Author: Terry Tyler
"Those who escape 'the system' are left to survive outside society. The fortunate find places in off-grid communities; the others disappear into the wasteland."
The year: 2061. In the new UK megacities, the government watches every move you make. Speech is no longer free—an 'offensive' word reaching the wrong ear means a social demerit and a hefty fine. One too many demerits? Job loss and eviction, with free transport to your nearest community for the homeless: the Hope Villages.
Rae Farrer is the ultimate megacity girl - tech-loving, hard-working, law-abiding and completely content - until a shocking discovery about her birth forces her to question every aspect of life in UK Megacity 12.
On the other side of the supposedly safe megacity walls, a few wastelanders suspect that their freedom cannot last forever...
Wasteland is the stand-alone sequel to 'Hope', the concluding book in the two-part Operation Galton series, and Terry Tyler's twenty-first publication.
"The town where we'd lived for twenty years―it was gone. All the shops, bars and cafés boarded up, or just abandoned. We tried to stick it out, because we both worked online, from home, but we had to travel to a megacity just to get our hair cut or a tooth filled. Even the rubbish stopped being picked up; we had to take it to a special collection point. It became impossible to stay."
Meghan said, "We count ourselves very, very lucky, because it's so much worse for the people with no job and no house to trade. All they have to look forward to is a bed in a Hope Village or―you know, out there."
She was talking about the wasteland―the few deserted towns and villages left standing between megacities, Hopes and government-run farmland. Those who escape 'the system' are left to survive outside society. The lucky ones join off-grids. The others disappear into the wasteland.
In the megacities, the wastelanders are known as rats.
The authorities leave them alone, as long as they don't cause trouble. Charities help them, manning drop-in centres round the country, with medical supplies and basic foodstuffs.
There are fewer people on this island now. The figure has shrunk by ten million, and it is decreasing all the time. The government says it is 'stabilising'. The pandemics of the 2020s culled many of the vulnerable, along with virulent, localised strains of flu over the last twenty years. Birth restrictions in the megacities have also contributed, but many believe more direct methods are employed.
My friend Lita Stone discovered an early sterilisation programme in a Hope Village; active substances were found in medication and vitamin supplements given to the men. She blew the whistle and fled―she and her husband, Brody, are now in New Zealand. I helped them get away, just before the authorities caught up with them. I am proud of that. They are safe, happy, and settling into late middle-age, with two daughters and three grandchildren. New Zealand is one of the few countries that has, so far, resisted the great shift, but she believes it can only be a matter of time.
Lita became a national hero; her actions and those of others who came after made the country a more compassionate place for a while, and more homeless shelters were opened. They called it the 'Lita Stone Effect'. The following couple of years was a good time, with an atmosphere of great optimism. Social media rejoiced; no, the big scary 'they' would not bring us down. But, armed with promises of change though it was, the new liberal government still managed to cock it up. Before long, The Right Honourable right-wing Mona Morrissey waved to us from the victory platform.
#NotMyPM protests lined the streets and every timeline on social media, but marches, placards and tweets cannot take down a government, and nobody can take down Nutricorp, the retail behemoth that has, in effect, purchased the UK.
I’m one of the authors participating in the Bookaholics Unite Giveaway and you can win an e-copy of Wasteland.
Runs May 1 - June 3 and is open internationally for most prizes.
Winner will be drawn on June 4, 2020.
Terry Tyler is the author of highly acclaimed dystopian, post apocalyptic and psychological fiction, including the best selling The Devil You Know (serial killer mystery), The House of York (dark family drama) and the Project Renova series, about the survivors of a pandemic. Her latest publications include Hope and Wasteland, two stand-alone, dystopian novels that make up the Operation Galton series.
Terry is an avid reader and a member of Rosie Amber's Book Review Team. She loves the countryside, quiet places, The Walking Dead, and her husband, with whom she lives in North East England.
Social Media Links