Answer to Frequently Asked Questions

Invisibility – Note by Peter

Various readers have raised the question about the nature of the invisibility capability the hero of the “Protector” Trilogy possesses – specifically if there is a scientific basis for this capability.

In answer to that question, I need to admit that while the three books are set in a science fiction background, they introduce concepts that are not so fictitious as they may seem. One of these is the concept of invisibility. The method by which Sam Stanton, the hero of the three books, can become invisible is by wearing clothing manufactured from metamaterial, by which light is bent around him instead of reflected. I had Sam explain this to Aimee in detail in Chapter 10 of “The Protector: His Loss and Retribution”. I couldn’t explain it in a better way than that.  Serious research into this metamaterial is being carried out in several laboratories, particularly in the USA. Various papers on the subject can be found on the internet, such as: “The Advent of Metamaterials: Hype or Reality and possible Future Applications” by J. Orrick of Stanford University.

Sam Stanton’s aircraft – Note by Peter

I recently received a question about Sam Stanton’s aircraft – specifically, if a concept such as I have adopted in the books can actually fly.

For those not familiar with the books, I need to point out that a detailed description of the aircraft can be found in Chapter 5 of “The Protector: His Origin and Rise”. Sam Stanton’s aircraft does not possess wings. It utilizes four longitudinally rotatable thrust nozzles that allow for any desired distribution of thrust, dependent on the maneuver the aircraft needs to perform. I believe that the reason this concept hasn’t yet been adopted by aircraft manufacturers, apart from design and manufacturing difficulties, is the problem of determining the amount of vectored thrust each of these nozzles need to develop to perform specific maneuvers, while maintaining longitudinal and transverse stability. The Harrier Jump Jet is an example of an existing aircraft that utilizes vertical and horizontal thrust vectoring with just two nozzles (one on port and one on starboard). It’s a matter of time before the algorithms required for four of such units are developed. Once that has been realized, aircraft without wings become a reality. That will require a propulsion system that not only produces thrust in a horizontal direction, such as in the case of conventional aircraft, but also in the vertical direction. This requires a greater use of carbon-based fuel (since the lift produced by wings doesn’t require a power source). The air-breathing magneto-plasma jet propulsion system of Sam Stanton’s aircraft then becomes an interesting option. It is also presently the subject of research by several companies. It utilizes air and electricity only (not carbon-based fuel). Its problem is the significant amount of electric current required to develop the necessary thrust. The first scientific paper on this propulsion system was published in the Journal of Physics in 2017.

The cover photo of the 2nd volume of the “Protector” trilogy – Note by Peter

Several people have asked whether the books are novels set in a religious background. The photo on the cover of the second book apparently led them to this question. The answer is obviously no to anyone who has read one of the books. The photo depicts Sam Stanton, the hero of the three books, standing on a hill looking up at the night sky with his arms outstretched. Chapter 2 of “The Protector: His Loss and Retribution” recounts where that was, and why. I will not here provide another version of this epic moment in Sam’s life, except that it was associated with the pinnacle in his search for forgiveness for having provided insufficient security for the woman and her two children that he loved so dearly. He had terminated the security service that he had hired to protect her and her family on believing that he had eradicated the criminal organization that had threatened her, and Los Angeles in general. A remnant of that organization had remained hidden and their first evil act, after having reorganized themselves, was to murder her and her family, as revenge.

The “Science of Sailing” books – further intentions and plans – Note by Peter

The four available “Science of Sailing” books have received considerable publicity. Naval architects, scientists, students, libraries, and sailors from all over the world have ordered the books. On noting that I spent considerable time in 2020-2021 in writing the novels constituting the “The Protector” Trilogy, described elsewhere on this site, I have received questions from several people about the availability of future parts of the series. I have informed them that I am yet to take a decision in this regard. I firmly believe in finishing something that I started, even if it is something that requires years to do. So, the simple answer to this question is to consider the three novels as an interlude in the writing of the “Science of Sailing” books. I wish life was that simple. The fact of the matter is that I enjoyed writing the novels much more than I enjoyed writing the last of the scientific books. But, as people around me have said, I shouldn’t be writing a fourth novel without the presence of a large reader base. So, I have decided to first see how the “Protector” Trilogy is received by book lovers, before venturing in that direction again. I will therefore recommence the writing of Part 5 of “The Science of Sailing” before doing anything else.

The original plan for the “Science of Sailing” books included the following:

  • Part 5: covering the performance and design of foils and foil sections. A major part thereof is finished.
  • Part 6: overing a compendium of practical information on lift and drag of sails, hulls, and hull appendages.
  • Part 7: covering coordinate systems, translations, rotations, force and moment equilibrium, the nature and significance of free moments, transverse-, longitudinal-and directional stability. Half of this part has also been completed.
  • Pert 8: prediction of sailing performance – covering the use of model testing, CFD and VPP software. A considerable section of this part has been completed.
  • Part 9: covering sail and hull configurations, hull forms with bow and stern overhangs, the “Australia II” project, hull forms for intermediate-Froude speeds, and Dutch leeboard yachts. Half of this part has also been completed.
  • Part 10: a comprehensive chapter on keels and rudders, including a description of the “FAST2000” project.

Considerable work is involved in completing this list. I am considering deleting Part 6, and simplifying Part 7 to some degree to enable these parts to appear in print some time in 2022. That would lead to finishing part 8 in 2023 and Parts 9 and 10 in 2024-2025 if I am given the health to do so – unless my agent were to convince me to write a fourth novel.

The Terminator Curve – Note by Peter

I recently received a question about my reference to the terminator curve in the books of the ‘Protector’ trilogy. I realize that I should have perhaps provided additional information somewhere of what this is. In short, the terminator curve is the moving line across the globe that divides dark from light. Theoretically, it’s a well-defined curve but in practice it’s a somewhat fuzzy demarcation because of what we refer to as the twilight zone in which we, when travelling in an aircraft across it, experience the transition from light to darkness, or vice versa, as a gradual transition. However, when an aircraft is flying at the speed that Sam Stanton’s aircraft is capable of (eleven thousand four hundred miles per hour), this transition is sudden. So, when Sam travels to Reethi Rah in the Maldives, leaving Los Angeles at seven p.m. to arrive an hour later when it’s eight a.m. of the following day in the Maldives, Sam crosses the terminator curve twice – when the sun dipped below the horizon just after departure, and when the sun rose a few minutes before arrival.

A consequence of flying across the globe at high speed during the day is that the sun, on its ecliptic trajectory in the sky, as seen by someone on Sam Stanton’s aircraft, is seen to change its location rapidly. On leaving Los Angeles in the evening at, say, eight p.m., to travel to Reethi Rah flying west across the Pacific Ocean, the sun is initially, within a few minutes after departure, seen to rise above the western horizon in front of the aircraft (not above the eastern horizon as observed by a stationary person), and when it lands, an hour later at nine a.m. local time, the sun has traversed some seventy five percent of its visible trajectory to then be seen above the eastern skyline (behind the aircraft).

Too many tears? – Note by Peter

I received a comment from one of my readers not so long ago that perhaps too many tears are shed in the second book of the ‘Protector’ trilogy, entitled ‘The Protector: His Loss and Retribution’. This comment surprised me. Out of curiosity, I counted the instances when the characters portrayed shed a tear, or tears. There are eight instances in which Sam did. All except two are in connection with the murder of the woman and her children he fell in love with. Odlen, his sister, shed a tear four times. Leona, the woman that Sam found love with again, shed tears seven times. The majority of those instances are associated with her mistake in not calling for backup when Sam had been captured and shot, which led to their burial. I decided that the only passage that could have been written less dramatically was the instance when Sam broke down after he killed the men who had murdered his loved ones.

The first two books of the trilogy, especially, portray Sam Stanton as a compassionate, considerate and an emotionally vulnerable person, possessing an unusual need to care for people who had been ill-treated or were unhappy. I believe that he would have cried when he did, on experiencing the grief caused by the loss of Michelle and her children.

Review of ‘The Science of Sailing Books’ – Note by Peter

I have received questions from various students wanting to become a yacht designer or a naval architect about how the four ‘Science of Sailing’ books need to be viewed in relation to books with a seemingly similar subject matter, such as the books written by Marchaj, Larsson, Fossati, and others. This question was raised when the students involved were trying to determine if they should buy the four books or not. At 50 euro per book the financial outlay is obviously not a minor issue for most.

The question of how these books are related to other books was addressed in a review by Associate Professor Michael G. Morabito of the Unites States Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he is the director of the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering program. The review was published in  ‘Marine Technology’, the magazine issued four times per year by The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. It is included below in its entirety.

In addition to the information about the cost of the books, as can be found on or directly on ‘van oossanen academy publishers’, we will apply a discount of 50% on orders received from students that can provide evidence of their enrolment at a college or university offering a degree in yacht design, naval architecture, marine engineering, or marine science.