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by Thomas R. Weaver

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 2023
Publisher: Chainmaker Press

A fast-paced speculative thriller set in a morally desolate near future.

It’s 2050, and renowned independent journalist Marcus Tully is in a bad place. In the decade since his beloved wife’s death in an unprecedented heat wave, he’s struggled to find peace. As the story opens, he’s swilling artisanal rum before throwing the glass at a projected image of news commentators; the disaster that killed his spouse has become politicized—an event that some pundits claim never happened, despite evident international suffering. However, Marcus, unlike most other victims, has the knowledge and resources to fight back against this perception. In the run-up to a worldwide election, a mysterious whistleblower appears in Marcus’ life, claiming he has information about Marcus’ wife’s death, as well as tangible proof of major political figures using dangerous tech to suppress the very constituents they’ve unhoused with irresponsible climate policies. And yet, the election that’s about to take place—filled, of course, with many of these same politicians—could be the last, best hope to prevent a climate apocalypse. As Marcus is drawn deeper into the darkness of a murder investigation, nothing is certain—not even his belief that his wife’s death was an accident. In this timely novel, Weaver seizes upon big-picture concerns of the real-world moment—including global warming, ethically bankrupt leadership, and the disintegration of trustworthy news sources—to create a vision of a future worth fearing. There’s also plenty of intriguing everyday tech scattered throughout—such as a sort of EpiPen that cures hangovers—that never seems far-fetched. The prose and dialogue aren’t particularly snappy, but readers inclined toward futuristic narratives about present-day issues will find this novel hard to put down.

A taut tale with a disturbingly plausible what-if scenario.