Tribes, The Dog Years
“Tribes” invites readers into a breathtaking world of futuristic fantasy, complete with core themes that resonate in the modern era. It’s a timeless tale that would sit quite comfortably alongside the greatest works of science fiction and fantasy, if given the chance to reach a broader audience by way of film and television.” – MTV
Created by Michael Geszel and Inaki Miranda.
For the tribe of Sky Shadows, life is a flicker, a light that goes out almost as soon as it’s lit. Their god has made certain that they never again have time to take their world for granted, that the greed in their hearts won’t lead to their environment’s destruction. In the territory of the Sky Shadows, nobody lives past the age of 21. If not eaten by wild dogs or murdered by headhunters–a sharp-toothed wild people who eat the children of other tribes–they succumb to a sickness they call the Shadow. The world is harsh, violence around every corner.
Sundog is young, even by the standards of his tribesmen, and idealistic, wanting to protect his comrades even as he knows that they live in a world of survival of the fittest. When he pulls watch duty at the far edge of camp, he’s the only one awake to see a fiery ball crash through the trees. Certain it’s the Sky Shadow himself, he runs off to investigate. But when he finds an old man in the wreckage of a helicopter, he begins to understand–that this is one of the ancients, the creatures who, in their selfishness, contributed to the downfall of the world.
Sundog thinks this man must have been sent by the Sky Shadow, and after the ancient uses a magical object to ward off headhunters, Sundog takes him back to the tribe to meet with his chief, Rockjumper. The ancient introduces himself as Doctor Adams and explains that it wasn’t a god that shortened their lifespans–but a nanovirus accidentally released decades prior and which killed off all of the adults in a matter of weeks. Doctor Adams, who has until now lived in an undersea base, has returned to the surface, putting himself in mortal danger of contracting the illness, in order to retrieve a cure he believes was left behind in a lab in a nearby city. Unfamiliar with the world as it has become, he seeks the help of the Sky Shadows to find his way.
The village elders, little more than children themselves, refuse, insisting that he return to the sky as smoke, just as he arrived– and decree that he be burned to death at sundown. But Sundog and Fallingwater, Rockjumper’s wife-to-be, believe that Doctor Adams was sent from the heavens to bring them the truth and so they help the doctor escape into the woods. It isn’t long before they’re captured by headhunters. But thanks to the magic of Doctor Adams’s quantum energy cube, they escape –and along the way make some new friends.. Skunktail, separated from his tribe of watch-makers and tinkerers, is obsessed with numbers and moves easily through sewers and tunnels. Keesha hails from a nomadic tribe wiped out by the headhunters and takes care of Kugo, a headhunter child separated from his tribe.
Drawn together by the hope for a world in which they could grow old, watch their children grow up, and perhaps even meet their grandchildren, the children help Doctor Adams find the lab. And hopefully they will find the possibility for a better life, where children are allowed to be children, protected by adults who will be around long enough to see them to adulthood.