Agriculture is the struggle by human civilizations to provide reliable and adequate food, one of the most basic needs. All the human efforts, including cultivation of desirable plants at the expense of unwanted vegetation, genetic selection to attain superior performance, irrigation of crops during drought, controlling pests and diseases, or providing housing for livestock, strive to contain the relentless entropy of natural forces that would otherwise diminish our capacity to survive. These forces never cease, frequently change, and evolve new means with which to challenge farmers on a daily basis. From their perspective at the frontline of this struggle, farmers are more aware of the consequences of timely rains or insect infestation and may thus be more apt to define these events as an “act of God”, perhaps hoping that an overarching plan prevails, rather than random chance.
Superimposed on this way of life is the rural landscape itself, insular and reluctant to change, solidly rooted in dogma. It is the interface between religion, tradition, and cultural isolationism on the one hand and changes in society, technology and natural forces on the other, that is the foundation for a trilogy of novels, the first book being Casting Demons Into Swine. How the people within rural communities cope with challenges such as aberrant pathogens, climatic stress, and socio-pathologic behaviors are the canvas on which the stories of the upcoming novels will be painted. In recognition of the tenuous existence of human civilizations and to champion of natural forces that surround us, the stories will include a measure of unpredictability and occasional episodes of suspended reality.