Appearing Live at the Final Test is an intense hybrid of contemporary real-world drama and mythic science fiction about four neighbors in a Brooklyn-like neighborhood whose lives together take a cosmic punch from a nuclear bomb threat.
Msongo, a black, middle-aged newsstand operator, and his friends Lyon MacAuliffe, a marine radio specialist living on his converted crab boat, and Nopali Arendal, a beautiful airline attendant and club singer, struggle to ride out the whiplashing, interlocking gyrations of the world and the mind of their young friend Arielle Topaz, a talented but insecure firebrand with a case of near-twenty identity shakes.
The sparks flying between Lyon and Nopali build amidst haunting threats of mass weapon strikes which launch them on an eerie and spellbinding journey to unravel a growing mystery that holds their lives and life itself at stake. The novel is intricately related to the author’s 2006 novel Upsurge.
Appearing Live at the Final Test deals in part with cosmic evolution theory. A primary resource for information on this aspect of cosmology is astrophysicist Eric Chaisson's book Cosmic Evolution.