Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Gross Art of Seduction (a short story)

Samantha was a passionate little spirit, adventurous as she was sexy. We dated for some time, some time ago. She was a fairly tight yin to my moderately fitting yang. For the while we were together, I never really thought about other women - unless Samantha wanted me to. Yes, Samantha was a little wild when the lights would go down. Based on our relationship's rather humble beginnings, the discovery took me a bit by surprise. The revelation was not entirely disappointing.

When the work week was done, Samantha transformed. The lust for fun that gleamed behind her beautiful blue eyes would be set free. Samantha was a devoted social worker by day, but evenings and weekends were devoted to games and getaways; time to vent the stress of a civilized grind. One holiday weekend trip was quite memorable - although for the life of me, I don't remember the exact holiday, nor do I remember the precise where or when. But it was somewhere along the eastern seaboard, and it had been sometime during that summer when hypodermic needles were washing up along the shores of New England. None of those minor details are what made the weekend so unforgettable, however.

Samantha had made reservations at a quaint bed and breakfast, a cozy little place a block off the beach. We arrived late afternoon, tired but not too tired for a quickie. Dinner and a few drinks capped off what was, at least from my perspective, the start of another great weekend.

The following day was a bona fide beach day; the kind of day that seems to come around far less frequently anymore, even with the advent of a warming globe. Save for the fingers of smog rising from the scalp of the distant cityscape, the views were perfect. Out over the ocean, the sky was postcard blue and graced with clouds that glowed like visual Valium, their images bringing calm with each address. Despite the inspiring sky, my attention was drawn to another sight. Samantha had joined a group playing Frisbee in the surf. And the view as she gamboled through the shallows in her new bikini with her new friends far exceeded the draw of any atmospheric mural, manmade or otherwise. There was something about finely estrogenized legs and bouncing female body parts that always seemed to have the greatest say over of my gaze. Especially in this case....where there was a fair chance that one of those body parts might accidentally slip out. Sure, I'd seen Samantha's breasts a hundred times before. But like seeing a lion on the African plains as opposed to a cage at a zoo, the thrill of viewing mammary's in captivity was far less fascinating than a chance sighting of a boob in the wild. A lesson learned years later by all humanity during a highly publicized wardrobe malfunction.

By noon, the beach was sardined, the invisible boarders of our personal space violated as much by physical as pheromonal drift. The beach started to take on a vibe somewhere between an inner city block party and a Greatful Dead concert. At one point a fight had broke out, several rowdy frat boys threw down with two grungy biker dudes and their grungy girlfriends, the dispute triggered by an alleged lewd comment. So when I suggested a walk along the shore to get away from the crowd for a spell, Samantha eagerly agreed, pouring out the dregs of her wine cooler and tossing it in the wire mesh garbage can already full with bottles and boxes and other recyclables yet to achieve the privilege of their own can.

As a grad student in oceanography and a naturalist at heart, I'd been looking forward to exploring the water's edge. Traipsing through the shallows and kicking over stones looking for aquatic life was nearly as exciting as Samantha's kiss - although I certainly never made mention of such. Given the calm of the bay, the setting was bound to be home to some really cool stuff. Just to the south, a motorboat had recently sunk, much of the nearby stretch of beach cordoned off and posted with hazard signs - probably the reason the north beach had become so packed. A salvage crew worked to reclaim the wreckage, most of the gnarled hull already lay sprawled on the deck of a barge - Humpty dumpty pieces to a thirty-two foot speed boat that had slammed into a jetty the prior evening, the apparent handiwork of a drunk driver. Despite the efforts of the salvage team, the shattered boat had already bled out, a sheen of oily albumen covering the south side of the bay. It had also made the decision as to which direction to walk a no brainer.

Beyond the throngs of humanity, the first fifty yards had yielded very few signs of life, although there was no shortage of bottle caps and cigarette butts and floating mats of gooey green algae. A myriad of shell frags tumbled musically amid the gentle surf. The tidal zone had already been combed like a crime scene, and was still under constant surveillance for potential keepsakes, any appealing sea shells ready to be snatched the instant they rolled ashore. Only a few steps farther, something caught my eye in the shallows of a sand bar. Edging nearer, I realized it was a big crab. As I waded out and leaned in closer I realized that it was actually two crabs, one on top of the other. The crab on the bottom was difficult to see, its fringes dusted in muck and eclipsed by the shell of its peer. I'd never seen such an arrangement. But based on the evidence, and the intuitive abilities of a big brain primate, the crabs were doing it.

Arriving to see for herself, Samantha found the whole affair quite entertaining. I couldn't tell for sure, but I even think she might have gotten turned on. She certainly had fun with the event as she pretended to talk dirty while doing her best crustacean impersonation. Stopping suddenly, she pointed to a spot just behind the crabs. Leaning in I realized there were several plastic syringes drifting with the motion of the ocean. To prevent anybody form getting stuck, I reached down and removed the hypodermics, careful not to get pricked myself, or pinched by the humping crustaceans.

From behind, we heard a squeaky little voice, ew...that's gross! Both of us turned. So enthralled by the spectacle were we that we hadn't noticed the arrival of a family, the foursome wading out to see what all the commotion was about. Although the epitome of the American family dynamic, two adults with 2.5 kids, this was not the Cleaver's. The father was a beer keg on legs, and covered in hair from neck to toe. His head was the only surface without hair and it glared with watts of welfared sunlight. The two offspring looked like they'd stepped right out of the movie Deliverance. In that instant, my mind flashed to a scene in the movie, the legendary scene of the mentally challenged boy playing dueling banjo's - the tune ringing likewise in my mind - dew dew dew dew, dew dew, dew dew, deeeeeew...

But the most disturbing image was that of the chick filling the niche of wife in this nuclear group gone horrible wrong. To call her a crack whore would be a monumental insult to all other crack whores around the world. The fact that she had a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other while clearly pregnant was nearly enough to make me hurl. The bun in the oven was well on its way to becoming a bouncing baby retard.

In the same exaggerated shrill the little girl cried out again. Ew...gross!

Gross? I didn't find the crabs particularly gross, but as a scientist that had yet to shed the inner child of an inquisitive little boy, I found most all creatures interesting, no matter how gooey or creepy or slimy or bizarre.

The beer keg was the one to speak next. "Them there crabs may be gross but they make gooood eatin!" In a similar redneck dialect the boy by his side agreed, serving as stanch validation to the apple-doesn't-fall-far-from-the-tree theory. The boy smiled and showed missing teeth, eerie foreshadow of an almost inevitable dental future. At maybe ten years old, the young lad had already begun to cultivate a sizable keg of his own.

At first, I thought the remark was all just an attempt at humor. But when the father began to lumber toward the crabs and reach to try and grab them, it was not I that came to the little critter's defense.

Samantha was sharp, no doubt about that. But to watch her quell the big hillbilly's assault was a sight to behold. After stepping in the way of the advancing grizzly she began a defense that was patently brilliant. I'll do my best to paraphrase. "wo,wo,wo... back off. You can't touch those crabs during this time of the year."

The salvo not only brought the hunter to a stop but it aroused a questioning expression. Whatta ya mean I can touch em? Was the obvious interpretation of the furrowing flab.

Samantha continued. "Don't you know that it's against the law to collect crabs form this area at this time of year? This area is considered a sanctuary from the start of May until the end of September; any removal of this species of crab will result in a hefty fine. I think it's like five hundred bucks." They say the most outlandish lies are the most believable. I couldn't fathom how she could know any of this, so I was pretty certain she was lying. But she sounded so darn convincing that she had me wonderfully baffled.

Samantha went on. "My brother works for the fish and wildlife commission; we were just discussing that very rule earlier today. If you want, I can go get him, he's here at the beach today, he's sitting right back over there next to the lifeguard's chair." Samantha pointed. Now I was certain she was lying, Samantha didn't even have a brother, and we'd come to the beach alone. Her deception could have fooled the devil himself.

That was enough, the man threw up his hands in standard I don't want any trouble fashion before turning to stalk off with family in tow, mumbling and disappointed, leaving the crabs to continue their business uninterrupted. Without a word, I gave Samantha a smile and playful swat on the rump. Samantha smiled back at me; her unique blend of free spirited intellect had always turned me on as much as her sexy figure. We then continued our walk along the beach.

Eventually the crowd thinned as we paralleled a residential area where a series of monolithic new condos were squeezed between sections of quaint clapboard homes yet to knuckle under to the obvious transition. An hour or so later we reached a canal and could go no further. It was time to turn around anyhow, it was getting late, and we were getting tired. Besides, given the dizzying stench of low tide and fresh brewed waste wafting from the canal, crossing the basin would be every bit as difficult as traversing a tar pit. Just as we'd turned a pickup truck with wheels the size of a lunar rover screeched to a halt on the other side of the canal, and two guys quickly jumped out. After looking to see if the coast was clear, they proceeded to dump bags of cut grass and detritus into the canal before speeding off. The canal was already depot to quite a bit of trash, including what appeared to be an old washer and dryer dappled in scabs of rust.

The walk back was pleasant. My curiosity for aquatic critters satiated and the sun about to melt into the horizon, I held Samantha's hand. Yes....even a scientist can feel romantic at times. Nearing our starting point, Samantha suddenly disengaged and splashed out into the surf. Right away I knew where she was headed. I figured there was little chance that our little friends would still be there. But lo and behold, they were. The crabs hadn't moved so much as an inch. The water was a bit deeper but that was only due to the shift of the tide.

Needless to say Samantha was enchanted, more so, it seemed, by the fact that the crabs were still stuck together than the discovery of them still there. She then went on to commend the male crab for his staying power, along with several sexy moans of encouragement for him to keep going. This time it was me that was getting a little turned on. At first it was funny, but then I started to feel a little pressure building. I couldn't help but think that there wasn't a subtle hint underlying the exuberant display. Could it be that she felt I could take a lesson from the crabs? Was I not satisfying her fully in the sack? She had never come out and said as much, but then again, it wasn't a topic so easily brought up. But the clever little vixen may have just found the perfect way.

Arriving back at our beach camp we realized right away that we'd been ripped off. Someone had stolen my sneakers and Samantha's tote bag. There wasn't much in the bag and the shoes were over a year old, but geez....is nothing sacred? Young as we were at the time, we didn't let it bother us. We simply chalked it up to an almost fitting end to what had been a strange day at the beach.

Later in the evening, following dinner, drinks, and a little dancing, Samantha suggested a moonlight stroll on the beach - a suggestion I was more than up for. When in the mood, Samantha loved making love in unusual places, and I sensed one of those moods coming. The conditions were perfect, the moon was full and her projected mischief hummed in the air around her like a Van de Graff generator.

Once on the beach, Samantha made a beeline toward the water. Awesome. Fornicating in the shallow surf would be fine by me. But then I realized what she was up to. She was checking on her little friends again. I was a little disenchanted, my hope of getting laid in the warm salt water superseded by my girlfriends raging case of crustacean fascination. My disappointment was promptly shelved when she started shouting and jumping up and down. "They're still here!"

I couldn't believe it. Sure enough, there they still were, still coupled, still in the very same position; only their tiny antennae and little crab mandibles flickering and pulsing in the moonlit shallows. I was truly amazed by their commitment, found myself wondering how they did it. Samantha again remarked on their ability to screw all day, but didn't dwell on it. She'd made her point earlier, and she was smart enough not to risk overdoing it. She must've sensed that taking it too far could wilt my confidence to the point where I'd be no good to her at all. Perceptive chick.

Less than ten minutes later we were lying naked on the sand between dunes tufted in Marram grass, the crabs and the events of the odd day all but lost amid a mindscape fettered with lust. Samantha's skin was still warm from the sun and radiated passion like a space heater. The main event had begun from the moment our clothes were impatiently shucked and tossed, so much for foreplay. Fine by me, I was eager to make her pay for her snide remarks anyway - we'll see who has the last laugh. But only a few moments inside and my confidence began to wane. The writhing, the moaning, the dirty talk, the moonlit tan lines were all too much to bear, and I was bordering on the brink. Impending failure never felt so good.

Slowing down wasn't an option, I'd break the rhythm, and I couldn't just stop. Besides, Samantha was on top, and decidedly in control. Shit, I was out of options, and about to come up short again. As much for the pleasure of a girl I'd grown to adore as the support of my ego, I really wanted to hold out. Then, rising from the thin air of a desperate mind, solution - something I'd heard while listening to the Howard Stern show. As luck would have it, they'd been discussing this very topic earlier in the week. Think of something gross had been the most popular suggestion made be the members of that Algonquin round table discussion. The theory - if you think of a gross creature while having sex, your mind will be so distracted you can go all night. It was an excellent suggestion, certainly worth a try, and not a moment too soon, because lift off was only a few seconds away.

How about the crabs? My mind suggested amid the bedlam. Certainly they were gross, at least to the standards of most. The exact word had even been used to describe them earlier in the day.

So I did just that - I thought of the gross little creatures that had provided us so much entertainment throughout the day. But it didn't work. I just didn't find the little critter's all that gross, and Samantha was really dialing up the sexual amperage. I was still holding out, but only by a thread, and there was still a long way to go. If she wasn't so damn sexy this wouldn't be a problem. I needed a better mental image, something really distracting - an image that would totally gross me out. I could feel the urge to conclude surging to the surface, like a spent cetacean rising to breach, spit, and breathe. Samantha was almost where she wanted to be, but no way was I going to be around to get her there. A more helpless feeling there could not be.

Suddenly, the image of the crabs returned to my mind, this time with a different twist. Somehow, my frantic mind had me wondering how they did it, how did the crabs last so long? Did they also conjure images of gross creatures in order to hold out for so long? And if so, what gross creature did they think of? And then it hit me, striking with the suddenness of a stun gun zap, the answer to my question shining crystal clear in a mind storming with passion. And in that instant I knew the gross creatures the crab thought of to distract his mind. No longer was it a riddle how crabs could have sex all day.

From that day on, I never again had problems with such issues. I knew exactly which gross creatures to conjure should I ever need distraction in the heat of passion.


Author's note:
Although based largely on true events this story is a work of fiction. The part about the crabs is absolutely true. Later, as part of my master's thesis, I researched the mating behavior of these crustaceans. Turns out, what we had witnessed was actually a precopulatory embrace known as a "doubler" or "buck and rider". These unions precede the actual mating process in this species and can last for 2-7 days - a fact that I never shared with Samantha.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The story behind the story

Transcending world-wide dread:

With little more enthusiasm than the prospect of root canal, I've created this blog. Never have I imagined the day where I'd undertake such a quest, but in order to realize a much greater quest, they say writing a blog is a necessary means to that end. They say I must promote my work; they say I must establish a platform. I'm not entirely certain what a platform is, or even exactly who they are, but they are not well liked by the inner voices that preside over my little universe. And as far as I'm concerned, they can go to hell!

But for the good of the cause, and to help save a world, a blog has been born. Consider this a written reality show on writing - a chronicle of train wrecks and success, and all points in between. I hope you find some interest in the forthcoming scribble.

Leggo my ego:

Equally as upsetting to the little voices, is the fact that, at least for much of this blog, the first person must be applied. A task that, I assure you, is not well received by the anguished cast of me, myself and I. If I could work out another way, know that I would, and spare you the measure of ego inherent in the pesky pronouns. But I lack that particular talent, and am therefore without choice in the matter. Most regrettably, me, myself and I, will be occasionally employed, and done so with the same dreaded necessity required in scraping pyogenic goo to allow septic wounds to heal. So when you see such creatures as you venture deeper, know that I fear them with the same lions and tigers and bears panic of those who once crept cautiously along that fateful yellow brick road...

Me, myself and I, oh my! Me, myself and I, oh my!

A word of caution:

Before moving further, a disclaimer is probably in order. Those underage or easily offended may want to log off or consider clicking on the next blog button above. I'm sure you can find plenty of good reading on hiking the Appalachian Trail or how to make a really good pot of chili. But if you don't mind getting a little dirty, and itch with Magellanic angst, stick around; you might enjoy the cerebral circumnavigation. The above call of caution stems in no small part from the fact that, beyond my next foggy idea, I truly don't yet know where this is going. But I do know this... boundaries will be pushed to their elastic limits; and some of the ensuing cyber-glyphics may be unsuitable for some viewers. And yes...nibbling on these words could be as hazardous as sniffing Chinese drywall, especially to the sensitive or closed minded. Raw language, violence and gratuitous nudity are all to be expected. Needless to say, viewer discretion is strongly suggested. And beyond anything else, all of the above can be distilled down to one simple and immutable edict....

Don't try this at home.

A natural selection:

Without further objection, I present the genesis of the novel, Unnatural Selection....


The moment of inspiration for Unnatural Selection came many years ago. Between then and now, countless other key moments have been spent crafting plot and prose alike. Like mortar in an old brownstone, life and its many little speed bumps filled the moments in between. At this moment the manuscript is in the very capable hands of my literary agent. By now the manuscript may even have found its way to the desk of a publishing firm, perhaps being carefully considered for rejection, even at this very moment.

Summiting the mountain:

One might ask how one can be so negative about one's work. What may appear to be negativity is simply realism wrapped in statistics and served up with a steaming pile of facts. And those facts are as staggering as they are unfavorable. The kind of mojo required for a chance to breathe the rarefied air of the published is a feat tantamount to summiting Everest. Surviving to print by conventional means is every bit as harsh as the conditions 25,000 feet above sea level; the elevation known to climbers as the death zone. Storms, hidden crevasses, and lung shriveling hypoxia are no less precarious for all their brutality than an industry so utterly devoid of mercy.

The glass is half full:

Despite all the skepticism, there's plenty to be optimistic about. Now that the novel has been fine tuned the preliminary hurdles have been cleared with surprising ease. From two English teachers to the folks at The Frances White Literary Agency to a professional editor, the hurdles have all offered praise, in addition to valuable input. Even my brother has given his seal of approval. For those who don't know him, I assure you that that's no given. In fact, winning his approval may have been the highest hurdle of all. Sharing bio-bytes from the same filial mainframe would be no deterrent from the issuance of a harsh reminder not to quit my day job. Perhaps the biggest upside to this endeavor, even more so than hopping hurdles, is that I may have serendipitously proven the existence of God. Divine intervention is the only logical means to explain the creation of a manuscript that is flat-out beyond my neural bandwidth.

Break glass in case of emergency:

Fortunately, should it all spiral down in a fiery crash, there's another way to flip the script these days. Whew. the Internet has provided writers a safety net of sorts, a way to reach the top of Everest by an alternate route - parachuting in from above. The wheels are already in motion to publish this novel as an eBook, should it come to that. So if you've taken the time to read the first few chapters that have been published above, and you've enjoyed the read, you will not have to wait long for the balance. By one means or another, the novel will be available soon. We're hoping to get it all done before 2012; sometime prior to the highly prophesized Armageddon, the demise of life as we know it, and the meltdown of the Internet into the world wide ebb. And if in fact it should all go belly up, and should you be one of the lucky to crawl from the rubble, the tale will still be available. The narrative should play quite well as cave drawings.

A call to arms:

Whether you've found your way here by invitation, recommendation, or by the same statistical DNA dice-roll of conception, all comers are welcome. As you sift through the shrapnel of a blog written in the half-baked etchings of a neo-Neanderthal, I truly hope that you find something here that tickles your fancy. If so, feel free to sign on and follow along - the larger the following, the greater the chance of reaching the mountain-top by conventional means, which is still the primary goal. Aside from sound work, publishing firms like to see a following before embracing entities unknown. Mountain climbers enlist the help of the Sherpa when attempting to reach the Himalayan Promised Land. This quest will require help too....

Literary Sherpas unite!

Claustrophobia and dental fillings:

For the record, and for what it's worth, I've never aspired to be a writer. Strange as it may sound, I still don't, certainly not in the traditional sense. But teaching through stories....ahhh, now that's another story. I have in fact grown to enjoy my time spent building worlds with words upon foundations of inspiration. I now view my keyboard as a retreat, find my time spent in creative labor soothing and deeply satisfying, like Prozac for the soul. Truth be told, what I really want to be when I grow up is an explorer. Yes...a modern day Christopher Columbus. I cannot think of a more satisfying rush than the anticipation of discovery mixed with the fear of the unknown as mainsails flex with gusts of pioneering inertia.

Godspeed young lad!

But alas, all the good stuff has already been discovered, and I'm not such a young lad anymore. It would seem that I was born too late, anyway. Terra firma has largely been mapped, sampled and probed with the same systematic efficiency of an archaeological dig. Claustrophobia prevents me from venturing to the uncharted oceanic depths, dental amalgam prevents exploration of the worlds above. All of which has resulted in a raging case of exploration constipation.

Somebody pass the ex-lax:

Ahhh...that's much better. Fortunately, there's at least one realm largely unexplored, I'm sure you've discovered it too. From what I hear, we've only explored about ten percent. Turns out, there's a vast terrain of inner space that sprawls across a world of infinite thought, a world that reaches far beyond the physical limits of dura and skull, a world that spins at the speed of imagination and sits on an axis about eighteen inches above the beating heart that fuels the spirit of discovery in us all.

With personal exploration comes discovery....

Writing with rhyme and reason:

The initial discovery took place during my early years as a high school science teacher. I remember the exact moment of the first sighting of land. It occurred while sitting with a group of teachers on cafeteria duty as I absently scribbled out a lesson plan. I remember the flash-point of inspiration as if it was yesterday; the images still shine bright in TiVo reels of hi-def memory. Panning the cafeteria it struck me as odd that the students sat in groups arranged mostly by race. The observation set my inner scientist into wonder, inciting insight, as discontinuity stoked curiosity, and curiosity crunched data into a single question - shouldn't the sea of faces around the cafeteria be a homogeneous gray? Statistically, yes, unless of course there were other forces at play. The question, at least to me, was interesting enough to examine further. Soon after, while teaching a standard biology lesson on industrial melanism as it relates to the peppered moth, epiphany struck like a ball-peen hammer to the frontal lobe. I wanted to report my finding; thought the connection was really cool and really important.

Educate, enlighten, entertain:

Although a teacher at the time, a shy disposition prevented me from speaking publicly on the matter. Reporting the findings to each person I met was always an option. But the notion was quickly dispelled based on practical limitations, not to mention the inherent weirdness in such action. No, I wasn't quite ready for a stint in the loony bin. And so it was decided, so it was deemed - the message would be told in the written tongue, specifically a novel, sparing the public my epileptic tongue. Perfect. Not only did it allow me to remain in my cave, it also allowed me to make sure words and plot would be exactly as they should be, as well as assure that the issues upon which this novel was inspired were appropriately subtle. Now that you know the genesis; it's time for revelation.

Read the opening few chapters, and begin the journey.....

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Tease:

(includes samplings from the original query letter)
Have you ever wondered if fish in aquarium are happy swimming within their tiny finite sea? Or do they desire to swim in the open ocean? Do fish ache to be free and uninhibited, despite lurking predators and having to scrounge for food?

Jesse Baines is somewhat familiar with this quandary, his understanding born of unfathomable circumstances. You see, Jesse lives at the bottom of the sea, his home an upside down inside out aquarium of sorts. His home is the only place quite like it on the face of the earth. His home is call Pacifica.

In days not far off, conditions on earth suddenly begin to decay. A rapidly disappearing ozone layer, along with the searing consequences, sends humanity and environment alike into an inexorable tail-spin. Amidst the chaos, some folks manage to find sanctuary in one of the most unlikely environs on the planet - the bottom of the ocean just off the coast of San Diego.

Pacifica was born during the golden age of green technology, the project conceived to address several 21st century needs. Aside from the exotic aquatic resort, research programs in oceanic foods and bio-fuels had been established; and most notably, several alternative energy prototypes. At the time of its conception nobody could've imagined that the underwater Eden would someday serve as one of the last places where humanity was not sleeping with the fishes.

Jesse is one of the fortunate few to have made it down to Pacifica - although these days, Jesse wasn't feeling all that lucky. To Jesse, Pacifica was no more than a plastic paradise, lacked the utopian appeal shared by most of the others. Although safe, the dark quarantine of the sea and the thick synthetic bulkheads protecting them like a giant womb, Jesse still wanted out. Incessant claustrophobia along with his lust to once again breathe air untouched by ducts had him suffering dearly.

Unfortunately for Jesse, leaving Pacifica was tantamount to a prison break. Chewing through a limb to escape a bear trap would be an easier task. Although few, the community had rules, and leaving without authorization was against those rules - flat out. And with fairly good reason; because nobody knew what was going on up top, if the conditions of plague and cannibalism had improved, or gotten even worse. The only way to know for sure would be to journey back to the surface. But for most, the paralysis of fear out-weighed the will to dare.

With the fate of a Quija board twist, Jesse finally gets his chance. A team is assembled and sent back to the surface. And what they find is startling and strange and fraught with mystery. The environment so vastly changed as to be another planet entirely, rigor mortis now the universal biome. From this point the implications distend, ultimately becoming as deep and dark and dangerous as the Marianas Trench. Every step amid the cauterized soil is an adventure in environmental drama and intrigue.

To find out what happens next, read Unnatural Selection. Follow the crew and your own inner wanderlust. Find out why the vast majority of survivors in Pacifica are dark skinned. Find out how the humble endeavors of a common moth provides a stunning plotline analogy. Find out what the crew discover when they finally emerge, and the nefarious ambition behind it all. Experience the classic showdown between Jesse and the mother of all evil forces. And most of all, find out if you have the Darwinian vigor to survive!


With our first African American president in the White House and environmental woes metastasizing out of control, the time for this story is now. With a pinch of To Kill a Mockingbird and a heavy dose of Island of Dr. Moreau stirred into a Crichton-like plot, Unnatural Selection is a 106,000 word sci-fi thriller of pure literary alchemy. The novel is written in a mainstream voice that will speak to a wide audience. Very little of the underlying message is political in nature, speaking much more to issues on the social and environmental end of the spectrum - issues squarely in the cross-hairs of my personal clock-tower of concerns. Built upon sound science, facts meet fiction like the perfect fitting lips of a giant clam shell. The story is spliced into three equal parts: 1-Pacifica, 2-The surface, 3-A new era. Take a look and you'll see - Unnatural Selection is truly a natural selection.

Send any questions or comments to thomasprycebooks@gmail.com. Publishers interested in reviewing the entire manuscript can contact me by email or my agent via the link above.

Vast thanks for the visit:

Stop by again to follow the journey of this novel, and enjoy future musings.