It’s Easter Sunday, and what better way to celebrate than by giving you all a sneak peek at the in-development cover and prologue for my new novel, Two Miles Down?
The first draft of the novel is finished, and is currently in the editing stage, and progress on the cover is progressing nicely. I’m so excited that I had to share some of it with you!
Of course, everything here is subject to change. The cover will be better, the prologue will be tighter! But for now, I hope you enjoy what you see and read.
Here’s the working cover:
And here’s the prologue:
There have been many works of science fiction that show earth under threat. Hostile aliens threaten to destroy the planet, to wipe out life and leave a smoking husk. Solar flares reduce us to a primitive existence. Asteroids hit and plunge us into darkness, into a winter from which we cannot recover.
The threat to the future of the planet was never that complicated. It came from those who lived on earth, humankind itself. It came from our reliance on non-renewable energy, fossil fuels, which we burned without consideration of the problems we were causing for the generations to come. It wasn’t a sudden catastrophic event, but day after day of minor catastrophes, mounting up, building to a day when we crossed the line.
Late in the 21st century, the Cascade began. The world’s population had reached twelve billion, and the nightmare scenarios long predicted by environmentalists came to pass. By 2075, earth’s atmosphere was four degrees warmer than at the turn of the 21st century. The domino effect caused by heavy reliance on fossil fuels could no longer be reversed. It did not matter when world leaders realised they needed to rely on solar and wind for power; it was already too late to stop the runaway effects of global climate change.
As the 22nd century began, the Cascade gathered pace. The oceans were overfished as they warmed so much they killed the coral reefs, destroying marine habitat and, with it, many species. Even as the oceans crept up the beaches and onto the streets, humankind pushed and pushed. As the icecaps crumbled and melted, they thought only of themselves and their children. Not their grandchildren, or their grandchildren. Not of where the people displaced from coastlines around the world as oceans swallowed cities would go.
The second step of the Cascade was a global economic crisis. Mass migration, food shortages, devalued currencies, hyperinflation. The parts of the world that had been dragging themselves up from poverty fell back, and they took everyone else along for the hellish ride. Stock markets crashed, reducing the shares and assets of even the largest companies to pocket change. The dominoes were tumbling more quickly now.
So came the third step of the Cascade. Civil unrest. Diplomatic tension. Every country for themselves. Every man and woman for themselves. Survival of the fittest.
The world slid inexorably towards another great war. It was the fourth and final step of the Cascade. Thanks to the nuclear disarmament of the late 21st century, the planet survived. Hundreds of millions of humans were not so lucky, dying in the first year of the war. Over a billion perished in the four years that followed.
And after the war was over?
A world of poverty, where the strong took what they wanted and the weak suffered. A world in which fragile governments created a World Alliance, and agreed that the only way to bring humanity into line was through the deterrent of capital punishment. A world ruled by fear of law, not lawlessness. The death penalty began at theft, and millions who robbed, who raped, who murdered, were in turn murdered by the state.
But the Cascade continued. Bodies littered the streets, disease was rampant. Poverty was everywhere. The weak starved. If the World Alliance couldn’t halt the slide, humankind would destroy itself. The spectre of another war loomed on the horizon, as the major powers siphoned off money and began to build nuclear weapons behind closed doors.
Then someone had an idea. End capital punishment, find another way to deal with those who committed serious crimes. The proposal: Secure Underground Incarceration Complexes, or SUICs. Dug two miles into and under the earth, they were places those convicted of subhuman crimes would be lowered, cast underground to live out the rest of their days among others like them, while the good people could rebuild civilised society far above their heads.
The SUIC is a place of solitude, of loneliness, of fear and anguish, of depression and despair. You do not rise above it, you sink into it. It weighs on you physically, emotionally, mentally. It is not living, it is hardly even existing. It is dirty and it is dark. It is hell under the earth, and you share that hell with hundreds of other subhumans.
Once you had proven yourself subhuman, you were never coming out.
I hope you enjoyed that sneak peek! Check back for further updates, or visit my Facebook Author Page.
Thanks for being on this journey with me…this is going to be epic!