Coming in at 80,000 words spread across a parallel narrative of 38 chapters, “Custodian” is the tale of one group of Oxford University’s finest minds, the eponymous Custodians, who offer mankind a technological ‘get out of jail free card’ enabling them to slip from under the yoke of Corporate Slavery to THE INDUSTRY.
Oxford-based writer/artist Mike Philbin has a long history of writing non-mainstream ‘genreclectic’ fiction that caters to the wilder side of life, the extreme, the bizarre, the downright gut-wrenching, as his 2008 Silverthought novels Bukkakeworld and Planet of the Owls and his previous works under the pseudonym Hertzan Chimera attest to. So, what can we expect from this novel that appears to have a more mainstream appeal? Why write a book like “Custodian”?
PHILBIN: Well, it’s dead simple really … or so I thought.
I started to broadcast the basic Free Planet message of Creativity, Passion and Kinship via a Do Right By free planet ethos of local solutions for food, shelter and waste. But instantly got knocked back, ridiculed and attacked. “You can’t run an Economy without Profit. Everybody must earn their keep.” said T.H.E.Y. and other such illogical nonsense.
Why could this be?
Well, obviously, there’s a TOO BIG TO FAIL mentality ingrained in our commercialised minds that’s literally ruining this once-wondrous world, this free planet, given to us to manage and protect. And it’s our job (all seven billion of us) to chaaange this, so that all can benefit from the intelligence and ingenuity of mankind, not just a select few in off-shore havens.
In book one, mankind learns how to shuffle off the monkey of Commercialism – it’s a global struggle, but one worth the physical and mental upheaval. Book two and book three deal with the fall-out of the TOO BIG TO FAIL protectors’ attempts to re-establish their global reign. Oh, and we’re not alone in our global struggle i.e. there’s always a bigger fish. It’s all very horrific and insane, but there is hope. Hope that we can see through the lies and deceit of a For Profit Economy and return to a place that was always meant to be a “free” in both the financial and ethical sense.
Hope that we can survive.
There’s always a price to pay for Creativity, Passion and Kinship, that’s the premise of this first book. War breaks out, and the next two books show the galactic scope of that war in a way that will shock and astound readers for years to come.
Mike Philbin’s “Custodian” will be released this summer in ebook and paperback. Goodreads is hosting an exclusive first chapter for those who’d like a taste of The Custodians’ story. Stay tuned to the Free Planet Novel blog for more updates.