Carlos Valrand’s The Site combines a psychological mystery with a startling science-fiction thriller that makes one wonder where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin.
Charles Ryder and Vivian Venables are investigating a mysterious document stolen from a U.S. Department of Defense contractor. They struggle against ruthless forces that stop at nothing to keep them from learning the document’s secrets.
In London, schoolteacher Cicely Denfeld has troubling dreams in which she experiences the hazardous activities of Charles and Vivian. The strange continuing dreams about people she does not know drive Cicely to doubt her own sanity, and she seeks help from Dr. McClellan, a noted psychiatrist. Cicely’s psychoanalysis suggests that her nightmares foretell a secret reality with the potential to shake the entire world order.
As Charles and Vivian are drawn increasingly deeper into a frightening conspiracy, Dr. McClellan and Cicely ponder the true nature of cognition and strive to discover a link between her dream experiences and the real world.
The Site is available in paperback and e-book form from various retailers, including Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes and Noble, Booktopia, Smashwords, and BOOKS-A-MILLION.
Review of The Site - Blue Ink Review
Review of The Site - OnlineBookClub (Misael)
Review of The Site - OnlineBookClub (Weaver)
Review of The Site - Clarion Foreword Reviews (Stanley)
The plot moves at a good pace, with well-spaced revelations and twists. - Kirkus Reviews
The novel is divided into six sections that correspond to phases of Cicely’s psychoanalysis: Contract, Regression, Transference, Countertransference, Interpretation, and Termination.
Charles Ryder – An American engineer hired to investigate a document taken from a Department of Defense contractor.
Cicely Denfeld – London schoolteacher plagued by disturbing dreams involving strangers.
Vivian Venables – Former US Air Force intelligence officer and Charles’ partner.
July – Charles’ attendant.
Reynold Robinson – Head of a Miami agency specializing in covert investigations.
Dr. Burton McClellan – A London psychiatrist.
Resseps Scahn – An ambitious high-ranking Bithian official.
Leo Arteaga – Computer programmer that absconded with a secret government document.
Chadwick – CIA agent acting as US Government liaison to a secret facility.
Kneth Cupahr – A Bithian official expert in close combat.
Cdr. John Sifford – British Security Service (MI5) officer; close friend of Dr. McClellan.
Lady Angela Carlisle – Cicely’s closest friend.
Alden Swan (the Wise Man) – A researcher and expert in antiquities.
Kneth Karyprit – An Indane-Aliemt physician.
Greg – Cicely’s boyfriend.
Carlos Drake – American friend of Dr. McClellan and Cdr. Sifford.
Supracetor Breslui - Lead Indane-Aliemt official.
Amy King - Dr. McClellan’s secretary.
Map of the Tieck Anomaly Area
Aldui A handheld projected-energy weapon. A blaster.
Aliemt An ancient interplanetary transport guild. Its founding is told in the story of the lovers Aliese and Emtor. The guild later merged with the Indane organization. See Indane-Aliemt.
Amesbury A town in Wiltshire, England.
Android A synthetic semi-biological humanoid. Usually employed as assistants to high-ranking Bithian officials, they also serve in various capacities in Indane-Aliemt organizations. Nesdelsen regulations prohibit the use and creation of self-conscious artificial intelligences, but they tolerate their use by others. Command-grade androids are extremely able, and possess intellectual capacities that may match those of their makers.
Andros An island in the Caribbean. The largest of the Bahamas Out Islands.
Athjev The class K star Eta Cassiopeiae B. See Caten.
Aylesbend Manor Carlisle estate near the town of Chesham.
Berenz A Bithian or Nesdelsen official of rank below Vadycrel and above Eberenze, equivalent to the Indane-Aliemt rank of Obiredes.
Biscayne Bay A lagoon on the coast of South Florida, between Miami and Miami Beach.
Bithia One of the three governing bodies forming the Dramtes (the other two are Indane-Aliemt and Nesdelsen). Ruled by the Bithian Prenike and subject only to the preeminent Dramtes ruler, the Exaege.
Caten The Dramtes name for Eta Cassiopeiae A, a class G star 19.4 light-years from Earth. One of the Dramtes-controlled star systems. Caten is part of a binary system. Its companion, Athjev, does not have habitable planets.
Cirsegas An Indane-Aliemt official of rank below Intuger and above Obiredes, equivalent to the Bithian rank of Vadycrel. Ordinarily a lead medical officer.
COSPENC A Secret U.S. National Security Decision Directive: Commercial Space Program and Extraterrestrial/National Cooperation Initiative. This 1953 document supposedly outlines a formal agreement between Dramtes and United States representatives granting the Dramtes rights to construct and operate a facility on American territory. The U.S. Government has never acknowledged its existence.
Cycle A Dramtes unit of time measurement, approximately equal to a solar day. Each Dramtes cycle has 1,000 milicycles.
Desopret From the Uncial Galamic Daespret, a planetary commander. A Dramtes official of rank below Prenike and above Supracetor.
Dione A heavily-cratered airless moon of Saturn, bright and icy. Its diameter and orbital period are 1120 kilometers and 65.7 hours, respectively. The site of an ancient and extremely powerful Galamic military installation. See Keeper.
Dramtes The Trinity or Triad, the governing body comprising Bithia, Indane-Aliemt and Nesdelsen. Ruled by the Exaege and the Prenikes of Bithia, Indane-Aliemt and Nesdelsen. This alliance is several centuries old.
Eberenze 1. A Bithian or Nesdelsen official of rank below Berenz and above Kneth, equivalent to the Indane-Aliemt rank of Nollecion. 2. Archaic, a counselor.
Emkenud A self-propelled hovering device incorporating remote vision, sound, smell and temperature sensors. It communicates directly with the user’s brain, providing remote sensing abilities. Also incorporates a voice projection capability.
Ertugral The Dramtes name for Lalande 21258, a class M star 19.2 light-years from Earth. One of the Dramtes-controlled star systems.
Exaege The rank of the supreme leader of the Dramtes, elected in rotation from among the Prenikes of Bithia, Indane-Aliemt and Nesdelsen.
Galam The ancient empire from which the Dramtes are thought to have originated. At the height of its power, the Galamic Empire controlled hundreds of star systems.
Gilgamesh The code name for a covert U.S. Air Force laboratory and medical research facility providing technical support to the Dramtes underground installation in California. The COSPENC directive outlines its role in fostering scientific interchanges between the U.S. and the Dramtes. It is located in Houston, Texas.
Hripitur A handheld instrument, about the size and shape of a thin book, used primarily to record, playback, process and analyze sensor data.
Ilaemdu A voice activated self-adjusting, collapsible seat.
Inverat Uncial Galamic, empire.
Imdermi A handheld mining tool shaped like a baton. It incorporates a light source and sensors for distance measurement and mineral analysis. The tool can be extended to act as a staff. Its power source can be caused to release its energy suddenly, in an explosive manner.
Indane See Indane-Aliemt.
Indane-Aliemt One of the three governing bodies forming the Dramtes. Ruled by the Indane-Aliemt Prenike. Formed through the merger of the Aliemt guild and the Indane, a paramilitary mercantile organization.
Intuger An Indane-Aliemt official of rank below Supracetor and above Cirsegas, equivalent to the Bithian and Nesdelsen rank of Resseps.
Keeper A machine intelligence controlling the ancient Galam fortress in Dione. Deserted for 600 centuries, the stronghold was staffed by a detachment of 350 Imperial troopers during the Yor-Hoerri.
Kernite A hydrated sodium borate, rarely found in Dramtes-controlled worlds but occurring in quantity on Earth in the Death Valley region. See Picariel crystals.
Kliettaes From the Uncial Galamic Lestae, a shopkeeper. A Dramtes official holding the rank next below Kneth and above Pagres. An assistant to a Kneth.
Kneth 1. A Dramtes official of rank below Eberenze and above Kliettaes. 2. Uncial Galamic, archaic, the leader of a small combat unit.
Lancaster A city in northern Los Angeles County, near Edwards AFB.
Limnen A device, about the size and shape of a bean, used primarily as a source of pre-packaged knowledge. When inserted in the ear canal it serves as a synthetic extended memory.
Loerde fivuresci A Dramtes farewell. Standard Galamic for (may) chance favor (you).
Major Cycle A Dramtes unit of time measurement. Each major cycle equals 350 Dramtes cycles.
Milicycle A Dramtes unit of time measurement, one thousandth of a Dramtes cycle. Approximately equal to 1.44 minutes.
Monitor An audiovisual console capable of speech, with powerful analytical and computational capabilities. A very intelligent computer and data bank.
Myrmidon A synthetic humanoid of biological origin, usually assigned paramilitary duties.
Nesdelsen One of the three governing bodies forming the Dramtes. Ruled by the Nesdelsen Prenike. There is a small Nesdelsen contingent on Earth. A Nesdelsen crew of 200 is primarily responsible for the operation and maintenance of the starship Xartek.
Nollecion An Indane-Aliemt official of rank below Obiredes and above Kneth, equivalent to the Bithian and Nesdelsen rank of Eberenze.
NSA The National Security Agency is a U.S. Government agency responsible for cryptology, signals intelligence, surveillance, and communications security. NSA Headquarters are in Fort Meade, Maryland.
Obiredes From the Uncial Galamic Bireset, the master of a spacecraft. An Indane-Aliemt official of rank below Cirsegas and above Nollecion, equivalent to the Bithian and Nesdelsen rank of Berenz.
Omver The Dramtes name for Epsilon Eridani, a class K star 10.8 light-years from Earth. The Bithian home system.
Ozma National Radio Astronomy Observatory project that scanned the sky for extraterrestrial radio frequency signals.
Pagres A Dramtes official of the lowest rank. An assistant to a Kliettaes.
Palmdale City in southwestern California, north of Los Angeles.
Picariel crystals Large perfect crystals of cubic boron nitride used in Dramtes starship propulsion systems. Boron, a metalloid element, is extracted from kernite. In the Dramtes drives the crystals absorb gravity waves, reducing ship inertia and focusing energy on ionized particles that are emitted explosively. The resulting reaction force acts on the ship’s reduced effective mass and accelerates it to relativistic speeds.
Prenike A Dramtes official of rank immediately below Exaege and above Desopret. The rank of the supreme leaders of Bithia, Indane-Aliemt and Nesdelsen.
Resseps A Bithian or Nesdelsen official of rank below Supracetor and above Vadycrel, equivalent to the Indane-Aliemt rank of Intuger.
Risper The Dramtes name for HR 8832, a class K star 21.4 light-years from Earth. One of the Dramtes-controlled star systems.
Stadia A Dramtes unit of length measurement, approximately equal to one tenth of a nautical mile.
Standard Galamic The language of the Dramtes, derived from Uncial Galamic.
Stonehenge A ruined Neolithic sarsen and bluestone monument near Salisbury, in southern England.
Stratopiu Uncial Galamic, a Galam arm-held ranged weapon.
Supracetor From the Uncial Galamic Aeprestor, the leader of an army. A Dramtes official of rank below Desopret and above Resseps and Intuger.
Tehachapi A mountain range in southern Califormia that extends from Los Angeles County to Kern County and borders the Mojave Desert.
Thames House Headquarters of the British Security Service in Millbank, London.
The Red Chalice A nightclub in Los Angeles.
Ucilaum mudipe A Dramtes greeting. Standard Galamic for (this is a) remarkable event.
Uncial Galamic The archaic language of the Galams.
Vadycrel 1. A Bithian or Nesdelsen official of rank below Resseps and above Berenz, equivalent to the Indane-Aliemt rank of Cirsegas. An assistant to a Resseps. 2. Archaic, a lead financial officer.
Villecassel Alex Denfeld’s estate near Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland.
Xartek An interstellar Dramtes ship, stationed in orbit around Neptune. Shaped like a very elongated, thick-tailed teardrop, it is more than a kilometer long. The Xartek is capable of relativistic speeds.
Yor-Hoerri Uncial Galamic, the massive conflict which took place 600 centuries ago between the Galamic Empire and the Yorj. See Yorj.
Yorj Uncial Galamic, a non-humanoid race that fought against the Galamic Empire and was instrumental in its downfall.
The distances from the nearest stars to Earth are so enormous that they are measured in terms of the time in years it takes light to reach us from them. The closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri, is 4.24 light years away. Two other nearby stars, Epsilon Eridani and Lalande 21258, are 10.52 and 15.81 light years away, respectively. By comparison, it takes the light from the sun, which is 93 million miles away, 8.3 minutes to reach Earth, and the distance from Earth to Pluto, the farthest planet in our solar system, is 4.6 light hours. A mean year has 8,766 hours.
A starship able to travel from our sun to other stars would need to move at relativistic speeds, near or above the speed of light, 186,282.4 miles per second in a vacuum, or else allow for transit times of extreme duration.
The Incident at Roswell
In June 1947, W.W. Brazel found strange debris in land on his ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. Brazel saw no footprints or tire tracks near the objects scattered on his field and concluded they had come from above. Brazel showed the objects to Sheriff Wilcox, who contacted the Roswell Army Air Field.
On July 8, the Roswell Daily Record published an article announcing that the Roswell Army Air Field had taken possession of wreckage of unidentified origin found on Mr. Brazel’s ranch, and that a local hardware man and his wife had reported seeing a flying disk.
News of the crash of a flying saucer was immediately picked up by regional newspapers and by the national press. However, the U.S. Army was quick to issue a statement contradicting its initial information release, declaring that the debris found in Brazel’s ranch was from a weather balloon.
The Mantell Incident
On the afternoon of 7 January, 1948, there were multiple reports of unidentified objects flying over a broad area in Kentucky and Ohio. The accounts of strange aerial phenomena described a large round vehicle which at times remained stationary and at other times moved at speeds in excess of 500 mph.
Sightings numbered in the hundreds and were from ground observers and from airplane crews. When radar also detected and tracked an unidentified flying object, the flight control tower at Godman Field, Fort Knox, ordered four P-51D Kentucky Air National Guard aircraft of the 365th Fighter Squadron to intercept the unidentified vehicle.
Captain Thomas Mantell, in command of what had originally been a training flight, followed a direction vector provided by the control tower at Godman Field and approached the unidentified craft. The vehicle moved higher and away as the fighters pursued it.
Running low on oxygen and fuel, three of the fighters had to return to their base, leaving only Captain Mantell in the chase. Mantell’s radioed message that he was climbing in pursuit was his last communication. Newspapers reported the next day, January 8, that the wreckage of his P-51D was found near Franklin, Kentucky.