Saving the world

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First Posted: 3/20/2015

Astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, once said: “For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”

Imagine then, a world where one attempts to find connection in a place seemingly filled with anything but. A place where people walk aimlessly, eyes metaphorically closed, never taking notice to the mystery of life around us as well as considering the places yet discovered. This world is Earth, as author, Andrew Tolan envisions, in his debut science fiction novel, “Hollow Planet.”

Tolan, a native of Scranton, now residing in New York City, begins the work with an epigraph from the great and late rapper, Notorious B.I.G: “It was all a dream.” Instantly, readers begin to predict that a certain theme is being foreshadowed, and what we perceive as our reality is far from concrete. We are then introduced to our teenage protagonist, Daniel Morrison, who is suffering from the profound loss of his father. Still reeling, Daniel’s mother, Linda, begins to deteriorate as he must attempt to take care of himself and his young sister, Joie.

Soon after his father’s death, Daniel finds himself running from trouble. Attempting to save a young girl, Daniel flees from two dangerous thugs only to be cornered by an even more mysterious man named Sef. Becoming not only a missing connection to his father, Sef also begins to illuminate Daniel’s world by telling him the truth about his family and his special abilities: “We shared the same visions of what life could be, what it should have been ages ago, and began working on a project together. Something big. Something we believed — no, something we knew — would change the world, having a positive impact for the future of this planet.” Sef then explains the future of Earth, particularly its ultimate demise should their select group not be able to save it.

Accepting Sef’s invitation to save Earth, Daniel begins an adventure into the deep recesses of the unknown. However, the journey will not prove easy, as another group simultaneously attempts to impede their plan to save humanity with hope of eradicating the very planet we have come to know. Intent on keeping to his father’s work, Daniel will stop at nothing to ensure his world remains protected.

As one might deduce from the conclusion, this stunning novel is only one of the installments currently in progress. The next part of the series is due out in 2016. Until then, Earth hangs in the balance.