By the mid 21st century the world economies had collapsed; the few wealthy live in gated communities where law is based on user pays, while the masses exist on residue-ridden food handouts in the remains of cities, where law is based on the gun. In one part of a decayed city, known as the Green Zone, two parents want a better life for their children. Jacob Adams fixes things for people in the nearest gated community. Lawrence Foster, an expert sniper, enforces order his way. Henry Adams has an ill-fated crush on Suzie Foster, but when his father is murdered, Lawrence executes the gang and uses the bounty to send Susan to college to become a lawyer. He also teaches Henry the art of killing and as he dies from the residues, he leaves Henry an armoury.
In 2051, fusion power, which will solve the energy shortage, is invented. Economies will grow, there are huge opportunities, and the world will change. By fair means or, more generally, foul means, David Sheldon ruthlessly acquires wealth and power by acquiring and trading companies. Susan Foster joins a corporation and, assisted by the machine pistol she always carries, helps it to become a monopoly. Henry, remaining in the Green Zone, has a dream in which everybody has the freedom and opportunity to flourish by themselves, free from big corporations. These three cannot coexist, so when David Sheldon and Suzie Foster turn their attention to the Green Zone, at stake is the future direction of the planet's economy as well as their, and many others', lives.
A futuristic thriller, the second in my "future history" with 142,000 words.
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About the Author
Ian J Miller was born 7th August 1942 to the son of a policeman sent to Hokitika (New Zealand) to fill vacancies due to the mass murderer Stanley Graham. Secondary education was at Ashburton High School, thence to University of Canterbury (BSc Hons1, PhD), followed by post-docs at Calgary, Southampton and Armidale. I returned to New Zealand to Chemistry Division, DSIR, to work first on lignin chemistry, then recycling, seaweed research, then hydrothermal wood liquefaction. In 1986 I left DSIR to set up Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd, to carry out research to support the private half of a joint venture to make pyromellitates, the basis of high temperature resistant plastics. (When called to a TV program to discuss the danger of foam plastics in fires, I aimed a gas torch at the palm of my hand, protected only by a piece of foam plastic I had made shortly before. Fortunately, it worked, it glowed yellow hot, but held the heat for about half a minute.) This venture, and an associated seaweed processing venture collapsed during the late 1980s financial crisis, mostly for financial reasons. Current projects include the development of Nemidon gels (www.nemidon.co.nz/) and fuels and chemicals through the hydrothermal treatment of microalgae (www.aquaflowgroup.com/). I have written about 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, about 35 other articles, and I was on the Editorial Board of Botanica Marina between about 1998-2008. In my first year University, following an argument with some Arts students, I was challenged to write a fictional book. I did in spare time: Gemina. I subsequently self-published a revised version, only to find publicity was forbidden as a condition of getting my finance for the pyromellitates project. Since then, I have written a few more science in fiction thriller-type novels that don't fit nicely in any category. These form a "future history", and Puppeteer is the first of one entry point.