Book 1: Skyrmion

Is Sweetland a new world ready to accept suffering humanity, or is it another kind of escape entirely?

Joe Larivee

Joe Larivee

Joe Larivee is an Everyman, a tireless social worker trying to help the growing legions of the poor while keeping his own head above the water, and in 2031 the water is rising fast, fed by global warming and collapse of the ice caps. America is on the verge of war and economic disaster. For the starving many, a new answer seems to have arrived. It’s Sweetland, a newly-discovered earth-like world. And there’s a novel way to get there — through the virtual reality called New Life.


Jessie Larivee

Jessie Larivee

Jessie Larivee wants to go to Sweetland. There is no future on Earth for children like her. She has been taking virtual training classes at an online university, and she is determined to emigrate, no matter the cost. But she hasn’t figured out how to tell her dad, who is a bit of a luddite. She desperately wants him to go with her, but how can she convince him?


Claire Deluna, aka Bridge Whitedeer

Claire Deluna, aka Bridge Whitedeer

Virtual private eye, Claire Deluna, has been hired to spy on a mysterious corporate upstart by it’s parent company, New Life, Inc. Now she has the big players on her tail, but is it the mob, the government, the Bolivarians, or someone else? More worrying, why are bodies of mostly poor, young people turning up everywhere? And what does it have to do with the Temple of New Life and something called Sweetland?


For those left behind, the act of crossing over to Sweetland is, literally, no different than death, but Joe Larivee has seen the other side, and now he must decide: is Sweetland real, and, if so, does he follow his daughter and lover and escape from the hell Earth has become, or does he stay and fight for the unfortunate ones he has spent his life serving, and, in the process, just maybe redeem himself for the betrayal which eats at his conscience?

In 2031, the oceans have risen by 14 meters, oil is increasingly scarce, and the economy has collapsed under the weight of mass migrations and food shortages. The government, under a ruthless combination of martial law and lawless corporate rule, is engaged in endless wars, and a frantic effort to keep out a flood of refugees.

Social worker Joe Larivee is just trying to survive as a single father with a fourteen-year-old daughter in Portland, Oregon. Joe is a bit of a luddite, but when children start to go missing, he is drawn into a world of virtual reality called New Life.

In 2031, virtual worlds are as lifelike as the real world. But the real world is so bleak that millions of poor people have retreated from their horrible existance into New Life, the ultimate consumer utopia.

What Joe finds, with the help of inworld detective, Claire Deluna, is frightening. It seems that many young people are convinced they can teleport to another planet, called Sweetland, from within New Life. Joe’s daughter, Jessie, is among them. Now, bodies are being discovered in abandoned warehouses.

Is Sweetland real, or a marketing scam? Or is it some sort of mass-suicide religious cult? When Jessie goes missing, Joe must look inside himself to discover the truth, and the answers to his life.

This novel is a black comedy, which explores the meaning of reality and hope, and how one man can find redemption and the courage to carry on in the face of paralyzing loss.

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