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Books, Humor, Satire

ONE PERCENT SOLUTION: a novel . . . (posted one page per day) Day/Page 1 of 252

One_Percent_Solution_Cover_for_Kindle  DSC00772_FINAL front page_head_2

A satirical farce about social polarization, dysfunctional government, and economic inequality.

Available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback versions.  About the Author.


Chapter I: Day/Page 1

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”

― Socrates [469-399 BC]

The cosmic catastrophe started innocently enough, as so many catastrophes do, with the simple actions of one well-meaning person on a far-off foreign world. The planet is Gâia, home to a venerated people from the Avian class. These people, like their planet, have been around longer than most, certainly longer than my species or yours, and are famed for having keen eyes and inquisitive minds, with which they delve assiduously into the mysteries of the cosmos. One renowned academy of astronomers in particular, L’Avian Académie du Cosmologié, or LAAC, peer tirelessly into the vastness of the universe searching for evidence of intelligent life—“Class-1 life,” they call it.

Perched high in frosty towers like noble birds of prey, whetted talons clutching tightly to icy mountain crags, proud head and imperturbable beak jetting into cosmic winds like a ship’s sharp bow dashing stormy seas, ever searching with clear keen eyes through impenetrable darkness for any stirring of intelligent life; and then, if detected, with effortless grace and breath-taking speed, falling like gods from the rarefied heavens of frozen mountain lairs, they plummet in a perilous spiral to pounce on the tremulous new life-form scampering below.

Well, anyway, that’s how they describe themselves and their work in the many official pamphlets and publications sent out regularly by their PR department, soliciting public donations and government funding. In reality, though, things are quite a bit different. The work of these avian astronomers, these seekers and ‘pouncer-oners’ of new-found tremulous life, is not nearly as glamorous or exciting as one might initially think.

While it is certainly true, as their brochures maintain, that they are often found perched high in frosty towers on icy mountain crags, peering through telescopes into empty, limitless space, the fact is, most of the time, that’s pretty much all that they do. Just hour after hour, night after night, year after year of looking, searching, seeking, and nothing more. An interminable train of old coffee, stale sandwiches, constipated bowels, cold feet, and tedium—endless inexhaustible tedium—broken only rarely by a momentary spasm of excitement, a flash of bright hope that for a heartbeat and blink of an eye glitters with a diamond’s promise, before invariably turning out to be a chunk of illusory coal, a false alarm, a glitch in the system, a smudge on the lens, nothing more. There is not nearly as much “perilous spiraling” or “falling like gods” as one might think; unless spiraling down the observatory stairs late at night, or falling asleep in a chair, counts. Those things, it is true, occur with steady regularity. In short, the daily work of these avian astronomers is usually pretty boring.

But two weeks ago all of that changed. . . . TO BE CONTINUED.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James

All rights reserved


About Gregory James

After 20 years working and living overseas, I returned to the US and was disgusted by how partisan and polarized the country had become. Civility and compromise are now quaint things of the past, replaced by intolerance and the rule of extremes. So I gave up a lucrative career for staring at blank pages and searching for words, in the hope that words might help enact change. Stupid. . . . I know! But after 9 months of labor I birthed forth a book, entitled ONE PERCENT SOLUTION. Reminiscent of Vonnegut, with a dash of Saramago and Fforde, this humorous, satirical, often irreverent romp mocks the absurd we accept to be normal, ridicules the ridiculously low bar we set, and challenges all of us to demand more of ourselves by making light of what is sacred that shackles us.


3 thoughts on “ONE PERCENT SOLUTION: a novel . . . (posted one page per day) Day/Page 1 of 252

  1. Okay, made it to page 1 of many. Let me settle into the story and characters before commenting. What are you looking for re critique? BTW: Jailbird is my favorite Vonnegut novel. Check out my short story The Pet Door.


    Posted by skipmars | May 6, 2014, 17:47
  2. Very interesting, Have a wonderful day 🙂


    Posted by Gede Prama | February 21, 2014, 19:06

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