At some time in the distant future, post-apocalypse, or simply post-decay, nobody remembers the civilization of high technology and riches, until one man finds a record of why it fell.
The time is perhaps centuries from now: no one keeps track of years anymore. The place is the United States, though it no longer has a name. A man dressed in animal skins is pushing his way through a dense and endless forest. He carries a worn piece of paper covered with a net of colored lines, lines that seem to relate in some way to the land and crumbling ruins glimpsed through the undergrowth. The paper is headed "ESSO Road Map: North Central States". Driven by a will he barely understands, the man is searching for place marked on the paper far to the west, and a face he has seen in a dream. Striking across the wasteland, the searching man --- whose name is Kincaid --- discovers what is left of society; the tiny clusters of people huddling together in villages, some deformed by generations of isolation, oppressed by poverty, some beginning to taste a new prosperity, puzzling over objects salvaged from the treacherous ruin's of the forefather's dwellings --- machines, books, guns --- striving again for a richer life. But across the almost empty land, across widely scattered settlements and lonely rivers, there hangs a persistant echo of war and pain and brutality. Suddenly, quiet places are scenes of terror --- bands of horsemen ride north out of the unknown, wielding rifles and whips, raiding, kidnapping, and killing, herding people like animals back to their capitol in the south. Kinkaid is caught up in their violence, as he sets out to rescue a girl from the very heart of the slaving culture.
A Secret History of Time To Come: A Novel by Robie Macauley
- Hardcover: 303 pages
- Publisher: Alfred A, Knopf; 1st edition (1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394501667
- ISBN-13: 978-0394501666