The Halcyon Dislocation, by Peter Kazmaier (Word Alive Press, Second Edition, 2012)
Dave Schuster is an engineering student at Halcyon University, located off the coast of North Carolina. His uncle is the University Chancellor but they don’t cross paths often—until a physics experiment gone wrong rips the entire island out of our current space-time and plants it on another planet.
The theory is that the experiment shifted them—dislocated them—within time to a parallel Earth. The immediate goal: survival until the equipment can be rebuilt for an attempt to reverse the process. Well, survival and exploration. After all, there’s a whole new world out there, and Halcyon’s resources won’t last the months it may take to get home.
The Halcyon Dislocation follows the classic science fiction storyline of humans on a strange, new world. I appreciated Dave’s mention of my favourite Jules Verne novel, The Mysterious Island, and although there are similarities (they’re stranded, the land seems uninhabited but full of potential, they survive by adapting and inventing) this is a far different plot.
Without giving too much away, I can say that the explorers encounter remnants of a past civilization which developed differently from that of our own Earth. This alternate Earth has enough in common with ours to make it easy for readers to imagine, with key differences in plant and animal life that provide the richness of a foreign planet.
The novel also explores how human society might look if controlled solely by an intellectual, rationalist approach. Dave’s friend Al is perhaps the only spiritually-healthy Christian influence we meet, and he comes under extra attack from the leaders, who label him mentally ill because he claims to communicate with God.
The Halcyon Dislocation delivers a mix of action, danger, intrigue, philosophical and religious discussion, and even a bit of romance. It’s a long book, which is often a plus in the science fiction genre, and Dave and his friends certainly experience enough variety in the course of the story that there’s no risk of the reader asking “Are we done yet?”
Building on his background in scientific research and as a university professor, Peter Kazmaier writes “fiction at the intersection of adventure, science, faith and philosophy.” The Halcyon Dislocation is Book 1 of The Halcyon Cycle, and it sets up nicely for a sequel. Dr. Kazmaier’s most recent book is Questioning Your Way to Faith, which takes place on the Halcyon campus before the Dislocation. You can learn more about the author and his books at PeterKazmaier.com.
[Review copy provided by the author.]
- Book Review: ‘The Halcyon Dislocation’ by Peter Kazmaier (curiouspresbyterian.wordpress.com)
- Peter Kazmaier’s The Halcyon Dislocation (kdawnbyrd.blogspot.ca)