The year is 1345 Modern Time, more than half a millennia since a catastrophic event that decimated the earth’s population and left the southern hemisphere uninhabitable. The only things that stir there now are the mechanical monstrosities that arrive to assault the remaining peoples of the world in twice-yearly waves. The only thing standing between them and total annihilation are the men and women of the Reactionary Forces of Central, more commonly known as the souldiers.
The idea for Central and the Line came to me almost twenty-five years ago now. It was my first year in senior high school, and I had just moved to a new school where I suffered terribly under the faithful attention of the local bullies. My writing started as a way to escape at first, a collection of notes and drawings about an imaginary future that could take my mind away from the events around me. As time went on, however, I started to see how it could become the vehicle for a story of a much more meaningful kind.
At its heart, I wanted to write a story about that time-honoured tradition of the science fiction genre, the evil robot uprising. Although the world had yet to see the likes of The Matrix, I was a very impressionable recent viewer of one of its forebears, Terminator. It had action, it had robots, it had high stakes, and every flash-forward to a vision of the bleak future filled my imagination with thoughts about how the world could end up in such a way. When the secret was finally revealed, however, I couldn’t convince myself that it could be something simple as a pushed button or a bad piece of code.
Unsatisfied, I set out to create my own.
As you can probably guess, while I came to the idea much earlier in life, it’s taken me a long time to build up the experience to actually write it down. As much as I wanted to write it sooner, one benefit of that prolonged process is that the years in between gave me more time to grow as a person and refine the themes and approach to the story itself. The robots are still there (as well they should be) but the story has grown from one that focused on the conflict and the past to one of a much more personal kind.
In The Shadows of Eternity is as much a story of high stakes and fast-paced action as it is one of reflection and personal growth. It’s the heart-wrenching search of a young woman’s journey to discover what happened to her best friend set against the backdrop of a dangerous and unforgiving world whose secrets she must unravel (and survive) if she wants to discover the truth. It’s a love letter to introverts of all kinds, an ode to eastern and western science fiction, and the answer to many of the struggles I have encountered in life.
Perhaps you’re a fan of the mystery and emotional tension in Neon Genesis Evangelion, the character dynamics and growth in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, or the scope and grandeur of Horizon Zero Dawn. I’m a fan of all these series, too, and if these are the type of stories that resonate with you, I’m sure you’ll find something to enjoy here as well.
Want to learn more?
Read the first chapter –