An American Gulag
Kamas, Utah, 2024. America has become a totalitarian dystopia after the Unionist Party’s rise to power. The American West contains vast Restricted Zones dotted with ghost towns, scattered military garrisons and corrective labor camps where the regime disposes of its real and suspected enemies.
A former businessman from Pittsburgh, Paul Wagner, arrives at a labor camp in Utah’s Kamas Valley. He is unaware that his eleven-year-old daughter, Claire, has set off to Utah to find him. By an odd quirk of fate, Claire has traveled on the same train that carried her father into internal exile.
Only after Wagner has renounced all hope of survival, cast his lot with anti-regime hard-liners and joined them in an unprecedented and suicidal revolt does he discover that Claire has become a servant in the home of the camp’s Deputy Warden. Wagner is torn between his devotion to family and loyalty to his fellow rebels. On the eve of an armored assault intended to crush the revolt, he faces an agonizing choice between a hero’s death and a coward’s freedom.
Forty Days at Kamas is both a stirring portrait of a man determined to survive under the bleakest of conditions and a nightmare vision of what America could become if political extremists rise to power.
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Preston Fleming writes realist thrillers set in exceptional times and places, from Siberia during the Russian Civil War (MAID OF BAIKAL), to explosive 1980s Beirut (DYNAMITE FISHERMEN), to a near-future gulag-style labor camp in Utah (FORTY DAYS AT KAMAS). His experience as a diplomat, lawyer and corporate executive, combined with his ultra-lean writing style, lend rare authenticity to his stories. All of Preston’s six novels have received praise from KIRKUS REVIEWS and other publications. Preston is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, but left home at fourteen for boarding school and has been on the move ever since. Today he and his wife live in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains with a Belgian Sheepdog they rescued after it bit too many humans in Delaware.