the key to unleashing chaos... - Between the Stars and the Abyss by Steve Holloway

"This novel has so much going for it. It is full of intelligent, inventive science, believable characters and a cracking storyline. [...] Pelagia is a well written, well thought out novel. It approaches a subject that as yet is not universally explored. [...] There are twists and turns and plenty to keep the reader interested." John D., Goodreads


Published: 2021

Former special forces agent turned particle physicist Ben Holden is on the run.

The New Caliphate will stop at nothing to get their hands on his wife’s scientific research, which is believed to hold the key to unleashing chaos in the West and advancing their cause.

But in reality it’s Ben’s biometrics that have the potential to unlock the information they so desperately need. Within the oceanic world of Pelagia, in the year 2066, Ben finds sanctuary among the sea settlers of the South Pacific Pelagic Territory, but his respite is short-lived.

Fiction to...Reality?

Many authors try to describe the future. However, seeing into the future is an imperfect art at best. I've read many compelling ideas of where we might end up, given current trajectories. Some authors picture the future asutopian, some prefer to predict a dystopian one. However, have you noticed that with the passing decades we actually reach one of these future worlds? And what we find ourselves in is simply a human future. A human future is one in which we have faced obstacles, challenges, even the evil of that day and somehow navigated through. Often there has been grievous loss and suffering. However, just as often, the future has turned out unexpectedly brighter we had imagined.

I have written a novel about a very human future, Pelagia: Between the Stars and the Abyss. This novel is speculative fiction and will take you on an unusual odyssey. This time, not into space or to distant planets. In Pelagia, my characters explore the final frontier here on planet earth: the Blue Frontier of our open seas.

What might we discover as we begin to create new nations on the surface of the ocean?  We have better maps of the Moon and Mars then we do of the ocean basins of our planet. We have invested more resources and developed more strategies in a bid to colonize distant planets than we have to settle and wisely steward the resources covering more than 2/3rds of this one.

In Pelagia, a Yemeni scientist named Suliman, an Italian inventor named Marcelli along with their families begin to build a community above an underwater seamount in the South Pacific Ocean.  In the process, they must cope with challenges all pioneers must face, marauding pirates, enemies seeking to exploit, undermine them and steal their resources. 

I have invested many years of experience as a marine biologist in the story.  And I love science, and so carefully researched the technology in Pelagia to ensure that what I describe is plausible. It is a world our children and grandchildren might well live in: tuna herding, seamount settlers, growing homes from seawater, nomadic seastead vessels, communication and cooperation with dolphins, submersible aircraft, marine robotics, ocean farms drawing on nutrients from the deep sea. These are all within our reach today.

I suspect that settlers who live intimately within the rhythms of the sea will naturally care for that which sustains them. They do no harm to the delicate ecology of the oceans, and even begin to clean the mess our generation has left.

Still the beauty, freedom and wild wonder of the open seas enchant them. The dream of becoming politically independent nation states with control over their own destiny draws them forward. It is a rugged pioneer life that has the power to change history.

In short, I would love to live in a place like Pelagia.

About the author:
Steve Holloway grew up on the beach cities of Los Angeles and has always loved the sea. This passion led him to gain a degree in Aquatic Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara; a background which opened many opportunities for him in researching, developing, and engaging with mariculture activities around the world.

Steve and his wife have lived and travelled in many countries over their forty years of marriage, successfully raising three kids in exotic locations in the process. They have always engaged with the people and cultures they live among.

Currently Steve lives in England and consults for a Christian charity in areas of research, leadership development, adapting to new cultures, social enterprises, and mariculture projects. Currently he is consulting for a Indo-Pacific mariculture project – a social enterprise – growing sea cucumbers, a delicacy for the Chinese market.

Steve has always loved books and writing. The story of Pelagia reflects three of his passions: science, the sea and the narratives of faith. The background, in his words:

“I have for many years believed that settling the open sea was within our grasp, and even more accessible than space as our ‘next frontier’. So through the last ten years or so I have been thinking just how this might happen, what would be needed, where people would settle, what kind of livelihoods they might have on the open sea, beyond the EEZs of terrestrial countries. My son Adam told me about what would become a key component of Pelagia, Biorock or seacrete, because of his experiments with it. Many discussions with other scientists, engineers and others helped to begin to fill in the gaps and the concept of the Pelagic Territories, similar to the unincorporated territories of the early US, and what geopolitical contexts they would find themselves in.”

Steve finds any excuse to get into the ocean: sailing, diving, swimming, or just poking around tide pools.

About the author:
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