February 20, 2020

Bridge 108 Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Bridge 108
Author: Anne Charnock
Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Publisher: 47North 


From the Arthur C. Clarke Award–winning author, a dystopian novel of oppression set in the climate-ravaged Europe of A Calculated Life, a finalist for the Kitschies award and Philip K. Dick Award.

Late in the twenty-first century, drought and wildfires prompt an exodus from southern Europe. When twelve-year-old Caleb is separated from his mother during their trek north, he soon falls prey to traffickers. Enslaved in an enclave outside Manchester, the resourceful and determined Caleb never loses hope of bettering himself.

After Caleb is befriended by a fellow victim of trafficking, another road opens. Hiding in the woodlands by day, guided by the stars at night, he begins a new journey—to escape to a better life, to meet someone he can trust, and to find his family. For Caleb, only one thing is certain: making his way in the world will be far more difficult than his mother imagined.

Told through multiple voices and set against the backdrop of a haunting and frighteningly believable future, Bridge 108 charts the passage of a young boy into adulthood amid oppressive circumstances that are increasingly relevant to our present day.

Praise for BRIDGE 108:

“Readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories with hopeful messages will be gratified by this topical tale of human resourcefulness in the face of climate disaster.” —Publishers Weekly

A dystopian novel set in the climate-ravaged Europe of A Calculated Life. Told through multiple voices against the backdrop of a haunting and frighteningly believable future, Bridge 108 charts the passage of a young boy into adulthood amid oppressive circumstances that are increasingly relevant to our present day.

You can purchase Bridge 108 at the following Retailers:
A scream rips me from my sleep. I hear another scream. It’s a cat fight. I open my eyes but I haven’t escaped my dream. In a ploughed field, I struggle to pin my tent across the furrows as someone shouts, “Wolves.”

It’s true; we often heard animal cries at night. But they weren’t wolves.

I wish I could sleep better. I wake two or three times most nights, and each time I fall back asleep the dreams become stranger and stranger. I fight in my sleep now and then, and wake to find myself hitting out, sometimes bruising myself on the metal stands of the solar arrays.

I don’t really mind dreaming about the journey because I hope to see Mother as she used to be, before she became untidy and quiet. I roll onto my back, look up at the stars, and I hear her soft, clear voice from a time when everything was normal, when Father still lived with us: “Have you finished your homework, Caleb?” And then her voice is gone. I push myself up on one elbow, force my mind to clear.

I imagine the day to come—leaving the roof, walking through the enclave with Ma Lexie. I remember when I arrived here in darkness with Skylark, my surprise at seeing streets with no trees. It felt like a prison town without a perimeter wall. Blocks of flats, all the same size, separated by narrow streets and side alleys. Where I came from, every street was lined with trees, though many were dying back—bare branches poking out from the greenery, reaching for help.

Skylark led me up the stairs to Ma Lexie’s at and knocked. Ma Lexie let us in, and, without being asked, Skylark filled the kitchen sink with hot water. She drew a curtain across the kitchen area, gave me a cloth and told me to strip o . “Time to clean up,” she said. I must have stunk. I hadn’t washed in hot water in weeks. I peeled o my sweater and two T-shirts, and Skylark—without coming around the curtain—handed me some clothes in a pile. I placed them on the oor away from the sink and smoothed my hand over the fresh, clean cloth.

Above the sound of splashing water, I caught a few snatches of conversation—some talk about money, and I heard Skylark say, “...tall for his age.” Ma Lexie asked, “Is he inoculated?” I didn’t hear Skylark’s reply, but Ma Lexie said, “Good. That’s how I like them.”

Copyright © 2020 by Anne Charnock
Photo Content from Anne Charnock

Anne Charnock's latest novel, DREAMS BEFORE THE START OF TIME, is the winner of the 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award, and was shortlisted for the BSFA 2017 Best Novel Award. Her novella THE ENCLAVE has won the BSFA 2017 Best Short Fiction Award. This novella is written in the same world as her debut novel, A CALCULATED LIFE, which was a finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick and The Kitschies Golden Tentacle Awards.

SLEEPING EMBERS OF AN ORDINARY MIND, her second novel, was named by The Guardian as one of the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2015

Anne Charnock's journalism has appeared in New Scientist, The Guardian, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune and Geographical. She was educated at the University of East Anglia, where she studied Environmental Sciences, and at The Manchester School of Art, England where she gained a Masters in Fine Art.

As a foreign correspondent, she travelled widely in Africa, the Middle East and India and spent a year overlanding through Egypt, Sudan and Kenya.


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