On May 24th, my novel Time Out will be published by Wolfsinger. Time Out tells the story of Chris, son of refugees from the planet Chronox, who are capable of time travel. Dissatisfied with refugee life, Chris's father decides to break the Chronox pact and use this ability to gain dominion over their human hosts. Chris resists, sabotaging his father's efforts to create a working time machine for the military.
Long-time readers of my books may recognize thematic similarities to other works such as dysfunctional family dynamics, conspiracy theories and the US military-industrial complex. That's because this book was written in 2014, subbed to Wolfsinger in 2016, accepted for publication in 2018 but is only just now appearing. In the time since, sci-fi has ceased to be a going concern for me as I have focused on writing thrillers. But the various (understandable) delays in publication have proven fortuitous. Time Out is, in addition to being a sci-fi novel with a young adult focus, very much a fast-paced thriller. The battle-lines are drawn. On one side, an implacable alliance between time-traveling aliens and the U.S. military. On the other, a frightened, shattered boy who must begin a desperate race through time to stop a global genocide.
There is an irony to this. Our current apocalypse, which stops short of a global genocide, is nevertheless proving to be destructive not only to human life but also to personal fortunes, businesses and economies as a whole. In Time Out, the Chronox seek to impose a new order on the Earth - something they call 'the Realignment.' It's hinted at, seen from a distance and understood in only the vaguest terms. But one could argue that the 'realignment' currently underway is no different. We see something glowing on the horizon, uncertain whether it bodes well or ill. Whatever it is, it's very much beyond our control as individuals.
But it's coming.
There has been a certain comfort in being a writer through this pandemic. As society has wrestled with lockdowns, re-openings, job losses and frequent changes in policy, I have simply continued producing and publishing words. Much of my recent work has been in the form of reviews and social commentary published in Book & Film Globe. A historical novel appeared in 2020. And there's more to come, including two novels I am producing under contract but cannot speak about at this time owing to non-disclosure requirements. But it's fair to say that my writing career, following a brief pause in publishing fiction, continues to develop. I'll be posting further news and excerpts as we approach the release of Time Out
And like everybody else, I will be watching to see what new surprises our leaders have in store for us as regards masking, social distancing, vaccines and vacations (forced, limited, lost or stolen). I have already submitted some "corona fiction", some accepted for publication and some poked at hesitantly by editors unsure whether this pandemic will be a brief historical hiccup, soon forgotten, or the new normal to which we all must adapt.
Bottom line? Nobody knows.
My "normal", meanwhile, remains more or less unchanged. A room with doors closed, blinds drawn and a humming laptop into which I pour fiction is the life I have built for myself. If anything, it has proven perfectly suited to the Coronapocalypse. So far, the pandemic has done little to change it. For once in my life, I seem to be ahead of the curve. I intend to stay there.