What is Guide?

What is A Guide to First Contact?

Guide alternates between the present day and a post-apocalyptic Earth.

On the edge of the solar system, Star Beings plan the next phase of their work. An animite will be hurled onto the third planet. The impact will scatter its organic compounds throughout Earth’s biosphere; but there’s a problem: it’s gone missing. A hundred thousand years later, in the 21st century, a space mission to a near-earth object makes an amazing biological discovery which is brought back to Earth. Then the French announce contact with creatures from outer space. Disaster strikes and technologies in key industries fail. The West collapses …

Paperback cover - large format (Lulu UK)
Paperback – large format
Paperback – A5 format (US)

In 2060, most cities have been long abandoned. All that remains of the once-mighty United States is the Petits États, centred on New England. Outside of there, civilisation survives in Enclaves, relying on the confederation of Sioux Nations for protection. For forty years a genetic plague has ravaged humanity. It began just after Earth was contacted by aliens. A new and mysterious power – the mandat culturel – controls access to advanced technologies.

Triste is a bounty hunter and has all the latest ordnance. He’s good with guns (but hopeless with girls). His contracts take him to the ruined cities; he spends a lot of time in the former urban area of New York. They pay well but are dangerous.

Guide image for Kindle
Guide for Kindle

Kindle edition

His current mission is to reconnoitre a long lost laboratory. He encounters a ramshackle band of opportunists whom he sends packing. In doing so, he befriends Shoe who is running from her family. She has other secrets. They find the lab. Somehow it is linked to the collapse of Western civilisation.

In the dead shell of Manhattan lurks a secret pensitela base. Their alien biology protects them from the brutal savagery of the place. They have their own reasons for being there.

From the edges of the solar system, a Star Being monitors Earth. It has a plan – and Triste meeting Shoe isn’t accidental. His troubles have just begun. Eventually he is faced by the hard truths behind the fall of the West.

Hardback cover (Lulu  UK)


At its most basic, Guide is a series of interlinked narratives that combine to reveal how the apocalypse comes about. Other readings are possible. One of my objectives was to explore different kinds of first contact

See my interview at: Client Talk The Independent Author

The structure of this site is as follows.

About Guide
Humans / Aliens
The Lost


Character sketches

Before the Fall: Cradle Hood
Before the Fall: Observer Effect
Post Apocalypse

Appendix II The Quest for Meaning
Bahati’s Papers: The Nature of Civilisation
Bahati’s Papers: Why Khwarezm?

Press Release


A Guide to First Contact forms part of a larger story. It recounts events leading up to ‘The Human Incident’; and is part of the Mandat Culturel cycle.

WordPress blog

My Telegraph blog