Schizoid – my new Sci-fi novel

The sequel to Quantum Fever. Three hundred years have passed. The aliens are ruining the planet Terra and are on the brink of war. Children of the Primitives on planet Hope are rebelling. President Woud of The System is angered. The Consortium is stirring up trouble………

In the UK:

In the USA:

Extract from ‘Farm 703 – the human project’.

This is the novel I’m working on at present. It’s a bit wacky.

‘Ngembe Graal was sitting at his desk in his office in the midst of a rare lull. He had a thousand and one emails to answer but they could wait. Nothing was pressing. For some reason the phone was silent and he had no meetings arranged. It was unusual.

He pensively swung his chair around to look out the window, allowing his mind to churn. The view from the 38th floor was magnificent, looking over Long Island and Manhattan, Turtle Bay, East River and across to Gantry Plaza State Park. It was a view that people would die for but he hardly ever noticed it. Life was a whirlwind. Even the extraordinary became ordinary when it became a familiar daily occurrence. He idly looked out the window, his mind only partially engaged. It was a beautiful day – a blue sky devoid of clouds. Out there the streets were full of bustle, people driving, rushing, or working, going about their business. People would be strolling through the park, sitting on benches, children playing. It seemed a world that was disconnected from the hurly burly of his own existence. He had to remind himself that this is what he was doing it for – so those people could go about their business and enjoy their lives.

He knew that the government had plans for a shutdown. The covid-19 virus would soon make New York into a ghost town just like Milan, Rome, London and Paris.

It was nice to have a moment to reflect. It felt like he was in the eye of a storm. It wouldn’t last.

He interlaced his fingers and swivelled his seat round. Behind him were the wooden shelves with their rows of books. His eyes played over them. In his early life those books had played an important role. He had thumbed through them looking up information. That seemed a lifetime ago. He never looked at them now. There was no need. The internet was there at his finger-tips – all the world’s knowledge and wisdom – and its fears and conspiracy theories too, its lies and misleading fake news. But he loved those books. They were more than an affectation, a piece of nostalgia or a statement of one’s personality. They might be nothing more than a mere decoration now but he could not imagine a world without books. They signified civilised life to him.

Civilised life? He wondered what he meant by that? Was the world really a civilised place? He glanced out of the window. It certainly seemed to be – at least here, for this brief moment. Everything was calm, sophisticated and ordered. People were free to believe what they wanted, go where they wanted and be who they wanted. They all rubbed along with each other without too much conflict. Yet, he knew that was just a veneer under which was a seething mess of emotions, beliefs and feelings. How quickly that veneer could crumble. He had seen it happen so many times in so many places.

All it took was a political or religious belief, a charismatic leader, a shortage of essentials and all that sophistication and orderliness gave way to violence, massacres and chaos.

The world was full of it. Sometimes it felt that this orderliness was a mirage, that he was living an unreal existence on an island in the midst of chaos. All around him the world was up in arms, religious fundamentalists attempting to disrupt and create fear, political groups using terror to destabilise, famines, droughts, disease, the Middle East at war, the super-powers slugging it out.

If only they would put aside their differences and come together. What a world we could build. The real problems were being masked and lost in the midst of these petty squabbles. Yes, that’s what they were, petty squabbles about power and control. The real issues were things like the environmental crisis – global warming and the destruction of the natural world – overpopulation, corruption and gross inequality. Those were the issues that they should be coming together to solve – not having to deal with power struggles, wars and territorial disputes contrived by politicians and religious leaders. It exasperated him. Most of the world’s problems were being deliberately created by people for their own ends. Such a shame.

His job was to try to sort it out, to find solutions, to smooth things out so that the world could become civilised, so that every part of the world could be as prosperous and orderly as this little corner of Manhattan was at this moment. What an impossible task.

He wondered whether this damn corona virus would unleash that chaos where the appearance of civilisation broke down. He hoped not.’

An extract from – Farm 703 – The Human Project

This is a little extract from the Sci-fi novel I am currently working on. Humans are farmed by bacteria. There is intrigue in the bacterial ranks. Malco 145 is stirring up trouble for Project Leader Zane 1.

Farm 703 – The Human Project

You do not get to be opposition leader if you are a slouch. Malco 145 had been impatiently waiting in the wings for a hundred thousand years. She had jealously watched Zane 1’s success and noted every slight Zane 1 had made to her, storing up her pain and frustration. She had patiently waited for an opportunity. But she had not been idle. She had been not only looking for a weakness but also plotting to exploit it when she discovered one and discover one she had.

The obvious weakness was the human project. It also provided the ideal opportunity to undermine Zane 1. Humans were numerous, capricious and uncontrollable. She could easily covertly insert her own control units in the human subunits to counter Zane 1s attempts at control. She could then orchestrate disruption, make humans more violent and destructive and thus make Head Office more sceptical of Zane 1’s project.

Plans take a long time to reach their culmination but it was always pleasing to see them working so well. By the time Zane 1 had woken up to what was going on, if she ever did, it was probably too late to do anything about it.

Malco 145 mentally gathered her campaign organisers around her for a weekly progress report. They were used to this tight-knit tuning. The group of them had melded. They had a common interest – the pursuit of power.

‘Right Ibbo 170, perhaps you can start us off?’

‘Only too glad,’ Ibbo 170 replied, sending through a happy red aura, ‘as you know the whole project has been highly successful, even if I say it myself.’ The aura turned crimson. ‘The wars in the Middle East have successfully stirred up the fundamentalists. The wave of ensuing terrorism has undermined the Western governments and created panic in the population. The poverty and war led to mass immigration that created a hysterical wave of racism and xenophobia leading to the rise of extreme right-wing groups.’ She oscillated the aura between crimson and orange. ‘I think my job is done. I’ve laid the foundation for everyone else. So I’ve put things on hold. I’ve reduced both the levels of terrorism, war and immigration. It’s served its purpose. They are on hold, but ticking over in places like Syria and Yemen, should we need to give things another push.’

‘Extremely impressive Ibbo 170,’ Malco 145 said waving her flagella and flashing red, ‘I’ve been watching with admiration at the way you organised that.’ She turned her big red eyespot on to Cras 501.

Cras 501 stretched her flagella and flashed an orange aura. ‘All going well on this front as well,’ she announced. ‘Ibbo 170 laid the foundation,’ she flashed crimson at her. ‘The population were suitably panicked. We sneaked our man in and he is performing admirably. So far he has completely undermined all scientists and experts, reduced funding from all science and environment projects and is denying any environmental problem exists. He’s re-arming, threatening other countries, undermining allies, supporting right-wing groups and promoting weapons, misogyny and hatred. I’ve never seen such a divided nation. It simply could not have gone better.’ She flushed a satisfied pink.

Malco 145 waved her anterior flagella in appreciation. She flashed a crimson chuckle. ‘I know. I’ve been watching all this with interest. I don’t know how you pulled it off. Well done.’ She turned her attention to Trab 83.

‘Same story here,’ Trab 83 said, glowing a self-satisfied orange. ‘Following Ibbo 170’s brilliant work it was easy. The racists came out of the closet. Everyone was terrified about a Muslim take-over. They voted to come out of the European Union. We managed to get them to vote for a complete buffoon. The European Union is in crisis. There is division, turmoil and economic gloom. The humans are in a mess.’

Malco 145 chuckled in crimson waves. ‘Most excellent.’ She turned to Herd 13.

‘All good,’ Herd 13 announced, matching the other orange glows. ‘The population is all riled up. They put cash before everything else. Our man promised to make them wealthy and the gullible fools fell for it. He’s been elected and is now busy destroying the last haven of wild-life and nature on the farm. There are fires currently raging throughout the Amazon. All proceeding according to plan.’

‘This will all recover?’ Malco 145 asked anxiously, concerned that they might be creating long-term problems for themselves when they took over. It would be imperative to get productivity back on course.

‘You bet,’ Herd 13 replied. ‘Once the humans are out of the way we’ll speed up evolution and hey presto – it all springs back to life. Farm 703 will be back in business in no time at all.’

Malco 145 flashed her a crimson beam of pleasure. ‘Superb job Herd 13.’ The last of the group was Plac 47. Their red eyes all turned to her.

‘I have it ready to go,’ Plac 47 told them. There was no flash of colour. It wasn’t Plac 47s nature. She was a very cool, calculated person. Her integument remained neutral and her cilia were all relaxed. It was not that she was the only Cocc in the group; it was merely her personality. ‘I have concocted a virus that is highly virulent, extremely contagious and for which there is no resistance. It will wipe out ninety nine percent of all humans.’ She turned her red eye on to Ibbo 170. ‘I trust I can leave that one percent to you?’

‘No problem,’ Ibbo 170 replied, flashing orange. ‘I think we can manage that.’

‘If not,’ Plac 47 stated coldly, studying Ibbo 170 with her eyespot, ‘I can easily release another. I have a few other lethal viruses on standby.’

‘Good to know,’ Malco 145 told her. ‘What of this virus you’ve just released – this corona virus – covid-19?’

‘That is doing well,’ Plac 47 replied. ‘Containment is failing. It is about to create a major worldwide pandemic.’ She turned her attention to Malco 145. ‘As you instructed, I have produced a virus that has a mortality rate of around two percent but which requires extreme medical care for over ten percent. I believe you wanted it to cause panic, create further disruption of world trade, generate more distrust and division and hit the global economy without drawing attention to the fact that it was manufactured by us?’

‘That’s right,’ Malco 145 enthused. ‘It seems to be doing that well. Excellent job Plac 47.’ There was no response. Plac 47 was not prone to extravagant displays.

Malco 145 went as dull yellow as she contemplated their position. Finally looking up she turned her red eye from one to the other. ‘Thank you,’ she said quietly, gently wafting her flagella. ‘We seem to be right on course. We have Zane 1 right where we want her. Farm 703 is plummeting into chaos. Productivity is at absolute bottom. The humans are out of control and looking a complete disaster. Surely Head Office cannot afford her any more leeway?’ Her gaze bobbed around them all. ‘This is the time we have all been waiting for – the endgame. We will soon have the power we crave. Then we can knock this farm back into shape.’

The whole group, apart from Plac 47, turned a deep crimson, and even she managed a mute orange.

‘There is still much work to be done,’ Malco 145 warned them. With that she broke the tune.

Sci-fi book – Ebola in the Garden of Eden – a book about a virus, a government, a people and a solution that goes wrong.

Sci-fi book – Ebola in the Garden of Eden – a book about a virus, agovernment, a people and a solution that goes wrong.

ebola in garden of eden cover

Ebola in the Garden of Eden



I first mapped this novel out in 1996. It was originally called ‘Ebola in Eden’.

At the time Ebola was a virus that had already been around for twenty years. The first recorded outbreaks were in 1976 in Zaire and Sudan. The disease probably originated in primates, including chimpanzees and gorillas, and is also transmitted by bats.

It is quite likely that the first cases in humans were contracted from the butchering of ‘bush-meat’ by hunters who were killing chimpanzees and gorillas. The logging companies were opening up the interior and putting roads in to extract the timber. The hunters were using these roads to reach deeper into the jungles. They were encountering animal groups that had previously been isolated.

I was looking for a virus for my book that might possibly be used in the way described in this novel. I had a number of contenders but was attracted to Ebola because of the description of its horrific symptoms. A doctor performing an autopsy at the time described the organs of the victim as having ‘melted’.

The destruction of the natural environment, the massacre of wildlife, and the continuing destruction of our forests due to the increasing overpopulation of the planet is a source of great sadness to me.

I write in the hope that the worst may never happen.


Opher Goodwin 5.11.2014

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Featured book – Ebola in the Garden of Eden – My Sci-fi novel about a pandemic.

Featured book – Ebola in the Garden of Eden – the history


I thought this was appropriate for this time.

I actually had the idea for this book in the 1980s. Back then the logging companies were starting to build roads into the interior of the jungles in order to devastate the wondrous trees growing there. Previously unreachable areas were being opened up. Communities of animals were coming into contact with humans for the first time.

Right behind the morally corrupt loggers the even worse hunters moved in. They suddenly had access to the creatures and were killing everything that moved. When I visited Africa it was horrifying. All the lorries that passed had corpses of animals – chimps, gorillas included. They were being transported to market in the cities. Bush meat fetched a high price. Alongside the highway hunters flagged down lorries to sell their booty. The wild-life was being slaughtered.

Because these creatures had previously been isolated from human contact they carried diseases that we had no immunity against. The chimps and gorillas they were butchering were almost human – they had 99% the same DNA as us. Hence they carried viruses that could cross species barriers.

Within a short while we were harvesting the fruit. HIV/AIDS and Ebola were just two of the diseases our viciousness unleashed upon us. They came from these isolated animals.

When I was looking around for a suitable virus I settled on the then extremely rare Ebola virus. It was deadly and nasty. I wanted a programme set up by government for selectively eradicating surplus population. What could be better.

As I was in Senior Management in school at the time I did not have a lot of time for writing so I mapped the whole book out chapter by chapter and set it by. When I retired I wrote it. By then Ebola had become front page news. I was a little concerned that it could be seen as jumping on the wagon and almost changed the virus. But then I thought that it was still highly appropriate and decided against.

Ebola in the Garden of Eden was born.

If you wish to purchase any of my books they are all available on Amazon.

In the UK this is my page:

Ebola in the Garden of Eden:

In the USA this is my page:

Ebola in the Garden of Eden:

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I have a range of other Science Fiction books and others if you would like to peruse my lists.

A person who reads lives a thousand lives.

During this time of crisis when so many of us are either in isolation or finding that there is nothing open I hope everyone is reading!

Reading opens the mind and expands the horizons. While sitting in an armchair you can be travelling the world, living on other planets or inhabiting the life of another person.

Writing creates alternative lives.

A person who reads lives a thousand lives.

So instead of worrying – get lost in a book!

If you would like to read one of my books they are all available on Amazon. Below are some links to a selection (there are many more). Why not give one a try?:


In the UK:


Nick Harper – The Wilderness Years


The Blues Muse


In Search of Captain Beefheart



Sci-fi as Ron Forsythe




God’s Bolt




Education as Christopher Goodwin


A passion for education – The story of a Headteacher


In the USA:


Nick Harper – The Wilderness Years


The Blues Muse


In Search of Captain Beefheart


Sci-fi as Ron Forsythe




God’s Bolt




Education as Christopher Goodwin


A passion for education – The story of a Headteacher


If you live in other parts of the world please check on your local Amazon where you will find my books!


Thank you for looking!

Featured Book – Neanderthal – a Sci-fi novel

This is one of the most popular books I have put out under the alias of Ron Forsythe. An easy flowing novel with twists and turns.

What happened to the Neanderthals 40,000 years ago? They had larger brains and were more intelligent than us. Why did they disappear?When the President of Brazil begins a project to build a highway through the middle of the Amazon he knew that he was going to provoke a response – little did he envisage what earth-shattering results it would end up becoming. This story delves into the very psyche of humanity and how people might respond when confronted with an alien invasion from a superior race. A Science Fiction story like no other.

If you fancy a good read it can be purchased in digital or paperback from the links below.

In the UK:

In the USA:

Or from your local Amazon.

Featured Book – Nick Harper – The Wilderness Years

I first met Nick when he was a young child and over the years he has become a close friend.This book illuminates the genius that I feel is Nick Harper and is designed to accompany ‘The Wilderness Years’, a trilogy of vinyl albums. Nick talks candidly about many aspects of his music and career. I include, with Nick’s permission, the lyrics of all the songs featured in the trilogy. There are also many photos dating from his childhood to the present day.

Available in digital or paperback from the links below.

In the UK:

In the USA:

Or from your local Amazon.