"Untitled" by Benjamin Carbonne serves as a huge inspiration for my work, blurring the lines between human and monster.

“Untitled” by Benjamin Carbonne and his series serve as a huge inspiration for my work, blurring the lines between human and monster.

I’ve referenced my work-in-progress a few times in my blog posts, but I thought I might give you guys a sneak peek of what it’s about. It’s a science-fiction novel (don’t groan just yet) set in a nearly apocalyptic Earth 200 years after the USSR and the USA go to war after the Cuban Missile Crisis blows up. I know what you’re thinking: it sounds cliché and trite. Just imagine all the tropes it must involve!

I’d like to prove you wrong. As you know, my blog is all about how we, as writers, can tear down the stereotypes and expectations that society has come to associate with specific genres. I take that message and theme to heart. In this work, I’m writing to change ideas and expectations of science-fiction.

So before you shake your head and bemoan the death of creativity, read my pitch:

In 1963,  the United States and the Soviet Union unleashed 6,000 nuclear bombs on each other. Once rich and prosperous lands were left uninhabitable, waters became polluted and poisonous, and the resulting nuclear winter meant the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. Everyone thought that this was the end of life on Earth.

They were wrong. Not only did humanity survive, but they rebuilt their cities. As the planet healed and food became less scarce, civilization recovered. Everything was returning to the way it once was, and safety — a feeling that had been long-forgotten — was felt again.

However, it wasn’t only human life that survived. Something new was born, something crafted from radiation and sickness. These new lifeforms organized themselves on the eastern coasts of Asia, surrounding themselves in radiation that would have killed any other creature.  They deemed their land Amano Iwato — “cave of the sun god.”

They call themselves Inochi. Humans call them zombies, ghouls, cannibals, monsters, demons. “Antanama” is the word whispered by human government officials. Some of them are mindless animals who roam aimlessly in a desperate attempt for survival. Others are smart, fast, and powerful, making them true rivals to the human race.

War broke out between them, and it took over a hundred years of on and off battles before the two species could reach an uneasy peace between Amano Iwato and the newly founded Human Union, formed of superstates on five continents. The Inochi would stick to their waters and the lands they already inhabited, as would the humans. They would try to forget that the other exists.

The relationship between the two has remained stable for almost fifty years, but tension is building once again. The Human Union has created a fleet of state-of-the-art warships more powerful than any other vessels in human history. By parading them around the world, they hope to scare the Inochi into sticking to their waters and stopping their recent seizures of human vessels in neutral waters. Humans in the farming Collectives of Amano Iwato are growing restless and starting to rebel against the species that enslaved them.

The world is at the brink of global war and catastrophe once more.  The only question is when.

Antanama has a large cast of characters and closely follows the journeys of five very different people. The world is not a post-apocalyptic nightmare, but a shadow of its former self as humans and antanamae struggle to paradoxically live side-by-side.

If this sounds like something you can get behind, you should subscribe to my newsletter. Not only will you get sneak peeks at characters, settings, and excerpts from Antanama, but you’ll also receive a schedule for upcoming post topics and access to other short stories and creative writing. There’s also an Antanama blog where I post pictures and inspiration for the story.

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