***** Adventurous World                                     Review by Rox Burkey

This is my first story by Author Marcha Fox. Her world building in this SciFi short tale is engaging. As it turns out, this prequel shares background on Thyron. This character is imaginative and exciting. This resident of Sapphiran is considered a god by the other inhabitants of the plant, pygmies. He is intelligent and mentally on par with humans.

Thyron’s story continues in Chapter 13 of Beyond the Hidden Sky, the first volume of the Star Trails Tetralogy, and throughout the four-volume series. I liked his adaptability to situations, and the early discussion on species evolution was creative.

“Mobility, they quickly discovered, required sight to avoid wandering off a cliff or into some other hazardous environment. In response to this new evolutionary need, two or more seedpods from the next flowering cycle gradually enhanced their light-sensing ability until they evolved a functionality similar to eyes.

Thus, this next evolutionary step was dubbed flora peda telepathis as Sapphira’s first species of flauna evolved, retaining the photosynthesis ability of plants (flora) while adding the mobility and increased sentience of animals (fauna).”

I learned a new term in this story, psaid. This term denotes psi or communication by telepathy rather than spoken. The writing of Author Marcha Fox is creative, fun, and a learning experience. There are some scientific terms I enjoyed learning. I absolutely recommend this short as a marvelous way to delve into this author and consider the other books she created. I know I am.

About the Author

Marcha Fox is a prolific writer who has addressed a wide variety of subjects, but one of her favorites is science fiction. It began as a love of astronomy, which eventually led to a bachelor of science degree in physics from Utah State University. This was followed by a 21-year career at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where she held various positions, including technical writer, engineer, and eventually manager. Her NASA experiences included trips to Cape Canaveral in Florida, visiting other NASA centers in Mississippi, Alabama, and Maryland, plus travels to the European Space Agency in The Netherlands. Her most memorable was the sad task of helping to recover space shuttle debris in East Texas following the tragic Columbia accident in 2003.

Her Star Trails Tetralogy Series is a family-friendly “Geek Fest” that incorporates her knowledge of physics and space travel within a family saga set on a primitive planet where survival is an ongoing struggle, further complicated by political intrigue. While some of the Science is speculative, her goal is to represent it as accurately as possible, allowing her readers to learn accurate principles in a painless, entertaining manner within the context of the story. The learning experience can be further enhanced by using “The Star Trails Compendium”, which includes background information on the story’s planetary setting, a glossary of terms, and a section for educators with chapter by chapter lesson plan and discussion ideas tied to each of books, making the series ideal for science class extra credit or STEM summer reading programs. More information on the individual novels in this series, the Science behind them, as well as the status of future stories can be found on the series website at www.StarTrailsSaga.com.

The first book in her new series, “The Dead Horse Canyon Saga”, takes a slightly different direction. Written with coauthor, Pete Risingsun, “The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits” is a conspiracy thriller/murder mystery that examines modern life from various angles, particularly that of its Cheyenne main character, Charlie Littlewolf, brought to life by her coauthor. Over all, the trilogy comprises an epic cross-cultural tale that confronts century’s old clashes between those who exploit versus those who honor the Earth. Find out more at the series website, www.dead-horse-canyon.com.

Never at a loss for something to do, she enjoys gardening, her two cats, and pursuing her study of the heavens in yet another realm, that of astrology. Her astrology clients span the globe, accessing her through her expansive and informative website at www.valkyrieastrology.com. She has authored a variety of books on the subject, taught online for the International Academy of Astrology (IAA), spoken at conferences and individual groups, and published articles in the journal of the International Society of Astrological Research (ISAR).

“At one time, science, religion and astrology were an integrated whole, which has obviously disintegrated over the years,” she explains. “Science and religion have been at odds with one another for centuries, and astrology gradually had a falling out with both. What they fail to tell you in astronomy class is that Kepler, Galileo, Copernicus, and Newton were all astrologers on a quest to obtain more accurate data for their astrological readings and predictions. The objections of the Christian church are more complicated, but it remains a mystery to me how they can believe that God created the planets, yet not recognize how He uses them to communicate with His children. I started out as a skeptic, but nothing religious leaders or scientists say can ever change the fact that it works.”

Not surprisingly, astrology has crept into her fiction as well, particularly in Dead Horse Canyon. One of those factoids in the “you can’t make this stuff up” category is that astrology works for fictitious characters as well as actual people.

She is the mother of six grown children, 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She has lived in New York, California, and Utah before making her home in Texas.

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RRBC/RWISA


    2 replies to "The Sapphiran Agenda"

    • Jan Sikes

      An excellent review of Marcha’s book! I have her new book on my Kindle and am intrigued by the Native American lore it contains. Thank you for sharing, Rox.

      • RoxBurkey

        Jan, thank you. I so love reading the different authors.

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