My A-Z theme this year is a guide to my trilogy of novels called ‘The State Trilogy’. Set in an unnamed island country known only as ‘The State’, in the imagined near future, the books follow the intertwining stories of a number of characters, principally a State police detective named Danny Samson and an assassin, Gabriella Marino, over a period of six years. It begins with the assassination of an elected official and spirals into revolution and civil war. Part political thriller, action story, war story and dystopian science fiction, the trilogy took three years to complete and the books are available to read now – you can find links to purchase them HERE
In The State Trilogy, ‘S’ stands for:
The State: The setting for the trilogy, based on a future vision of Great Britain which has become isolated in the world, deliberately cutting itself off in the misguided hope that it can protect itself from the rest of the world.
Senate: The ruling parliament, like the House of Commons today, but in fact powerless compared to the State Chancellor who controls it, and the ruling Central Alliance Party. Senators are elected in rigged elections to debate and rubber stamp policies. Unlike the Senate in Rome that it is named after, it has little control and does not dissent from the party line and the Chancellor’s demands.
Science Fiction: Is the trilogy science fiction? I don’t think of it as such, it’s almost a reductive term I think, not that I don’t enjoy a lot of sci-fi. It is certainly not a pure sci-fi series. Everything is earth-based (although there is a community inhabiting the moon) and human based. There are no spaceships, flying cars, androids, aliens or parallel universes! Typically though, Amazon and other publishers have a set list of genre categories with which to describe and market your work, so sci-fi dystopian was the only one that encapsulated the overall series. I would add crime, thriller, political, literary, investigative, war and on and on…!
Scotland: Most of the action takes place in Central City, roughly equivalent to present day Scotland’s central belt (Glasgow and Edinburgh and the land inbetween), and the wilderness (the west coast). I wanted to set the story in my own country and try to write about it in a different way from the traditional bagpipes and haggis, or the contemporary tartan noir crime novels. I set it in a future version of Scotland to avoid becoming entangled in the current political wranglings over independence, and imagined a future where it has not been achieved and persecution by the Capital City (London and the south east) continues in a similar vein as it does today.
Skye and Skylar: The island of Skye, joined to Scotland by a road bridge, makes an appearance in ‘State Of Denial’, known only as the island. Danny stumbles across it in his wanderings in the wilderness. There he is taken in by a community of citizens who live there with the States agreement, provided they never leave the island. The community is ruled over by the mysterious Skylar. Danny realises he is in charge of a cult and witnesses a ritual sacrifice where those reaching old age must either leave on a boat across the ocean to certain death, or are burned. This is the closest the books come to any religion, which has been outlawed by the State in the cities.
Suicide: There are two suicides of note in the books. One is Rosalind, Danny’s wife, who takes her own life after becoming unable to cope with the loss of her infant children. The other is Danny’s father. He takes his own life because he is so old and has lived so long that he has had enough life. This is a theme I introduced in the first book. Medicine and science may well get to the point where we all live for much longer, well over a hundred, but the human body and the human mind is not designed to do this, and might there be a point we reach where we decide that we are just too tired of life to carry on? A bridge in Central City has become synonymous with suicide as it is where the elderly go to throw themselves into the river.
Sales: Well, as always, not as much as I would like or hope for! Modest, I think you would describe it so far, but enough to keep me encouraged. There was a spike when I made the first two novels available for free, and as soon as they returned to asking for a couple of dollars or pounds for them, sales fell away! It is extraordinarily difficult to cut through the crowded market, and I am eternally grateful for each and every sale made, and to those who chose to read the books.
All the entries in the A-Z of ‘The State Trilogy’ can be found HERE
The books are available from a wide selection of online retailers, including AMAZON