City on a Hill

Book Cover



Ted Neill

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A global religious war has wiped out most life after a nuclear apocalypse. The survivors live in a city where faith is outlawed. Sabrina Sabryia, a police cadet, is a resolute enforcer of the law until she finds out her best friend Lindsey Mehdina is the leader of an underground spiritual movement.


Action,Adventure,Apocalyptic,Drama,Political,Religious,Suspense/Thriller,Young Adult,Sci-fi,Detective

Short Summary

Sabrina, navigating the entrenched sexism within the security ministry, chases down leads in an what is initially a mundane investigation. It leads her into conflict with a underground spiritualists, terrorists, her superiors, her best friend, and her uncle, the head administrator of the city.

The nuclear apocalypse is a lie; the city is an experiment erasing the memories of religious extremists and forcing them to live in "harmony." Religious terrorists try to seize control of a "fail safe" nuclear weapon to force others to convert. Sabrina sacrifices herself, using it to destroy them.


Fortinbras (formally Hiafa Israel). Approximate 2060

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest,Voyage and Return,Tragedy,Rebellion Against 'The One',Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Sabrina Sabryia

Age: 19

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Complex,Heroic,Honorable,Underdog,Lone Wolf,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Lindsey Mehdina

Age: 19

Gender: Female

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Sexy,Religious,Selfless,Faithful,Visionary,Heroic,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Angelo D'Agosta

Age: 67

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Narcisstic,Complex,Confident,Patriotic,Decisive,Outspoken,Skillful,Visionary,Aggressive,Educated,Secretive,Sophisticated,Leader

Additional Character Details

Name: Theopin D'Agosta

Age: 43

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Narcisstic,Complex,Confident,Patriotic,Decisive,Outspoken,Visionary,Secretive,Educated,Leader,Masculine,Villainous,Religious,Power Hungry,Manipulative,Greedy,Empathetic,Criminal,Crazy,Charming,Aspiring

Development Pitch

Faith, religion, godliness—these things have caused more pain, suffering, and death than all the plagues of history combined. A casual or deep reading of history, the evening news, or holiday family dinner can reveal fault lines among friends, families, and generations. City on a Hill illuminates these conflicts, from the personal to the political. Playing to science fiction's strengths, this concept removes familiar markings of religion to reexamine faith in a less familiar light. The reveals of an investigation, action sequences, and near-future technology make for compelling story beats. The setting, ranging from bustling city to desolate desert, is epic in scope. The subject matter of friendship, loyalty, personal faith, social divides, rampant sexism, and religious extremism serve to keep the story grounded, relatable, and relevant. Sabrina and Lindsey are faced with repeated dilemma's pitting friendship against family, war against peace, truth against deception, and eventually, faith against doubt. The format is receptive to incorporating current events. The original novel, as source material, is adaptable to a stand alone film or could be expanded to two or more seasons of television with sufficient characters and scope for expansion into additional seasons.

About The Author

Globetrotter and writer Ted Neill has worked on five continents as an educator, health professional, and journalist. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Recovery Today, and he has published a number of novels exploring issues related to science, religion, class, and social justice. He is the 2013 winner of the Martin Luther King Jr. Torch of Peace Award. His 2017 novel, The Selah Branch, attempts to confront issues of racism and the divided political environment of the US today and the 1950s. His debut novel, City on a Hill, examines the fault lines of religious conflict in the Middle East. His most recent novel, Reaper Moon, battles the recent rise of white nationalism and white supremacy within the US, exploring the high stakes at the level of the personal and political. He is also author of two award winning memoirs, Two Years of Wonder which chronicles his time living and working at an orphanage for children with HIV/AIDS and Finding St. Lo a combined account of his grandfather Robert Fowler’s WWII experience as well as a decorated medic in his unit, Gordon Cross. Follow Ted on Facebook and Instagram @therealauthortedneill

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Tenebray Press

Year Published: 2014

Hard Copy Available