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SciFi Magpie’s Take on the Eupocalypse

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

SciFi Magpie Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 15.12.37
Sci-Fi Magpie

and what gifts we take from it.

Give it a read:

https://scifimagpie.blogspot.com/2018/11/bad-broken-and-seed-of-hope-how-dark.html

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Excerpt From: Peri Dwyer Worrell. “Watch It Burn” (Eupocalypse, #2), Chapter 36

Bad things happen

when you’re a brave adventurer looking for risk in a cruel world. Such things happen to wealthy girls in country-club neighborhoods and to poor girls who grow up in the slums. Sometimes you never see the guy again (other times he winds up nominated to the Supreme Court)…

“Once she was lying down in the dark, the ghosts of her past that Mother Laura had summoned came back to haunt her. She remembered her first love; she fifteen and eager to dispose of her virginity, Dennis a worldly-wise (or so it seemed) sixteen, and more than willing to help. They used to find little niches like this one in the unmowed corners of the parks, around the backs of alleys they’d slip their supple teenaged bodies through chain-link fence to get into, or (her favorite) on a blanket on the roof of his apartment building, the sun in its blazing heat bringing out the contrast of his brown skin with her pale whiteness.
One day, he lay on one elbow after they’d made love, stroking her sleek, firm adolescent body, and said, “One day, we’ll be married and have a daughter. She’ll have café-au-lait skin and eyes as green as yours.” D.D. smiled now, remembering.
Then she remembered Yvonne, Dennis’s mother, who had figured out their oh-so-transparent lies and gumshoed them up onto the roof. D.D. in her bra, picking up her shirt to pull it on, turning and coming face to face with Yvonne’s furious demand that they come downstairs right now!
Delaying it, dressing slowly and apprehensively, dragging their feet down twenty-four flights, to find Yvonne and D.D.’s parents embedded in the living room. Yvonne shrieking into her face words like whore and slut and aren’t you ashamed? D.D.’s mother and father silently taking in the cruelty, speechless and unsure how to react, Dennis posed rigidly, expressionless, a stone, not looking at her or taking her hand, underneath the Eldridge Cleaver poster on the wall.
No, I am not ashamed. I will never be ashamed. And I am never coming back.
Her parents still sitting, still impassive, on Yvonne’s sofa. The door slamming behind her so satisfyingly, the doorman downstairs backing up a step when he saw her furious tear-streaked face. She didn’t remember walking home, but she would have stopped the tears and put on a street face, because crying white girl’s tears in the street of that neighborhood was like slinging a bucket of chum to sharks.

Getting to her walk-up tenement building somehow. Unlocking the first door, to the street, and Calvin coming up, the boy who had been eyeing her when she walked by the crowd of Puerto Rican and black boys who hung out on the next street—eyeing her but not saying anything crude or making kissing noises or hissing sounds, like some of them did. She’d smiled at him a few times before she met Dennis, and even wrote in her diary that he was cute, making a little heart instead of the dot over the “i” in his name.

Calvin was suddenly behind her in the entryway as she fitted her key in the second door and turned it, and then he was pressing her against the wall at the foot of the stairs, bigger and more solid than she’d thought, his mouth bruising hers and his chest squeezing the air out of her lungs. Laughing when she struggled to push him off her, covering her mouth with his again when she finally got enough breath to try to scream, his hands, his cock, his rancid smell, the pain, and too late, the sound of a door opening upstairs and another tenant clattering down the stairwell, five floors up.

He’d ghosted. She’d pulled up her shorts and run inside her family’s empty apartment before anyone could see her like that. She had cried herself to sleep, as she was crying now.

…And waking at the first light of dawn, shivering and wet with dew, with hands and face bloated with bug bites.”

 

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Djibouti Heats Up!

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.

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The Icy Eupocalypse…

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.

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Pre-order Book 2 Now!

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…Cover e-book with Afar and Green spikes and rods bact_edited-2.jpg

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CHINESE OIL SPILL: BEGINNING OF THE EUPOCALYPSE?

Burning oil tanker sinks off China's eastern coast

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.

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Atlanta Airport Crisis Mimics the Eupocalypse

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!

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Machine Sickness Spreads!

You asked, you received!

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:

Machine Sickness

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Free e-Book Sunday and Monday

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.

 

Download it now!

Machine Sickness: The Eupocalypse Series: Book 1
Download it free for two days only!
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Bolivar Beauty

Watching my friends on social media trying who are slowly recuperating from Harvey’s devastation, I recall the beauty of the Bolivar peninsula, east of Houston. I was so enamored of the beauty of the area when I visited there about three years ago that I located much of the early part of Machine Sickness in the area.  The people of the area struck me as deeply self-reliant and resourceful, and that was part of why I set the beginning of the global catastrophe as occurring in the offshore oil platforms of the Texas Gulf Coast. While disaster fiction can be entertaining, it is heartbreaking to think of a real-life disaster striking the area described in the book:

 

Right? Or left? To her left, a jacked-up pickup truck was parked on the sand about a quarter mile away, but she didn’t see the occupants. She turned right instead and picked a random destination for her walk. Half a mile or so south was a cheerful apricot-colored house right across from a head of sand pointed into the water; that was her mark. She started towards it, savoring the sun on the left side of her face. The mid-morning temperature was just right for a walk, with a breeze that was cooling but not icy, and she settled into a soft-kneed, easy pace on the sand. Low wavelets broke with soft sighing sounds. A lone pelican cruised by, south-to-north, perhaps fifty feet above the waves. She swung her arms as she walked, making huge circles like 3D snow-angel wings, trying to release the road tension from her neck. She paused and shaded her eyes, turning in a circle.
The distant truck’s occupants turned out to be a white man and woman, now seated on a blanket and watching a small beige child play with a pail and shovel. DD spotted the oil rigs, just far enough out that one could see them only on the clearest of days, like today. And there was something moving near the rigs, a boat, too far out even to get an idea if it was a small, slow, close craft or a large, fast, far one.

And another snippet about the ferry between Galveston and Bolivar:

At the boarding station, she obeyed the ferry crew, who gestured with neon-yellow gloves for her to take lane number three. She pulled her little SUV in line where it was eclipsed behind a customized Ford Expedition, and lilliputianized next to an F-350 (yes, I’m in Texas, truck capital of the USA). She cut off the engine. The sun was two fingers’ breadth from setting and the bay was choppy, with steely gray waves in sharp regular rows like a bastard-cut file. The fall air was fresher now that the sun was low. A dolphin’s supple back gleamed briefly among the waves. Pelicans circled and dropped, lunging into the water with flapping feet.

The ferry’s motor was running, a slowly oscillating bass growl she could feel through the soles of her feet and up into her hips. She returned to her car and checked her e-mail: nothing pressing. She watched a tiny tugboat push a gigantic oil platform towards the cluster of refineries ashore. A group of laughing children ran along the beach. She glanced back down at her phone, then looked up and slammed her foot on the brake in panic, briefly disoriented seeing the dock pylons moving past her as the boat left its berth. The ship’s start had been so gradual she hadn’t felt the movement.

She got out of the car again and circled the walkways around the deck. Reaching the rail at the bow, she stood next to a bronze-faced Hispanic family: dad, mom, and three girls with silky long black hair, the youngest’s in two long braids. The sunset comprised utterly saturated, extravagant streaks of lemon yellow, apricot, and lavender. Another dolphin! The latex-shiny grey fin and back were gone, back below the whitecaps, even as she exclaimed aloud, “Dolphin!” The family scanned for it in vain, the little girl bouncing on her toes. DD smiled, thinking of her own innocent little girl, years ago, and a familiar pang of grief-guilt-fear shot down the smile, just as quickly.

The lights of Houston twinkled to life on the horizon below the sunset. She checked her phone again; five full bars of coverage, but still no response from Tim.

I know the people in the area are part of a strong and caring community, and they will help one another recuperate from the storm. As a believer in radical decentralization, I am always looking for local groups which put most of their resources into  love in action. Accordingly, I made a donation to the Cajun Navy, and I encourage you to donate as well.

Peri Dwyer Worrell