COME TO MY LAUNCH PARTY
FRIDAY, APRIL 10
COPIES OF FATHERS AND DEMONS
WILL BE GIVEN AWAY AND
ALL MY BOOKS WILL BE 99 CENTS!
My next publication (due to be released sometime in the next six weeks) is entitled Fathers and Demons; Glimpses of the Future, and it doesn't have any giant termites! In fact, it’s a serious work of speculative fiction about future human beings. For the first time the general reading public will get to meet Capt. Robbin Nikalishin, the protagonist of my still unfinished opus, The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars. The best way to introduce my new book to you is to present excerpts from the book’s introductory matter.
A Note from the Author
When I set out to write the life story of Capt. Robbin Nikalishin (the first starship commander to make contact with extraterrestrials), I intended it to be one longish novel entitled The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars. Among other goals, I wanted to depict the history and state of Earth’s future civilization in greater depth than I had been able to do in my novel The Termite Queen. This included recounting what had become of certain remnant elements of society – specifically, defined religious populations. The Jews constituted one of these populations.
So I introduced a Jewish character who was about to get married. I began to research Jewish weddings and ended spending a good three months immersed in all aspects of Jewish religion and culture. I even studied a bit of Hebrew. This new fascination caused the Jewish wedding section to expand into a lengthy tome that encompassed not only an exposition of Judaism but also a probe into the nature of gods and their relationship with human beings.
Obviously, a chunk this weighty could not remain part of the basic novel. However, the piece contains many striking and provocative elements, so I have extracted it, shortened it by some 10,000 words, and turned it into a separate “novel.” In fact, it is not exactly a novel, since it starts and stops in medias res, with only enough explanation of what has gone before to make it comprehensible. It consists of several sections, some that elaborate on the future history of Earth; some that illuminate Jewish faith, philosophy, and culture and the future history of religion in general; and some that detail the stories of certain individuals, both Jewish and secular. The theme of fatherhood and the connections between fathers and gods form the mesh that binds the book together.
The most appropriate designation to accord this piece is speculative literary fiction; it is science fiction in that it takes place in a future time, at the very inception of interstellar travel, but it also deals with demons and gods that may or may not be real, introducing an element of the supernatural. The style varies; within a framework of omnipotent narration, certain history and tales are told through conversation or related by one of the characters, and there is even a venture into epistolary form. It is a bit like a musical work, with each segment having its own tempo, theme, and mood. …
Lorinda J. Taylor
By Way of Introduction: Earth and Space, 28th Century
All human beings must live with demons, but those demons are unusually powerful when they are summoned by the sort of catastrophe that happened aboard the Darter in 2761. Robbin Nikalishin, the Captain of that interstellar ship, had succeeded, by dint of much help and a determined will, in subduing his own demons, but no member of his crew had completely escaped being affected. That was especially true of Cmdr. Ian Glencrosse, the Darter’s 2nd Assistant Engineer. Nevertheless, when the rehabilitated Captain received command of the first real interstellar mission under the new Phenix Project, he selected Ian Glencrosse to serve as his Chief Engineer. The choice was limited, because few officers expert in temporal quantum drive were still alive; furthermore Nikalishin and Glencrosse had become close friends. And in spite of (or perhaps because of) his own demons, Glencrosse had accepted the appointment. After all, he had saved his Captain’s life during the catastrophe. A proverb says, when you save someone’s life, you become responsible for that person forever.
As the launch date for the “Big Mission” approached – the day when the IS Ariana would depart for Epsilon Eridani – the crew took leave time. The excuse was the wedding of the Communications Officer, Lt. Avi Oman, and Capt. Mercedes Tulu, Administrative Aide to Adm. Sergey Malakoff, the Phenix Project’s Mission Director. Lt. Oman hailed from the Istrian Judish Enclave, a place of origin mysterious to most 28th-century Earthers. Mercedes was Midammeriken, born in the citrus-growing regions of Teyhas, but her father had immigrated from Ethopa in East Afrik. Since she had Flasha ancestors, Avi’s family had blessed the marriage.
Cmdr. Glencrosse did not accompany his fellow crewmembers on this happy excursion to the Adriantic Sea’s northern coast. He had something other than recreation on his mind. He had long been haunted by visions of a malevolent entity that inhabited the depths of space – the very entity that was responsible for destroying the Darter as the ship emerged from a temporal quantum pod. Both his Captain and the team psychologist, Dr. Gill Winehandle, knew about this aberration; in fact, the doctor had at one time improvised an unfortunate nickname for the entity – “the god in the pod.” While the Engineer’s peers thought his delusions were under control, Ian still secretly believed in the reality of this demon space-god – that it disapproved of humans’ invasion of its territory and therefore had doomed the upcoming mission to destruction. Ian was convinced he would not survive the voyage and so he was heading home to Mitchican Prefecture, where after a long separation he would confront his parents and make his peace.
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