I the Sun, a review by Peru Editor

5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fiction that is Unafraid of History, February 27, 2017
This review is from: I, the Sun (Kindle Edition)

Microsoft Word - 09 12 24 Sacred Band Cover white horse white fo

I, the Sun, the life and times of Suppiluliumas I, the greatest Hittite king. In deluxe trade, ebook, and as an audiobook narrated by Christopher Crosby Morris

Unlike most historical novels, ‘I, the Sun’ does not try to impose modern morality upon an ancient civilization. After all, what is the point of claiming to be a work of “historical fiction” if you are bound by the preconceptions of modern times? However, that aspiration is easier to state than to achieve, and many authors end up failing in their quest for historical accuracy in favor of creating a mass media narrative. As a result, the market is flooded with so-called historical novels that are in no way representative of whatever era they examine.

In this work, Janet Morris has made some courageous choices. Above all else she strives to embrace the brutality and social norms of an era that took place fourteen hundred years before Christ. The book is, in many ways, an intelligence test for those who come upon it. Wittingly or not, readers seek nothing more than the same old “Disney approved” prepackaged plot set in a different historical landscape. That’s not what you’re going to get with ‘I, the Sun.’

One of the most common complaints about modern heroic writing is that there aren’t enough female characters. But too often, authors simply take a male character and give him a female name in order to satisfy gimmicks like the Bechdel test. But what the Bechdel test fails to account for is the existence of realistic women who are engaged in plausible, gender related issues. It’s easy to write a “superhero” female character. But it’s far more interesting to show a powerful woman who manages to exert her influence although she is subjected to a powerless social role.

The women of ‘I, the Sun’ are fascinating, and in many ways they are more interesting than the titular character. They are mothers, slaves, prostitutes and witches, and they conduct themselves with strategic intelligence and a tremendous survival instinct. They fight tooth and claw in darkness and lose often, just like real people.

The prevalence of brutal actions in this book will rightfully make the reader squirm, but engaging in the intellectual exercise of examining the consequences of historical thinking is exactly the point. What are the effects of living in a cruel society, not just the torments of the moment but the prolonged mental burden of surviving within such a world? That’s the theme that Janet Morris bravely tackles in ‘I, the Sun.’ Are her conclusions correct? Who knows? But this novel does indisputably embrace the hard questions of a specific historical age and wrestles with them with intellectual honesty even at the risk of alienating overly delicate readers. The result is a remarkable novel, beautifully written, that will linger with you long after you’ve closed the cover.”

Also available from Barnes & Noble and Nook, as well as wherever ebooks and paper books are sold.
The Ancient Near East comes to life in I, the Sun.

 

See the original review on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/review/R2B83HD484TF14/

Advertisements

Truck Stop Earth by Michael A. Armstrong

#COVERREVEAL – TRUCK STOP EARTH BY MICHAEL A. ARMSTRONG @PERSEID_PRESS #SFF #BOOKS #FRIDAYREADS

2 Votes

 truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Aliens, Magical Realism

Publisher: Perseid Press

Release Date: August 1, 2016

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Excerpt:

I heard kind of a humming up ahead, and I looked up and saw this weird green beam like a big cylinder of light rising up above me.

 

Standing in front of me was this Gray. I didn’t know of it as a Gray, of course, not then, but I’d seen pictures, because of that guy’s book he wrote about twenty years ago. Big snake head, big eyes, puny little body, pallid icky skin with that talcum powder dust like it had walked through an ash tray, and, of course, that silly gee-gaw infested ray gun Grays like to carry to impress people, but that looked so suck ass silly you had to laugh rather than be intimidated.

 

I’d heard stories, of course, and knew what was going to happen. Well, two things. Either the Gray would just shoot me outright, turn me into randomly reassembled atoms, or I would get sucked up into the mother ship. I looked up again at that beam of light, saw it slide along toward me, and then it sucked the Gray up, and it went zipping above along. I closed my eyes, not wanting to see the beam hit me, but I felt it, oh yeah, I felt it.

 

Actually, it felt kind of cool once I relaxed and enjoyed it. That first second scared the shit out of me, though. You know how it feels to jump off a high tower into the water, where you just keep falling and falling? The first second of being sucked into an alien tractor beam feels like that. The following second, or the next moment after the beam pulls you up and you leave the ground, once you’re in the beam, it’s way cool.

 

So I rose up in the beam, and it didn’t feel like I was flying, didn’t feel like I was falling. I just felt like I was standing on a big wad of jello, and then once the ride was over, there I was inside a big huge room. I stood there, not so much scared to move as figuring when you’d just got sucked up by an alien mother ship, and a Gray stood there with a strange weapon, silly or not, calm and reasoned introspection and a hesitancy to make any sudden moves might be a good idea.

 

“Welcome on board,” the alien then said with a man’s voice — actually, it sounded like Jimmy Carter, because of that recording on Pioneer 10, before they started expanding their vocal repertoire. “We’re just glad to have y’all visit us.”

 

Then I looked over and saw this incredibly gorgeous woman, I mean, a flat-out, gorgeous, tanned blonde, totally naked and with her hair spreading out in all directions like she was in the middle of a hurricane. Very Cosmopolitan. If she was alien, those fuckers had done a damn good job of faking a human, and if she was human, well, she either was incredibly lucky in the big genetic beauty contest or had one hell of a plastic surgeon.

 

“Don’t believe a word they say,” she said. “They’re just out to butt fuck you. And they’ll probably want us to have sex.”

 

“I can live with that,” I said. “I mean, the butt fucking,” I quickly added, because I didn’t want to come on too strong.

 

She laughed at that and walked toward me, her hair still whipping around her face, except when she got close to me I couldn’t feel a breeze. Her hand slid down the sides of my body, down my arms, my waist, and to my biking shorts. With a swift tug she yanked down my pants, raised an eyebrow when she saw I didn’t wear underpants, raised another eyebrow when she saw my Clinton big and throbbing and ready to tutor an intern, and then whipped me around.

 

“Close your eyes and think of England,” she said.

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

Amazon Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

Publisher Book Page http://www.theperseidpress.com/?mbt_book=truck-stop-earth

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/