Science Fiction Author Scott Overton Goes to Great Depths Looking for Redemption.

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Has the damage we’ve done to our home planet come back to haunt us?

A new novel from SF author Scott Overton explores deep questions in the deepest of settings: the most under-explored place in all of planet Earth.

We live in a time when we’re recognizing the dark side of humankind’s legacy. We’ve damaged our home planet in countless ways, from pollution, to climate change, to the extinction of our fellow creatures. And now we’re facing the consequences. Do we have what it takes to fix the problems we’ve created?

What if another intelligent race arrived to bail us out?

That’s a key speculation in Overton’s new science fiction novel Oceanus, a story that takes us to the depths of the Pacific Ocean to solve a mysterious attack on a passing jetliner. Freelance troubleshooter Alex Rhys believes aliens unintentionally caused the incident and could be the saviours of humanity. To communicate with them will require the reluctant assistance of telepath Elle Travis. Together with a team of uniquely gifted specialists, Alex and Elle will descend in a prototype undersea habitat into the most inhospitable environment on the planet, hoping to make First Contact before the nuclear nations of the world react with deadly force.

“It’s a novel with plenty of action and danger from the first page,” says Overton, “but it’s a deeply thoughtful book, too. Should we rely on someone else to fix our problems? What if their agenda has nothing to do with our wants and needs? Is offense always the best defence? Or should we do everything in our power to find a peaceful solution first?”

Of course, the culprits may not be extraterrestrial at all. Life in the ocean depths can be as alien as anywhere. Oceanus takes the reader to a realm of utter blackness and crushing pressure, but there is life there huddled around so-called hydrothermal vents or ‘black smokers’ in the ocean floor.

“It’s often said that we know more about the surface of the Moon than we know about the deepest ocean,” Overton says. “‘Black smokers’ were first explored in 1977 and no one expected them to support whole colonies of life. That overturned one of our biggest assumptions about Earth life, because all those new species live on energy from chemical reactions—they don’t depend on the Sun in any way.” And, Overton suggests, we humans have a history of underestimating the intelligence of other creatures just because they don’t think like we do.

“My characters don’t know what they’ll find—that’s what creates a lot of the suspense in Oceanus. Could it be a previously unknown form of Earth life? Or the very planet itself somehow fighting back against the harm it’s suffered? They only know that they have to succeed in their mission because the stakes are enormous.”

But along with its thrills and philosophical dilemmas, Overton insists that Oceanus is a deeply human story, with very relatable characters who will have to find their inner strengths to save the day.

A radio morning host for more than 25 years in Sudbury, Ontario, Overton has built a second career as an author. His radio-themed debut novel Dead Air was shortlisted for a Northern Lit Award in 2012, and his science fiction novels The Primus Labyrinth, Naïda, The Dispossession of Dylan Knox, and Indigent Earth have been well-received too, with readers most often comparing them to the work of Michael Crichton. The writer considered the ‘dean of Canadian science fiction’, Robert J. Sawyer, said of Overton’s thriller Augment Nation: “Scott Overton is a terrific writer and his vision of tomorrow is both realistic and frightening. Read this book!”

The worldwide publication date of Oceanus is May 4, 2024.

Oceanus and all of Overton’s books are available online in eBook and print (find them at your favorite outlet using these universal book links: https://books2read.com/Oceanus or https://books2read.com/ScottOverton ). If they aren’t in stock at your favorite local store, they can be ordered. Or ask for them at your local library.

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