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Opalescence is a Library Journal Selection.The future is dystopian. Earth’s biosphere has finally begun to crash wholesale due to man’s perennial mismanagement. It’s been a death by a thousand cuts. The world government, a fascist corporatocracy, has ruled with an iron fist, but it’s losing its grip. Chaos is spreading, threatening the borders. The time is short.Experimental physicists at the Institute de Physica in Southern California stumble upon time travel to a distant, unspoiled past, and soon the regime is interested. Maybe this will be the out they’ve been hoping for - for themselves and their friends, that is. First, though, they decide to send scouts back to investigate.Two people are chosen: Julie Pine, Paleontologist and Under-Curator at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, and Dietrich Jaqzen, professional survivalist, government hit-man and big game hunter. While Julie gathers information, Jaqzen’s job is to keep her safe for the 30 days the mission is to last. There is a problem though: Jaqzen is an unscrupulous rogue who has designs on Julie and secretly plans to live a Tarzan and Jane life with her in an earth all his own, raping and pillaging both Julie and the beautiful Miocene world. His personal hunting orgy.When 30 days come and go and the two fail to return, the men at the Institute learn of Jaqzen’s treachery. Now, through a fast-paced (and subversive) chain of events, Tom Pine, Julie’s husband, is sent back to rescue her. But at the last minute, while launching, government men break in to stop it, shooting up the place. A man falls over the controls, changing them, and Tom is still sent, but now to a locality many hundreds of miles away.Thus begins Tom’s long journey down the prehistoric California coast. Along the way he befriends an Aelurodon, a Barstovian wild dog, who becomes his hiking partner, and together they face experiences both harrowing and enrapturing. Along the way, Tom learns about an edenic world and its unfamiliar species, beasts he never knew existed, while simultaneously growing in the process. At the end of the trek, though, Tom knows he will have to confront Jaqzen.In the tradition of Clan of the Cave Bear and Jurassic Park, Ron Raybornes Opalescence is an imaginary tale of a real world, the middle Miocene, 15,000,000 years ago. A time that science tells us was a real paradise, in terms of biodiversity. It was a world that very few know anything about.“The later Tertiary mammalian fauna of the World Continent was perhaps the richest that has ever existed on the face of the earth." ~ Björn Kurtén. The Age of Mammals, (chapter) The Miocene: Epoch of Revolutions. Columbia University Press, 1971"The familiar horses, zebras, asses and onagers that share our modern world represent but a single surviving branch on a once luxuriant equid family tree that reached its full glory during the Miocene.” Natural History 4/94. Article: The Heyday of Horses by Bruce J. Macfadden“Looking back the Pliocene [or the timeframe within the Pliocene now called the Miocene] is something of a paradise lost, a climax of the Age of Mammals before the coming of the cold; a time when life was richer, more exuberant than ever before or after.” - The Age of Mammals, (chapter) The Pliocene: Epoch of Climax by Björn Kurtén.“Lasting for millions of years, the mid-Miocene must have seemed a kind of endless summer” ~ Neptune’s Ark: From Ichthyosaurs to Orcas. David Rains WallaceCome now, come visit the middle Miocene!Prehistoric Fiction, Romance, Nature, Time Travel, Environment, Hiking, Climate Change

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