Category : Dystopian

Way of the Serpent by Donna Dechen Birdwell

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Way of the Serpent is the 1st volume of the Recall Chronicles by Donna Dechen Birdwell.

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It’s 2125. Aging is a thing of the past, but personal memories and desires are now under corporate management. At the youthful age of 111, Jenda Swain is content with her life and her career, when an unexpected encounter with an old woman forces her to question her own identity, to try and discover the woman she once was and might yet become.




A Word from the Author

author-donna-birdwell-pictureWhen I wrote Way of the Serpent I didn’t know there was going to be a series. I was fascinated with the implications of anti-aging research leading inadvertently into near-immortality. How would people feel and what kind of decisions would they make when YOLO stretched out over a couple of centuries?

Way of the Serpent is the story of Jenda Swain, a clueless but vaguely discontent corporate drone who is shocked into action by a disturbing encounter with an old woman. Jenda sets out to discover what’s missing from her memories and her life and where she ends up is a bit of a shocker. Even authors are sometimes taken aback to learn what their characters are capable of!

My series gets labeled “science fiction” even though I’m much more comfortable aligning it with Margaret Atwood’s notion of “speculative fiction”. Besides the drug that prevents aging, the other two essential elements in the world I’ve imagined forward (straight out of this one) are the management of memories by an all-powerful social media giant called Your Journal and the demise of governments, which left everything under the control of the mega-corporations. The title of the series comes from the subversive Recall network and the fact that “Recall” can reference both “remembering” and the withdrawing (reclaiming?) of something defective.

You should also know that I have a habit of weaving folktales into my stories’ themes. (I’m an anthropologist!) In this case, it’s an old New Guinea tale of how, at the beginning of time, a snake and a bird did battle to determine whether humans would be like snakes – shedding their skins and living forever – or like birds, who have to die.

(Donna Dechen Birdwell, October 2016)

 

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Other Books in the Same Series

Shadow of the Hare

Flight of the Owl

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Attila the Runner: Awakening by Michael Eves Shaffer

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Attila the Runner: Awakening is the first episode of Attila Ascending by Michael Eves Shaffer.

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At birth Attila was saddled with a name he could never live up to. At age 7 he was forced into a body he could never excel in. At age 14 he chose to commit actions he could never atone for. Unfortunately, much like his namesake, the rules and expectations of others weren’t something he gave much attention to. Unfortunately for those others who wanted to force them on him that is. Especially since at age 21, he got the ultimate “reset”. If only he can find the “On button” for all his new abilities.




A Word from the Author

Author Michael Shaffer pictureImagine for a moment yourself in your current life. You’ve worked hard all your life, striving to get ahead, become better. For some of you this has been a relatively short amount of time. For others, decades. You may even be in your evening years, well into retirement. You may or may not be successful, but you’ve always tried your best. Yet you’ve always felt you were being held back. That there was something preventing you from being your full potential.
Then an asteroid from nowhere swings past Earth, showering it with a weird dust over the span of a week. A couple days after the dust starts falling, you get ravenously hungry. You eat and drink everything in sight. Even things that you might have been deathly allergic to, you devour without thought or issue. You swell to three-times your size. A fat blob that can barely move. Then the hunger passes and you all but pass-out in your bed.
Two weeks later, you wake up. Not only is the fat gone, but you have the body of a twenty-five year old you, only in top physical condition. All injuries gone as if they never existed. All scars gone. Perfect eyesight. Only it isn’t just top. You are now ten to twenty percent faster and stronger than pretty much everyone else. Not only that, your mind moves around problems with ease. To say nothing of that haunting music you hear/don’t hear that seems to guide you.
Quite a few of you reading this have often thought “If only I had the knowledge I do know when I had the body of when I was younger.” Now you do. What are you going to do?

(Michael Eves Shaffer, August 2016)

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WHAM! by Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

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Wham! is the first book of the Timewaker scifi/fantasy/dystopian/paranormal series by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

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When the World Alliance seized power from all the governments of the world, they said it was for the greater good. They said it was necessary to unite all the nations of the globe under one banner in order to bring universal peace, equality and prosperity to the world.

To most families throughout the world, the rise of the Alliance and their grandiose promises meant little. They had long grown weary of the lies of the corrupt law-makers and heads of state and were far more concerned with their day-to-day struggles to survive.

The Greenwood family was no exception, and for a time life went on much as it had before the rise of the Alliance. In time, individual cultural and racial identity were outlawed. They said it was for the greater good. They said it was necessary to create a more harmonious, homogenous world community. The Greenwood family adapted.

But then they took away freedom. They made it mandatory for all households and public buildings to have skinwelers, crystal spying balls in every room, in order to watch the people’s every move. They said it was for the greater good. They said it was necessary for public safety and civil order. And the Greenwood family adapted.

But then the state took their family farm and lands and moved them to Gollsport where they had built barracks for all the displaced citizens. They said it was for the greater good. They said the countryside had become contaminated by farm chemicals and the relocation was for their continued health and safety. Once again, the Greenwood family adapted.

But then they came in the night and took away seventeen year-old Tess Greenwood’s entire family. They said it was for the greater good. They said Tess would adapt and in time she would be far better for it.

But Tess cared not for the Alliance’s greater good. She did not adapt. She wanted her family back and vowed to do whatever she must in order to see them again. Little did she know, that to keep her vow, she would have to become a timewalker.




A Word from the Author

photo author carol phippsphoto author tom phippsHave we found ourselves in a day and time when an evil power is about to take control of the entire world? Is that really possible? How would it happen? What would we lose? What would life be like once it happened?

Trapped in a diminished world of the future, would there ever be a way out? It seems pretty hopeless in Timewalker until one of our characters finds a way into the past for a possibility of recovering what was lost by the future. And just what would be in the past that might free the future?
(Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps, June 2016)

 

 

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