Prophets of the Ghost Ants (Pt1. The Roach Boy)

In a strange twist of fate, I've found myself hurtling back through the microcosmos of mini-life beneath our feet, except this time, we are flung millions of years into the future, where humankind has necessarily en-dwarfened itself, and must co-exist with all other six legged and slimey creatures. It's a dangerous, frightening yet mesmerizing place to be.

The following is a series of paintings done for Clark T Carltons sci-fi novel "Prophets of the Ghost Ants".
 
Draft rough of the cover.
Final cover image
Last year, Clark contacted me after he saw the insect themed paintings I'd done for Salsa Invertebraxa and we agreed to collaborate on bringing an illustrated version of his first book, Prophets Of The Ghost Ants; Pt1.The Roach Boy, to life. It's been a very enjoyable and creative endeavour for us.

So what's it all about? Clarks' own synopsis explains it best ;- 
"The setting is Earth of the far-flung future, when all traces of our civilization have long vanished. The catastrophes of distant ages -- natural and man-made -- have passed into legend and mysticism. And yet ... the world is no utopia. Technology is unknown. The animal kingdom as we know it is extinct. Birds, reptiles, mammals -- all lost to endless, unforgiving cycles of planetary death and rebirth. 
Rough design for Chapter 3....
...and the final painting.
Humankind has clung stubbornly to existence -- thanks to a perverse turn of Evolution. For as the weary planet became inexorably depleted, our species adapted by growing smaller with every passing eon, until at last we stood in parity with the only other “higher” species to survive -- insects. And just as our current society has domesticated animals to sustain ourselves, the human societies of this future have yoked insects to their service. Food, weapons, clothing, art -- even the most sacred religious beliefs -- are derived from Humankind’s profound intertwining with the once-lowly insect world. 
In this savage landscape, men cannot hope to dominate. Ceaselessly and viciously, humans are stalked by Night Wasps, Lair Spiders, and Grass Roaches. And men are still men. Corrupt elites ruthlessly enforce a rigid caste system over a debased and ignorant populace. Duplicitous clergymen and power-mongering Royalty wage pointless wars for their own glory. Fantasies of a better life, a better world, serve only to torment those who dare to dream. One so cursed is a half-breed slave named Anand, a dung-collector of the midden caste who, against all possibility, rises above hopelessness to lead his people against a genocidal army of men who fight atop fearsome, translucent Ghost Ants. And to his horror, Anand finds that this merciless enemy is led by someone from his own family ... a religious zealot bent on the conversion of all non-believers ... or their extermination....."
Prophets of the Ghost Ants (Pt1. The Roach Boy)
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Prophets of the Ghost Ants (Pt1. The Roach Boy)

A future world of tiny humans co-existing with ants! The new Illustrated Prophets Of The Ghost Ants features a series of paintings by Award Winni Read More
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