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By: Michela Arturina Betta

The Vault of Svalbard

Pages: 258 Ratings:
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The vault of Svalbard, the global seed bank, has been robbed and its irreplaceable content stolen. The theft becomes a priority case for the Global Agency for Informed Consent (GAIC). As the agency’s director, Achilles is in charge of the investigation into the disappearance of the seeds. Suspicions first fall on the Earth Movement and its music band Save the Earth, because of their radical position on climate change and food shortages. Unpredictable circumstances though take the investigation to the Sahara Desert controlled by the Confederation of the Tuaregs.


The theft of the seeds is the first episode in a series of adventures that involve a mysterious small chamber hidden in the vault of Svalbard. When Achilles and its team eventually enter the chamber, its secret is finally unveiled. The chamber contains a jar full of water. Some say that it has healing powers. Others claim that it never evaporates hence one single drop could quench a person’s thirst forever. Is it is new water? Should the jar be removed from the vault? How can such water be protected from the grabbing hands of a thirsty humanity?


Two dramatic events now happen. The seeds are returned undamaged and a moving glacier destroys the vault of Svalbard. Achilles suspects that somebody removed the jar before the destruction. But where is it now, the water jar? The mystery surrounding the precious water stretches from the North Pole to the South Sahara and is resolved in the last pages of the story.

Michela Betta was born in Italy where she completed her school and started university in Milan. She then moved to Frankfurt in Germany to complete her studies in philosophy and social sciences at Johan Wolfgang Goethe University, where she was awarded a PhD in ethics. Afterward, she worked as an academic in Frankfurt and Melbourne.

She has written several academic books. Parallel to her professional writing, she has cultivated fiction writing and has completed two volumes of short stories in Italian. Stories for Posthuman Readers is her first literary work in English. She now lives in Stockholm.

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