Customer ReviewHALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERNovember 15, 2019Alabama author W Clark Boutwell is a physician who in addition to practicing medicine focusing on intensive care for newborn infants, also teaches his specialty around the world and volunteers as a physician in Kenya, India, Ecuador, Zambia and Ghana. His literary interests are on aging, medical care, drug use, cybernetics, society and faith in a dystopian America as his ongoing series Old Men and Infidels attests. OUTLAND EXILE is the initial volume in this five volume series, written in 2015. The other books to date are EXILES’ ESCAPE and MALILA OF THE SCORCH.
Dr. Boutwell’s facility with language is polished, able to capture attention within the first words of this fascinating science fiction dystopian novel – ‘As her consciousness floated in the middle depths, she felt the freedom of her movements and enjoyed the surge of her predatory impulses. For a moment, Malila rippled the chromatophores along her four-meter length in pleasure before returning he borrowed skin to the pattern of the hunt. Her appearance now flowed second by second as sensors discerned the light falling upon them and mimicked the surface opposite to match. Second Lieutenant Malila Evanova Chiu’s mind tasted the salinity, the pressure, the faint rhythmic surge and flow of the waves around her, and…her prey…’ With ease, the author constructs the atmosphere and advanced vocabulary and language of a future time, and in doing so challenges us to enter not only his finely constructed story, but also his philosophy.
As is most important in opening a journey that will continue through five volumes, the range of the plot is key and Boutwell offers a fine summary to guide us: ‘In 2051, America is destroyed, separating into the Unity and the outlands. Generations later, the Democratic Unity has become a Utopia with full employment, free healthcare, computerless-surfing and recreational drugs at quite reasonable prices. All citizens retire at forty before error and fatigue contaminate a society of youth, innovation, and vigor. The outlands, beyond the Rampart and savaged by the Scorching, are populated by savage creatures with strange bloodthirsty reputations. Seventeen-year-old, middle-aged Lt. Malila Chiu, a hero of the Unity, finds her career in tatters. Inexplicably she has been demoted and sent to repair a sensor installation at the very limits of Unity influence. Fortunately, the outlands look abandoned, and she sets her hands to restore the station and her reputation. Work is proceeding well when Malila, collapsing from fatigue, finally goes to bed. She awakens to find her entire platoon murdered and a knife at her throat, wielded by a disfigured, malicious and impossibly old savage. Jesse Johnstone, a lover of poetry, has made Malila--the Outland Exile. Stripped, bound and forced to walk hundreds of miles, Malila and Jesse survive the hostile wilderness, carnivorous plants, disease, slavers, blizzards, snipers, and each other's disdain to arrive at a new understanding.’
Not only is the book completely fascinating as a novel, but also the characters created are wholly three dimensional and well sculpted, and the philosophical postulates are at once challenging and invigorating. If OUTLAND EXILE is the seed from which the entire series will grow, the author has launched a meaningful – and magnificently entertaining – vision of what the future could bring. Very highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 19
Amazon 5-star Review for Outland Exile by Grady Harper AMZ Top COntributor
A powerful blend of post-apocalyptic fiction, science fiction and brass-knuckle social commentary, W. Clark Boutwell’s Outland Exile, the first installment of a projected series, is a towering tour de force of a novel. It’s a cautionary tale for today’s superficial, youth-obsessed culture that chronicles a young woman’s heroic journey of self-discovery as she realizes that everything she believes to be real is government propaganda designed to sedate and manipulate the sheep-like populace.
Set in the year 2128 – almost a century after the Third Iraqi War culminated with nuclear strikes destroying all U.S. forces in the region and upsetting the world economy – the storyline revolves around Malila Chiu.
Outland Exile by W. Clark Boutwell is set in a dystopian future where the Democratic Unity rules, and the United States have been fractured. Within the Unity, Malila Chiu is a veteran lieutenant officer who seems to have it all: great friends, a successful job, and the perfect life. That is until she's demoted, and has to go to the outlands to handle a vandalism situation for herself. At first the repairs at the vandalized station go well, then everything goes horribly wrong. When Malila is captured, and her platoon is murdered, she's sure her life is over, but everything she knows is about to change.
Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Led by a foulmouthed female protagonist, this unique and entertaining dystopian adventure is full of well-drawn characters.
Clark Boutwell’s Outland Exile is a hard-edged dystopian sci-fi adventure depicting the struggles between the lower classes and the militarized government.
It’s the twenty-second century. The United States has become the Democratic Unity of America or “the Unity.” The privileged typically work for the militarized government and indulge in superficial activities like drug taking and getting their bodies altered. The have-nots live on the outskirts and are seen as ruffians by those in the Unity.
Boutwell tells the story of a young soldier navigating the chasm between two opposing societies in this sci-fi debut.
In the 22nd century, the United States has been replaced by a number of successor states. The Democratic Unity of America is a military-controlled dictatorship of the young, fueled by drugs and implants, in which people over 40 are forced into retirement (and often worse than that). West of the Unity are the outlands, a low-tech wilderness where the Sisis (senior citizens) still live. Malila Evanova Chiu, a foulmouthed 17-year-old officer in the Defensive Unity Forces for Security, is sent out to take control of a troublesome station deep in the heart of outlander territory.
In a new world that been introduced here in Outland Exile where a new society, Unity is manipulated with new advanced technology and doctrine to obey all the rules that their totalitarian government induced to their people. The setting was a new futuristic version of United States of America and quite fascinating by the hi-tech propaganda, implants, and drugs. Even with that advancement, there was also a glimpse of political interest, different ideologies, wasteland and unsuited extreme weather that may be not entirely perfect in the state they have.
I was quite impressed by how the visualization of new dystopian city sprouted and well been developed into this book.
Descendant of Poseidon Reads
Young warriors fight a repressive government in this dystopian vision of America.
Boutwell’s (Outland Exile, 2015) sequel, which begins immediately after the events of his debut, plunges readers back into the high-stakes fight between the Democratic Unity of America and the Restructured States of America, two nations that emerged following the collapse of the U.S. in 2051. Seventy-five years after the great war, tension between the two countries is increasing. Seventeen-year-old Unity soldier Malila Chiu has faked her death and is on the run from her commander, Eustace Jourdaine, who’s engineering a coup that will put him in charge of the nation.
As Malila is beginning to recognise, faking her own death was the simple part. Actually getting away from the Unity, with an incensed Eustace Jourdaine bent on capturing her to tie up the last loose ends of his own power coup, not so much. On the far side of the Rampart, Jesse Johnstone has his own troubles; being a legend in his own lifetime was on thing, but being a legend in several generations thereafter has earnt him fame, limited rank, and a host of well-connected enemies bent on making his life unnecessarily complicated - and consequently damaging his stocks of good whiskey.
By Rite of Word
The year is 2129 and America has dissolved into a dystopian society divided into two factions. The Unity is in control of several major cities, providing employment, tracking devices and forced retirement at age 40, while the rest of America is known for its turmoil, killer plants, slavers and Ageplay, a technology used to extend human lifespan. In Exiles’ Escape, Book Two in W. Clark Boutwell’s Old Men and Infidels fantasy series, the story follows Will, Hecate and Malila, as they are brought together trying to escape the oppression of the Unity.
Online Book Club
As Malila is beginning to recognise, faking her own death was the simple part. Actually getting away from the Unity, with an incensed Eustace Jourdaine bent on capturing her to tie up the last loose ends of his own power coup, not so much. On the far side of the Rampart, Jesse Johnstone has his own troubles; being a legend in his own lifetime was one thing, but being a legend in several generations thereafter has earnt him fame, limited rank, and a host of well-connected enemies bent on making his life unnecessarily complicated - and consequently damaging his stocks of good whiskey.
J C Steel