Posts

Showing posts from September, 2005
I write to you from Fort Portal, Uganda, with a slew of publication news. Dark Places/Trail Of The Dead has been sold to the Japanese publisher Kodansha, who will translate and publish it there next year, which is also when an audiobook of TRAIL OF THE DEAD should be released in the UK. Blood Price has been sold to De Boekerij in Holland, again for translation and publication next year. Finally, HarperCollins Canada will be publishing Invisible Armies in the spring of next year.

filovirus filibuster

Jinja, Uganda When Richard Preston, noted bestselling author of The Hot Zone , entered Mt. Elgon's Kitum Cave, on the trail of the world's most deadly disease, he wore a full-body Level IV biohazard containment suit. When I entered Kitum, a couple days ago, I dared to wear nothing more than hiking boots, slacks, and a T-shirt - - although, in the interests of full disclosure, I should probably admit that the "I" there could be expanded into "I and everyone else who has ever been there." The locals must have thought Preston a total wackjob. But his fear was rational, if excessive; he believed Kitum cave to be the source of the Ebola Marburg virus. The tusked salt miners of Kitum Cave Getting to Kitum is easy. I took a taxi (there were no more matatus that day) to Delta Crescent Farms, a weird and sprawling lodge complex some 6km of dirt road down from Mount Elgon National Park. The dry season had begun only two days earlier, and I was the Delta Crescent

After the thrill is gone

Kitale, Kenya OK: when exactly did Lonely Planet become Terror Planet? Excerpts from the Nairobi section of their current East Africa guide: Nairobi, or 'Nairobbery' as it is often referred to by residents, is regarded as the most dangerous city in Africa ... never walk around downtown with a daypack, bum-bag, camera, wristwatch, mobile phone or jewellery ... carry only as much money as you need ... at night, mugging is a risk anywhere - take a taxi, even if you're only going a few blocks. Also: Most local people choose to travel via the unique transport phenomenon that is the matatu ... many are driven by madmen with no concept of personal danger ... in some cases there is no alternative, but if there is a bus, train or plane, take it. I violated all of these strictures on my first day in town, and frquently thereafter, and lived to tell the tale with never a nervous moment. And telling people not to take matatus in Kenya is like advising visitors to New York not to