Betrayed by petty minded superiors in Novo Gaia, Brad and Carla race to save innocents from the blind hatred of long-dead killers.
The Earth is struggling to rebuild itself from the excesses of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Brad, a Doctor of General Applied Technologies colloquially known as a Tinker, travels the Dark Lands- areas without electricity- helping the people bootstrap themselves back from the edge of civilization.
All until he finds the plague in the town of Guelph.
Now Brad and his assistant Carla struggle to save the lives of the rapidly succumbing townspeople, while a cold war battle between Novo Gaia and the United Grid regions plays out over the quarantine and the lives of the people in the Dark Lands. The political theater is leaving Brad with a mounting toll of dead victims.
Will Brad and Carla be able to stop the plague, or will the contagion escape, infecting a world that is in no condition to survive another catastrophe?
CHAPTER 1 KNIFE HEALING
The boy sprinted along the crumbling, asphalt road his twisted, left arm flailing in his haste. He scrambled over a wooden gate and ran to an ancient van sitting in a field. A tower of interlocking pipes topped with a windmill rose from the van's back corner. Thin-film solar panels covered its roof and sides. Gasping, the boy wailed, "TINKER!"
The van's backdoor opened to reveal a man dressed in light, hemp clothing. His blond hair peeked out from under a wide-brimmed hat.
"What is it?" he asked, donning a pair of mirrored sunglasses.
The boy tried to explain, but all that came past his cleft palate was a babble.
"Slow down. I can't understand you," said the tinker. Stepping from the van, he touched the boy's shoulder. "Take some deep breaths and try again."
Trembling, the boy obeyed.
"It's me maw, she's a dyin'. Meb says she needs a doctor, like in Gridtown, but we ain't got none. Youse a tinker, Meb says maybe youse can 'elp. Da says 'e'll pay. Please, tinker, save me maw."
"Meb, the midwife from the village sent you?"
"You're Greg Thomson's boy. I remember you from last year."
"Yeah. Please, tinker, youse gotta 'elps me maw."
"Is your mother having a baby?"
"Yeah. Meb ses it's what's killin' 'er."
"Damn it, I told Thomson to stop having kids. All right, run to the James' place. Have one of them hitch my team and bring my wagon to your house. I'll grab my med kit and go straight there."
"Thank youse, tinker, thank youse." The child sprinted toward the main road.
"Damn Thomson! How many monsters will it take for him to accept the obvious?" The tinker entered the van emerging seconds later with a pack on his back and a laptop computer in his hand.
Could be a malpresentation, or an umbilical tangle. Probably a foetal malformation knowing Thomson's seed, he thought as he started down the road.
Five minutes later he approached the farmhouse of the Thomson clan. Its worn, vinyl siding had torn from the walls in many places, exposing the styrofoam beneath. Boarded-over windows made its two stories seem taller. The outbuildings looked ready to collapse. Despite the warm, spring day, smoke flowed from the chimney.
"Tinker," called a well-shaped girl with delicate features standing on the porch. She wore a homespun shirt, leggings and leather sandals.
"Where's Mrs. Thomson?" asked the tinker.
"I'll take you." The girl led the way into the house. Dim light entered around the boards covering the smashed windows, highlighting years of filth and neglect. Deformed children stared at the tinker as he passed them.
"I'm Meb’s granddaughter, Carla. Thanks for coming. Grandma said Mrs. Thomson's in a bad way. She said it's a malpresentation, but she can't find an arm or leg to turn the baby." The girl pulled a strand of her long, ebony hair away from her dark-blue eyes.
science fiction fantasy
Gandalf taught me how to be a spirit wrapped in flesh. Aragorn taught me how to be a man. Frodo taught me of perseverance and Samwise of loyalty. I owe much to J.R. Tolkin and others like Homer, innumerable books on mythology, Frank Herbert, H.G. Wells and the list goes on. They, through their works, taught me how to live. Along the way I learned of the power of the written word, the gift it could give by slipping past our defenses to show us the best and the worst in ourselves. These revaluations have lead me to become a writer.
So who am I. I am a lifeguard, husband, mystic, science enthusiast, home handyman, backyard mechanic, and writer. Like most of us, the face I wear changes with the company and the season. My three cats know me as pride alpha, I like to think so, though servant is probably more accurate. Who am I kidding, my wife runs the pride, I just try and stay out of her way.
At any rate, I am a man of middle years who lives in a house in Ontario, Canada with three cats, a wife and a sincere hope that you will buy and enjoy my books.
For Tinker's Plague:
You say you want an interesting post-apocalyptic novel, but The Road is too...Cormac McCarthyesque for you? Why don't you check out Stephen B. Pearl's Tinker's Plague? I read with Stephen at the Ad Astra science fiction convention, and when I was listening to him? Goosebumps. Ira Nayman - Proprietor of The Alternate Reality News Service.
My mother gave me a signed book of the Tinker's Plague, for christmas and i must say i enjoyed every second of it. Great work! :)
Chris A. Jackson - author of Scimitar Moon.
Stephen can truly spin a tale. “Tinker’s Plague” novel really is the most original post apocalyptic stories I’ve read in…well…forever.
Stephen, am reading the book to and from work on the ttc, without a doubt I am thoroughly enjoying each turn of the page, normally I am a voracious reader, but for this gem, I am carefully allocating a few pages each trip to extend the pleasure.
Faye - on goodreads 5 stars.
Wow what a gripping story, loved every page. Andromeda Strain crossed with the Postman with a little bit of I am Legend thrown in ( no zombies ) .... This book is worth getting if you love PA sci fi
Tinker's Plague Review by Nicole Chardenet Author of Young Republican Yuppy Princess.
The plot is well-done and the author clearly pays attention to modern-day politics and environmental issues. The bleak future painted therein is based on a world (ours, obviously) that didn't heed warnings about pollution and sustainability - what was once Toronto, for example, is now the "C-zone", so badly contaminated that nothing can live there, so of course that's where they keep the criminals.
I think sci-fi readers will like especially if they like a medical slant.
Nukekubi is an exciting read filled with mysticism and spiritual understandings. Melissa Sizzling Hot Book Reviews: www.sizzlinghotbooks.net
"Brilliant! Stephen Pearl reinvents the Paranormal genre!" - Karen Dales, Award Winning Author of The Chosen Chronicles: www.karendales.com .
Five out of five stars. At the start of this book I knew I would love it. Linda Tonis Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team: http://www.paranormalromanceguild.com/reviewsstephenpearl.htm