|Observation Two: Standing Divided|
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The Doman visitors on the orbiting star-craft Mater have completed their initial assessment of the integrity of humankind’s public figures and published data. The Domans are not impressed.
Now under revised orders to establish a complete picture of the Earth’s natural resources, especially in several areas of great interest to their home world, they will need a new guide and interpreter to help them scout out the true lay of the land.
Salvatore Pirone will be that man, to start with at least, and he will soon lead them from Europe to the rich promise of the USA. But he will prove to be not fully up to the job, and the Domans will need to call again upon the services of their earlier, more reliable assistant Toni, as well as a promising new one who will soon cross their path in America.
As the three young conscripts struggle with their own relationship challenges, on top of the demanding impositions of the Mater and the increasing interest of Homeland Security, the visitors make faltering but steady progress in formulating proposals that can meet the greatest resource shortfalls of both Earth and Dome.
And the Domans have also discovered a rather unattractive little racket now blossoming secretly in California, involving a very special commodity that they are particularly keen to lay their hands on ...
|about the author ...|
Michael E. Lloyd lives near Cambridge, England. He worked for thirty years in the international information systems business, but left all that behind in 2002 to pursue his other neglected interests, writing in particular.
His first full-length novel, Observation One: Singing of Promises (written and set in the world-changing year of 2003) is founded on one of his greatest passions: the truth and integrity embodied in the life and work of the American writer, singer and musician, Janis Ian. The following year he went on to produce a definitive study and celebration of Janis’ complete body of over 270 recorded songs.
Observation Two: Standing Divided was written in 2006, and Observation Three: Changing Hearts marked the completion of the Observation Trilogy in 2008.
A very different sort of story, Donna’s Men, emerged in 2010, and Mike completed his latest full-length novel, Missing Emilie, in 2011.
When he’s not writing, Mike enjoys pike and carp fishing, choral singing and occasional private flying, as well as editing, reading, drawing, language tuition, music, bridge, and chess. His own web site can be found here.
Michael E. Lloyd’s Observation Two does for the USA what Observation One did for Europe. It displays the grand comic tragedy of human endeavor, in its American variant, to the incredulous eyes of the visiting Domans. These travelers from another galaxy, once again wishing to test the waters of human civilization before plunging in, search for reason and logic in mankind’s behavior and find it in short supply.
The author’s crisp prose and well-paced narrative carry the reader along as Toni Murano travels from city to city as the visitors’ guide and agent. The sci-fi narrative is a page-turner, while the author’s powers of observation and his light irony bring levels of depth and meaning to the work.
Observation Two continues the adventures of the Domans -- highly advanced beings from a distant world -- and their chosen human guides, as they investigate the Earth's natural resources while searching for potentially planet-saving minerals and more.
The focus shifts from Observation One’s European Union politics, politicians and bureaucrats to the USA, as the Domans and their earthling surrogates become embroiled in more intrigue with a host of new characters, while Homeland Security observes the observers.
Mike Lloyd writes witty, charming and often edgy political satire in clear and distinctive prose. I highly recommend Observation Two to anyone who likes their wit dry and tangy as a well-mixed Martini.
Gary Inbinder, writer, California
The once silver-haired star of the post-Depression silver screen glanced briefly into her hand mirror — for reassurance, she supposed — then braced herself and swallowed the small glass of tangy, bitter salts in a single disgusted gulp.
She followed it up rapidly with the bourbon chaser which, as usual, stood ready on her bedside table.
Once her taste buds had returned to what she judged, these days, to be near-normal, she picked up the mirror again and took a longer, harder look at her face and her flowing auburn hair.
She nodded to herself in quiet satisfaction. Even her worst enemies would have to admit she didn’t look a day over fifty-five ...
She flopped gently back against the pillows and thought carefully for a few moments. Then she picked up the phone.
Her first call was to an old Hollywood co-star, whom she had come to know very well again in recent months.
‘Stevie, honey, it’s me.’ ... ‘Yep, I’ve decided I want some more. Pronto.’ ... ‘What? You’re kidding me!’ ... ‘Sheesh! Well, I guess it makes sense. At least I can see the upsides! OK, then — make it two hundred grand’s worth. Personal delivery?’ ... ‘Thanks, pal. See you soon! Bye-eee!’
The second call was to her stockbroker.
‘Good morning, Frank. Listen — if the price is still below $145, I’m still investing. Another five million bucks, immediate.’ ... ‘Yes, I’ll wait.’ ... ‘Deal? Thanks, Frankie!’
‘Hi, baby, it’s me!’
Toni turned towards the front door as it opened to reveal an unforgettable figure. And that beautiful, so beautiful figure’s jaw dropped at the sight of her new lover in the arms of ... a man!
‘What the hell ...?’ shouted Lisa.
‘Oh no, not you again!’ cried Toni.
‘Huh?’ sobbed Paula, rapidly detaching herself from Toni’s caring embrace. ‘Do you two know each other??’
‘Never seen him before in my life!’ puffed the lovely Lisa, ‘but you obviously have!’
‘What?’ shouted Toni, very angry now. ‘That’s a lie! You’re the woman down at the café, three weeks ago. You stared straight at me ... you smiled at me — twice! You made me follow you. You can’t have forgotten me!’
‘What are you talking about, loco? Wait a minute — so you’re the bastard who got me arrested outside the salon and taken off to that café ...’
Paula screamed a very long scream.
Observation Two: Standing Divided
is published by Bewildering Press.
Cover art by Crystalwizard
You can buy Observation Two here:
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