The Blind Alien
The Beta Earth Chronicles Book 1
by Wesley Britton
Genre: SciFi Fantasy
Told with one of the most original styles you'll ever experience, The Blind Alien begins when Dr. Malcolm Renbourn, a young history teacher, walks into an ordinary bank on an ordinary day. Suddenly, he feels excruciating pain. Unexpectedly, he loses his sight and discovers he has been drawn against his will across the multi-verse to a slave-holding country on a parallel earth. He doesn't understand a single word he hears, but he soon learns Betan scientists hope his body carries the cure to an ancient plague that kills 3
out of 4 male babies their first year.
Branded state property, he must escape, but where can a blind man in a strange world dominated by desperate scientists run? And on a world where polygamy is the norm, how can a fugitive alien adapt into becoming the husband of five independent wives who never expected to be the mothers of a generation a planet hopes carry the genes that will change everything? How can Tribe Renbourn survive the aftermath of a catastrophic explosion that kills thousands?
And that's just part of the story.
"A most commendable and unique novel. I can honestly say I have not come across anything quite like it. The Blind Alien follows the life of an unremarkable man who by some twist of fate is pulled from his world, into that of one parallel . . . What follows is a story of rebellion, politics, love, science, and religion . . . without a doubt, this is an admirably well crafted piece of work, that was both entertaining and very thought
provoking."--Tosin Coker, author of The Chronicles of Zauba'ah
Blind Alien is free on KU and only 99c to buy.
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Besides his 33 years in the classroom, Dr. Wesley Britton considers his Beta-Earth Chronicles the most important work he’s ever done. “I suppose an author profile is intended to be a good little biography,” Britton says, “but the best way to know who I am is to read my novels.”
Still, a few things you might like to know about Wes include the fact he’s the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in the media, most notably The Encyclopedia of TV Spies (2009). Beginning in 1983, he was a widely published poet, article writer for a number of encyclopedias, and was a noted scholar of American literature. Since those days, for sites like BlogCritics.org and BookPleasures.com, Britton wrote over 500 music, book, and movie reviews. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio's Dave White Presents for which he contributed celebrity interviews with musicians, authors, actors, and entertainment insiders.
Starting in fall 2015, his science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted with The Blind Alien. Throughout 2016, four sequels followed including The Blood of Balnakin, When War Returns, A Throne for an Alien, and The Third Earth. Return to Alpha will be the sixth volume of this multi-planetary epic.
Britton earned his doctorate in American Literature at the University of North Texas in 1990. He taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College until his retirement in 2016. He serves on the Board of Directors for Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania. He lives with his one and only wife, Betty, in Harrisburg, PA.
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By Wesley Britton
One simple idea inspired the Beta-Earth series. One afternoon, I thought about the many stories where ordinary humans were drawn against their will into extraordinary circumstances. Sometimes they were pulled to alternate universes or to distant planets. But what if one such human was blinded in the process of being captured by scientists on a different earth? How could a blind alien cope with a world he couldn’t see, how could he comprehend what was happening if he couldn’t understand anything that was said to him? How could he describe another planet when so much was so different from what was familiar?
That was the starting point. From that concept so many early ideas sprouted. How could the blinded Malcolm Renbourn of our earth evaluate the size of buildings or gauge distances? Facial expressions, gestures, body language would all be lost on him. How could he learn a new language when the only useable tools would be objects he could hold and hear described? If a glass bottle was placed in his hand, how could he know which spoken term applied to the container’s function and which applied to what the bottle was made of? Could he be certain what he thought was glass was actually glass? And that’s just the beginning of our hero’s travails.
Then I wondered what kind of people would populate this second earth. What sort of culture was our unhappy traveler trapped in? From the beginning, I knew I wanted to have the Alpha man the subject of a long epic. But what would make him so valuable that he would become the center of ongoing struggles? It couldn’t be any objects he brought with him—they’d have been taken from him right after his capture. I couldn’t think of any special knowledge that he’d carry. I didn’t want him to have super-powers as I wanted Malcolm Renbourn to remain off-balance, confused, vulnerable, desperately trying to adapt to completely, well, alien cultures. So if there was going to be anything special about Malcolm Renbourn, it would have to be something to do with his body.
And that’s when the Plague-With-No-Name came to me. That plague set up so many possibilities. What if, on Beta earth, that ancient curse killed three out of four male babies their first year? Curing that plague would be a central quest of the planet’s scientists. Surely, learning of the gender balance on our planet, scientists would wonder ifMalcolm’s biology might carry the cure that might change their planet. Naturally, they’d want to keep the blind alien in some sort of confinement to monitor him as a resource for study. Certainly, Malcolm would have other ideas.
At the same time, the Plague opened the door for creating Beta’s social structure. If women outnumbered men by a margin of four-to-one, obviously polygamy would be the norm. Thus came Beta’s tribal system. Being joined to a male would be competitive. Bondings would often be arranged to make alliances between tribes. Power and prosperity could be built by wise alliances.
So, with these abstractions, my fantasies began to take form. A cast of characters then quickly gave these concepts meaning. But that’s another story . . .
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