Saturday, October 14, 2017

Kymiera by Steve Turnbull

Release date: November 7th 2017
Sub-genre: Cyberpunk, superhero

About Kymiera:

In our technologically dependent world everything stops when the wi-fi dies. It’s a total disaster, until it’s fixed and forgotten.

What if it’s never fixed? Not because of some accident or act of terror, but because everyone is too scared to leave their homes? Because they fear the distorted genetic monstrosities their friends and families have become. Terrified they might become the same. Fragile society collapses: No food. No power. Apocalypse!

But that was twenty years ago. The survivors from that terrible time have patched up what was left of civilisation until it worked again, just barely, and then they forgot. 

Now they pretend nothing has changed, with tracking chips in their heads, food rationing, and crumbling infrastructure they cannot repair. But they still fear the freaks and huddle in isolated communities throughout the desolate cities they still call home.

Chloe Dark wants to join the ‘Purity’ and help rid the world of monsters, starting with her home in Manchester. She goes to school and studies hard but these days Chloe’s always hungry, she knows that’s not right, but her genetic purity tests always come back clean. Until the day she can no longer deny she is changing into something else. But what? Then her closest friend is kidnapped and Chloe vows to find her before her time runs out.

DI Mitchell remembers how it was before the collapse. Nowadays his job is to track down and kill the freaks. He’s good at it. Too good. Finding kidnapped girls is not what he does, until his boss has him babysitting a Purity Agent up from London. As their investigation progresses the situation becomes ever more complicated and politically charged until something has to break.

Dog knows he has never been normal, but he’s not a freak, he’s something else. So he helps his boss, Mr Mendelssohn, buying and selling freaks for the illegal fights, doing odd jobs, nothing too nasty because Mr Mendelssohn doesn’t go in for violence—at least that’s the official line. But Dog wants a pack he can call his own, and when he catches the scent of others like him, he can’t ignore it.

In this rotting husk of civilisation, political power, industry and the law are in delicate balance. The whole unstable construct is about to be brought down by one young woman with a simple goal: before she becomes a freak and dies, she must rescue her missing friend.


Delia moved up close, no longer scared apparently. She hunkered down so her head was at the same height as Jason’s. ‘Are you a mute?’

Jason found her scent to be… now even he couldn’t quite figure the word he wanted. He finally settled on attractive. He nodded.

‘You poor thing. That’s terrible.’ She reached out to take his hand, but he moved it and her fingers came down on his leg.

She jerked her hand away. ‘So sorry.’ She turned to Dog. ‘His fur is so soft.’

Dog pushed back his chair with a scrape. ‘I think you better be going now, Delia. Your dad would throw a fit if he knew you were in here. How do we know he isn’t dangerous?’

Delia stood up. She was taller than Dog. ‘Well, you weren’t getting very far with him, were you? You hadn’t even found out that he couldn’t talk and you’ve been trying to have a conversation for hours. You need me.’

‘All right, I’m grateful you discovered he’s dumb,’ said Dog. ‘But your dad would explode if he was here and saw you with him—not tied up.’

‘He’s not going to find out, is he?’ she said. ‘Not unless you tell him.’

‘You need to leave,’ said Dog.

‘I’m staying here,’ said Delia.

‘I’ll chuck you out.’

‘I’d like to see you try.’

Delia crossed her arms and set her feet as if ready for his attempt. Dog just stared at her, and then sat down. ‘Fine, whatever, the important thing is that freak-boy—’

‘Why don’t you find out what his name is?’

‘Because he can’t talk, as you so cleverly discovered.’

‘Well, maybe he can write.’

All the time the two of them had been arguing Jason had the feeling they wouldn’t even have noticed if he left.

‘Well, as long as you’re here,’ said Dog, ‘you might as well help. Let’s see what else we can get out of freak-boy.’

Jason looked up at Delia; at this particular moment she seemed very tall indeed. And she put her fists on her hips, like his mother used to when she got angry with him.

‘Listen, why don’t you start treating him with some respect. You might get what you want a bit faster.’

‘What would you suggest?’

‘Well, stop calling him freak-boy for a start. I mean, seriously, pot-kettle-black’ said Delia, then she turned her attention to Jason and came down to his level again. ‘Can you write?’

Jason was confused. He spent all his life running away from everyone except his mother, and now in the space of just two days everything had changed. He had a full stomach, and people were talking to him. It didn’t even matter that Dog was rude. It was just someone was talking to him as if he was really there, and not some sort of ghost. Not some sort of night demon that scared people as he flitted through the shadows.

There were no shadows here, and he couldn’t hide even if he wanted to. And just at this moment, hiding was the last thing he wanted to do.

About Steve Turnbull:

When he's not sitting at his computer building websites for national institutions and international companies, USA Today bestselling author Steve Turnbull can be found sitting at his computer building new worlds of steampunk, science fiction and fantasy.

Technically Steve was born a cockney but after five years he was moved out from London to the suburbs where he grew up and he talks posh now. He's been a voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy since his early years, but it was poet Laurie Lee's autobiography "Cider with Rosie" (picked up because he was bored in Maths) that taught him the beauty of language and spurred him into becoming a writer, aged 15. He spent twenty years editing and writing for computer magazines while writing poetry on the side.

Nowadays he writes screenplays (TV and features), prose and computer programs.

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