Author: Maxwell Rudolf

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ISBN: 154686654X

ASIN: B0764Z611D

One of the many Facebook writer groups I belong to is called “Grim dark Fiction Readers & Writers.” After today, when I think “Grim dark fiction,” I’m going to immediately think Max Rudolf’s The Arkhe Principle.   That’s because, beginning with the very first page, readers are going to be buffeted with violence of every kind and variety.  Rudolf labels his book “post-apocalyptic”; without question, it’s harder to get more dystopian than The Arkhe Principle. 

In the grim and dark future set some 250 years from now, we’re in a time  following a wave of biological weapons the despised Americans and their hated contractions unleashed. Now,  the king of Britain, King Edward, the Saxons and the Romans, have a very loose alliance as they seek to destroy the Americans’ capital and their worship of their god, Thomas Jefferson. It’s a savage future where you won’t meet many good guys. Mostly killers and victims and victims turned killers.

The main characters we come to know through fragments and often psychedelic flashes include police inspector Rosie Rex, her son John, Dr. Victoria Tesla/Katherine Dueva, who is in one existence a failing student at the ruthless Institute, and Gungnir Odinson, a psychopathic murderer and rapist. Among the many strange circumstances that connect these people is the fact they were accurately described in the manual for the great Arkhe, a pre-times technical manual that no one can decipher. That’s because just starting to read the manual causes great distortions in perception, and saying the word causes reality changing ripples in the world.


Those reality changing ripples continually make The Arkhe Principle a challenging read as Rudolf plays with language to convey those alternate states. Here’s a brief sample:

error. Good evening, Dr. Tesla. As you know, everything may possessPlasstien, including food. Our workers at our core facility are due to solve this conundrum...

Line. Error 999. Victoria? Doctor Tesla?

Error by margin. See manual 35 for assistance. Rerouting Planks. Please stand by.

The screen nulled out and flashed blue three times.

"Unfortunately, this will render all non-neo animals as inedible. Extinction plans are still in process and are predicted to end in 25 years. Violence

is progression towards UNIFICATION ERROR." It sputtered. "DNA Number: 235-ATGC-21912$>_Alpha_Original, your disruptive genetic entanglement is forming

drastic unfortunate side effects..."

The form turned to static. 

Other passages are much more linear and straight-forward, but all readers of The Arkhe Principle should be on notice the novel requires close attention and some rereading as you go along to keep track of the shifting realities in a very unusual time and place. It’s the sort of sci-fi that should appeal to readers who, again, like their fiction dark, grim, apocalyptic and challenging.