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= Summer Planets by A. T. Nager =

Empire of Time series by John Argo - Clocktower Books

As the Year 5000 Old Calendar (A.D.) draws near, the human empire at the galaxy's core of power starts crumbling from corruption and a loss of purpose. Smelling blood, enemy alien fleets waste no time attacking the capital, Mercury Free Port City (FPC) near Arcturus.

Jared Fallon, born to a poor family, worked his way up as a scholar and champion Olympic athlete. He is handsome, intelligent, honest, and ambitious. He dreamed of serving as a fleet combat officer with a great future. Instead, his life is stolen by a beautiful, ruthless young woman—the heiress of power and fortune, Princess Lyxa.

Lyxa collects human beings the way others own pets. She has the power, privilege, and rank to do whatever she wants in a heartless society where democracy has become a myth. Mercury FPC is history’s most powerful economic republic (empire in all but name). The Byzantine city-nation is vast, powerful, morbidly corrupt, and under attack from inside and out.

Jared Fallon struggles with an even darker stuff in his own life. His lover and owner Princess Lyxa keeps Jared Fallon on a short leash, assigned to the office of Interior President Cyrus Mbe. That puts Jared in the midst of highest-level conspiracy politics including a plot to seize power by his conflicted, tormented boss Mbe.

In his loneliness and isolation, Jared’s only friend is Stella, a female djia or diaphane, a see-through person whose nervous system is a glowing, dimly green shell of energy. Stella, his closest and most loyal friend, loves him beyond all measure, though they cannot be physically intimate. She would die for him, and he loves her as a sister and companion.

Stella is one of a new class of engineered people called djia (diaphanes, or translucent persons with electron clouds instead of faces, and bodies made of neural nets shrouded in a dull green electronic glow). A djia will be your most loyal friend and companion, as with our hero Jared Fallon and his electronic sister and soul mate, the enigmatic Stella. These djia, created by a cruel corporate galaxy three thousand years from now, have gender (male or female) but not sexuality.

Jared keeps thinking about escaping from the collapsing empire and from his own stolen life. He wants to become a soldier of fortune and adventurer beyond the most distant frontiers.

Sensing his emotional distance from her, Princess Lyxa genetically engineers another djia named Lelli to spy on Jared. Lelli is just as strong and sweet, and loyal to Lyxa, as Stella is to Jared. Djia, however, secretly communicate with each other via psi net. Djia are just as loyal to each other as to their human companions. Amid political chaos, as enemy alien fleets start pulverizing the suburbs of Mercury FPC, Lelli warns Jared and Stella, who flee on one of the last ships outbound.

Newly free on a sunny wonderful summer world named Arcturus, Jared meets the love of his life—a beautiful young golden-blonde surfer woman. Mala Alamala works in a bookstore by the beach, where sunshine and soft samba rhythms float in the air. Together, they dream of happiness and love. But total war, betrayal, and destruction soon arrive. Their happiness is short-lived, and once again the only option is to escape.

Jared and Mala flee for a yet more remote paradise planet named Lethe (Forgetfulness), where light and darkness converge in a final starbath. This story is intoxicating, beautiful, intense, melancholy, and unforgettable. This sweeping, poetic, and melancholy tale of galactic apocalypse, betrayal, and conspiracies is the first novel completed by a 19-year old college sophomore and published poet age 18) at the University of Connecticut in New England.


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