Eden Mills Writer's Festival in September 2010. I didn't meet Stephen Pearl, but I did spend about ten minutes talking with his wife. She gave me Stephen's card with his web address and I promised I would check it out.
I then visited his website and found that he had posted the opening chapter of his book Tinker's Plague. I read it and thought that it was pretty good and that I'd have to get a copy. I didn't act on it right away, but my thoughts kept returning to this book. A few more months went by and this book was still on my mind. Enough, I ordered it through my local independent book store and waited again.
I have to admit that it was well worth the effort, though I do wish I had acted sooner and bought it right away, had bought it at the event.
This is a post apocalyptic novel set right in the area of Eden Mills and Guelph, Ontario. Brad is a tinker and he travels around from town to town with his horse drawn trailer full of technological wonders. Life is different in this after time, The tinkers are a well educated group, Brad has a Doctor of General /Applied Technologies, that are trained by the Novo Gaians. Today we would view the Novo Gaians as the environmental and the compassionate members of society. In the after time, the tinkers are the ones who travel the dark lands selling and trading goods as well as providing various levels of medical care.
Brad is doing just that when he is alerted that a new type of illness is felling people in the city of Guelph. Is it really a new illness or is it a long forgotten ailment from the before period of time come to wreck havoc on an unsuspecting population.
Mr. Pearl has created a new world. He didn't make it all perfect and pretty; he included the nasty parts as well. The thieves, scoundrels and politicians. What he also included are people such as Brad who have the will to make things better for everyone, not just for themselves. The people who live in the dark lands aren't bad, many of them have limited education and are living hand to mouth. They just want to survive and provide for their families. Pretty realistic. The Griders seem very self centred and only care about themselves. If it's not in their best interest, they don't want to get involved and in fact will try and make matters worse. The Novo Gaians are the altruists. They truly want to make the world better.
I found this a fully believable set of characters and populations. I had no problem with horses pulling trailers full of technology. I live in a Mennonite area and view similar events every day.
I am hoping that there will be a follow-up book to Tinker's Plague so I can read more of Brad's travels and adventures.