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global warming

The Laptev Virus by Christy Esmahan

Created by Digital Micrograph, Gatan Inc.
Created by Digital Micrograph, Gatan Inc.

Virus: noun, plural viruses. An ultramicroscopic (20 to 300 nm in diameter), metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts, mainly bacteria, plants, and animals: composed of an RNA or DNA core, a protein coat, and, in more complex types, a surrounding envelope.

“We knew that ancient humans were itinerant, and that they migrated over the erring Straits some 15,000 years ago, in pursuit of mammoths, right? That’s how they crossed over from Asia to America. But, if they were successful 15,000 years ago, how long before that did they attempt to find a passage and not succeed? – Tally, Medical Microbiology Research Investigator, The Laptev Virus

As much as the ‘naysayers’ (and Republicans, and all the other stupid people out there) claim that global warming “doesn’t exit” – it is sort of hard to deny when it is actually happening. Lands not seen for millions of years is becoming exposed. Soil untouched and unseen under the ice and snow, buried beneath the tundra. Until, of course, the oil companies arrive. Huge tractors, deep drilling. And people. People, who are about to discover that they aren’t the most powerful beings on the ice. And the beings that are stronger and more deadly than they . . . are too tiny to even be seen.

Laptev Bay, where 30,000 years ago hunter-gatherer tribes ‘chased the mammoths around.’ And with both people and animals, where there is warm blood, there are bacteria, disease . . . and viruses. Viruses that can lie dormant for tens of thousands of years before blooming, moving, and spreading itself. Then there blood, death and insanity. But there is also greed. And no matter how deadly the virus, greed may be what destroys the world.

The Laptev Virus is, for me, a marvelous, adventurous tale based in known science and taken that tiny step farther to a “what could be” story that sends shivers down the spine. It isn’t the thing for every reader – some of the reviewers gave it bad ratings because they apparently couldn’t comprehend the science behind it, or were simply bored to death by it. I happened to love it. Anything that makes me think is worth reading, especially when it has a scientific bent. I was unfamiliar with the fairly recent ‘Frankenvirus’ findings in Siberia and other cold climates, and it is absolutely fascinating. (Click the photo to learn more about Mollivirus sibericum.)Frankenvirus emerges from Siberia's frozen wasteland

The book is free on Amazon, so if the idea interests you, check it out.

Review: The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Water Knife: A novel by Paolo BacigalupiThere is good evidence that Venus once had liquid water and a much thinner atmosphere, similar to Earth billions of years ago. But today the surface of Venus is dry as a bone, hot enough to melt lead, there are clouds of sulfuric acid that reach a hundred miles high and the air is so thick it’s like being 900 meters deep in the ocean. – Bill Nye

If we keep working at it, we can certainly become Venusian. All we have to do is continue the path we have begun. Global warming, climate change, worldwide drought. Yes, we are on our way to destruction, up the proverbial creek without water.

And water is what this story is all about. Honestly however, in a way it reminds me of those stereotypical 1950’s era monster movies. The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Nuclear weapons were the fear then. And yes, they were worth being terrified of. But as horrifying as they are – this is a situation that it is hard to see any way out of.

Worldwide drought is becoming more and more feasible as a worldwide outcome of our continuing greed and carelessness. And The Water Knife has a good premise. However, its problem is that of being written more like a script for a B movie rather than a well-written novel. The stereotypes are a bit overwhelming, and though it is apparently meant to be exciting and breath-taking, it comes across as a simple genre piece rather than a work deserving of the attention it is receiving from the public. I just expected more – more realism regarding an extremely important ecological issue that can cost us more than we can ever expect to salvage.

https://soundcloud.com/audible/the-water-knife

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Review: Claimed by Sarah Fine – Book Two of the Servants of Fate Series

“Memories are nothing but a collection of electrical pulses and chemicals. Neurotransmitters sliding into receptors like hands into gloves. Acetylcholine. Serotonin. My body is a complex machine. A conglomeration of cells, each one with a designated purpose. – Galena Margolis – Claimed

Galena Margolis is brilliant. Brilliant – and broken. Body and soul damaged – and then there is her mind. Her brilliant mind, which holds the secrets of a vaccine which could be the salvation of a world flooded and destroyed. We first met Galena in Marked, the first in the Servants of Fate series, when she and her brother, Eli, arrived in Boston from the ‘desert wastelands’ of Philadelphia. The physical world qualifies as a ‘dystopia’ as climate change has destroyed much of the earth, leaving the places that remain changed beyond all comprehension. It is a bad, bad, very dangerous world out there, and Galena is in more danger than she could possibly imagine.

Claimed picks up right after Marked, as Galena and Eli find their place, and reach for some sense of stability after Galena’s near death – and Eli’s rise from death. For this isn’t just a dystopian novel – it is a novel of life and death, of change and balance, and of a world where nothing will ever be as it was before. For the Ferrys are real – not just the richest family in Boston, the Ferry family are actual Ferrymen – servants of death who help the dead across the Veil and into the afterlife. Eli’s girlfriend and paramedic partner, Cacy, is a Ferryman, and Galena is someone – something – who could spell the salvation of the world – and someone wants her dead for it.

I couldn’t say enough good about Marked, and my love of this series 21805566continues with the second installment. Sarah Fine is sharp, mercilessly realistic in a magical world overlaid upon a world destroyed by human angst and self-centred greed, and mightily creative. This is a world of layers – layers of well-developed characters, of fantastical thought processes and creative characters and worlds. I can’t recommend this book highly enough for those who like their books to have more than a single storyline, more than one dimensional characters, just more.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. I hope you will try the series – I loved it.

Review: White Plague by James Abel -Stunning!

White Plague by James AbelAnd I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. – Revelations 6:8 – King James Bible

Paneloux is a man of learning, a scholar. He hasn’t come in contact with death; that’s why he can speak with such assurance of the truth-with a capital T. But every country priest who visits his parishioners and has heard a man gasping for breath on his deathbed thinks as I do. He’d try to relieve human suffering before trying to point out its goodness. -Albert Camus – The Plague Part 2

There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour. – Benjamin Disraeli
What is the point to winning a war – if all your subjects are rotting in their graves? For me, no ideological or political conviction would justify the sacrifice of a human life. For me, the value of life is absolute, with no concessions. It’s not negotiable. Edgar Ramirez

It begins, as do many things, death amongst them, with silence. The pleas for help stopped coming just after five in the morning, Washington time. The Pentagon staffers cleared for handling sensitive messages sat in horror for a moment and then tried other ways to reach the victims. Nothing worked, so they called the director, who phoned me.

And what follows horrified me, chilled me to the bone, and kept me reading four hours past when I should, by all reasonable measure, put it down and gone to bed. And horrifying the story is, for a lot of different reasons, but mainly? For the absolute, gut wrenching reality of it all. And just how true it is – how likely that something like this will happen.

Lt. Colonel Joe Rush gets the call at 1am, Anchorage time, as he pounds the streets, running from sleep, running from memories. Memories of decisions which saved lives, while taking others. Which left him with the weight of the world on his shoulders, the blackness of grief in his heart. Two weeks. Just two weeks until he retires. And now, this. A new submarine prototype has surfaced in the Arctic – and it is burning. One-hundred-fifty seven souls, trapped on the ice. And no one is near enough to reach them except the single ice breaker the US government has funded to handle the vast spaces of the Arctic waters. Colonel Rush, MD and virology specialist, must get to them as quickly as possible if they are to save the people and salvage the submarine before Chinese or Russian icebreakers claim it for their own.

Monster storms, crushing ice, bone breaking cold – all are threats which Rush, the few Marines who accompany him, and the few Coast Guard sailors handling the Icebreaker Wilmington must meet and overcome to reach their burned and stranded submariners. The sick submariners. For a sickness is burning through the crew, a sickness that no one can identify.

It becomes a race, a race to save the people, to save the submarine, and to avert a single incident that could be the linchpin starting World War III. For as global warming breaks up the ice, opening trade routes and access to unknown stores of oil, gems, metals and trade routes, the political machinations have begun. Great beasts of war are gathering, stomping their hooves, waving their swords, and foaming at the mouths for the blood of those they would call ‘enemy’.

What is the sickness? Where did it come from? And more importantly, can it be cured before the political machine does the unthinkable in a move to ascertain it’s own power? And who aboard the Wilmington is a traitor? And how high do the traitor’s contacts go – and to whom does he report?

No one becomes depraved all at once. – JUVENAL, Satires

All these questions and more make this a hair-raising, edge-of-your-seat military suspense/thriller beyond compare. With it’s roots dug deeply into current political and military policy, White Plague is, beyond a doubt, the BEST military suspense thriller I have read this year.

Highly recommended.

I received the book from Penguin’s First To Read program in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own and are not affected by this fact. For more information on First To Read, click.

Things To Think About Today

I will be working on editing all day today, but I wanted to give you something to think about while I am gone for a bit. The Pinterest posts below touched me, heart and soul. I hope they will also garner your interest, and give you something to think about. Women are pretty darn wonderful – and they get no respect. . . and Native Tribes? Well, we know what happened there.

irena
I am not sure where the original post came from. This was found on the Pinterest site as posted by Doug Gray (http://www.pinterest.com/scarface90156/) If someone can point out the original, I would appreciate it.
rita
This was posted on Pinterest by Corriera Mattina. Click the photo to go to Corriera’s site. It is amazing what women do, and yet are so often overlooked. Good for the Nobel Prize committee for awarding Ms. Levi-Montalcini the Nobel for Medicine!

 

12million
And two final photos regarding subjects even more dear to my heart. My tribe, the Quapaw (my mother was Quapaw, my sperm donor white), were once a peaceful, numerous tribe. In the late 1600s, the Quapaw were estimated to have a population greater than 5,000. Over a period of 80 years, their population had dropped to 700 due to a smallpox epidemic in 1699. Sadly, because of this massive population drop, much of early Quapaw history and lore, which was passed on orally, died with its storytellers. Even today the Quapaw Tribe doesn’t have as many members as it did in the early 1600s. By 1720, the Quapaw had abandoned one of their villages because there simply were not enough people to maintain all four of their original villages. 1918: The last Hereditary Chief, Tall Chief, died.
handcuffs
These are actual tiny child handcuffs used by the U.S. government to restrain captured Native American children and drag them away from their families to send them to the Indian boarding schools where their identities, cultures and their rights to speak their Native languages were forcefully stripped away from them. Think the US is a bit hypocritical when they talk about other countries and how they handle human rights?

 

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