“Very little of this is made up. The coastwatchers on Leserser were there as described – as was I, half a century later.”
Sounds used in this episode:
by Lavie Tidhar
The city is buried deep under the South Pacific ocean, and that is all I want to tell you about it.
In 1942 South Pacific Command was established on the island of New Caledonia following the hurried departure of its French colonial administration. Nouvelle Caledonie, unlike the other islands of Melanesia, was not volcanic. It was, in fact, the sole remnant of an entire sunken continent called Zealandia, a fragment of the once-mighty Gondwanaland.
There had been monsters on New Caledonia, before humans came. Meiolania, a giant horned turtle, two and a half meters long with an elongated skull and multiple horns protruding from of it. Or the Sylviornis, an almost two meters tall, flightless bird with a long reptilian tail. Or the enormous, armoured Mekosuchus crocodiles.
Real monsters, all of them. But when the humans came, when the ancient Lapita people crossed the ocean in their giant canoes, they settled the islands, and they killed the monsters.
I was not in New Caledonia. I was with III Island Command, first on Espiritu Santo and then on Vanua Lava, in the islands of the New Hebrides.
About the Author
Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award winning author of Osama (2011), of The Violent Century (2013) and of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winning A Man Lies Dreaming (2014), in addition to many other works and several awards. His latest novel is the Campbell Award winning and Clarke Award nominated Central Station (2016). He works across genres, combining detective and thriller modes with poetry, science fiction and historical and autobiographical material. His work has been compared to that of Philip K. Dick by the Guardian and the Financial Times, and to Kurt Vonnegut’s by Locus.
About the Narrator
Your reader – Robert A.K. Gonyo – is a voiceover artist residing in Queens, New York; when he’s not at the mic, he’s directing, acting, or playing music in New York’s off-off-Broadway theatre community. He produces and hosts a podcast on off-off-Broadway, Go See a Show!, available on the web and on iTunes. You can follow his work, and contact him for voiceover gigs, at ROBERT GONYO.com.