Skip to content
Grist home
All donations DOUBLED

Articles by Saul Tanpepper

Saul Tanpepper is the author of the popular book series Bunker 12 and Zpocalypto, as well as the clifi stories "The Green Gyre" and "Leviathan." A former combat medic and retired PhD scientist from Northern California, he is the co-author (as Kenneth James Howe) of the Eritrean diaspora memoirs "Relentless" and "I Will Not Grow Downward."

Featured Article

This story is part of Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors, a climate-fiction contest from Grist. Read the 2021 collection now. Or sign up for email updates to get new stories in your inbox.

* * *

“Your great-grand-abo 10 times removed was the last of the Danakil Afar,” I say, settling back against the cushion. “And the first to construct the towers.”

A breeze passes in through the open door and dries the sweat on our brows. Tonight is the first time the temperature has been cool enough to leave the windows open, and the rooms fill with the humid aroma of the day’s harvest.

“Before the Great Drying swept across the land, the Afar were a nomadic people of the Horn, shepherds mainly, who kept to themselves. Afterward, they became builders and salt traders. Your great-grand-ahde 10 times removed came from the highlands.”

Senait fidgets. Matters of ancient history hold little interest f... Read more