I typically write general fiction or young adult fiction. 2014’s NaNo project was the first time I attempted the sci-fi/dystopian genre. It was well out of my comfort zone, and although I completed the challenge, not something I want to resume at this time. My philosophy is to never say never. Beyond the Valley has not been canned, but it has, at least for now, been shelved.
Beyond the Valley
Welcome to Vallum. A beautiful city nestled in a mountain ring, Vallum is completely surrounded on all sides by these high peaks, isolated from the rest of the world – not that there is any other world beyond the mountain tops, at all. After a supervirus came close to wiping out all of human civilization in 2107, there is nothing left but Vallum, with its small population under the iron rule of Governor Cain.
Many years ago, while scientists worked to find a cure for the plague that was killing off most of the world, they instead found something else, something better: a cure for all other disease. It was too late for many. Every man, woman, and child in Vallum knows the story of the few heroic doctors who locked themselves in with hundreds of thousands of those already affected by the virus, searching for a cure until the very end. Ultimately, they perished; sealing off the hospitals and clinics containing the sick, so that the virus could not spread. In this way, a world was created where the few that were left would never know sickness of any form; not so much as the common cold. So began Vallum: a utopia, a bucolic city-state with lush green hillsides and crystal-clear streams, and the promise of a healthy life. Vallum: the last remaining civilization.
So when sixteen-year-old Maggie finds a sick person, there can be only one possibility: it’s a prank. Her friends have set her up, and this person – this boy who could be about her age, but he’s not answering her questions – is faking it. Her friends are certainly watching from a distance, waiting to see her freak out about germs and disease and all that other mythical nonsense. Well, if they’re going to mess with her, she can certainly catch them at their own game. Instead of running in the opposite direction, she takes the young boy home.
But days pass, and there is no word from her friends; no sign that they set this up. Meanwhile, this boy, crazy as it sounds, actually seems to be sick…
Could it be that maybe disease hasn’t been eradicated, after all? And if it hasn’t, if that is a lie…. Is there anything beyond the valley?
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is a project where writers attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. This novel is still very much a work in progress, and details both minor and major may change as time goes by. This is a work of young adult fiction set in around 2215, with none of the “all cars fly, and we’ve mastered telepathy!” malarky because that just ain’t my jam.
I solemnly swear there are no sparkly vampires.
progress meter word count/inevitable descent into insanity meter: