Forbidden Alliance – leadership, loyalty and the greater good

In the second book in the Blueprint trilogy, Katrina Mountfort revisits the dystopian future where even life in the freedom of the villages, outside the oppressive Citidomes, is far from perfect.

DARTFORD, KENT – 23 March 2015 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce that they have signed scientist and medical writer Katrina Mountfort for Forbidden Alliance the second book in her Blueprint trilogy, following the success of the trilogy’s first book Future Perfect published by Elsewhen Press last year. In the future world of the Blueprint trilogy, men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. In Forbidden Alliance, more than sixteen years have passed since the events of Future Perfect in which Caia and Mac, now renamed Cathy and Michael, fled their oppressive lives, although the plight of those who remain in the Citidomes is still never far from their minds.

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. When a chance arises for her to fulfil her potential, will she make the right choices? Michael, however, is too preoccupied to notice Cathy’s personal struggles. Heightened security in the Citidomes has resulted in fewer escapees, a shortage of young farmers and a depleted gene pool in the village. 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 Cathy and Michael’s 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 Harry, the nomadic canal-dwelling boy she has loved since childhood, she finds friendship from an unexpected source: BodyPerfect ex-citizen Ryan, whose perfect Citidome looks are considered far from perfect in the outside world. And her illusions about life in the Citidomes are about to be shattered.

In addition to the issues explored in Future Perfect, Forbidden Alliance poses additional questions, including those of leadership, family loyalties and whether it is possible to justify the sacrifice of human lives for the greater good.

Forbidden Alliance will be published later this year by Elsewhen Press in both digital and print editions.

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.

 

“recommend to all” – review by Hannah Brookes of Future Perfect

In a review on her blog Book-Related Blogging, Direct From Me To You Hannah Brookes describes the storyline of Katrina Mountfort’s Future Perfect as “heart-breaking in its truthfulness”.

Future Perfect cover image
Artwork: Alison Buck

She says she “treasured Future Perfect’s closeness to reality, the nearest to realistic that you can get for a futuristic dystopian world”. Describing how the book explores the effects of oppression on humanity’s natural instincts, she says the reader can see that the different values and perspectives of those in the Citidome from those on the outside demonstrate how “one person’s perfection is another’s oppression”. We learn, she says, from the protagonists that “perfection stands in the eye of the beholder”, and as we find out “more about both Citidome life and outside life, we have to decide what definition of ‘perfect’ we choose to live by”. She writes that she enjoyed the “questioning nature of the divided, yet co-existing lives of the Citidomes and the outside”, based on “completely different ideas of happiness, healthiness, working; of just living”.

She concludes by agreeing that Future Perfect will appeal to both an adult and young adult audience, and says that she “thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend to all”.

You can read Hannah’s full review here.

 

“A thought-provoking read” – review of Future Perfect on the British Fantasy Society website

Future Perfect cover image
Artwork: Alison Buck

On the British Fantasy Society website, Ian Blackwell has written a review of Future Perfect, the first book of the Blueprint trilogy by Katrina Mountfort. After giving a short synopsis of the world that Katrina has created and some of the characters that populate the Citidomes, Ian says that he “enjoyed reading this modern utopia. It reminds me in some ways of 1984 and Brave New World”. He says that he found himself willing Caia (the ‘heroine’) to “realize that her feelings were natural, and I was glad she escaped the artificial world full of meaningless conversations and mind-numbing game shows of humiliation”.

He said that the way that Katrina “showed how Caia responded to things outside the Citidome that we take for granted” was clever. He says that the most important thing “vital for any utopian storyline, is that I can see many things in the Citidome society that exist in our own today”. He finishes by saying “It makes me question the world around me now, and think nervously about what direction our human race is going”.

You can read Ian’s full review here.

 

“one of the best modern YA sci-fi novels ever written” – review of Future Perfect on Risingshadow

On the Risingshadow.net website, Seregil of Rhiminee has written a review of Future Perfect the first book of the Blueprint trilogy by Katrina Mountfort. He describes it as a pleasant surprise because it was “one of the most entertaining and intriguing young adult science fiction novels I’ve read during the last couple of years”. He goes on to say that the “story was so entertaining that it kept me glued to the novel until I reached the last page” which he says seldom happens when he reads YA science fiction! Confessing that he normally avoids young adult science fiction novels, having been frustrated and annoyed with the low quality of YA science fiction in the past, Seregil says that it was nice to read a well written novel for a change, as Future Perfect is “one of those rare sci-fi novels that can be recommended to both adults and young adults alike”. The story is “intriguing” and “full of life, excitement and real human emotions”.

Future Perfect cover image
Artwork: Alison Buck

Commenting on the emotional depth in a story that addresses such difficult issues as intimacy, sex, relationships and changes in society, Seregil “found it refreshing that the author was able to write about feelings in a believable way”. He says that the main and minor characters are interesting, the story is told from Caia’s point of view which means that “readers can easily relate to her problems and feelings”. He goes on to say that the “romance between Caia and Mac is handled exceptionally well” and Katrina Mountfort “writes fluently about what’s going on between Caia and Mac and how they begin to fall in love with each other”.

He says that Katrina has created an “intriguing future world” writing about the life of people both inside and outside the Citidomes. Everything is clean, neat and healthy inside the domes – almost sterile; life is controlled, sheltered and peaceful, but it’s a life full of fear and loneliness where people daren’t be different. Society has become peaceful at the expense of compassion and love. Seregil says that issues related to sex and sexuality are handled well and readers will appreciate the way Katrina write surprisingly boldly about them. She also writes well about “how people worship beauty and want to look elegant and stylish”.

The outside world is very different – it has diseases such as influenza and bronchitis. Katrina’s descriptions of life outside the Citidomes were “captivating, because she wrote beautifully about what it is like to be free and what kind of difficulties and pleasures free people experience in their everyday life. She wrote lovingly about farm life and the simple pleasures that life has to offer for all of us.”

Seregil says that one “of the most important things that makes this novel work well is that there’s humour and satirical elements in it that are seldom found in this kind of fiction. The references to BodyPerfects are often funny and delightfully sharp. The worship of beauty has become so popular in the society that it has risen to almost grotesque and unhealthy heights. The author’s descriptions of certain characters and their actions are wonderfully satirical and sharp, because they seem to respect only beauty and good health and they’re narcissistic.”

He concludes by saying that “Katrina Mountfort is a talented author who writes intriguing science fiction that has both depth and style in it” and “I respect the author for not underestimating the intelligence of her target audience. I look forward to reading the second instalment in this series”. He says that Future Perfect is “one of the best modern YA sci-fi novels ever written, because the story is good and the author’s passion for storytelling shines through it.” His final remarks are that it “is not annoying fluff like most YA sci-fi novels, but pure quality full of depth, feelings and excitement. I’m sure that this sci-fi novel will appeal to many readers regardless of their gender and age.”

You can read the full review on Risingshadow here.

 

The Future’s Perfect in Saffron Walden

(see what I did there…?!)

Future Perfect cover imageKatrina MountfortOn Thursday last, Katrina Mountfort held a launch party for her book Future Perfect in Saffron Walden. Although Saffron Walden was chosen by Katrina mostly because it’s where she lives, it was also quite perfect as a location to launch the book. Future Perfect is the first book in the Blueprint trilogy which is set in a future where people live in Citydomes because the towns and villages are no longer inhabitable… or are they? What would have happened to a beautiful old market town like Saffron Walden? Well, of course, you’ll need to read the book to find out 😉

Ready for the launch of Future Perfect

The venue was provided by Intelligent Penguin, a digital agency based in Saffron Walden, who like to support local arts. They offered the use of their large front room if Katrina made a donation to charity – Katrina was only too happy to oblige and, in keeping with the themes of the book, chose Beat, a charity providing helplines, online support and a network of UK-wide self-help groups to help adults and young people in the UK beat their eating disorders. The book was being sold for a special launch price of £8.50 rather than the list price of £9.99 and many people paid with a tenner telling Katrina to give the change to Beat – so a big thank you to all of those lovely readers!

Katrina signing the first copy of Future Perfect

There were drinks and canapés to greet people. Katrina read an excerpt which went down very well, and spent much of the rest of the evening signing copies of the book. Elsewhen Press were well represented by the entire editorial board, and one of our other authors Dave Weaver came along too to support Katrina. A good time was had by all.

To find out more about our hosts, Intelligent Penguin, you can visit their website by clicking here.
To find out more about the charity Beat, you can visit their website by clicking here.

 

The making of… Future Perfect by Katrina Mountfort

Future Perfect cover imageOver on the Upcoming4.me website, Katrina Mountfort has written an article for their Story Behind the Story feature about her inspiration for her debut novel Future Perfect. From her childhood love of Logan’s Run to the impact of viruses that she had written about in her ‘day job’ as a medical writer, the genesis of the Blueprint trilogy took some ten years.

You can read her article here.

 

SF thriller Future Perfect published today – dystopian future where looks are everything

Scientist and medical writer Katrina Mountfort takes readers to a future in which men and women are almost identical, personal relationships are forbidden and conformity is enforced through fear engendered by governmental and societal control

DARTFORD, KENT – 19 September 2014 – ElsewhenPress, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication today of Future Perfect, the first volume in the science-fiction suspense Blueprint trilogy by scientist and medical writer Katrina Mountfort. In a not-too-distant future, the population lives within comfortable Citidomes, necessitated by a bio-terrorist attack. Pressure from both the government and wider society enables control to be maintained over a population who are largely unquestioning. 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.

Future Perfect cover image
Artwork: Alison Buck

Future Perfect tells the story of Caia, an intelligent and highly educated young woman. In spite of severe governmental and societal strictures, Caia finds herself becoming attracted to her co-worker, Mac, a rebel whose questioning of their so-called utopian society both adds to his allure and encourages her own questioning of the status quo. As Mac introduces her to illegal and subversive information, she is drawn into a forbidden, dangerous world, becoming alienated from her other co-workers and resmates, the companions with whom she shares her residence. In a society where every thought and action are controlled, informers are everywhere; whom can she trust? When she and Mac are sent on an outdoor research mission, Caia’s life changes irreversibly.

This book will appeal to both an adult and young adult audience, despite (or perhaps because of) the dark undercurrent that runs through the story: the enforcement of conformity through fear, the fostering of distorted and damaging attitudes towards forbidden love, manipulation of appearance and even the re-definition of beauty. In the best traditions of science fiction, Katrina Mountfort describes a future society in a story that holds a mirror up to our own time.

Future Perfect is published today by Elsewhen Press in a digital edition in popular eBook formats, available from all good eBook retailers. It will be published in a paperback edition in December 2014.

Notes for Editors

About Katrina Mountfort

Katrina Mountfort

Katrina 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 is her debut novel and is the first in the Blueprint trilogy.

 

RELEASED: The cover art for Future Perfect

The cover art has been released for Future Perfect the first book in the Blueprint Trilogy written by Katrina Mountfort. The story is set in a future in which men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. MindValues advocate acceptance and non-attachment. The BodyPerfect cult encourages a tall thin androgynous appearance, and looks are everything. Following a bio-terrorist attack, the population now lives within comfortable Citidomes, the countryside outside being widely believed to be uninhabitable.

Artwork by Alison Buck
Artwork by Alison Buck

The contrast between the clinical, highly regulated Citidome and the countryside was a big influence on the design of the cover. The very polarised view of society, where things are right or wrong, with no room for interpretation, suggested that the two halves of the cover should reflect that binary society and hence be presented in black and white.

Katrina’s response? “This is great – I really like it!”

 

Future Perfect – warns of the downside to society’s pursuit of perfection

Scientist foresees a dystopian future where appearance is everything, relationships are forbidden and conformity is enforced through fear

DARTFORD, KENT – 31 March 2014 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce a book deal for a science-fiction suspense trilogy by scientist and medical writer Katrina Mountfort. The Blueprint trilogy takes us to a future in which men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. Following a bio-terrorist attack, the population now lives within comfortable Citidomes. MindValues advocate acceptance and non-attachment. The BodyPerfect cult encourages a tall thin androgynous appearance, and looks are everything.

The first book, Future Perfect, tells the story of Caia, an intelligent and highly educated young woman. In spite of severe governmental and societal strictures, Caia finds herself becoming attracted to her co-worker, Mac, a rebel whose questioning of their so-called utopian society both adds to his allure and encourages her own questioning of the status quo. As Mac introduces her to illegal and subversive information, she is drawn into a forbidden, dangerous world, becoming alienated from her other co-workers and resmates, the companions with whom she shares her residence. In a society where every thought and action are controlled, informers are everywhere; whom can she trust? When she and Mac are sent on an outdoor research mission, Caia’s life changes irreversibly.

A dark undercurrent runs through this story: the enforcement of conformity through fear, the fostering of distorted and damaging attitudes towards forbidden love, manipulation of appearance and even the definition of beauty. This book will appeal to both an adult and young adult audience.

Future Perfect will be published later this year by Elsewhen Press in both digital and print editions.

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 is her debut novel and is the first in the Blueprint trilogy.