One hundred and eighty-three years after biological warfare eradicated all but a trace of mankind, Beth Gooding graduates from basic training as a Cultural Anthropologist with a Linguist subcategory. For intermediate training, she is sent to Hope, a remote outpost near Old Boston. She is assigned to Professor David James and required to learn Old Persian, a language she considers useless in a society recovering from near extinction. Despite their age difference, romance develops as Beth and Dr. James endure austere lives typical of the early 1800’s frontier. Dr. James eventually introduces Beth to a three-million-year-old shard found by his father—an object that could not be duplicated with modern technology. In attempt to uncover the shard’s origin, David and Beth set out to explore the radioactive Kill Zone in Old World Syria. Through constant struggle to survive and many brushes with death, they come to realize life without the other wouldn’t be living at all. On returning to civilization, they reveal the shard led them further back in time than they could have imagined—and provides potential to move human kind further into the future than anyone dared dream.
Here’s the moment when Beth realizes the civilization from which she and David evolved, the Old World—the one in which we now live—was not the first. Instead, a more advanced civilization called the Endohl preceded it.
My shaky touch brings the device to life, and it displays an organized index. We select a reading called “Extinction of the Endohl,” a name appearing on every box in the room—the name we believe they called themselves.
We understand the language in general but are too inexperienced to be fast readers. Still, by late afternoon, we have a fair concept of what happened to them. The Endohl were much like those in the Old World—warlike and opinionated, a bad combination. As near as we can tell, the only major difference between the Endohl and our predecessors was their advanced technology. In the end, one group created a weapon that destroyed everyone, but much more slowly than BHS killed the Old World.
In their case, it appears the Armageddon weapon of choice was influenza, released into an unsuspecting population without any natural immunity. Pointing to the information on the screen while struggling with the translation, I mutter, “Crap, I guess we have them to thank for the common cold.”
David just grins. “Or for our immunity to it. Until BHS, influenza killed more people in the Old World than any other disease—hundreds of millions.”
His grin quickly morphs into an expression of dismay, and he sighs as he continues reading. When he shakes his head, he summarizes with, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. They only built one vault, the one we’re in now, but they suspected influenza’s creators built another in an unknown location. When they sealed themselves inside this vault, they thought only a few of their people would survive in the outside world. In a very real sense, the people of the Old World owed their existence to the extinction of the Endohl. Their influenza extinction was an evolutionary horizon, a point in history where one species dies off and another arises. Their near extinction begot the people of the Old World—people with influenza tolerance. We are an evolutionary horizon too—the aftermath horizon, the people with BHS immunity who are now expanding into the New World.”
Here are some reviews of Aftermath Horizon that might move you to purchase a copy:
This is an incredible novel with a profound message. About 200 years after biological warfare devastates mankind, population rebuilding and exploration lead to a discovery almost beyond imagination. There are no zombies; however, you'll find excitement, love, and deep meaning in the story.
Aftermath Horizon is a book that transcends to all ages. I would call this book a close match something like Twilight. If you never gave Twilight a chance either you should have. Books like this aren't chained to any specific genre. It's not just sci-fi, it's not just romance, it's all of the above. The way the author makes such a strong connection with his characters allows the reader to make that connection as well. You don't have to be a young teenaged girl to be able to connect with the main character Beth as she carves her path in life after a massive biological war that makes the Earth uninhabitable. You don't have to like sci-fi thrillers to become enveloped in this story that crosses through several generations. You will be hooked from the first chapter guaranteed.
What a privilege to read this book! It was one of the best, adventurous books I have read in a long time. I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to see what was going to happen at each turn. I can't wait to read it again! Wonderfully written!
After the human race is almost wiped out by a terrorist biological attack, some doughty survivors make the slow comeback. Every twist and turn makes you think, and say, "Yeah! It might be like that." Each step is plausible, exciting, or novel and makes you want to see what happens next. You admire the main characters' brains and nerve, and wish them well, and yet, this is also a "Love story." There's something to suit the tastes of every reader. I liked the story.
Thanks for reading,
James L. Hatch
P.S. Please check out all my books from Solstice Publishing:
Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana!
The Training Bra
The Trophy Wife
Ordinary People; Extraordinary LivesAftermath Horizon