Republished, newly edited and with a spruced up cover, The Word of the Bedlamite is now available on Amazon in paperback and ebook (Kindle) form.
From the book blurb:
Harrison’s team of smugglers is thrown in Bethlehem Prison where they meet a strange prophet-like man, who calls himself Woodman. He will help them, he says, take down the Unit, the ever-more-powerful device whose inventors want to use to control people’s lives, and soon, their thoughts. The crazy man guides them via airship, steamship and train past robot-encased cops – Robbies – to remote places where the imprisoned and tortured have no hope.
Steampunk-inspired, The Word of the Bedlamite tells of a battle against creeping mind-control and the power of free thought in a world surrendering itself unknowingly to chains of the mind.
Woodman came up to me and nodded slightly to the people around us.
“Do you see them?” he asked.
I didn’t understand.
“I see so many of them as listlessly drifting, drowning. They don’t seem to be able to fight to the surface.”
I must have had a puzzled look on my face.
“The more the word comes down,” he continued, “in such things as the Daily Rumblings or the news about the power of the UNIT, the more people seem to be stuck, trapped, helpless. They don’t seem to know how to break out of their doldrum-dead-in-the-water spot. For them, there is no wind. There is no current. In the old days, the sailors could get into the small boat and row, trying to drag the big boat into some other spot where there might be wind or current. I sense the people feel like they have been rowing for years, but there is no wind. There is no spot. They row, exhausting themselves for no purpose.”
I turned away. Too deep for me. I didn’t see that much. Was he right? Was I just blind? I walked a little slower, joining the others and letting Woodman continue by himself for a few moments.