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Empire of Time series by John Argo - Clocktower Books

Orwell in Orbit 2084: Dystopia USA

NOTE 1: DarkSF is the Dark Chocolate of SF After much deliberation, I have posted the entire novel on this site as a DarkSF novel. Actually, Orwell in Orbit 2084 is a novel in the Empire of Time series; as such, it involves considerable background detail that may be lost on general readers not familiar with the huge Empire of Time series scope. All of my SF novels (DarkSF, Empire of Time, and other) are DarkSF in the sense that they are (not gruesome, juvenile, or scary) but rich, atmospheric, cinematic, deliberate, and artistic, to name but a few attributes to strive for, achieved by the best in class (e.g., Ridley Scott's 1982 film Blade Runner, Cordwainer Smith's anthology The Rediscovery of Man, Jorge Luis Borges' 1962 anthologies (translated from Spanish) Fictions and Labyrinths, Ursula K. LeGuin's 1971 The Lathe of Heaven, and others.—JTC.

NOTE 2: I thought about posting only the Core (Part II) here, but after much deliberation, I found it preferable to post the entire novel *with* some notes if you want to skip Parts I and III and just read the Core (Part II). The easiest solution was to doctor the Contents page (compare same novel at Galley City.—JTC.

Quick Blurb. DEA Special Agent Joe ‘Mack’ Mackinson’s nightmare adventure starts alone on a stakeout one night, in the desert outside San Diego, hoping to snare a Baja drug lord. Instead, he stumbles on a battle between rival UFO agents from the far future, is forced into service under the tyranny of Amerika's Great Shepherd in a neo-Orwellian 2084 Nightmerica, and fights to save his wife Carly, the love of his life.

Meteorites streak by, as Mack eats a tuna sandwich lovingly made for him by Carly. It’s spooky along the trickling river, among rustling oak groves and swamps, with night life on the prowl all around. The desert sky is clear and starry. Cool, fragrant air whispers with rooting animal sounds - some rather odd.

In this idyllic setting, Mack draws his gun and steps out to investigate. Walking along the trickling river bed, he stumbles upon a pond in a hollow. Around a half-submerged, battered UFO, he finds rival, silver-suited agents from uptime in mortal combat. Mack is captured, abducted, and drawn into their war amid the Time Train networks and rival agents from the distant future. Uptime agents minutely tweak the past to save their fabulous city at the end of time. (I can almost hear A. E. Van Vogt typing a story like this…)

As an unwilling Temporale spy, brainwashed and in a false identity, Mack is forced to become an undercover agentin the korporate theocracy of the Great Shepherd in 2084--an Orwellian 2084 Amerika ruled by lies and terror. The stakes shoot sky-high for Mack when he learns someone has murdered Carly backin our present time.

Brainwashed and reborn as a Temporale agent, Kensington ‘Kenny’ Del Sol (Mack)'s mission is to help a leading senator defect to the free world across the heavily armed, well-defended Great Wall circling Amerika. Mack, the senator, and the senator’s family must get past hordes of paranoid, trigger-happy troops guarding 10,000 miles of the Magnum Line shielding Fortress Amerika from the outside world and the truth.

People are slaves without knowing it—‘free’ from contamination by outside truths that will poison their hearts, kill their children, and earn eternal damnation (so says the Great Shepherd)—death panels and all the rest of the korporate lies undermining the former republic, land of the free (and of the fee) in this prophetic doomsday novel in a great SF saga.

As Mack’s mind returns, can he recover his memories and get his identity back? Or will his life become merely another discarded dust speck in a vast and uncaring cosmos? Can Mack serve Time Town, elude the secret police of Long War Amerika, and save Carly despite strict orders not to, without causing changes that could lead to a Contradiction in time, fatal to all? Can he return to his happy life in the present, after tweaking the dark future?

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