For Parents and Teachers

'The Calling' is the first to be written in a series of science-fiction novels for mid-grade (aka pre-teen) readers. The author is a graduate in electronic engineering with a keen life-long interest in spaceflight and applied science. He bases his writing on solid science wherever possible, and to cultivate a fertile, pest-free field of imagination in which young minds may put down roots and grow healthily. Realistic relationships and social settings are also essential in John's writing.

'The Calling' contains passages which develop the following scientific ideas:

  • Chemistry: Electrolysis of water to hydrogen and oxygen. (Chapter 6, p.40),
  • Combustion of hydrogen as rocket fuel (Chapter 6, p.42),
  • Molecular bonds (Chapter 7, p.52)
  • Physics: Fusion power (Chapter 6, p.42),
  • SHF radio communications (Chapter 6, p.43),
  • Orbital mechanics (Chapter 11, p.81,82),
  • Artificial gravity by rotation of spacecraft (Chapter 11, p.86)
The storyline is set in the genre popularised by the Star Wars series, as an alternative to that much-loved universe. In 'The Calling', though, the principle struggle between good and evil is embodied in personal, knowable powers and not the light and dark side of one faceless Force.

The depiction of violence in 'The Calling' tends to be mild but realistic, majoring on the threat of violence and 'offstage' acts. There is no depiction or suggestion of sex.

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