A Nation of Addicts

A warming climate has allowed tropical diseases to spread to every corner of the globe and the ensuing health crisis has dragged much of the planet into anarchy. Protected by the sea, Britain maintains order, but the need for daily doses of medication mean the pharmaceutical companies now pull the strings.

With a monopoly and never-ending demand, life is good for those who work for them, but when Emma’s mother falls ill and the company refuses to treat her, she’s forced to turn to a group of dissidents attempting to throw off the chemical yoke.

When word of a possible cure reaches them, they ask Emma to steal it. If she’s caught, she’ll disappear for good, but it’s the price for saving her mum, or are they just using her? Either way, time is running out.

If you’re a fan of Children of Men, V for Vendetta, 1984 or similar tales of government-controlled dystopia then you’ll love A Nation of Addicts.

This is a novelette of ~8,500 words (28 pages)

Background

The other stories that make up my post-apocalypse quintet (this was the second released, so more to come as I write this) were ideas I’d had kicking around, but I wanted a fifth to round them out, so I did some research into events that could have a global impact.

I figured I’d covered a few scenarios in my other stories and I wanted something different, while also trying to avoid cliches like nuclear wars. There were options like a meteor strike or a supervolcano, but they seemed like extinction events we’d never survive.

Having found a less headline-grabbing consequence of climate change, one that seems obvious when you think about it but doesn’t seem high on people’s agendas, I knew I had it. Knowing that, with malaria, non-natives are encouraged to take prophylatic medication to prevent contracting the disease, I simply expanded that notion.

It obviously owes some of its flavour to the likes of Children of Men, V for Vendetta, Brazil, Equilibrium and, of course, 1984.