Caradoc’s Britain is the place we know but with limited technology and no central government, for the most part made up of small communes set among a few larger Authorities, many of them feuding and all threatened by marauding gangs called Metros out of the wreckage of old cities.
Out of this strange yet also sometimes familiar world comes Caradoc, a young bereaved commune-dweller driven to explore. By chance and ability he becomes the great Dux Bellorum, or war leader, of his day but eventually disappears off the North German coast. Like King Arthur, he may one day return.
At about the time I was preparing abridged translations and notes for my WexYork Compact Classics series, TV and movie screens were filled with epics set in an anodised bronze age when girls in headbands wielded swords like brass bedsteads and Roman legionaries peered along theirs over the tops of their shields like dwarfs playing snooker. I decided to write a modern and more credible prose epic set in a Britain part-primitivised and dismantled by some catastrophe referred to only as “The Withering.”