Magic Circles Series
Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery Thriller
Publisher: Common Deer Press
Date of Publication: October 5, 2017
Number of pages: 660
Cover Artist: Ellie Sipila
A nanobot superorganism lays waste to the Earth. Is this the apocalypse? Or does the world’s end harbor new beginnings?
Life will always find a way. Though some ways are better than others.
Evolution on steroids and crack cocaine —the most significant development since inanimate matter first gave rise to life.
You can’t predict novel evolutionary developments, you recognize them only after they emerge.
Then you have to deal with them.
The watching has just turned prime time.
Flash, flash, flash.
The gods are angry. About seven klicks northwest of Eden, fake Edens flicker and dance across the landscape as godbolts crackle and hiss out of the high haze, leaving a succession of smoking craters across the Boogoo. Truly spectacular.
The land itself cringes. Crater walls draw away from each strike to a hundred and fifty meters before lensing back to erase all trace of themselves. High above, the sky puckles. That’s how Poppy describes it, though Auntie says there’s no such word. It’s like a series of yellow-green holes opening and then puckering shut. It’s too bad she can’t be out here with them to watch. This is so cool. Son clicks his spearsticks together to attract Poppy’s attention and shoots him a double thumbs-up. Poppy brushes aside gods and their fireworks alike. They’ve got work to do.
The godbolts stalk across the terrain, just missing the false-Eden holos that wink in and out at random from eastern horizon to western. Never does the barrage tend closer to where Son watches. The ken suggests that he and Poppy remain safe, stationed as they are well inside the five-kilometer safe zone surrounding Eden. Never have either Eden mirages or godbolts trespassed on this apparently sacred area.
But even at this distance, where he’s concealed in the same overburden of dust that’s cratering way off in the distance, he feels it. The reaction. Like a mild electric shock followed by a tremor. It runs from the ground beneath him right up through his mantle. For that moment, he and the land are kin. Has Poppy also felt this? He’d never admit it if he has.
At one with the Boogoo. Wow. That’s something he can tell Auntie. She’ll enjoy the idea, unlike Poppy who’d probably threaten to lock him away in the back storeroom for a few days, the way he used to when Son was little, leaving him alone with himself till he got his head straight again.
Whatever. What’s past is past.
Gran-Gran is the one who named them godbolts. Poppy laughs and says that’s right, we’ve got the gods p****** down fire on us poor sinners who didn’t know how to look after the world we were given in the first place. Of course that’s bushwa. It’s merely an old satellite system gone gaga with neglect and blasting away at random.
But here’s a real gap in the ken. No matter how much they ponder it, looking for a pattern, the godbolts randomly target spots right across the land, the one constant being they never strike within five kilometers of Eden. Another gap, of course, is the nature of those decoy Edens.
It was Poppy who, contrary to all his own better advice about useless speculation, raised the issue again last night: “Godbolts or satrays, where do you suppose the triggerman is hiding?”
“Only one place stays safe,” Auntie replied. “Maybe that’s also the command center.”
Poppy wasn’t convinced. “Why?” he said.
“Good question,” Son added. “And you still have to ask who he’s shooting at.”
This was Gran-Gran’s cue to kick in with the Word: “It’s the Lost Tribe of Israel. Flung out of paradise to wander the rest of their days.”
“For what?” asked Poppy. “Target practice? What kind of God is that?”
“Their God is an angry god.”
“Yeah? Well, it looks like he can’t hit them, whoever they are, or the strikes would’ve stopped long ago.”
Son also did what he could to keep Gran-Gran fired up: “Maybe God threw them out to wander, and then he decided he was even more p***** off than he first thought.”
“Okay,” Auntie said. “But if he’s God, why can’t he hit them?”
Such is the palaver that keeps things from getting dull in the Bunker. Of course there are no answers to many of these questions. Their world largely remains an enigma, another Auntie word.
“In the old days,” said Auntie, “we believed we understood the gist of things on planet Earth.”
Gran-Gran scoffed at this. “We knew squat, that’s what we knew. And look where it got us.”
This world, where it got them, is the only world Son has ever known.
About the Author:
Collin Piprell is a Canadian writer resident in Thailand. He has also lived in England, where he did graduate work as a Canada Council Doctoral Fellow (later, a Social Sciences and Humanities Fellow) in politics and philosophy at Pembroke College, Oxford; and in Kuwait, where he learned to sail, water-ski and make a credible red wine in plastic garbage bins.
In earlier years, he worked at a wide variety of occupations, including four jobs as a driller and stope leader in mines and tunnels in Ontario and Quebec. In later years he taught writing courses at Thammasat University, Bangkok, freelanced as a writer and editor, and published hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics (most of these pieces are pre-digital, hence effectively written on the wind). He is also the author of short stories that appeared in Asian anthologies and magazines, as well as five novels (a sixth forthcoming in 2018), a collection of short stories, a collection of occasional pieces, a diving guide to Thailand, another book on diving, and a book on Thailand’s coral reefs. He has also co-authored a book on Thailand’s national parks.
Common Deer Press is publishing the first three novels in his futuristic Magic Circles series.
Collin has another short novel nearly ready to go, something he only reluctantly describes as magic realism. Less nearly ready to go are novels he describes as a series of metaphysical thrillers. Not to mention several Jack Shackaway comic thrillers, follow-ups to Kicking Dogs. He also has a half-finished letter to his grandmother, dated 10 October 1991, saying thanks for the birthday gift.
Book page: https://www.facebook.com/newsciencefiction/
Medium: https://medium.com/@collinXa Rafflecopter giveaway