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“Howard Pines’s debut novel is sci-fi at its best. A voyage of discovery into a new frontier. The excitement of first contact. The recognition of the intelligence, dignity, and wisdom of another species. Built on fascinating, believable science, The Whale Song Translation provides thought-provoking breakthroughs and expands our understanding of language and communication. A great read!!” ―Molly Dwyer―author of the award-winning Requiem for the Author of Frankenstein
The Whale Song Translation is a story about sound―sounds of language, sounds of songs, and the sounds that kill . . .
When the Navy’s controversial sonar experiments begin to destroy Maui’s whales, an unlikely hero emerges. Inspired by his mentor’s paradigm-busting challenge to open a communications channel with other big-brained species, acoustics professor David Dmitri begins analyzing the songs of humpback whales. The quest to decode their mysterious language leads him to an astonishing revelation. With more proof, Dmitri realizes he could rally public opinion and stanch the bloodshed. But as his team prepares to launch a voyage of discovery in the Straits of Lahaina, others are determined to stop him—whatever the consequences.
In the spirit of Carl Sagan’s Contact and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters, The Whale Song Translation, Part I of The Torch of Prometheus trilogy, delivers thought-provoking “breakthroughs” about language and intelligence in earth’s other big-brained beings, and explores the intertwined existential crises of humans and whales.
This site will eventually evolve to provide technical background material that augments the topics discussed in the book, i.e., the linguistic and information theory foundations of the speech communication process. Background material that describes the physiology and acoustics of speech production will also be provided.
Much of the marine biological material relevant to humpback whales was culled from the excellent publication, Humpbacks of Hawaii, The Long Journey Back, written by the co-founders of Maui’s Pacific Whale Foundation. Visit www.PacificWhale.org
In addition to the interspecies communication plot theme, The Whale Song Translation also highlights the adverse impact of underwater noise pollution on the health and safety of whales. In particular, the novel graphically describes the documented threat posed by Low Frequency Active Sonar(LFAS) experiments conducted by the Navy. For an overview of this controversial subject, I highly recommend that you visit the NRDC website www.nrdc.org/wildlife/marine/sonar.asp and click on the short video narrated by Pierce Brosnan.
Music Credit: The main song playing on this site is called “The Songs of Distant Earth” by Michael Duran, used by permission. You can find it and other whale-relate music at The Whalesong Project.