Earth is plagued by the Black Rain turning water into a gel and destroying the whole ecology. Geo Woodman is on a mission to protect his clan and to save the people of Torono from the upcoming ecological disaster.
The Corrosion Series Book 1
by Costi Gurgu
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian Science Fiction
The devastating Black Rain has transformed the once-lush land into an arid wasteland, turning all water into a gel-like substance across the globe. Fresh, drinkable water has become the planet’s most precious commodity, sought after by all. Some have chanced upon underground liquid reserves, while those with no choice but to drink gelled water become “Corrosives,” disfigured by a verdigrislike substance covering their bodies.
The sky was the color of moldy cheese. A upside-down, frothy swamp hanging so oppressively low, some of the decaying towers pricked its purulent belly.
Geo always felt sick after looking at the sky, but he inevitably looked every time he observed the Golden Tower, or the Silkers Tower, as people called it. The only high-rise structure in the city still in use. All the other high-rises had been abandoned long ago, after entire floors collapsed with the tenants inside. They rose, derelict, their windows clotted, in a ghostly jungle. The Silkers Tower, though…it supposedly had been consolidated and adapted to the new conditions. The golden structure gleamed like the only source of light in a city of eternal mist and green reflections.
Geo breathed deeply a few times to calm himself. The unwholesome effluvia of corroding bodies coiled through the air. He shut his eyes and ignored the fetid damp creeping through the rebreather. Then he looked around and felt a pleasant thrill, an ever-present fear, and lust, all at once in a bubbling, poisonous mixture. Lately, that had been the marinade his brain floated in.
He was part of the Silkers procession that had traversed the city from its port to their Golden Tower. Ninety Silkers soldiers had disembarked and took to the streets of the city to be next to their brothers in the most celebrated event of the year—the Water Passage.
The people of the city filled the streets, eager to glimpse the glorious army. And Geo was at its head, in the lead. Next to Prince Boris and his court, surrounded by Boris’s elite guard of Luna Warriors, atop the royal wheeled platform of rust-red water-silk.
He was thrilled to be in such dangerous company. He lusted for the kind of attention this display of power attracted. And the fear was ever-present, fear of the Silkers’ reality and their way of life, their values and ever-shifting interests. Fear that today he was at the center of their attention and tomorrow he might wake up discarded. Fear of what being part of the Silker Court implied and what not being part of it meant for Geo’s clan.
The mayor and his Blue Officers watched the passing procession from the central balcony of the City Hall. It was supposed to show the people that the procession was for him, for the ruler of the city. But Geo knew that in reality it meant that the mayor was not invited to be part of the procession and was not invited to watch the Water Passage Ritual, as he, Geo, was. Geo, the prince’s special guest. Last year Nimesh of the Bones Clan, who had mysteriously vanished; this year, Geo. Prince Boris’s special guests and friends. The Silkers’ ever-shifting political interests.
The City Hall was a two-storey building lined with waves and waves of mortar to keep it from collapsing under the continuous attack of the water. It looked like a thick, monstrous candle, the wax melted in ripples from years of burning. Its balcony was the only thing moved forward so it remained on the outside, overlooking the Mayor’s Square and the Golden Tower. Prince Boris said that they had decided to rehabilitate the Golden Tower as a sign of respect for the City Hall. But Woodman the Elder, Geo’s grandfather and the leader of his people, had a different opinion on the matter—that Prince Boris wanted to rub the mayor’s face in the fact that they had the knowledge to actually convert an old structure to survive the vicissitudes of their times. And that the Golden Tower of the Silkers looked a thousand times more royal than the City Hall. And that all the people could see it, because the two buildings faced each other.
The procession stopped in front of the Golden Tower. The mayor waved formally and the prince nodded elegantly. The crowd gathered in the Mayor’s Square burst into cheers. The three detachments of the prince’s three armies took their places around the royal platform and waited. The Luna Warriors secured the tower’s entrance and took up position as a guard of honor.
Geo shuddered. He was about to enter the infamous tower for the first time. He was about to pull his clan into history. They were about to go public. Official. Known of. Dangerously exposed. Thrills and fear.
Costi’s fiction has appeared in Canada, the US, and Europe. He has sold 5 books and over 50 stories for which he has won 24 awards. He was three times a finalist for the Canadian Aurora Awards.
His latest sales include the anthologies Tesseracts 17, The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, Dark Horizons, Street Magick, Water, and Alice Unbound.
His bestselling novel RecipeArium has won three awards (Kult, Nemira, and Vladimir Colin) and was a 2018 finalist for the Aurora Awards.
His second novel, “Servitude” was published in October 2022. And his latest novel “Green Corrosion” is book 1 of the “Corrosion” series, and was published in September 2023.
To find out more about Costi Gurgu visit https://costigurgu.com/
The W Block
After talking about the process of writing, one topic comes to mind—writer’s block. It can happen, but it is different from how movies show it and therefore most people think of it.
Writers in general have ideas for two lives and no time to write them all. So, writer’s block is not about the writer having no more ideas and not knowing what to write next. It is about knowing what you want to write, but not knowing how to write it.
What can happen is the writer may not have the necessary life experience or cultural references to write that particular scene, story, or character. Or they may not have the writing experience necessary to write a particularly complex story or complex world-building.
And as an example, when I say complex world-building I don’t necessarily mean a science fiction or fantasy world completely different than ours. Maybe part of your story takes place in Tokyo, but you’ve never been there or to Japan in general. So you have no idea of the rhythms of life there, of the local culture, habits, tradition, food, weather, how the air tastes, how the traffic goes, nothing concrete, and to write it like you’re in New York or Chicago just doesn’t work.
Or one of your important characters is a doctor or a Police detective. And you’re neither. If your inspiration is the medical dramas or detective stories on TV don’t do it. You need to speak to a real detective or a real doctor and ask them questions, find out details of their work, of their daily life. Try to walk a little bit in their shoes. Only then you could write a credible character. If you just start writing it without any research you may end up with a writer’s block.
And then, there’s the matter of real-life experience. Certain aspects of life can be gained only through personal experience, by living several years through those particular situations. What it is to be abused in a workplace, or to go through a painful or stressful experience and eventually end up with depression. And so on.
If you get a writer’s block, the best is to look for the right person to share their insights with you.