Crossover Update: October 2019

Collapse Update

Wondering about the third book, Collapse, in the Crossover Series? Well, I’m into the editing phase. The schedule looks like:

  • Oct: self-editing
  • Nov: professional editor
  • Dec: ARC (advanced reader copies) to the Street Team (more on this next month)
  • Jan: Launch Collapse

Trade Items

Collapse takes place on a small island off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Why do the characters from Haven want to go there?

Trade! They know that Mesoamerica has:

  • Cocoa (chocolate)…luxury trade item (okay, some would say it’s a necessary item!)
  • Cotton…practical trade item
  • Rubber…needed to further industrialize Haven and it’s areas of influence
  • Peppers…!

Mesoamerica also is a stepping stone to South America where the Havenites hope to find:

  • Quinine…necessary for interacting with Africa (hmm…foreshadowing?)
  • Silver…from the Aztec lands

Review and Homework assignment:

Order/check out the movie “Apocolypto” from your local library or online movie source and watch it.

From Amazon:

Forget any off-screen impressions you may have of Mel Gibson, and experience Apocalypto as the mad, bloody runaway train that it is.

The story is set in the pre-Columbian Maya population: one village is brutally overrun, its residents either slaughtered or abducted, by a ruling tribe that needs slaves and human sacrifices.

We focus on the capable warrior Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood), although Gibson skillfully sketches a whole population of characters–many of whom don’t survive the early reels.

Most of the film is set in the dense jungle, but the middle section, in a grand Mayan city, is a dazzling triumph of design, costuming, and sheer decadent terror.

The movie itself is a triumph of brutality, as Gibson lets loose his well-established fascination with bodily mortification in a litany of assaults including impalement, evisceration, snakebite, and bee stings.

It’s a dark, disgusted vision, but Gibson doesn’t forget to apply some very canny moviemaking instincts to the violence–including the creation of a tremendous pair of villains (strikingly played by Raoul Trujillo and Rodolfo Palacias).

The film is in a Maya dialect, subtitled in English, and shot on digital video (which occasionally betrays itself in some blurry quick pans).

Amidst all the mayhem, nothing in the film is more devastating than a final wordless exchange of looks between captured villager Blunted (Jonathan Brewer) and his wife’s mother (Maria Isabel Diaz), a superb change in tone from their early relationship.

Yes, this is an obsessive, crazed movie, but Gibson knows what he’s doing. –Robert Horton

My take: it’s fairly accurate. The movie dramatizes the social pressures experienced by the Maya society due not only to overpopulation and inter-elite warfare but also to the environmental devastation caused by the making of concrete.


Here’s something fun to try right now…a puzzle for you made from a photo I took while exploring the location of “Conflict,” the first book in the series. It’s only 48 pieces so it goes together in a jiffy when you drag the pieces around on your screen. Here’s what you do:

  1. Just click HERE for the puzzle.
  2. Click and drag the pieces on your device. If you leave the sound on you’ll hear a satisfying “click” when the pieces fit together.
  3. Can you guess what Joe and his friend built at this spot? (Note: I was thrilled to find this open area and its view!)
  4. Email me the answer at

2 thoughts on “Crossover Update: October 2019

    1. Walt Socha Post author

      I’m hoping that Haven will provide inspiration rather than colonization. I’m planning to set up learning centers that support themselves with trade. All of this will come together (I hope!) in book four. I look forward to your future comments!


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