"Tense, involving, Sixers is a smart near-future thriller with a startlingly real sense of plausibility. In a world that's falling apart, can one ordinary person make a difference? Tremendous stuff! Kavanagh can write!” – Hugo Award-winner David Wingrove, author of the Chung Kuo series and the Roads To Moscow trilogy
In this near future pop-culture-filled dystopian novel, America is under the dark cloud of a new envirus, Camden-Young’s Disease. Unleashed five years earlier from an explosion at a genetic engineering laboratory, the stealth envirus has laid waste to 74% of Caucasians between puberty and their early thirties while the other 26% are mysteriously immune. From flu-like attacks to excruciating fevers, hair loss, blindness, insanity and death, there is no cure; the only respite available being the Febrifuge Blue line of pharmaceuticals controlled by the Southern United Enterprises conglomerate used to treat symptoms of the target population while also used recreationally by the fortunate Sixers. Dr. Arthur Camden, dispatched from the company a year earlier by the powerful and merciless executive Trisha Lane, believes a formula for a cure (which would destroy SUE’s incredibly lucrative money machine) is contained in a pair of notebooks seized when he was fired. For their return, Camden’s willing to exchange four ounces of the otherwise unobtainable distillate CY6A4 he purloined just before he was dismissed that Lane craves to manufacture an experimental potion of unimaginable potential. David Stonetree, Lane’s new administrative assistant, becomes the middleman between the players in this high-stakes chess match, spurred on by the fact that his partner Sharon has just been diagnosed as a CYD-positive. Torn between Lane’s seductive wiles and Camden’s selfless decency he finally takes a stand that could cost him his job and possibly his and Camden’s lives.
The story continues in Kavanagh’s sequel, Weekend At Prism, with many of the characters returning in Las Vegas for the $100M World Standoff! Tournament and “the biggest rock concert ever held in the history of the Universe.”
Praise for Sixers
“Terrific.” – Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent and Burden of Proof
“(a) well-wrought debut…both engaging and fun to read.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“A stunning debut novel…skillfully crafted…gripping and disturbing…an important new voice.” – Rave Reviews “A writer to reckon with…engrossing and well-written.” - West Coast Review of Books “This is a brave, wonderful book.” – Arthur Shay, Speaking Volumes
Febrifuge Blue was the most popular legal drug in the country. For 74% of young adults, it was a state-of-the-art shock absorber that softened the rough road that CYD had paved over the country; over their lives.
Febrifuge Blue was the most popular illicit drug in the country. For 26% of young adults, it was a state-of-the-art shock absorber which softened life’s hard corners into smooth contours.
Sixers used it with impunity; with an almost imperceptible smugness. Febrifuge Blue used by Sixers was reaching epidemic proportions but there was no way it would stop until somebody, somewhere came up with a plausible reason to dissuade its disciples.
The Addiction Research Center in Baltimore had recently reported after an exhaustive study that Febrifuge Blue and its chemical cousins had no lasting addictive qualities and caused minimal harm to a typical user. The comfort it provided to three quarters of its customers was simply more consequential than the immoral high it gave to the other quarter. Febrifuge Blue was like a prize bull roaming the streets of Calcutta, going where it wanted and revered by most who came in contact with it.
On busy nights the crackles came from everywhere; by midnight the entire place smelled of exhaust. Stonetree felt a little uneasy about using a drug that made him feel wonderful when others needed it to maintain their health, but so much for philosophy. He pushed away his watch to make room for the unit and pressed the button.
He stared into the wall of flames, not paying attention to the shapes of those standing at the ledge. The first wave coursed through him, its effect lasting longer than he was accustomed to; a smoother, deeper flow. The furnace grew dim but just to him. He chuckled. Tricked again.