A novel of a 21st century dystopia where urbanization has reached its limits.
Far, far Upriver, where knowledge failed and fable ruled, in a frozen land of demons and monsters, the City of the Dead stood guard over a great treasure. Now the Mai, Delta-dwellers of the planet Horseye, as befitted a race of busy traders and merchants, had a great respect and love for wealth. But, a prudent species, they knew also that danger was, well, dangerous. So their thoughts turned to the Humanx couple, Lyra and Etienne Redowl, impatiently waiting permission to explore the planet. Suddenly bureaucracy was benign, permits permitted and their epic voyage up the most spectacular river chasm in the whole Humanx Commonwealth was underway…
Jeremy Dodge knew the Earth would face starvation if it were not for the new science of “aquaculture”. With the world’s population numbering many billions, only the extra food being cultivated on the bottom of the sea could feed everyone. But, like the rest of the surface-dwellers, Jeremy did not know what a vicious monopoly underwater cultivation had become. That is, until the dreadful moment when he himself was kidnapped and dragged beneath the depths. And there he was to learn that just making his own escape would not be enough – he would have to save mankind from the tyranny of a new race of water-breathing human monsters!
Britannia is a land of forests – it is said a man can walk from the walls of Eboracum to the southern sea without leaving the shade of the greenwood – inhabited by wildcats, wolves and bears, as well as by the descendants of the folk who built Stonehenge. Traversing the forests, linking the Roman cities, are the straight Roman roads on which solar-powered aircars travel from the far north of Britain to expressways that link with London, Rome, Constantinople and beyond. In this world Rome never fell to the Barbarians, the legions never left Britain and now, in the late twentieth century, Rome is the capital of a vast global civilisation. Outside Eboracum, (or York as we know it), and dominating the city, is the Battle Dome, a vast hemisphere enclosing the artificial landscapes where the Games – as brutal, deadly and colourful as ever – are held. Here the destinies of three young people come together when a jealous feud forces them to flee the Dome and take refuge in the forest. There, Viti, Miranda, and Angus discover that the older Britain that has endured for two millennia, where the assumptions of rational Romans and city-dwellers no longer apply. And it is there they find they must learn new lessons about their world – if they are to survive. This first volume of A Land Fit for Heroes is a superb, lyrical novel of cultures clashing in a wonderfully evoked alternate world, filled with magic, wonder and haunting sense of place.