Behind a concealing boulder, he knotted a strip of woven material around his midsection as a loincloth, then waded out chest-deep into the water.
The sea was pretty turbid, but in the foot or so of visibility, he could see ctenophores surfacing periodically and then sinking into the waves. After a few minutes, he realized the water must be teeming with them. He scooped at one, attempting to catch it. It slithered over his fingers and jetted away, turning a brilliant orange as it did so. He tried again, and again, but got nothing but tickles of slimy tentacles and plenty of splashing.
After a few minutes of this, his face was flushed, his eyes stung, and his mouth tasted of salt. He turned to wade to shore, but then a single beast swam up right in front of him and hovered at the water’s surface. He rubbed his eyes and bent to look more closely at it. He observed the creature had distinct eyes, with pupils shaped like commas, and this pair of eyes appeared to be looking intently at him. Tentatively, he dipped his hand into the water. This time, the animal swam directly into it. It balanced patiently in his palm as he lifted it out of the water and examined it.
It was the size and shape of a small mango, with ten flexible legs arranged near the two eyes he’d already observed. He assumed that the complicated structures buried amidst the legs were its mouth parts. Its body was segmented in five, and each of the five segments had structures floating in it that resembled circuit boards, but with no corners; all the edges were rounded. Its skin was translucent. As he watched, a large patch on its back flattened out and turned an opaque white. Ge’ez characters floated to the surface of the screen.
For me as an author, this is a big milestone. This series of thriller/visionary novels has been in progress for three years. Its depiction of the transformation of the world has paralleled the destruction (due to disabling illnesses and adverse professional-practice conditions) and the rebuilding of my own life overseas during the same time period.
In that time, I’ve had a chance to re-sharpen my writing and editing skills and rediscover and reprioritize my life and values. I thank all the readers and authors who’ve helped me along the way and who’ve trusted their work to my editing skills.
Some of you have urged me to keep writing in the Eupocalypse world, but the ctenophores aren’t summoning me back just yet. Who knows what tomorrow may bring? Whatever it is, this trilogy has been a voyage of discovery for me. I humbly extend my hope that it may be the same for you as a reader.
The African bases featured in the latest book of the Eupocalypse series, Catallaxis, releasing January 31, are largely hidden from the public eye and the awareness of the US taxpayers who finance them.
A recent investigation by the Intercept, based on documents obtained from U.S. Africa Command via the Freedom of Information Act, revealed a network of 34 bases heavily clustered in the north and west of that continent as well as in the Horn of Africa. AFRICOM’s “strategic posture” consists of larger “enduring” outposts, including two forward operating sites (FOSes), 12 cooperative security locations (CSLs), and 20 more austere sites known as contingency locations (CLs).
The insightful and quirky blog of sci-fi writer/editor Michelle Brown, SciFi Magpie, made mention of the Eupocalypse series this week. It’s a rare honor for an editor to step out and highlight one of her clients’ work in her own valuable blog real estate, so on that count I am grateful. But on another level, her post is very insightful about the reasons we read (an write) post-apocalyptic fiction
Lauren Razavi’s amazing story on Medium about Rwanda highlights the incredible potential of Africa in the 21st century. In the second half of the Eupocalypse, the Horn of Africa is the focus for the flourishing catallaxy which emerges when the prop of petroleum and plastic is yanked out of the existing world order. Rwanda has done it in the real world, by opening to intellectual and economic exchange with Asia, and more importantly, by removing barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship. The importance of this step cannot be over-emphasized. Once humans are freed from swimming with the cinderblock of command and control, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.
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.