David Stone Books



















The Orpheus Deception

     "The central issue behind The Orpheus Deception is piracy, and not the video kind. I mean the literal interception and high-jacking of ships at sea. Free-lance – and not-so-free-lance – brigands operating from chase boats have been doing just that for years in the South China Sea, concentrating on the vulnerable choke-point of The Straits of Malacca, a narrow channel that runs between Singapore and The Indonesian Archipelago. Hundreds of tankers, freighters, and container ships have been taken, often with brutal violence, exactly as described in the opening scenes of The Orpheus Deception. Often these ships simply disappear, and emerge repainted, re-named, and re-flagged a few months later. Sometimes this is done with the help of countries in the region – including China. Sometimes it's done by Islamic Jihadis, whose interest is more in blood than money.
     Now it's spread to the Horn of Africa, where the failed state of Somalia has given rise to legions of free-lance pirates who have been operating with suspiciously high-levels of success in the Indian Ocean. I didn't predict these events, although the book anticipates them by quite a margin. I just noticed them first. And I thought a novel based on this phenomenon would make for interesting reading. Sometimes you can tell more truth in a novel than you can in non-fiction. That's why I write novels. That's why serious people read them. Hope you like this one."

David Stone.

A Short Conversation about The Orpheus Deception with David Stone

Your very first Micah Dalton book, The Echelon Vendetta, made the New York Times Best Seller List. Did that surprise you?

David Stone: Yes. I knew it was a pretty good book, but the real test of a work is out there in the real world. It was always possible that I was just another deluded narcissist tugging on the public sleeve. I may still be one. Time will tell.

The film rights to The Echelon Vendetta have been bought by Sony Pictures, we are told. And now they have a screenplay ready to shoot. Not bad for a deluded narcissist. Your sequel to The Echelon Vendetta is called The Orpheus Deception. Is it also based on real events?

DAVID STONE: The idea came from the sharp increase in piracy in the South China Sea and off the Horn of Africa. I didn't anticipate it. But I did notice it first.

You say you didn't anticipate the sharp up-tick in Somali piracy. Yet you wrote about it in The Orpheus Deception long before it came to global attention?

DAVID STONE: I keep an eye on this sort of thing.

Through what sources? Old associates? The Internet?

DAVID STONE: Both. The Internet is a valuable tool, but it's like an underground river. A lot of dubious things get picked up by the current and dragged along. Most of it is delusional, or worse. The difference between 'data' and 'information' is 'provenance'. Where did this detail come from? Who put it in the stream? Why? Can it be verified? If not, why not?

The Somalis seem to be getting away with their piracy so far. They've high-jacked forty ships in the last few months. They're making millions in ransom payments, money which goes right into the hands of criminals and terrorists. What would you do to combat that?

DAVID STONE: Stiffen the spines of the people on the tankers. These mutts arrive in Zodiacs and climb a steel wall forty feet off the water using folding ladders, while, from what I can see, the ship's crew runs around in tight little circles peeing in their panties. Try scaling a forty-foot steel wall in the high seas while somebody up above with an M 249 is drilling 5.56 millimeter holes in your turban and see how quickly your job satisfaction plummets.

Sounds pretty risky. What if the pirates shoot back?

David Stone: It's no fun if they don't.