Learn more about the first book
in the trilogy
The Perennial Project

Book 1: Perennial Project

Identical twins usually have an extraordinary bond,
which scientists have been unable to explain. -- Franco Lisi

Timeline of Matt Browne's first book The Perennial Project

Year Events Locations
February 1995 Illegal splitting of human embryos by Dr. Noralski Various clinics in the
United States
November 1995 Birth of first-generation twins Milwaukee, WI & Rockford, IL & two other fertility clinics
1996 - 1999 Dr. Noralski sells some of the split embryos to other clinics and research facilities (in a cryopreserved state) Various locations in the US
March 2029 Kick-off of Project Survival, later renamed to Perennial Project Washington, DC
April 2029 Initial project members appointed: Rick Kanchana, Marsha, Erdstein, Theodore Lusalle, Dr. Sailert Underground Facility, Nevada
September 2029 Dr. Sailert acquires several dozen frozen embryos; beginning of Phase I Reno, NV
October 2029 Selection of twenty candidate embryos for the experiment and renewed splitting; division into five groups of four embryos; selection of surrogate mothers Reno, NV & various fertility clinics
June - Juli 2030 Birth of the second-generation twins Reno, NV, Medford, OR & several other fertility clinics
October 3031 Chief Engineer Bruce Mulcohen joins the Perennial Project Underground Facility, Nevada
February 2037 Project hires Alexander Johrd as new Head of Computer Science and Professor Wittman as Chief Linguist Underground Facility, Nevada
September 2040 Completion of first version of the androids and the Artificial Womb Device (AWOD) Underground Facility, Nevada
November 2040 Start of artificial pregnancy Underground Facility, Nevada
December 2043 Abortion of first experiment due to heart condition of three-year-old boy Underground Facility, Nevada
November 2044 Start of second experiment with four embryos of the second group Underground Facility, Nevada
August 2045 Birth of third-generation twins; beginning of Phase II Underground Facility, Nevada
October 2051 Lee Chen and Carlene Reitman join the project Underground Facility, Nevada
May 2054 Second-generation twins meet and get married Hayward, CA
December 2068 Perennial Project hires Kriss Laarson Underground Facility, Nevada
August 2061 Crew of third-generation twins celebrate their sixteenth birthday Underground Facility, Nevada
September 2061 Debrya Handsen joins the project and becomes new Chief Linguist Underground Facility, Nevada
October 2061 Ronyo Greffin and George Stanberg find out that they are identical Hayward, CA
April 2062 Debrya Handsen and Kriss Laarson become parners Underground Facility, Nevada
May 2062 Installation of a more stable linguistic kernel Underground Facility, Nevada
June 2062 Antonyo Mendini gets bribed to deliver a false analysis of Berkely, CA
July 2062 Starship crew is in its final stages of their intense training Underground Facility, Nevada
September 2063 Beginning of Phase IV: Simulated landing of the starship followed by exploration of the area around the landing site Nevada desert
September 2063 Helen Flodz contacts Sabelle Greffin; Ronyo Greffin hires Altanta, GA and Hayward, CA
December 2063 Experiment of third-generation twins ends; they wake up in a hospital Reno, NV
February 2064 Gulit Vandeik uncovers the secret experiment San Francisco, CA and Reno, NV
April 2064 Launch of starship Perennial One; beginning of Phase V Carter Space Port, Florida
September 2065 No further transmissions from Perennial One to Earth Solar System
February 2066 No further transmissions from Earth to Perennial One Solar System
November 2089 Launch of starship Perennial Two Carter Space Port, Florida
December 2089 Eruption of the supervolcano Alaska
April 2103 No further transmissions from Earth to Perennial Two Solar System
November 44094 Phase VI: Reboot of the two androids; beginning of artificial pregnany Omega Altaris System
July 44095 Phase VII: Birth of the fourth-generation twins Omega Altaris System
July 44111 Encounter with the brown dwarf and breakdown of the androids; sixteenths birth with beginning of Phase VIII does not go according to plan Omega Altaris System
August 44111 Human crew on board the starship spend weeks to analyze all reconds from the distant past Omega Altaris System
August 44111 Crew receives radio signal of unknown origin Omega Altaris System
July 44113 Phase IX: Perennial lands on exoplanet Acantarius Alpha Continent
July 44113 Shuttle from Beta Continent (Cardia) arrives at Perennial One's landing site Alpha Continent
December 44134 Debrya Handsen celebrates her eightieth birthday Community Hall, Colony Settlement

Characters of first book The Perennial Project

Name Role
Project Team
Debrya Handsen Chief Linguist
Rick Kanchana Project Manager
Marsha Erdstein Chief Psychologist
Alexander Johrd Chief Computer Scientist
Bruce Mulcohen Chief Engineer
Carlene Reitman Chief Bioengineer
Theordore Lusalle Chief Medical Advisor
Lee Chen Chief Astronomer
Kriss Laarsen Astronomer, Senior Advisor
Dr. Gonsolez Fertiliy Specialist
Zora Valdez Computer Scientist
Starship Crew
Julara Medical Student
Gilvan Junior Pilot
Sabelle Student of Teaching
Ronyo Engineering Student
Andrew/Andy Male android, foster parent
Ellora, Ellyra Female android, foster parent
Outside World
Ronyo Greffin Electrical Engineer
Sabelle Greffin History Professor
Julara Breene Doctor of Pediatrics
Gilvan Breene Air Force Captain
George Stanberg Ronyo's older twin brother
Helen Flodz Sabelle's older twin sister
Gulit Vandeik Private Detective
Lauretta Pereira Psychological Counselor

Short synopsis of the book
The Future Happens Twice
The Perennial Project

Twin embryos

For decades scientists have dreamed of sending deep-frozen humans on interstellar missions. But until this dream comes true, they must settle for a much simpler technique available: the freezing of human embryos. However, long distance space travel of this nature poses other challenges, none more so than the management of artificial pregnancies and how to raise the children produced.

One viable solution comes in the form of advanced biotechnology and highly sophisticated androids, and a large scale project has been implemented to explore these options. To prove that it can really work, the project's scientists go a step further. Somewhere in the Nevada desert and well hidden underground, they conduct an eighteen-year-long experiment using a young starship crew unaware of their true environment. Surrounded by complex simulations, the crew believes they are approaching a distant star system, one that appears to host a planet suitable for human colonization. What they also don't know is the fact that their embryos had been split prior to the implantation in the womb devices.

The scientists' bold plan is to send the twin embryos on the real mission, pioneering the frontier of space. From both identical genes and an identical environment inside the starship, they arrive at the assumption that the future is a mere repetition of the present events. And indeed, about 42,000 years later the twins grow up with the very same android parents.

But then things start to drift away from the original plan. The real starship crew now faces a constant battle for survival. Only their fortitude and strong determination to land on the extrasolar planet averts a disaster. The reward is the new exotic world that awaits them, full of overwhelming potential.

Detailed synopsis of the book
The Future Happens Twice
The Perennial Project

Four embryos

Julara must travel more than 42,000 years to reach the habitable exoplanet. Normally an impossible journey! Therefore she begins her voyage as a frozen embryo together with 5000 other human embryos which are also preserved in cryo-cooling units aboard the spaceship. Their task is to found a new colony on Acantarius. Once starship Perennial is close to its destination planet, Julara is unfrozen and her fetus is developed inside a complex machine called an Artificial Womb Device. Together with Sabelle, Ronyo, and Gilvan, she is the first human born on the spaceship.

The four children are nurtured and raised by two androids who teach them everything necessary to land the ship on the exoplanet and start their colony. The two human-like robots are the most sophisticated natural language processing systems ever built.

Debrya has the task to ensure the androids' programs are capable of handling the challenging mission. Not only do the lives of the four children depend on it; the survival of the entire human civilization is at stake as a gigantic supervolcano threatens to end life on Earth.

Before the starship is actually launched in the Year 2064, a secret experiment takes place in an underground facility, hidden somewhere in the Nevada desert. The experiment is to test the entire travel scenario. The first crew of the ship is unaware that their entire flight is a sophisticated simulation; they believe they are approaching and landing on planet Acantarius. Julara is part of that first crew. What she doesn't know is that her embryo was split before the artificial pregnancy, and only her twin sister will eventually make the real journey.

Debrya who has joined the project only recently is torn between guilt and the excitement of building the most perfect artificial life-forms ever. To her experimenting with the four children on the stationary ship seems highly unethical. But her fellow scientists convince her to stay on the project. Debrya's work is considered crucial. Repeated system failures of the androids in the experiment make it very clear the linguistic programs haven't reached maturity yet. As the apocalypse on Earth becomes imminent, the scientists are running out of time.

Twice in her life Julara is confronted with cruel deceit. On her sixteenth birthday she learns that her supposed parents are androids. Julara is shocked and distraught. The close friendship with Gilvan helps her cope. But after the landing, she is confronted with another appalling truth: she and her fellow crew are not on planet Acantarius at all. Instead they are on Earth amidst billions of other humans. After living their entire solitary youth inside a ship adjusting to the new environment is difficult.

The project team inside the facility desperately protect their secret. Therefore Julara and the others are not told what happened to them. At the same time, there are two more groups of identical twins alive in the United States and all are of different age. They are observed by the scientists to predict the medical and social conditions of the real starship crew when they grow older. Ronyo Greffin, an electrical engineer, is one of them. Everything changes when he learns he has an older twin brother. Eager to find out more, he hires a private investigator. With his help they uncover the secret project at last. Ronyo is overwhelmed to learn that he also has a younger twin who claims to have lived on a starship 42,000 years in the future and his starship is missing.

To keep the secret safe until after the launch of the ship in April 2064, the President of the United States reveals more details about the giant supervolcano with its potential to end life on Earth. He admits that there is no defense against it. Human civilization has to start over again on Acantarius, the nearest habitable planet with Earth-like conditions. As starship technology can't reach light-speeds, the embryonic cryotravel method is their best chance.

42,000 years later and 82 light-years away from Earth four babies are born on Perennial traveling in real space: Julara, Sabelle, Ronyo, and Gilvan. As predicted they are successfully raised by Debrya's improved androids for the first sixteen years. The future repeats itself as both genetic and environmental conditions are the same. But then the story takes a dramatic turn: while flying by a brown dwarf the androids malfunction and the four teenagers are on their own. They have to fight for survival on the starship. Nonetheless they reach Acantarius two years later as planned. The landing is difficult and a strange new world awaits them. But are they alone? They keep receiving an artificial radio signal from an unknown source. The puzzle is eventually solved when a second ship arrives at their landing site.