Two and a half centuries in the future, the United States no longer exists. Daily life for the residents of New England resembles nothing their recent ancestors might have imagined. Physically and politically isolated, citizens of the new sovereign state live in a single, sprawling, highly-segregated urban landscape. Centuries old social divisions have now consolidated and dramatically shape where people live, how people work, and most importantly what people consume. Once a harmless idiom, “you are what you eat”, is now an incontrovertible doctrine–the key to good health, great influence, and immeasurable power.
INDEPENDENCE CYCLE | PART 1
Few understand the intricacies of the state’s politically-charged food system better than Civet Olkin, founder of Bītlogik, New England’s first Gastronomic Relations consultancy. After Walker Wilson–infamous professional football player and Bītlogik’s biggest client–commits a devastating gustatory mishap, Civet must scramble to save her reputation and her firm.
Author’s Note: WITHOUT LIGHT is a work of serialized speculative fiction. Each novella-length installment builds upon the last and is not intended to be a stand-alone narrative.
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J. Nikol is a professor of Communication Studies at Randolph College, She holds degrees from Virginia Tech, San Diego State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of a handful of published short stories and poems, scholarly journal articles, and academic book chapters. Her monograph “The Value of a Pint: American Beer, Cultural Change, and the Stubborn Materiality of Contemporary Capitalism” is forthcoming. WITHOUT LIGHT is J.’s first lengthy work of fiction and deals with many of the ideas, concepts, and themes that she encounters in her academic research.
When J. isn’t teaching, researching, or writing, she spends time with her wife, stepson, grumpy chiweenie dog, grumpier gray cat, and two good natured box turtles in beautiful Central Virginia. She is an avid homebrewer, urban gardener, compulsive maker of things, and rabid sports fan. J. is a social justice activist and firm believer that radical compassion can change the world.