The Forcing by Paul E Hardisty

Frustrated and angry after years of denial and inaction, in a last-ditch attempt to stave off disaster, a government of youth has taken power in North America, and a policy of institutionalised ageism has been introduced. All those older than the prescribed age are deemed responsible for the current state of the world, and are to be ‘relocated’, their property and assets confiscated.

David Ashworth, known by his friends and students as Teacher, and his wife May, find themselves among the thousands being moved to ‘new accommodation’ in the abandoned southern deserts – thrown together with a wealthy industrialist and his wife, a high court lawyer, two recent immigrants to America, and a hospital worker. Together, they must come to terms with their new lives in a land rendered unrecognisable.

As the terrible truth of their situation is revealed, lured by rumours of a tropical sanctuary where they can live in peace, they plan a perilous escape. But the world outside is more dangerous than they could ever have imagined. And for those who survive, nothing will ever be the same again…


There is one thing that you can always expect from anyone one of Orenda’s authors, superb and exciting reads! The Forcing by Paul E Hardisty proves this once again.

It is utterly compelling, grimly plausible and terrifying because of this. A Government of youth, angry at the mess made of the world, takes power in North America, forcing everyone over a certain age into exile, in an attempt to save the earth from total disaster. When we watch the news and see the mess we are making of our world and the protests by young people like Greta Thunberg, it doesn’t take a massive leap of imagination to envision that events in The Forcing, could one day become our reality, or more likely for the generations that follow us.

I consumed it within a few short days, not just because it is written by an author at the very top of his craft, but because he made me believe that the events within this book could happen. It maybe a work of fiction, but for the reader, it reads as reality, one we could be sleep walking toward. You have to keep reading, to keep alive the hope that Teacher and those he loves, manage to survive. I was terrified that he would not, that the world was doomed and I felt a very real sense of disquiet as I turned the pages. This story of survival works, not because it is full of gruesome details, but by virtue of the fact it oozes with intelligent and thought provoking possibilities.

It is an emotional read. I cried for the pain of characters separated from the only life they knew, from their children, carrying the guilt of the part they played in the horrors enveloping the earth. Its all well and good, drawing us into a story, but you need to care and I did, very much so. Not just for Teacher, but all the others, the children, the planet. Then I began to feel an infinissable sense of hope that not all was doomed, only to be crushed as with each corner turned in the story, it all seemed increasingly hopeless. But there is always hope and I will leave you to find out for yourselves, whether hope springs eternal or if Teacher is destroyed by mankind’s reckless abuse of it’s most precious resources.

You can purchase this book direct from the publisher Orenda Books

Amazon or Waterstones

About the author

Canadian Paul E Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a. Paul is a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). The first four novels in his Claymore Straker series, The Abrupt Physics of DyingThe Evolution of FearReconciliation for the Dead and Absolution all received great critical acclaim and The Abrupt Physics of Dying was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger and Telegraph Thriller of the Year. Paul is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.


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