Friday, February 13, 2015

Books by P.J. Wetzel

(Last updated 14 September 2023)

Now available through Amazon:  The Appalachian Trail memoir:

Front cover

Back cover

It's big news - nearly twelve years in the making. I've finally published the memoir of my Appalachain Trail thru-hike. The actual hike began January 1, 2012, and I've been promising to publish a book ever since.

I also submitted the documentation of this hike to and it has been recognized as a record setting accomplishment--fastest known AT double (yo-yo) thru-hike. I'm very proud of that.

The book is 260 pages ALL in COLOR, with 140 color photos and maps printed in 'premium color', so it is not cheap.  It is meant to be an Appalachian Trail souvenir, gift-worthy, and a good conversation piece to set on the coffee table.  As such it is available in hardcover and paperback, but I'm holding off on offering an e-book (e.g. Kindle) version because many readers don't have color capabilities.

To any of you who do order, and like the book: I would very much appreciate if you took the time to post a review at Amazon.

Also please pass the word (share this link) to any hiking friends and colleagues who might be interested. Thanks in advance!

* * *

And the latest news:  The long-awaited (55 to 60 years in the making) life-work novel has been released on Amazon:

Here's the link to the 650,000-word fully reflowable eBook with easy-to-navigate table of contents: Eden's Womb eBook : Wetzel, P.J.: Kindle Store

And here's the link to the fine-print 780-page paperback:
Eden's Womb: Wetzel, P.J.: 9798860581210: Books

Back cover of the fine print paperback edition, which contains all seven books.
The seven books are also being sold separately - see below:

Welcome to ‘Eden’s Womb’—a novel that gives you the chance to visit Earth 630,000 years in the future and learn from the wisdom of *Homo phronensis*, the ‘Second Coming of Man’.

Meet Adam Timberfell, lowly scavenger from Saskatoone—a village buried deep under a new ice sheet that covers half the earth and is continuing to spread. He makes his living scavenging firewood by tunneling under the ice. He is plagued by the Voices of a trillion Ancestors, and they won’t shut up. “If you met someone who told you he heard voices in his head, and that the voices were telling him he is the King of World, would you believe him? Of course not.” Problem is, this time it’s true.

Meet Vista, Seer of Willam, who lives in a seemingly mythical green utopia nestled beside a great river between the glaciers and the sea. Vista is Adam’s one true love, but he must leave her behind in order to pursue a madman who has kidnapped his mother.

Meet Purgatory—a derelict Irula female, member of a post-human species with vast parallel-processing mental faculties and a touch that kills. Her species is bent on defeating mankind and taking over the world. Yet Purgatory becomes Adam’s greatest protector and mentor.

Meet Dactus Gates, cruel and heartless expert swordsman, ruthless foreman of an oppressed people, whose obsessive hatred of Adam leads him to purse him across the continent: “You’re on my blood shirt now, beady head. Ain’t nobody on this shirt left alive.”

Meet the Sky Children – diminutive post-humans who rule the skies, riding the backs of their giant vampire bat steeds, who team up with the Irula and ‘The Hordes of Armageddon’ for the purpose of exterminating the human species.

Get to know each of the ‘Eight Princes of Men’, exiled leaders of the ‘Sinner’s Guild’—each a head of one of the Eight Great Centers of Human Achievement around the world, who team up with Adam as he pursues his quest.

Meet Luke Aeolus, legendary hero, hearty adventurer, who appears to be about twenty-two, but who has been alive for sixty-five million years. He and his sidekick, Probably Wilson, have arrived on Earth to try to prevent the climate apocalypse that is befalling the planet.

Meet Mrs. Wycherley’s Cat—a half-deranged squirrel-woman with a giant fungoid growth of thousand-foot-long tentacles growing from her head—captain of her own giant rolling Banyan Tree that patrols the deadly ‘Rotted Lands’ covering a third of North America.

Meet Naja, daughter of Vesper, Strongmother, Creator of the Universe. She’s been away taking care of desperate business, fighting the heinous Death Wind at the brink of the precipice on Flat World, but now she’s back, and she intends to force Adam Timberfell to do her bidding.

Meet the Inuk—the ‘Egg Men’ of the far north, who live inside giant yellow walruses—“We all live in a yellow submarine.”

Meet Xenon Sûl, notorious cult leader and uber-terrorist, whose cult’s ten-thousand-year reign of terror eliminated all technology from planet Earth, and ultimately led to the end of *Homo sapiens* as a species.

Meet the Ozyumps and their cousins the Yeti—thirty-foot-tall hulking giant post-humans with platinum blond manes flowing from their heads to the ground and snatching arms that move quicker than the eye can follow. They are advancing across the continent, teaming up with the Hordes of Armageddon, and determined to wipe Adam’s species off the face of the planet.

Meet the Thane, ancient leader of the Rumours—a reclusive albino community of humans living in caverns deep under the mountain at Sinner’s Thew, where the new humans, *Homo phronensis*, originated.

Follow Adam’s arduous trek across North America, as he chases the mad Cantor Revelstoke, as he begins to develop a hideous inexplicable growth on his head, and as he discovers the many wonders and horrors of this strange new world, even as he learns the true purpose of his quest. It’s a wild ride. Jump on, and let it begin.

* * *

A good science-fiction story depends critically on its ‘world-building’—a well-constructed fictional realm with its own physical and spiritual ‘laws’. I’ve spent the majority of my life building the world underlying ‘Eden’s Womb’, and compiled here are links to key blog posts that describe the history, underlying philosophy, physics, and theology of this fictional future Earth.

Eden's Womb is a visionary work of speculative hard sci-fi.  It asks some very deep real-world questions:
  • When the little-noticed meteorite, Interstellar object 'CNEOS 2014-01-08' struck Earth near the NE Coast of Papua, New Guinea in January 2014, was it carrying a hidden message from a distant world?
  • What if "Long-Covid" is a designed microbe from an advanced civilization that was released into Earth's tropics by 'CNEOS 2014-01-08'?
  • Have people with Long-Covid begun to mysteriously disappear in inexplicable numbers?  If so, what is the cause?  Where did they go?
  • When the strange cigar-shaped Interstellar object Oumuamua (Hawaiian for 'The Scout'), passed by Earth in 2017, what was it really here to do?
  • What if the answer to Enrico Fermi's famous question "Where is Everybody?" (Referring to the mysterious lack of contact with other intelligent civilizations) is "They all 'Transcended' -- They've left this Universe and gone to FLAT WORLD!"?
  • Then what is this mysterious transcendence?  Is it really 'The Rapture'? In physical terms, how does the disappearance work?
  • And finally ... what, exactly, is this FLAT WORLD, anyhow? And why have our Physicists failed, so far, to recognize it (or to tell us about it)?
Any more questions would cross the boundary into 'Spoilers.'   But embedded in the answers to those questions is a sound, physical solution to 'Fermi's Paradox' as well as to the question of the inexplicable 'fine tuning' of our universe such that Life can exist. Answering those questions is the real-world purpose of the fictional ‘Eden’s Womb’ novel series.

Set on the distant future Earth in a parallel universe where the truth was discovered (too late) by a wise old geneticist/sage named Auler Ives during a 22nd-century dystopian collapse of civilization, Eden's Womb takes the reader far and wide--through a journey that ultimately reveals FLAT WORLD and the astounding, transformed 'souls' that populate it.

And here's a bit more of a teaser. Yes, FLAT WORLD really is flat, with a cliff at the edge that you can fall off of. Worse, there's a violent, incessant 'Death Wind' trying to blow everybody off the edge. If you're not careful, you will be swept into permanent oblivion. That's what's actually happening to our Universe in the biggest picture. Physicists have discovered that space itself is flying apart at an alarming, ever-accelerating rate. They call this mysterious force 'Dark Energy', and so far they have no idea what it is, or what's causing it. 'Eden's Womb' provides one answer, and offers the hope for a solution, whereby our world can be saved from this certain oblivion and be transformed into a nearly eternal 'utopia'.

If this is all true, then maybe it's worth learning these answers in order to save the world and bring it safely to its utopian final state.

Yes, that is the underlying goal of the massive, epic quest that naive young Adam Timberfell has been called to undertake.

Here's the link to Book One, the new paperback version, which has an expanded story:
Return of Naja: Eden's Womb, Book I: Wetzel, P.J.: 9798859178520: Books

As the above introduction indicates, to say that this is an epic tale is somewhat of an understatement.  Its scope includes the history of the universe from beginning to end, where the universe came from, and how the environment that it exists within caused it to take the form that it does.

Believers in the traditional Christian faith may be uncomfortable with some of the underlying themes.  There are frequent biblical references, many of which are applied/interpreted in unconventional ways.

But those of Faith should not be in a hurry to reject this story.  The world of Eden's Womb is, in effect, a divine experiment.  It is a world in which perfection is impossible, even for the God who embedded himself in it.  It is a world in which Jesus was only the first of Seven 'immaculate' messiahs, and where the afterlife is no place of eternal bliss, nor of eternal damnation, but is a vibrant working community of immortal souls tasked with helping to make the mortal physical world a better place, and ultimately with the Salvation of all mortal men.

The opening epigraph of the book says it all:

"When we die,
the work begins."

Within this philosophical framework, the plot focuses on scavenger Adam Timberfell's reluctant quest to rescue his species from extinction and to steer his universe away from a hasty retreat into irreversible dissipation caused by 'Dark Energy' - the long, lonely descent into heat-death or burn-out (all hydrogen fuel used up).  Along the way, Adam's travels and his internal journey to grow into his destined role, provide a front-row seat on a distant-future roller-coaster ride full of strange creatures and abominations, unforeseen twists, harrowing escapes, and just plain old-fashioned adventure, culminating in the war to end all wars.

* * *

About the Author:

The legacy of PJ Wetzel is best found in his writings.  This blog has long been the informal storehouse - the pantry, so to speak - of raw ingredients: his experiences, thoughts, and beliefs.  But he has also written a novel that distills those ingredients into coherent messages.

One book is non-fiction.  It is 'Footprints in the Wilderness', the hike memoir from his 2012 double thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.

The novel is called Eden's WombIt has gestated for nearly sixty years from inception to publication.  Because this story is fictional only in its superficial sense, while the big picture concepts apply to our reality, it is PJ's hope that others would continue to fill in detail, add back-story, and write character studies ('curated fan fiction').

In the tradition of oral story-telling, a real story is never finished.  It is a living thing.

Wetzel called Eden's Womb his life work.   It combines his vision of the future history of Earth with a rousing adventure and travelogue.  It is truly pioneering in scope, and difficult to categorize.  It fits in the genre of Fantasy and yet there is no magic or supernatural content, only a startlingly distinctive new perspective on our very-real physical reality.  It is 'hard science fiction' without a central focus on man-made technology.  PJ believed Nature's technology is so much more advanced and sophisticated than any human science can ever achieve.

Starting in December 2019 Wetzel undertook a comprehensive rewrite of the first two Books of the seven that make up the full Eden's Womb novel, Return of Naja, and Lonely Lessons; and he extensively edited and revised the other five books.  These are all now available as paperbacks, and the first part of Return of Naja is offered here as a free preview.  

Amazon offers more previews:  Check, in particular, the "Read Sample" button for the eBook:

* * *

Below is more background, context, and a summary of the novel.

If you take the time to read the “Paradox” page  and the "Great Stream" page you’ll find that Wetzel developed a deep-current worldview that manages to explain how our universe came to be, where it came from, and where it’s going.  "Eden's Womb" is a high-energy fictional romp through this thought-space.

Think of it as a creation myth if you must; or think of it as creation physics, because every bit of it should eventually be demonstrated through observational evidence.  For now, though, it does lend itself to a wonderful, complex mythopoeia—an origin story that brings real, immortal Gods (transcendent beings) into an existential battle to control a simple mortal human's epic quest.

PJ writes:  "I've had that story rattling around in my head since the late 1960’s and it wouldn’t go away. As time went along, the goal of really actually writing that story found its way to the top of my bucket list. I wrote a whole bunch in the late 1980's and I resumed working on it in earnest after I retired in 2005. When I entered the first 20,000 words in the Maryland Writer’s Association's novel contest a few years ago, it won a cash prize in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category, and that was impetus enough for me to finish it and publish it.

"For successful writers, publishing a book is not the end of their work, but the beginning. Tireless promotion is the real key to success for virtually every writer I've ever heard about.

"What I did was write it.  The promotion happens here.  The seventh book, Navel of Time is as good a place to start as Book One, Page One.  I wrote it as a stand-alone story, but also a sequel, which encapsulates the basics of the plot of the first six books.

"Book Seven was a promise to one of my most avid readers—Frank Looper, whose comments you will find below.   Frank has been diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's.  His family has a long tragic history of it.  I wanted him to get full closure to this enormous story, and I got it done.  He was a beta reader for this final volume."

* * *

Below is another version of a brief blurb (teaser) and links to buy the remaining six full-sized print paperbacks

EDEN'S WOMB novel series:

An epic sci-fi/fantasy tale set on far-distant-future Earth in the 'belly' of a conscious, living universe named Naja.

Homo sapiens has disappeared.  Six successor species vie for control of the world.  Up in "Heaven", the spirit world is disrupted by the unexpected return of the long-absent Naja.

Naja takes control in the Pantheon of the Gods
and on Earth she chooses an unlikely 'Final Messiah', Adam Timberfell,
who she hopes will do her bidding and rescue his dwindling species from extinction.

But neither Adam, nor many of his Ancestor spirits are cooperating.
Naja is growing increasingly desperate.
If Adam doesn't succeed, it is not just his species that will fail.  The 'Death Wind' would carry Naja into the irretrievable Void, where observable reality would cease to exist.

(Free preview of Book I above)

Lonely Lessons, Book II

The Copper Curse, Book III

The Preserve: Eden's Womb: Book V: Wetzel, P.J.: 9798859401598: Books

Through Heaven's Gate, Book VI

Through Heaven's Gate: Eden's Womb: Book VI: Wetzel, P.J.: 9798859405633: Books

The Navel of Time, Book VII

The Navel of Time: Eden's Womb: Book VII: Wetzel, P.J.: 9798859415526: Books

The seven books of the Eden’s Womb tale are really one immense story, so don't expect closure at the end of each book. Many plot lines are left unresolved until the shock climax at the end of Book VII. And then … well … a real story never ends.

In the first book, Return of Naja we are introduced to the Goddess/Spirit named Naja who takes the form of a serpent and calls herself 'Strongmother'.  Remember, this is an alternate universe, in which the Serpent of the Garden of Eden deposed God and took over, assuming God's name and identity.  Turns out that wasn't necessarily a bad thing!

Naja claims she gave birth to the universe - big claim. She scoffs at the Judeo-Christian 'God', declaring that he can't be the Creator because "Whoever heard of a man giving birth to anything, let alone a universe?" She claims that this God, Yahweh, is actually the fallen Angel we know as Satan, that he gave her the image problem when he cursed the serpent for giving Eve the fruit of knowledge. She claims that the fruit was essential to the full functioning of a meaningful universe. (It would be boring without free will.) And she backs up her claim by noting that God set this trap in the middle of the Garden of Eden knowing full well that humans would take the bait, and yet God refuses to take responsibility for the resulting 'Fall'.

In 'Eden's Womb' the real 'God' - the 'Big Guy' - appears to stand aside and let this upstart Naja have her way. After all, the 'My God is bigger than your God' sort of ultimate God doesn't have the existential angst that Naja suffers from.

Meanwhile we have a young mortal human, just seventeen, who is privy to all the debate and consternation going on in the Pantheon of the Gods/Angels. Adam can hear every one of their voices. Unfortunately, he can't filter their conflicting messages, so they're driving him crazy. The main message is clear enough though. This God called Naja wants him to become 'King of the Universe.' His reaction: "If somebody came to you claiming that they were hearing voices in their head, and that those voices were telling him that he is King of the Universe, would you believe him?"

Of course not. Problem is, this time it’s the truth.

Adam knows he’s not a lunatic. He even accepts that the voices are the real voices of the Gods. But still he rejects it all. All he wants is to be normal and to have the Gods leave him alone.

But Naja isn't going to take 'no' for an answer.

So … this sets the stage for some fun, some exploration of PJ's ideas of cosmic origins, and a story of a good old fashioned cross-country hike—as Adam finds himself forced to pursue Naja’s demands that he save humanity from extinction and rescue the dying universe itself.


Enjoy - and don't be shy. Let us know what you think. Your input can make a difference, as Frank Looper’s did.  


  1. Just checking in periodically as to how your writing journey is doing.
    Who does your book covers?


    1. Hey Danny -

      These covers are my own production.

  2. I decided to get all six at once. Sci-fi/Fantasy series from a hiker seems like a safe bet!

    1. This is Nightwalker/Frank Looper, BTW, a new friend on Facebook. I'm looking forward to the read!

    2. Hey Nightwalker - thanks a bunch! You'll find that there's an AT connection in the books. More than just the setting of the city of 'DunCanon', some of the action takes place on the distant future Appalachian Trail. That's in Book Six. Enjoy.