As I sat down to write the review for Jeff Carlson’s “Interrupt”, I saw a headline that stopped me: “Sun Unleashes Solar Fireworks Preview for July Fourth.”
This pull quote from that Yahoo! Finance piece by Tariq Malik at SPACE.com says, “The most powerful type of solar flares are X-class sun storms. When aimed directly at Earth, X-class flares can pose a threat to astronauts in space, interfere with satellite signals and potentially affect electrical power grids on Earth.”
What Malik says at SPACE.com may be an understatement.
Because that’s not all an X-class sun storm can do, and to really understand how dangerous these storm can be to the earth, I suggest you read “Interrupt”—and afterwards you might even lose sleep thinking about it.
This book may be fiction, but a lot of what’s in this story is based on science, history and facts and it makes the most devastating hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, wildfires or tsunamis pussycats in comparison, because an X-class sun storm pouring out dangerous CMEs may destroy civilization as we know it and throw us back to the stone age.
While reading Carlson’s scientific-doomsday thriller, I stopped more than once out of curiosity to check (Google) to learn if any of this stuff that was happening in the novel could be true and discovered the answer was yes—a big yes. Maybe human behavior will not revert to being Neanderthals as it does in the novel, but it may come close.
The Carlini Institute says, “There appears to be a direct connection between the Sun’s solar storms and human biological effect especially after an ‘M’ class solar flare. … Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wind storms appear to happen after strong solar activity on the sun. … Solar flares affect the Central Nervous System (stomach lining), all brain activity (including equilibrium), along with human behavior and all psycho-physiological (mental-emotional-physical) response. Solar flares can cause us to be nervous, anxiousness, worrisome, jittery, dizzy, shaky, irritable, lethargic, exhausted, have short term memory problems and heart palpitations, feel nauseous, queasy, and to have prolonged head pressure and headaches.”
In fact, an M or X class solar flare (CMEs) can knock out power for months or years bringing down the Internet too. It’s has happened before. Weather.com says, “A monster blast of geomagnetic particles from the sun could destroy 300 or more of the 2,100 high-voltage transformers that are the backbone of the U.S. electric grid.”
That’s the story you will read in “Interrupt”—a story about what might happen if the earth is bombarded by M/X class solar flares over a long period of time. And there is very little we can do about it if it happens. But in Carlson’s novel, Emily, the main character, believes she can manipulate human DNA to adapt and survive. And once the CMEs hit and civilization collapses, keeping her alive as she struggles to come up with a solution to save humanity itself is a race against time.
I learned something new that we should all be aware of—how our own sun might destroy today’s modern civilization in a short period of time while bringing on behavior changes to those exposed to the CMEs that might lead to more violence, murder, rape and war.
Carlson’s novel explores this topic and theme in depth and if you have trouble believing it might happen, just Google CMEs and learn how dangerous they are. Imagine being in a passenger jet flying across an ocean and a CME destroys the aircraft’s electrical/electronic systems shutting down the engines and everything else. What do you think will happen next?
My copy of “Interrupt” was an advanced reader’s copy, an uncorrected proof, supplied by Amazon Vine.
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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.
His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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