From Earth to Umbria
by Patricia Howell

"'I believe my plan will not only benefit the Earthlings way of life but also enhance ours as well.'"

On the distant planet Umbria, scientists who have been curiously monitoring Earth come to a familiar conclusion: that the sun which Earth orbits is prepared to go supernova and consume all life on that small blue planet. The leader of Umbria, Jarod Dask, works around the clock to formulate a plan to save Earth by rehoming its people on their worlds, but people are reluctant to help despite recognizing the impending catastrophic loss. Finally, it is decided that Umbria and its neighbors will send 20 ships to bring back a million Earthlings to live on Umbria, blending the two societies together. Jarod works night and day on this mission, eventually selecting his son Araak and his two friends Gex and Querk to lead this initial mission of first contact and rescue.

Using the real science of the sun’s health as a catalyst, the author creates a heart-warming tale of humanitarian aid and sacrifice as a world selflessly reaches out to an entire planet of strangers. Interestingly, the book focuses largely on the perspective of the Umbrians, who despite being similar to Earthlings are still “alien” from the reader’s perspective. While many science fiction books and movies cast the humans as the missing element in leadership or peace, here they are simply adrift in a metaphorical sinking ship, needing rescue. This kind of approach is refreshingly original and helps make the generosity and altruism of the Umbrian travelers resonate much more strongly. Readers will enjoy following the respective highs and lows of the Umbrians as they experience the simple pleasures and the deepest beauties that Earth culture has to offer before they begin their treacherous journey home through space.

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