Alan Zendell - Writer
Enjoy a great pizza while you read at Isa.Bella's, Clairemont Town Square, San Diego
Element 42 - Book 1
What if Earth possessed a critical element not found on any other planet in the known universe? And what if older, more advanced civilizations on other planets circling other stars had spent millennia searching for it, only to discover it on Earth? What if they were willing to fight over it, even if they turned Earth into a battleground?
That's what computer engineer and committed agnostic Steve Kowalski learns when he seeks solace from his personal problems on a remote mountaintop in Colorado. He discovers a badly injured alien who claims he is there to defend Earth against other, unscrupulous aliens who would not hesitate to kill humans or damage the planet to get what they want. No one else on Earth suspects any of this, and in the heat of the moment Steve decides to help his new alien friend defeat those who would harm our planet.
Thus begins an adventure that takes Steve hundreds of light years and introduces him to three different alien societies. His immediate priority is to return home to his son and alert Earth to both the jeopardy it faces and the potential wealth and power represented by what only it possesses. But he also finds himself caught up in a search for universal truths that humans have thought and fought over throughout their history.
In an orderly universe, why would Earth be the only location where something essential to the existence of life exists in abundance? And what would that imply about Steve's agnosticism? If Earth's great bounty wasn't the result of divine intervention, what else would explain it? Has Steve, in fact, discovered real proof that God exists and humans are His special creation, put here to be the caretakers of life in the galaxy?
Element 42 - Book 2
The molybdenum cat was out of the bag.
Scientists had known the trace metal was essential to plant and animal life, but it was just an esoteric detail until Steve Kowalski encountered the alien Brock in Colorado near one of the largest deposits in the world. It was also one of the largest on all of the million planets Brock’s people had explored. Only a handful of worlds had enough molybdenum to support life, but Earth had enough to fertilize over a thousand. And there were other aliens who wanted it badly enough to wreak havoc to get it.
When Steve convinced Brock to take him back to his own planet, no one else on Earth had any idea that we'd been visited by aliens or that Earth possessed something so valuable. Steve is back now, and the world has met Brock and Traong-Luod, another alien who has befriended him. Humanity now understands the two-edged sword that is molybdenum – its unlimited potential for wealth and empire, and the threat of being attacked by aliens with weapons that could destroy our civilization. But Steve has returned with a complete compendium of alien science and technology which could be Earth’s salvation.
Steve is reunited with his son, Jason, and with Sara, a brilliant scientist who is Jason’s mentor at Caltech. She also bears an uncanny resemblance to his mother who was killed in an accident, which has a profound effect on both Jason and Steve, Something special is happening between Steve and Sara, something no man and woman have ever experienced before.
The aliens have gone home, and Earth knows it’s vulnerable, but it now has the means to protect itself if the alien technology can be assimilated and applied before it’s too late. But Steve has a different concern, one that has haunted him since he met Brock.
A life-long agnostic, the physical reality of the galaxy has shattered his beliefs. How could it possibly have developed this way? Why is Earth in this unique position? Is it proof of divine intervention? Once Earth's defense is assured he knows he'll never rest until he finds the answers..
Dylan Brice is living his days out of order, but it hasn’t always been that way. One Tuesday evening in July, he went to sleep expecting tomorrow to be Wednesday, but when he woke up the next morning it was Thursday instead. A frightening and confusing day ensued with Dylan trying to figure out whether he was losing his mind or the victim of some cosmic prank.
If struggling to come to terms with his new reality on his surreal Thursday wasn’t enough of an ordeal, late in the afternoon, just as his anxiety was finally beginning to subside, a voice from the past he’d hoped never to hear again added a terrifying new dimension to his situation. Dylan had once been a warrior in the battle against nuclear terrorism. A sleeper since the months following nine-eleven, he has suddenly been activated to help combat a new, deadly threat. His nerves in a shambles, he finally drops off to sleep hoping he’ll wake up to find Thursday was a dream.
When, after his harrowing Thursday, he awakens on the Wednesday morning he thought he’d missed, he doesn’t know what to believe. He cannot believe Thursday’s events were coincidental. He must be living his days out of order for a reason — some powerful, unknown entity has cast him in a role he never asked for, and everything he holds dear may be at stake. He “knows” he will continue to live Thursdays before Wednesdays until he figures out how to use the unique perspective that gives him to avert a global disaster.
Harry Middleton is born in an America staggered by a century of decline, a time of medical and technological marvels beyond the reach of most people in a shattered economy. Pessimism and despair are more common than optimism and hope, and a desperate government bets the future on space. The lunar and Martian colonies have not provided the hoped-for salvation, so despite an angry, disillusioned public, the first star mission will soon be launched.
Harry is a special child, smart, precocious, his only confidante an embittered grandfather. When the old man dies, Harry is lost, until he meets Lorrie. At thirteen, they bond, certain they’ll spend their lives together, but a year later, she disappears, and Harry is desolate.
With help from his friend Carlos, Harry begins a quest to find her, but he quickly learns how powerless he is. Even the police lack the resources to help. Harry and Carlos can only depend on themselves and each other. An unlikely duo, Harry is an academic prodigy while Carlos is a stud athlete. Realizing that school and baseball are their tickets out of the morass they’re caught in, they inspire each other to greatness in both.
Trying to move on with his life, Harry has a college sweetheart, but as long as Lorrie haunts him, the relationship is doomed. He gains celebrity and wealth, but the thing Harry wants most, finding and saving Lorrie from whatever fate took her from him remains beyond his reach. And always, in the background, are the deteriorating state of the country and the coming star missions.
Jamie Williams had fought against corruption, war, and oppression all his life. A former campus radical, he published the popular newsletter, Uncommon Sense. Middle age had banked some of his fire, but not his values. And it had taught him that if he wanted his voice to be heard, it had to be reasoned and balanced.
A fragile economy exacerbated by corporate greed, unchecked militarism, terrorism, and out-of-control energy prices, had left millions of people feeling powerless and disenfranchised. Now, a new Internal Security Agency was eroding civil liberties, and there were rumors of a secret military initiative in Africa.
With a weak, indecisive President, Uncommon Sense was needed more than ever. Jamie had a loyal following, but it was growing too slowly to make a difference. Big changes were coming and Americans needed to hear his voice…if only there were a way to reach them.
A Boy and His Dog,
an Unfinished Love Story
An Hour on Venus
The Prime Prerequisite
Trains, Planes, Cars, and Spaceships
This is a travel memoir. Nearly seventy years of travel experiences and adventures. Looking back, it seems there is a pattern of sorts. There's a predictable quirkiness about many of these experiences, as though they were a magnet for the strange and unlikely. Did all these things really occur in one lifetime? Apparently, they did.