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‘Spero’ (Hope) is one of those Latin words that you sort of know, even if you were lucky enough to attend a school which didn’t obstinately prioritise fluency in dead languages.  It is incorporated in quite a few modern English words, most obviously ‘desperate’, or ‘de – sperate’, meaning literally ‘without hope’.  Fortunately, although the times that AR Horvath is writing about may indeed be desperate, the quality of the writing itself is far from it.

Spero elaborates on the events described in ‘Fidelis’, but starts and ends in different places.  This may sound like an odd way to tell a story (book two of a series traditionally picks up where book one finished, after all), but it proves to be a refreshing and clever way to – almost literally – weave a narrative, with a different thread of the future history that Horvath is constructing being plucked out of the tapestry of the whole and examined. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are you interested in this topic? Then you really should consider buying my Birth Pangs series! That’s what the series is about…

As I’ve mentioned before, some readers of my series have indicated that they see resemblances in my series with some recent developments in the United States.  This article by a Russian analyst predicting the disintegration of the United States in 2010 brought in a couple of comments by readers.

So what do I think?

Well, I won’t rule anything out.  Anything can happen and can happen quickly if circumstances are right.  In the Birth Pangs series, it took between thirty and fifty years for events to unfold.  That remains in my mind much more plausible.  What Igor Panarin’s analysis omits is a catalyst of any kind.  In the Birth Pangs series, it was the destruction by atomic bomb of Washington DC.  I don’t see current events trending towards a disintegration any time soon without a suitable catalyst.

We also have to factor in logistics.  Panarin proposes that Russia will take back Alaska and that the Chinese will take the western side of the United States.  But in either case, for this to be accomplished, there have to be boots on the ground.  For Russia/Alaska, this isn’t very difficult.  But for China to dispatch the number of troops needed to occupy and subjugate the American West, there have to be transport vessels, a navy to defend those transports, and then suitable staging areas.  Without a catalyst leading to a massive debilitation of the American military, such conditions are unattainable in the near-term.  At best, China could stage an invasion from Mexico.

It is that kind of scenario that the Birth Pangs series envisions but even then Mexico has to want to go along with the Chinese. My series explains why Mexico goes along with the Chinese.  it is odd that Panarin thinks that the Mexicans wouldn’t take California and Arizona for themselves. Why would La Raza allow that?

Also, without the needful catalyst, it is difficult to imagine any kind of dissolution being followed by international occupation.  Panarin underestimates the cultural homogeneity that exists in this country.  I have relatives in numerous states in the union and have no particular loyalty to one American state over another.  To the extent that those in the US have rivalries, they are fairly benign, of the University of Michigan versus The Worthless Ohio Buckeyes type or the Packers versus the Bears or Dallas versus Everyone.  This is profoundly different than the British/Irish rivalry and Chechnya and Georgia versus Russia.

The American Civil War was over something of real substance and not on petty ethnic grounds.  Slavery was a suitable catalyst- no such catalyst is imminent… at least not as long as Hawaii keeps its iron grip on certain birth records.

Another thing Panarin underestimates is the Constitutional right to bear arms.  The fact that there are a lot of guns in this country might support a civil war hypothesis it weakens a foreign invader hypothesis- again assuming there isn’t a catalyst, and in this aspect, one that disarms the average citizen.  Foreign invaders would find it difficult to subdue the American people.  One finds themselves almost wishing someone would try to attack Texas.  I mean, good luck.

Finally, much has been said about the thinning of the American military but this isn’t really accurate.  Yes, we have American soldiers spread throughout the world but barring a global EMP assault (which would also undermine foreign armies) these soldiers could be quickly recalled.  Not only that, but the fact that they’ve been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan means that American soldiers have something that most of the world’s armies do not have- battle hardened troops both at home and abroad.

Finally, thinking in Panarin’s terms, I see no reason why the upper midwest and the East coast wouldn’t remain largely untouched.  Canada isn’t known to be expansionist and precisely what European countries could conceivably lay a hand on the East coast beyond New York, where the only armed people are cops and criminals? Pennsylvania, Georgia, Virginia, etc, are easily a match to Eurpean attackers.

So, all in all, assuming things continue as they have been with no catalysts, I must pronounce Panarin’s hypothesis as untenable, and the similarities to the Birth Pangs series passing and superficial.

Here is Panarin’s map:

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I got word today that Steven McEvoy at has posted a review of book 1, Fidelis.  As you can guess from the review, I’ll be definitely interested to read his review of book 2, Spero.  I hope I was able to sustain Steven’s interest!

Fidelis is the best speculative fiction I have read since the early 80’s. Reminiscent of Heinlein’s writings with the skills of a master wordsmith, A.R. Horvath has created an amazing world and looks to a possible future that is dark and brooding. He creates a world in which the United States has entered a second dark ages after a military defeat. The writing is superb, the characters believable and engaging. As you read you become transported into the events by Horvath’s skill with the pen for he draws you in and captivates you. His storytelling is masterful.

Read the rest of the review.

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Jean Heimann has posted a review of Spero on her blog.  She also had reviewed FidelisCheck out her Spero review! (The link to her review of Fidelis is posted on that same page)


Press Release at I-News.

(I-Newswire) – La Crosse, WI.  Even though A.R. Horvath’s Fidelis has been available since 2006, positive reviews still are arriving.  These arrive in the midst of rumors that Fidelis is going to be released in hard cover for the Christmas season.

Though openly a Christian author, Horvath argues that he considers himself to be an author who is a Christian and not an author creating Christian literature.  That said, Ms. Heimann’s review makes it clear that Christians will approve of many of the themes percolating within his book.

For example, she writes: Put quite simply, Fidelis depicts the battle of good vs. evil. Similar in nature to the writings of C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien, Fidelis bears a Christian theme, includes Scripture passages, and is rich in Christian symbolism.  Other comparisons are invoked merely in the title of her review:An Alternative to Harry Potter.

Though the Christian symbolism is clear in many cases, Ms Heimann adds, Both Christians and non-Christians alike will find Fidelis enjoyable, as it focuses on man’s universal struggles of good vs. evil and truth vs. propaganda. Fidelis is an action- packed, imaginative fantasy that subtly instructs, entertains, and intellectually provokes the reader. It is fascinating reading.

This sentiment is echoed in another favorable review that is recorded on Horvath’s discussion forum posted by a secular humanist, Full of fascinating characters, replete with Tolkeinesque battle sequences and poetical songs, woven with biblical themes and tied up with some extremely fine writing Anthony Horvath’s ‘Fidelis’ is a must-read for fans of the genre which he has single-handedly created with his first novel. Quite an achievement.

Horvath says that this reaction is exactly what he wanted to generate. I wanted to produce a story that just about anyone would enjoy but would allow me to explore themes that are important to me from a perspective that is important to me.  As the later books are released, I think these themes will continue to be fleshed out, and if I am as successful with them as I seem to be with Fidelis people will enjoy the yarn, whether they agree with me or not.

Horvath is available for interviews, seminars, and lectures and can be reached best at his email address at author@ Heimann’s review can be found at her blog at or by by visiting A.R. Horvath’s web page at  Horvath maintains a Christian ministry site at


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