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Siona's Tale

Children/Young Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

New science and fiction book could encourage young people to seek careers in science. Siona’s Tale is the debut novel by Barbara A. Liepe, PhD written to encourage scientific literacy and wonder. At a time when ignoring scientific facts may have terrible consequences for future generations there is an unmet need to encourage scientific curiosity and wonder in young people to develop the next generation of scientists. Siona’s Tale begins with a young girl fearful of the sea and its dreadful creatures. To provide some comfort, her mother, a marine biologist, tells the girl a tale, Siona’s Tale. The girl begins to understand that all life forms are connected and she takes comfort in the powerful legacy that she shares with all creatures. The fictionally fact-filled tale told is about Siona the Sea Squirt. Siona hatches out of her egg 521.2 million years ago—her creation the result of a rare horizontal gene transfer event. Siona falls in love with her tail. She is devastated when she learns that she must lose her tail, stick her head to a rock, and never swim again. This is just what happens to sea squirts when they grow up. Against all odds, Siona sets out on a journey to save her beloved tail, making friends along the way with a cast of marine invertebrates, including a clairvoyant clam and a prophetic trilobite. Siona encounters toxic slime, sponges with fiber-optic spicules, predatory spiders, pistol-toting shrimp, photons from wee sea beasties, mutants, DNA and ATP, improbable events, the healing powers of nanoscale whiskers, friendship, love, and her destiny—a destiny upon which the human race depends.