Reality is connections, not things: The Collapsing Wave by Doug Johnstone #blogtour #extract #TheCollapsingWave #SandyIsBack #RandomThingsTours

Hi and welcome to FromBelgiumWithBookLove where it is my absolute pleasure to share with you an extract from The Collapsing Wave! Check out my review here if you missed it the first time around, but the long and short of it is, is that The Collapsing Wave is a thought-provoking, gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking and heart-rending story that makes you forget that it’s fiction, and sci-fi to boot. The injustice and machismo were hard to swallow at times, and The Collapsing Wave really does touch a raw nerve there. To counter all that, there is such love permeating this story, and a feeling of hope, like maybe mankind isn’t entirely lost after all. The Collapsing Wave is a fantastic book in every way, and nothing I can say can do it justice. Just read it.

Many thanks to Anne Cater for having me on the tour, and to Orenda Books for the excerpt.

Let’s have a quick look at the blurb first:

Ava, Lennox and Heather make contact with alien Sandy and head for a profound confrontation that could mean a possible brighter future … or the decimation of the Encedalons and the entire human race. The awe-inspiring, exquisite moving sequel to The Space Between Us, as seen on BBC Two’ s Between the Covers.
Six months since the earth-shattering events of The Space Between Us, the revelatory hope of the aliens’ visit has turned to dust and the creatures have disappeared into the water off Scotland’s west coast.
Teenager Lennox and grieving mother Heather are being held in New Broom, a makeshift US military base, the subject of experiments, alongside the Enceladons who have been captured by the authorities.
Ava, who has given birth, is awaiting the jury verdict at her trial for the murder of her husband. And MI7 agent Oscar Fellowes, who has been sidelined by the US military, is beginning to think he might be on the wrong side of history.
When alien Sandy makes contact, Lennox and Heather make a plan to escape with Ava. All three of them are heading for a profound confrontation between the worst of humanity and a possible brighter future, as the stakes get higher for the alien Enceladons and the entire human race…
Sequel to the bestselling The Space Between Us, The Collapsing Wave is an exquisite, epic first-contact novel, laced with peril and populated by unforgettable characters, and the awe-inspiring book we all need right now…

Ready? Set? Let’s go!

OSCAR 

General Ryan Carson was dominating the room as usual. Oscar wondered about the medals on his uniform, if he’d done something heroic in Afghanistan or Iraq. Carson filled that uniform impeccably, fit and muscular despite being in his fifties. He had a gym and steam room built in his accommodation, which no one else was allowed to use. The privilege of power. 

He was roasting a junior officer about another fruitless fishing trip, out in their patrol ship trying to catch Enceladons. As Carson tore strips off the poor kid, Jeong, Oscar’s hackles rose. He was still angry that the Americans had turned first contact with an alien species into some pest-control exercise. This was the most profound moment in human history, one Oscar had waited for his entire life, and these thick-necked idiots were destroying any chance they had of learning from the experience. They were like Columbus fucking with the indigenous peoples of the Americas. 

Oscar looked out of the window. He never tired of this view. The rolling hills on the other side of the loch like hunched giants, sunlight dappling the ripples on the water’s surface. He thought about what was underneath. He would never forget what he’d seen in Ullapool. Standing there as countless creatures descended like gods, their light displays and the rushing noise of their movement, the smell in his nostrils like a bakery. He imagined Sandy leaping from the waves outside now, splaying their tentacles and shimmering in the sun before descending. Or one of the bigger jellyfish like Xander, fifty metres long and half as wide, a colossal ecosystem in their own right, powers and intelligence beyond human comprehension. 

That’s why Oscar was still here – trying to comprehend. But he’d been sidelined by the Americans and was only invited to these meetings as a courtesy, despite the fact he’d been the first one to realise the importance of all this. 

He was riddled with guilt. He’d chased Lennox, Heather and Ava across the country trying to track down Sandy and the other Enceladons. And that had led to this, the humans imprisoned and the Enceladons treated like invasive animals – to be captured, controlled and destroyed. 

Carson was now ranting at Dr Gibson about another failed experiment. Oscar hated Gibson, he was the opposite of what a scientist should be. He was hurting the few Enceladons they’d captured, subjecting them to endless experiments, control and isolation they found shocking and painful. Gibson was supposed to be investigating how they communicated telepathically, but it was going nowhere. All he did was work on the poor souls until they gave up and died. Then he dissected them in a pathetic attempt to work out their biology, like something from the Dark Ages. 

Oscar would’ve done things differently but he got very limited time with the Enceladons, or with Lennox and Heather. When he’d spoken to Lennox or Heather they’d been understandably hostile, given his role in this whole shit-show. He didn’t blame them. 

‘We need more specimens,’ Gibson was saying now. 

Carson leaned his fists on the table. ‘You’ve done nothing with the specimens we’ve captured.’ 

‘I just need more time.’ 

Carson shook his head. ‘Our top priority is why they’re here. We’ve been asking the same damn question since they arrived, and we’re no further forward.’ 

‘You know they’re refugees.’ Oscar was surprised that this was his own voice. 

Carson glowered at him. ‘Dr Fellowes. Enough with the bleeding- heart liberal stuff. That’s what they want us to think.’ 

You see what I meant when I mentioned machismo in my review? 😬 Want to find out who wins this battle? Good! Run, don’t walk, cos The Collapsing Wave is out now! Order it directly from Orenda Books here.

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