A Step Backward
The New World Series Book 1
by Andy Skrzynski Genre: SciFi Action Adventure
"The New World" book series, by Andy Skrzynski, is a creative, science-fiction adventure depicting the life-and-death struggles on Earth after an apocalyptic period between 2019 and 2025. If you enjoy a thrilling tale full of suspense, action, a touch of romance, and a crazy twist here and there, "The New World: A Step Backward" and the sequel, "The New World: Blue Moon Generation," will help you escape your current world worries. The action's so real and descriptive you'll feel as if you're alongside Thoruk, his loyal friends, and the younger generation as they fight the warriors and vicious creatures stalking the villagers of Ukkiville in the nearby forests, lakes, and mountains before the turn of the next century.
Read more to get a taste of what's to come in, "The New World: A Step Backward."
In 2075, following the World Annihilation Period and Earth's 50-year transformation, the detested Skalag clan periodically pillages Ukkiville to murder and enslave its inhabitants. Dangers intensify as vicious, mutant beasts lurk in the shadows, preying on villagers. At the heart of this evil, the twisted scientist, Zolokt, creates killer combinations of animals, plants, and insects to inflict his acts of revenge.
Infuriated by the savage attacks, a young leader, Thoruk, and his two lifelong friends pledge their lives to protect Ukkiville. The determined ruler aims to forever put an end to Zolokt and his followers, for only then will true freedom reign in The New World.
Thoruk sprinted to Mercivil's side to untie the worn,
chalky-white boat, tethered to the dock. He looked back
at his friends. "Come on, let's see if we can help — he may be
Mercivil glanced at her pet. "Fluf — stay!"
Hopping in first, Thoruk seized the oars. "Be careful
getting in." The small vessel wobbled as water from its bottom
soaked his moccasins. "Here we go." He rowed toward the
victim who was floating face down.
Stormulka blocked the sun with his palm for a better view.
"What on earth happened? Whoever it is has long hair — can't
tell if it's a man or woman yet."
As they approached, Thoruk stopped rowing to observe. What could have done this? Not a bear or cat — they wouldn't strip the skin like that. There would be missing chunks of flesh.
He placed his hand over Mercivil's eyes. "I'm not sure you
want to see this."
Pushing his arm away, she opened her eyes. "I've got to."
After peeking, she sucked in a terrified breath. "Shivers! This
is a demon's work!"
Stormulka's mouth gaped wide. "From what's left, it
appears to be a woman. There's no way she's alive. Something
has been chewing on the corpse. There's bloody water
Thoruk maneuvered nearer the lifeless body. "I've never
seen anything like this. It looks like a thousand razor-sharp
bite marks." Almost all the skin had been eaten off, and the
wounds still appeared fresh, less than a couple of hours old at
most. "What could have done this?"
He scanned the shoreline and pointed to a particular area.
"See the big skid mark by that hyacinth cluster on the shore?
That's probably where she fell. Let's check it out." He tossed a
rope to Stormulka and gestured toward the victim. "Here, tie
this around her arm."
Thoruk paddled closer. Is there something in this lake we haven't seen before? Rumors of a five-foot-long sturgeon were discounted several years ago. Is one actually lurking in these waters after all? It would be huge by now!
Pictures of prehistoric-looking sturgeons from a tattered
encyclopedia in the village's library flashed across his mind. A
faint motion caught the corner of his eye. "Did you see that
swirl — by the hyacinth?"
"Yea, I saw it too." Stormulka brushed his shimmery,
black hair from his face and squinted. "There, it's moving
The nearer they got to the buoyant mass of purple flowers,
the greater the underwater commotion. Thoruk extended the
paddle to the edge of the pads floating on the surface. "What is
that? Be careful! Don't stick your hands over the edge of the
boat until we know what this is!"
As soon as the oar touched one of the plants, three jaws
erupted from the lake, attacking the wooden paddle. The
sudden pounce startled Thoruk, causing him to fall backward.
Vicious jaws with hundreds of tiny, sharp teeth gnashed at the
oar. Each plum-sized chomper extruded from a pod at the top
of a stem in the larger hyacinth cluster.
Getting antsy, Fluf crawled along the shoreline toward the
commotion. One of her paws got too close, and a merciless
chomper sprung from the lake and nipped her foot. She
yelped, clutched the assailant with her huge, ivory teeth,
crushed it and tossed the crumpled mass aside. She roared as
blood stained her paw.
Mercivil pivoted. "Fluf, get back! Stay!"
The injured bear limped away to lie in the grass.
A strong breeze blew the rickety craft closer. As it neared
the edge of the vegetation, another botanical jaw leapt from a
pod and clenched the edge of the boat, fiercely chewing and
grooving the oak with each bite.
Thoruk tried to tear it off, but another brutal muncher bit
his finger. Unsheathing his knife, he sliced off the stem, pried
the mandible from his finger, and chucked it in the lake. A
small chunk of his flesh went with it. Blood streamed down
his pinkie. He yanked his shirt off and wrapped it around his
hand, exposing his lightly-tanned and muscular back.
The wind swung the vessel into the floating monster as
hundreds of ferocious mouths emerged to gnaw at the bottom
of the craft. Gripping the other paddle, Mercivil whacked and
smashed the savage, snapping creatures as fast as possible with
all the power she possessed.
The harder she swung the makeshift weapon, the more she
bit her lip, until blood dripped down her chin. The wicked,
purple-flowered beast thrashed about feverishly, churning and
splashing the lake around them. Terror shrouded Mercivil's
face as she screamed. "Get us out of here! Now!"
Thoruk glanced at her feet. Dozens of miniature, white
teeth ripped at a splintered hole in the bottom of the boat.
Where it had slowly leaked earlier, now the water gushed.
"Storm, plug that hole with your shirt. Mercy, give me that
oar." He took both paddles and rowed with all his might to get
away from the bloodthirsty carnivores.
The contorted specter of a plant with flesh-gashing teeth
confused him with a quirky mix of wonderment and horror.
His heart pounded as if ready to explode.
As they cleared the tumultuous waves, Thoruk noticed the
corpse drifting behind them and spotted a handful of jaws still
clamped onto the shredded flesh hanging from the victim.
Blue Moon Generation The New World Series Book 2
Many peaceful years have passed since the devastating battle of 2075. The new generation, conceived under a mystical blue moon, is about to awaken to the vicious attacks unveiled through their parents' tales. Once, living only in youngsters' nightmares, ferocious mutant beasts now stir in the shadows of Ukkiville — even during the light of day. Blood-thirsty predators with glowing eyes, gnashing teeth, and razor-sharp claws prey on unsuspecting victims.
Caru, the brave but brash young daughter of Ukkiville's ruler, fears nothing. Trained by the best and possessing powers of the mind greater than her father's, she leads her two lifelong friends into the teeth of intensifying perils.
Meanwhile, in enemy caverns on the other side of the mountains, descendants of the evil Zolokt prepare as well, cloning savage creatures from DNA combinations of animals, insects, and plants. Only time will tell how many of the deadly muclones get released.
Caru turned toward Protovil, two weeks younger than her
and brawnier than most boys his age. "Proto, get us closer --
more to the left."
As the rickety, white vessel neared, Caru grabbed the
floating bottle, attached to a long, weighted string and a couple
of hooks spaced a foot apart.
She lifted it. No wiggle.
"Nothing on this one." She extended the dangling
contraption toward her wiry cousin, Foxulka. "Here, Fox, wrap
the line and put it in the rear."
"Surely." The sometimes-stubborn lad, who used every
imaginable shortcut and variation of the English language,
snatched the makeshift bobber.
Whipping his head to flip long, jet-black hair from his
eyes, he wound the string around the old wine bottle and gently
placed it behind him. "Ow! Pricked my blasted finger! Shoulda
He smeared the blood across his faded, purple shirt; the
one he'd wear every day if only his ma would let him.
Caru motioned toward another marker. "Over there, let's
get the next one."
"Caru, watchit!" With eyes the size of walnuts, Fox
pointed over her shoulder at the lake. A large dorsal fin plowed
through the water directly at her.
The big, trailing wake suddenly became long, narrow
snapping jaws with glimmering teeth. As the aquatic beast
accelerated and continued its beeline toward Caru, she yanked
her hand back, narrowly escaping its razor-sharp bite. Wicked, what was that? Her heart pounded against her
Standing next to her, Proto banged the oar against the side
of the boat. The deafening booms echoed through the air.
The finned creature turned, glanced at him, and dove
straight down, splashing its tail before it vanished. The bottle
Sucking a quick breath, Caru jerked her head to one side,
then the other. "Where did it go? Keep looking! Proto, get
ready to chase it!"
A booming voice shot from the distance. "Caru, what's
She spotted her father on the shore. "I don't know --
something big grabbed the bait. We're going after it!"
Ignoring her father's shout, she pointed at the huge beast
bursting the water's surface. "Over there! Go!" She squinted,
searching through the bright reflections off the Lake of Dreams.
The creature erupted above the surface 50 yards to the right.
Caru leaped to her feet and pointed. "Starboard! Two
o'clock! Row, Proto, now!"
She waved her arm in a circular pattern toward the
destination. "Let's get that blasted thing!"
Grabbing the oars, Proto rapidly pumped the paddles, and
the boat jerked forward.
Caru wobbled and fell, almost tripping over the edge.
While the monster dove again, Fox's voice rang out from
the rear. "Brutish, that sucker's huge!"
The aquatic predator submerged and popped to the surface
time and time again as the chase ensued. Several minutes later,
it slowed to a drift, sunken and invisible in the deeper water.
The trailing bottle, anchored to the mysterious being, floated to
As they neared, Caru hooked the cord with the handle of
her knife. She wrapped the line around a cleat, securing the
marker to the bow. Hand over fist, she and Proto pulled the
weighty freak of nature from the depths.
Intrigued by small, white spikes appearing from the black
abyss, Caru bent closer for a better look. Enormous, menacing
jaws rushed toward her.
"Watch out!" Proto yanked her back. With one swift
movement, he snatched the small battle-ax from his belt and
gashed the beast's neck.
It spun toward the bow and dove, jolting the craft forward
as Caru clung to the sideboards for dear life. The vessel
streaked across the water for several yards, suddenly veering to
She and her friends flew through the air as the boat flipped
over. Splashing with arms and legs churning, she and her
buddies scrambled toward shore.
Thoruk dove into the lake and feverishly swam toward the
children. Ghost and the twin bears followed.
Once again, the dorsal fin sliced through the water in a
direct line toward the kids. Thoruk hollered. "Fox, behind
The teeth of the tenacious being shimmered in the sun as
its jaws opened wide. Blood streamed from its slashed neck,
staining the pool around it.
Crimson Winter The New World Series Book 3
On the verge of winter in 2105, a vicious attack soaks a pasture with blood and crushes Ukkiville's serenity. Ominous premonitions haunt Hoot while similar dangers surge across Old North America. Tormented by nightmares, the courageous young warrior recruits her friends to join her and hunt the demon of her dreams. Before long, they encounter a beast far more ferocious than any discovered before.
Suspicions fall squarely on the village's nemesis, as Hoot and the leaders of Ukkiville fear Zo and his Skalags have advanced their DNA process to create monsters nobody can control. With little choice but to ready themselves to thwart increasing slaughters, Hoot, her brother, Skeeter, and a precocious android named Andralec hone their skills and special powers. Until the inhabitants of Ukkiville and the surrounding territory halt this growing threat, survival remains all but uncertain.
After entering the weathered barn, Bartuk leaned his quiver
and finely-crafted bow against a post. He grabbed an ax and
plopped on a stump next to a grinding stone.
He relished chopping firewood for the colder weeks
ahead — a welcome reprieve from his usual ranch chores.
While his weary legs pumped, and the sharpening stone
whirred, a spattering of moos broke his concentration.
Lifting his blade, he turned and surveyed the barnyard.
His herd of Jerseys stirred near the trees. Mmm. He scratched his beard and scanned the fence line. They seem spooked.
He rolled his eyes. Ah, stop making something of nothing!
After returning to the task at hand, sparks flew in all
directions as he honed the shiny edge. The clamor of moos
heightened. Growing more concerned, he ignored his painful
knees and jumped to his feet.
He set the ax aside and snatched his weapon. The hairs on
the back of his neck stiffened while he rushed toward the cattle.
Squinting, he searched the area. The livestock bunched
together as if agitated along the fence by the forest. A throaty
bawl resonated across the pasture.
“Something’s definitely wrong.” He raced faster.
Blood sprayed high, and the cattle near a cluster of pines
scattered as he approached. After they dispersed, two of his
prized Jerseys remained sprawled across the crimson soil next
to a bellowing cow.
A grisly beast of at least 500 pounds straddled one of the
carcasses lying flat on its belly. The six-legged attacker
uncurled its four-foot trunk and pressed it against the base of
the Jersey’s skull.
With adrenaline rushing through his veins, Bartuk ducked
behind a wagon. His chest pounded while he retrieved an arrow
and drew back on the string. What is that thing? What’s it doing?
Just as he located his mark, the creature released its hold
and charged another fleeing cow. He tracked the beast’s
movement and let go of the shaft.
The projectile ricocheted off a boulder behind the
galloping monster. Never had he witnessed an animal move so
When the strange beast neared its prey, it whipped its
long, thick tail striking the Jersey’s hindquarter. The cow
bawled louder, and within seconds, its back legs weakened.
Helpless, the animal drug its limp torso in a relentless attempt
The fierce attacker slowly circled toward the front of the
struggling victim, rose to its hind legs, and walked closer.
Fearing for his life, Bartuk froze, not knowing what to make of
the beast. It was more terrifying than any muclone he’d seen
In a flash, the creature's forepaws slashed through the
Jersey’s chest. Blood squirted everywhere.
Shivers shot across Bartuk’s body as his stomach
churned. What could do such a thing?
The tenacious monster reached into the carcass, ripped the
heart from its cavity, and chomped into the gory muscle.
Disgusted and unable to bear the horror, Bartuk closed his eyes
for a moment and whispered. “Be quiet. If it spots me, I’ll be
A large knot swelled in his throat. Still trembling, he
peeked through the spokes of the wheel and gasped. The
creature’s innards were visible through its translucent hide.
Bartuk rubbed his eyes and gulped. How’s that possible?
He inched forward but paused. Can I kill this thing by myself?
Rage swelled within him as the slaughter continued and
more blood spewed to the ground. Casting all doubts aside, he
sprang from behind the buckboard, positioned the arrow, and
drew the string taut. He shouted as loud as he could. “Get away
from my cattle!”
Holding his breath, he steadied his aim as the creature
spun and charged. The beast’s jaws snapped incessantly as it
Sweat dripped down his cheek as he let go. Whistling
along its path, the projectile pierced the monster’s chest.
The beast screeched and veered to the right. It leapt over
the fence and raced into Wolverine Forest.
Sucking staggered breaths, Bartuk stared at the
While writing The New World trilogy proved to be one of the most exciting challenges of my life, if anyone had told me six years ago I'd be writing science fiction action-adventure novels, I would have declared them bonkers! For most of my life, I had been an engineering and programming nerd whose main reading materials included technical scientific articles and books with little time to read novels of any sort of fiction.
The few dreams I experienced during my lengthy career as a Sr. Software Development Manager at IBM mostly focused on conjuring solutions to tough technical issues at work. Never did sleep delve into imagining some fictional adventure. But that all changed after I retired from IBM in March of 2007 at age 53 with 30 rewarding years of service. The extra time on my hands provided plenty of hours to devote to more creative endeavors.
My initial attempt at writing capitalized on my 30 years of investing in all sorts of financial assets. I wanted to share my knowledge with our children to aid their financial planning. After completing more than 400 pages of the manuscript, I joined a writers' group. The members liked the technical content but advised me to liven it up to make in more attractive for my younger target audience of high school and collage graduates getting a start on life. I came up with an fictional world and a couple of quirky characters to weave into my investing lessons.
The members loved the improvements, but an unexpected problem bared itself: my brain refused to churn out nightly ideas about investments. Instead, my dreams gushed with captivating characters and an intriguing new world with plenty of vicious beasts lurking in the shadows of my mind. I had no choice but to follow the fate which unfolded night after night, providing oodles of exciting material to more than fulfill any writing desires. I provided my financial manuscript to my daughters, and from that exhilarating change of direction in 2014, I've been creating a fascinating new world at the turn of the next century!
I began writing my first novel, The New World: A Step Backward in June of 2014 and published it on June 28, 2015. A little over a year later, on October 1, 2016, I published Book 2 of the series, The New World: Blue Moon Generation. After a bit of a delay due to the challenges of a serious family illness, I completed the final novel of the Trilogy, The New World: Crimson Winter and published it on November 6, 2018.
Where were you born?
I was born in Jackson, Michigan and spent my first five years growing up in a three-room quonset hut with no indoor plumbing in Spring Arbor, Michigan. The next six years, I enjoyed a wonderful learning experience in a four-story mansion called The St. Joseph Orphanage where 50 of us young boys were guided by a stern but very well-meaning group of Polish Nuns. There were no TVs or radios on the premises, and we spent most of our time studying, exercising in team sports, or praying to improve our minds, bodies souls. While many of the lads wouldn't necessarily feel the same, I truly looked at this journey during my developmental years as something that established very good values and direction to my life.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Calming listener always embracing friendships. (Many troubled boys in the orphanage were drawn to me because I would patiently listen to their concerns and try to console them. Friends were easy to come by in such an environment. It has been a rewording trait that has carried over into my later years!)
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
While I began my first journey writing a manuscript about investing in 2013, five years after I retired from IBM, I didn't feel like a true writer. Yes, I was writing and transforming my knowledge into words, but it wasn't until I followed my heart and mind into a new world with exciting adventures created through my elaborate dreams that led me to my first science fiction novel. I was truly creating something from my imagination where I'd dive into the depths of the lives of Ukkiville's villagers and the dangers they faced each and every day! I lived in that world for over a year while writing my first novel!
Are there any monsters in your books?
Of course! The book series includes over 35 different muclones (cloned mutants) concocted by the villain, Zolokt, and his family. Each monster is a unique creation from DNA combinations of animals, insects, and plants, and everyone is as vicious as they come. Most are from a twisted amalgamation of species most feared by humans doing things people dread with a passion! Beasts like gigantic mosquito-wasps who plunge their massive stingers into their victim's spine to paralyze them so they can pry the helpless prey's eyelids open with their long, spindly legs. Once positioned, the winged monster drives the mosquito's sharp proboscis through the eyeball to deposit larvae within the brain cavity. The end result of these ravenous wigglers feasting inside the cranium proves quite gruesome! Spoiler alert: you can check out the different muclone concoctions here, if you wish. https://www.andyskrzynski.com/muclones--denamods.html
Was there some purpose for your writing beyond your expectations?
Absolutely! I kept wondering why an engineer who was primarily focused on logical thinking and solving technical problems throughout most of his 30-year career with IBM would suddenly feel compelled to depart from reality and create a make-believe world with quirky characters and strange monsters. At age 58, my nighttime activity became flooded with elaborate dreams that felt so real and provided oodles of new material that begged to be captured upon my awakening each morning. I'd get up and turn on the coffee pot before plopping in my office chair where I promptly began whacking at the keyboard. I didn't dare put it off for fear of losing all the marvelous ideas floating inside my cranium. The act of writing inspired additional scenes, characters, and beasts. Sometimes, I'd be writing for a couple of hours before remembering to get my first cup of coffee.
My excitement kept growing and partway through my manuscript, I solicited Beta Readers to begin scouring my manuscripts. Before I knew it, 64 had signed up! Many were even more excited than I and kept pressing me for more scenes! Nothing motivates me more than people hungry for more scenes and monsters! But even as I put the finishing touches on my manuscript, that same question kept nagging, "why me?" One evening as I returned home from my writer's group Read & Critique session, my wife mentioned I had a call from my cousin Sandy. I was confused since I hadn't seen or heard from the only cousin Sandy I knew since she babysat with me when I was a scrapping 5-year-old. When I returned the call, I was dumbfounded to discover it truly WAS her! You see, she and her sister, Chris, had been trying to find me since my father placed me and my brother in an orphanage. Sandy was only 9 at the time and heartbroken that my father would do such a thing. She begged her mom to adopt me, but Aunt Rose convinced her it was not possible given the family circumstances. My cousins from my mom's side never gave up hope and continued searching for me for decades after I was released from the orphanage. After 54 years and continued searches on the internet, Chris found mention of an author coming to Michigan for a book signing. Since there aren't too many Andy Skrzynskis in Michigan, she was certain it was me and told Sandy. We've all been talking ever since!
Then, came my very first book signing in a little library in my old home town of Spring Arbor, Michigan. My high school English teacher and several classmates I hadn't seen in over 40 years unexpectedly showed up. We had a blast talking about old times. The next day, I had another book signing in the nearby town of Parma. Long lost family members from my dad's side that I hadn't seen in more than 45 years stunned me with their appearance. At that moment, I realized "why" I had been guided along such an unanticipated path of an author! I've been so thankful to be reconnected with so many family, friends, classmates, and teachers from my childhood days!
What inspired you to write this book series?
I really didn't know I was going to write another book after I published my first novel, The New World: A Step Backward. It wasn't until my third book signing when a elderly lady approached me in the Mineola, Texas library and actually shook me by the shoulders and asked, "when are you going to write the sequel?" I looked at my wife, and we knew that very moment I'd be continuing the saga of courageous villagers of Ukkiville and the vicious muclones they'd be battling at the turn of the next century! There simply was no other choice after seeing the intensity and excitement in Elizabeth's eyes!
Do you have any aspirations for a movie based on your books?
Never a doubt! While the books include intense, action-packed scenes full of suspense, a movie series based on the trilogy with wonderful graphics depicting the unusual creatures would bring even more life to the new world and the dangers lurking in the shadows! Such a movie series would leave people sitting on the edge of their seats, gasping for air! Spoiler alert: See "The Case for a Movie Series" I've laid out for the movie industry to consider: https://www.andyskrzynski.com/the-case-for-a-movie-series.html
Who is my hero and why?
My speech teacher, Blaine Goodrich, and his caring wife, Marilyn, who welcomed me into their abode during my senior year in high school when I left home. They were amazing and very understanding of my prior untenable family situation. Blaine was instrumental in guiding me toward a sound college education. He and Mar have supported me throughout my life and proudly attend my book signings during returns to my home town.
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