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FROST, Near Future Science Fiction - Adam Fout

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Adam Fout


Novel Title

Frost (70,300 words)



Near Future Science Fiction



Glow by Tim Jordan and Dare to Know by James Kennedy


Hook Line

After entering a Dallas rehab in 2071 for a new drug called frost, a broken addict on his final attempt at sobriety discovers he and his friends are being drugged by the head counselor and struggles to escape with his friends (and his newfound sobriety) intact.


Short Pitch

Axel is addicted to frost, a drug that literally freezes users within 36 hours unless they take more. He uses to self-medicate the pain of an abusive childhood and numb his self-hatred. In the midst of a second ice age, he enters a long-term rehab in Dallas in 2071 to try to get sober.

Above everything, Axel wants to be more than he is, to get out of this horrible life, to find meaning. He meets 5 other patients who, through their shared addiction and suffering, become close friends whom Axel wants to save alongside himself. They discover that the head counselor, Julie, is testing a new version of frost on them that causes rapid detox.

Axel and friends escape the rehab and learn about a procedure in Antigua, Guatemala that can detox them rapidly and safely. Axel leads them toward the redemption he so desperately wants for himself. Security Bots guard the borders, and cash is scarce, but Axel and friends band together to overcome obstacles and moral dilemmas on their quest for freedom.

Prose Sample

Call it freeze. Call it rime. Call it glacier.
Call it frost.
Call it death.
That’s all it is.
It’s the drug of the 21st century.
It’s the drug I can’t escape.
One thing everyone knows about frostbiters.
Never trust a word they say.


I’m in a government-funded oven called Hope’s Place.
Been here for three weeks.
When I got in, the intake coordinator told me, “Axel, the average stay is a year and a half, but given your history, you’re looking at more like three.”
“I don’t give a shit,” I’d said. “I just want off.”
I did then.
I’m not so sure now.
It’s like two parallel trains of thought in my fucked up head.
In one, all I want is to get sober.
In another, all I want is to get fucked up.
I’m 38.
I have no idea how much longer I can keep this shit up.
I have no idea if I’m gonna be able to stay in this fucker.
It takes a year to get off freeze.
It’s got a detox that makes heroin look like nothin.
They fill you full of Librium for the first six months to make sure your GABA receptors don’t send you into seizures.
First week here, a guy missed his doses on purpose.
Seizure was so bad he went braindead.
’Nother chick’s permafried from three seizures in a row.
Bit her tongue in half on the third.
Covered the TV room with blood.
I take my Librium.
Somethin about that Librium though.
Don’t quite feel like a benzo’s supposed to.
I done a lotta benzo’s in my day.
Xanax, Valium, Ativan.
I know what the fuck it’s supposed to feel like.
This shit feels… off.
This whole place.
It just feels off.
Like a dream.
Second thing they do is pump antidepressants into you until you get serotonin syndrome.
Only way to get your core temperature up high enough you don’t freeze to death.
Before they had ovens, used to be frostbiters would freeze in sixty degree weather comin off the shit.
Frost is a motherfucker, ya know?
You got thirty-six hours before you need to use again.
You don’t, you freeze.
You use too much, you freeze.
And just like heroin.
You use for just a few fuckin days.
And you’re hooked.
I seen a couple rime addicts frozen solid in an alleyway in the middle of Dallas summer—almost seventy degrees outside—on account of not gettin their dose.
That was back when the glaciers were still in Ohio, back when freeze was just another drug, back when no one gave a shit about junkies or crackheads or alkys or frostbiters dyin in the Dallas streets.
I take Parnate and Prozac the way they tell me to.



Adam Fout is an addiction and mental health blogger at adamfout.com and has been sober for 10 years. He has been published in numerous literary magazines, including december, Flash Fiction Online, and J Journal.

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