Added another extract: Gun Law, which is set in a post-apocalyptic Crimea.
Guide is set in a post apocalypse Earth (think Cormac McCarthy’s The Road). The most important thing is that the French control everything. Highly irritating as that might be to Anglophiles, that isn’t where the problems end. In this future the West has fallen and most of mankind has been reduced to the level of sub-human brutes.
Brent has a problem. He doesn’t fit. The woman he fancies heads up a research team. They’re busy looking into genetics; the history of man. But the story doesn’t start there; it begins long, long ago; in the Late Pleistocene; just when aliens were planning the next phase in Earth’s development.
Back in the present day, Brent’s long-time buddy, Watcher, bails him out again. Brent’s got a degree in haplessness – from the College of Life. The thing is, Watcher’s into stuff like conspiracies. Be careful Brent or you’ll be sucked in and when you’re spat out, you’ll be hung out to dry.
Forty years later, the West has collapsed and the apocalypse is in full swing. What happened? Earth was contacted by aliens triggering a rapture effect. No one has worked out what to do with the undying flesh of the undead. Xenogens – genetic plagues in all but name – are currently raging out of control. Catch one and you degenerate into a dangerous, sub-human brute. Most cities are abandoned as unsafe; they’re known as former urban areas. The problem with dangerous, sub-human brutes is they’re xenogen carriers. Former Urban Area One (former New York) is crawling with them. Triste prowls its streets. There’s always work for a mercenary Watch out Triste; something wicked is coming.
The thing is, heroes never listen. Triste meets Shoe. Shoe’s on the run. They stumble upon an abandoned research lab. They find old records – of life before the apocalypse; but will they work out what went wrong? Do they want to? Shoe has got dark secrets; she knows more about xenogens than she lets on. There are other things she can’t tell Triste.
Hot alien women, philosophical musing and a universe with Lovecraftian themes are added for ballast. This is my first novel.
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 …
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.
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.
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