Cover art copyright
by Stephen Youll
Cover art copyright
by Danielle Tunstall
At the start of this novel will probably be the publisher's usual disclaimer-- "The people, places, and situations in this novel are imaginary. Any resemblance to real people or situations is coincidence..."-- blah blah blah. But reality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder: The people (especially those), places, and situations are very real to me, and I hope they will be for the reader, too.
Red Shadows is a follow-up to a novel called Final Impact. (It is not a sequel, since I learned very quickly via the good-natured teasing of friends that one does not write a sequel to a novel with the word "final" in it.) It is not imperative that you read Final Impact to understand what's going on in Red Shadows, but if you do, you'll have a richer, more in-depth understanding of the lives of the people in the novel you hold in your hands. Think of it as being like an adoption: you will love and cherish and grow with the child, but you'd feel so much closer to this little person if you knew what he or she had endured before coming to you. And in here are people, not just characters-- in my mind and my heart, they take on a life of their own, and they laugh and cry and bleed and die, sometimes unexpectedly. And more often than not, I laugh and cry right along with them.
If you didn't know Red Shadows was the follow-up to another book, you might want to hunt up a copy of Final Impact. Yes, you will understand and, I hope, enjoy everything in here if you don't. But the trip back in time to when the remains of Millennium-- the rogue planet that altered mankind forever-- struck the Earth and changed the lives of all the people who ultimately survived to be in Red Shadows will be worth it. They were born in Final Impact, and like the parents who watch with wonder as their children grow up, you may find yourself, as I did, sharing their joys and sorrows as they move from one phase of their lives into the next exciting stage.
The year 1999 brought the good people of the planet Earth the discovery of Millennium, a rogue planet the size of Earth's moon hurtling through space and bound for spectacular collision with the farside of Jupiter... or so the experts thought. But the rogue planet's position, speed, and distance from Earth proved too treacherous a basis upon which to build solid predictions; Millennium missed the gas giant and was instead destroyed by its gravitational pull. What was left spiraled through space in hundreds of pieces, some as wide as small eastern states and all bound, like a string of deadly celestial bombs, for our home planet.
Plans to divert the largest of Millennium's remains were thwarted again and again by zealots, bureaucratic denial, indecision, and misguided budget considerations, and in the most desperate of days an explosion at an orbiting space station crushed the final hopes of salvation for the world. As Millennium's remains sped toward Earth, only the most determined, the most cunning, and sometimes the most brutal survived the death-filled pre-Impact Days as people and governments around the world went crazy with fear and ruthlessness.
On July 2, 2000, existence as mankind had known it came to an end.
The Impacts continued for nine days. Those who survived the catastrophic pelting faced life in an utterly different world, some armed with newfound and wondrous survival mechanisms, others possessed by unstoppable instincts for self-preservation.
As for the planet itself...
Hammering at the edge of the Earth for more than a week, Millennium accomplished what no one had ever thought possible: the Earth's rotation slowed and finally stopped, forcing the planet to always show the same face to the sun as it follows its spatial orbit around our star. Mountains thirty miles high and more were birthed along the planet's fault lines as a result of the earthquakes and tectonic plate subduction, pushing far into the mesosphere and gifting the Earth with the only thing that would continue to sustain life amid the oceans and disappeared lands: the Valley of Air. Trapped on all sides by the monstrous mountain ranges, spared the bulk of poisonous debris spewed into the air by the Impacts, life continues to struggle onward in an area divided into light and dark and gray.
This is the story of the strongest and darkest of those people...
* * *
Published by from Bantam Books - November, 1998
ISBN 0-553-57749-2 -- 512 pages.
Now out of print, but we have a
a few copies here in the Store.
Autographed, of course.
It is also available as an eBook in several different
formats from Crossroad Press.
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