Author: William Walling
ISBN: 978-1-60264-282-9 (softcover)
A more immediate threat than climate change, the mid-21st century energy dilemma inspires reclusive trillionaire Lyman Dysart-called "The Stockholder" by his privately owned company's employees-to finance the research and development of humanity's ultimate energy panacea: controlled nuclear fusion. Plasma constituents of the patented "Omega Pinch" process are plentiful deuterium and an ultra-scarce, fusible helium isotope found in quantity only on the Moon, which necessitates expensively strip-mining 3He from the lunar regolith. Semi-panic ensues in the minds and wallets of the OPEC/conventional energy cartel led by Vonex Chairman Belkin Reichert, who brandishes behind-the-scenes political influence to suborn fusion's advent by promoting solar energy, and eventually nationalization of the newborn industry. The battle of wills and tactics climaxes when Dysart attempts to defeat nationalization by holding hostage his lunar mining venture, while his nuclear fusion propaganda campaign captures the public imagination by describing the innovative system as "...a plasma containment shell surrounded by huge cables, monstrous electromagnets and sophisticated ancillary equipments, at its heart a dervish of semi-vacuum burning so furiously that it emulates temperatures reigning at the center of the Sun yet gives forth no light, but presumes to light the world in a beneficent, utopian glow.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lifelong Californian and former aerospace engineer William Walling was employed during the Desert Storm conflict by a vendor of sophisticated Flight Motion Simulators, and more recently as technical journalist for a supplier of Global Positioning Systems. TOUCHSTONE is his ninth novel published by Virtualbookworm.com, Inc. Other titles include TRIAGE, MEMO TO THE LEADER, OLYMPUS MONS, SOMETIMES THE DRAGON WINS, NO ONE GOES THERE NOW, TOMORROW, THE STARS and MINDGAMES, all works of speculative fiction, as well as a humorous spoof of the aerospace industry, IT'S TOO LATE TO LEAVE EARLY. Judy and Bill live in the heart of Silicon Valley, and have three daughters and one grandson. In the past Bill has had several hardcover novels published, plus numerous magazine stories and science articles. Now returned to writing fiction, his hobbies include films, music and astronomy.
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