Excerpt: Michael B. Koep Delivers Myth and Madness in 'The Shape of Rain'
In a masterful conclusion to The Newirth Mythology Trilogy, author Michael B. Koep marries the classic and the contemporary in ‘The Shape of Rain. Featuring mythology professor Astrid Finnley grappling with a historical anomaly and psychologist Loche Newirth facing his deepest fear of madness, Koep invites readers to a world they can accept as reality. Inspired by his time in the Mediterranean as a rock drummer, Koep reminds readers of issues that resonate in today’s world while steeping in the richness and grandeur of mythology. “[It’s] an ancient language and a pop song all in one,” Koep told Smith Publicity.
“The most important act of my life was driving a jagged piece of ceramic into the throat of the man that put me in chains. And if you do not understand the beauty of that, you do not understand the power of choice.” Albion Ravistelle squeezes the knot of his tie as if pinching the stem of a delicate flower. “So, what shall we become? It is my favorite question of all.” November sunlight on the Venetian waterway reflects a spectrum of color across the boardroom ceiling. He smiles at the twenty-three gathered international dignitaries. No face in the room smiles back at Ravistelle.
“It is my favorite because we get to choose. And to me, this choice is simple. I say we become gods. I say, we survive and flourish — take the next natural step in our evolution. This is why this Board was formed. This is why we will not falter now. As we all know, to accomplish The Board’s goals, we must do two things.
“First, let us eat of the fruit of life. Let us end old age and death and allow the wisdom of millennia to instruct us — not the haste and barbarism a single century teaches. We shall become an immortal race. We will live forever — we will save our planet — we will become gods ourselves. We possess the genetic data, the technology to propel evolution. The fruit is heavy on the bough.
“Second, let us retire and end the false gods that have bred fear and scarcity. Come now, the disease is easy to see. Is it not? The monster that is humankind wallows in pools of its own excrement: religions, monetary systems, geo-political agendas, war, misguided and irresponsible activity.”
He holds up Loche Newirth’s leather bound Priest Lake Journal as if it were a visual aid, waggles it and then sets it on the table. “Admittedly, your kind have made progress in recent years — easing the pain of the human condition. Famine is not what it once was (though by some monstrous lack of mental function on humanity’s part, it still exists). Medical advances have extended lives and ended plagues, save the ones with the higher financial gains. And even war has lessened. Amazing. Well met, humanity.”
Albion places both palms down on the long oak table, presses and slowly stands. He lifts his fountain pen and waves it in the air like a conductor’s baton.
“But at what cost? The human condition? As if such a thing outweighs all else? While attempting to ease its own suffering, and increase its pleasure and comfort humanity will desolate the ecosystem. Animals, land and sea, subjugated by human progress is holocaust. The destruction of the environment and the killing and/or enslavement of the other inhabitants of this world negates true progress. It is the path that will lead to the destruction of all. The systems of humankind are the disease that we must eliminate. Obvious, I know.
Excerpted from The Shape of Rain by Michael B. Koep. Copyright © 2018. Published by Will Dreamly Arts.
The Shape of Rain: Part Three of the Newirth Mythology is available for preorder now and will be published on October 1.