The Hour Before Morning
is a science fiction novel by Arwen Spicer about three condemned prisoners struggling to reconcile with death and each other, all against a backdrop of interplanetary revolution.
At first, the rebel leader Jenchae is alone in the starship's brig. As the ship comes under attack, two other condemned are thrown in with him, both connected with the same revolutionary movement that he's spent his life agitating for. Both of them are also murderers: Meravyn killed for love, Elek out of irresistible compulsion. Hours pass, and the three of them bond and fight and suffer together, remembering their crimes and forming a fragile connection on what may be the last night of their lives.
is available on Amazon. A microbudget film
, shot in southern Oregon, is in the final stages of post-production.
- Absent Aliens: The story takes place in the very far future, long enough that Earth has passed into legend. Some characters are nonhuman (or half-nonhuman), but these are species genetically engineered long ago, not aliens.
- A Lighter Shade Of Gray: The empire and the rebels both have their noble and ignoble moments, but the rebels are quite a bit more sympathetic.
- All Nations Are Superpowers: Averted. There are cultures, nations, and empires with many levels of power.
- Alternative Calendar: Reckoned from the beginning of the Ashtorian Empire.
- Actual Pacifist: Jenchae, although it wasn't always so...
- BBC Quarry: The film's desert scenes were shot in a quarry by way of tribute.
- Care Bear Stare: Jenchae is good at this, but not always good enough.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Everyone.
- Empathic Healer: Meravyn's husband, Trenod. And he's suffered greatly for it.
- Flash Back: Most of the story is told this way.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Elek.
- Has Two Mommies: Jenchae. In the novel's future, this isn't a big deal. It's much more socially problematic that one is connected with La Résistance, the other with The Empire.
- Humans Are Psychic in the Future: All of the characters are telepaths. Some of them can't turn it off.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Meravyn will do anything to free Trenod from exploitation.
- La Résistance: All of the main characters belong to this.
- Prison Ship
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Akhté's favored tactic.
- Psychic Link: One that goes wrong, with unexpected consequences.
- Rebel Leader: Several, including Jenchae himself.
- Serial Killer: Elek, who sincerely supports the rebellion, but also uses it as a cover for his compulsion towards violence.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Elek again, by some standards.
- Telepathy: Used by the characters to enter each other's flashbacks, not always voluntarily.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Akhté crossed this line long ago; he is the most extreme of the rebel leaders in the story, morally troubled but unapologetic about using his telepathy to influence and kill.
- You All Meet in a Cell: And immediately wish that you hadn't.