Uranium Fist

Mark Cantrell

Uranium Fist by Mark Cantrell
This Edition Published September 2006
Copyright (C) 1993/1999/2006
The moral rights of the author have been asserted.
THIS novel is released under a creative commons license. Some rights are consequently reserved. It may be downloaded and distributed free of charge so long as this is for non-commercial activities. The author must be identified and no modification may be made to this PDF or the text of the novel. Extracts may be used subject to the normal restrictions of fair usage.
Copyright (C) September 2006. Some Rights Reserved.
For more information on this and other fiction, poetry and journalism by Mark Cantrell, visit Tyke Writer Export:
This edition published in 2006 by Mark Cantrell, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK. Email: [email protected]
A Fist In Time
Preface To Uranium Fist1
EVERY book that was ever written is a product of its time.
They begin life as an idea in the author's mind: a seed that takes root, a quantum particle that detonates into a universe-creating Big Bang. They take on a life of their own, so that the author begins as the progenitor and ends as portal for something else that is extruding its existence into our world. From Mind, to paper through the medium of the author's nervous system and fingers, books are made flesh from our flesh but are rooted in the reality and influences of the times in which they are conceived and gestated.
That includes works of science fiction set in the future. It also includes books that are somehow ahead of their time.
Apparently, I did that with my first novel, Uranium Fist.
When I breathed life into the sheets of wood-pulp and ink, I was also creating something written for the day, but waiting fallow for the future resonance that would beat in time to its own inner tempo.
I never set out to do that.
In fact, I am still sceptical that I did this in the first place.
But frequently, it's not the author that determines such things; the readers do that when they bring themselves to the words and read between the lines and add their own interpretations to the author's vision.
For me, Uranium Fist was an adventure and an experiment. Up until that time, I had never written a work of novel proportions. I had no idea if I even possessed the stamina for such an involved project. So, the misgivings coupled with the desire to make the attempt, played their part in the selection of the project chosen to be my first book.
There were other influences, of course, that played their part in the idea that would become Uranium Fist. And they are essential ingredients to the story of how I allegedly penned something ahead of its time.
In the early 90s, I was a student studying political theory at Liverpool University. I had only been a writer for a couple of years when I opted to begin my first book. Politically idealistic, and attracted to the hard Left I wanted to write something that expressed my politics as well as my literary aspirations.
When the First Gulf War ended, I longed to write a story that expressed my opposition to that war, but I could not come up with something that quite fitted that scenario. Instead, I changed track and came up with a working class revolution on a distant Earth colony world. I chose to write the story as a correspondent's article about the defeat and destruction of that revolution. A kind of John Reed in space.2
(Unbeknown to me at the time, my correspondent's surname was Reid. If that was deliberate, then it was only unconsciously so. I didn't see it until some time later.)
The short story was an experiment and didn't work, but it was to this story that I returned when I wrote the novel. That was in 1992. I continued the experiment. The novel was to be a book written by the corespondent ten years on from the revolution's defeat, recounting her experiences and the experiences of those involved.
It followed a kind of journalistic format, that was again experimental3 for me. As the book progressed it become more focused on the correspondent, as she became drawn into the drama of which she was covering and came to relate to the people and their hopes and dreams.
Inevitably, the book was flabby and over-written. It was a first attempt after all, but it formed the draft that I revised some years later to develop the book as it is now.
In the days when I wrote the book, the Soviet Union had only just passed into the dustbin of history. The Anti-Capitalist movement that exploded onto the scene at Seattle in 1999 was still an unknown, unsuspected future development.
To me, it seemed that I had to write a novel in which the revolution was destroyed. In part this was a reflection of the time. Added
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