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Octavia Butler


Clay's Ark
Year 1984
Publisher VGSF  (Victor Gollancz)
ISBN 0575048204



In a future where casual barbarism and criminality are rife, the kidnapping of a doctor and his two daughters in the desert seems hardly exceptional - except that the kidnappers seem hardly human.

Victims themselves of a 'close encounter', the desperate abductors have become infected with an alien virus so insidious and deadly that they have become exiled from their own race.  The compulsion to spread the infection is fierce - to resist it is sheer mental torment - but to submit means to surrender ones humanity, and be ruled by an insatiable physical hunger, unhindered by morality or restraint.

The tension between the kidnappers and the kidnapped is stretched to breaking point as the virus threatens to overwhelm not only them, but the whole of humanity, body and soul.




"Spare and sure ... even in moments of great tension she never loses control over her pacing or her sense of story"
Washington Post


Solar Eclipse Over Antarctica



Credit: NASA

Casting A Long Shadow
A 310-mile (500km) shadow falls over Antarctica during a total solar eclipse on November 23, 2003, in this photo from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite. The sun typically hangs low on the horizon during the southernmost continent's almost-summer months, so when the Moon moved between the Sun and the Earth, its shadow fell in a long oval, like the long shadows of a early summer dawn. At the time this image was taken, the sun was at approximately 15 degrees above the horizon. The shadow's long circular shape is the same pattern a flashlight casts an the floor when held at a similar angle.

NASA Image of the day archive





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