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2050: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery

Michael Kluckner

In the wake of the Patriotic War and subsequent pandemic, a city of impoverished survivors is ruled by the charismatic Sensei and his strict environmental laws. Detective Sara Fidelia is called in to investigate a rare murder – a mutilated Mort has been left at the entrance to the walled city. She sets out to find the Perp, travelling through a ruined landscape to the distant rebel town of Excursion – a journey that brings her much more than she bargained for.

"How can we contemplate the not-so-distant future with anything but alarm when no method both morally tolerable and practically effective has yet been discovered for reducing the population of the world to a tenth of its present size and keeping it there?"
–W.H. Auden, 1965

132 pages, black and white, 7 5/8 x 10 3/4 inches, soft cover
Published by Midtown Press, Vancouver, 2016
Suggested retail: $19.95

Available from all bookstores (real ones and on-line, too). But because independents don't or can't keep titles on their shelves, the quickest and most convenient way to get the book may be Chapters-Indigo online.

Go to Reviews and Comments....

(My Facebook page will have up-to-date posts about events although I will put major ones on the "newstuff" page on this site; more permanent items such as reviews will be posted below)

Where to Buy It?

1) Preferably, your independent bookstore. In Vancouver, go to:
• Massy Books, 229 East Georgia, 604-721-4405
• Iron Dog Books, 2671 East Hastings Street, 604-215-8807
• Hager Books, 2176 West 41st, 604-263-9412
• Book Warehouse Main Street, 4118 Main Street, 604-879-7737
...but Chapters/Indigo stores have it too.

2) In Canada, you can order a signed copy from me using your bank's e-payment system (Interac). Click on this link for how to do it (this is not a bank or credit card link).

3) Use PayPal – send $25 to me and use the "Contact Me" link above to email me and tell me where to send it.

The genesis of the book, other than the daily news of climatic and humanitarian disasters, was a trip to Cuba in 2012...

People were living quite contentedly in buildings that had partially collapsed into the street...

In some towns, much of the transportation was by horse and carriage, and yet,
on the day when I was drawing the carriages (below) in Santa Clara,
a MiG jet shot across the sky. Obviously, somebody (the government)
had fuel and high-tech, while the citizens lived in relative poverty...

The charismatic figure of Che Guevara exhorted everyone to keep faith in the revolution ...

The iconic Che image is kin to Mao-era propaganda posters of the Great Helmsman...

I created my own Great Helmsman, Sensei (a parody of David Suzuki, using the Japanese word for teacher), whose strict environmental laws
including population control rule the planet in the wake of the war and pandemic of 2028–30...

At every opportunity, I added a poster of Sensei and made up inspirational slogans, some to do with
population control, others about looking after the environment and living peacefully together...

Visually, the setting looks like Vancouver, Canada, which has a very distinctive geography susceptible to sea-level rise.
It's just "the City," actually a walled city, throughout the book. For environmental reasons, travel is very limited and
appears to be done entirely by dirigible and bicycle.

The story of the 2028 war and the ensuing pandemic is told in flashback by the heroine, the brainwashed
detective Sara Fidelia, who was a little girl then, and by her stepfather, a Millennial who became a soldier and later a policeman...

Although the wild weather has calmed somewhat, they still have to cope with huge storms...

The Internet is just weather reports and Facebook (which is closely monitored) – who needs anything more, right?;
everyone is issued with a Volksphone; work for most people is an occasional stint with the Land Army, producing food;
there is no capitalism, very few consumer goods, and money has been replaced by Credits ...

The citizens are contented and happy due to Pleasant Planet, a free and addictive drink that is also a contraceptive...

The mysterious murder appears to have been committed by renegades from the town of Excursion, where Sara goes, accompanied by her stepfather ...

It's a kind of Wild West town, like those places you run into in the USA when you stray onto the Blue Highways...

Will Sara solve the murder? Will she stay in Excursion, where life is more free, or will she be loyal to Sensei and return to the City?

All is answered at the end...

Reviews, Publicity and Comments


From BC Booklook/The Ormsby Review, May, 2017, an interesting review that discovers some things that I thought
were unimportant, and discounts others.

From CBC's North by Northwest, March 5, 2017
(Click on the image for the full story)
Here is the audio link, which runs from 2:05:17 to 2:18:20

From Caroline Adderson, novelist, author of The Sky is Falling, Ellen in Pieces, and principal author of the Vancouver Vanishes book and FB page:

"2050 is a witty and subversive page-turner packed with sly commentary on our city and culture today, as any decent futuristic story must provide.  The only thing that slowed me was the pleasure I got in identifying the locations in Kluckner’s transformed Vancouver.  By the end I couldn’t decide if I was sorry I’d be dead by 2050, or glad."

Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun
Click the image for the link

Winter edition, BC Bookworld, page 38:

November, 2016:

November, 2016: From Eve Lazarus's Every Place Has a Story blog:

Click on the page above to read the rest of it

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Artwork & text © Michael Kluckner, 2016