RoundTable readers who regularly enjoy the jaunts of Getaway Guys Alan Barney and Neil Cogbill may sometimes wonder, “Where will the Guys go next?” Mr. Barney (the self-described “scientific Getaway Guy”) has come up with a “far-out” response – so far out that it is out
of our solar system.
Mr. Barney’s trip to New Nauru, a settlement on a planet orbiting the star Gliese 876, is recounted in his new science fiction novel, “New Nauru.” This book is a sequel to “Gliese 4,” published in 2006.
Though the trip is fictional, Mr. Barney has done his research, just as he and his partner do for their earthly excursions. Gliese 876 is a real star – a cool, dim red dwarf about 15 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Aquarius. Once known as Ross 780, it is now regularly referred to by its designation in the “Gliese Catalogue of Nearby Stars” of Wilhelm Gliese (1915-93), an astronomer at the Astronomiches Rechen-Institut at Heidelberg. Mr. Barney’s name for the colony comes from the name of the island republic of Nauru of about 9,000 people some 1,200 miles northeast of Papua New Guinea, perhaps a reference to its implied paradise-like qualities.
Mr. Barney’s book tells of the group of humans sent to the planet on a mission of exploration and discovery, and stranded there by a lack of the xenon they would
require to return home. Home is a post-apocalyptic Earth from which the travelers have not heard in a long time. The scientists, engineers and crew of the ship, though they continue to do the jobs they have been sent to do, must also contend with a host of mental and physical problems, while they interact with an intelligent, space-faring species that arrives from off-planet to confront them.
“New Nauru” and “Gliese 4” were both published by Mr. Barney through Lulu, an Internet company that provides publishing services and offers distribution packages. Both books can be purchased through Lulu.com or amazon.com.