Longtime Orcas resident George Karnikis has recently published his science fiction story “Project Anastrophe.”
The novel begins calmly enough: “It was one of those foggy March mornings; a day off to do as I please.”
And takes off from there.
Nick, from the 21st century, meets Norina when he is propelled into the 25th century. Accompanied by robots Vrema and Nir, they are destined to return back to the present to save Earth from destruction. In the meantime, they explore a futuristic city – after Nick recovers from radiation poisoning – and also travel back to ancient Athens and protect the spaceship Anastrophe from takeover.
Karnikis’ inspiration for the story came while he was fishing in the waters off Orcas Island, about eight years ago.
Karnikis was born in Athens, Greece. After he completed his early education, he traveled around the world for ten years, and conducted travel tours in Europe. In 1965, he settled in the U.S. and has lived on Orcas Island for the last 36 years.
He has worked in construction in the San Juan Islands, where he designed and remodeled residential housing. He reads and writes Greek and English and speaks several other languages, and has taught English as a second language. George is active in the local writing community, attending the Writer’s Roundtable, as well as taking memoir and poetry classes.
Karnikis says that he wrote a sequel into his original story in the 551-page book, but adds “I left enough room to wiggle out into another book.”
While he was writing “Project Anastrophe,” Karnikis also worked and built a house. His working habits were to spend two hours every morning writing. His characters write their own stories. Karnikis says, “I create the characters and then I follow their lead.”
The book is dedicated to his wife, Ingrid, and in the acknowledgments he credits Stan and JoEllen Moldoff for their advice, his son Carlos for input on space and spaceships, Writers Roundtable and other writing classes on Orcas, and his children, along with Ingrid, who “helped me with those prepositions that are so hard for a non-native speaker.”
Wriitng is fun, Karnikis says, “But publishing is terrible! Like everybody else, I was rejected a few times so I went out on my own. For me, it was more than going to college. To write a book takes a lot of study, not just writing things down, but research, reading, and finding out a lot of different things.”
He eventually decided to publish through Outskirts Press, of Denver, Colo. “And I have control of my book. Just as they say it takes a village to raise a child, my friends encouraged me to finish the book.”
When he finally got his hands around the published copy of “Project Anastrophe,” Karniskis said, he was “extremely excited to see eight years of hard work finished.”
Now he is working on a memoir.
On Saturday, Oct. 18 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Karnikis will read from his book and sign copies at Darvill’s Bookstore.