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 . . .

 A Ruby Beam of Light                    Airship Nation by Tom DeMarco

    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  It has repealed most of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, leaving the world as it was in your great great grandparents’ time.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 Light
Book I of Dark World Chronicles

Ruby Beam Sample ChapterThe beam is an explosion inhibitor…
    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 beam. 
    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 effector on.
    But then what?  Can civilization survive in a Layton Effect world?  We’re about to find out.

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Airship Nation
Book II of Dark World Chronicles

Airship Nation Sample ChapterHomer 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.


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Also available in paperback or eBook from: Double Dragon Publishing

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Science Fiction, Comic Novels, and Short Stories by Tom DeMarco