Welcome to the Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt where we are helping the Kinsman people find a new home. If you’ve just found us, be sure to start the adventure at Stop #1
, which is Jill Williamson’s blog.
Collect all the clue words in order so you can enter to win the Kindle. If you want to enter to win the second Kindle, you’ll have to take a quiz at the end, so take your time and read each post carefully. The main prizes in the hunt are open to international entries. Individual author contests, however, might have different rules, so please read the parameters on each site. You have until Sunday night, February 19, at midnight, Pacific time to finish.
If you need help, or get lost along the way, click here
Wilek, Trevn, and their party were thankful to get out of PacNorth. While they had seen places in this strange land that they had never dreamed possible, so far they were feeling quite discouraged in their search for a new home. They trekked over a vast area of farmlands, desert, and mountains. The land looked good, but it was too populated and filled with modern vehicles and lights like in Redmond, WA and PacNorth. They eventually reached yet another city in Stop #7, Denver, CO, from Steve Rzasa’s novel For Us Humans.
Steve Rzasa is the author of seven novels, including three space operas, two steampunk tales, and one sci-fi murder mystery. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University, and worked for eight years at newspapers in Maine and Wyoming. He is currently the technical services librarian in Buffalo, Wyoming, where he lives with his wife and two boys. Steve’s a fan of all things science-fiction and superhero, and is also a student of history. Visit him online at www.steverzasa.com.
Here’s a closer look at Steve’s novel For Us Humans.
“Hey. My name’s Caz Fortel. I’m thirty, good-looking, and a great liar. In fact, that’s my job: to lie to people who steal works of art, and get the goods back.
“Then one day I get the big call from the FBI: a million bucks, to recover a stolen statue with huge cultural value. Downside: the partner they assign me has an unhealthy interest in Jesus, an interest I’ve tried really hard to erase from my life. Also, that partner is an alien with four arms and a tremendous sense of smell.”
“Welcome to 2016. See, the Panstellar Consociation is the boss now, of all the Earth and everything that goes on in the solar system. Aliens showed up fifteen years ago and made us a deal: join us as a protectorate and we’ll swap you tech secrets, pay you real well. All so they could set up a warp tunnel in orbit.”
“It’s their statue. They want the whole job kept quiet. Or Earth could be in very, very big trouble.”
Building an Alternate Earth
Creating the story world of For Us Humans was a lot of fun because I had to figure out a way to make Earth utterly recognizable, and yet changed from what we experience today. How would our planet be different if aliens lived among us for 15 years?
Mostly, it came down to politics, economics, and technology.
The aliens in For Us Humans teach mankind how to harness fusion power, and several advances are also part of the background: increased fuel efficiency for cars due to alternate power sources; advances in computing and holographic displays; and better aeronautical tech. Drones and tablets are about as ubiquitous as they are today, however, there’s a spaceport for private space flight next to Boston’s Logan airport and there is a giant landing field for the Ghiqasu aliens outside Denver International. Human spaceflight has improved drastically, though this is not shown until the end of the novel, so I won’t give any spoilers.
As a specific tech example, Caz Fortel takes his trip out west to Denver on an airplane referred to as a Sky Whale
. It’s a concept aircraft I’m pretty sure can’t be built even now, but with bits of alien-influenced tech appearing in the alternate 2010s, who knows how soon it could be available?
Fun fact: the alien image on the scavenger hunt map is the one I designed as the equivalent of the stick man and woman on a restroom sign. Like this:
Needless to say, in the alternate 2016 Earth, signs like this will be the most in-your-face proof that life is forever changed. After all, how badly will we all grumble when the best parking spaces are given to our alien guests?
CLUE! Write down this clue: glory
Before you move on, I am giving away a copy of For Us Humans to one lucky winner. To enter, sign up to get my email newsletter and like my social media pages (@SteveRzasa on Twitter and Steve Rzasa, Author, on Facebook. Enjoy the rest of the scavenger hunt!