At this point, the Antiquity series is a project-in-process.  I welcome your comments both positive and negative.  Being “in progress” means I am revising and updating the work.  I hope you can read over typos and glitches.  If you care to, make me aware of them, as they could be problems I fail to see when I reach that point of editing.

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Antiquity and Book Zero

Posted: April 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Antiquity is a work-in-progress series of science fiction novels written and to-be written by Ken Walters, primarily aimed for young-readers (YA), roughly 12-18 years of age; however, the technology depicted borders on hard-science fiction focused on the imagined science and technology to be developed over the next century and a half.  The series title, Antiquity, refers to a futuristic community founded by scientific historians, where mini-civilizations have been re-created based on great civilizations of the past.  Action begins in Book One, story of the black egg, and follows the adventures of 14-year-old Seth Williams from the near-present who is transported over 150 years into the future.  Historian Dr. Titus Lyndale causes the kidnapping in pursuit of an artifact, the black egg, which he believes to have immense power.

Book One is preceded by Antiquity:  Book Zero, the story of tomorrow.  While Book One uses traditional storytelling techniques of character, plot, etc., Book Zero is a novel-length timeline set from the year 2000 to the onset of Seth’s story in 2188.  Major political, technological and societal events are described, many mentioning specific characters who manifest the events.  Unlike Book One, Book Zero is not primarily aimed for younger readers.

Walters conceived the series approximately in 2004 and began writing in 2006.  About 75% of the first draft of Book One was completed by 2007.  Personal circumstances helped to sideline the project.  Also, since part of his intent with the series was to present history in a new way to young readers, he decided to perform an intensive study of history and convert it to a timeline format.  How We Began, one of several names given to a book-length historical timeline, was published on the website Scribd, but is no longer available at the site.  It is not a part of the Antiquity series, existing in its own right as a history textbook.

After completing How We Began, Walters continued using the timeline format to begin Book Zero.  An early version of Book Zero is available as a Kindle e-book for 99 cents.  Walters found himself not to be skilled at social media selling.  Distraught by his inability to gain interest in Book Zero, along with personal circumstances that made finding writing time more difficult, pressed the entire series into near stagnation.  The stagnation had another effect upon the story, in that the original “near future” for Seth’s story had been 2013, but the year became irrelevant as Walters’ involvement in the project languished.

Walters has decided to try once again to promote and to begin the series, but re-drafting is necessary.  Many of the dates have to be advanced to make the stories logically possible.  Originally, Seth’s story began in 2013; now, that start date has been rolled to 2020.  Also, many of the dates in Book Zero need advancement.  To assist in dedicating himself for another try at completing the project, he is using the aid from a website, Kickstarter.  With Kickstarter, he can garner interest and fan-base for the series while giving himself a finite time to accomplish the updating.

Book Zero (2000-2075)

World Politics

Beginning with real history since 2000, the book lays the foundation for the technology and political environment of the Antiquity series.  The first major event of the fictional timeline is the terroristic activity of Harold Blackstone who commits the largest, in terms of lives lost, random terroristic act, without political motives, to date.  Blackstone then uses the Internet to challenge others “a more beautiful act” of terrorism.  World-wide, random terrorism arises as many marginal people accept the challenge.  Blackstone then disappears from public view for many years.

Motive-based political terrorism is a means for groups, either loosely organized or supported by established governments, to commit large-scale destruction of persons and/or property.  For example, the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 was the manifestation of Timothy McVeigh’s revenge for the US handling of the Waco Siege and of Ruby Ridge.  In 2001, a small but well organized Islamic terrorism group al-Queda launched a preemptive attack against the US at multiple sites.  In both cases, the terrorists had motive, and the result was large-scale destruction.  Unlike psychopathic killers who might murder many individuals independently of a period of time with or without clear motive, terrorists choose to destroy on a large scale, often through bombing or killing sprees, often ending in suicide.  The random terrorism depicted in Book Zero has little motive beyond the thrill of killing and following Blackstone’s example.  Random terrorists do not commit suicide since they want to see others appreciate their work.

Due to the lack of clear motive, resolving a random terrorism threat is particularly difficult for law enforcement.  Book Zero describes a period called the “Age of Terrorism.”  Frustrated by the lack of success in resolving cases, five nations, who have other issues with the United Nations, blame the UN for failing to lead the now global destruction.  These nations decide to splinter from the UN and to form the Coalition of Allied Nations (CAN).  They take on strong-armed, vigilante tactics, illegally cross national borders and kill suspected terrorists without fair trials.  By making punishment severe and quick, they find greater success than legal investigations, but at times punish guiltless people.  Other nations break UN ties for CAN acceptance to join the fight.  After years, Blackstone is discovered and killed by CAN.  Random terrorism slowly reduces as a global threat.

Without a common threat, interest in CAN diminishes.  Hoping to retain a strong world government that can supersede national governments on occasion, originators of CAN re-invent themselves as an alternative to the UN.  They formulate a Constitution loosely based on the RomanRepublic.  They organize a non-military arm, the Coalition of Nations Administration of Science (CANAS).  CAN does not have immediate success.  Many of the nations that keep representation with CAN are less wealthy, “third-world” countries.  CANAS focuses a great deal of scientific research to hunger and disease issues, particularized to their nation-base.  A new global threat begins when the North Atlantic Current begins to fail due to excessive melting of the Arctic and de-salinization of the Current, which warms North America and Europe.

A new Ice Age begins and glaciers creep southward.  CANAS acts quickly through climate control technology and re-salting the current.  The mini-Ice Age kills many people, but the damage is averted after several years of CANAS involvement.  Support for CANAS grows, and eventually the number of nations equalizes with the UN.  In general, the UN becomes populated by wealthy nations, while CAN supporters are less wealthy.  After several near wars between the organizations, they finally merge into a new CAN, with a strong overseeing government for the planet.

National Politics

As the UN and CAN begin to separate in the early part of the century, a clear movement commences for the wealthiest nations.  The separation between government and economics diminishes.  Big business, particularly with banking interests, move from the background to the foreground in political control.  The attempt is to reduce economic catastrophe.  As corporations rise to governmental control, the dichotomy between the wealthy and poor grows.  In some nations, states, provinces and municipalities are controlled by a single company.

The Indian government sponsors research for an alternative fossil fuel.  Through the use of genetics a method of rapid fossilization is discovered.  Artificial enzymes can fossilize organic waste to produce “proto-oil.”  Virtually an unlimited supply of petroleum can be produced through the four-year process.  When India unveils the process, multiple existing corporations’ economic are destroyed.  Oil is prevalent reducing its cost, trucking and other transportation is eased reducing the costs of commodities, energy suppliers are forced to reduce profits, etc.  While consumers benefit at lower prices of almost everything, the businesses and their economic influence is damaged.  Corporations move to take over governments to insure their wealth.  The use of “proto-oil” is identical to the use of fossil fuel, so the environmental ramifications of fossil fuel use continue and worsen due to its easy availability, helping to usher the mini-Ice Age.

Science, Technology and Social

CANAS leads in the development of many of these technologies, but scientists in all nations make new discoveries and inventions.

Genetics becomes a major field of interest.  Not only does it lead in the development of “proto-oil,” discoveries it affects many elements of life and health.  Through genetics, food crops are enhanced to feed more people.  More viral and bacterial diseases are curable.  Artificial internal organs are built that saves lives.  Couple with robotics, these artificial organs can be used to produced artificial animals and humans.  DNA databases catalog most people.  Toward the end of the period, genetics provides an ecological friendly power source.

Electronics also see continued growth.  Communication and the social media becomes the new-wave means of entertainment, especially in the wealthier nations.  Print media becomes increasingly archaic, and eventually becomes rare.  Literacy lessens since entertainment and news can be more visual.  Eventually, motion pictures, televisions and radio are replaced by hand-held devices.  Three-dimension technology replaces flat-screen digital.  “Reality” based entertainment replaces plot-based.  Microscopic propelled cameras make user controlled voyeur entertainment available, eliminating personal privacy.  The cameras also are used extensively by law enforcement.  Finally, electronic impulses of the human brain are translated, making true Artificial Intelligence possible.