The debut vel from Brian Martinez, A Chemical Fire is a minimalist, ir vision of the apocalypse. The story unfolds through the eyes of John Cotard, a science teacher who drugs his life away. After a car accident turns him onto prescription painkillers he allows first his job, then his marriage to crumble, doing thing to stop it, lost in a haze of chemicals. Then, one night, the world ends. When a great fire sweeps through the land, wiping out most humans and leaving behind a scattering of zombie-like burn victims, he carries on, breaking into houses to steal drugs and hide away. For John the end of the world actually seems to make sense- it's the next logical step in his self-destruction. One-by-one he meets the few remaining survivors including a woman starving herself thin, a combat-obsessed survivalist and a dangerous face from the past he hoped to never see again. As the group travels across the country to seek safety, they face t only the dangers of the dead world around them but of each other, discovering the strange connections they share along the way.
Brian Martinez lives on Long Island with his wife Natalia and their dog Frankie.