||AD 2516 - AFTER GLOBAL WARMING.
ISBN 1-4137-6870-9. New book release July 2005.
Author, Noel Hodson. Published by Publish America. Buy from BarnesandNoble.com; Amazon.co.uk; Amazon.com; PublishAmerica.com. or email email@example.com.
14 Brookside, OXFORD, OX3 7PJ, UK. Tel 00-44-(0)1865-760994.
"The last thing Sebastian Huggins felt, immediately before he fell in love with the most beautiful woman in the universe, was very, very, cold".
AD 2516 - AFTER GLOBAL WARMING, is a story of hope; amusing, dramatic, intriguing and pacey. The author addresses social and scientific trends, soundly based on current societal conditions and the latest scientific projections, gleaned mostly from New Scientist and Scientific American. The author challenges, with heretical wit and insight many established ‘isms that may stimulate debate in readers of all ages. AD 2516 explores, with tenderness and humour - love, lust, loyalty, courage, betrayal and the ultimate Diaspora; being lost in place and time, being geographically and temporally displaced.
Two Americans, Sebastian Huggins and Joseph Sigmund Hanson the Third, and an English woman, Secretary of State for Education, Sarah Beck, are diverted from 1999 to 2516 via an unintentional 500 year diversion of Concorde under the Polar ice.
Sarah, suppressing her terminal homesickness, realises the level of adjustment required of them:
"Suppose" said Sarah, when they were alone "that we went back, or that somebody came forward from five hundred years earlier. From fifteen hundred" she speculated. "I mean they didn't wash. They had mice in their coiffures, fixed with flour and water, and heaven only knows what lived in those powdered wigs. They pissed in corners of the castle. They had bad teeth, halitosis and boils. They gnawed at chickens, swans, pigs, deer, hedgehogs, cows, quail, blackbirds, pigeons and, if they were French, at frogs, slugs and snails and anything else that moved. They emptied chamber pots out of windows into the streets. There were no sewers until the Victorians created them. And when Isabella of Spain died, they had to cut her shoes off - she hadn't removed them for years. They firmly believed the Earth was flat and casually burned people on street bonfires who disagreed with their deeply felt religious convictions. Now suppose…" she continued, warming to the analogy, "…that one of these divine ancestors had landed in Chelsea in our time. Let’s say Henry the Eighth turned up. We'd be interested, of course. We'd be intrigued. We'd allocate funds for a full scientific study. We would take precautions against him spreading syphilis, smallpox, the black death, bubonic plague and whooping cough and…" here she had to draw breath "...we'd teach him to brush his teeth, use the lavatory and ask him not to spit in the street or chop his friends’ heads off and mount them on the gateposts. He would undoubtedly be a celebrity. But...would you want your daughter to marry him? Could he leap the cultural gap? Or would he be inclined to revert from time to time and pee down your lounge walls after a few jars of ale?"
Joe shifted uncomfortably; as a fully paid up member of the American Society for Seriously Large Persons who lobbied amongst other things, unsuccessfully so far, for the right to two airplane seats for 'right-sized citizens'; he was unhappy with a person of bulk, rank and wealth - not unlike himself perhaps, being ridiculed in this way. But he saw the point.
Sebastian, rebuffed by Eloise and determined to break his unintentional 516 years of celibacy, returns to New-New-York, falls into the clutches of the evil Mind-Warrior and druggist, Lethean, and falls in lust with Amas, the city’s most celebrated courtesan:
She slipped delicately into bed and kissed him lightly on the lips, skilfully avoiding his hungry grasp. Any lesser man, indeed as was the case with many of the men she slept with, would have suffered the indignity and terminally disappointing minor orgasm of premature ejaculation, after such a prolonged abstinence and day long seduction. But Sebastian was made of sterner stuff than most of today’s male stamens and, with another deep inner breath that continued the arm lock on his deferred gratification he at last took the incomparable form of sweet Amas in his arms, in his bed.
As they drew together, his PC flashed a picture onto the screen of his mind. It was a bureaucratic form, a buff form; a most boring and intrusive buff form. It was a single piece of paper with a single word writ boldly across it; “REGISTER” followed by a large tick and a cross. “What in God’s name …?” yelled Sebastian.
Amas knew immediately what ailed him as she had the same message.
“Oh Heavens…” she exclaimed putting a hand prettily to her kissable little mouth. “…I knew there was something. I haven’t checked the Register.”
Joe, an obese, self-made, Vermont billionaire, whose courage and heroism emerge later in the tale, cannot at first accept the time jump - and a society functioning without money. On a flight back to New York he decides to arrest their courteous “kidnappers”:
The sight of the Statue of Liberty and the recognisable profiles of the Empire State and the other famous skyscrapers filled Joseph Sigmund Hanson the Third with renewed certainty and courage. He accepted what he could believe and blotted out the minor conflicting evidence, like the three mile high mountainous city ahead and the one hundred feet of high tide on Fifth Avenue below him. Those trivial inconsistencies he would sort out when the plane landed and he handed over his prisoners to the New York Police Department.
Making one of his rapid pirouettes which created so much inertial spin energy that, like the mathematical proof that the bumble bee cannot fly science could not explain how, once spinning, he ever managed to brake to a halt, Joe flourished a large hand-gun and waved it menacingly at Eloise, Sin and his own mentor David AA. He took command of the situation as he had seen countless TV cops do it.
"Right, you three. Down on the floor." he called, with a steely quality to his voice matching the steely weapon in his hand.
The citizens looked politely bemused and didn't respond, exchanging barely visible threads of light between their PCs.
"Don't be a fool Joe" cautioned Sebastian, paralysed by fear as the gun wavered menacingly at the three mentors including his beloved Eloise. He had been yearning to prove he would die for her, the opportunity had come sooner than expected, but Sebastian could feel one of his phobias overcoming his resolve. He hadn't known before that he was firearms-phobic and wondered how his psychoanalyst would make him feel good about it. Nevertheless, he secretly flexed his thighs and calves and arched his toes, as he imagined a stalking tiger might, preparing to pounce.
This book is a counterbalance to the bleak, hopeless and pessimistic views of the future in films such as Blade Runner, Alien, Terminator etc. where the human race is consigned to a derelict computerised-industrial-complex run by violent psychopaths – and those are the good guys. Mankind needs a fair compass setting, as we create our own future from our imaginations, expectations and actions. AD 2516 points us towards a better world – and it’s a really good read.
SHORT: AD 2516 is a radical social-fi & sci-fi story. It is a world of 11 billion networked citizens that functions democratically without money; lifespan is 180 years; Doctor Eloise le Friac, the “most beautiful woman in the universe” is 100 years old. Our 1999 heroine and two heroes crash into the polar ice cap and are revived 500 years later when New-New-York is a 3 mile high construction; London is an estuary taking in Henley & Oxford; and sea-levels are a hundred feet higher. It’s an amusing & dramatic page-turning yarn which indirectly addresses many current social, economic and environmental issues.