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December 23 , 2008

A Summer in Amber


A Summer in Amber
Thirty-six years before this particular summer, the sun sent the first of a long series of powerful solar storms earthwards. These storms wrought havoc on the world's electrical grid, fried it's computers, crashed the data clouds, and made radios, TVs, and cell phones useless. Over the course of a few weeks, the world found itself back in the 19th century. England survived the ensuing chaos and found a way to live under this newly restless sun. But it's a different England. A quieter, slower England with an eclectic mix of old and new – of steam trains and advanced ultra light electric vehicles, solar panels on the roof, grass growing in the crumbling motorways. Bicycles filling the streets dodging horse drawn drays. A national fibre optic grid delivers phone calls, TV and the info-net to every household, while jumble shops on High Street recycle the surplus consumer goods of the vanished 21st century world.

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Alasandr Say, a newly minted Phd in nano-technology, returns to the Cavendish Lab in Cambridge for a year's post-doctoral research only to find plans have changed. Instead of his research work, he's to be sent to the highland estate of a wealthy patron to decipher what's left of the handwritten papers of an eccentric inventor, papers which may describe an invention lost in the chaos of the Storms. This device is thought to enable the efficient transmission of electricity without wires over great distances. Since the world is now unable to use long lines to transmit power, these handwritten, waterlogged, and mouse chewed pages hold the promise of rebuilding the lost 21st century. Fearing word reaching his commercial rivals, the wealthy patron wants the transcription done in absolute secrecy on his remote Scottish estate, and despite Say's objections, he finds himself in the highlands three days later.

A Summer in Amber tells the story of “Sandy” Say's summer in the Scottish highlands, where, 'beyond the pale' as Say describes it, he discovers a land of powerful storms and strange electrical phenomena linked to ancient legends. He faces deadly danger and finds a girl as fey as the highland glens, making for a summer he'll never forget. A Summer in Amber is an old fashioned, light hearted tale of mystery, adventure, and romance.

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