About Opalescence

Hello. My name is Ron Rayborne. I’ve created this blog to announce my novel, Opalescence, an ecology based, ‘prehistoric fiction’ story that combines elements of many genres, including action-adventure and romance.

o·pal·es·cent /ˌoʊpəˈlɛsənt/
exhibiting a play of colors like that of the opal. – Dictionary.com*

Have you wondered if there was ever a time when the earth was at its peak? I did. I knew that there is a high (and a low) to everything and I wanted to know when that time – the high – was for our planet. That’s what launched me on my quest to find out.

Who am I? What is the book about? I am a long-time hiker of coastal California’s lovely hills and valleys. By chance, I also live in an area that is the type locality for the Luisian Stage, the geologic period of time represented in the story (See britannica.com). Though a non-scientist, my qualifications for writing Opalescence are both empirical and researched based. Lots of both! (Please see update at the end.)

Have you an adventurous spirit? Do you remember when the earth seemed so large, beautiful and mysterious? Now travel back in time to an actual epoch, the Miocene, when the whole world was lush and rife with life. Roaring waterfalls, and bellowing elephants. Clear blue skies and clear, clean water. Rolling hills of green alive with delightful bird song. Take a hike down the magnificent, and sometimes dangerous, coast of prehistoric California with your Aelurodon friend and experience REAL life – the way it was meant to be lived!


Opalescence starts out when total ecological collapse, desperation and regret have become a shocking reality. The world government, a fascist corporatocracy has ruled with an iron fist, but it’s losing its grip. Chaos is spreading, threatening the borders. The time is short. When time travel to a distant, unspoiled prehistoric past is accidentally discovered by scientists, the regime is immediately interested. Maybe this will be their way out. First, though, they decide to send scouts back to investigate.

Two people are chosen: Julie Pine, Paleontologist and Under-Curator at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, and Dietrich Jaqzen, professional survivalist, government hit-man and big game hunter. While Julie gathers information, Jaqzen’s job is to keep her safe for the 30 days the mission is to last. There is a problem though – Jaqzen is an unscrupulous rogue who has designs on Julie and secretly plans to live a Tarzan and Jane life with her in an earth all his own, raping and pillaging both Julie and the beautiful Miocene world. His personal hunting orgy.

When 30 days come and go and the two fail to return, the men at the Institute learn of Jaqzen’s treachery. Now, through a fast-paced (and subversive) chain of events, Tom Pine, Julie’s husband, is sent back to rescue her. But at the last minute, while launching, government men break in to stop it, shooting up the place. A man falls over the controls, changing them, and Tom is still sent, but now to a locality many hundreds of miles off target.

Thus begins Tom’s long journey down the prehistoric California coast. Along the way he befriends an Aelurodon, a Barstovian wild dog, who becomes his hiking partner, and together they face experiences both harrowing and enrapturing. Along the way, Tom learns about an edenic world and its unfamiliar species, beasts he never knew existed, while simultaneously growing in the process. At the end of the trek, though, Tom knows he will have to confront Jaqzen.

Opalescence is a fantastic tale of a real world, the middle Miocene, circa 15,000,000 years ago. A time that science tells us was a real paradise, in terms of biodiversity. It was a world that very few know anything about.

Come now, come visit the middle Miocene.


* “Some stones, such as the opal, split up the light-beams as does a prism, and show a wonderful exhibition of prismatic colour, which is technically known as a ‘play of colour.’ The descriptive term ‘opalescence’ is self-suggesting as to its origin, which is the ‘noble’ or ‘precious’ opal; this radiates brilliant and rapidly changing iridescent reflections of blue, green, yellow and red, all blending with, and coming out of, a curious silky and milky [pearly] whiteness, which is altogether characteristic…. no stone or gem can in any way even rival the curious mixture of opaqueness, translucency, silkiness, milkiness, fire, and the steadfast changeable and prismatic brilliance of colour of the precious opal.”
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Chemistry, Properties and Tests of Precious Stones, by John Mastin


“The overall feeling and essence that is produced by Opal, or an opal. Can often be a feeling of beauty as the stone is a beautiful object.” – Urban Dictionary


Note: While I have endeavored to be as accurate as possible, Opalescence is not a work of scientific non-fiction. It is a science fiction novel meant to stimulate thought, and hopefully, action.

I hope you enjoy it!


Update: Ultimately, Opalescence is an environmental novel. A call to take seriously the protection of our only home, the earth.

Just think, in all of our searching (and with the best in technology) still, only this world harbors any life that we know of (and what life!). Though, statistically speaking, other life is likely in this big universe, and we may dream of someday traveling to and terraforming other planets, currently we are not even remotely close to finding, or getting to if we did find, anything else that’s habitable, let alone comfortably amenable, to our existence. There is simply nothing else like earth on the horizon. And yet we plunder and pillage as if this jewel of life were the most common thing in the universe.

There is a growing, and troubling, disconnect between people and the rest of the biosphere. Though our ability to exist is intimately tied to it, we tend take for granted the amazing, diverse and beautiful world around us.

It’s time to rethink our actions. As Carl Sagan said, “the earth is where we make our stand”.

Opalescence is a study in contrasts: the past and the future. Of what once was, what our world is capable of when left alone, with what is coming to be. It’s my attempt to help people remember, and with that memory perhaps change will come.


My environmental interests are not limited to writing. Check out this solar water heater (and the updated version).

I also once carried out an email debate with the notorious young earth creationist, “Dr.” Kent Hovind (2001). The supposed prize was $250,000. Guess I needed the money (still do ;). Anyway, it’s only archived now. It was my request many years later to remove it from the net because I just didn’t want to be known and remembered for that. If people want to believe in Creationism I actually don’t care. Belief in evolution doesn’t preclude a belief in God. And, anyway, I’m agnostic – never been atheist. Yet I also accept the science of an old earth and that on it evolution has occurred, and don’t believe it’s honest to have Creationism taught in public schools – under any disguise.

On the facts of our discussion, though, you can be the judge. Creationists tortured “answer”, btw, to the polar bear is to claim that all of it’s adaptive changes were “negative modifications”, like the genetic “loss” of color that just coincidentally happened to help it blend into it’s environment. Okay, if they say so. However there were also a lot of other evolutionarily adaptive changes as well that weren’t there before, and they include gains.

They also claim that evolution didn’t happen because the polar bear is, after all, still a bear. Well yes. If it were much more changed it would no longer look as similar to the brown bear (and probably no longer able to breed with it) and they would flatly reject it as laughable and ridiculous (as I pointed out to Mr. Hovind). Thus the polar bear really constitutes the only kinds of changes they will (or should at least) allow. It’s rejection as evidence, however, means that nothing will qualify for them!

Oh well …


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