The East Berlin Series

Stories from the edge of utopia

Cover of Stealing The Future
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Behind the Berlin Wall a dissident turned investigator is on the trail of a killer.
But is there something bigger at stake?

This “compelling” series (Fiona Rintoul) is set in an East Germany that didn’t end in 1990. Participatory democracy, citizen’s movements and de-centralization are part of a new political landscape.

When a politician’s crushed body is found the ex-dissident Martin Grobe turns detective.

His investigation leads him to the Stasi—has he uncovered a putsch against the new GDR, or just a conspiracy to murder?

Stealing The Future is the first in the East Berlin Trilogy of crime and spy novels set in a counterfactual GDR.

They’re also part of a thought experiment: how could the East Germany of 1989 go from communist dictatorship to something much more equitable, fairer and  just than we dare dream possible?

Most utopian novels are set in a new environment: perhaps a new planet¹, an ‘uninhabited’ or isolated island², or some future or parallel place³. But in the East Berlin Series we follow the progress of a society that is much like ours to one with more utopian properties. The series maps the changes, the successes and failures of a society navigating by the light of utopian ideals.

Cover of Thoughts Are Free
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The first book, Stealing The Future, is set in East Germany in 1993, four years after the start of the revolution in 1989.

The country is changing fast, transforming itself from a Marxist-Leninist planned society into something equitable and fair – a Grassroots Democratic Republic.

But the pace of change shouldn’t be overestimated, there’s a limit to how much can be achieved in just a few short years, and opponents to the project can be found on both sides of the Berlin Wall.

In the second and third books in the series, Thoughts are Free and Spectre at the Feast the narration of events is shared between Martin Grobe and the punk Karo. Between them they tell the story of resistance against the right-wing and populist threats to the Grassroots Democratic Republic.

Spectre at the Feast will be published in autumn 2017.

Footnotes


↑¹ H.G. Well’s Modern Utopia, Ursula Le Guin’s Anarres, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars

↑² Thomas More’s Utopia, Aldous Huxley’s Island

↑³ William Morris’ News from Nowhere, Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time

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