by Marina Fontaine
2016 Dragon Awards Nominee, Best Apocalyptic Novel
Freedom is lost, but not forgotten.
In 2040s America, civility is prized above truth, conformity above free expression, and “green” living above basic human needs. Most have given up, too busy trying to survive in a country where life is cheap and necessities are scarce. Yet even in the midst of drudgery and despair, unbroken spirits remain.
Julie is a girl who has everything, including a plan to ignite the spark of resistance.
Randy dreams of winning Julie’s love and escaping the emptiness of over-regulated life.
Joseph seeks revenge on the system for a family tragedy.
Daniel is a young artist, who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
Chris is an orphan prepared to do the unthinkable to protect his younger sister.
Whether by choice or by accident, each will take a path on a collision course with the oppressive regime. Will they find the freedom they desire? Or will the cost of defiance prove too high to bear?
“Riveting dystopian thriller with fun-loving, vivid characters, full of hope and triumph.”
“Because the author, Marina Fontaine, spent approximately her first 20 years in the old Soviet Union, Chasing Freedom is particularly fascinating among the current wave of near-future dystopias. An oppressive U.S.A is described with familiar detail by someone who has, in fact, lived it.”
“The book displays a degree of realism often absent from such works. This extends to the story arc as well.”
CIR: What inspired this story?
FONTAINE: I love reading dystopias and wanted to do my own take that is less dark and more hopeful than the norm for the genre. Anthem by Ayn Rand showed me that a dystopian genre can be used not just to scare, but also to provide hope.
CIR: What was your favorite part of writing this story?
FONTAINE: Creating the characters and watching them develop beyond what I originally intended.
CIR: Who is your favorite character and why?
FONTAINE: My favorite character is Daniel, who is a young artist trying only to make a life for himself in a hostile world. He’s my favorite because he never gives up on his dreams or thinks of himself as a victim. I also liked being able to create a character who’s an artist because those are not common in dystopian stories.
CIR: What themes do you address in this story?
FONTAINE: Need for hope and faith and holding on to one’s humanity in the darkest of circumstances. A side theme is how small individual choices can make a difference between a hero and a villain.
CIR: What message do you hope your readers take away from this book?
FONTAINE: Freedom is worth fighting for, and there’s no such thing as a hopeless cause.
CIR: Is there more coming? A sequel?
FONTAINE: No, this is intended as a stand-alone. However, I have a short story from this world published in an anthology called Freedom’s Light.
Be advised that there is reference to torture in the book. It is not graphically depicted, but it may be an upsetting subject for some readers.