The Brazos Formation is life or death for Richard Fields. It’s an immense oil reserve in the Gulf of Mexico and the biggest gamble in his company’s history. If it pays off, Glasco Oil becomes a household name. If it fails, Glasco (and Rich’s career) will be buried deeper than the oil they extract.

Then the survey ship, Southern Digger, disappears, taking Rich’s mentor and months of survey data with it.

Rich assumes leadership of the recovery team. His mission: find Southern Digger and retrieve the survey data before Glasco goes under.

Four weeks later, he’s at Southern Digger’s last known coordinates, but the ship is gone. That’s when Rich realizes this is no ordinary salvage operation. Strange lights illuminate the ocean at night and sightings of man-sized insectile shapes terrify the crew.

Disaster strikes when the expedition’s divemaster is attacked near a mysterious chasm on the ocean floor. Rich’s recovery platform is overrun by giant spider-crabs while huge mollusks rip holes in the hull. Rich must find a way to close the chasm and save his crew from the denizens of the Brazos Formation.

The Brazos Formation won first prize for unpublished science fiction in the 2016 Royal Palm Literary Awards.