A man is as free as he chooses to make himself, never an atom freer.” -George Macdonald
What if citizenship and advancement meant signing a life-contract to the government or approved corporation? In this future world, innovation, creativity, even fertility have nearly vanished. Those who can afford artificially-lengthened lifespans amass obscene wealth and power. Some say this society is too civilized to be called a slave state. Yet those that walk away become despised “nobodies” who must forage in the shadows.
What would you choose?
Echo is creative, beautiful and fertile, and was raised with every luxury. She has seen the inner-workings of LTK (the corporation that controls all news and entertainment) too closely to become a willing slave.
Rick was first in his graduating class at the National Police Academy and is the son of a national hero. He believes that he must surpass expectations. When invited to join an elite force called RAPID, he thinks nothing of signing an addendum to his life-contract pledging loyalty to this unit, even though his closest friends have misgivings.
Favor dreams of becoming an actress. She would sign absolutely anything to make her dreams come true.
Lorenzo – never last, never first – probably views a life-contract as little more than bureaucratic paperwork.
Jeff (Red) Roselle was raised among wealthy financiers. He ran away at age sixteen and became a bandit. He refers to his early life as excellent training, although he admits to being a less-ambitious thief these days. Now, after six years of wandering the wasteland, he knows there is something better than wealth: liberty.
Selinda dreamed of becoming a detective. But in this world where fertility is becoming rare, it is not legal to be a lesbian. When her presence becomes inconvenient to her chain of command she chooses to walk away on her own terms, fully armed.
I think it probable that Echo’s Voice will forever remain a work in progress to me. When I published the novel back in 2000, many readers asked if I planned to write a sequel. I was torn between writing a sequel or a prequel. Thanks to Amazon’s Kindle technology I can now do both. By presenting the story in six episodes I can expand with complete freedom.
The plot, as presented in the original novel—now Episodes II, III, IV and V—is unchanged. However, the story is expanded with a few characters taking larger roles. Details have been added to give a better sense of this future world, a world I fear we are even now building.