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Nova Roma by Kevin Michael
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Nova Roma

by Kevin Michael

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“Nova Roma”, co-authored by Kevin Michael and Lacy Maran is a speculative dystopian sci-fi novella that could have been taken from today’s newspaper – except for the flying cars and the eight galaxies Earth has colonized. It is told from the perspective of Logan, a policeman whose pregnant wife had been brutally murdered 10 years earlier, with the understandable result that he was cynical and disillusioned about his job, his life, and his absence from home when he might have prevented her murder.

The city-planet on which the story is set is called Nova Roma, or New Rome. Its citizens were called Romans. After a particularly traumatic day at work, Logan decides he’s had enough, and reveals to his partner his intention to resign and move to the tropical paradise on the moon of Voldranic to live out his days. Will he follow through with that plan, or is it just the disillusionment talking? What was so traumatic about that day’s work that he would even consider walking away from it all?

I was enthralled with Nova Roma, because so much of it felt familiar. Intentionally or not, it made the point that regardless of whatever progress Man may make, he will always still be the same creature. There will always be economic woes (even Jesus said 2,000 years ago, “the poor will always be with you”), and there will always be the “ruling elite” class, who make laws primarily to benefit themselves at the expense of the lower classes.

This story was fascinating and disturbing at the same time. This may be the easiest situation I’ve ever encountered in which the reader becomes the main character. In other words, it was virtually impossible to NOT empathize with – and become – Logan throughout the story. This was really a very good story, and I strongly recommend it to everybody. It is a quick read, yet not one to soon be forgotten. ( )
  Grampy | Sep 20, 2012 |
I read "Nova Roma" and found it to be a good story. It was a bit grim, but redeemed itself in the end. I could feel the mounting tension and anxiety in Logan. I was half expecting him to "off" himself in the end just to be with Kay. Although there were numerous errors involving grammar and punctuation, it was still a good story that held my attention.
  TerryCollins1965 | Jun 5, 2012 |
Nova Roma is a short story set in the very distant future. The way society is governed, however, is reminiscent of past empires like the Roman Empire and our current democracy. The story centers on Logan, a deeply depressed police officer. The story follows Logan throughout his attempts to maintain peace in a society that is crumbling due to government corruption. Logan is well developed and relatable. Some of the passages throughout the story are awkwardly constructed, which takes away from the overall flow of the story. I was also a little disappointed that there was more to the sci-fi aspect of the story. The story takes place in the distant future, and there are hover cars and galaxies to be assimilated into the empire, but other than that it reads like the beginning of a hard-boiled detective story. Overall, I would recommend this as a quick beach read and would like to see Logan developed more in a longer story. ( )
  MarcusH | Jun 3, 2012 |
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The year is 3125. Earth has been incinerated and human beings have built up a new empire halfway across the universe. But Nova Roma has grown too large to be sustained. The intergalactic senate rages wars throughout the galaxy while ignoring the brewing civil war at home. Nova Roman society is firmly divided by the have's and have not's. And Logan is on the wrong side of the wealth equation. But lately that's the least of his worries. As a peace officer, Logan has seen his fair share of horrors. But when desperation starts sending common people to the edge, Logan starts to question just how far the empire might fall. 

Nova Roma is a futuristic science fiction short.
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