When the first manned spacecraft to Mars disappears and its crew explorer vehicle crashes onto the Brown's wheat farm, what Ben discovers leads him on an adventure that he could never have imagined. He builds a flying machine and flies off to a planet in another universe where he finds himself fighting free its enslaved people, eighteen foot giants, and then to save his own planet. Ultimately, it's a story about faith and a young man's quest for love and redemption for his father's untimely death.
Three excerpts from Ben Brown's Flying Machine Excerpt 1: Chapter 11: No Accident Ben glided out of the barn on his platform and passed the dimly lit farmhouse and skimmed over the wheat fields towards Maryann’s house. He approached her bedroom window and saw her unclipping the back of her bra. He froze, too terrified to move, and stood there watching her putting on her nightie, but as she did so, she caught sight of him and spun around indignantly and rushed up to the window. “What do you think you’re doing?” “Nothing, I...” “Nothing?” “Just wanted to say sorry ‘bout last night.” Her face softened. “See if you wanted to go for a ride.” Her eyes lit up. Then she threw on a sweater, pulled some jeans up over her nightie, and approached the window, smiling excitedly. Excerpt 2: Chapter 12: 75th National High Schools’ Science Competition Ben and Maryann arrived at their booth and stared at its bare concrete floor and faceless wooden frame with a cardboard sign marked “121” stapled to it. Maryann nodded towards the next booth and Ben saw the panel of four judges shaking the students’ hands and one of the judges looking quizzically at his platform. “Let’s hope it’s not all about presentation,” he said, lifting it down. At that, Maryann pushed the wheelbarrow away into the far corner. Moments later, the leader of the judging panel approached their booth and stared stoically at the dented platform and glanced around the empty booth at the wheelbarrow. ‘Exactly why they need a qualifying round,’ he thought to himself, intending to make an issue of it later. He looked down his list of entries and then at the other judges. “121, do you have it? I can’t see it,” he asked one of the female judges. She looked down her list and shook her head, prompting the others to flick through their piles of registration forms. The lead judge looked around at Ben and Maryann. “Registration?” he asked. Maryann handed him their copy, and he skimmed through it, writing down their details. “Mr. Brown?” “Yes, sir.” “A flying machine,” he articulated clearly, reading their form. “Yes, sir.” “Any paperwork, documentation?” “No, sir.” “Care to describe how it works?” “Through particle displacement, sir.” “Particle displacement,” he echoed, looking at him above the rims of his glasses. “Yes, sir.” “Care to elaborate?” Ben hesitated and saw all the judges staring at him in wide-eyed anticipation. “Sure,” he said. “It uhm... it uses three particle vacuum drives. Each induces particle displacement around a vacuum, which provides forward and directional thrust.” Silence. Not one of the judges batted an eye lid. “I see,” the lead judge said. “It’s kind of new.” Ben smiled. The lead judge smiled and looked around a little incredulously at the others. “I can start her up and show you.” “By all means. It’s safe? Not going to shoot off anywhere?” “No, sir. But it might pay to step back a bit.” Excerpt 3. Chapter 12: 75th National High Schools’ Science Competition A shutter slid back inside the confessional box, revealing the outline of a priest. “Father, I’m not part of this church,” Ben said, “but I was...” “God welcomes one and all.” “Even if you’re not sure he exists?” “One and all. What’s on your mind, son?” “I was wondering about God’s will... his hand, how far it might extend if he wanted to do something.” “No one can presume the infinite power and wisdom of God.” “He could use someone of little faith?"