September 7, 2011 · 10:09 pm
My story LEVIATHAN is now online at Avenir Eclectia. This is the second story featuring Dr. Kwame Singh, and this time he’s taking the plunge into the alien planet’s ocean depths.
He takes his ride in a high tech bathysphere. The bathysphere was invented in the late 1920’s by Otis Barton and William Beebe to observe deep-sea animals in their natural habitat. These brave explorers would climb into the 1 inch thick steel sphere and the hatch would be bolted shut. For oxygen they breathed in cannned air, used trays of chemicals to absorb CO2, and circulated the air by hand with palm fans.
A crane lowered the craft on a cable half a mile down into the ocean. Their windows were giant plugs of fused quartz. General Electric provided a lamp to illuminate animals and Bell Laboratories provided a telephone system so that the sphere could communicate with the surface.
Down at such crushing depths there were many ways to die. One thing they didn’t worry about was drowning: due to the immense pressure any leak meant that “the first few drops of water would have shot through flesh and bone like steel bullets.”
Not only did they broadcast some of their dives over national radio, they also brought film cameras to record many fish new to science, and set many new depth records. Because they could not bring back the specimens they observed many of the alien and bizarre creatures could not be confirmed until many years later. Some of those beasts have still not been confirmed at all. Beebe wrote an article for National Geographic titled “A Half Mile Down: Strange Creatures Beautiful and Grotesque as Figments of Fancy, Reveal Themselves at Windows of Bathysphere”.
Soon the bathysphere was made obsolete by advances in submarine technology. The New York Zoological society loaned the craft to the U.S. Navy and later the World’s Fair. It ended up in an exhibit in the New York Aquarium, but was later moved to storage for almost a decade under the Coney Island Cyclone.
Imagine a group of curious boys crawling under the Coney Island boardwalk and finding the silent hulk half buried in the sand. The brass bolts, green with rust, are unyielding. They throw rocks at the strange thick windows and they bounce off, sending deep gongs across the steel shell and through their skin.
Something skitters to life inside the bathysphere but the sound is lost as the roller coaster rattles overhead. What grotesque creatures had been spotted out those windows so long ago, never to be seen again? Something uncoils beneath the sand. The Cyclone thunders by again, snatching up the screams of children into its chorus.
While you’re at Avenir Eclectia also check out the stories by my fellow authors Ed M Erdelac and Greg Mitchell.
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as Avenir Eclectia, Bathysphere, Davy Jones Locker, e-book, Ed M. Erdelac, exploration, flash fiction, free, Greg Mitchell, Jeff C. Carter, Leviathan, ocean, Sci-Fi, science fiction, sea, Splashdown Books, underwater, water, William Beebe
July 22, 2011 · 7:05 am
If you build a big enough sand box there’s room for everyone to play. That’s the idea behind shared world fiction, and if you like anthologies with multiple points of view it’s as fun to read as it is to write. I currently have two stories due to appear on the multi-author website AVENIR ECLECTIA.
Anyone can become a ‘historian’ of the new multi-author cross genre world of Avenir Eclectia. Submit a piece of flash fiction (150-400 words) about something new or explore the environments and characters already created. The story thus far: Mankind has travelled for countless centuries across the universe in the generation ship Avenir. The ship acts like a space station, perched between the shattered volcanic moon Sheba and the unstable planet Eclectia below. While the rich relax aboard the Avenir, desperate people hunt giant insects for food on the hard scrabble world below. Beneath the surface of the oceans people live in underwater cities, where many hope for a glimpse of the mysterious telepathic creatures that glide by the glassy walls.
My stories EVOLUTION and the forthcoming LEVIATHAN tell the story of Dr. Kwame Singh, a social scientist who is pioneering a new field of inquiry he calls Evolutionary Theology, or ‘EvoTheo’. He is interested in how the long migration from earth and new environments have made religions mutate and evolve. He begins his research as a detached observer but soon finds himself experiencing strange revelations.
The first story takes place mainly on Sheba, an ore rich moon that has been split in half by a cataclysmic event. The rugged miners who pull the Iridium ore up to the surface have created a chapel 30 km below the surface called New St. Kinga’s. The chapel was inspired by real world locations found in salt mines around the world. St. Kinga is the patron saint of salt miners, and there are hand carved chapels dedicated to her in Poland and Columbia. These churches were all lovingly crafted from salt as places of refuge and devotion for miners.
Wieliczka salt mine, Poland
Bochnia Salt Mine, Poland
Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, Columbia
Splashdown Books, the publisher of Avenir Eclectia, will also be releasing a print anthology titled AQUASYNTHESIS. Look for it this summer. When my second story appears, on-line or in print, I will share some more of my research.
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as anthology, Avenir Eclectia, Bochnia, Columbia, e-book, ebook, fantasy, fiction, flash, free, horror, Kindle, mine, miner, mining, Nook, Poland, saint, salt cathedral, Sci-Fi, science fiction, shared world, short stories, St. Kinga, stories, Wielicza, writing, Zipaquira