Schedule News and a Coming Feature
What if history is a circle after all — not mythical history, but the actual thing?
“The end is where we start from.”
Two brief notes for subscribers.
A Short Hiatus
First, some scheduling news. I’m on a semi-long vacation, a period of rest, starting last week and extending through the end of the month. Substack writing will resume after Labor Day.
I hope you are similarly resting, taking advantage of a lull in our increasing cultural madness and recharging, as best you can, your own late-summer batteries.
An Added Feature
The second note has to do with a new feature here at God’s Spies.
I’ve been toying with the idea of offering something extra to paying subscribers. One possibility is to post new fiction — stories, chapters of upcoming novels — that paying members may enjoy and wish to comment on. I completed a book this year, a near-future political thriller set in a climate-stressed America, and it’s making the rounds of agents as we speak. Several short stories, some set in the world of the book, are also ready and will go out to publishers in September. It’s these I’d consider for posting.
But something more immediate has come to mind. I’ve been slowly reading my way through Graeber and Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything, and it has radically changed my view of prehistoric humans — who they were, how they lived, and more importantly, how they thought.
Why does this matter? Because, simply put, we’re going back there. The next anthropological era will be the New Old Stone Age. And for the first time since I started writing about climate, I see this “devolution” not as a loss, but simply as a return to ways of life — yes, ways — our present thinking blocks imagining.
I’d like to share these thoughts with paying members — glosses on quotes from the book, notes on major and minor points the authors make, questions that need answering.
None of this will subtract from what free subscribers receive. It’s merely a bonus, should the new series prove worth reading.
Feel free to send me your thoughts via email, as many of you already do, or post them in the comments. I’m interested in your reaction to this material.
To End Where We Began
I have to say, this reimagined prehistoric paradigm has already changed the direction of the novel series. (A sequel is in the works, as well as a prequel, the tale of how now became then.) Our inevitable climate endpoint may not be extinction, but instead, should we avoid our expiration, a mere reboot — a less majestical, less fantastic version of the end of Asimov’s story “The Last Question,” when AC says at last, “Let there be light!”
Entropic darkness, of course, will eventually fall, Azimov notwithstanding. But we may thrive till then. If so, the path will be hard, at least at start. But a hard road got us here. People decry the Terror of the French Revolution — the named few suffered cruelly — but few recount or recall the unnamed many, the impoverished, enslaved, abused and casually killed whose centuries of misery led to that revolt.
I’ll end this here. Starting in September look for this feature. Till then I offer the indigenous greeting “aloha”, which appropriately means “love,” to all of you.
The 21st century gatherers: this is a photo taken by one of the last working face recognition cameras. The photo will eventually make it the authorities when they can get the generator up and running outside of city hall. The woman on the far left is getting her hair de-natted (spelling?) by the former homeless guy who always covers his face with his hood. (He's aging a bit, being a former medic for the Marines in Gulf War 1). The woman raised enough money to buy a rusty 1999 Mazda pickup to get to the state park where they're camping for the moment. She finally sold off her last batch of old Hillary pink pussy hats from 2016 on ebay before the electricity went out on their side of the country. The guy in shorts with the knotty knees (a former computer programmer) KNOWS he's gotta get out of his shorts because of the mosquitoes and other bugs. The tall woman standing in front of the fire is thinking about her nylon coat - how long will it last? It'll rip if she gets it caught in a wild rose bush or raspberry bush. The pensive guy kneeling next to her is the new addition to the tribe. He's recollecting the time when his college debate team had to defend the wonders of the electoral college back in 2008. He was pissed at the stupid professor back then and more pissed now. The other two in the picture: they're the couple that started the little encampment. They needed protection, other bodies, other brains....
Brilliant, Thomas! I love Graber‘s book, and I’m looking forward to reading yours. And your short pieces once you give us the option of subscribing to get access to them.