THE EXTINCTION TRIALS
BONUS CONTENT
A.G. Riddle
Thank you for reading The Extinction Trials! I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to drop me a line with any feedback or comments: ag@agriddle.com.

- Gerry

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AG Riddle


Thank you for reading The Extinction Trials.

I wrote the first lines of this novel in early 2019 and finished it shortly after the COVID pandemic began spreading across the globe in March of 2020.

At that point, I faced a difficult decision. I had written a book about a mysterious global event—involving a pandemic—that focused on people trapped inside a bunker. To me, it was perhaps a little too close to home with COVID trapping us indoors and making us question the world we had always known. But, as you now know, the story is about much more. It's an uplifting tale about strangers learning to trust each other and about the values that are the key to humanity's survival.

But, I think it's hard to communicate that in the synopsis, and I felt that it was better for readers' sake to hold off on publishing it.

As such, I put The Extinction Trials the shelf. And I wrote two more novels.

I let my agent and my UK publisher read two of those three novels while I polished the third. By a large margin, they were most excited about X-Trials (as it had become known by then). My literary agent forwarded it to my film & tv agent on a Friday afternoon. He called me that Sunday. He was over the moon. He said it was the best science fiction he had read in twenty years (and that was saying something; he is the agent who brought The Expanse, Outlander, and Bosch to the screen). I was enthused to say the least. So, despite my previous reservations, I decided to finally publish it.

That is the short story of how the novel you just read came to be in your possession. I hope it's given you perspective on our world, and I hope it left you empowered you to deal with the challenges we face.

* * *


At home, things have been challenging in all the right ways. On July 25th of 2021, Anna gave birth to our second child, a son, Jackson Alexander. He was early and caught us all unaware. I was standing in the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher, when our daughter (Emerson, then nearly 5) rode her scooter from the foyer across the great room into the kitchen.

"Mom! Her water! It broke!"

This triple-shock pronouncement took me two whole seconds to process.

Once my mind grasped it, I raced to the master bathroom, where my wife was methodically stuffing items into a toiletry bag. A larger bag lay open in the closet, clothes spilling out like a pinata that had popped.

"Emerson said your water—"

"I'll be ready in a minute. Pull the car around, please."

She had already called her parents to watch E (Emerson). I got the car out, charged into the porte cochere, and waited as the black aluminum mechanical gate whined open (it seemed to be moving at one millionth the normal speed as I thought, Come on, come on). Anna was dragging the bag onto the stoop when I cleared the gate and arrived at the front door.

What happened next, we both underestimated.

In the car, I said what I felt: that I loved her so much and was so unbelievably happy that she was giving us a second child. And I truly was.

Somewhere along the way to Rex Hospital's Birth Center, the pain set in. It was in full force as I wheeled her into the OB emergency department.

There wasn't time for an epidural. Our son arrived 42 minutes after we walked in the door.

A natural childbirth gives you perspective on what our ancestors endured (and some glimpse of the miracle of modern medicine).

It was the first of many miracles any parent witnesses. It's a tough road. But it's a very rewarding one.

Like so many things, despite the pain, we are incredibly happy with the outcome. That little child—Jackson—has changed our lives. He is a smiling, crying, playful reminder that we are all born innocent and that the world is what we make it. I do hope he inherits a world better than the one we know. It's part of why I write.

Young Jack

On the writing front, I don't know what's next for my career. This is the part of the letter where I would provide a link to the next book or some timeline of what's to come. I don't have either. I do have two novels finished and more partially written. If you'd like to know when they come out, please scroll up and join my email newsletter.

And finally, I'd like to thank you for reading and for sticking around after all these years away. Hopefully the next release won't take so long. And I hope that wherever you are, that things are going well for you and that you enjoyed The Extinction Trials. As always, you can write to me at ag@agriddle.com, and please do.

With all my very best,

Gerry