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Empire of Time series by John Argo - Clocktower Books

Why is this a San Diego Book?

= Time Train =

(a SF novel in the Empire of Time series)

DEA Special Agent Joe ‘Mack’ Mackinson’s nightmare adventure starts alone on a stakeout one night, in the desert outside San Diego, hoping to snare a Baja drug lord. Instead, he stumbles on a battle between rival UFO agents from the far future, is forced into service under the tyranny of Amerika's Great Shepherd in a neo-Orwellian 2084 Amerika, and fights to save his wife Carly, the love of his life.

Meteorites streak by, as Mack eats a tuna sandwich lovingly made for him by Carly. It’s spooky along the trickling river, among rustling oak groves and swamps, with night life on the prowl all around. The desert sky is clear and starry. Cool, fragrant air whispers with rooting animal sounds - some rather odd.

In this idyllic setting, Mack draws his gun and steps out to investigate. Walking along the trickling river bed, he stumbles upon a pond in a hollow. Around a half-submerged, battered UFO, he finds rival, silver-suited agents from uptime in mortal combat. Mack is captured, abducted, and drawn into their war amid the Time Train networks and rival agents from the distant future. Uptime agents minutely tweak the past to save their fabulous city at the end of time. (I can almost hear A. E. Van Vogt typing a story like this…)

As an unwilling Temporale spy, brainwashed and in a false identity, Mack is forced to become an undercover agentin the korporate theocracy of the Great Shepherd in 2084--an Orwellian 2084 Amerika ruled by lies and terror. The stakes shoot sky-high for Mack when he learns someone has murdered Carly backin our present time.

Brainwashed and reborn as a Temporale agent, Kensington ‘Kenny’ Del Sol (Mack)'s mission is to help a leading senator defect to the free world across the heavily armed, well-defended Great Wall circling Amerika. Mack, the senator, and the senator’s family must get past hordes of paranoid, trigger-happy troops guarding 10,000 miles of the Magnum Line shielding Fortress Amerika from the outside world and the truth.

People are slaves without knowing it-‘free’ from contamination by outside truths that will poison their hearts, kill their children, and earn eternal damnation (so says the Great Shepherd)--death panels and all the rest of the korporate lies undermining the former republic, land of the free (and of the fee) in this prophetic doomsday novel in a great SF saga.

As Mack’s mind returns, can he recover his memories and get his identity back? Or will his life become merely another discarded dust speck in a vast and uncaring cosmos? Can Mack serve Time Town, elude the secret police of Long War Amerika, and save Carly despite strict orders not to, without causing changes that could lead to a Contradiction in time, fatal to all? Can he return to his happy life in the present, after tweaking the dark future? This novel is a node in the Holo Time Sector of the Empire of Time series by John Argo.

Added Note: A Difficult Novel, but Worth the Read. Though it is one of John Argo's shorter novels, it was remarkably prescient in 2009, and contains many layers of nuance. Please see the notes on the Why is this a San Diego Book? page for further insight.

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