Mark BacciMARK BACCI is an award winning writer, director, and producer, who has worked in both film and television. A Simple Man is his first novel in the trilogy. If you want to know more about the author go to www.MarkBacci.com.
A Simple Man
The year is 2078. The former United States of America is a bleak and fading memory for the few citizens of New America. Nearly five years after his wife was taken to a birthing camp by Secans, New America’s mercenaries, John Bradford is left to raise his two children alone in an increasingly dangerous and desolate world.
Tagged by nanotechnology, their every move is tracked, limiting their ability to do anything not permitted by the new regime. When his daughter is chosen, Secans arrive to take her to a birthing camp. John swears if he doesn’t let her go, they will all be killed. She reminds him of the promise he made to their mother, that he would do whatever it took to protect them.
Struggling between his promise and the real consequences of any action, the decision is made for John when his son brandishes a shotgun and kills one of the Secans. With no time to think, John grabs his children and goes on the run, but it is only a matter of time before the Secans find them and kill them.
John has no choice but to return to his secret past, the only place where he knows he has a chance – The Circuit, an underground fight-to-the-death competition run by a ruthless mobster.
John’s return as one of the best fighters in Circuit history rekindles old rivalries and vendettas. With The Circuit rigged against him, Secans chasing after him and danger at every turn, John fights his way across the country to save his children and fulfill the promise he made to his wife. This is John’s fight, and it is one he cannot afford to lose.
"In a blighted, savage, and fascistic New America of the late 21st century, a former fighter tries to escort his children cross-country to a supposed safe haven in California. In this debut novel, sharp, descriptive prose reveals a nightmarish profile of a United States of the 2070s and '80s. A corporate-corrupted Washington, D.C., turned the United States into a pariah nation, leading to a coup and takeover of the country by military-industrialist tycoon Nathan Atwell. He is a born-again megalomaniac who believes in his divine destiny as ruler; to that end, he tags the blood of the downtrodden populace with nanotechnology and occupies his near-feudal surveillance state with Star Wars-esque, masked "Secan" storm troopers. He also carries out selective eugenics with every girl of breeding age, and when Secans come for the adolescent daughter of obscure prole John Bradford, it leads to the marauders getting shot and the household on the run. Turns out Bradford is a legendary warrior, retired undefeated from "the Circuit," barnstorming gladiatorial death bouts masterminded by crime lord Irish Ben of the unconquered outlaw metropolis of Chicago. Bradford reluctantly renews his business relationship with the vicious Irish Ben to literally fight his way across the country, seeking to take his two kids (and dog) to a presumed refuge in free California. Bacci is a screenwriter, and his dystopian actioner (the first in a trilogy) combines the more cinematic elements of Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games but raises the violence to near-splatterpunk level. The Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome-type brawls are described in bone-crunching detail. But it's Bacci's gift for empathy, in his evocation of the despair at the root of this brute society, that steers the material more toward Mel Gibson Saves His Family than Arnold Schwarzenegger Swats the Mutants. Each is a formula, but at least this one is more about "we" than the World Wrestling Entertainment. Superior storytelling propels a familiar post-apocalypse, sci-fi premise. " - Kirkus Reviews
"Mark Bacci is a writer everyone needs to read. His plot grabs you and his characters jump right off the page." - Don Carmody, Award winning film producer, Chicago, Resident Evil, The Boondocks Saints "This fast-paced, intense book, had me hooked from page one. I couldn't put it down. As a director, this is something I'd love to see on the screen. A must read." - Adam Kane, Director, Daredevil, 24, American Gods
"Mark Bacci is a master at suspense. A page-turner that depicts a future America that will scare the pants off of you." - Larry Jacobson, Executive Producer, Peewee's Play House
"From the first page of this action-packed novel, you will be cheering for John Bradford as he fights to protect his children in a dystopian America. I can't wait to see where the author takes the rest trilogy." - James Dellasandro, author, 1906, Citizen Jane.
"A Simple Man is an insightful glimpse into the power of a father's love, his unbreakable spirit, and what he will endure to defend his children in a dystopian America that is grim and full of despair. In the end, this book is all about hope." - Michael McGowan, author, Director and creator of the Netflix series Between.