Best of Texas Book Award for Science Fiction Series: Search for Help by Michael J. Farlow

International and galactic intrigue combine with space combat and treachery to determine the human race’s future.

Search for Help by Michael J. Farlow has received the Best in Texas Book Award for Science Fiction Series. The award is presented by the Texas Association of Authors.

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Michael J. Farlow

The Story:

Van Childs continues his mission to ready Earth for the Arkon invasion. He now realizes that his own interplanetary Guardian Force’s and the Earth Federation’s combined ability to prepare for and defend against the Arkon is not enough.

If they are going to be ready in time, Van has to gamble Earth’s—and his own—safety and embark on a desperate search for help in unexplored parts of the galaxy.

But political upheaval in the Federation and a traitor within the Guardian Force ranks threaten to derail the mission, and at the crucial moment when help is within their grasp, an attempt on Van’s life forces them to return to Earth—and face an enemy he never could have anticipated.

In Search for Help, international and galactic intrigue combine with space combat and treachery to determine the human race’s future.

Sampler from The Prologue:

Earth 2018. Having become aware that an extraterrestrial threat existed, the countries of Earth had formed an Earth Federation. Van Childs, the guardian, had provided new technologies to improve mankind and prepare for the eventual arrival of the extraterrestrial threat known as the Arkon.

Trips to the Moon were commonplace; and in fact, there were three Federation lunar locations. One in Vallis Alpes operated by the Chinese, another in Tycho Crater operated by the Russians, and the third was an existing Guardian Force base on the dark side of the Moon. The latter had been designated a joint-use facility owned and managed by Guardian Force.

While the Federation had small craft capable of traveling to the Moon on a routine basis, they did not have ZPE and FTL technology. ZPE refers to zero-point energy, an unlimited source of energy drawn from space itself, and FTL refers to a type of faster than light speed capability. Neither of these technologies had yet been released to the Federation by Van Childs and the Guardian Force—his personal reasoning having been primarily that the Federation was not yet stable enough to assume the additional power of the technology. Secondarily, there was a matter of practicality. Production of much of the new technology required manufacturing and supporting technology infrastructure that had not yet been fully developed on Earth. Time was needed for the required infrastructure to be built and put in place, with one exception: the Guardian Force Moon Base.

Fueling Van Childs’s concerns over Federation stability, two factions had emerged in the Earth government and society as a whole. One was supportive of the role of Childs as guardian, and members were commonly called the Originalists. The other faction, calling its members the Progressives, believed Earth was being irresponsibly and perhaps capriciously held back from growth by Childs and the Guardian Force. . . allegedly because, in the Progressives’ view, Childs wanted to maintain a power grip on Earth for himself. Further, the Progressives were slowly spreading the word that the Arkon were not the threat everyone thought. The Arkon had sent only one small ship within range of Earth, which was easily defeated, and hadn’t been back. Many of the Federation societies were comfortable with this view. It allowed them to continue their normal lives without fear or change.

In actuality, however, the lack of any additional presence of the Arkon was a demonstration of the large and bureaucratic nature of Arkon culture and internal politics, which made it slow to respond to relatively low-level events like the disappearance of the Arkon scout ship Moor two years earlier

Guardian Force had relocated to Mars Base, a facility left to them by the Galactic Host after they’d moved on to places unknown. New ships continued to be produced, and there were over three thousand inhabitants at Mars Base. In addition, the guardian had accepted selected Federation Space Force (FSF) officers on board Guardian Force ships for training.

Finally, three of the Host Earth sites (Arizona, Chad, and Borneo) had been restocked to original or greater levels and remained known only to the guardian and certain of his confidants.

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