Featuring Beauty Abides by Robert Albo, book 2 in the Her Dark Matter Necklace Series
She has an impossible task. If she fails, everyone is doomed…
Alice Blair has no faith in herself. With the fate of the world resting on her shoulders, the fifteen-year-old orphan doubts her role as humanity’s chosen savior. But when the awkward teen consults the god of the dark matter universe, she’s distraught to learn that not only is she the right person to bring beauty to Earth, the time to do it is rapidly running out.
Teaming with her underwater alien ally to unravel the secret of preventing the planet’s destruction, Alice is torn between the logic of a curious AI and the emotion of her attraction to a handsome man. But after she mistakenly unleashes an infertility virus on the populace, the angst-ridden girl fears she’s sentenced humankind to extinction.
Can a teenager lacking confidence fulfill her life-saving destiny?
Beauty Abides is the thoughtful second book in the Her Dark Matter Necklace contemporary YA science fiction series. If you like engaging characters, fascinating ethical conundrums, and blossoming worlds, then you’ll love Robert Albo’s page-turning gem.
An Interview With Robert Albo
-What was your inspiration for the god of the dark matter universe?
The inspiration came from my physics classes at UC Berkeley. I was stunned to learn how everything worked out perfectly to allow the universe and life to form. I used an example of gravity in my story to illustrate this. If the force of gravity was slightly stronger than the universe would have imploded after Big Bang. If it had been slightly weaker, then galaxies, stars, and planets would never have formed. I’m not talking about a different universe; I’m saying no universe, and gravity was just one of the many universal constants that worked out perfectly. From this, I concluded there must be a universal being or God. The question then became how God was created, which I speculated about in my first book, Her Dark Matter Necklace.
-Did you experience any challenges incorporating AI and an all-powerful entity in the same story?
Yes, and no. It’s impossible for humans to understand God or even an advanced AI being. Even today, scientists struggle to understand the reasoning behind our AI machines. Anyway, what I looked at was the different motivations or interests. The interests of God did not align with the interests of a powerful AI. Then I threw human interests into the mix.
-What relationship, if any, do you see between speculative fiction and religion?
The philosophies that underpin religion, such as love and compassion, offer great positive examples for speculative fiction stories. On the other hand, religious doctrine and current practices may stray from the original vision to support the manmade religious institutions. This divergence offers negative examples for villains in the stories. My story deals with the positives of beauty and love, and the negatives of abuses in power and control.
-In the blurb for Beauty Abides, you say Alice is torn between logic and emotion. Do you think these are two opposing forces? If so, in what way?
Logic and emotions are two inputs into your consciousness and your actions. Sometimes, they’re aligned, but in other important cases, they’re not and oppose one another. Think about people who keep getting involved in the wrong type of relationships even though they know logically it won’t end well. Most people view their rational mind as a strength, but when asked about their emotions, some answer a strength while others answer a weakness. In my story, Alice views her emotions as a weakness and suppresses them. She keeps making the rational choice, ignoring the little voice in the back of her head, which is trying to direct her to actions that will bring her joy and success.
-What one question do you hope readers ponder after reading Beauty Abides?
Alice’s world is not that different from ours. Indeed, with one scientific discovery, the worlds would look almost the same. One question readers might ask, should we sacrifice beauty for progress and growth? Most readers would probably answer no, even though society’s answer is yes. So, a follow-up question is, can we change society, or do we require an outside shock?
About Robert Albo
Even though I have a little dyslexia and struggled with school books as a youth, I’ve always enjoyed reading fiction and non-fiction. However, writing was an aspiration that I didn’t think I would ever do, but times changed. I had ideas that have been percolating in the back of my mind for years and I wanted to write them down in a fictional story, specifically around science and God.
I believe that science no longer has any need of a God, yet each mystery explained, builds the case for God.
After much work and rework, I published my first book, Her Dark Matter Necklace, in early 2021. My second book, Beauty Abides, came out in December 2021, and the final book of this three-book series, Triumph of Beauty, is scheduled for April 2022.
My background is thirty years as a business executive in technology industries. I have an MBA from Harvard and an engineering degree from UC Berkeley. I live in Orinda, CA with my wife Sarah.
~Find him on Facebook