Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
"Sudden, unexplained panic sharpens the senses almost past enduring."
        - David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

    Today, of my own free will – and, in fact, at not inconsiderable personal expense – I went out and had myself injected with Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhus. How's that for a dreamy Wednesday morning? Well, it could have been worse; much worse. For instance, I gave Rabies a miss; at $190 for each of the three shots in the series, it seemed reasonable to address the problem in other ways. I also passed on the Meningitis opportunity; my doctor noted that I will not actually be travelling in the "Meningitis Belt". Cholera was solemnly advised against – as this particular vaccination is agreed to be "painful, expensive, and ineffective." Finally, I got off the Tetanus hook, by virtue of seeming to recall already having enjoyed that one within the last few years.

    If I sound bitter about all this, I'm not. In point of fact, I'm happy and grateful for the protection against these risks. Much more, I really liked my new travel doctor, and helper. The doc – a professor of immunology at Stanford – actually just got back from 9 weeks in Uganda, where he was training medical personnel in treatment of HIV/AIDS patients. How cool is that? Also, not a little useful to me – he was truly Johnny-on-the-spot with specific advice and recommendations for me. After a very pleasant and informative consultation with him, I was handed off to his nurse/assistant/needle-wielding-person, who – despite stabbing people for a living – was hugely helpful, patient, and just nice.

    Once she and I agreed on my cocktail, she darted over to Hell's Own Refrigerator™ – where everything on the menu has killed millions – and returned with a gleaming tray with five gleaming needles laid out upon it. All that was missing was the white linen.
Me: "Jesus, I feel like a heroin gourmand."
Her: "Try not to look at them."
Me: "Do I even have enough veins for all this?"
Her: "Well . . . we have had people who got more."
    In the end, I left poorer and sorer – but in possession of two lovely prescriptions (anti-malarials, and a good antibiotic – "useful for unstoppable diarrhea; or the sniffles; whatever"), as well as a WHO-approved "International Certificate of Vaccination." Also, my upper arms and shoulders were gaily festooned with Looney Tunes adhesive bandages. These looked very cool later on in the gym.


    In other news, I've packed up all my books. No library – and no hair. Where's my sense of self-identity now?! Man – this self-hood business is all quite slippery enough, even when clinging to familiar rocks. On the upside, I met with a new client yesterday – my first business meeting in five years without hair. I tell you. I think most of us try to not judge people too much on matters of style. And, of course, this is the Bay Area, where everyone's allowed (and encouraged) to do whatever they want – and Silicon Valley, where all that really matters is what's inside your head. Nonetheless: No matter how well I knew my stuff technology-wise, no matter my ability to run a meeting, no matter my careful "business casual" attire . . . I just never could walk into a business setting wearing a ponytail without feeling, on some level, like some kind of pansy-hippy-throwback-poseur. The ponytail was just always in the room, I'm afraid. So, yesterday's meeting was very liberating. As Forest sagely noted: "Well, one less thing." And I signed the client (admittedly a mixed blessing for a guy with a week to store everything he owns, pack for a major trip, and get out of Dodge).
  books     hair     africa     bay area     health  
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 (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. 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
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
from email:



to email(s) (separate w/commas):
By subscribing to Dispatch from the Razor’s Edge, you will receive occasional alerts about new dispatches. Your address is totally safe with us. You can unsubscribe at any time. All the cool kids are doing it.