The Genius Asylum (Sic Transit Terra Book 1)
The truth is out there...
Earth Intelligence and Space Installation Security each think Drew Townsend is working for them. They're wrong.
Sent undercover to set up a covert intelligence operation on Earth's remotest space station, Drew Townsend finds himself managing a crew of brilliant mavericks, making friends with the most feared warriors in the galaxy, and feeling more at home in the controlled insanity of Daisy Hub than he ever did on Earth. Then he learns the truth about his mission there, and it's time to choose. In the coming interplanetary conflict, which side will Daisy Hub be on?'
Like the clues of a cryptic crossword, each book set in the Sic Transit Terra universe contains a puzzle – perhaps a riddle, perhaps a maze or an anagram – and in each case, the answer to the smaller puzzle brings the reader and characters one step closer to solving a much larger and more important one. The Genius Asylum is ‘1 Across’ – it initiates a multi-book story arc that addresses one of the great mysteries of life: Why are we humans the way that we are?
About the Author:
Born and raised in Toronto, Arlene F. Marks found her muse at the age of 6 and has been writing and sharing her stories ever since. Her work has appeared in H.P. Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror and has been published by Daily Science Fiction. Her first science fantasy novel, The Accidental God, was nominated for the 2015 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Arlene lives with her husband on Nottawasaga Bay but spends an inordinate amount of time in the Sic Transit Terra universe.
Books in the Sic Transit Terra Universe:
- The Genius Asylum (Book 1)
- The Otherness Factor (Book 2)
"THE GENIUS ASYLUM is smart, gripping, and breakneck. I'd wait for the movie, except I don't want to wait: I want to read more! A convincingly realized future, smartass cynical policing at its best, and a thorough romp! More, please!" – Ed Greenwood, creator of The Forgotten Realms
"Exciting and suspenseful, logical and believable, with lots of wry humour tucked in here and there." -- Karleen Bradford, author of The Taun Trilogy and recipient of the Canadian Library Association Award for There Will be Wolves.
"The Genius Asylum/ is a fun, galloping tale of intrigue, espionage and mayhem which takes place in the distant future on Daisy Hub, an orbiting station in space. When the station manager dies under suspicious circumstances, Drew Townsend is sent to take charge and solve the mystery.
Daisy Hub is populated by a group of brilliant misfits who have initiated illicit trading with the Nandrians, an alien race of warrior-merchants, all of which makes for an action-packed, surprising, and often hilarious adventure. Marks's seamless writing, sense of humour, and skilled story-telling make this a delightful read for anyone who enjoys a good science fiction adventure." -- J. A. McLachlan, author of The Occassional Diamond Thief
"The story line is masterfully constructed with no lose ends, leading the reader to one conclusion only to spring an unexpected twist just at the right moment." - tcobban
"Fans of world building and sci-fi intrigue will enjoy Arlene Marks' take on space stations and galactic politics. The reader is immersed in a future that is familiar enough to enjoy and fantastic enough to hold their attention. There are plenty of spy agencies backstabbing one another and using people as pawns in their games." - Mike Prelee
"One part mystery novel, one part spy thriller, and one part sci-fi, this book is a well written and highly imaginative adventure. I'm hooked!" - Amazon Customer
"Facinating story. It has you hooked with intrigue right from the beginning and each chapter reveals more and more about the characters and the plot. I found myself not wanting to take a break after each chapter, as I couldn't wait to find out more about what happens next." - Cheryl L Warringtonon
"Terrific story - thorough enjoyed and excellent writing by an obviously professional author." - M. Kleiberon
"The writing was brilliant and I highly enjoyed the characters. The details for this universe built the scenes in my mind." - Bethany Swaffordon
"This space thriller builds to a whirlwind of strategies and actions that leaves the reader breathless. Highly recommended to those readers who like suspense, mystery and thrilling action in their futuristic science fiction." - Amazon Customer
"I very much enjoyed reading this book and hope the author writes many stories set in this universe. It was interesting and fun to read, had a good pace, and was well edited. More, more!" - Desert Denizenon
"I loved the space travel and mystery involved in this book. I would recommend it for any Star Trek fan. Can't wait for the next book in the series." - Robert Burrowson
"I thoroughly enjoyed this Sci-Fi Brainteaser. Very well written with incredible plot twists and turns. We’ve got a very intelligent double agent as the main character and an intriguing support cast. I was thankful for the planetary history at the beginning as it was helpful in understanding the different organizations mentioned throughout the novel. The Author has a witty way of expressing viewpoints, clearly has put a lot of thought into the storyline and created edge of your seat suspense and mystery!" - Stephanie Hermanon
"Arlene Marks has created, detail by detail, an absorbing world, and a suspenseful novel that will keep you up reading much too late at night. I am looking forward to the subsequent books eagerly." - Karleen Bradfordon
"This is an excellent first outing in a book series that promises great things. Marks, the author, is a relatively new voice in the sci-fi world, but this is not the novel of a novice author. Well-written, tensely- plotted, and with great characterization, I think it would make a good TV series. I look forward to the next book in the series." - Ken Hon
"Field investigator, Drew Townsend, has been sent undercover, as the new station manager, to Earth's most remote space station, Daisy Hub, to investigate the mysterious death of his predecessor. The station is manned by a crew of brilliant eccentrics (hence the title, Genius Asylum), each of whom has been exiled to this outpost of progress for one transgression or another. Nothing is as it seems, not even Townsend who must answer to two independent intelligence agencies without alerting the other to his involvement. Townsend makes a great hero, a clever investigator with a criminal background, just the person to negotiate the various conflicting interests centred on Daisy Hub, including a race of warrior reptiles with a complicated honour code."
"This is an excellent first outing in a book series that promises great things. Marks, the author, is a relatively new voice in the sci-fi world, but this is not the novel of a novice author. Well-written, tensely-plotted, and with great characterization, I think it would make a good TV series. I look forward to the next book in the series." -- Ken Haigh, reviewer
"I really enjoyed reading this book. It draws you in right from the first chapter and keeps you intrigued right to the finish." -- Jamie Hon, reviewer
"The Genius Asylum starts out on Earth as something that looks like a crime story, but it then quickly describes a world of interstellar travel and alien alliances. After the first act concludes, the story's complexity starts accelerating and doesn't slow down, and you'll find yourself drawn into the world, needing to know what comes next. It is an excellently written story that provides the framework for the series that is to come, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it." -- Chris Marks, reviewer