• Rodanthi Tzanelli

My (New) Travel Bucket List, 1:

Updated: Sep 19, 2020

The COVID-19 lockdown has been a very productive period for me. I published a poetry collection, a full-length science fiction story and a book of blogs for those interested in public sociology. Here I want to introduce you to my science fiction book, which is for those interested in socially conscious prose.

The Virus Diaries: Travels in Alterrealities

On 16 July 3580 Franz Nelson Moebius, lead scientist of the Gaia III mission on Earth, records a long message on the central database of Mars's Armageddon Colony, where humanity had to relocate when earth was declared unliveable. His message includes a selection of fragments from the 'Virocene': the long epoch humanity and earth entered when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic - one of the many viral onsets that would lead to the human species' relocation to Mars.

Lost to plundering, political airbrushing and misplaced activism, the archives of the Virocene are now a strange hybrid of science fiction screenplays, distorted history and records of political espionage previously stored in Langley, London, the metropolitan headquarters of a network of Chinese colonies. Among them, Franz finds the Chronicles of the 'Daisy Rainbow Knights Order', a small anarchist cell comprised of Melissa Dreary, PVJB, SKA and TCE, which believes in a society free of the inequality sustained by authoritarianism and climate change. Its work on the invention of a master vaccine that will free humanity of hatred and illness is plotted in the context of progressive human rights repression and environmental pollution. Willing to risk everything, the cell's members decide to release their vaccine on the rift created between this world and the world of ancestral spirits, where, centuries into the Virocene, the government eliminated black populations protesting against inequality. However, the road to recovery and reconciliation proves as difficult as a coherent reading of the surviving records of the cosmogonic event that the Daisy Rainbow Knights Order set in motion with their actions: the 'Commemoration Troubles' of SARS-26-Covid 3004.

The Virus Diaries unfolds as a collection of different stories that converge behind the idea of a social and environmental crisis, as this is narrated by several voices across millennia in the Virocene. Its central plot, which borrows from cinematic and discursive renditions of magical realism, science fiction and memory studies, forms an allegory of real problems that humanity and our planet face today.

Buy from Amazon on paperback £20.33


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