To Live and Die in Avalon is a retro-futurist pulp space opera inspired by sixties spy novels and classic science fiction serials! It’s James Bond meets Buck Rogers!
In the 1960s, Dr. Natalie Baxter and her brother Miles Baxter, an aerospace engineer, discovered an alien artifact called the ’Codex’. Rather than letting it get buried in a military lab in the desert, Natalie and Miles used the artifact to create a revolutionary fusion engine that would change the course of human history. Natalie went missing shortly before their engine was revealed to the world.
Since that time, Miles and Natalie’s childhood friend, wealthy industrialist Maxwell Hildencrest has used the Codex to perfect a plethora of advancements, including a utopian city on the moon...Avalon. After a mysterious attack on the Earth which rendered the planet uninhabitable, most of humanity now lives in Avalon or in other parts of the solar system.
54 years after Natalie Baxter went missing, Penny Thorne, an agent of CIPHR (Covert Interplanetary Hazard Response) and granddaughter of Miles Baxter’s former fiance MI6 agent Cordelia Stewart, acquires a cryogenic pod from alien gangsters on Venus. Inside the pod is the long lost Dr. Natalie Baxter.
Natalie claims that the Codex warned her that abusing its power would lead to ruin and is horrified to learn that the Earth is a wasteland. A radical faction of anti-Avalon terrorists called the Sons of Mars are after Natalie and what she knows about Avalon’s creation and the mysterious Codex. But, Natalie discovers she has all the knowledge the Codex carried and its ability to manipulate the alien technology that powers Avalon. Natalie Baxter is the Codex.
Penny Thorne has been on a quest for vengeance ever since the leader of the Sons of Mars, a former CIA agent named Eric Vexler, was involved in the death of her mother Audrey Thorne, a former agent of CIPHR. Now, this third-generation spy must protect her grandmother’s best friend (who is physically the same age as she is due to being in suspended animation), discover the truth about Avalon’s creation, and uncover a conspiracy that spans half the system and over five decades. Everything is not as it seems and Avalon is not the utopia that was promised.
(commissioned artwork by Nathan Anderson (http://www.nathanandersonart.com/)
Jason Chestnut has been writing for most of his life, publishing science fiction short stories online as well as a brief stint as a freelance technology journalist. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife Shannon, their two kids and lazy pug. To Live and Die in Avalon is his first novel.