Forbidden Alliance – even having escaped the oppressive Citidome, the future isn’t perfect

With recent research showing that English girls are unhappy with their body and appearance, the next book in the Blueprint trilogy returns to a future where such concerns are manipulated to exert social control

DARTFORD, KENT – 04 September 2015 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of Forbidden Alliance, the second book in the Blueprint trilogy by scientist and medical writer Katrina Mountfort. The popular first book of the trilogy, Future Perfect published by Elsewhen Press last year, introduced an uncomfortable vision of a future world, in which Britain is now known as State 11. As a result of bio-terrorist attacks the population live in Citidomes for protection and are kept under control by a combination of government manipulation and social pressure that is fed and maintained by reality TV shows. MindValues advocate acceptance and non-attachment, ensuring the elimination of personal relationships. The BodyPerfect cult encourages a tall, thin, androgynous appearance, and peer pressure reinforces a shallow culture in which looks are everything.

Researchers for the recently published Children’s Society Good Childhood 2015 report surveyed the well-being of children in England and compared the results with data from 14 other countries as part of the Children’s Worlds project. One of the worrying findings was that girls in England ranked second lowest for happiness with their body, lowest for self-confidence and third lowest for happiness with their appearance. Even more worrying was a much more marked gender imbalance in England than in most other countries, with the mean ‘satisfaction with aspects of self’ score for boys about 15% higher than for girls. “It’s upsetting to see young people become obsessed with body image from an early age”, says Katrina Mountfort. While researchers and public policy-makers need to understand the implications of these results for society as whole, it falls to speculative fiction authors like Katrina to consider what would happen if this gets out of hand or, worse, is deliberately manipulated by a ruthless state.

Artwork: Alex Storer
Artwork: Alex Storer

In Future Perfect, Caia and Mac fled their oppressive lives and discovered that life is possible outside in the surviving villages. Sixteen years on, they now call themselves Cathy and Michael, have three children and Citidome life is a distant memory. But for Cathy, village life is no longer idyllic. While Michael is famed as the leader of the Alliance of Outside Communities, she is left literally holding the baby. While Michael unveils his most audacious plan yet to liberate rebels from the Citidomes, will his devotion to the cause cost him the love of his wife and daughter? And will his plan endanger his life, as well as those of his allies?

Forbidden Alliance is also the story of their sixteen year-old daughter Joy. Fiercely intelligent but with limited career options, she fights against the future her father has planned for her: marriage to village boy Matt. Forbidden from seeing the nomadic canal-dwelling boy she has loved since childhood, she finds friendship from an unexpected source: BodyPerfect ex-citizen Ryan. In addition to the issues explored in Future Perfect, Forbidden Alliance poses additional questions of leadership, family loyalties and whether it is possible to justify the sacrifice of human lives for the greater good.

Forbidden Alliance is available from today on all popular eBook platforms. It will be out in paperback in November 2015.

Notes for Editors

About Katrina Mountfort

Katrina MountfortKatrina Mountfort was born in Leeds. After a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Food Science, she started work as a scientist. Since then, she’s had a varied career. Her philosophy of life is that we only regret the things we don’t try, and she’s been a homeopath, performed forensic science research and currently works as a freelance medical writer. She now lives in Saffron Walden with her husband and two dogs. When she hit forty, she decided it was time to fulfil her childhood dream of writing a novel. Future Perfect, the first book in the Blueprint trilogy, was her debut novel.

References

The Good Childhood Report 2015, The Children’s Society http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/

Children’s Worlds, the International Survey of Children’s Well-Being, http://www.isciweb.org/