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Survivors: Genesis of a Hero, published in the UK in 1977, was authored under the pen name of John Eyers — the identity of the real author (Peter Hill) has only recently been disclosed. In the vein of 'the apocalyptic adventure story', Genesis of a Hero offered a fast-moving and frequently violent sequel to Nation's original novel, which departs from the established TV canon completely. Less concerned with issues of character, or the complexities of the human predicament in an end-of-the-world setting, Genesis of a Hero offers a striking alternative vision to Nation's own — in which the character of Peter Grant (never seen on screen in the TV series, though repeatedly referred to) takes centre stage in a Britain plunged into a civil war between feuding gangs of warlords.
After the holocaust of the Great Death, this is a gripping story of life or death battles in an elemental world; of political idealism and power struggles in a devastated world—a world in which the keynote is survival.
This is amongst the first of the apocalyptic novels and based on the famous British TV series of the 1970s and even more relevant today.
The scene is Britain, over five years after the Great Death which has killed all but a tiny percentage of the population. Throughout the country small groups of survivors are banding together, forming communities, painfully re-learning long-forgotten but essential skills and crafts. The largest of these groups is the authoritarian National Unity Force, whose self-styled President, Arthur Wormley, now lives like a king in Windsor Castle with his scheming and ambitious 'queen', Sarah Boyer.
But there are other groups organized on different lines—groups like the 'Rat-Pack', who live in the London Underground; the primitive capitalist community in the north whose leader is known simply as 'The Trader'; and the 'Red Dragons', who mount guerrilla-type operations to prevent the NUF from spreading its power into Wales,
The novel centres on Peter Grant after the shooting of his mother, Abby. It deals with his successful career in President Wormley's army, the political intrigues which abound at 'Court', his ultimate disillusionment with the system and defection to the Red Dragons who claim to be creating a different type of society.
Although based on characters in the TV series this is a stand-alone novel and can be read as such without prior knowledge of the series.
John Eyers is the pen name used by Peter Hill when he was commissioned to write two books as spin-offs from famous TV series, the other is 'Special Branch: In at the Kill'.
Under his own name Peter has published 'The Staunton and Wyndsor Series' and 'The Commander Allan Dice Books', of police murder mysteries and thrillers. These were originally published by major publishing houses worldwide, in hard and paperback editions.
After a successful career as a scriptwriter, editor, and producer in TV drama both in the UK and New Zealand where he now lives, Peter has returned to novel writing, and in a similar genre to 'Survivors: Genesis of a Hero' has published the 'Evolution's Path' series.
The three books in this trilogy are 'Killing Tomorrow', 'The Ladies 'Game', and 'Procreation' which deal with a disturbingly realistic alternative vision of the future.