Author’s Blog

Exploring limits

July 17, 2012 | Category: The Trilogy | Tags: , , .

Hello and welcome to my blog. For those of you who have read my trilogy, this is my opportunity to expand on some of the more unusual ideas, themes, places and topics scattered throughout and for those that haven’t (the vast majority I will assume), this is my sounding board to share and discuss those concepts which have long given me pause for thought and form the basis of these novels.

Thus being suitably engaged, you may choose to delve even further and read the books themselves—the great fun of being a writer, you see, is to take such disparate material and weave it into a compelling story that others will enjoy and talk about. Later on there’ll be puzzles, competitions and cool prizes to win.

And so, without further ado:

Limits have always fascinated me. The highest point, the lowest, those rarefied areas, which by their very definition separate themselves from our more daily encounters and lead us into that great mystery we call the unknown…

How many of us are both terrified of and yet curiously attracted to very deep water? When I was a young man, I spent some time in the British Merchant Navy and during crossings of the Pacific, I would gaze off the aft deck into the heaving swells that dwarfed any man made object. At such times, I would loosen my grip on the handrail and want to jump in, especially at night, when the moon was full and glistened as a shimmering refection that enticed and beckoned.

It’s a compulsion others have shared and of course common sense usually steps in before anything silly occurs, but unless you felt those unseen sirens whispering at the periphery of your imagination, you may not fully understand it—we typically fear death, but sometimes its allure is very seductive.

As for me, I nearly drowned as a kid and took up diving in my early thirties in a final attempt to rid myself of a life long revulsion of actually getting into the sea (and if that sounds odd, given my earlier career, bear in mind that many sailors don’t know how to swim). Underneath the surface, however, I found wonders that turned reluctance into reverence and began a whole new relationship with water, one that remains with me today.

When I began my investigations into oceanography, the hadal zone and the abysmal depths of the deepest trenches in particular, one name jumped out: the Challenger Deep, the most extreme point upon which the Pacific tectonic plate is subducted beneath the Mariana plate, nearly thirty-six thousand feet below the western Pacific Ocean, east of the Mariana Islands (see Part One of The Awakening).

In my next blog, I will share some of the more fascinating facts and information I have discovered about the Challenger Deep. I will close now by saying I am slightly jealous of film director and deep-sea explorer James Cameron, who on March 25th became only the third human to plunge to such depths—and the first to do it solo. Here’s the link to the National Geographic Daily News page that describes the descent: