When spirits go to war, physical bodies get badly hurt
Vietnam, 1967. As he stumbles among the convulsed nation’s gnarled battlefields as a young foot soldier, Ulises Duque becomes fettered with collateral struggles. A streetwise survivalist with a solid college degree, he is suddenly spurned by the woman he loves. This plunges his soul into bitter sentiments of self-sacrifice in battle. Also, a mundane Buddhist bonze he befriends at Marble Mountain disrupts his psyche further with a weird mysticism while Duque attempts to save the holy man from the throes of military acrimony. All the while, an obsessive infantry captain pulls Duque into a secretive search-and-capture mission bereft of the protocols of even unconventional warfare. It includes paranormal weaponry and delving too deep into Vietnamese spirit folklore. The officer is hellbent on capturing a high-calibre but extremely elusive guerrilla chieftain of Vietnam’s National Liberation Front who is codenamed Quyet Thang, A brutal and canny adversary, Quyet is also fanatical in crushing such unique military actions against the Viet Cong’s top cadre. Many good soldiers die in this quest as Duque suspects the mysterious Quyet may not even be alive as the captain’s clairvoyant field intelligence may be too delusional. Or is it?
✑ AUTHOR BIO ✑
Rafael Matos is a veteran journalist, cybernews professor, and sailing enthusiast. Born in Puerto Rico, he retired as an Associated Press editor and newsman at the AP Caribbean Bureau. After that, he occupied newsroom management positions in three daily newspapers in Puerto Rico. Also worked as Caribbean editor for Efe Spanish news agency. Did reporting work at the Sun-Sentinel and was editor of the Latin American pages at the Miami (Nuevo) Herald, both in South Florida. His reporting travels include the US, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, the entire Antilles, South America, Spain and Asia. Matos has graduate studies on US-Caribbean history, with a minor an Asian studies at the University of Puerto Rico. Also did mass media undergraduate studies.
A Vietnam veteran, he was wounded in action as a combat medic. Has edited five non-fiction books and taught multimedia narrative for some 20 years. He is now a cyber-chronicler and literary writer on the Web.
Digital literature is a risky proposition. Typing fingers are seldom fast enough for the keen celerity of a computer’s electronic mind. Words come out bungled or comically autocorrected. Sometimes, the machine decides to alter text or it’s formatting according to some programmer’s hidden algorithm. Thus, don‘t judge this opus too harshly for typos or slightly stilted grammar. Do suggest corrections politely. I will promptly fix and follow all sound advise. Even better yet, seek enjoyment in what is said between the lines.