“Good Omens . . . is something like what would have happened if Thomas Pynchon, Tom Robbins and Don DeLillo had collaborated. Lots of literary inventiveness in the plotting and chunks of very good writing and characterization. It’s a wow. It would make one hell of a movie. Or a heavenly one. Take your pick.”—Washington Post
According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.
So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.
And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .
The volume includes articles by Admiral Arliegh Burke and Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale that speak from long personal experience regarding the topics of integrity and moral courage. Articles throughout the book stress the effects of leadership ethics on a unit’s combat readiness and ability to person successfully its missions. Also found in the book are articles that pertain to ethics and emerging military technologies, ethics and civil-military relations, and ethics with respect to leadership in specific historical events such as the failure of leadership in the Iraqi prison at Abu Graib.
The focus of the volume is not “bad apples” in the service but rather the development of “good apples” in a “good barrel.” It argues that regardless of rank or position, leaders in the Navy can affect mission readiness and mission success through ethical leadership and personal example. In so doing, every leader also strengthens the profession of arms. Further, the articles taken collectively contend that ethics is integral to leadership and that attempts to compartmentalize ethics or separate it from leadership is a failure to fully understand the requirements and expectations of those in the profession of arms. Every member of the armed services has been entrusted with a special confidence by the American people that require commitment to the ideals and values of the Constitution. This spans American naval history, culture, and political perspectives and provides naval leaders an honored and unique position in American society. Trust assumes ethical behavior, ethical decision making, ethical warfighting, and ethical leadership.
Dion found himself arrested (under the ostensible auspices of The Patriot Act) for conspiring with international terrorists to smuggle Top Secret military equipment out of Camp Pendleton. The fact that Dion had absolutely nothing to do with international terrorists, smuggling, Top Secret military equipment, or Camp Pendleton didn’t seem to bother the military. He was released from jail after a six-day-long Abu-Ghraib-style interrogation. Subsequently, he believed himself under intense government scrutiny — and, he suspected, the subject of bizarre experimentation involving “cloaking”— electro-optical camouflage so extreme it renders observers practically invisible from a distance of some meters — by the Department of Homeland Security. Hallucination? Perhaps — except Robert Guffey, an English teacher and Dion’s friend, tracked down and interviewed one of the scientists behind the project codenamed “Chameleo,” experimental technology which appears to have been stolen by the U.S. Department of Defense and deployed on American soil. More shocking still, Guffey discovered that the DoD has been experimenting with its newest technologies on a number of American citizens.
A condensed version of this story was the cover feature of Fortean Times Magazine (September 2013).