Carl Howe Hansen
writer - musician - sailor
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Destiny -- First Prize for General Fiction
The Green Book Festival

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Reviews for Destiny

      "Don’t start this book if you have anything urgent to do! You won’t be able to put it down. Dr. Peter Petersen’s discovery of bacteria designed to clean up oil spills promises a solution to environmental disaster, but when it is released prematurely, it threatens to end the world as we know it. Wild adventures at sea, geopolitical crisis, a frantic race to avert calamity—all are made human by the story of two brilliant but estranged brothers, grappling with their past. To top it all, there’s the story of first love in the face of an impending catastrophe. This is a rip-roaring thriller with a heart."

      - Rebecca Pepper Sinkler – former editor-in-chief of the New York Times Book Review

"Big ideas, rich characters, seamless storytelling, and the scent and heave of the sea--it's all here in this powerful debut novel by Carl Howe Hansen. With Destiny, Carl starts mapping out his own as one of our best…"

     - Richard Adams Carey, author of Against the Tide, Philosopher Fish, and Ravens Children.

  "Carl Howe Hansen’s newest book, Destiny, will make you think. It will make you consider the fundamental building blocks in everything from your clothing and furniture to your electronic gadgets and from your automobile even to the roads it runs on. Meet E07, a molecule that could reduce life to its most basic level, life much as our forefathers knew it.
      Let’s hope that Carl Howe Hansen’s Destiny is just one man’s abstraction and not a preview of our own destiny."

      - Karen Larson, Founding Editor, Good Old Boat magazine



Here is a sneak peak at the opening scene from Destiny...

Wed. morning, Aug. 7, off the coast of Massachusetts.

            Kendra Petersen’s fingers slid along the folds of skin below the man’s chin, searching for and then willing the carotid artery to pulsate with the next beat of his heart.

            “Please, please!” she yelled, “Beat, you bastard!”

            Her thumb joined forces with her fingers and she squeezed the fibrous artery tighter until fear gripped her that no blood could pass. “Give me a chance, please!” Hovering above his bloodstained face, she strained to hear anything at all. “Shut up!” she said as she lifted her face to the sky, imploring the shrieking wind.

            “One…OK, there ya go.” She had not lost her sense of touch. “One, one thousand, two, one thousand,” she counted the pulsations, “come on…thr—Shiiit…”

            She let her grip slip as the sailboat dropped off the backside of another wave. When they reached the bottom of the wave trough, the sudden loss of momentum sent her body, along with his, crumpling against a corner of the cockpit.

            “Dammit, I need you.” She struggled to dislodge herself from his legs. “Move!”

            There was no reaction in his listless face. His weather-beaten skin was wet with a mix of blood and salt water. Behind the stubble of his beard—this was their third day since they had left Maine—his lackluster color showed only a hint of the trauma he had experienced.

            “You’ll have to wait your turn.” Despite his unconsciousness, she kept talking to maintain her focus. “We’ll never get there if I don’t get control of this damn boat.” She meant for her one-sided conversation to infuse some life, to help connect his errant brainwaves, to keep his mind among the living. “Remember what you told me? ‘Priorities first’…you were right.” A surge erupted under the hull and this time, she grabbed the base of a winch with one arm, him with the other, and held tight.

            Above her head, the jumbled mass of sail remained attached to the main boom. Each time the boat lurched, the heavy wooden appendage many times her weight swung freely from one side to the other.

            “Now!” She released her protective grip on the winch and used both hands to lasso the boom with a length of rope, which she then yanked taut to the gallows and wrapped on a cleat. When the next wave lifted the boat, she dragged him onto the floor of the cockpit and threw herself on top. With her face pressed against his, she felt some warmth escape from his open mouth. Touching her lips to his ear, she whispered, “So, old man, you are still with me.”

            The boat heeled over, paused with a shudder felt throughout the seams of the old wooden schooner, and then snapped back to attention. She took advantage of the lull between breaking waves, now regular as clockwork, to brush back a curl of hair from his eye and said, “Dad, you had better stay alive. I didn’t plan to be out here…alone.”


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