The Virtual Life of Fizzy Oceans by David A. Ross
Meet Fizzy Oceans—archivist, researcher, environ- mentalist and adventurer. On her travels she witnesses The Exodus, the Battle of Gettysburg and Hurricane Katrina, as well as many other historical and real time events. She meets notable individuals including Gandhi, Mark Twain, Jacques Cousteau, The Dalai Lama, Saddam Hussein and even a new species called the Quinngen.
Such unique experiences and encounters spanning the world and time as we know them would not be possible for a single individual—especially not for a woman named Amy Birkenstock who works as a medical clerk in Seattle, Washington—but Fizzy Oceans, Amy’s digital alter ego, is not in Physical Life. She lives, works and travels in the virtual world where the dead are very much alive, places like ancient Babylon and Pompeii have been reconstructed, and with the click of a button—WHOOSH!—one is transported throughout the Ages to events and destinations that make up our human history.
Even as Amy’s physical life existence is challenged by encroaching environmental disaster, economic instability, and societal breakdown, Fizzy’s virtual world offers instant realization of vision and inspiration. The Virtual Life of Fizzy Oceans imagines the bridging of two worlds—the literal and the metaphorical—and questions what it is we have created, what has been lost, and what might be possible for us as individuals and for the Human Race.
About the author
David A. Ross is a writer, editor and publisher. From 1984-1985 he was a columnist and contributing editor for Southwest Art Magazine. His novels include The Virtual Life of Fizzy Oceans, Xenos, A Winter Garden, Stones, How High The Wall and his award-winning first novel Calico Pennants. Also to his credit is the short story collection Sacrifice and the Sweet Life and the travel memoir Good Morning Corfu: Living Abroad Against All Odds.
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Calico Pennants by David A. Ross
Recently divorced and made redundant from his job, Julian Crosby needs a break from reality. That’s why he’s gone to Hawaii…
If his personal circumstances had been different—if he were simply on a two-week vacation in Maui with his now former wife—then he surely would have laughed and said “no” to the outrageous offer from the funny-looking Hawaiian wearing a loud tropical shirt with an equally loud, not to mention obnoxious, blue and yellow parrot named Buenaventura perched upon his shoulder to buy a rundown boat called Scoundrel.
But that was then and this is now… Or is it?
Meanwhile, sixty years ago, Amelia Earhart is getting ready for her much publicized flight around the world. Is this daring adventure to be her final flight, her swan song? Or is she actually on a reconnaissance mission for President Roosevelt? And what does her ill-fated flight have to do with Julian, his innocent Hawaiian holiday and his newly-acquired boat? As Buenaventura reveals, “Only time will tell” as their two worlds unexpectedly and impossibly collide.
In this award-winning novel a weekend sailor shipwrecked on an uncharted atoll in the South Seas eventually discovers the island's only other human inhabitant—a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to 1930s lost flying ace Amelia Earhart.
Good Morning Corfu by David A. Ross
The Island of Corfu in Greece is known as the Emerald Isle. William Shakespeare's metaphorical play, "The Tempest", was derived from the island's thunderous autumnal storms. Henry Miller, as well as Gerald and Lawrence Durrell, once called Corfu home. It is an island of intense beauty with fertile green land, golden beaches, turquoise waters, a beautiful Venetian-built city, and one of the most gregarious - and sometimes one of the most treacherous - cultures in Europe. More than a million people from all over the world visit Corfu each year, and over 30,000 expatriates live year round on the island.
GOOD MORNING CORFU: LIVING ABROAD AGAINST ALL ODDS chronicles the experiences and observations of an American expatriate living on this Mediterranean outpost of dizzying extremes. From wide-eyed wonder to cultural and personal confusion, from unbridled joy to deep despair, and from empathy to outright loathing, these short essays examine both local and expatriate lifestyles through the lens of one deeply immersed yet forever removed, fundamentally involved yet perpetually on the perimeter of a most curious culture. Even more than a journal of events and experiences, the essays consider many of life's more profound issues and concerns with insight, optimism and humor.
Xenos by David A. Ross
Sometimes the only way to find yourself is to leave behind everything you’ve ever known…
When Doran Seeger suddenly faces loss of family, friends, job, and confidence he decides to take a little break from the life he has known working in the Defense Industry designing guidance systems for ‘Smart’ bombs with an extended trip to Europe. Traveling light with just two changes of clothing and a pocketful of traveler’s checks, he is free to wander wherever his instincts lead him. From an encounter with anarchists in Amsterdam to a love affair in the Swiss Alps to the land the gods chose as their home, the itinerant is gradually drawn out of reticence by an unlikely love affair and by a culture that still embraces real civility: Greece.
A Winter Garden by David A. Ross
Motivated to expatriate by guilt after helping to design guidance systems for the U.S. Military, Doran Seeger has lived the past decade in Europe. Wandering from country to country, he has encountered new societies and new ideas, though he still struggles to appease his conscience. Living in Prague and working as an underground art dealer, a chance encounter with the sister of his former lover persuades him to return to Greece, where a society that embraces real civility tenderly draws the habitual itinerant out of reticence and cynicism. With his longtime Greek friend Modestos Thromos by this side, Doran plants a winter garden; and as he patiently tills the Grecian soil, he reclaims his integrity, his sense of joy, and his humanity.
Stones by David A. Ross
Cornelius Valentine is a young, passionate and very talented sculptor living on the Left Bank in Paris. Obsessed with his work, he treats others - including his lover Ariel, who is also his model - with a fickle, laissez-faire carelessness that often seems arrogant and disregarding. Even though he understands he loves Ariel, he also knows he loves his work more. After their affair ends abruptly, and badly, he retreats to a village in the South of France to attempt his masterwork.
There, in the medieval village of Seillans, a delusional local artisan named Sylviane Raynard confuses Cornelius with a figure in her past - the celebrated Dada artist Max Ernst. Seeking revenge for unrequited love, she sets out to both befriend and slowly poison the young artist.
As Cornelius becomes increasingly ill from the poison cunningly administered by his nemesis Sylviane, he continues day by day to chip away at a massive stone in an attempt to reveal his 'impossible' masterwork. Monitoring his progress, as well as the progress of her well-planned revenge, Sylviane descends deeper into the realm of her contorted memories.
Each artist - Cornelius and Sylviane - plays out his drama with dedicated passion, alone and little understood, yet each must ultimately share the same existential dilemma: what happens when one fails both in love and art?
How High the Wall by David A. Ross
Hermes Hawthorne is fifteen and lives in Grassy Knoll. Caught spray-painting graffiti on the wall of a house in Green Meadows, a neighboring and only slightly more affluent subdivision, he is remanded to the treatment of a psychiatrist who diagnoses him with ADHD and prescribes Ritalin therapy. Such a punishment, however, does not console Frank Brickman, the angry homeowner whose house Hermes has defaced. Frank conspires to build a wall to separate the two subdivisions, but how high must a wall rise to ensure the separation of barely distinguishable classes in a modern-day American suburb?
Sacrifice and the Sweet Life by David A. Ross
"They had never felt the fall, never sensed their descent. They heard only a deafening rumble, and then there was darkness—only darkness and crushing weight…”
So begins a profound and disturbing collection of eight short stories, four poems and one vignette by award-winning author David A. Ross.
A lonely and deranged sorcerer; a noon-time Bozo, a local television-star; observant and bewildered tourists; angry, drunken cock-fighters; obedient anarchists; a guilt-ridden engineer: each one experiences the curious juxtaposition of the two overriding ideas contained within the collection’s title, Sacrifice and the Sweet Life.
In 'NL Centrum', a drug-ruined anarchist proclaims, "The world theater maintains drama and tension through the perpetuation of greed and injustice and so forth…" In 'La Sorcière de Seillans', a driven sculptor is obsessed to "explore the space within the stones", and in 'In Search of the Perfect Former-Communist Beach Town', a malcontented traveler observes, "Some of the locals are a bit surly, Sean, so let's try to overlook ungracious behavior. Just enjoy the shore, the rich red wine and the paprika." One thing is certain as Giuvanni, the lust-ridden Florentine hotel clerk, laments, "In our world, sacrifice is unavoidable."