Another Ten Seconds
by Jeff Rand
On December 27, 1977, six members of Scouting's honor camper society converged upon D-A Scout Ranch near Metamora, Michigan for the first Winter Camp. When the second one was held a year later with much success, Winter Camp showed promise for a great future. Initially it grew exponentially in both participation and content. By the turn of the century, this annual event had become a universe unto itself, spawning everything from its own measurement system to a comprehensive encyclopedia and permanent website.
Winter Camp 54, held in 2030, achieved a level of perfection that could not be imagined in the early years. A gathering of veterans and newcomers enjoyed the fruits of great innovation. The Winter Camp experience truly fulfilled all of their dreams.
When one of the veterans attending Winter Camp 54 makes a shocking discovery, he creates a series of events with most unexpected consequences. Because he alone knows the truth, his actions now become a deliberate attempt to save Winter Camp and more. In the end he must face a showdown against an enemy of extreme power and resource.
Although the story offers many surprises to the reader, Another Ten Seconds is hard science fiction, remaining true to the laws of physics. Also, it is geographically sound to both time and place. It borrows the personages of well known real Winter Campers, thus enabling a degree of character development without need for long descriptions of the players.
The casual reader should find an interesting story and will not be disappointed with a predictable ending. The serious reader will discover much more in the secondary content. While there are numerous inside jokes and directed messages, most should find some interesting facts, even if they do not understand the full meaning. In addition, there are messages directed at all of humanity, such as the answer to the questions "Who is Big Bro?" or "What is the true spatial geometry of the earth?"
Above all, there is a moral message that threads through the story, especially in the contrasts of the central character.
Besides these important matters, Another Ten Seconds is loaded with some unique literary puzzles and challenges. In one chapter, for example, all 39 actual participants attending Winter Camp 25 are identified, though half of them are not mentioned by name anywhere in the story. Throughout the text, many of the chapter headings tell their own messages.
The author spent nearly three years of sporadic writing to compose the text. Much change occurred in the world during that period, but the truth must be revealed.
Saugerties, New York, USA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way, Local Group
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