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The suspenseful sci-fi thriller Machine Sickness is now available in multiple formats, not just Kindle. To get it in your favorite, B&N, Apple e-books, Kobo, and more formats, click here:
There’s a reason the first chapter of Machine Sickness starts in the South. There’s a reason Deirdre Davis is a southerner. That wasn’t by chance, and it wasn’t solely because I chose to follow the classic writer’s advice to “write what you know.” I have lived in the southern USA for more of my life than anywhere else, but I was born in the West, grew up in New York City, went to undergrad school in Chicago, got my Doctor of Chiropractic degree in Atlanta, and now I live in Mexico.
The shame and rage that Americans feel about the hypocrisy of a nation supposedly based on freedom that compromised that principle for political unity, is othered and alienated and transferred to the South. To read mainstream media, you would think that slavery, legally-mandated segregation, racial massacres, and lynching were isolated only in the South and performed only by Southerners, whereas the truth is that these abhorrent practices were common in the North even after slave importation was banned and even after the passage of the 13th Amendment. Reading mainstream media, you’d imagine that the people whom it is still okay to refer to by ethnic pejoratives like “redneck” and “hillbilly” (usually preceded by the word “ignorant”), were the ones responsible for slavery, when the “poor white trash” of the South were overwhelmingly not slave owners and some suffered from a job market depressed by slave labor. While the elite generals of the Union were wined and dined by plantation owners, the 1-percenters of their day, they were not. The plagues of domestic violence, alcoholism, and learned economic helplessness descended through generations.
The historical awareness among Scots-Irish descendants of being on the losing side of the Civil War is exacerbated by the tradition of military honor and clan loyalty passed down from their gaelic-language-speaking ancestors of the British Isles. The sense of unfair play of small holders, sharecroppers, and agricultural workers, whose red necks came from exposing white skin to the Southern sun while growing the raw materials for Northern factories, yielded a coarse and sometimes grim sense of humor, so that DD remembers her mother saying she was “always one to call a spade a goddam shovel.”
In DD, you have a character somewhat like Detective Clarice Starling in the Hannibal Lecter stories. In one prison interview scene, Hannibal gets under Clarice’s skin by pointing out that she is only a couple of generations removed “from poor white trash.” DD is a brilliant scientist, a highly educated woman, but she will never completely shake the hypervigilance and pragmatism of her background; her family relationships reflect a modern alienation as well as epigenetic dysfunction; she doesn’t design or engineer, she tinkers. She’s acutely aware of physical threats to her safety in ways that people who’ve always felt safe are not, but what goes unstated is that she’s also aware of those who are superlatively safe and don’t feel like it.
Yet, the Eupocalypse is an opportunity to start over in a world where notions of class and wealth, risk and safety, are recalibrated. It’s a world where the materials of modern life are lost, but the ideas are not.
According to The Hill, The United States has issued a formal warning to China after personnel at the Chinese military base in Djibouti used lasers to interfere with U.S. military aircraft, giving two pilots minor injuries, according to the Pentagon.
Top Defense Department spokeswoman Dana White told reporters Thursday that the U.S. is confident the Chinese are behind the “very serious incidents,” which have increased in the past few weeks.
What exactly happened: White said there have been “more than two [and] less than 10” such instances where the Chinese used a high-power laser to disrupt pilots. The incidents have happened in the past but they have picked up in the past few weeks.
How the U.S. has responded: White said that the U.S. has “formally demarched the Chinese government,” meaning Washington has given Beijing a strong warning. The US has also “requested that the Chinese investigate these incidents.”
The U.S. government has also warned airmen to be cautious when flying in certain areas in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa.
The Pentagon has about 4,000 personnel based at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa.
Excerpt from Watch It Burn, Chapter 40:
When it’s mid-January in the Midwest, you’ve packed away the ornaments and burned the brown dry tree on the Epiphany bonfire. You wake up and realize it’s staying dark a little later this morning than yesterday, and it will be another week until the days start to get longer again. You cringe and pull the covers up over your head, but then you take a deep breath and throw them off, putting your sock-clad feet reluctantly on the cold floor. You stagger out to start the fire in the woodstove before you even go to pee.
But, when it’s May in the Midwest and the dawn comes brightly in the window, but the birds are silent and the snow is above the bottom of the windowsill, and dammit, it’s snowing again, you might want to get up. You might want to find something to do. But the hollow in your stomach is a gaping, burning chasm and the shakes start as soon as you move your hands to throw back the covers. Your hands are like icicles and your feet are cold inside two pairs of socks. You haven’t felt your toes in weeks. It’s May, you’re on a farm. You should have plenty to do: animals to tend, fences and stalls to mend, vegetables to transplant, mulch to lay, rows to hoe. But there is the snow. The bud tips of the trees are thick but brown; they tried to leaf out when it thawed for a few days in April, but no.
The second book in the Eupocalypse series, Watch It Burn, is available now for pre-order on Amazon, with a release date of April 2nd. If you thought Machine Sickness was exciting and mentally stimulating, wait until you read Watch It Burn! The Eupocalypse continues to unfold in the USA as D.D., Jeremy, Jessica, and the rest struggle to survive and thrive in the new world, but now you’ll zoom out to see people in China and the Horn of Africa grappling with old religions and new realities…
This could be it! The Eupocalypse could be underway right now! The Sanchi oil tanker was breached and created one of the most massive oil-transport spills in history! Lurking within the chemical and biological agents being sprayed to contain that spill are genetically-modified hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria.
This is so much like what happens in Machine Sickness and the soon-to-be-released sequel, Watch It Burn, that it’s positively eerie.
Not sure if you’ll like the Eupocalypse books? For a low-risk intro to the series, the first book will be available at Amazon for 99 cents until the release of Watch It Burn in April, 2018.
Can’t get enough of the Eupocalypse world? Download the free short story Nefertiri’s Warriors, a dreamlike fantasy that takes place thirty years in the future. and also receive e-mail author updates.
Things are getting really weird here in indie author land. Checked the news today and a complete shutdown of the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport was all over the media. Apparently, somebody read this chapter of Machine Sickness and decided put it to the test:
At the Atlanta airport, tempers were frayed.
Long lines of people waited to receive scrawled paper vouchers for meals from harried ticket clerks who were helpless without their computers. Tim, hung over from his prior night’s partying with Sam’s old school friends in “Hot-lanta,” stopped next to one such line and listened to an expensively-coiffed and bejeweled woman in her 30s raise her voice. “What do you mean you can’t accommodate me? Do you know who I am?”
Tim murmured, “She doesn’t know who she is? Why is she wasting everybody’s time?” A geeky blue-haired teenage girl standing in the line heard him. She turned around giggling, and he cut her dead with his trademark disdainful eye-roll.
The monitors showing arrivals and departures had been exhibiting multicolored confetti for quite some time. Suddenly, the power to the displays was abruptly cut; they all went black. The overhead lights went out, but the big windows of the concourse admitted daylight. A flight attendant zipping down the corridor, pulling her rolling travel case, staggered as the plastic handle on the case broke cleanly in half. The case rolled towards Tim, who pretended not to see it and lifted his foot as though pulling up his sock, kicking it and sending it somersaulting. The flight attendant limped after it awkwardly on a broken heel, holding the broken handle. It made Tim feel better for a moment.
Tim spun and glided towards the exit, glad now he’d been checking luggage and so he hadn’t returned his rental car before checking in at the kiosk. If he’d done things in the usual order, he’d be stuck here with all these idiots. He could still retrieve the car from short-term parking and drive to Miami. He’d picked up some Adderal from one of Sam’s buddies last night, so he should have no problem at all making the drive straight through.
Seriously, first the Texas Gulf Coast is hit by disaster (just like in the book), and now this…it makes a girl who writes books about the End of the World as We Know It, a little reluctant to finish book 2, Watch It Burn!
Nefertiri’s Warriors is a short fantasy story which occurs in the future of the second book in the Eupocalypse series, Watch it Burn, to be published in early 2018. Fill out the form below to receive notifications of free books and stories, and to be among the first to know when the next book in the series is published!
As a special promotion to celebrate its redesigned cover, Machine Sickness will be free on Amazon for two days only: Sunday, November 5, and Monday, November 6. This is your opportunity to read Book 1 of the Eupocalypse series for free.