Meld Resistance: Book One of The Gardenpunk Chronicles

Twitter summary: A woman fights an empire whose goal is to stop war and reverse climate change by forcibly pacifying everyone with drugs.

Direct influences: Brave New World, The Giver, The Culture series, William Gibson’s oeuvre

Themes: Social justice, manipulation, freedom, and navigating the path between the extremes of self-righteousness and compromised values.

Aesthetic: Gardenpunk

Characters:
Iona (protagonist), painter, gardener and neighborhood activist, loyal to her friends, brave and freedom-loving, pragmatic and takes challenges day by day as they come
Katrine, neighborhood activist, maintains connections with shady gangs, gardener, political theorist, radical ideologue, seeks to build neighborhood identity and resilience
Rand, neighborhood activist, philosopher, seeks to do the right thing, whereabouts unknown
Claire, artist, went to art school with Iona where they were part of an artist collective, enjoys partying and going to shows, deep pacifist convictions
Dr. Morgan Sommer, official of the Meld Authority, genius psychologist and computer scientist, will do anything to preserve the planet
Anisa, ex-wife of Rand, Shepherd counselor in the Meld, has a mysterious talent for finding people to complete jobs, adept at getting her way without conflict
Texarkana (“Tex”), hacker, remotely takes down Meld spy drones as a hobby, brash personality, deeply committed to his partner
Abraham, hacker, partner to Tex, quiet and nervous personality
Tegan (“Teague”), lieutenant in the Irish mafia, strategic expert, former lover to Katrine, proud but beaten down by gang politics, wants neighborhood to be great again
Rico, irreverent Buddhist monk, keeps his finger on the pulse of everything going on in the city, has a mysterious background, teaches people how to be mentally resilent
Vinson, anarchist organizer, lives in his van and uses it for odd jobs to make ends meet, loves oldies culture (80s and 90s and early 00s), named his van Lucille
T.J., assistant to Elder Council in African-American separatist community Pax Ubuntu, big crush on Iona, seeks to push his community to fight the Meld despite the dangers
Maksim, Defense gamer in the Meld, in charge of managing and controlling reconnaissance and assault robot teams
Kestrel, politician in the Garden Enclave, lead singer in a band, believes in strengthening and protecting her community without making active war on the Meld, but extremely wary of Meld aims
Chankrishna (“Sen”), teenage hacker in the Garden Enclave, genius polymath and computer wunderkind, was raised by Kestrel after being abandoned by his parents when the Meld hit

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