Excerpt from my new postapocalyptic novel (not published yet, work-in progress!), the sequel to Two Journeys and Fields of Fire:
She and my son had been looking forward to have a child, but it was not to have been. I had my suspicions why. The pandemic had not only caused the deaths of billions of people, so that only a few thousand or so had survived. Without humans, there was no maintenance, and so one by one all the machines had come to a standstill. Thus, the storage baths for the nuclear fuel elements weren’t cooled anymore, and the liquid had subsequently evaporated. Once that had happened, the uranium and plutonium rods of hundreds of reactors had overheated and Poof! Evaporated into the atmosphere. I shuddered at the idea, and hardly shared it with anyone; it would have a dramatic effect on humanity, on life on this planet, on each single one of us… I suspected that it may have caused my daughter in law’s miscarriage too.
Humanity has gone a long time without a major pandemic. Outbreaks of viruses such as SARS, corona or influenza (e.g. H2N2 or the Asian Flu H3N2; or bird flu) have occurred again and again. Are we prepared?
The story continues! If you love post-apocalyptic stories, these are the right books for you. If you love plain adventure, make sure to get a copy too.
Read the adventures of Vance and his one-eyed dog Eugene. Adventure and romance, humor and mystery, Celeterra is a book impossible to put down.
Available as eBook!
Celeterra is available in all formats, as paperback and eBook.
A free sample from this mystery thriller
Vance descended into the cellar. He found the light switch. They entered the space where the Biedermeier desk had stood. Quickly, he walked into to the wine cellar. He passed by the empty barrels. His hand searched for the handle behind the paintings. He pulled and the hidden door opened with a click. Fumbling in the semidarkness, he made sure that the lever remained hidden behind the old paintings. He switched on the light in the secret room, and retraced his steps and made sure that he hadn’t left any footprints in the dirt of the wine cellar. He turned off the basement light, reentered the room, and pushed the door shut behind him. After hastily opening the cans of food, he switched off the light in this room too, as he was afraid that it might spill into the night through some hidden shaft. Vance drank first and then allowed the hound to drink. They ate their food in the darkness, the dog wolfing it down hurriedly. Vance ate a can of cold peas, which was not very tasty but at least rich in calories.
After that, they stretched out on the damp sand. Vance was exhausted and he shivered uncontrollably. Obviously his body was trying to get rid of some substance, some poison – a drug. He tried to recall how to combat withdrawal symptoms, but under the circumstances, he could only think of drinking a lot of water. In a way, he had been lucky. His stomach had been upset the last few days and due to that, he hadn’t eaten much and had mostly turned to drinking plain tap water. The amount of drugs in his bloodstream must have gone down and as a result, his head had slowly cleared.
The pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. He began to realize that the occurrences of the last weeks were all interconnected. The rococo table, Darwin’s letter, this mansion, the religious sect, Enrique and the fake heaven – they were all interrelated like threads that stick out of a ball of wool. He felt that if he would follow just one of those threads, he would arrive at the core of the ball. Again he imagined that an instigator was waiting there, waiting for him. An individual, pulling all the ropes, manipulating the lives of many people, the perpetrator that had organized Vance’s ordeal.
Who had been in the car that had driven away as he had arrived at the house? What had this visitor been up to at this mansion? He was almost certain that this person had seen him, possibly even recognized him. Had this been the mastermind behind the entire affair?
With that question in his mind, he fell asleep, exhausted.
His sleep was filled with nightmares. He was hunted by wild animals, lions, and tigers. He tried to escape by climbing up a tree, but its bark was wet and slippery and his hands could not get a hold. A male lion came closer and closer, staring at him, both evilly and indifferent.
Eugene woke him up. The dog trembled and growled softly and Vance quickly put his hand on the animal’s snout. They listened. After a while, Vance could hear sounds. As he had suspected there was a shaft or a pipe leading from the ground level down into the cellar. It ensured that fresh air could reach this hideout, even when the door was closed. Now, that shaft transported the sounds from the outside world down to him. A car approached slowly, its wheels grinding on the gravel of the driveway. The engine was almost inaudible. Vance imagined that it was a big vehicle.
Was this the same car that he had seen departing earlier? The car stopped and the engine was switched off. Absolute silence followed, only interrupted by the ticking sounds of the cooling motor. Then several doors opened. Feet stepped onto the small stones. After a few seconds, three doors closed softly. Vance strained his ears. Slow footsteps approached, toiling on the gravel.
With his eyes closed, Vance imagined three, perhaps four men. He imagined that they were going towards the back door. Suddenly it was silent again. Eugene stirred. Vance stroked the animal’s head and went sssh. They waited. It remained silent for a long time. Vance thought that half the world must be able to hear his breathing. He opened his mouth wide to reduce the sound as much as possible.
A man’s voice could be heard, whispering, but unexpectedly clear. They must have stopped very close to the exit of the shaft.
Want to read more? Follow this link: https://clemenssuter.com/2017/01/22/how-to-order-the-books-by-clemens-suter/
Arguably, Tokyo is the most populated cityin the world, with 36 million inhabitants during the day and 22 million at night. It is impressive how this city runs so smoothly with that many inhabitants. What would happen if it would come to a sudden standstill? The opening chapters of TWO JOURNEYS (my 2011 CORONA PANDEMIC novel) describe just that.
Below some pictures that I took in Tokyo during past visits and that inspired me to place my post apocalyptic work in this mega city.
Highrises in Tokyo. The sheer bulk of these buildings is overwhelming.
Alan, the hero of Two Journeys visits Tokyo around Christmas time.
Should an epidemic of the proportions described in Two Journeys strike, the lights (above) would extinguish rapidly, the trains such as the one below (famously overfilled) would halt.
My books and short stories received additional attention, this time in the newspaper Rhein Neckar Zeitung. A great interview about my work and sources of inspiration. The English translation of this German article can be found below. Here is the direct link to this February 1st, 2021 article. Here is the Article as PDF.
Curious about my books? Find them here on Goodreads.
The “Rheinmonster” short is available in English and German. For the English version, refer to the short story bundle “SHORT STORIES”.
English translation of the interview.
Clemens Suter-Crazzolara likes the city of Hockenheim: “I really enjoy living here.” Now he has set a monument to the city with his first horror story “The Rhine Monster”. It’s a mini science fiction book for young and old that is a little scary. It’s about a grandfather who tells his grandchildren a horror story about a dangerous monster. This monster is up to mischief in Hockenheim until two heroes take action against the monster. Will they actually defeat the monster?
That will not be revealed at this point. “It is my first book that I wrote in German,” says Clemens Suter-Crazzolara. So far, the 60-year-old has written three novels in English. It usually finds readers in Great Britain, the USA or Australia. A fourth novel is in the works and should appear later this year.
The author wrote his debut novel ten years ago: “I could no longer hold back the urge to write.” So he regularly got up at 3 or 4 a.m. to sit at his desk. Then he went to work. His first science fiction book is downright prophetic: An epidemic threatens the world. “By chance I chose a corona virus. As the current situation shows, it is one of the viruses that can quickly become dangerous through mutations.” The novel was published in 2011 and was successful. “With the actual Corona crisis, interest has increased again.”
Clemens Suter-Crazzolara actually comes from the Netherlands. Even as a child he loved to write. “I started a novel then,” he says. He still has the fragments. “They’re flying around somewhere.” After school, he had the choice of studying history, journalism or biology. The author decided to study biology. The first professional station was in Switzerland, where Suter did research in cell biology, also on HIV, and afterwards did his doctorate. He remembers the moment when he and colleagues looked at the first batch of HIV viruses delivered from the USA in their tubes: “We had respect for the danger.” He came to the Heidelberg University Clinic via the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne and did research on Parkinson’s disease. “I was always on the search for the truth. This is how you advance research in small steps in search of cures.”
When he switched to the IT company SAP, the expert once again dealt with health issues, this time from the perspective of the software industry: “How is it possible, for example, to gain new information from the flood of data?” This know-how about viruses, infections, software programs and data flows into creative writing. Readers can deal with current future topics in an entertaining way.
The author publishes his books himself and markets them on the Internet as paperback and e-books. He is now looking for a publisher to publish his English books in Germany. The horror story of Hockenheim is already written in German. It should be noted that the chairman of the Kunstverein Hockenheim also paints and exhibits pictures. After deducting expenses, Clemens Suter-Crazzolara donates the proceeds from pictures and books to a good cause. “It’s great that I have the opportunity to write and paint – that’s where I want to help other people.”
Info: The e-book “Das Rheinmonster” is available in all eStores for 0.99€.
My latest #eBook “The Exploration of Planet #17824540930” will make you think about where current society is headed with the increasing robotization, machine learning and the internet of things. A humorous view on mankind and its follies.
The future of Robokind
Humankind will, at some distant point in time, manage to build self-replicating robots. These robots will be able to harvest minerals and metals, and will create their own offspring, each generation better suited to its environment. These robots will be able to leave Earth (since the initial models will have been designed by humans to do so), and initially settle throughout our solar system, then making the big jump to the Great Beyond. Humans will not be part of this Great Exploration, as our bodies are not suited for space travel, mainly due to the radiation levels encountered in deep space. In addition, the time needed to travel from star system to star system are very large if compared to the average lifespan of a human. Humans have a hard time planning beyond the next presidential election, and are incapable of planning a hundred years into the future. Thus the colonization of space will for a large part be the job of robots and some parasitic organisms that these robots will carry with them.
The good news is that these robots will have very little interest in organic lifeforms, humans included – as long as these lifeforms aren’t a threat, they will be ignored. Thus, if extraterrestrials will ever visit Earth (or have done so in the past), these visitors will most likely be robots, inconspicuous and disinterested.
Authors are always on the look-out for the right channel to engage with their readers and fans. Twenty years ago, this was easy, as publishers used the classical print media or live events for book presentations and advertising. With the birth of the internet, social media and PoD (publishing-on-demand or print-on-demand) this has changed dramatically. Authors are forced to engage on a multitude of platforms; I am using a dozen.
One of those channels is Goodreads, where my author profile has been live since 2010. At first sight, this platform should be ideal to bring readers and authors together, as it is completely focused on books and literature. This is possibly the reason that Amazon acquired Goordreads back in 2013.
But Goodreads isn’t working for me, neither in my role as an author, nor as a reader. Why is that? As one fellow author wrote:
“Goodreads Sucks and is Not Worthwhile”
“Readers aren’t given a way to judge what was wrong and writers are not given a chance to improve their work. There is no value of any kind to this method. Second, when text reviews are left, they are quite often extremely negative. Not just negative – I’ve found Goodreads reviews tend to be vicious to the extreme.”
Luckily my books have been spared the more vicious attacks by readers, but I do agree with Writing King – it is easy to notice that ratings for some books may well be positive, but the reviews are in many cases written by overtly negative people, many of whom have neither little knowledge of writing good reviews – nor what makes good literature.
Looking at the site from an author AND reader perspective there are many ways the platform could be improved.
Although it is understandable why Amazon acquired Goodreads (to draw readers to their online bookshop), they are doing very little for the benefit of their two users. For me as a reader, I am challenged to find more books to read on Goodreads – I rather use Amazon for that (not that I much at Amazon; I simply like Amazon to identify interesting products). As an author, I have uploaded all my books – but that’s it. It is very hard to then start promotions. Amazon does promotions too, but with a high-pricetag, and like any other publisher, they have a couple of favorite authors that they promote – the rest are on their own.
It seems as if functionality is removed (e.g. the connector to Facebook), not added. It should be possible to do quite exciting things with such a platform, e.g. stimulate the interaction between authors and readers. As it is now, all communication is uni-directional.
Reviews are very easy to publish, but obviously they aren’t quality checked, which is deadly for any platform that lives on reviews.
The interface looks old and stuffy. Besides books, I am great fan of movies too, and IMDB looks by far better! By the way, IMDB is also owned by Amazon, you may see a pattern emerging…
I have been a member of several Goodreads communities, which are overall bloodless. If I have a question, I may join such a community, but I leave it quickly again once I have my answer. Far too many notifications!
The site is confusing, and after using it for so many years, neither purpose nor navigation is obvious to me. Is it social media? – nah not really. Is it a catalog? – nah not really.
In short: as an author I will remain present on Goodreads, but I will continue to keep a low profile. What Goodreads needs is either a dramatic make-over… by someone who knows how to make social media attractive.
Originally I had planned an art exhibit of my work for June, and the organization of this live event was already initiated back in January, together with three other artists. But then the pandemic struck, and it became quite obvious that a live, on-site event was out of the question.
Luckily, through my previous job in business, I have experience in organizing remote events, so the decision to turn this “viral disaster” into a “virtual exhibit” was a relatively easy step to take. In the end, I managed to hand over a surprisingly high number of paintings and books through this approach. Perhaps you are interested in doing something similar, so let me share some tips and tricks on how to make this work.
Set the theme. I called my virtual event “the fundraiser against Corona” as my objective was to donate any proceeds to the WHO corona fund. This was the red tread through all communication.
Choose the timeframe. I took the month of May as the running time for the event.
Connect to your audience, I have a e-mail list with many subscribers, and emailing was centerpiece to the campaign. You can’t overwhelm people with continuous emails, so I designed just three emails: one for April with the general announcement, one for half of May, and a final closing email announcing that the event was almost over, with a final call to action.
Use a website as the central information resource. The link to that website should be simple so that it can be typed in by hand or communicated during a conversation, e.g. over the phone. Here’s mine: www.clemenssuter.com/papa.
Use all channels available. Not all people receive information through the same channel, as it turned out some customers heard about this campaign through Instagram, others through LinkedIn, and others through email. I pushed out the campaign through my website, email, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, tumblr, two sites on Facebook, YouTube… and a few others that I have in the meantime forgotten about ;-) Naturally you can also use any other way: even written letters or postcards.
Use a single, simple and unique hashtag across all social media. Check out my tag #cps_d2c. That hashtag allows all participants to find your work in their personal favorite channel, and it connects all channels.
Post and communicate continuously. Make sure to provide some piece of news every day, across many of the channels. Indicate which day it is: “today is the tenth day of the fundraiser” or “only five more days left for the fundraiser”. As an example, I shared details of a painting each day, or posted about one of my books every couple of days.
Use video. I made short movies that I posted on YouTube, telling why I was running the campaign. Even three weeks in, not all of the people that I had addressed understood what this was about, so you must keep on reiterating your goal. Vlogs are a great way to supplement blogs.
Talk about successes. If you sell your work, tell the audience about this right away. Also mention if you have successfully shipped a painting, or when it has arrived at the buyer. People will want to know that you can deliver. Also provide some guarantee that you will take the picture back if the buyer doesn’t like it. Naturally some buyers will want to look at the art too; so I organized live visits (in line with corona limitations).
Join forces with other artists. Actually, this is a call to action for YOU, if you create high quality art and literature. Imagine such a campaign with a number of artists, each with their own channels! That would lead to an impressive multiplication. If this approach interests you, contact me.