By Patricia Marie Budd
Once an oasis in a world of destruction, the nation of
Hadrian risks falling into disarray over its government’s
persecution of heterosexual relationships, in this standalone
dystopian sequel by gifted Canadian writer.
What if accepting yourself meant being rejected by
everyone you knew?
The nation of Hadrian is close to breaking point. After fifty years as a
relative oasis at the heart of a world polluted by disease and despair,
the death of Todd Middleton — a 16-year-old who dared to disregard
the laws prohibiting straight relationships and natural reproduction
— has moved many of Hadrian’s citizens to question the country’s
rules governing sexual equality.
These draconian laws have played an important part in keeping Hadrian prosperous and secure for decades. In
response to the Middleton incident, the government only furthers its anti-heterosexual laws to reassure
conservatives who fear their lives are being threatened. The backlash is severe, plunging the country into violence
as people attack those perceived to be abnormal and a threat to Hadrian’s stability.
A small group of activists band together to combat the rage and hate that surrounds them. When Hadrian’s last
surviving founder, Destiny Stuttgart, joins their side, it sends a searing message of solidarity to the long
persecuted heterosexual minority, and a stark warning to Hadrian’s pro-gay conservatives. The ensuing chaos
threatens to drag Hadrian into a civil war. But will those promoting the heterosexual agenda go too far, reversing
what Hadrian has accomplished, fracturing and catapulting it into the madness seen across the rest of the planet?
Hadrian’s Rage by Canadian writer Patricia Marie Budd is the arresting second novel in her Hadrian Series, in
which she explores the importance of human equality and the extent to which we will intellectualise and accept
the status quo in order to safeguard our own social interests, even if others are hurt in the process. By turning our
cultural and political norms upside down, Budd forces us to reevaluate our perceptions, our prejudices and our
treatment of those who are different. Inspired in part by the current Russian government’s controversial anti-gay
policy, her message is one of education, tolerance and acceptance, reinforcing our mutual right to live in peace,
regardless of our religion, race or sexual preference.
About the author: Patricia Marie Budd was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. She studied mime in
Toronto and continued her theatre studies under the mentorship of Phillip Gaulier in London. Budd has taught High
School English since 1991, having been passionate about writing since early childhood; she has written for the
stage as well as novels, with her one act play produced in The Rhubarb Festival’s Special Event in 1984. She lives in
Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Patricia Marie Budd has previously written three novels, A New Dawn Rising,
Hell Hounds of High School and Hadrian’s Lover. Hadrian’s Rage (published by Clink Street Publishing May
2016) is available to buy online from retailers including amazon.co.uk and can be ordered from all good
bookstores. Visit www.patriciamariebudd.com for more information.
Frightening Facts in Stephen Emmott’s Ten Billion,
I learned some really frightening facts from Stephen Emmott’s short non-fiction, Ten Billion. This book is not a sci-fi dystopia about the future. It is a fact based look at what is fast becoming our dystopian future. We will reach the unsustainable population of ten billion in just under thirty years. Emmott has even projected the deadly number of twenty-eight billion by this century’s end. I will, by that point, fortunately, be dead, but your children and grandchildren will not. Right now the planet’s resources are insufficient for supporting ten billion people, let alone twenty-eight billion.
When I was writing my dystopian sci-fi novel, Hadrian’s Lover, one of the criticisms I received was the overly large population I created for sometime in the 22nd century. Well, Stephen Emmott just justified that seemingly absurd number in his book, Ten Billion, by pointing out that “by the end of this century there will not be ten billion of us.” Rather, he goes on to say, “There will be twenty-eight billion of us.” I was eight billion short of this projected mark! The planet simply cannot sustain such a radically high number of humans. Emmott rightly warns us that we are “in an unprecedented emergency.”
A radical shift, he writes, needs to occur in the mindset of the business world in order for us to effectively combat the damage we are continuing to inflict upon our planet. “The rules of business,” Emmott explains, “urgently need to be changed, so corporations compete on the basis of innovation, resource conservation, and satisfaction of multiple stakeholder demands, rather than on the basis of who is most effective in influencing government regulation, avoiding taxes, and obtaining subsidies for harmful activities in order to maximize the return for just one stakeholder-the shareholders.” Like Emmott, I do not believe this will ever happen.
And yet, we must act. That is the key message Emmott addresses explicitly and implicitly on every page of his book. We are the problem and we must be the solution. If nothing is done then a crisis of pandemic proportions will be upon us. For, as Emmott evidences in his book, “there is no known way of feeding a population of ten billion.” Prior to this statement he pointed out that since 1980 world population has grown by a billion every decade (pp 25, 29, 32). This suggests that by 2020 we will be at eight billion, hitting the nine billion mark by 2030 and the impossible to sustain ten billion by 2040 (or sooner). I could still be alive, just turning 80. If not luckily lost in a stupor of dementia, I may well have the misfortune of being cognizant of our species final descent into madness.
This book is rife with examples of the irony of human action and inaction. One example given is what he refers to as the “irony of ironies”. Apparently “it takes something like four liters of water to produce a one-liter plastic bottle of water.” This, Emmott aptly describes as “completely unnecessarily” and goes on to call it “Water wasted to produce bottles-for water.” And, this is only one of the many examples of how we are overusing our planet’s limited fresh water resources. “In short,” as Emmott succinctly puts it, “we’re consuming water, like food, at a rate that is completely unsustainable.” Wow!
According to Stephen Emmott, there are three key reasons why the demand for food is growing (beside the obvious population growth): 1. People are eating more in developed countries, 2. People are consuming more meat than ever before, 3. Eating, particularly in wealthier countries, has become a pastime (Pages 70 & 71).
So, what are we to do? If we continue down this miserable trek as Emmott feels certain is exactly what we will do then all the dystopian fiction written predicting an apocalyptic future may become all too haunting true. Maybe we’ll wise up as a species sooner rather than too late and take Emmott’s advice in this book.
Purchase Emmott’s book on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345806476/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_img_sol_0