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The Hail Regina eBook series

Hail Regina is a serialized satire of ‘political and religious romp’, set in the near future (2025-30). Episode One has three parts. The first is a comical scene from a gala ball extracted from Episode Eight. This shows the form of humour that pervades the series. The second part is a fore-note, ’After the Crash…’ giving readers a background on the dystopia the novellas inhabit. At this point readers are ready to engage with the opening: Episode One - Smog Sirens in the Capital.

This is Kevin Karmalade's debut. 'Hail Regina' will consist of  six novellas. Like the Victorian era serials (think of 'Vanity Fair' or 'Dombey & Son' for example) it's possible, this work could release as a compiled hard copy novel set. The current writing of self-contained chapter-episodes, is an easy and economic way for audiences to sample this offering, without having to invest too much in the series. Ultimately readers will influence any future presentations. Certainly their views will be welcomed and listened to.

The series has mature themes suitable for all ages starting at about 14+. Readers should note it is a multi-gender inclusive work. It has a family-friendly recommendation, and avoids offensive language. Obviously some readers will prefer this and some will not. The writing style therefore has a classic english or vintage feel to it. Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) and Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) are the two main influences upon the writing style. 

About the Story 

It is 2027. The aftermath of the great economic crash pervades the congregation of states. Those who caused the crash, are rumoured to have been chastised - underground in the flagellation chambers of St. Dandy’s Cathedral. In the wake of recovery, the ruling Secular Party has devised an inspiration for the State. They will reclaim the dilapidated docklands, spread along the waterfront of the Capital. Whilst the atomic test program remains on track, the party will bring hope to the citizens, as they are called upon to make their state—'great again'.

Millions have lost their homes and now live in debt-internment camps. Drive-in food outlets are being aquired by the state and converted into food ration outlets, so no one starves. Radio Good Shepherd 91.8 FM broadcasts its pastoral care to assist citizens to adjust to their new circumstances.

Episode One opens during the planning cycle and site preparations. We learn about Dirk van Ritter who is an inferior civil servant. He works on the front counter of the Tourism Information desk.  He has befriended much older patrons - Sir Perceval Lamb and Director-General Mandy Fagan, who runs the Infrastructure & Tourism Bureau. They are highly ranked citizens. The Secular Party oligrachs want the cranes up quickly. They want buildings constructed. It's a major strategy to assist them to be re-elected in the next state-ballots.

Meanwhile, in the Capital, the harvesting of children from the Ganglands continues. And the esoteric secrets of church and state are managed by the elite (and their compliant inferiors). We witness a strange morality, where a seperated system of punishment and ritual - through the flagellation of leaders, clergy and judiciary is carried out underneath St. Dandy's Cathedral, to 'purge the sins of state and church'.

Themes & Influences

The work can be described as predominantly a classic, theatrical-styled satire, created in a dystopian setting. Hail Regina is written to entertain above all else.

Stylistic influences include dystopian stories like The 'Iron Heel' by Jack London (1907), 'We' by Yevgeny Zamyatin (1920), ‘Brave New World’  (1932),  ‘Fahrenheit 451’ (1953), Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (1952) and 'The Children of Men' (PD James). This irreverent work has a more light-hearted flavour than many of the former works this story follows in the steps of.

Karmalade may be regarded as a mischievous, playful storyteller. A ‘jester’ of sorts, who reels us in with a simple story - then sometimes holds a mirror to our face. The writer is aware that on some level, the work naturally touches upon the flaws of humanity. The theme of human liberation and freedom in literature is familiar to most. This serial does not try to break new thematic ground. It does however present readers with this established theme, in a modern and engaging way.

The Setting
The futurist setting of the series - was influenced by the City of London Docklands re-development. Commenced in 1981, it created a vast urban renewal program along the Thames waterfront. The docklands provided the initial components of imagery - to sketch the location, the politics and characters, which gradually formed within a futurist city - that the story ultimately inhabited. 

Even on an early reading of the first episodes, the type of characters (and some drawing-room style scenes) might see 'Hail Regina' presented as a stage production. George Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion' was an important influence on the type of satire, class structure antics and dialogue the characters of 'Hail Regina' present.

The novellas keep readers in touch with the politics of the Capital. And we recognise some real-world institutions (drawn from London Westminster architecture and culture). But we encounter them opaquely, as the  physical settings are significantly altered, to allow this odd group of characters to fully inhabit their fictional world of 2025-30.