An eruption on the Sun leaves the Earth powerless, but is it a temporary inconvenience or the start of a spiral into anarchy?
Belfast Professor Martin Monroe knows the answers, but once branded a conspiracy nut, he struggles to get anyone to listen to his warnings of the impending disaster. His only friend, Simon Wilson, still coming to terms with the loss of his wife, is the only person who will listen.
Government Communications officer, Lisa Keenan, fights against bureaucracy, and her own lack of confidence, to get the word out. She enlists the help of Martin, despite the protests of her colleagues.
With a wife and new-born child to think of, Prison supervisor, Derek Henderson, must weigh duty against family and live with the consequences of his decisions.
Will the world’s total reliance on technology, and the electricity that powers it, lead to the irreversible disintegration of society on a global scale?
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I read an article a couple of years ago about a study done by a group of scientists on space weather events. In 2012 they estimated that there was a 12% change of a large scale Coronal Mass Ejection (equal to or greater in magnitude than the Carrington Event which hit Earth in 1859) hitting the Earth within 10 years. It got my thinking about how society would cope given our Reliance on electricity and technology.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted to explore the implications on people in various roles (e.g. prison officer, government, physics professor). The characters themselves borrow traits from people I have known or have worked with.
The apartment door slammed shut behind him. Inside, Simon’s phone, still sitting on his desk from the night before, silently flashed another missed call. He pressed the button for the elevator.
The elevator car was small, fitting four people at a squeeze, and serviced his block of twenty apartments in the city centre development. Three identical buildings made up the private gated complex, with the river running along the back and a tall iron fence on the other three sides.
Simon stepped into the lift and fixed his collar in the mirror on the back wall. His favourite hiking jacket was getting a little tight. He had the frame of an ageing rugby player and the sweet tooth of a ten-year-old. Thus, the start of his latest fitness push, and now, two weeks in he was still doing his morning walk to the local shop and the odd ‘ease myself into it’ session in the gym. He’d stopped playing rugby in his mid-twenties and could count on one hand the number of times he’d seen the inside of a gym in the ten years since.
As the lift doors opened, Simon spied his neighbour, Mrs Fleming, shuffling backwards through the outer door, grocery bags in tow. Her bright green overcoat stretched across her not so slender frame. Simon quickened his step and reached behind her to hold the door but was a fraction too late and ended up in an awkward near Heimlich Manoeuvre.
“Steady on big fella,” Mrs Fleming said with a cheeky laugh, “At least buy me a drink first.”
Mortified, Simon stepped back, the heat surfacing on his cheeks. “Morning Janet, you’re out early today.”
Janet was in her late seventies, he guessed. A retired barrister who lived alone. She seemed to relish his discomfort.
“Can I help you with your bags?” he asked, gesturing at her shopping.
“Don’t be silly, sure I’m only going to the lift, but thank you. Ever the English gentleman.”
The chime of the elevator spurred her into a wobbling run, her well-worn trainers squeaking on the tiled floor.
“See you later, Romeo,” she said with a teasing smile.
Janet took up most of the four spaces in the lift, and as the doors began to close, she gave Simon a warm smile, still chuckling at her own joke.
Simon headed out into the Sunday morning sunlight. He paused at the door and dragged his palm down over his face to wipe away the embarrassment. With a quick shake of his head and a smile, he set off.
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