Author: Peter W. Shackle
Published: Smashwords, February 2011
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"A Disruptive Invention," Peter W. Shackle's debut novel, is the story of a nerdy young engineer called John Sykes who accidentally discovers a way to make a flying vehicle that can operate without wings or rotors. With impeccable detail the story describes how he gets venture capital and founds a small company called Electrolev in Long Beach California to make so called "Silent Helicopters."
The Air Force follows the 1945 precedent when all the rocket scientists from Peenemunde were relocated to Huntsville Alabama, and all the staff of Electrolev are relocated for their own safety to the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville Alabama. But it is too late: weeks before the relocation foreign agents break into Electrolev and steal all the technical secrets.
There follow months of intense development at the Redstone Arsenal, and finally a prototype space capable manned flying vehicle is ready to test at Homey Airfield, otherwise known as "Area 51," where all the truly secret flying vehicles are perfected. The adventure starts when the first mission encounters another similar vehicle hovering invisible to radar right over area 51!
The reader can follow the exciting situations that develop from here. To quote an Air Force official in the story: "The World is never going to be the same again!"
An aspect of the story is the development of the relationship between John Sykes and the V.P. of engineering at Electrolev, Judy Chen. She is a glamorous software superstar from Beijing, attracted to men with blonde hair, while he is at heart a nerdy farm boy from Iowa who is definitely not blonde. The differences in their natures lead to an intriguing story of two people who slowly come to realize that they need and indeed love, each other.
Another aspect of the story is that it is based upon John Sykes accidentally discovering "The Fifth Force" which allows an electric current to repel gravity. This effect really has been predicted by some physicists for the last thirty years, but has never been found. If you type the words "The Fifth Force" into a search engine, you can find pages of history describing the search for this elusive effect. One of the events in the story is the preparation of a patent application for an electronically levitated flying vehicle. Such an application really exists and is detailed in the bibliography at the end of the book.
Science Fiction author Michael Gray wrote: An excellent work. A science fiction core, overlaid with reality to make it highly believable. The technical content is convincingly presented making it a satisfying and credible read. A pleasure for any serious follower of good science fiction.
About the author: Peter W. Shackle is an electronics engineer and professional inventor living in Palos Verdes, California. He has authored 53 United States patents and is a life senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.