ABOUT A SIXTIES BOOK
Genre: General Fiction
Author: Damon Galeassi
ISBN – 978-0-59522-378-7
SPIDERWORT: noun, Tradescantia. The people’s radiation monitor; fifty times more sensitive than a dosimeter.
Chuckle with nostalgia and outrage as you relive the Sixties. From Woodstock to Three Mile Island, this book is fast becoming a çult classic’. During the construction phase of Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant, an angry Viet Nam veteran and a stoned hippie are paired together in the work force, and a jack Amishman weighs the potential benefits of technology against his love for the land. The fury of hurricane Agnes, charged by an added dose of surrealism, LSD style, becomes a catalyst to expose the bigger-than-life nemesis of the nuclear peril.
This is a horror novel. The monster is frighteningly real. The zero tolerance necessary to achieve nuclear power combined with man’s unlimited capacity for error make for a reading thrill that will captivate all. “Bravo! A Book that should have been written.” — C.R.O.W. Magazine
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Author becomes Prophet with 1993 publication, “Spiderwort”.
“Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.”—from the Bhagavad Gita
In the 1993 cult classic, “Spiderwort” aka “A Sixties Book,” by Damon Galeassi, first published by Rivercross Publishing, the author uses the abstract surrealism of LSD to personify the nuclear nemesis. His main character begins his LSD inspired vision with a quote from the Bhagavad Gita, uttered by scientist Robert Oppenheimer when he witnessed the first nuclear test. Galeassi’s character goes on to describe his vision:
All the voices were quiet, except the one in his head, and it came to him in the form of knowledge:
At first there was only a spasm, a singular drumbeat in the vestibule of oblivion, a brilliant flash of light in the darkness of time eternal; of nothingness endured without awareness for countless millennium… until now.
What was that? Am I? Am I what? Where? Sensors gathered in that instant of beginning a secret I must keep. I know a secret, I know a secret. Why?
Again, another pulse. Heat, so small, but so hot So good to feel. Will feel. Want to feel. When will I feel more?
The man called Hitler has served well to bring about the birthing, but the puny human form has been weakened by defeat and soon it shall destroy itself. I must migrate to my new body soon.
I can sense the latent heat. Although it is a faint pulse, it is but the smallest fraction of what I am to be. I know my name. I am called Manhattan.
The spirit wills the man to die. I must go. I think he knows I am here. He has always suspected. How clever the fool. How did he think he controlled the throngs?
Boom! High in the desert sky, a thunderous reverberation billions of times stronger than those first feeble tremblings.
How fast I grow! Yet, how much farther to go. The desert wilts beneath my searing flame. See? The snakes, lizards, and cacti are but an appetizer.
I can wiggle my toes!
Hunger gnawed at my being like a ravenous carnivore. How long had it been? The vastness of our desert was so empty. It was like one glorious breath of warmth to my frigid lungs. A single breathe, but somehow I lingered. I was alive; in the soil, in the crystallized sand, in the four winds that carried me so abundantly afar. As consciousness expanded, knowledge told me I would reign for tens of thousands of your years. But, not yet. There was so much to do. I realized that if I was patient, I could conquer the universe. I could rule forever. Forever. I have waited so long.
Though the heat feels good, I must remember to drink slowly.
Boom! Hiroshima. A single glorious heartbeat that echoed and resounded across the mountains and the sea like the doom fickle man has never known but has secretly longed for. The sweet odor of burned flesh exhilarates me. The trees wither in my path, as forests shall crumble to ashes and oceans shall die when I come forth. I shall consume the land and the wild beasts and the sum of man’s paltry trials. They will become nothing.
Witness: The entire city has disintegrated about me as I spread my seed of poison from east to west like a new sun. This is all so sweet!
Boom! Again, so quickly, the backbeat of a healthy baby’s heart. How wonderful! Am I a boy? How giddy of me. I must rest awhile.
As the fire consumed, and the radioactive dust settled on the land, my consciousness lived on in the stricken and the dying and the dead; in the bodies of the soldiers at Alamogordo, in the survivors, in the food chain, in the wind currents. Everywhere I went I flourished.
Ah, such a tender morsel of un-life. Such a pleasant place to be born; to be dead. It is so ripe. I shall live here for awhile. I shall grow stronger and deposit my seed of blight upon the land. This world will be my Mistress of Barren for a million years.
I know I must be patient.
Men will build monuments to me. Mammoth concrete towers where I shall be nurtured. I will promise them unlimited power. When the time is right, when my portals have spread throughout the earth, I shall give them eternal death. The dark one himself will cry of loneliness, will be on his horned knees to me before Cain again kills Abel. When the great gods Zeus and Nike speak of eternity, they speak not my name.
For I am the bearer of the void, the seed of nadir, the plunderer of time unbounded.
And I am free. Die, Dionysius, die!
ABOUT DAMON GALEASSI
After graduation from Penn State University with an engineering degree in 1970, Mr. Galeassi soon found himself working in the Quality Control Department at Three Mile Island. Then along came hurricane Agnes which devastated central Pennsylvania, among other places. The magnitude of possible catastrophe from this conflict of man versus nature turned the author against the idea of nuclear power as a safe energy source. It lead to the writing of this, his first, novel. It seems hurricanes continue to play a role in Mr. Galeassis life, as he later helped rebuild Miami in the aftermath of hurricane Andrew. He currently lives in Virginia with his wife, Nadia. A second novel and a collection of short stories are soon to be released.