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The Palomar Paradox: A SETI Mystery

Lulu Publishing (2011)


Perfect Paperback

Pages: 295


The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life

The Palomar Parodox: A SETI Mystery is the third installment in the Luper series by author Richard Rydon. In this book, scientist Luper Beauchamps emerges as the Assistant Director of the Palomar Observatory. He is also a participant in the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Program.

 On February 29, 2028 an unusual signal is detected and sent to three SETI@home participants to analyze. Luper is one of the participants, so is Linus Shannon, a lecturer in Information Intelligence at UC Berkeley and the director of the SETI@home program. The third recipient of the signal is Leila Keiler, a young leukemia survivor who has a passion for the work greater than that of the experts. When Leila reaches out to Luper to share her theories about the signal, a relationship develops that leads the pair on a journey to discover intelligent extraterrestrial life.

 After Luper hires Leila, her dedication to the study reveals clues to several signals that were recorded by telescopes at the Palomar Observatory. As the search for the origins of these signals progresses, the team at the Palomar Observatory reaches out to officials at the Pentagon, NASA, and the director of the SETI@home program. This results in the government becoming involved with the research which complicates things for the Palomar scientists.

 This is a very detailed, heavily researched book that includes an extensive amount of history about the search for intelligent life in the universe. Rydon shares his great passion for science and space exploration by incorporating facts about documented studies of signals and theories of the existence of extra-terrestrial life into the novel.

 For those who have read the other books in this series, The Oortian Summer and the Omega Wave, The Palomar Paradox will not disappoint. It is filled with graphic scientific depictions and animated discussions of intelligent life in the galaxy, what they may look like, how they may treat humans, and how they would go about contacting us. Readers new to Rydon’s work will want to explore Luper Beauchamps’ other adventures by reading the entire series.

 The Palomar Paradox is thought-provoking and deeply informative science fiction that challenges readers to open their minds beyond what they believe to be true about the universe we inhabit and to truly consider the possibility that we are not alone.

Melissa Brown Levine

For Independent Professional Book Reviewers



The Palomar Paradox: A SETI Mystery

Richard Rydon

Lulu Publishing (2011)

ISBN 978-1-4476-3131-6


Following on the heels of “The Oortian Summer” and “The Omega Point,” once again we step back into the life of Luper Beauchamps. The year is now 2028 and thirty-five-year old Luper has become the Assistant Director of the Palomar Observatory. He is currently involved with the SETI project (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). Assisting him with monitoring signals through the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) are Leila Keiler and Linus Shannon. Leila is a nineteen-year-old young lady who is recovering from leukemia. While she was going through her treatments, she acted as a volunteer to monitor signals that might be extra-terrestrial in origin. Her intelligence and enthusiasm earn her the opportunity to go to work for Luper. Linus Shannon is a middle-aged man who is a faculty member in the Information Technology Department at the prestigious UC Berkeley.

When Luper, Linus, and Leila discover an unusual signal that appears to be originating from outer space, they get very excited. They also realize that there are other individuals attempting to discredit this information. This realization dampers their excitement over the potential ramifications of their discovery, however, it also peaks their interest and they become more determined to investigate if the signal is real and they seek to find out why efforts are being made for a cover up.

Once again, Richard Rydon has created a novel that displays his enthusiasm for science and allows him to share a fictional story in which he can both entertain and educate the reader. Interspersed in between his mystery, he also includes scientific information and data that relates to the scientific search for extra-terrestrial life in our universe. For people who really enjoy science, they will find this information a plus. For others who just want a good science fiction type mystery, they can skip this part and just read the story. For myself, I found that my interest was even further stimulated by this additional information. I also really enjoyed the part of the story that took place near that Salton Sea at the Wister Mud Pots. This location is actually near where I live; I having been there and seen this unusual phenomena, and I really enjoyed that Rydon incorporated the area into his story. I found it to be a really good read, and I truly hope that Rydon will share more of Luper’s adventures with us in the future.

Reviewed by Paige Lovitt

For Reader Views



Lulu Publishing (2011)

ISBN 978-1-4475-3194-4

Review by Feathered Quill

"Makes the reader think"

Luper Beauchamps is at it again. After saving the world from a comet that was plunging toward Earth in The Oortian Summer, and again coming to the rescue by stopping the production of intelligent neurospheres that might be used on enemy combatants in The Omega Wave, Luper’s nettle is about to be tested once again. This time his research team, working on finding proof of extraterrestrial life, has picked up unusual radio signals. Could these signals be proof of life “out there”?

The Palomar Paradox is set in the near future, in the year 2028. The “Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence” (SETI) Program is searching for incoming narrow-bandwidth radio signals from space. Because these signals do not occur naturally, if one, or more, are found, it would be proof of extraterrestrial life. SETI has enlisted the aid of scientists and ordinary people the world over by using their internet-connected computers to help analyze the massive amounts of data, (known as the SETI@home program). And then it happens … the Palomar Radio Telescope at the California Institute of Technology in California picks up a few “interesting” signals; signals originating somewhere in the Capella star system. Three people take quick notice; Leila Keiler, a 19-year-old with a passion for astronomy, Linus Shannon, a lecturer at UC Berkeley, and Luper Beauchamps, who is now 35 and working as the Assistant Director at the Palomar Observatory.

Leila sends Luper an email alerting him to the unusual signal she found while analyzing data as a participant of the SETI@home project. Luper decides to pay the young astronomy fan a visit and before long, brings her to the observatory to help advance his research. With the help of Luper’s boss (and girlfriend!), Karina Lowenhaupt, these intrepid scientists hope to find proof of extraterrestrial life. Hampered along the way by Pentagon official Trent Foresyth and his intern Rihanna Sørensen, as well as a White House that is nervous about what such proof might mean for national security, Luper has his work cut out for him.

When additional “abnormal” signals, coming from different stars, are discovered, Luper and his team get quite excited. Something must be happening. Is there an alien entity trying to communicate with them? But when Luper realizes that Trent and Rihanna are snooping around and may try to put a stop to their research, he becomes very cautious. Unfortunately, Leila’s exuberance gets the best of her on more than one occasion and her verbal blunders may profoundly affect the future of their research.

Author Richard Rydon has based all the books in his “Luper Beauchamps” series on real, cutting-edge science. The reader does not have to extend belief too far to see that topics in these books might just be things we will have to deal with in the very near future. Indeed, the SETI program, and SETI@home are real and involve thousands of people interested in finding proof of extraterrestrial life. The author also takes the time to develop his characters, particularly Luper and Leila so that the reader truly cares what happens to them. I especially enjoyed scenes dealing with Dak, a rather unique squatter on the grounds of the observatory.

If you’re looking for a book with high drama, this is not it. Instead, this is a book for the reader seeking a story that asks him/her to think. Think about all the possibilities and “what if’s.” Through various conversations the characters have with each other, the author takes the reader along and asks "What if?" What if there is life on other planets? Where will it be? Will they be friendly? What if all those signals are simply a hoax, created by some extremely clever person to mislead astronomers? Or maybe the signals are coming from NASA, as part of their unrelated research? The possibilities are endless and the author asks the reader to carefully consider them all. What would you do if you were in Luper’s place?

Quill says: A book that makes the reader ask, “what would I do?”