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The World Is Our Widow
Cities of Dust: Part 1 (Novel)
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The World Is Our Widow

It is 1868 and Captain Richard F. Burton, intrepid secret agent, undefeated swordsmen, towering intellectual and famed explorer wastes away as the British Counsel to Sao Paulo Brazil... Little does he know that he is being sought by a duo of unlikely time-travelers: a mathematics professor and a murderously eccentric criminal.


Dust Cover

The Burton Event

In this off-beat science-fiction adventure, Victorian scholar and adventurer Richard F. Burton is sought by an unlikely team of time-travelers.

It is 1868 and Captain Richard F. Burton, intrepid secret agent, undefeated swordsmen, towering intellectual and famed explorer wastes away as the British Counsel to Sao Paulo Brazil; unlikely to advance in the service of the Queen due to the powerful enemies made by his outspoken opinions on colonial misrule. Though he has managed to gain initiation into three exclusive religious orders and has mastered 29 languages, Richard remains powerless to convince the agents of the Queen to consider him for a worthy post...

Professor Jan Stevenson is a member of a secret society of time-travelers dedicated to bringing the lost genius’ of the past forward to the 21st Century in preparation for a project known as Second Genesis. Jan’s task is to travel back through Time and convince Richard F. Burton to come forward and lend his unmatched linguistic and ethnographic skills to the cause.

Removing a man of Burton’s stature from the historical time-line before his natural death could cause a deadly ripple in Time. Fortunately Burton is known to have disappeared into the wilds of South America from September 1868 until March 1869 with two mysterious adventurers, and uncharacteristically left no written account. Professor Stevenson is journeying 145 years into the past with his security operative intent on their being those two men...

Randy Bracken committed his first felony at age five and his first murder at age sixteen. Since then he has devoted his life to White Supremacist activities, customizing firearms, bomb manufacture, meth-cooking, surviving prison, and generally getting away with crime. Just before Christmas three people, claiming to be time-travelers, sought his protection from a team of 24th Century time-hunters. Being a connoisseur of justifiable homicide Randy gratuitously facilitated their survival. He is now a security operative with their organization.

Time-travel appeals to Randy as a means of avoiding arrest, an excuse for impersonating his favorite Old West gunfighter, and as a method for obtaining illicit drugs in a time before anti-drug laws. He is pleased to be assigned to the Burton Event, as the late great explorer was an advocate of liberal self-medication.

Can a mathematics professor and a fixer for the Aryan Brotherhood convince the stubborn Burton to forsake Queen and Country for a ride through Time, even as they themselves are stalked by hunters from their future?

Cities of Dust

The Burton, Aristotle & Leonardo Events and the First Time Wars

Book Three of the Sunset Saga

Science-Fiction Tetralogy

“Deprived of my fruit of life, my wise and valiant sons; widowed, the child of solitude, I lie in this tomb, in this grave, in the place which I built…”

-Eshmunazar, King of Sidon, from the translation by the Reverend Dunbar I. Heath, as quoted by Burton in 1883

This Science-Fiction Tetralogy consists of four linked but independent novels that chronicle the efforts of time-travelers to bring forward three great minds of the past; the conflicts between the various factions of time-travelers over the possession and use of their time-bending devices, and the fate of those they bring out of the past.

The Sunset Saga continues as the holders of the 12 extant time-travel devices widen the search for human treasures out of the past. Various individuals and organizations from the 29th, 24th, 21st, and 16th Centuries struggle to control man’s greatest invention and employ it to further their diverse agendas…

It is 2841 and Earth is in the grip of the New Ice Age. Most of humanity have boarded interstellar generation ships, immigrated to solar colonies, or accepted Upload. Those left behind are to upload into the solar database known as AGRAGATE as an alternative to extinction.

In 2845 AGRAGATE will begin a radical terraforming operation which shall render Earth uninhabitable for 16,000 years. Among the few remaining organic humans are the members of Sigmund Polities Consensus, led by Mister Sigmund Shuei, who have refused Upload. They possess an alternative, and a plan for colonizing the far future; called Second Genesis.

SPC has engineered a set of handheld time-travel devices known as ‘event capacitators’. The members of SPC do not, however, possess the genetic variation or primitive skills necessary to seed a viable colony on their own. So Mister Shuei and his bio-avatar have journeyed back through the 24th and 21st Centuries to set up ‘genetic reclamation’ operations, recruiting time-travelers to gather the best, brightest and most diverse individuals from Earth’s deep past.

It is 2013 in Laurel Maryland and Mister Shuei considers his efforts in this hectic young world with mixed feelings. His operatives have completed five missions, having retrieved 12 remarkable primitives. Unfortunately these time-travelers have split into rival factions…

…A handicapped 16th Century Iroquois boy with a messiah complex has stolen a capacitator, and a cannibalistic stone-age warlord squats on Mister Shuei’s own conference table with barred incisors, prepared to rip the throat out of the most highly evolved human who has yet lived…and so it goes, another trying day among the primitives…

Cities of Dust is a ‘tetralogy’ of four novels linked by common cast and story lines. The novels do not have to be read in sequence, and may be enjoyed without first reading the two previous books in the Sunset Saga.

The four tales that comprise Cities of Dust are:

  • The World is Our Widow … The Burton Event
  • Behind the Sunset Veil … The Aristotle Event, the Menander Incident & the Yule Conspiracy
  • Den of The Ender … The Wars of Winter Past and Further Sunset*
  • God’s Picture Maker … The Leonardo Event & Last of The Exiles

*It is recommended that Behind the Sunset Veil be read before Den of the Ender.


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