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P.K. Tyler – You have a background working for the US Air Force, and managing aerospace and high tech companies. Did your work experience inform the setting, or plot devices for your first novel The Shroud of Eden?
Marlin Desault – Yes – Some of the chapters in Shroud of Eden involve discussions of high level policy. I used my experiences from policy meetings to shape some of my characters and their attitudes.

PKT By reading the description of your novel, it seems like its a dystopic fiction set in the future, with a militaristic government? Would it be accurate to say that those who enjoy reading military sci-fi, or dystopic fiction will enjoy your book too?
MD – I would like to think so, although there is a deeper facet to the story. When a passive and peaceful people come in contact with an aggressive society the conclusion seems obvious, but what if the passive society has a weapon of great power? Would they use it to save themselves? Shroud of Eden suggest a way out of the dilemma.

PKT – How did your work in the aerospace industry help to make the ship the Pegasus and others in your book more realistic?
MD – 
Designs for Manned space flight as well as commercial air travel place great emphasis on safety. One way of achieving the required level of safety for space flight and aircraft is redundant systems. I included redundancy in several aspects of the star ship Pegasus. I felt his would make the story more believable.

PKT – Fans of Star Trek might remember Seti-Alpha-V, but for readers who may never have heard of Star Trek, could you explain a little more about what New SETI is in your book?
MD – Certainly. SETI refers to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. SETI is in operation today and has been ongoing for many years. In the 1980s work began on searching for radio signals that might reach Earth from space and which originate from intelligent beings.

I projected my ideas of how this work might play out in the future. I added a division to SETI that calculated the actual probability of an encounter with Intelligent life from space. As the probability increased the government of Earth was forced to prepare for such an encounter

PKT – Who are The Panhelion, and what current government would they most compare to today?
MD – 
In Shroud of Eden, the Panhelion is the republic representing the people of Earth and her colonies on Luna, Mars, and the moons of Jupiter.

I imagined it much like the states of the United States except that the Panhelion legislative branch is unicameral. It has a Senate but not a House of Representative. The President is elected by the Senate.

PKT – There’s a lot of buzz in the science fiction world about female vs. male authors in what used to be a very male dominated genre. What are your thoughts on this?
MD – 
I think this is marvelous. I read science fiction by female authors such as Ursula LeGuin and Elizabeth Moon, and I enjoy them. They provide an interesting and refreshing point of view.

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About Marlin Desault

Marlin Desault studied German and German literature at Georgetown University and subsequently served with the US Air Force intelligence services in Europe. When he return to the United States he enrolled in the University of Wyoming where he took undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees with emphasis in advanced physics and mathematics. After receiving his master’s degree he accepted an invitation to teach German and electrical engineering at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Upon mustering out of the Air Force he began a management career in various aerospace and high tech companies.

He currently lives in Southern California where he writes novels when not indulging his passions for sailing, skiing, and reading.

 

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