Synopsis

It is July 17, 2018. The nation has indulged itself long enough; the time has come to pay the check.

The enormous baby-boom generation -- the goat in the python of time -- is reaching its final phase, and the drain on America's resources is profound. Americans are, on average, living to eighty-five, at an incalculable cost to Medicare and other social programs. The Social Security Trust Fund is in the red. The country is reeling towards bankruptcy with no solution in sight.

Braulio Jules is a journalist. Three times a week, in alternately arch and strident tones, he warns America about itself – in the fewer than two dozen outlets that will carry him (including Modern Agriculture!) For years, he’s been writing about Social Security and the looming Medicare crisis. Half of him worries about the nation’s economy; the other half worries about his own. Living in a crummy second-floor D.C. walkup with his girlfriend, a sculptor who has not made a sale in eighteen months, Braulio longs, ultimately, to be heard, and to be on the A-List of CNN talking heads. He aspires to heroism while he strives for acceptance and fame.

Greg Sanders is a scientist. His specialty is infectious diseases. Not curing them. He likes to create them. He maintains a childlike wonder at the way a colony of miniscule creatures, invisible to the naked eye, can make a man’s heart bleed or turn his liver to water. He loves the consequentiality of what he does, and he has been consequential for three decades at substantial commissions. This most recent commission is very different from his other projects. The others were meant for some country’s dark stockpile, as the ultimate threat against some inconceivable doomsday. This new one, the one he’s working on this very moment? It’s meant for now.

Steven Land is a politician. Young, feral, and brilliant, he is animated by a sort of hideous joy which permits him to make choices that are unimaginable to others. Thrust into power upon the mysterious death of President Ben Cereno and armed with a ruthless self-confidence, Land sets out to implement his ultimate solution to America’s demographic crisis – once he finds his ultimate tool, Braulio Jules.

The United States of America is a country in trouble. Like a middle-aged plutocrat after a decades-long bender, America finds itself with its pockets empty and its veins full of plaque. With a national debt which exceeds the world’s money supply and a $1.2 trillion note receivable to the Social Security Trust Fund, America has woken up to discover it is responsible for a geriatric generation which approaches a third of its total population and is living longer than anyone expected. With older Americans occluding the national economy, is it really surprising that there are some who are ready for a demographic Lipitor™?

The Secret Notebooks of Braulio Jules is a novel. Set in the near future, it is the story of a good man struggling to overcome his own vanity, caught head-on in a scheme to slaughter a generation as the only way to save America against its own failure to plan.

last updated May 2005.
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