The Lost Men

An allegory

by David A. Colón

The Lost Men Cover
Cover image background photo by Amir Bajrich/

In a world where the human population has been decimated, self-reliance is the order of the day.  Of necessity, the few remaining people must adapt residual technology as far as possible, with knowledge gleaned from books that were rescued and have been treasured for generations.  After a childhood of such training, each person is abandoned by their parents when they reach adulthood, to pursue an essentially solitary existence.  For most, the only human contact is their counsel, a mentor who guides them to find ‘the one’, their life mate as decreed by Fate.  Lack of society brings with it a lack of taboo, ensuring that the Fate envisioned by a counsel is enacted unquestioningly.  The only threats to this stable, if sparse, existence are the ‘lost men’, mindless murderers who are also self-sufficient but with no regard for the well-being of others, living outside the confines of counsel and Fate.

Is Fate a real force, or is it totally imagined, an arbitrary convention, a product of mankind’s self-destructive tendency?  In this allegorical tale, David Colón uses an alternate near-future to explore the boundaries of the human condition and the extent to which we are prepared to surrender our capacity for decisions and self-determination in the face of a very personally directed and apparently benevolent, authoritarianism.  Is it our responsibility to rebuke inherited ‘wisdom’ for the sake of envisioning and manifesting our own will?

David A. Colón’s The Lost Men expertly evokes the mood of much recent post-apocalyptic fiction — think Cormac McCarthy’s The Road or Colson Whitehead’s Zone One — and yet also constructs an entirely original, weird, and wonderful world that always keeps us guessing. In this impressive debut, Colón confronts us with the most difficult questions that can be asked — about fate, free will, and the foundations of justice.

Lee Konstantinou (author of Pop Apocalypse, a Possible Satire)

Deceptively quiet, a moral romance that puts fate, hope, and love onto the pyre of a future we all must consider possible. Lyrical, disturbing, real. Beginning with solitude, ending with ironic hope, every moment is challenged by the present. An extraordinary challenge to our present. Colón’s début offers a dark, disturbing allegory, one that recalls for contemporary fantasy the best traits of literary tradition.

Neil Easterbrook (SFRA 2009 Pioneer Award winner)

The Lost Men was published in a digital edition on 30 March 2012 and in paperback on 2nd July 2012

ISBN: 978-1-908168-14-6 eBook Typical price £2.99 / €3.49 / $3.99
ISBN: 978-1-908168-04-7 paperback 192pp List price £9.99 / €11.99 / $15.99
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