TransGenesis (2010)

“You ever been to the shanty towns, mister?” she asked. “You ever walk through the Ghettos of New Orleans or Mobile, where they’ll call ya a ‘gene-****’ to yer face? Where the drunks throw bottles of piss or worse at any smouthie they catch walk’n out by themselves?”

“No,” he said evenly, “Can’t say that I have.”

But of course he had.

He’d seen the sea-side sprawls of Nhava Sheva, where slack-faced children wrestled for scraps in third-world squalor, while their dull-eyed parents stumbled out from lean-tos and candlelit temples in the rusted bellies of tankers and where the worst stared out with drooling idiot grins at the broken promise of the Indian Ocean. He’d seen much the same in the seaside slums of Rotterdam, Shanghai and Jersey, where transgenics lined the shit-strewn beaches in grim, malnourished, glassy-eyed misery like something washed up from an oil spill in hell.

Every port — damn near every beach, moving inward with the rising ocean levels. Thus was the world.

The second oil age.

I love the hell out of this tale and maybe someday I’ll expand it all into the full-length novel I have outlined.

“TransGenesis” (think trans-genetic organism) takes place in a future where Big Oil has been forced to make a blood-and-sex-for-oil pact with the Deep Ones to secure otherwise unreachable ocean floor drilling sites with Shoggoth slave labor. When an oil executive goes missing, the surface world sends a swastika-tattooed, knife-throwing emissary down to Mariana Trench Station to find out what gives. A fair amount of bloodshed, intersperses sex and cosmic madness ensues.

It’s kind of a hard-boiled, deep-sea Lovecraft yarn — easily the manliest thing I’ve written and I have to thank the Internet’s Jack Babalon (AKA “High Midnight” author Robert Mosca) for advising me on the knife work and cursing.

You should read this one — and here’s how: You’ll find it in “Polluto 6: Identity Theft & the Octopus Kid,” available in e-book form right here and as a hard copy over at Dog Horn Publishing.

~rl

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