Author Spotlight

Marc Corwin

A glimpse of where the unique strands of The Optical Lasso originated:

The story depicts a creature lying dormant beneath the Earth’s crust for over 35,000 years, waiting patiently to transform a dying young boy into a world leader at a time of great need. In a similar fashion, it required a freak accident to release the tale of The Optical Lasso from the deep recesses of Marc Corwin’s mind, whose imagination has silently run amok since childhood, inside the Golden Age of comic books.

Carl Sagan, the great astronomer/philosopher stated, “One glance at (a book) and you hear the voice of another person – perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you.”

In 2015, such a voice spoke to a wide-eyed Marc Corwin, as he awoke uninsured, after his car hydroplaned off a rain-soaked highway, plummeting 25 feet straight into the desert floor outside Las Vegas, Nevada… compelling him to write this narrative of science fiction fantasy.

A story aided in part by the renowned Hollywood producers, the Mirisch brothers, close friends of Marc’s father, whose careers crossed paths in the theater business in Chicago. Classic hits such as the Pink Panther, West Side Story, In The Heat Of The Night, and Some Like It Hot, were introduced to the author at an early age, helping to broaden his midwestern outlook on life.

The unrestricted boundaries of rhythm and sound also were impactful. For Marc worked within his family’s chain of music stores as a teenager, which allowed the grand story telling of The Moody Blues, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, and The Temptations, amongst many others, play an influential role in his creative development which continues to this day.

Half the royalties earned from the sale of The Optical Lasso will be donated to the Grace Science Foundation to aid in the development of cost-effective cures for the over 7000 known rare diseases currently afflicting an estimated 350 million people worldwide.

Marc wishes to thank all who have provided support for this cause.


The Optical Lasso: Beware of Neptune's Dark Side

2nd Edition

In the year 2140 CE, Planet 9, more commonly known as Vixus, has resurfaced on the edge of the Milky Way… the only known planet that periodically reverses its rotation. Last seen in the middle of the Kuiper Belt in 2066 CE, it mysteriously disappeared after being discovered by a Galactic Corps scout ship. The unknown energy source enabling Vixus to spin in opposite directions represented great power which could help turn the tide in a war Earth was losing.

The Fighting Fury, the Corps’ finest platoon, has been called in to conduct a search and rescue operation for several missing landing parties. Following a fierce battle on the planet surface, Lieutenant Janet “Cat” Miles, leader of this elite group of combat women, was captured. She soon found herself imprisoned with the Corps’ most fabled leader, Commander Jason Cody. His name would forever be linked to the infamous wormhole hidden on Neptune’s dark side; an area of space now cautiously avoided by all due to the menace which lurks within.

Paranoia raced through both leaders’ minds. Could he trust a woman who seemingly had no imperfections? Could she trust a man who had vanished from sight years ago? Earth’s future laid in the balance as they struggled to overcome their mutual distrust and acknowledge what those before them understood: “If you live long enough, the wisdom will come.”

“With The Optical Lasso: Beware of Neptune’s Dark Side, readers will find themselves engrossed in the quest to uncover the secrets of Vixus, pondering the vastness of the Milky Way and contemplating the limits of human knowledge. Corwin’s work is recommended for those who seek an exploration of the cosmos and those who relish a quirky impression of storylines not often found in novels of this genre.”

– The Moving Words Review

The Optical Lasso: Beware of Neptune’s Dark Side gives space opera readers a run for their money in a galaxy-wide sprint set in 2140 CE that combines the hard science of a planet that regularly reverses its rotation and vanishes, with a military battle that involves Earth and spacers in a riveting clash of people and ideals.

To define Marc Corwin’s story as that of a traditional space opera alone would do it a disservice. Subtle nuances of challenge and change run deeper than a surface-level action piece. Nuances range from a female leader who defies her own perfection as she faces off with a male counterpart who has proven himself unreliable and unpredictable, to a planet which holds the same properties—the promise of immense, untapped, yet unreliable power.

Space opera usually is questionable in its science and often overly melodramatic in its action, but Corwin’s story resides in the outer limits of new possibilities, whether he’s presenting a woman whose quandary is whether or not to trust and throw her cards in with a male counterpart, or an evolving relationship that mirrors the same questions about Earth’s alliances and survival.

Action-packed descriptions embracing science and military strategy alike will delight readers seeking a fast pace in their sci-fi reading:

“Okay, people. Stay sharp. On my command, kill all backup systems except for life support. The ship will throw off an electronic signature of being mortally wounded. With the Indiana ’s power shut down, we’ll piggyback off their high intensity tractor beam, which will sling us back toward the beam’s source. It should be quite the ride.”

It is quite the ride, as Corwin leads readers into realms of possibility that include psychological entanglements, attacks, murderous actions, and danger that comes not just from the elusive, mysterious planet Vixus, but from within ranks and individuals.

The result is a compelling saga that romps through universes and psyches with equal force, leading a host of characters through nefarious intentions and puzzling physical realms of possibility. These are inhabited by spies, devil’s disciples, and the secret of an optical lasso which “must stay hidden, or all will be lost.”

Libraries strong in action-packed sci-fi favored with a high-octane dose of engrossing scientific possibilities will find The Optical Lasso a winner that ends with an unexpected rise from the ashes of possibility and a “to be continued” conclusion that leaves the door wide open for the next book.

– Midwest Book Review

In Corwin’s SF novel, Earth is under attack—and our heroes aren’t sure they’re the good guys.

In the year 2140, far out in space, Lieutenant Janet “Cat” Miles and her crewmates check the room where they had placed the body of their dead commander, Jason Cody, only to find it missing. As they investigate the now-empty room, a star map appears, showing the Laniakea cluster of galaxies (including the Milky Way) and the words “Time is running out.” The map disappears, leaving the crew even more confused than before, with no body, no map, and no clue as to what it all means. Soon after, a religious leader from Earth named Frane Paxton manages to contact the ship, informing the crew about a blockade around Earth set by unknown assailants and requesting their aid. Paxton asks them to send one of the crewmembers to Earth, alone and cloaked, to assess the situation and find a way to save the planet. Cat is assigned to the mission, but the lonely journey to Earth leaves her questioning her humanity. Back on the ship, Cat’s crewmates discover that records of Cat’s medical examinations have gone missing and that she interrogated prisoners without any backup or security in sessions that ended in bloodshed. How is the crew supposed to save Earth from an unknown enemy when they can’t even trust each other?

This expansive SF novel is a direct sequel to the author’s The Optical Lasso (2019), and readers are advised to read the books in order, since much of this novel’s story will be confusing without the necessary background knowledge. Corwin weaves an intricate web of human, alien, and robotic constructs, and it’s not always clear who the good and bad guys really are. While some aspects of the complex narrative may be confusing or tough to follow, the author excels at banter between friendly characters (“‘Don’t you find all this very interesting, Miss Miles.’ Cat countered with a long cold stare, ‘Are you attempting to channel your inner Sergeant Schultz, doctor?’”), and dialogue in general.

A futuristic space opera with an overwhelming plot but engaging talk.

Kirkus Review

The Lasso Unravels: When All Hell Breaks Loose

The Lasso Unravels continues the saga in the second installment of this gripping space opera, picking up where the first book, the award winning The Optical Lasso, left off. Enter a universe where the boundaries of time and space are blurred, and the world finds itself under attack by an unknown adversary. The planet’s future is anything, but certain.

Simultaneously, out on the far edge of the Milky Way, an inexplicable event has taken place on one of Earth’s few surviving warships, the Galactic Corps destroyer, Indiana. The body of their deceased Supreme Commander, Jason Cody, suddenly vanished from sickbay only to be replaced by a mesmerizing holographic star map forewarning of an impending cosmic crisis… Time is running out. The intrigue deepens as the commander awakens to find himself off in another part of the universe, drawn toward a mysterious light, before abruptly being pulled away. Is Earth under siege and Cody’s miraculous renaissance somehow tied to this cryptic warning that time is running out? Buckle up for The Lasso Unravels will leave you breathless with anticipation as you engage in this thrilling odyssey through time and space.

Marc Corwin’s “The Lasso Unravels: When All Hell Breaks Loose” takes readers on a gripping cosmic journey through science fiction, mystery, and emotion. The way he combines futuristic technology, time travel, and interstellar battles with the raw emotions and struggles of the characters is effortless. But he makes complex scientific concepts comprehensible—striking a delicate balance between technical detail and readability, ensuring that the story remains engaging without overwhelming the audience with jargon.

Corwin’s characters are richly developed. Readers will find themselves empathizing with their fears, hopes, and dreams, making it easy to connect with the story on a personal level. “My faith in God helped me overcome this terrible illness and live an incredibly fulfilling life.” The relationship dynamics between the characters are meticulously portrayed with emotional depth, flaws, virtues, and internal conflicts.

The book’s title, The Lasso Unravels, can also be a metaphor for unraveling mysteries, unveiling hidden truths, and exploring the unknown. Corwin’s ability to deliver on this promise is praiseworthy, as he keeps readers on the edge of their seats, eager to uncover the next twist in the plot. This book is a work of science fiction that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally resonant. A skillful fusion of science and humanity makes this a truly remarkable read.

– The Moving Words Review

The Lasso Unravels: When All Hell Breaks Loose is best enjoyed by prior readers of The Optical Lasso. This audience will find the ongoing action, fantasy science, and trademark fast pace of the space opera genre is both engrossing and easy to absorb in this follow-up story, which continues where the prior book left off.

Here, humanity has barely survived the attack by unknown forces, and has largely fled underground in a last-ditch effort to survive. Corps fighter Lieutenant Janet “Cat” Miles is sent to Earth to assess the situation; but when she discovers that she inadvertently carries with her inner demons, her ability to act and to return home are both compromised. If only she had her male counterpart, Supreme Commander Jason Cody, by her side to support her!

As if the situation weren’t already dire, the universe itself is unraveling, with galaxies falling silent against an unknown threat that is on target for reaching Earth.

How can Cat locate her missing commander and his optical lasso, which is the only thing that stands between total destruction and survival?

Marc Corwin creates another thoroughly engrossing story marked by a satisfying blend of fantasy science and high-octane action. The story brings to life the quandaries and strengths of a female commander forced to operate outside her comfort zone to achieve different goals.

Embedded with demons, devils, and mercurial alliances, The Lasso Unravels is replete with the kind of unpredictability and original plot progression that keeps readers immersed in worlds that are extraordinary and powerfully contrasted with the objectives and perceptions of humans:

“…to keep matters interesting, Satan redirected the cosmic wake of the Royale’s demise right at the wary Phoenix . Reflexively looking skyward, Cat’s empowered vision allowed her to see the black plume of smoke from the old warhorse’s final moments. Sensing her presence, a slew of dancing devils formed a message of warning in the hexagon’s protective cloud cover: “We are coming for your soul.”

From different leaders, sexual conquests, and combatants that push the boundaries of science to achieve their goals to threads of humor which wind through the story to temper action with wry, ironic insights, Corwin has created another story that excels in a satisfying blend of action, science, and changing scenarios.

Libraries strong in space opera that seek original, action-packed writing flavored with the twists and turns of survival attempts that operate on Earthly and universe-changing realms will welcome The Lasso Unravels as a spirited, unique collection addition that nicely compliments The Optical Lasso and, once again, leaves the outcome wide open for more books.

– Midwest Book Review