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The Atomics

The Atomics

Author(s): Paul Maunder

Location(s): Suffolk

Genre(s): Thriller

Era(s): Contemporary

Longlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award

Midsummer, 1968. When Frank Banner and his wife Gail move to the rural Suffolk coast to work at a newly built nuclear power station, they are hoping to leave the violence and pain of their past behind them.

Gail wants a baby, but Frank is only concerned with spending time in the gleaming reactor core of the Seton One power station. Their new neighbours are also ‘Atomics’ part of the power station community. Frank takes an instant dislike to the boorish, predatory Maynard, and when the other man begins to pursue a young woman who works in the power station s medical centre, Frank decides to intervene – with terrifying consequences.

As the sun beats relentlessly upon the bleak, melancholic landscape, his demons return. A vicious and merciless voice tells him he has an obligation to protect the young woman and Frank knows just how to do it. As the weeks pass, we witness Frank’s steady descent into obsession, violent desire and barbarity.

A brilliantly unsettling story of madness, revenge and Uranium-235, The Atomics is an unforgettable debut. A literary tour de force combining the chill of the modern gothic and the pulse of a thriller.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021