Darrell Bain's latest novel encompasses the spirit of the old American pioneers who risked all for a chance of a better life in a new environment. With conditions in America deteriorating, the Bentley family decides to take advantage of the recently discovered method for reaching the stars. They sign a contract with a corporation in return for partial financing of their venture to a new world. But as they travel on the space trails, they gradually discover that all is not right about the expedition they're on. When the discrepancies finally come to a head, they find the corporation has deceived all the immigrants. Regardless, there is no turning back, for the leaders of the expedition have outsmarted themselves. Out of food, lost in the labyrinth of the space trails, beset by denizens of the ways, with only a slim chance of survival, the Bentley family and their fellow immigrants press on, driven by the same indomitable spirit their forebears showed while conquering a new continent.
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Double Dragon Publishing
April 21, 2011
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Excerpt from Space Trails by Darrell Bain
The Trailways have been driving scientists batty ever since their discovery. According to Uncle Jim, some say they shouldn't even exist. Since there's no denying their reality, he goes with one of the newer theories, that the universe we thought we knew is actually just a little segment of a bigger one that it fits into, like a piece of a four dimensional jigsaw puzzle. Alone, the piece doesn't make much sense except to itself, but fit it correctly into all the others and a newly discernable picture emerges.
Not that we have any idea of what the whole picture looks like yet, and not that we're likely to find out any time soon, but the theory does give an inquiring mind something to hang a thought on. Heck, it may even be right, for all I know. What they say is that the Trailways exist in a congruent universe, but billions of times smaller than ours.
The Trailways, or Space Trails as they're often referred to, were discovered by an odd merging of satellite observation and soundings by energy companies, going ever deeper into the earth in the perpetual search for new reservoirs of oil. A satellite which was pinging North America from several hundred miles up, section by section, began showing anomalies when the sections were pieced together. It wasn't apparent unless you had a mind like Vernor Midling, who not only noticed the phenomena, but went on to devise the equations which described what he saw in the obscure data. From there, lesser minds were able to construct the apparatuses that form the portals into the other reality.
The portals are the entrances to the Trailways, which gave us our paths to the stars. Like I said, the Trailways are still driving scientists around the bend, but I'm not going any further in trying to describe them. Give me another twenty years of study in the esoteric realms of alternity math and quantum theory and I might give it a try. Not that it's likely I'd ever get a chance at formal schooling again, not if I signed on for the ways when I was of age. Once you enter them, it's like going back in time to frontier days, to wagons and horses and lawlessness and long treks into unknown Wildernesses to the new planets being settled.