Dark World Chronicles
Armageddon is about to happen, but it’s not what you think. This war isn’t going to blow anything up; it’s just going to turn everything off . . .
The world has gone dark. Nothing works. Cars and trucks and airplanes and guns and bombs are nothing more than paperweights. A mysterious disturbance propagated onto the earth’s magnetic field has the effect of inhibiting all explosions. It has repealed most of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, leaving the world as it was in your great great grandparents’ time.
The villain (or hero, depending on your perspective) who has made this happen is the physicist Homer Layton. He must be destroyed. And his stupid machine that injects the disturbance must be destroyed. Because without it we can never have another real war. This is unacceptable. Fortunes of treasure and innovation have been invested in war materiel, all of it now useless. Most people would like to have their cars and computers and televisions working again, but that’s not what really matters. What really matters is that governments cannot get on with the business of war. The power elites around the world have determined to track down Layton and his little colony of war opponents and smash them. Then the nuclear war that was just about to happen when he turned on his damnable machine can finally get started . . .
A Ruby Beam of LightThe beam is an explosion inhibitor…
Book I of Dark World Chronicles
Something strange is going on inside the ruby colored beam of
coherent light. Physicist Homer Layton has a theory that time runs
marginally slower there. The beam is injecting a disturbance into time
itself. His team has dubbed this phenomenon “the Layton Effect.”
Combustible material will burn inside the beam —though with a lower
flame — but will not flash. Nothing will explode. Homer plans a
scholarly paper to be published in the journal, Science, a
re-examination of the very nature of time. It’s going to be a
blockbuster among physicists, he suspects, though probably just a
curiosity to everyone else. But then one of Homer’s assistants
discovers that the Effect is propagated not by the beam itself but by
the ruby chip and magnetic field used to focus it. And if the beam were
ever to be aligned precisely with the earth’s magnetic field, the
Effect could escape and suddenly become global. The thought of a
Layton Effect world is too awful to consider. Guns and bombs would be
rendered useless — that might be a plus — but no internal combustion
engine could function. The technological progress of the past hundred
years would effectively be repealed. They realize that their discovery
must never be published, or some idiot would be bound to line up the
But then a deteriorating geo-political situation makes
them reconsider. The nuclear exchange that is about to happen will lead
to an even worse outcome. Homer’s assistants build a “persistent
effector,” a device that seeks out the earth’s field to inject the
Effect onto it. With missiles incoming and outgoing, he turns the
But then what? Can civilization survive in a Layton Effect world? We’re about to find out.
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Homer Layton’s young protégé, Loren Martine, is now charged with the defense of the Baracoa colony and preservation of the Layton Effect transmitter that has made the world go dark. He knows
an attack is imminent, that the colony’s success in defeating the earlier attack will not be so easily repeated. The shadowy Rupert Paule in Washington is determined to pulverize them. His forces will come again, under sail, and Loren’s few sailing vessels will have to be quick to repel them. He sets out to invent a more effective keel to make his boats sail higher and faster. The invention he comes up with is staggering: a variation of the Layton Effect causes a drastic local slowing of the flow of time in one dimension, so a keel which is free to move forward and backup and up and down is effectively locked in its plane from side to side. His sailing craft will not slip to windward and they won’t heal over in the wind. To his utter astonishment, the keel also works when turned on its side. It is falling, but so slowly as not to be noticed due locally modified time in the vertical dimension. The vertical keel floats in the air like a skyhook. He and his colleagues set out to use the new technology to fashion a fleet of airships. The airships are propelled by wind and held aloft by Layton Effect transmitters. What this changes is only everything
. Let the enemy come in their ridiculous old-fashioned ships. Loren will defeat them from above.
Book II of Dark World Chronicles
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