Global warming is drowning the world.

Seas rise. Coastlines retreat hundreds of miles inland. Superstorms batter every continent, every country, every city. Extreme weather—from tornadoes to cyclones to hurricanes—are weekly events.

Nations crumple, one by one. The rule of law is no more. Gangs control the cities. Suburbs are wastelands. Farmlands eradicated.

Only one place offers hope:


As its glaciers recede, Antarctica blooms, offering a new home to the hundreds of thousands of climate refugees fleeing to its shores.

Antarctica is a place of untouched beauty – a newly green land with unlimited possibilities.

It is also a place of great mystery. The Big Melt has left behind millennia of scientific finds, from perfectly preserved extinct animals to previously unknown bacteria. The South Pole, the last place on Earth of ice and constant darkness, holds an unimaginable reserve of oil…and a bizarre magnetic field which has only grown stronger in recent years.

After the climate refugees comes the Consortium, the last of the surviving corporations consolidated into a single ruthless entity. Now the sole international power, it views humanity as raw material for profit.

The Consortium puts the climate refugees to work extracting the oil. The climate refugees fight back, forming unions and striking. For their courage, they are massacred, then worked to death.

A few escape to live in the unchartered new wilderness. Calling themselves Ferals they take up arms against the Consortium. Some see them as terrorists. Others see them as freedom fighters….

INTO THIS STRANGE and volatile new land comes Sugg, a bounty hunter employed by the Consortium to seek out hard targets in the sunken, anarchy-filled cities of the world. He’s hot shit, and he knows it. Augmented by his array of bio-hacks, Sugg can execute moves that the average human couldn’t even conceive of. In a world full of operators, he’s the best.

Sugg always brings home his quarry. After all, he has a reputation to think of. But Sugg is just as much a tool of the Consortium as everyone else. They have him on a tight leash…a leash he’d gladly bite through.

This time the Consortium wants something oddly simple from him: to perform a hostage exchange—the mass-murderer known as Porter for the Consortium scientist Cass Shankhill, recently abducted from the site of an archeological expedition at the South Pole.

It’s a simple job, they tell him. A milk run. And if all goes well, they’ll pay off his debt, leaving him a free man.

Sugg has his doubts. The deal smells too good to be true. But there’s too much at stake to turn it down. And so Sugg finds himself journeying to the one place on Earth where his reputation and bio-hacks don’t count for jack.

The one place that could spell doom, or salvation, for the entire human race…


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all illustrations copyright (c) Simon Bisley, 2023

D.C. MacManus works a job no one would find enviable and has deleted all his social media accounts. This is his first novel, short, long, or otherwise.

Simon Bisley is a British comic book artist best known for his work on ABC Warriors, Lobo and Sláine.

It's a blast!

Adam Roberts, three-time Arthur C. Clarke award nominee and author of Stealing For The Sky