These are my novels. My first attempt at writing anything creative has morphed and been reimagined over the last decade into the two, Echoes of a Lost Earth stories. Like any new and shiny thing, I put everything I had into it and so it's quite special to me. After the Rise is another speculative look at a post-climate, dystopian future, but from a different perspective. Even American Gods Die  - now in 1st draft - looks at our financial system, tech and AI. Conquer the novel and truly you are the creator of worlds.

Echoes of a Lost Earth

Part One: collapse | escape

Drafted between 2007-09, re-edited and updated in 2021, and picked up for publication in 2022.
Part One, at 97,000 words (380 pages, approx), is a speculative look at a near future where a sudden climate shift sees humankind struggling to adapt. (This is not a war story or hard military sci-fi, although there are some soldiers and a big war).

Book 1: Dance Said the Devil - Set in the very near future, and looks at hard power politics as nations jostle to be best placed for the coming climate storm. Sound familiar?
Book 2: The Better Part of Valour - Set in the near future, and continues the theme of muscular politics and phoney wars as the climate bites and nations recoil. A plan is formed to solve the climate crisis - kind of.

Cover copy:

They said that the wanton, carefree use of hydrocarbons would boil the world like an egg, and they called it: climate change - the 6th extinction.

In the end, though, it didn’t really matter. The Earth overcomes. You see, it was never about the weather. But rather, the things that stop happening because of the weather.

Like crops, and civilisations.

Then they said that a shifting climate wouldn’t have that much of an effect. One, or two degrees… maybe. That the oceanic thermals would be fine. Probably. 

But then they always say that.

Jack is a British soldier and fights in the last oil war.

Areena is a climatologist with access to a thirty-year old Dim Beacon that predicts a rapid climate event. But it’s only after tanks park up in Parliament Square that she begins to understand how high the stakes really are.

Joshua works in closed-loop biome research and mixes with all the right people; almost as if it were being orchestrated. They call him Saviour of Humanity, but he wonders if fleeing the calamities to come really gives him claim to that title. At least he has Art, a friend from Eden.

Guy can smell the opportunities bubbling up out of a crumbling system. Mù looks on while Sergei acts. Roman gets pulled in and Dean still thinks nothing can surprise him.

And all the while, Alice is content to watch. And to wait.

- - -

This story idea came to me while I was studying at military staff college; the premise being, 'how do you solve a problem like the climate when there are no acceptable solutions'. These two novels are my attempt to answer that simple/complex question.

Enjoy the sample.

Echoes of a Lost Earth

Part Two: war | flight | return

Drafted between 2007-09, re-edited and updated in 2021, and picked up for publication in 2022.
Part Two, at just under 86,000 words (352 pages, approx), continues to look speculatively at a far and deep future where a shifted climate creates the conditions for self-annihilation. And renewal. (This is not a war story or hard military sci-fi, although there are some soldiers and a big war).

Book 3: They Used to Call it M.A.D. - Set in the future, and describes the inevitable war brought on by a shifted climate and resource paucity. And follows the travails of humanity's only lifeboat.
Book 4: Rocks in the Road - Set in the far future, and tells the tales of a micro-community living onboard a drifting, listless worldlet. Because, humans right?
Book 5: By the Light of an Ancient Sun - Set in the deep future, that sees humanity return to an Earth renewed. But, factions form as people see the future differently. A moral dilemma then, and one that requires a fitting resolution.

Cover copy:

They said it all started with a shifting climate. That without the greenhouse effect, humanity could have just, well, stumbled blindly on. Fat, dumb and happy.

Sure they blamed the weather, but the weather doesn’t have a nuclear release button. And war is coming. The acrid taste of it hangs in the air like the scorched ozone of an impending storm. Then more gigastorms hit.

Kiera gets lucky and escapes Belfast on the last icebreaker. She makes a new life in one of the arcologies. But it doesn’t last. Nothing does anymore. Especially with Deuteronomist cultists on the prowl.

Guy has done his bit, he gave them Mjölnir, now it’s time to retire - to a nuclear-armed micro-state in the South Atlantic.

Mù waits to seize her chance in the Pacific, while Roman gambles everything on Transcaucasia and Barbara watches in mounting horror from Port Charlotte. At the end, Guy does what he can, but it isn’t much.

Ever since the Great and Necessary Correction, Omicron’Qu has been expecting the Returned. But he has duties that ensure the in-contravention of the Equilibriate. All, just as the Deuteronomists foretold.

Jæren is a man of principled conscience as were all those that preceded him, so he sees the dilemma while others remain transfixed by the bauble hanging in the night sky.

Furæ has no such qualms.

Måna is perhaps the surprise. But then, it’s hard to really know a person.

Inevitably, fractures appear, sides are taken and what remains of humanity reverts to what it does best. And so Jæren, like Saint Joshua before him, must resolve a dilemma as irreconcilable as ever it was to the long dead denizens of old Britain.

And finally, Alice, sensing events slipping from her grasp, plays her hand.

- - -

This story idea came to me while I was studying at military staff college; the premise being, 'how do you solve a problem like the climate when there are no acceptable solutions'. These two novels are my attempt to answer that simple/complex question.

Enjoy the sample. / / / Please note, this sample will spoil the ending to Part One - do not read if you wish to follow the story \ \ \

After the Rise

Written in 2020 and at just under 106,000 words (416 pages, approx), this story is a homage to two great speculative fictions: A Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) and Logan's Run (William F. Nolan & George Clayton Johnson). Two fantastic works of dystopian futurism. I do not place this work in that company, only that I have tried to offer my own humble take on these giants of dystopian themed fiction. The whole thing started off as a story about original thought, but the world I created for that idea took over and so I held Original Thought back and told it as a separate short story.

Part One - A Modern Mediocrity
Part Two - Into the Wilders
Part Three - Terminus

Cover copy:

Crenley lived in New Britain. It was, by any human metric, an idyllic life. A managed mediocrity. He should have been blissfully happy. 

He wasn’t. 

Jenna made it out of London just as the border slammed shut behind her. Permanently. She lived in Old England, but that didn’t really mean much anymore. 

Cren inevitably - with almost any desire that he could recall, merely a whisper away - wanted the one thing he couldn’t have. Jen - with nothing left - held onto a fantasy of how things might have been. And could still be. The dream of a meticulously flawed system. 

One was clinging to the old, even while railing against it. The other was fighting for something new, even after the fighting was over. 

Their paths would cross on the Devon Moors and blood would be let.

Both their worlds were unravelling. Both their worlds were doomed. Yet both were tied, through the swirling mists of a deep past and far future, to an idea called… Terminus.

- - -

For me, it's the world creation: the faux-religious reverence to the Modergreat and Goodly Iterator and the Great Remembering; the three tribes based arbitrarily upon the Martin Scale (Sienna, Tourmaline and Livid); Quarterly Adjustment; and the mediocracy itself as a midoptian ideal. I also wanted the five main characters to evolve as the story developed. And I like the layering-in of the foundational, Old England backstory.

Enjoy the sample.

Even American Gods Die

The first draft of 181,000 words was completed in mid 2022.

Part One - Death of a King
Part Two - The Depths of a Soul
Part Three - There is a Space between Places
Part Four - In the Shadow of the Sun
Part Five - Not all Gods Die

Cover copy:

It started with the Credit Crunch of 2007, leading to the Debt Jolt of 2027, culminating in the 2059 Collapse of the world’s dollarised financial system. In the English-speaking Free Territories - now locked in the jaws of the Second Great Depression - Financial institutions and instruments have been outlawed. So when in New York, in 2087 a leading British banker is murdered, eyebrows are raised in London.

Not trusting the Americans, they send an investigator, but quietly. They send Rendell Stone, a military intelligence collector, a non-conformer, an unknown, and loaded into his tattoo is a sentient machine that seems to have spent too much time in nullspace.

The NSA’s ultrablack division put an old colleague onto Rendell. Stone and Constance Granger served together during the Xinjiang Excursion and the strangely horrific scenes from that vault haunt them still.

Stone quickly links the Rim Co-operative to the case. The Eurasian Commonwealth takes an interest and there’s another party, but one better at keeping to the shadows. The blocs are circling.

There’s also a rumour that the Financial Collapse and its forebears weren’t the unforeseeable hammer-blows to the free-market system that so many had claimed. Someone robbed the West to fund something. Something big. The rumour also says there’s an Experiment and that after a century, it has finally delivered.

What begins with a murder will end with the truth behind who drove the old West into permanent economic oblivion, what they did with all the subprime bundled cash, and what happens when you screw around with physics.

Oh, and the Primogenitor? He is a God born of the Singularity who isn’t going to let some do-gooders ambulance-chasing the Financial Collapse stop Him from realising His dream of becoming the very universe itself.

Blimey-O-Riley, how do I feed my eyes the words from these novels?

Good question, made-up person. I’m still trying to figure that out.

They say that with the advent of ebooks and Amazon/Kindle (other online bookstores exist) and all the interneting, that publishing a story has never been easier. They lie. It's now far more difficult because everyone's at it. Authors, channels, choices abound, and while the quantity has shot up, I'm not sure that quality followed with it. And once you self-publish well then you've given up your chance to be traditionally published (I know, I know, but you have, face it). And I see trad publishing as the true test of my worth as a writer. If my writing doesn't make a suit take a punt on me, well then, maybe I'm not the writer that I'd hoped I was.

So for the moment, feel free to avail yourself of the samples provided. Shorter form stories are available in full upon request.

Right now, this site is primarily focused on finding a traditional route to publication.
If you're a suit and like what you see, get in touch and I'll send any manuscript in any format/style you want. I'll make the tea, too, if you like.

mark j suddaby | writer