Book Excerpt from The Magistrate

31 Aug


We’re hosting a snippet from scifi romance / lesbian romance novel “The Magistrate” today. Enjoy the snippet!

Book Excerpt

The Old Bailey is an iconic symbol of justice. Restored perfectly to its original state prior to the end of the Anthropocene, it’s a dominant structure in zone EC4 of London’s Square Mile.

As the headquarters of the CPS, it’s a place of great power and influence. All new laws are conceived here, and the punishments for breaking those laws are designated appropriately. No need to pass bills through the Houses of Parliament, and no need to get the King’s Royal Assent—not anymore.

The CPS has complete control over all matters of crime and punishment, and in many cases, sentences are passed automatically, as soon as a crime has been registered in the system.

No costly trials.

No time-sucking appeals.

Whatever the crime, if you’re caught in the act by a member of law enforcement, justice is prescribed on the spot. You’ll either be taken directly to the nearest prison, or hauled off to the Old Bailey to await execution. If law enforcement catch you after the fact, or are put onto your scent by a tip-off and arrest you on little more than an accusation, you’ll be taken to the Old Bailey for sentencing—that being a swift, concise, and largely infallible process, thanks to the extensive biological database held in the CPS network.

In this database, the biological record of every man, woman and child in the country is constantly monitored by nanites in their blood, and relayed to a fully automated computer program designed to detect subtle changes in physiology, brain wave patterns, and neural chemistry. During sentencing, a Judge uses this to determine guilt, since, upon being asked if you have committed a particular crime, your biorhythms will surely give you away.

In fact, from the second you’re born, the network never misses a beat of your heart. On a daily basis, if it registers a sudden spike in adrenalin, for example, it knows you’re either afraid or excited. If the adrenalin rush is accompanied by a rise in endorphins, you’re probably having sex. If the adrenalin is not accompanied by any other pleasure indicators, it’s likely that you’re in distress. If the fluctuation persists for longer than thirty seconds, the program scans for any other indicators of trauma: broken bones, torn muscles, a sudden drop in blood pressure. If it determines that you’re in immediate danger, it relays a signal to whichever police unit is in the closest proximity to your last known location, as determined by your Authenticard.

Every time you use the card—to make a purchase, board a train or a bus, or enter a restricted area—your location is logged in the CPS network. In addition, sentinels have been erected all over the city.

In any given day, the average citizen could have his or her Authenticard read a hundred different times—unless you’re savvy to the system. If you know where the sentinels are, and you don’t mind walking the extra distance, it is possible to avoid them. Citizens with warrants out for their arrests or terminations are quick to learn this trick—and that’s where the Magistrates come in, as glorified bounty hunters and executioners.

Carmen became a fully qualified Magistrate when she was nineteen, and hasn’t been inside the Old Bailey since the day she was sworn in. She tries to stay away from it as much as possible, on account of the fact that it terrifies her still. Fortunately, her performance review—if that’s what it really is—doesn’t last long.

She’s placed in a chair in the centre of a dimly lit room, facing a panel of Judges.

The Judges, being seven in number, are seated behind a long bench and are only visible from the shoulders up. Each wears a ceremonial white horsehair wig and the traditional scarlet robes of the High Court, and monitors in front of them display Carmen’s biorhythms.

Her heart rate.

Her blood pressure.



In rapid succession, she’s asked a series of quick-fire questions about her childhood, her life in the East End, her recruitment as a Magistrate, and her life since then. All the while, they monitor her rhythms for spikes: fear, stress, deception, panic, and aggression.

The Magistrate

Magistrate 12 ecoverTitle: The Magistrate

Author: Keira Michelle Telford

Genre: Dystopian SF / Lesbian Romance


Poverty is rife in twenty-fourth century London, England. Crime rates are at an all-time high, and living conditions for many are bleak. Capital punishment and public hangings have been reinstated, and Magistrates, in their new role, are tasked with patrolling the streets to enforce arrest warrants and ‘terminate’ any civilians who attempt to evade justice — which isn’t always a noble pursuit.

The laws are strict, illiberal, and unsympathetic. If you can’t afford to feed and clothe yourself, you’ll be sent to the workhouse. If you fall behind on your rent, you’ll be sent to debtors’ prison. If you’re gay, you’ll be hanged.

For Carmen Wild, the latter becomes a potentially deadly problem when the discovery of a murdered prostitute brings her back into the life of her first love — the Madam of an East End cathouse — and the illicit passions between them are swiftly reignited.

Author Bio

KM Telford headshotKeira Michelle Telford is the award winning author of a series of post-apocalyptic, dystopian science fiction books, The SILVER Series, featuring the character Ella ‘Silver’ Cross, and now also The Prisonworld Trilogy – a dystopian lesbian romance. She’s a British ex-pat, now living in British Columbia, Canada with her husband and 10 guinea pigs.

Yes, 10 guinea pigs 🙂

Fun fact: Her pet guinea pigs (all adopted from animal rescue shelters) were the inspiration for the monsters in The SILVER Series, the first one of which, SILVER: Acheron (A River of Pain), was released in November 2011.

Amazon Author Page:





Books: and





Venatic Press:



One Response to “Book Excerpt from The Magistrate”

  1. KM Telford September 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Thank you for hosting me! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: