in the U.S. Army, is the military attache at the American Embassy in London.  The second son of the richest landowner in Georgia, he stands to inherit nothing except a generous allowance.  A gentleman officer, he joined the Army and attended West Point to travel and see the world.

Aaron Eckhart as Horst Eckmann (41). Horst, a Colonel in the German Luftwaffe, is a veteran of the Great War.  With the virtual elimination of the German Air Force after the war as a result of the terms of the Versailles Treaty, Horst spent a dozen years flying for the Bolivian Air Force.  In late 1934 he returned to the Luftwaffe as the chief pilot of their experimental trans-atomic flight test program.

Rhona Mitra as Ruth Nichols (37). Ruth, a charter member of ‘The ninety-nines’ the first 99 licensed female pilots in the U.S., is an old flying friend of Stoney’s.  The two women spent a large portion of the 1920’s barnstorming before Stoney was forced to take over her father’s company on his death.  Now, Ruth is the chief test pilot for Stonehaven Industries.

Nina Dobrev as Dorothy ‘Dot’ Lang (26). Dot is the brilliant young lead engineer on Stonehaven Industries’ Jetpack design team.  A geeky engineer at heart, she doesn’t fully appreciate her true beauty and its effect on men.

Cate Blanchett as Empress Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova (34). Anastasia is the sole survivor of the July 1918 massacre of Tsar Nicholaus and his family.  She is the leader of the White Russian forces opposing the Bolsheviks.  She holds the secret to the origins of the trans-atomic elements.

Lyndsy Fonseca as Countess Larisa Andreevna Dubroskaya (21). Larisa, a Lieutenant in the White Russian military, is a Countess in name only until the Bolsheviks are forced out of power.  She acts as an aide to Empress Anastasia aboard the Imperator Nicholas, the trans-atomic powered flying flagship of the White Russian military.

Josh Brolin as Count Kirill Poluektovich Naryshkin (38). Kirill is the Field Marshall of the White Russian Forces and the Empress’ right hand man, but he harbors a secret agenda, which may be the Empress’ undoing.

Keri Russell as Doctor Professor Irene Joliot-Curie (38).  Irene, a Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry for her work in developing new trans-atomic elements, is the daughter of Marie Curie, two-time winner of the Nobel in Physics and Chemistry.  Stoney met Irene on her first day in Paris during the Great War and they became life long friends.  Now, Irene, the mother of two small children, is the head of the Curie Institute in Paris.

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