From WARREN FAHY bestselling author of FRAGMENT and PANDEMONIUM
An epic new novel for our age ― a teenaged 1984 for the 21st Century
A near future where business and government have merged into a global tyranny powered by technology created by a computer genius and a robotics pioneer lightyears ahead of their time. Everyone has been assigned an avatar that tracks their every move and assigns them a color indicating their compliance. One end of the spectrum opens a world of opportunity. The other makes one untouchable and erased from public life.
But a kill switch has been built into the global network created by these two cybernetics visionaries, hidden in a tiny device. They trade possession of this switch each year, intending someday to destroy their creation if it grows beyond their control. When one of them balks at throwing the switch to trigger a chain reaction that will liberate the human race, the other hides it with one anonymous and unsuspecting person ― the last American teenager.
Now the race is on to find who has unwittingly been chosen to determine the future of the world ― unless the vast global machine can find him first.
A digital age 1984 for the 21st Century, MAGENTA is a novel for today as the world teeters on the edge of destiny…
He is coming to smash this machine. He won’t be programmed; he thinks. He won’t be pushed; he reaches.
Excerpts from MAGENTA:
As she raced up the hill between headstones, the moonless night seemed to engulf her like ink. Fall leaves appeared one after another like exploding flames in the beam of her RakeLance. To one side she noticed the spray-painted image of a leopard paw graffitied on a tombstone, and on another she saw the dead person’s name crossed out by a red fluorescent “X”. Other tombstones had been sprayed with stenciled memes, a fist, an axe, an eye, a smiling wizard, a waterbear.
For the first year, Saphire was going to be late. But she didn’t hurry.
She reconsidered the tone of Noah’s voice on the phone and his need to be reminded of a passion they had always shared, something that out of all other things in the universe was supposed to be immune to time.
It confirmed what she had impossibly started to suspect. This was no longer the world’s leading computer engineer, the world’s richest man, her secret husband. He was, possibly now, her most deadly enemy. For the world did not know about the contract that was never written between them. She could not even finish the memory of it... Even that was a secret too sacred to acknowledge.
Rory Green laughed like an old man weeping as his sharp young eyes noticed the tiniest triangles and quadrangles wrinkled in the skin of his hand. It was so real, it didn’t belong here.
It may have taken the astronomical odds of the entire universe to make this hand, he thought, forgetting to commit another reverie to the page as it started to rain outside. There might be nothing – no life, anywhere, other than this pin-prick of dust in infinity. What if we actually were the only place it ever happened? What if we were the one place where matter attained a self? And we are the ones trying to stamp it out.
His soliloquy faded, and he put his pen on the virgin page of his blank book and finally wrote, staring back at the red eye across the room that watched and sniffed him:
You’re so perfect. You have no heart that needs to love, no mind that needs to dream. But you “feel” and “think” for all of us now.
The eye looked back at him implacably as he carefully cut the page with his pen again, like a doctor beginning surgery on a monstrous cancer.
What adults could not fathom in this graphical assault was that it was perfectly designed to trip all their alarms at once in a mockery of their monotonous jeremiads. The cartoons adults were now so worried about were a silent generational laughter at the minefield of do’s and don’ts that flabbergasted their elders and so easily rendered them apoplectic. Seeing their excitable seniors boil with rising blood pressure to the verge of collapse at a single image or cartoon or symbol, no matter how goofily and harmlessly depicted, had become a kind of wordless punchline among the youth. After years of unwarranted melodrama and perpetual fire alarms, as captive audiences to their elders’ nerve-addled psychodramas and paranoid witch hunts, and deprived of any conventional speech with which to reject it all without falling into verbal booby traps and pitfalls, their wordless memes sprayed on the gray surfaces of everything around them were an ineffable emancipation. All hail the Magenta Waterbear! All their hero Wiley had to do was wink.
He broke off a flake of the heretical substance and set it in the bowl of his home-made foil pipe. And if the smoke was an evil spirit, he anxiously chased it into his lungs with a lighted match. He blew the smoke discreetly through the screen of his window like a ghost, and then he drew another breath through the pipe, as though it were a hose that reached above the sea into the air and sunshine somewhere above the drowning world.
And he saw the distant surface of the sea glinting above and swam toward it, and he finally climbed onto a sun-drenched shore where he basked on the sunlit island of his imagination.
Then, rumbling over the faded indigo crag of the horizon, preceded by a corona of horns, a great man came. It wasn’t a hallucination. It was merely his hope imagined, a hero Rory needed to see. The titan crested the edge of the world on a chariot behind a team of horses whose hooves whipped the sea like cream; he was the omen in the midst of a vision, wild, reckless, gigantic and indomitable. His straining steeds, tall as mountains, drove walls of foam before them as he neared, his magenta robes rippling and eyes burning bright. His mighty arms cracked the reins, and he laughed in guiltless, rampant joy.
Rory wrote him down like a painter or a photographer or a witness:
He is coming to smash this machine. He won’t be programmed; he thinks. He won’t be pushed; he reaches.
But from the ocean comes an army of red-eyed crabs crawling out of the foam, dressed like rock stars and politicians, teachers and priests, doctors and philosophers, sociologists and critics, artists and actors, reporters and lawyers, writers and housewives, geniuses and thugs, in a long picket line waving the same purple sign: “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”
This was the core ethos of society. Everything spun out from it. Everything institutions claimed loudly to be against was actually their entire foundation now. Everything they officially denounced had become their mission. Everything once considered injustice was now called “justice.” And the only thing that could never be uttered without being utterly silenced was this screamingly blasphemous truth.
He closed his raised hand into a fist above the crowd. “This administration will not fail to recognize our conservative and progressive roots, or to take the responsibility for seeing all of our national ambitions implemented to the fullest extent at long last! Yes, now all of our historical yearnings shall finally reach the end of the road for which we have so long been striving. We are progressives no more. We are conservatives no more. We have arrived at their climax that is the goal our Nation has been staggering and plodding toward for so long! The things we always hoped could be made part of our society will now be instituted by law.
“With the rapid implementation of the Rake-SuperLink, and finally the Rake-MegaLink, the limitless vision that we citizens have always strived to realize from both sides of the political divide – not just in some distant future, but HERE AND NOW – shall be realized! All those who call yourselves progressive, this is the end game of that progress. All those that call yourselves conservative, we are here, at last! Make it so! Make it so!”
The crowds took up the chant. “Make it so! Make it so!”
Rory felt paralyzed as Armageddon blazed on the screen. “Hail to the Chief,” he whispered.
His father looked up at him. “Sorry, Rory,” he said. And though he smiled, weakly, his father seemed to mean it, even as he shrugged, helplessly now.
Many years of frustration filled that room – years pitted between rights and laws in the war on so many things in the Nation’s streets. Many good men died fighting this crippled and impossible fight against their own freedom, and many evil men had gotten rich. The police were caught between the danger of enforcing the laws and the rewards of not enforcing them, between the bloodied honor of upholding the law and the senseless, confusing cruelty of inflicting stupid laws on desperately exploited people. It was as though people were paying more for crime than for justice, and it tainted their social roles in a way few of them had ever anticipated when they idealistically joined the battle for right versus wrong. Many left, and those who had stayed were now embittered toward the public they had volunteered to protect, even as the public was embittered toward them for agreeing to enforce their pointless and arbitrary tyranny.
Rake found himself deeply annoyed by this boy, as though he were arguing with a mirror in a nightmare. “People who worship heroes fall into two delusions: a religious faith in the titans of industry and visionary entrepreneurs as the saviors of humanity on the one hand – or a blind devotion to all-powerful idealistic government, ready to solve all their problems, on the other. Let me tell you, son, neither exists. Our current crop of trillionaires revel in their power and their entanglements with the most hideous governments around the world, creating humanitarian disasters and crimes against humanity more shameful than the atrocities of any world war, just to benefit themselves and diminish the human race. These are your great geniuses and heroes.”
“They are not my heroes.”
“As for government leaders, most are self-dealing monsters who consider human beings raw material, community property, human resources, nothing but products to be redistributed.”
“Those aren’t my heroes, either. Mine are the pioneers, the scientists, the inventors, the artists who do what no machine could ever do, the ones who reject shame because they have pride in what humanity can accomplish, the ones who disagree.”
Praise for Warren Fahy’s novels:
"I haven't had this much fun reading a science/adventure thriller since Jurassic Park. For the last half I was frozen in place – I couldn't move, couldn't talk. I even teared up a couple of times in pure joy. It took hours for the adrenaline to wear off." ―Fangoria
"Hang on to your hats! Mr. Fahy takes readers on a wild ride through a parallel universe where evolution has run amok—think JURASSIC PARK but scarier." ―The Wall Street Journal
“A cracking good holiday read, a fast-paced airport novel that never insults your intelligence." ―BBC Focus
“A rollicking tale [that] will enthrall readers of Jurassic Park and The Ruins." ―USA Today
“Highly recommended for all popular collections—a perfect read for poolside this summer.” ―Booklist
"PANDEMONIUM is pure genius, an otherworldly wonder as creative as the best of Jules Verne. Here is riveting scientific speculation paired with bravado storytelling." ―New York Times bestselling author of THE LAST ODYSSEY
“What do you get when you cross Jurassic Park with an ancient underground city? The answer is PANDEMONIUM, an exciting read from thriller author Warren Fahy.” ―Steve Alten, New York Times bestselling author of MEG and THE LOCH
“An expertly crafted, heart-stopping tale of darkness and danger that I will not soon forget.” ―Whitley Strieber, New York Times bestselling author of THE GRAYS