Echo Cycle

by Patrick Edwards
Release date: March 10, 2020
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, thriller

Gladiator meets 1984 in this near-future thriller featuring timeslips, ancient magic and a disturbingly plausible dystopian Britain...

One day, a boy fell down a hole in time and banged his head. When he woke up he met the Emperor Nero, who promptly killed himself.

2070. A dozen English public schoolboys on a school trip to Rome in a prosperous and technologically advanced Europe worlds away from a post-Brexit Britain marred by food shortages, poverty and a totalitarian state. Outsider Miliband Monk is captivated by the gleaming metropolis, and desperate to stay out of the way of his tormentors, who bully him for his sexuality in ultra-conservative Britain, and longs for what he sees as the liberal utopia of modern Europe. When a life-changing shock leads him to pound a bullying classmate and dramatically injure him, and Monk flees into the city, and vanishes completely.

Twenty-five years later, Monk's best friend Banks returns to Rome part of a rare diplomatic mission to the continent, and meets a wild-haired vagrant whom he realizes is a much aged, haggard Monk, who claims he has been in ancient Rome for all these years, living under the Caesars. His emergence sparks a conflict in the tinderbox of modern diplomatic relations, whose mysterious origins hark back to the ancient world itself...

updated 2020-03-11

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