Apophis – Into the Folds of Darkness
by Raj Anand
GENRE: Sci-fi, Science Fiction
January, 2022: A dark monstrous twin-headed apparition – Apophis – feverishly races past the expanse of the Milky Way galaxy and bolts to the edge of the solar system. Recklessly accelerating, the sinister rock-dyad enters the gravitational keyhole of the blue planet and continues its resolute inebriated journey – to soon arrive with an apocalyptic impact on Earth.
December, 2012: Five sentient beings born in different cities – New York, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Azores Islands and Istanbul, discover amongst haunting memories of their phantasmal past lives, that it is their destiny to save humanity from the evil forces unleashed by the alien fiends – the Skyllats.
And now, the reincarnated 9-year-olds must rely on their shared, ancient wisdom to prepare humanity for the war across the galaxy that is imminent.
The Barred Spiral Milky Way Galaxy
At the Edge of the Solar System
January 17, 2022 (Earth Time)
A dark monstrous apparition, slingshot from across another realm, camouflaged in a jagged, charcoal black rock, adroitly surfed the gravitational waves of the universe. Feverishly racing past the expanse of the Milky Way galaxy, it bolted to the edge of the solar system and arrived from above the plane of the ecliptic – gyrating closer to the sun.
The dark fiend continued its charge forward, cutting across the path of Venus – nearly crashing onto it, before it deftly decelerated and reached a stable orbit in a retrograde rotation around the pale-yellow planet. This tenacious temporary satellite immediately scrambled to steal a fragment of the protesting planet’s enormous momentum. Catapulted along the plain of the ecliptic, recklessly accelerating at an impossible speed – it shattered, splitting into two.
The newly formed rock dyad – a small black moon orbiting a sphere of death – pulled free from Venus. It continued its inebriated journey, salivating at the opportunity to rain a resolute chaos upon an orphic azure-blue bubble still 40 million kilometers away.
Unbeknownst to the alien rock dyad, a faint sliver of gold orbited nearby. The 7.5-meter-tall and 3.2-meter wide Sentinel Space Telescope clothed in a gold foil, with a giant heat-reflector shield strung along its back; cooled to 40 degrees Kelvin by a two stage, closed cycle Stirling cryocooler. Its 0.51-meter aluminum mirror, dutifully scanned any and all Inner Earth Objects larger than 90 meters in diameter that ever dared to fly across its 200-degree angle of regard.
The Sentinel Observatory, alarmed by the presence of the ghostly twin-headed monster, recorded the black rock dyad’s trajectory, shape, size, mass, and rotational dynamics, before it urgently sent a coded message to its home base in southern Japan.
A Word From the Author:
- What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
I have begun writing the second book of The Kleos Chronicles, the chapter outline is nearly done and research on aspects of the story is underway.
In parallel I am also working on a novella, a raucous, feisty comedy fully of profanity, based on a contemporary version of the famous Greek tragedy – Oedipus Rex. I had written a profanity-laden short story some time back based on the two principle characters Oedipus Rex and Pytho the Clairvoyant.
In the novella Oedipus is OEDIOT and Pytho – PHYTHOG – a clairvoyant dog! The story begins as they together walk late night on the streets of New York in the early 1980’s….
- What book has most influenced your own writing?
I am not sure that I can answer that, because I have an eclectic taste in books ranging from Science Fiction, Philosophy and Greek Tragedies. But given the context of this my first book APOPHIS – Into the Folds of Darkness, I would submit that a book that had a deep influence was The Celestine Prophecy written in 1993 by James Redfield.
The book delves into spirituality and our connection with the divine through a series of Insights – a wonderful piece of storytelling! I remember reading it in 1995-1996 and thinking that if I ever wrote a book, then I would love to follow a similar technique. Where an exciting adventure is layered with philosophy and a deeper insight into the meaning of life.
- First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.
I would have to say two books made a deep impression when I was around 15 years old. Lust for Life by Irving Stone and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. The first of course was based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh and his inner battles with his art and reality. It portrayed the epic journey of an artist, who struggled for much of his life, to reside within an uncommon world of beautiful colors, landscapes and reflections of nature that has captivated us, ever since.
The Fountainhead, hooked me immediately with its vivid storytelling and the struggle of another artist, in this case an architect - Howard Roark. I think I finished the book in three days straight – I just could not put it down! In some ways the epic story writing of Ayn Rand has been an influence in my writing too. Although, my high school English teacher warned me several times to not get too close to Ayn Rand, but I still did read all of her books.
- How do you develop your plot and characters?
Well, I am certainly not a Pantzer, that’s for sure! Once I am clear on the subject of my story – the larger idea! Then I chart out an extensive research program, flesh out the characters, understand the space where the story will take place, and outline the underlying message of the story. At times this process and methodology takes many months and in the case of APOPHIS – over one and a half years of pure research, before I began to write the book.
Once I sense that this process is complete, then I begin to write the first draft. But the actual writing process remains instinctive, intuitive and at times illogical. I let the characters speak, go down lanes that I could not have imagined during my research. Often, I stop writing and get back to my research, because the character or the characters have decided to take a different path or journey.
But at all times, I let the characters decide… on what should happen next.
- Describe your writing space.
When I am in the thick of things, and setting out the story and the chapter outline. I prefer a brightly lit room with an expansive window, surrounded with books, several pin-up boards and writing boards.
By the time I finished writing APOPHIS, there were more than fifteen pin-up and writing boards on the walls of my study. I had added dozens of books to my library, collected hundreds of articles, YouTube videos, several series of lectures by renowned Professors of Science Fiction, Chinese history, Indian history, Egyptian history and Greek history.
Given that I still work in the paper world and not completely in the digital world. By the end of writing APOPHIS, I had ten large notebooks full of notes and writings; and twelve box-files full of photocopies and notes.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Savinder Raj Anand is an architect and has been teaching Architecture & Design at various Universities in India for more than 12 years. A long-distance runner with a wanderlust to explore the world, and write stories that traverse across diverse cultures. He lives in Goa with his daughter, a dog, and two cats.
Inspired by his then 18-month-old daughter – when she quoted Socrates – while they together sat in a children’s bookstore in Bangalore (LIGHTROOM) in early January of 2015, he has completed this – his first book – as she turns 7 years old.
The book is $0.99 During the Tour
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.