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Joe D Natoli

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Member Since: Nov, 2009

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Inflection Point
by Joe D Natoli  Lance Huffman 

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Publisher:  iUniverse ISBN-10:  1440186837 Type: 


Copyright:  Nov 24, 2009 ISBN-13:  9781440186837

While investigating a traffic accident, a local Arizona reporter uncovers a new breed of terrorist who wields disturbing advanced technology—technology which fundamentally changes the human nature of those who wield it. The reporter finds himself struggling to reveal the truth, fighting to save his life and that of his family. He is in a race against time to preserve our country’s security, our freedom, and our way of life.

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Inflection Point Book

As 2020 approaches the world economies face a state of turmoil. The last decade has seen an unprecedented cascade of short economic booms followed rapidly by devastating busts. The population is weary, worn and looking for hope.

An innovative company named MicroPower Systems has come on to the scene with revolutionary technology and products. MicroPower has mastered the science of molecular device manufacturing and leveraged that mastery to deliver a cheap, clean and safe renewable energy platform which is ready for mass distribution. Leading experts worldwide believe MicroPower is the engine of growth and stability world markets sorely need to get back on track.

However, just as MicroPower is poised to make their public offering, one of their key executives and two innocent bystanders are killed in a horrible accident. The early evidence indicates a serious health and safety problem with the company's products.

A local and well-connected reporter named Oliver Harcourt is pulled in to investigate the accident. Oliver's appearance is mild mannered. However, his wit and determination in pursuing real answers to a story are unrelenting. When the official report regarding the accident fails to hold up to Oliver's investigation he digs deep and finds nothing is as it seems.

As a company like MicroPower goes to change the world, not everyone welcomes that change. Oliver uncovers enemies on all fronts. The web of treachery woven by these enemies leads Oliver beyond corporate boardrooms and bedrooms into the halls of Washington.

There Oliver meets Erin Walsh. She is a young, brilliant and beautiful aide to a very important Congressman. Erin notices details and remembers them like a machine. For Erin, a string of small details leads her to uncover secrets she should have never stumbled upon. In order to preserve her safety, she joins Oliver's hunt for the truth.

The more answers Oliver and Erin uncover, the more they realize they are in a race against time. A race to reveal the truth. A race to save themselves. A race to preserve our country's security, our freedom and our way of life.


Ever since our early days of elementary school we (the authors) learned that fossil fuels are a limited resource and harmful to our environment. Until the summer of 2008, for us this education had been all theory with very little direct impact on our daily lives. Facing historic prices for gas, electricity, food and other bare essentials we have now seen first hand how the economics of excessive demand on a limited resource has real personal consequences. The distressing news is that this is just the beginning. Although demand has slacked significantly, and so have prices at the gas pump in late 2008 and the first half of 2009, this is temporary relief.

We are facing the potential of hitting the world wide "peak oil" phenomenon. This means we are getting close to the point where it becomes much harder to find the next barrel. We won't run out of oil completely. However, what will happen is that it will become so expensive to extract, refine and deliver a unit of energy using fossil fuels that nearly every aspect of our society will be drastically affected. In the most extreme case, society as a whole will fail. Food won't make it to the supermarket. No air or ground transportation. No lights, heating or air conditioning. If we stay the current course, a very likely scenario is rapidly rising and unsustainable commodity prices (food, gas, electricity, etc), deteriorating standards of living, and episodes of civil unrest.

As the old saying goes, "...necessity is the mother of invention..." and progress in science and technology make it unlikely that society as a whole will fail as a result of "peak oil". We do have some hard years ahead of us until this new technology is mainstream, but the likelihood it goes mainstream is achievable.

One likely source of technology for clean and renewable energy platforms come from the manufacturing of "quantum dots" and other forms of "nanotechnology". These are fields of science whose theme is the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Mostly, it involves creating and controlling man-made atoms to build extremely effective materials which cannot be created with such enhanced characteristics using other means. The basic science behind these fields has been underway for over 25 years and early practical applications have been proven in industry.

The problem with this technology, like any other, is that it has positive and negative consequences. Just as our understanding of natural atoms gave us both nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants, "quantum dots" and other forms of "nanotechnology" which create man-made atoms have applications in energy as well as weapons. While there will be attempts to control the improper use of man-made atoms, doing so is much harder than with rare materials which are used in other weapons of mass destruction. In this area, Pandora's Box has been opened and there is no turning back. Figuring out how to master and leverage the beneficial outcomes of this technology while minimizing the negative consequences is a real issue our children will face.

Also, no transition from one foundational technology to another takes place with a single, easy pass. In the case of energy, hundreds of billions of dollars per year will be at stake. New companies will challenge long established ones. Countries and government officials whose power base is founded by the long established companies will be challenged by new entrants. This transition will be anything but smooth. It will be peppered with conflict. Hopefully, this conflict can be resolved through negotiation and diplomacy; not private or state sponsored military force.

These are the elements of this story. We will face a progressively deteriorating standard of living while a limited resource remains a foundation of our society. New technology will offer us a sustainable way to rid our dependency on this scare resource. However, incumbent political and business interests will delay this as long as it is possible to do so. Also, the new technology is not just a source of energy, but also the foundation of a series of weapons more deadly and more effective than any mankind has seen to date.

We have chosen to tell this story as fiction in order to reach as wide an audience as possible. To teach through potentially real-world scenarios which engage the readers' imagination as well as desire for thrill and conflict. The underlying theme is nothing worthwhile comes without some kind of fight. We hope you enjoyed reading this story as much as we have enjoyed writing it.

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