Evolving news on the science, writing and thinking about Near Death Experiences (NDEs)

Free Summer Vacation Reading

The Parnia lab has gone very very quiet. I am hoping this is the calm before the fall storm. In the meantime I have a little “gift” of free reading for you.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was recently laid off due to an Alzheimer’s drug I was working on not being approved by the EMA. I have spent the past two months doing endless interviews and presentations to prospective employers, and I have finally secured a new position which starts at the beginning of October. I now have 2 months to do as I wish…a lovely feeling.

I have it in mind to complete the final draft of a novel set in the world of NDEs and OBEs that I have been picking up and putting back down, with various development editors adding their thoughts along the way, for well over 2 decades now. But it is hard work…really hard work, and I don’t want to waste my time writing something that no one will read when I could spend the next two months catching up on DIY projects, watching sport on the TV, and taking it easy. So I am in need of some encouragement, but only if it is genuine.

Below is the first very brief chapter of this draft. The first 3 chapters, about 30 pages, are in the downloadable PDF below that. If I get sufficient, genuine, positive feedback from people on this site then I will devote the next 2 months to completing this draft of part 1 and sending off to a copy editor to polish up before I self-publish later this year. If I am met with a community-wide “meh”…I will sulk…but then get over it pretty quick and do something else. I do not want people to be nice to make me feel good, I want honest feedback from the type of people who are most likely to find this kind of story appealing, and lets face it, if you guys don’t want to read it, then no one else will!

So, read the below, and if you are intrigued, download the PDF containing chaps 1-3 by hitting the download button and post the answer to the following question in the comments section: “Would you pay $5 for part 1 in this planned series of books?”

If you have some specific feedback, other than typos which a copy editor will find, and you don’t wish to post it, then send me a private message via the contacting me directly tab above. If you hate it, or just think its blah, you don’t need to say anything, but only post something positive if you would actually part with your hard earned money to find out what happens to Mark, Helen and…Hammon

Many thousands of years ago.

Hammon could feel the skinsuit start to respond to the presence of his consciousness, but it was slow work integrating with the neural interface. It must have been an earlier model sent out on one of the first wave of exploratory missions; the later models came to life almost instantly.

His eyelids finally opened. The cabin was bathed in a red glow.

“Warning,” the soothing voice declared. “Entering unknown system.”

Hammon could feel the artificial heart pumping faster as the cabin neared optimum temperature. It had probably been hundreds of years since someone had visited the explorer craft for a maintenance check and during that time the cabin would have been kept at deep space temperatures to conserve energy. It would take the body he was inhabiting a few more minutes to warm up and he would be able to move properly.

The instrument panels came to life and the screens lining the walls of the cabin created a seemless 360 view of the outside.

“Warning,” the voice said again. “Ninety percent chance of collision. Use manual override to change course.”

A huge brown and cream striped planet with a vast eye shaped storm on it loomed ahead. Hammon looked at the manual override button. It was within reach. He stared at his right hand, willing it to lift up, a finger moved slightly.

An alarm sounded.

The giant planet hurtled past. Hammon breathed a sigh of relief.

“Warning. Ninety-seven percent chance of collision. Use manual override to change course.”

Dead ahead, still distant, but growing nearer by the second, was his worst possible nightmare…a star…the one place his consciousness could be obliterated. Even if he didn’t crash, and somehow got trapped in its orbit, if he was too close to the star, and without access to a source of energy sufficient to create a quantum space bridge, its gravitational pull could trap his consciousness in this system forever.

He focused all his will on his hand. It slowly raised a centimetre from the arm rest.

He screamed out loud in frustration and cursed. At least the lungs were working.

“Ninety seconds to impact. Use manual override to change course.”

The star grew larger. He knew that the ship would not change course automatically. Many of the exploratory craft they sent out were intended to crash into systems and send back data of the final seconds before impact to provide information on suitability for collonisation.

“Impact in 60 seconds. 59, 58…”

He lifted his hand again. This time he moved it towards the manual override button.

What if they had known this ship was destined to collide with a star? His presence in the palace had become increasingly unwanted by others on the council. His ambitions had caused many to resent him. But surely they wouldn’t obliterate another soul because their pride had been wounded?

“49, 48,..”

He strained, roared again and hit the button.

“Manual override implemented.”

The suit was coming to life, he hastily plotted a new course. He just needed to shift the direction by a few degrees to avoid the star.

“39, 38…”

He finalized and input the instructions then looked at the view ahead. He was veering away from the star.

He breathed out and leaned back in his chair.

The more he thought about it, the more he realized he must have been set up. When he got back, he would make whoever was responsible pay.

“4, 3”

He jerked back up. Out of nowhere a planet covered in patches of green, blue and white burst into view.

“1, 0”


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15 thoughts on “Free Summer Vacation Reading

  1. Jack on said:

    I actually thought the first three chapters were super interesting! Also, it sucks you got laid off, I’ve been looking at this blog for around 8 months now and it’s a super good way to learn more about the AWARE studies. I’ll definitely read your book when you release it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Jack, welcome to the blog. Thanks for that encouraging comment…that’s really good to hear. Writing novels is strange as you have no idea whether or not you are on track, unlike sport or playing music.


      • Dario on said:

        the results from Sam Parnia will we have them in October?


      • I don’t know precisely when the results will come, and we discuss that a lot in other posts…hopefully before the end of the year.

        This post is a rare “off topic” post (although my novel is based on NDEs) and this comment section for those who have downloaded the first three chapters of my novel and who wish to encourage me to continue (already many have downloaded it, so if you are one of those please read it by Monday and if you would buy the full version for $5, post a few words here to that effect). I will basically decide whether to continue with this project on the basis of what is written (or not written) here…I love writing, but at the same time I don’t want to waste my time.

        Rest assured once more data emerges on NDEs, it will be posted here! (They did do a post about their skull cap on Instagram, but not sure it is worthy of a post here at this stage. I may put something up after the weekend as I actually worked with some researchers on a proposal involving caps like these in Alzheimer’s).

        Thank you!

        Orson (aka Ben)


    • FourDoorThreat on said:

      Hey Ben,

      Parnia Lab’s Twitter made another tweet, but it is just about a NPR article about how NDEs changed one particular person’s life after they went through one (they caught Covid and it was serious). Bruce Greyson was also interviewed for it, where he comments about how he went from a materialist to supporting NDEs being a transcendental experience.

      I guess it isn’t worth another blog post, but it seems to maintain Parnia Lab’s usual consistency lately.


  2. Sorry to hear about you getting laid off Ben.

    Here in the US, there is legislation to let Medicare/Medicaid finally negotiate drug prices like every other country in the world. The pharma industry is campaigning full time against this. Heard on an ad that there are 93 drugs being trialed for Alzheimer’s currently.

    I’m currently in the process of slowly losing a grandparent to Alzheimer’s. I find it odd how although her short term and slowly her long term memory may be gone on some days, her agent, or POV self still persists which I guess you could call the soul. Then again, my uncle has banned me from using her as a test subject for my philosophy of mind experiments

    Liked by 1 person

  3. anna on said:

    I found it really intriguing and wanted to find out what happens next, which is the true test of a good story to me. Hope you have a great summer, whether you are writing or taking some much deserved time off.


    • Thanks Anna, much appreciated. So far you are one the few out of hundreds who have downloaded it who have posted anything positive…if that persists then I will take it that for most the book does not work. If I get several more who are positive, I will continue with the project.


  4. Downloaded the sample. Not read yet:)


    • Thanks, when you do read it, if you actually like it, then please post something. I am starting to conclude that it may be a stinker given the forum wide “Meh” it seems to be inducing! Fair enough, if it’s going to completely flop, I’d rather know now and not waste any more time and energy on it, but if it has potential then I want to continue to invest in it while I have the chance and before I start my next job in the Fall.


  5. Marco on said:

    First post here. So far I have been reading quite a lot on your blog but didn’t participate actively.

    So, now for the book: I would really like to read on. It’s intriguing to read about our favorite topic from another perspective. And I totally understand the situation of the character „Mark“.

    I would definitely buy the book for 5 Dollars/€ or more (depends on the scope).

    Not quite sure that the little feedback is caused by the book being „meh“. I rather think it’s caused by relatively short time between release of the first 3 chapters and the deadline for replies.

    Have a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Marco,
      Thanks very much for that post. Certainly encouraging, and glad it bought you out of “lurker” status. Feel free to add comments on other posts if they add to the discussion.

      If anyone else agrees with Marco but has never posted before, please please do comment…it won’t appear immediately as all first posts go into a vetting pool, but once approved you are free to post again without needing approval.


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