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Cosmic Swan Novella
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Bill Copeland Cosmic Swan

Synopsis

Terrible earthquakes and upheavals plague northern India, centered on Mt. Kailas, the holy mountain of the God Shiva. In this Cosmic Swan novella, the Governments of India and China have ordered all people to leave this region of death and destruction. Only a cult, led by a mysterious woman who emerged from Mt. Kailas, refuses to leave. Mark Joff, a geologist, is dispatched to the scene to determine the cause and scale of the growing disaster. As he is setting up sensors, transmitters, and computer equipment, he meets cult members. Mark explains the danger and tells them they should leave immediately. No, Kusoom has foreseen the rise of a great being from this Holy Mountain of Shiva. They will stay to protect the mountain and the great being when it emerges. A couple of young graduate students, who are astronomers atop Mt. Hamilton, discover a moon-sized, comet flying directly at the earth. Will it crash into the earth? How are these events related?

Love Joy Comet

Text of Kirkus Story Review

Copeland, Bill
COSMIC SWAN
Xlibris (137 pp.) $29.99, $19.99 paperback
September 27, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4415-5601-1
Paper: 978-1-4415-5600-4

A geologist investigating strange tectonic phenomena discovers a mind-blowing secret under a mountain in Tibet. For unknown reasons, the planet has been plagued by a seemingly unending string of earthquakes. To get a better handle on what's going on, his superiors at the U.S. Geological Survey send geologist Mark Joff to Mount Kailas in Tibet, where the Indian subcontinent meets the Asian landmass — the apparent epicenter of the strange seismic activity. There, the locals inform him that they have met a cult of otherworldly bluish people meditating in a cave opened up by the earthquakes. The cultists claim that the earthquakes are not caused by a rising magma plug (the leading scientific theory) but by the emergence of a Great Being — an enormous creature hatching from beneath the earth's crust after gestating underground for millennia. When the cultists show him the creature's eye, Joff's scientific skepticism rapidly gives way to concern for what the world's governments might do when faced with the prospect of an enormous creature bursting through earth's surface, likely taking a large chunk of China with it. Meanwhile, a comet, which was recently discovered by a pair of young astronomers, shows signs of sentience as it hurtles toward earth. In fact, it seems to be communicating with the Great Being emerging in Tibet. Joff joins with his new Tibetan friends to save the Great Being while he and other earthlings must decide whether to mend a broken planet or forge a new path.

Copeland's plot is well paced, with action that builds as the climax approaches. The characters are likable and ably fleshed out, and the overall concept, if outlandish, is interesting. The author's prose is fairly tight, but it drifts somewhat when characters engage in quasi-scientific planetary speculation.

Well-written, with a unique cosmic and spiritual dimension.

Kirkus Discoveries, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744 discoveries@kirkusreviews.com

To order a copy, go to Amazon: Cosmic Swan Page.