Opalescence: The Middle Miocene Play of Color
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Opalescence is a Library Journal Selection.
Have you ever wondered about Eden? Was there ever a true paradise on earth? Yes, and that world was the prehistoric world of the middle Miocene.
Opalescence starts out in a future of total ecological collapse, desperation and regret. When time travel to an unspoiled prehistoric past is accidentally discovered by scientists at the Institute de Physica, a particle accelerator in southern California, the government is immediately interested. Maybe this will be their out. They send two people back to investigate. One, Julie Pine, a paleontologist, and secretly dedicated conservationist, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, and Detrich Jaqzen, a professional hit man, as her bodyguard. Problem is, Jaqzen is also a big-game hunting rogue who has designs on Julie, a married woman, and relishes a virgin, primeval world where he can sport hunt to his heart's content.
After the two fail to return in 30 days time the crew at the Institute learn of Jaqzen's treachery. Subversively, they decide to send Julie's husband, Tom, back to rescue her, but at the last minute government troops break in to stop the launching, 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 off target. He soon discovers, to his dismay, that he will have to make his way down the length of wild, prehistoric California to find Julie. Yet all this long journey Tom revels in a world of stunning beauty, ecological diversity - and mortal danger. A world that, from his Anthropocene point of view, he had no idea ever existed. At the end of it, though, he knows he will have to confront Jaqzen.
In the tradition of Clan of the Cave Bear and Jurassic Park, Ron Rayborne's 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 Wallace
Come now, come visit the middle Miocene!