The Tuar Tums Trilogy, Book One
Young Adult Sci-Fi
Date Published: February 25, 2021
The coming battle has been foretold by the myths of the Indigenous Americans of the Arizona desert for generations...
Now, in the modern world, Alexa has celebrated twelve birthdays without her father, and on the eve of her sixteenth, he mysteriously returns with a gift she never imagined and a story of alien worlds beyond our own.
Can Alexa and her friends unlock the secrets of the Southwest, millions of years in the making?
Can they stop the threat from a planet thousands of light-years away?
In this “can’t-put-it-down” young adult sci-fi fantasy, a battle for the future of planet Earth, itself, is waged, and only a teenage girl can save them, now.
Read an excerpt below...
About the Author
Phil Asmundson has taken an unusual path to publish his first book—the first of a trilogy no less. He was an outdoor kid who built not only miles of trails through the woods but also created adventures that lived only in his mind. After a 33-year career at Deloitte & Touche, he began researching Southwest myths, discovered the Tuar Tums' legend, and brought them to life. He’s always had a passion for science and is fond of saying, “True science is indistinguishable from magic.” Phil and his wife, Kim, live in Arizona, where they own Deep Sky Vineyard and spend their nights looking at the stars.
Excerpt from "The Prophecy"
Prologue: Approximately Sixty-Five Million Years Ago
The Orb softly glowed in the evening sky, visible but not intruding on the darkness of night. Millions of years ago, a halo appeared, surrounding the Orb in a purple silhouette. The halo’s purpose was unknown to the planet’s inhabitants, but they knew little about the Orb. Its soft purple light pulsing in the evening sky was a comfort to those on the planet, nature’s night-light.
Over time the halo strengthened, gaining in brightness as if it were absorbing the Orb’s energy. The Orb was a Neutron Star, a stellar remnant that underwent supernova billions of years ago, but this was no ordinary star, for this star marked the exact center of the universe. All things rotated around this tiny Orb, for it was the universe’s Mother Star.
The beings of the planet called the star Shinua, meaning giver of life in their language. This was ironic, for that’s precisely what Shinua did. Its faint pulsing light gave life to their insignificant planet, and the inhabitants prospered without knowing why.
Unknown to the inhabitants, Shinua was dying. Over hundreds of millions of years, the beautiful star had suffered numerous starquakes that ruptured its surface as its rotation slowed. The planet’s inhabitants didn’t observe the effects, and they went about their lives, ignorant of the events unfolding in their night sky. Then the inevitable happened.
With its remaining fuel spent, Shinua pulsed for the last time. With one final pulse, the Orb violently exploded, expelling its core into space. The small planet’s inhabitants watched as their beloved star vanished from sight, replaced by a pinprick of nothingness. The only evidence was a disturbance in space, an invisible force tugging at the fabric of space and time, a small scar in an otherwise vast sky.
Moments later, the consequences of the event were made known to the planet’s inhabitants. A piece of Shinua, sixty kilometers wide, slammed into the unsuspecting world. All life was obliterated within four thousand kilometers of Shinua’s impact, and the planet’s surface bore a scar three hundred kilometers in diameter and three kilometers deep. Eventually, Shinua’s impact killed seventy percent of all life and forever changed the lives of those lucky enough to survive an extinction-level event.
The tiny planet wasn’t the only one impacted by Shinua’s debris. Throughout the galaxy, pieces of Shinua collided with unsuspecting worlds. With debris traveling near the speed of light, it wreaked havoc across the galaxy. Some parts hit other stars and were consumed in fiery blasts. Other pieces collided with distant planets still forming in a galaxy that would continue to expand for billions of years. The odds of impact were one in a million, but there were trillions of targets.
Nearly twenty-seven thousand years later, a chunk of Shinua fifty kilometers wide approached a small planet in the Orion-Cygnus Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The planet was insignificant, consisting of unintelligent reptilian life-forms who watched as an enormous fireball streaked through the sky before embedding in the planet’s soft mantle in an event its future scientists would call Chicxulub. Extinction was swift, but in their place rose a species that became known as mammals. Over millions of years, they grew in intelligence, finally giving way to a species of bipedalism that ultimately ruled the tiny planet.
The insignificant planet was Earth. The events that unfolded sixty-five million years ago entangled its future inhabitants with those of the distant planet that had watched Shinua vanish from sight so long ago. Two worlds, separated by more than 1017 miles, held pieces of the greatest power in the universe. A force that was torn apart when Shinua disintegrated in the distant planet’s night sky.
Their fates were sealed, a Prophecy would be made, and ultimately, neither planet would survive without the other.