New Novel Posits the Collapse of American Society

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In Dan Pinckney’s “Journey to the Catskills,” terrorists use a plague to kill millions

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In September 2011 Slate asked, in response to the Steven Soderbergh film “Contagion,” “Will This Film Worsen the Pandemic Panic?” because of its subject matter about a new virus that attacks humanity. That supposed panic provides the audience for Dan Pinckney’s new thriller novel “Journey to the Catskills: The Battle for Control” (published by iUniverse), the story of a terrorist group that unleashes a dreadful biological weapon that devastates the world population and brings a near-collapse of civilization.

“Every day there seems to be some new threat to society as a whole,” Pinckney says, “whether it is religious zealots, some new epidemic spreading around the world, or the threat of a war among many nations.”

An excerpt from “Journey to the Catskills”:

“It was just east of Boston College that the first violence occurred, when angry and terrified people tried to force their way past a small number of soldiers manning two overturned grocery vans, which blocked one exit route. Falling back from the sheer number, and from an unspoken fear of contracting any disease, the Guardsmen kept trying to search the people pushing in on them. There was a sudden eruption of gunfire, probably fired by the unit’s sergeant, in an attempt to restore order and, as if on cue, the soldiers opened fire into the crowd. A new Boston Massacre, the papers dubbed it, had just taken place. Dozens were killed or wounded and an already tense situation became explosive.”

Unlike many other pandemic novels, Pinckney has chosen to spend less time on the effects of the disease and more time on the response. His characters are the everyday men and women, soldiers and citizens, who must pick up the pieces and rebuilt society. Like John Ringo’s 2008 novel “The Last Centurion,” “Journey to the Catskills” shows that rebuilding society can be just as a dangerous as its downfall.

About the Author
Dan Pinckney was raised in the Catskills Mountains of New York. Now retired from the U.S. Air Force, he is employed as an instructor of junior reserve officer training corps at a public high school. A graduate of Stonehill College in Massachusetts, Pinckney lives in Rhode Island with his wife and three sons.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

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