The eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano woke us all up to the fact that despite our need to feel like we're the boss of the planet, Mother Nature is still well and truly in charge. A few days ago theweek.com put together a list of the 6 most potentially catastrophic volcanoes in the world according to the Volcanic Explosivity Index — volcanologists' tool for rating the severity of an eruption. To put things in perspective, Iceland's recent blast rated only a two out of a possible eight on the index. If one of the following volcanoes blows, it'll make Eyjafjallajokull look like a schoolboy firecracker! 1. KATLA (Iceland) Last erupted: 1918 Effects of a major eruption: If Katla goes off, its eruption will be 10 times stronger than Eyjafjallajokull's. Katla's larger ash plume would shoot higher in the air and spread over larger areas of Europe for a longer period, with much more devastating effects on air travel and economic trade. An eruption could tip Europe's economy — perhaps even the world's — back into severe recession or a depression. Likelihood: Fairly high. The two volcanoes, only 12 miles apart, tend to erupt in tandem, and Katla is slightly overdue in its 80-year cycle. 2. CUMBRE VIEJA (La Palma, Canary Islands) Last erupted: 1971 Effects of a major eruption: In 2001, U.S. and British scientists warned that a major eruption of Cumbre Vieja could cause the enire western flank of the volcano to fall into the sea, creating a "mega-tsunami" in the Atlantic. Traveling at 500 miles per hour, it would wipe out Florida, coastal Brazil, and parts of Europe with waves up to 160-feet high. Likelihood: The scientists say the "year to year probability" of a major eruption is low, but preparations should be taken anyway given the potentially cataclysmic damages. 3. MT. VESUVIUS (Italy) Last erupted: 1944 Effects of major eruption: Famous for wiping out Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 A.D., Vesuvius would do much greater damage today. About 3 million people live near the volcano, 600,000 of them in the "red zone." An eruption would kill at least 8,000 people and cause more than $24 billion worth of damage, according to Willis Research Network, which just named Vesuvius the most dangerous volcano in Europe. The ash would change weather patterns in Europe and leave the Naples area a "lifeless desert." Likelihood: Scientists say Vesuvius is overdue for an explosion. 4. POPOCATÉPETL (Mexico) Last erupted: 2000 Effects of a major eruption: The third-tallest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere, Popocatépetl is only 40 miles west of Mexico City and its 18 million inhabitants, and 30 miles east of Puebla, a city of two million. A large eruption could send deadly mudslides into the populous valleys below, creating "catastrophic" loss of life. Likelihood: After an 80-year dormant period, Popocatépetl is showing signs of activity. 5. MT. TAMBORA (Sumbawa, Indonesia) Last erupted: 1967 Effects of a major eruption: Tambora erupted in spectacular fashion in 1815 and changed weather patterns around the globe, causing "frosts in Italy in June and snows in Virginia in July, and the failure of crops in immense swaths across Europe and the America." The blow-up killed more than 71,000 people directly, and many more through famine and sickness. Likelihood: Tambora is still active and, given its history and Indonesia's 222 million inhabitants, closely monitored. 6. YELLOWSTONE "SUPERVOLCANO" (U.S.) Last erupted: 640,000 years ago Effects of a major eruption: When the Yellowstone Caldera, or "supervolcano," in Yellowstone National erupts again, it will render a huge swath of North America, from Vancouver to Oklahoma City, uninhabitable. It would have incalculable human and economic consequences. The last eruption of similar magnitude — 73,000 years ago in Sumatra — plunged the entire planet into a decade-long volcanic winter and nearly wiped out the human race. Likelihood: Geologists see signs that it could be preparing for another major blowout soon, although "soon" could mean thousands of years.
DRIVE SHAFT 2: BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE - OUT NOW
Buckle up as Jensen and Hutch race for their lives!
THE CURSE OF THE DRAGON - OUT NOW!
Treasures, Traps, Muscles and Maps! The boys are back—but this time it's personal!
THE SEVENTH WAVE - OUT NOW!
The second installment in THE PEARL Trilogy
DRIVE SHAFT - OUT NOW!
The Fast and the Furious meets hot and horny gay action!
THE PEARL - OUT NOW!
A tender coming-of-age gay romance set in Australia's dangerous and beautiful Top End
Praise for FATHOM'S FIVE
"Muscles, maps, tombs and traps... filled with fun characters, cinematic adventure, wicked villains, clever twists, deadly turns and cliffhangers galore... I can't remember the last time I had this much fun!"
"It's Gay Raiders of the Lost DaVinci Code... I loved it...!"
"Rollercoaster adventure full of steamy sex, heart-stopping action sequences, and the best part is the story! It reads like a bestseller, only the leading men are gay and out for action..."
"Filled with gorgeous men and lightning-paced action..."
"Remarkable... In the first three pages of RIDDLE I actually I knew this is something else, it reads like Davinci Code, believable, with integrity, something I can imagine on the big screen..."
"Prepare yourself, because you are about to be taken on a non-stop, no-holds-barred adventure that will keep you balanced on the very edge of your seat..."
"Gay novels just went to a whole new level..."
"Imagine The DaVinci Code meets James Bond meets Indiana Jones meets Charlie's Angels...sweeping the reader on a whirlwind journey across three continents and countless clever edge-of-your-seat escapes..."
"The Fathom's Five novels open with a bang and don't stop..."
"This is great adventure...fast-paced, erotic, exicting..."
"After finishing THE CROSS OF SINS I didn't see how it would be possible for Geoffrey Knight to rachet up not only the tension and action, but to add another steamy and crazy-fun layer... Not only did he do it again with THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS, he totally blew the series out of the water...!"
"A thrill-ride from start to finish..."
"Erotic gay action with real plot...!"
"The story sizzles with fun, sex and adventure. I could not put it down..."
"I have said several times that good erotica is very difficult to write and it is rare to read it. Geoffrey Knight writes good erotica and he titillates..."
"The plot is totally believable, the characters are well-developed and the sex is very hot..."
"This is gay action at it's best...!"
"Eat your heart out, 007, we've finally got not just one, but five hot gay heroes of our own! And these boys get their men in more ways than one...!"
"Bring on the next Fathom's Five adventure right now please!"
THE CROSS OF SINS - OUT NOW!
Hot hunks and non-stop action! Join Fathom's Five on their first adventure in search of the Cross of Sins!
From palace-hopping across the Rajasthan Desert to sleeping in train stations in Bulgaria, from spinning prayer-wheels in Kathmandu to exploring the skull-gated graveyards of the indigenous Balinese tribes, Geoffrey Knight has been a traveler ever since he could scrape together enough money to buy a plane ticket. Born in Melbourne but raised and educated in countless cities and towns across Australia, Geoffrey was a nomadic boy who grew into a nomadic gay writer. Fathom's Five is the result of watching too many matinee movies in small town cinemas as a child, reading too many Hardy Boys novels and wandering penniless across too many borders in his early adult life. He currently works in advertising and lives in Paddington, Sydney, and can't wait to buy his next plane ticket.
Professor Fathom is a man with a dream: a dream that all gay men and women will one day share the same rights and respect as everyone else. It's a dream realized through his quest to obtain ancient treasures, right age-old wrongs, and uncover the truth behind some of the most dangerous mysteries of all time.
Now in his sixties—and rendered blind by an accident almost 40 years ago—the fate of Professor Fathom's quest lies in the hands of five daring gay thrill-seekers: Luca da Roma, an Italian model and art expert; Eden Santiago, a Brazilian biologist; Shane Houston, a Texas cowboy; Will Hunter, college quarterback and ancient history major; and hunky New Yorker Jake Stone, adventurer-for-hire.
Steered by Professor Fathom's wisdom and driven by his passion to uncover the deadliest of secrets, Fathom's Five—as they have become known—will stop at nothing to solve these ancient mysteries, unearth vital treasures, follow the clues and bring justice to the world!
Who is Jake Stone?
Although born and bred in New York, the world is now Jake Stone's playground of mystery and trouble!
At 28 years of age, Jake has scoured the planet uncovering ancient relics and rare artefacts, hired by merciless millionaires to build their own personal collection, expanding the wealth of their priceless belongings. But now, under the guidance and wisdom of Professor Fathom, Jake is about to understand the true value of belonging.
With a furrowed brow of bravery, a glint of glory in his piercing blue eyes and one determined hand clawing at his spikey black hair, Jake Stone is about to plunge headlong into action and adventure—and if Professor Fathom has anything to do with it, he'll be the latest addition to Fathom's Five!
Who is Dr Eden Santiago?
Born and raised in the slums of Rio de Janiero, Brazil, 27-year-old Eden Santiago rejected a life of crime and corruption on the streets to put himself through college, becoming a doctor in not only biology, but also genetics. His studies also make him an expert in botany and toxicology.
Sensible and sexy, grounded and gorgeous, Eden has proven himself time and time again as Professor Fathom's right-hand man. Professor Fathom entrusts Eden to keep the team together; he has often considered Eden a younger version of himself—calm, collected, clever and calculated in his approach to their missions. Yet Eden possesses a compassion that may one day be his downfall.
With his shimmering brown skin, his heart-melting Latino tongue, his trim shaved head and his perfect body, Dr Eden Santiago is the cornerstone of Professor Fathom's team.
Who is Shane Houston?
His short-cropped blonde hair peeks out from under his cowboy hat, his mouth is always twirled in a cheeky grin, and his manners are impeccable: Shane Houston is the essential Texas gentlemen and animal lover... with a bad boy's love of action!
At 25 years of age, Shane is a renowned cartographer with a sense of space and distance considered uncanny by many... but handy to the Fathom's Five team. After leaving his family ranch (and his beloved mother, Gertrude) at the age of 18, Shane moved from one ranch-hand's job to another until Professor Fathom caught wind of his unparallelled cartography skills.
With a heart as big as Texas—and a sense of fun and adventure to match—Shane Houston is Fathom's Five's untamed cowboy with compassion! It's time to hold on tight for a wild, wild ride!
Who is Luca da Roma?
Twenty-six years ago, a baby boy was left in a basket on the doorstep of the convent of Santa Maria del Mare in Tuscany. There was a note pinned to the baby’s blanket explaining that he had no name and was a bastard child, born in the ghettoes of Rome. Around his neck was a small crucifix on a silver chain. No markings. No engraving. No clue as to who this child could be.
When the kindly Sister Eva discovered the baby on the doorstep, the morning sun was shining on the child's face. She took him in, and the three nuns living at the convent named him Luca da Roma—the Light of Rome.
Over the years, Luca proved himself a good boy and a good student. As he grew older, he became interested in history and art, until the day finally came when he left the convent and headed for Rome.
In the years that followed, he questioned his sexuality as many times as he questioned his faith. He was a handsome young man and made enough money to live, modeling for the struggling artists of Rome. There were times he did more than model and made more money. Then one day—seeing his knowledge of history, his love of art and his passion for men and for what was right—Professor Fathom took Luca under his wing.
Now, with his tussled brown hair, his catwalk looks and his timelessly beautiful Italian Renaissance body, Luca da Roma is himself a work of art... and one of the greatest assets in Professor Fathom's team.
Who is Will Hunter?
College is a bore... unless it helps 19-year-old Will Hunter solve some of the deadliest secrets in Archeological History. When he's not on the field earning his stripes as a College Quarterback, Will is being tutored by his hunky Ancient History Professor, Nathan James. And what he learns behind the closed doors of Professor James's office - with his pants down and his legs spread - Will puts into practice, solving deadly mysteries and finding the clues to ancient relics lost or hidden for thousands of years.
Always ready for action, the blonde tussle-haired student is the son of a wealthy diplomat—Charles Hunter—who has left Will to grow up under the guidance of his loyal butler: the prim and proper and much-loved Felix Fraser.
Born with a need for speed (on his hot Ducati motorcycle) and undeniably the bad boy of this sexy bunch, Will Hunter is without a doubt the wild child of Fathom's Five!