It’s difficult to walk through a rainforest and fear death.

Scrambling through saplings growing out of nurse logs fallen across rotting stumps rich with moss, ferns, and fungus.

Everything underfoot and overhead a verdant, fecund mess - churning, fractal growth with wonder at every scale.

Each tree an ecosystem unto itself. Each tree a node in a vast, evolving network. An eagle’s scream. Black piles of berry-ridden bear shit. Rivers thick with salmon. This sign.

Dappled light on infinite green calls to mind a line from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: “Not only are there no happy endings, there aren’t even any endings.”

A rainforest renders self-evident life’s destiny to become other life.


Eliot Peper writes novels that explore the intersection of technology and culture and is the author of Breach, Borderless, Bandwidth, Cumulus, True Blue, Neon Fever Dream, and the Uncommon Series. He has built technology businesses, designed games, survived dengue fever, pioneered new media formats, translated Virgil’s Aeneid from the original Latin, worked as an entrepreneur-in-residence at a venture capital firm, and explored the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Mustang. His books have been praised by the New York Times Book Review, Popular Science, Businessweek, TechCrunch, io9, and Ars Technica, his writing has appeared in the Verge, OneZero,, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and he has been a speaker at places like Google, Comic Con, SXSW, and Future in Review.