Welcome to the book tour for T.C. Weber’s latest book, a political satire called The Council. Read on for more details!
Publication Date: September 22, 2022
Genre: Political Satire/ Humor
Luther Smith, a newly elected county councilman, is determined to make a difference for his constituents. Unfortunately, he’s ill-prepared for the corruption, incompetence, and lunacy of his fellow councilmembers. Lisa Hogan, a down-on-her-luck single mom and avid naturalist, discovers that developers plan to raze the last tract of forest in the county. Facing a dysfunctional bureaucracy, corrupt politicians, and lazy journalists, Luther and Lisa form a growing bond as they attempt to navigate the legislative labyrinth, mobilize the community, and attempt to save the forest.
“You may think this story is full of absurdity and exaggeration, but I assure you, it is frighteningly close to reality. And that’s precisely what makes this book so hilarious.”
– Local Councilman who was told to remain anonymous by the Ethics Commission
The blonde woman in the back rose from her seat and approached the microphone, pale lips pressed together. She wore tan cargo pants and a green fleece. “Hello. I’m Lisa Hogan and I live at 2355 Whistlestop Drive, Foxglove Estates.” She gestured toward Councilman van Womple. “Is he going to sleep through public testimony?”
Council President Sparks leaned into his mic. “Can someone please wake up Clifton?”
Councilwoman Sutton reached over and jostled van Womple awake. His eyes darted wildly. “Whaa?”
“According to their web site,” Ms. Hogan spoke into the mic, “Cha-Ching Properties, which owns half the land in the county, is planning to develop the Great Woods, our last sizable stand of forest. But that area is zoned for conservation. I came to ask if you know what’s going on here.”
Luther hadn’t heard this before, but the Great Woods were way over on the west side of the county and this was his first meeting. The other councilpersons similarly responded with blank faces, except for Councilman Davis, who looked down and rustled through his papers.
The council president leaned toward his microphone. “Thank you.” He scanned the empty seats. “Anyone else?”
Ms. Hogan remained at the lectern. “I’m not finished.” She scrunched her face and ran fingers through limp hair. “It’s on Cha-Ching’s website—I try to follow what they’re up to. It’s listed as their next big project—The Preserve—an irritatingly ironic name since their sketch map shows houses, stores, and office buildings instead of unbroken forest. You know nothing about it? They haven’t submitted anything or contacted you?”
Sparks looked around at the other council members. Sutton shrugged. Van Womple’s eyelids drifted slowly down again.
Luther decided to find out more. “Did you contact the Planning Department?”
“They said they had nothing on file.”
“Did you contact the developer?”
Ms. Hogan’s eyes narrowed. “They refused to talk to me and don’t respond to emails.”
“Development projects have to be approved by the Planning Department, so keep calling them.”
“It would be nice if Sylvan County posted proposed projects on their web site like other counties do.”
Davis cut in before Luther could respond. “I’ll pass that along. Thank you.”
The woman sighed and marched back to her seat.
Council President Sparks shuffled through a pile of papers. “And now we’ll take up our first order of business. Let me see if I can find it…”
Davis responded, “It’s on the agenda. We’re honoring Boy Scout Troop 1156 for um…?” He looked at the others for help.
“Oh yes,” Sparks said. “Where are they?”
There was no sign of boy scouts in the chamber.
Davis looked around. “Did anyone send them an invite?”
Shrugs all around.
Sparks frowned. “Well, someone find out where they are.”
The meeting secretary closed the Candy Crash game on her smartphone and began scrolling through contacts.
“This is important,” Sparks said. “It’s important to honor the troops.”
The troops? Luther wondered if he’d misheard.
“I was there on 9-11,” Sparks continued. “Saw the towers come down. Right there on my TV. And then I had brunch. Waffles, I think.”
T.C. Weber has pursued writing since childhood, and learned filmmaking and screenwriting in college, along with physics and ecology. His first published novel was a near-future cyberpunk thriller titled Sleep State Interrupt (See Sharp Press). The first book of a trilogy, it was a finalist for the 2017 Compton Crook award for best first speculative fiction novel. The sequels, The Wrath of Leviathan and Zero-Day Rising, are also out. These were followed by Born in Salt, a character-oriented alternate history novel, and The Survivors, a post-apocalyptic horror novella. His latest work, The Council, pits a naïve councilman and a down-on-her-luck single mom against greedy developers and a dysfunctional government, to try to save their county’s last stand of forest.
Mr. Weber is a member of Poets & Writers, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, the Horror Writers Association, and the Maryland Writers Association, and has run numerous writing workshops. By day, Mr. Weber works as an ecologist, and has had a number of scientific papers and book chapters published. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Karen and two miniature schnauzers. He enjoys traveling and has visited all seven continents.