In early 2014, a group of Americans gathered on a remote Central American peninsula to experience the last days of an unsullied tropical paradise before its development into a corporate retreat for the world’s biggest tech company. Many of them believed they were there accidentally, but none of them were. This is the story of how a group of restless, indecisive idiot discovered who brought them there, and what they could be. This is the story of a country and a civilization few remember ever existed. This is the story behind the most mysterious mass Disappearance of the 21st century. This is a war story. And when things get bad, you rescue what you can…
The Ruins of Tropicalia, originally serialized at http://theruinsoftropicalia.com and on a mobile app, is a literary adventure story, accompanied by music by indie rock n roll band The Amends. This complete version of TROT compiles all the serialized chapters into a single novel, as well as the five "peripheral" novellas. Links to the soundtrack songs are embedded within the text.
(From the Foreword)
My name, unfortunately, is Tyler Taylor, and I’ll be your somewhat unreliable narrator for parts of this journey south. Many of the events described may seem hard to believe, but I swear they’re as real as I am.
I’m actually one of four narrators of The Ruins of Tropicalia. You’ll also meet Liz Troy and Regina Porter. The fourth writer, who wishes to remain anonymous for the time being, tells the stories of those who did not return from Central America. Those of us who did come back to the States decided this story needed to be told. We each wrote our own account of what we had seen and done. I compiled and edited these different perspectives.
The Ruins of Tropicalia is divided into three sections. The first part, called “Ruins,” tells how each of us ended up in Tropicalia. The narrator/subject of each chapter is identified beneath the chapter title. The extended interlude is called “An Unknown, Compelling Force,” and tells the hidden, crucial backstory of two people who end up at the very center of the events of the book. “Tropicalia,” the final section—you guessed it— takes place entirely in the country known as Tropicalia. Additionally, The Ruins of Tropicalia is merely a big chunk of an even larger story. Five additional tales are included in the section following TROT, called The Peripherals. These are related to the people and events described in TROT, yet each of them is a standalone, self-contained story.
An admission: Perhaps partially because I’m also a musician, my own story is more self-indulgent, and ultimately less relevant than the others’. However, because I’m the perpetually confused outsider of the group, my account may be the best introduction for the uninitiated. Among other discoveries I made in Tropicalia, I learned to let go of my ego and realize that there’s a bigger picture of which I’m not necessarily a vital part. But apparently that hasn’t stopped me from making my story the first chapter.
Come along with us. We have something to show you.
Yours as sincerely as possible,
Territory of Colorado, 2014