A futuristic novel, a mystery, an adventure, a love story, and a profound ecological meditation.
Mort Chalfy’s books are “A nifty mix…tender …a notch above his peers.” -Publishers Weekly
“Well written and suspenseful. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the near future, especially anyone who is concerned about humanity’s impact on the Earth.” —Joe Valdama, author, The Books of Retslu
“It’s sure to please seasoned sci-fi fanatics, utopians who dream of a better world, and those who love the earth and try to save it. But readers who love a good love story (or two, or three) will also get what they crave. If you dip in a toe, you’ll soon find it’s a page turner that also yields interesting food for thought.” —Elgy Gillespie, journalist, The Irish Times
In the near future, global warming has made much of the Earth a wasteland and driven most people into “cubes”—self-supporting, city-sized megabuildings. There, inhabitants can regain their health and live far longer than they would outside, but that life is strictly regulated, monitored and controlled. A few “wild” bands of humans who practice sustainable farming, still live outside in relative freedom.
Lucas Barnes, an analyst in a government intelligence bureau, is unnerved by the developing governmental support for universal “chipping”, embedding a readable chip in every citizen containing their entire personal, legal and medical history. Lucas decides to flee with a stolen device that renders a chip invisible to chip-readers. Uncle Harrison, a liberal college professor, helps him escape to the home of the Gaia movement.
The Gaians are a community whose sole mission is to foster the survival and sustainability of all life on Earth. But, once there, Lucas is unsure that the Gaians’ solution is a better one. From the outside looking in, the Gaians seem a cult-like group bent on saving the earth by teaching everyone to worship it. They seek to spread the ancient worship of the goddess Gaia, a personification of the Earth itself—and in the process make the planet a holy object, too sacrosanct to harm or exploit. Wary though he may be of the Gaians, however, Lucas falls immediately in love with Maeve, their High Priestess in Training.
When a mysterious group makes the first move against the Gaians, Lucas is maneuvered into supporting them far sooner than he would have liked. Escape is just the beginning of the adventure, which leads Lucas, Maeve and the Gaians across the heartland of the U.S. to an unexpected and moving conclusion.
In Gaia, Mort Chalfy investigates the role of religion in securing cooperation around a shared spiritual ideal. The book also considers where society may be headed, socially and economically, and suggests innovative ideas on urban planning and construction, food production, and what is done with, and by, society’s dissenters. Advance readers have likened the book to a feminist Stranger in a Strange Land.
“Espionage, intrigue, and narrow escapes; and there is love, both young and mature. What more could you want out of a world, or a book?” —Herman Bartleby, Amazon review
“The lead characters are well drawn and likable. The relationships depicted are warm and loving. This is a book about how cooperation, science and ethical motivation are used by a group who not only want to survive, but to thrive in the new conditions, and to create a foundation for future generations to live well for millennia to come. A most enjoyable read.” —Tina Tessina, “Dr. Romance”
Morton Chalfy is a writer living in Alameda, CA. He is the author of two prehistory romances, The Antler’s Point and The Cave of Lost Love.