Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Dispatches tagged as:
danger (51)

I suppose that the trouble really started in Cape Town - the truck trouble, that is. I'm much more amazed than angry that Nomad doesn't maintain their trucks - given that their business pretty much is their trucks, and they (not to mention their customers) are going nowhere fast without them....   (read more)

We moved to a rougher camp site (a bit too rough, in my view), on the banks of the Zambezi River. Mark: I just saw a mamba. Me: Is it dangerous? Mark: Heh heh, ha ha. I wouldn't say it's dangerous. I mean, if it bites you, you're dead. But it's a pretty happy, peaceful snake . . . Though, again, if it bites you, you're dead....   (read more)

What can be said of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe? How about, "Get the *&%$ back right now, you massed, marauding swarms of human stinging flies!" for starters? ...   (read more)

We woke with the dawn - to beat the heat, and ideally to meet the animals, who were also beating the heat. We quickly spotted more red litchri, splashed with steeply slanting sunlight, as well as a lonely elephant in the (far) distance....   (read more)

Our last night in the world, Paul sat us down before dinner, and gave us the scoop about the Delta: how to avoid becoming meat for any of the local Delta denizens....   (read more)

"But mad dogs and Englishmen / Go out in the noonday sun." - Noel Coward ... Astute readers will recall that the above quote has been previously used on Dispatch from the Razor's Edge. However, it turns out that it really, really bears repeating - the moment one sets foot in the Namib Desert....   (read more)

I'm sitting in the shade of a bungalow just above the banks of the Orange River, in Namibia. I've just survived being swept down a fair portion of said river, in the process of which misadventure I nearly lost both a fiberglass canoe, and a very nice German gal named Astrid. ...   (read more)

Right, then - so one more beach camp site on the shores of Lake Malawi. And although this one would be indistinguishable from Kande Beach to, say, Martians, it sure was a whole new kettle of worms for us....   (read more)

I emerge from my "life enjoyment break" in African Gelato Heaven into the lightest, gentlest sprinkle, which has floated in on the offshore breeze. Looping hotelward, but wide, I find myself in the proper, local (non-tourist) market - filled with stalls, vendors, shops, honking vehicles, and thousands of faces (all of which but mine are non-white)....   (read more)

So I actually spent a lot of time worrying about, and trying to figure out how to avoid, dying in that Land Cruiser we took to Serengeti....   (read more)

The hop from Amboseli to Nairobi was painless, and our quick drive-by of downtown Nairobi tended to underscore why we weren't being dropped off in the city proper. Lamentably, these days, Nairobi is literally one of the most dangerous and crime-ridden cities on the planet. ...   (read more)

I've given offense in the past by seeming to suggest that the people in my life don't know how to drive, or need my driving advice. I'm so sorry for that, which isn't what I mean at all....   (read more)

Fuchs Dispatch: now with Skeet Shooting! That is to say, I did the first part of the Morocco trip in the company of another snap-happy digital photographer - namely, one Josh Schroeder (nee Skeet). The main result for the dispatch is that you get a lot more pictures of me, which of course is great news if, like me, you really like looking at pictures of me....   (read more)

According to the UK charity RoadPeace, ten people die on the roads in Britain every day. (I was glad to find these guys because it makes me feel less alone and insane for worrying about this stuff.)...   (read more)

As well, we couldn't afford to get lost up here. Miles from any town, isolated up in the peaks, hemmed in by weather . . . we could end up doing circles, or heading off in some wrong direction, until we succumbed to the weather and exhaustion....   (read more)

Early morning in the Schesse-frei pub backyard. The very first light of day glances off of the still and quiet (and glisteningly wet) tents. Mark: I suppose there's nothing for it but to get moving. Me: But we don't have to do it now. Mark: I wonder if we could for once manage not to be excruciatingly early or absurdly late for breakfast . . . Darby Danger, we're up!...   (read more)

"For many, particularly those who enjoy cosy English villages hidden amongst the finest, gentlest, most bucolic scenery this country has to offer, the 13.5-mile stroll down the Esk Valley from Glaisdale to Grosmont is simply the best section of the walk . . . But first you have to get to the valley, and that means getting down off the moors . . . parts of this short-cut are extremely boggy - up to waist-deep, in my experience - and unless you want to end up like the dead sheep that occasionally litter this part of the moor it's probably safer to stick to the roads."...   (read more)

So I've recently picked up a new activity: the martial art of Krav Maga. Simply translating as "close combat" in Hebrew, this form was developed specifically for, and is still taught by, the Israel Defense Forces. And this morning, I can tell you, I feel precisely as if a squad of Israeli commandoes has been beating me with lead menorahs - while I ran a half-marathon through the Negev. Jesus....   (read more)

Awoke at, yes, half-seven again - what is it with this St. Ives campsite reveille? - to, yes, another glorious morning. I packed up much of my stuff, tried to shake some of the overnight dew off the tent (in anticipation of packing and carrying it later)...   (read more)

Yes, of course, I know, it's always the Michael Show here. However, it is about to become All Michael, All the Time / Too Much Michael Is Never Enough / I Want My M(ichael)TV Channel. Walking alone, the dispatches inevitably become more or less the Story of Me....   (read more)

I was up early again (camping!), right on time for a truly fab cooked breakfast - and cooked by a really lovely old whiskered gentleman. I felt like calling him "Cookie" and asking if I could carry the tin mugs over from the wagon for him...   (read more)

Awoke rather dreamy and refreshed - especially after an extra, post-rollover hour of sleep. The new sun and fresh breeze were both blasting in the window - ah, another glorious day, imagine that. Perhaps I am God. How would you know for sure, really?...   (read more)

Upon checkout, the nice innkeeper man, Terry (*) , gave me a replacement pen, gratis. Hard to argue with that. The least I can offer in return is some free, and much-deserved, publicity: http://porthcurnohotel.co.uk/....   (read more)

In nomadic camp life, you really do just get into the rhythm of waking at dawn. Badger! badger! badger! What I took to be a badger ran by, along the opposite edge of the field, with a crust of something in her jaws....   (read more)

Morning now, and I am standing on the stairs to the slide of the camp site playground, soaking up the first sunlight. I am not sitting here, nor anywhere, due to the dew, which is just a monster. The surface of the world couldn't be any more drenched if a thunderstorm had stopped five seconds ago....   (read more)

Lying in my tent in the Lizard, near to the pigs, I dreamt long, vivid, grand, yet frustrating dreams. Really long and involved. I wonder how time compression works in dreams. Are we like Data, reviewing video at impossible speeds?...   (read more)

Yes, it's that time of year again. I'll make it brief: please exercise great care when driving....   (read more)

Last Wednesday (Dec 13), I was involved in a very serious car accident. Exactly what you said was most common happened:...   (read more)

Regular Dispatch readers may recall previously reading about me getting handed my ass. Well, lately I've switched to getting my block knocked off. That is to say, I've taken up "the Noble Art" - of boxing....   (read more)

It will not have passed the notice of regular readers that I have taken up boxing. I've mentioned that the weekday sessions are fairly light-hearted (if not painless); but that the Saturday sparring sessions can be pretty brutal. Here are some results from my latest sparring session....   (read more)

Morning, breakfast in an amazing upstairs room with, reassuringly (to, you know, me) several guns on the wall. Rather less reassuringly, there was this countour map of the West Highlands, which our hosts thought they were being helpful in pointing out to us....   (read more)

Morning, breakfast in an amazing upstairs room with, reassuringly (to, you know, me) several guns on the wall. Rather less reassuringly, there was this countour map of the West Highlands, which our hosts thought they were being helpful in pointing out to us....   (read more)

During our breakfast at the big table in the big kitchen of the bunkhouse-y B&B, we were joined by a man leading a tour... So then it pretty much a matter of getting ourselves down off of Conic Hill, and onto the shores of Loch Lomond - the bonny banks of which we'd be walking along for the next two days....   (read more)

At 3295 feet, glowering over the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond is Scotland's southern-most Munro. Today was the day we would pause our northerly march to climb it. ...   (read more)

Well, the Large Hadron Collider had gone online. And we were still there. That was a nice start to the day - not having been sucked into a small black hole, nor woken up to find that stranglets had devoured the entire planet, leaving only an inert hyperdense sphere 100 meters across....   (read more)

Awoke from a series of long, vivid, detailed dreams (probably something to do with being in a real bed!); and Tim and I went down to the dining room (a dining room!) for a leisurely continental breakfast (breakfast!)....   (read more)

Well, it was the last walking day, and all we had to do was climb out of this strangely industrial Shangri-La. That of course meant Up....   (read more)

So when we last left our heroes, I was banged up with a bum leg, nursing pints in the Glen Nevis Inn, counting curios; Tim had hiked off alone to Ft. William, just by way of something to do; and we were both locked in a death struggle with boredom and unaccustomed idleness - and wondering if the jewel in the crown of our hundred-mile Highland hike, Ben Nevis, was going to be forever out of reach....   (read more)

At some point last year, I was struck - like, nearly literally, knocked back a couple of steps - by an article in the Telegraph reporting that talking on the phone while driving has been shown to be more dangerous than drunk driving....   (read more)

Statistics often fail to impact. So here's some multimedia - video, audio, and a few images (even a PDF) - which underscore the risks you impose on yourself, other drivers, and loved ones, by talking on the phone while driving....   (read more)

Right, so at the 17-mile checkpoint, major themes were shade, and foot maintenance. We both topped up with water - going dry out here could be a serious problem...   (read more)

Thought it might be fun to live blog tonight's riot. Latest entries first. This page will auto-reload every four minutes....   (read more)

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for Americans age 1-44. In 2009, 33,963 Americans died in road crashes and 2.3 million were treated in emergency rooms for injuries, many of them disfiguring or disabling. Here's how to survive your drive....   (read more)

So my latest fabulous (weapons-themed) Xmas gift from Alex was a day at a shooting range which will rent you various high-powered fully-automatic firearms to play with. I brought my camera. The rockn', Zombie Apocalypse-themed, heavily annotated, music-video bullet festival results are below....   (read more)

I really think everyone ought to watch the recent speeches by President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu at the U.N. The vivid moral clarity shown here - about orgiastic religious violence, about a nuclear-armed and messianic terror state in Iran, about a citizenry-slaughtering dictator in Syria - is much needed, and frankly awesome....   (read more)

This holiday season, in the U.S. alone, 1,161 people will die in motor vehicle crashes, and 124,100 will be injured, many cripplingly and permanently. Please don't be amongst them. Please drive very carefully. For this years's harangue, I'm publishing excerpts from a totally fascinating book I read last year, called Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)....   (read more)

Planning catastrophes, sniffy French, closed-out mountain passes, crushing climbs, severely beautiful mountain vistas, dicing with death on snow diagonals, braving ridicule in snow gaiters, assault by the sun, the best refuge spot ever (so far) - and of course the titular miracle....   (read more)

The photo above depicts me in, or just before, the moments when I felt, more than at any other time before or since, that it was possible I might lose my life. Obviously I didn't die, and reasonable people seem to disagree about how much danger I was actually in. But there can be no question that I've never been so scared. In my mind, at the very least, this was a no-bullshit, breath-stealing, pulse-supercharging, this-could-really-be-it (the end of my whole story, right here and now) tango with death....   (read more)

Morning douches, a killer snow descent, shin betrayal, a murderous slog in the sun, the ascent of death, raging runoff, the most stunning col yet, my best photography ever, God's front room, badass Aussies, shower follies, and Tim's sledding fail....   (read more)

Here's probably as long a list as you need of reputable and effective charities helping people in the Philippines. As usual these days, the U.S. military continues its transition into the world's best and most effective disaster relief service....   (read more)

about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (2014); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of spec-ops zombie apocalypse dark action thrillers. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
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