Originated Under Twin Suns tells the story of what happened when aliens find wisdom and guidance in the Voyager space probe's iconic information plaque (launched in 1977) that literally falls into their possession.
Frobs, a species of sentient rocks, are struggling to stabilize their society— with less than encouraging results—when the Voyager plaque unceremoniously lands on their planet, mounted as the heat shield on an invasive spacecraft. Once the splattered invader pilot has been properly crated up, Frob researchers, with the assistance of some sleazy interstellar consultants, attempt to extract information from the vandalized disk.
The two factions of planet Frobzb's ruling body argue mightily about everything: why their society is failing, what actions to take, the identity and intentions of the invader, what nutritives to suck up their pucker and, of course, what to do about one uniquely troublesome Frob named Gerfnit. In desperation, they launch a mission to Urrth, a planet of peace and harmony, the role model they hope will provide the answer to their fatal societal problems. Who will they assign to lead the mission? Who else but Gerfnit, quick learner who remembers everything and the only Frob with seven ometers.
Readers of all ages love unusual heroes. Originated Under Twin Suns is an epic social, political and sexual satire, the story of the origin of the reluctant but brilliant Frob who becomes Earth’s defender.
Mike Pickard’s writing serves as the bridge between his professional work in technology and his passion for the creative arts.
Several of Pickard's short stories have been published, including Hardwired, which won a Ray Bradbury Creative Writing Prize in 2005.
Pickard's major works are The Gerfnit Chronicles and Originated Under Twin Suns, science fiction mystery/adventures. The stories began as a series of letters to his daughter who spent several summers at overnight camp. Pickard’s extensive backgroud working with cutting edge technology has proved helpful for imagining fictive universes and societies. Strong satire keeps readers grounded and laughing.
Pickard has studied writing at the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Northeastern Illinois University and at the Science Fiction Novel Workshop at the University of Kansas. He has also been a member of several writers groups over the last 14 years, and is currently both a member and the webmaster at the Chicago area-based “The Writers of Glencoe.”
Pickard’s “day job” for the last 45 years has been in Information Technology (IT). Here, too, his “inner writer” played a role. In addition to countless technical reports and position papers, Pickard penned dozens of articles as lead columnist for a microcomputer newsletter.
Among his other creative exploits: amateur theater, playwriting, paper mache sculpture and inventing a board game.