Monday, July 30, 2018


It’s the end of the road ... in a world that's turned to ice.

Jon Cameron and Scott Warne were kids when Asteroid Rodgers impacted. The Adelaide Hills and Riverland have evolved into a new world, new society. Most folks are eager to start over, but Ezekiel Gant is furious --

Armageddon happened, so where’s the Paradise the righteous were promised? Might it yet be wrested out of the wasteland through blood and fire? Massive storms still bring choking dust, freezing temperatures, driving “roadies before them. These ruthless nomads spell trouble for settlements like Windrage.

Gant ramrods a savage roadie tribe, and he’s a man on a mission. The Stone Angels are on the way and Cameron’s the only lawman in town. The duty of subduing the Stones falls to him -- and it’s suicide. Desperate, he forcibly deputizes a drifting gunfighter who’s also sheltering from the ice storm. Warne is angry, but instant chemistry sparks between the two. He's already named his price for co-operation. He’ll have Cam -- but first they must deal with Gant’s Stone Angels.

A gay SF romp with a sting in its tail, from long-time favorite Mel Keegan.

If you loved AQUAMARINE, and like an SF romp with a twist of hard SF, don't miss this one! 

(Caveat: material in this free sample is not suitable for juniors. Consider yourself warned!) 

Length: 45,500 words
Rated: adult (sex, violence, language) 
Publication date: June 2005
Publisher: DreamCraft
Price: $4.99 - ebook
Cover: Jade

Order from Amazon Kindle

Order from Smashwords in a wide variety of ebook formats


The scary thing is, these are real places. This piece is set in my own backyard, the Adelaide Hills, and the very suburbs where we all live and get in our groceries and go to the movies are 'ground zero.' Inspires a shudder, doesn't it? 

There have been a lot of 'Earth gets smacked by the comet' type stories. What makes this one different is that it's fifteen years AFTER the impact, and nobody was able to stop it happening; there were no underground shelters, and Bruce Willis wasn't able to put a missile up, uh, anything. We got plastered. End of statement -- or, not quite. Armageddon did visit, but it didn't stay; and there will always be survivors. The other thing making WINDRAGE very different is that is doesn't take place in Los Angeles or New York. It's the proverbial back of beyond, not even the densely populated part of the Adelaide Hills, but the other side, where the farms checker the landscape and the land falls away to the riverland. Yonderland. Hmm. 

The first draft of this story dates from 1984/85. I had a literary agent at the time, and I wrote a lot with the object in mind of keeping her supplied with new materials for publishers. Nothing every came of it (what a surprise), and the story was revamped. The original 1984 version was straight (!), short (something like 20,000 words), set in the USA, and terse. Years went by, and one day I was turning out boxes of old stories and discussing projects with the late Lane Ingram. We saw the potential in WINDRAGE, but I had no time to invest in it. In fact, Lane took the notes I'd made and worked up a new (rough) draft ... this one was gay in orientation, but the story was set in the UK now, and it was about 25,000 words, I think. Every word of my original story was incorporated, and my ideas were more fully developed than I had time to do myself. (Though I did blink a little when I saw how Lane had developed my ideas: some proceeded far from the way I'd have done it myself!) Fast-forward yet again to 2006. Lane passed away ten years ago (my gods, how time flies), and as a memorial I've tried to save some of the best development work that was done, way-back-when. No one would be more pleased than Lane to know people are reading this story in whatever form. However, having said that (!), I had to cut the 25k back to about 16k (yep, I ditched a lot of my own old work too) and reconstruct the whole thing. At last the story is set in South Aus, where I'd always wanted to set it ... it has something of an Aussie 'spin' in places. And this time around, the 'world' of Cam and Scott is fully developed and detailed, and the bad guys are three-dimensional. You'll meet Ezekiel Gant and his mob, and there's something spine-chilling about this quasi-biblical experience. This final version of the story has a deep vein of the philosophical, too ... I won't say one more word right here, but it's going to make you think. 

So, now the work is all done, the result is something new, in which one can still glimpse the old. 'Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.' And I'll leave it to the reader to work out which is which! My final version of WINDRAGE is seamless, rich and well developed. Seldom have I had the opportunity to go back to an old work and rewrite, yet I'm as aware as the next writer of truth in the old saying that 'Good books aren't written, they're rewritten.' 

The research for WINDRAGE was about local maps, and the mechanical problems of how things work -- and don't work. I had my nose in road atlases, several (!) best-selling religious books whose copyright dates back, oh, a couple of millennia, plus first aid manuals and (!) the SAS Survival Handbook! In its own way, WINDRAGE was a damned challenging piece ... about survival skills, big motorcycles, spellunking, bullockteams and drivers, bad dreams, 'black humor,' big guns, cool gunfighters, and a whole lot more. Lane always loved this storyline; for me, it's nostalgic. So -- Cheers to you, Lane E. Ingram, wherever you are: enjoy! 

This mobile friendly version of MEL KEEGAN ONLINE created and posted by webmaster JADE.

No comments:

Post a Comment