From a young genius battling the forces of globalisation, to a fraudulent medium caught in self-delusion, this collection of short fiction pulls many threads into a tapestry of deep thought and satirical entertainment. This collection culminates in the title story asking how much we really understand ourselves through the humourous tale of an aging lothario in love with a beautiful alien light-years out of his league.
An array of short fiction for the lover of fresh ideas. This genre busting collection spans a vast range of human experiences to deliver an original and fresh view of the human condition. Shot through with humour, intrigue and psychological adventure, Eleos Nine is a must read for anyone interested in the complexity of living in the twenty first century and the challenges that face human society.
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See below for an excerpt from the book.
Excerpt From: Business As Usual
Deep in the Venezuelan rainforest the world was changing. It had been five years since eternally cheap and abundant energy had been given to the world and the threat of war had been creaping ever nearer. Politicians from every nation on Earth gathered at the Hasta Siempre Arena for the launch of Thomas Kuhn’s ‘Grand Dream for Tomorrow’. The Venezuelan President had the arena purpose-built for the occasion, Its great orange bowl nestled deep within the verdant forest of arching trees and lank lianas. Its awkward grandeur stood as a testament of salvation from the Venezuelan people to the Kuhn Foundation. Political dignitaries and journalists filled the three-thousand seat arena, their buttocks numbed on the polished hardwood stalls. Their wandering minds resting, every now and again, on the probabilities of bloodshed Three U.S. Navy aircraft carriers where anchored off the Venezuelan coast, there to provide support to the swarm of Black Hawk helicopters and Apache gunships that surrounded the orange bowl. The military overkill was not for the protection of the visiting dignitaries; it was for Tom Kuhn. Over the last five years he had managed to keep the secret of zero-point energy.
Five years had passed since Thomas first demonstrated the Zero Point Generator’s capacity to create power, quite literally, from thin air. Tom had launched the product at the inaugural Kuhn Foundation symposium, hosted by the physics department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Rumours of the discovery had whispered their way around the world but most news organisations ignored the symposium. Tom, delivering his speech to the thirty-seven people present, explained that the zero point field is a field of tiny sub-atomic particles that pop into and out of existence in infinitesimally small periods of time everywhere and almost uniformly throughout our universe. His device had managed to harness the negative energy potential of this field and turn it into productive electrical energy. Wearing the grey nylon suit his father was married in, Tom announced, ‘The ZPF Generator Mk1 powers itself and costs forty American dollars for parts and construction but provides enough energy to power the average American home until the parts wear out, approximately twenty-two years, provided that it’s not damaged in any way.’ The eyes across the audience widened with the realisation of what they were witnessing. One man however did not so much as wrinkle his crooked nose.
Jim Court was a typical Alabama brick house with a personality that could crack cut glass. He also happened to be the Special Advisor on Energy Security to the White House. He had come to turn Tom into the world’s first one-hour billionaire and secure the ZPF Generator for America and her interests. After fully demonstrating the Zero Point Generator, Tom’s closing statement was, ‘the ZPG Mk1 will be available across Sub-Saharan Africa in a little over a month but we will not roll out across the United States for over a year, and then at an estimated retail price of $9,995. For those of you who are curious, this is for no other reason than the ethical business considerations of the Kuhn Foundation.’ Jim supposed he might have to stick around a little longer than expected.
Five years later and Jim Court, now the White House’s Special Advisor on the Kuhn Foundation, was backstage at the Hasta Siempre Arena. Tom held suspicions that Jim was the orchestrator of at least one plan to assassinate him. Some time after the ZPG Mk1 was released to the Sub-Saharan marketplace rumours appeared on the internet suggesting a letter bomb with the words, ‘Open Immediately! Cash Inside!’ emblazoned across it was posted to Tom, but never arrived. That same week the Sarasota Chronicle reported that Kuhn’s mailman was blown into forty-seven different pieces along the kerbside. The headline the paper was considering, before their legal advisors convinced them otherwise read, ‘It never rains, but it pours.’ Shortly after the explosion an open letter to Mr Kuhn was printed in the New York Post.
A silver bullet miracle has been delivered to the righteous American Empire. The ZPG is our Excalibur. With it we shall ride forward to Armageddon and glory. Together we shall slay the seven headed beast and the whore of Babylon. You are the messenger, the deliverer of our Excalibur. You must look to America to cradle you, to keep you, to protect you from the slings and arrows of the enemy. Without Mother America, the cradle of Christian righteousness, you will be swallowed whole. Consider your eternal soul. It is for this and the Christian good in the final battle of holiness against evil that you must allow America to move forward with Zero Point Field technology unfettered. Holy war is our birth right and our obligation. As we all know these are the end days, the second coming is upon us and we must defend Christianity against the evil hordes. I pray that the Lord God direct you to righteousness, the only alternative is death. God be with you. Amen.
The Knights of the Second Dawn, Inc.
Tom wrote the official response, printed in the New York Times.
Knights of the Second Dawn Inc.,
My next door neighbour is an elderly man named Omar Bashir. I have always found him to be the most genteel and respectful of men. Once, when I was very drunk I locked myself out of my house. Mr Bashir was kind enough to let me sleep on his couch. I have no intention of doing anything that would provide any distress to Mr Bashir or his family.
P.S. It turned out the keys where in my pocket.
After two subsequent attempts on his life Tom took the refuge offered to him by President Ramon Sanchez of Venezuela and set up production of the Zero Point Field Generator in Caracas, where he lived until he announced the conference on the future of energy and his ‘Grand Dream for Tomorrow’.
Excitement was building inside the arena as Tom’s speech approached. Jim Court was waiting on the steel scaffold steps leading to the podium. Fixing his hand like an eagle’s claw around Tom’s arm he whispered, ‘We need to talk.’
‘I’m a bit busy, Jim,’ replied Tom.
‘There’s new intelligence on plans to assassinate you,’ said Jim with his typical emotionless drawl.
‘Who is it this time?’ asked Tom.
‘A highly funded outfit out of Kashmir calling themselves the Red Death, apparently formed specifically to deal with you and preventing the Armageddon they believe you are causing,’ said Jim.
‘More religious fanatics?’ asked Tom.
‘Highly funded and very dangerous fanatics, Tom. And it’s possible they know where your grandfather is,’ said the Special Advisor.
‘He’s not my grandfather anymore Jim. He’s a cabbage,’ remarked Tom, frankly.
‘These guys aren’t the only ones. The vultures are circling you Tom, as we speak. The net is closing in. Your discovery is too important for them and they won’t stop until they kill you. This tin-hole country can’t protect you, but I can.’ Jim was now visibly annoyed.
‘I’ve heard all this before Jim. I’m sure the price is the same,’ said Tom, with a hint of regret.
‘Your secret will come out eventually. All I’m asking is that you give your homeland a head start. Be a real American patriot. This thing is changing the political face of the world and a lot of very powerful people want to kill you for it.’ Jim paused, and rubbed the back of his neck aggressively. ‘God damn it Tom, this is your life we’re talking about!’
‘Cool the Hollywood shit will you Jim? I’m not giving in. And what’s the deal with the plague of locusts up there? The biblical overtones are concerning me. I am the first born male after all.’
‘Relax, Tom. Right now you are the safest man on the planet. All the hardware is for your protection. Yours, and yours alone.’ Jim spelt out his words with his index finger, impressing the point on Tom.
‘I’m not stupid Jim. This is supposed to be the birth of peace and you clowns make it look like Baghdad in the good old days. Just make sure this doesn’t go nuclear or America will find itself dead last on energy security. That’s not an empty threat. By the way Jim, vultures don’t hunt, they scavenge rotting meat from the carcasses of dead animals. A man like you should know that.’ Tom turned, hopped up the few steps in front of him and strode triumphantly on stage to a cacophony of applause and thumping house music. Disco lasers beamed across floating confetti as the crowd rose to its feet, hailing the man who would deliver prosperity to the world. He raised his arms and a hushed silence anticipated his first words.
‘My fellow human beings, like everyone in this arena I too have had a dream. My dream is a simple one, a fair and equitable planet for us all to live and thrive in. My dream will not remain a dream thought, because now I have created the means to realise that dream. My cherished friends gathered here tonight have the opportunity of witnessing the unveiling of the tool to realise our potential. My plan, the ‘Grand Dream for Tomorrow’, will benefit every human on the planet. All I need is your agreement and support and we can enter a new golden age of human civilisation. When we look at the history of our race we see that enduring peace took place at the times of greatest equality between nations, kingdoms and tribes. The world has enjoyed a period of peace since the beginning of the Cold War era, as the constant threat of mutually-assured destruction has kept the dogs of world war at bay. Equality in economic terms will keep us safe into our shared future. No longer shall fear of the unknown cause us to look to megalomaniacal psychopaths to rule us, nor for draconian laws to concentrate power and corrupt our freedoms. True democracy, the rule of the people, will win out. The people will be freed economically to choose with clarity, leaders whose primary motive will be the betterment of mankind, rather than the lustful consolidation of their own wealth and power.
‘But to achieve this grand dream we must begin with a level playing field. The weaker economies of the world must be allowed to grow, with equity the main objective, within the nation state and without. A new dawn of prosperity shall break across the planet with the rights of every human being to live a dignified life secured. What I have created will power this dawn, it will save us from the environmental tragedies our addiction to fossil fuels has spawned and with full recycling of our materials the need for war over resources will diminish. This is my dream. I ask the peoples of the world to come with me and make this planet a place where our great grandchildren’s children can live in peace and harmony, with themselves, each other and the ecological systems that nurture us all. Thank you all, for listening to my dream. Please, now, come with me.’