But for how long? A new tyrant, Frank Pendennis, has risen in the east, while rumours of something even worse are coming from the north.
The struggle to inherit the world is just beginning…
Dave Hutchinson was born in Sheffield. After reading American Studies at the University of Nottingham, he became a journalist. He’s the author of five collections of short stories and five novels, and his novella The Push was shortlisted for the 2010 BSFA award for short fiction. He has also edited two anthologies and co-edited a third. His short story The Incredible Exploding Man featured in the first Solaris Rising anthology, and appeared in the Year’s Best Science Fiction collection. He lives in north London with his wife and several cats.
Rudi is a cook in a Krakow restaurant, but when his boss asks Rudi to help a cousin escape from the country he’s trapped in, a new career – part spy, part people-smuggler – begins. Following multiple economic crises and a devastating flu pandemic, Europe has fractured into countless tiny nations, duchies, polities and republics. Recruited by the shadowy organisation Les Coureurs des Bois, Rudi is schooled in espionage, but when a training mission to The Line, a sovereign nation consisting of a trans-Europe railway line, goes wrong, he is arrested and beaten, and Coureur Central must attempt a rescue.
With so many nations to work in, and identities to assume, Rudi is kept busy travelling across Europe. But when he is sent to smuggle someone out of Berlin and finds a severed head inside a locker instead, a conspiracy begins to wind itself around him. With kidnapping, double-crosses and a map that constantly re-draws itself, Europe in Autumn is a science fiction thriller like no other.
“Good Omens . . . is something like what would have happened if Thomas Pynchon, Tom Robbins and Don DeLillo had collaborated. Lots of literary inventiveness in the plotting and chunks of very good writing and characterization. It’s a wow. It would make one hell of a movie. Or a heavenly one. Take your pick.”—Washington Post
According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.
So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.
And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .
In a fractured Europe, new nations are springing up everywhere, some literally overnight.
For an intelligence officer like Jim, it’s a nightmare. Every week or so a friendly power spawns a new and unknown national entity which may or may not be friendly to England’s interests. It’s hard to keep on top of it all. But things are about to get worse for Jim.
A stabbing on a London bus pitches him into a world where his intelligence service is preparing for war with another universe, and a man has come who may hold the key to unlocking Europe's most jealously-guarded secret...
Union has come. The Community is now the largest nation in Europe; trains run there from as far afield as London and Prague. It is an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity.
So what is the reason for a huge terrorist outrage? Why do the Community and Europe meet in secret, exchanging hostages? And who are Les Coureurs des Bois?
Along with a motley crew of strays and mafiosi and sleeper agents, Rudi sets out to answer these questions – only to discover that the truth lies both closer to home and farther away than anyone could possibly imagine.