Hello all! Today I’m here with an excerpt of Eden from Tim Lebbon as part of the Eden Blog Tour! I’m very excited to be a part of this tour and share a preview of this book with you. This is a new eco-thriller and as such it’s also a great pick for this year’s r/fantasy book bingo challenge–if you’re looking for something to read for that climate fiction square this definitely fits the bill! Please check out the other posts on the blog tour to learn even more about this new title!
In a time of global warming and spiralling damage to the environment, the Virgin Zones were established to help combat the change. Abandoned by humanity and given back to nature, these vast areas in a dozen remote locations across the planet were intended to become the lungs of the world.
But there are always those drawn to such places. Extreme sports enthusiasts and adventure racing teams target the dangerous, sometimes deadly zones for illicit races. Only the hardiest and most experienced dare undertake these expeditions. When one such team enters the oldest Zone, Eden, they aren’t prepared for what confronts them. Nature has returned to Eden in an elemental, primeval way. And here, nature is no longer humanity’s friend.
“So who are you racing?” Poke asked.
“No one yet. We’re aiming to be the first. You know this place, you know why.”
Poke just blinked at him through a haze of smoke.
“Statistically and historically Eden is the most dangerous Zone in the world,” he said. “It’s swallowed up plenty of people over the years.”
Jenn’s father looked around as he continued, pleased that he had everyone’s attention. They’d all heard this before, but not in front of someone like Poke. Someone who could verify the things he said.
“Other adventurer racers have tried. Some vanished. Others fled Eden and melted away, attempting to assimilate back into society. It’s as if the place stripped away their sense of adventure. Over the years, it’s attracted a reputation as one of the most amazing places on Earth, wholly inimical to man.”
The breeze fell away, the trees growing still and the birds quiet, listening.
“And to woman,” Gee quipped to break the silence.
“You want to be the first group of assholes to run across Eden,” Poke said, shaking her head.
“Run, climb, swim, walk, crawl if we have to,” Cove said. “It’s called an adventure race.”
“Adventure,” Poke said, rolling the word like a strange taste.
“Want to come with us?” Gee asked.
“Want to live,” Poke said. For the first time she sounded serious.
“We are living,” Lucy said. “This is being alive.”
“You got a job, missy?”
“I’m researching a PhD.”
“My parents live in London.”
“Huh.” Poke circled them again, smoking, silent, and they all finished preparing their kit. She kept glancing at Jenn.
“What?” Jenn asked again. She was becoming impatient. Poke might be the best fixer her father knew, she might be able to get them through security measures and into Eden, but she was a pain in the ass.
“Just thinking what a pity it is,” Poke said.
“What’s a pity?” Selina asked.
“Seeing you all here like this, fit and healthy, and I’m taking you into a place that’ll chew you up and spit you out. Or maybe not even spit you out. You’re all fucking mad.”
“So why take us?” Jenn asked.
Poke nodded at her father. “Good pay.” With that she ground out her latest cigarette, glanced at her watch and took the lid off the stew. “And here’s some good news,” she said over her shoulder. “Breakfast’s ready fifteen minutes early.”