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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 Bookreviewsandmore.ca 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)

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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@ birthpangs.com. Heimann’s review can be found at her blog at http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/2007/10/book-review-harry-potter-alternative.html or by by visiting A.R. Horvath’s web page at http://www.birthpangs.com.  Horvath maintains a Christian ministry site at http://www.sntjohnny.com

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Press Release at 1888.

1888PressRelease) October 05, 2007 – 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@ birthpangs.com. Heimann’s review can be found at her blog at http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/2007/10/book-review-harry-potter-alternative.html or by by visiting A.R. Horvath’s web page at http://www.birthpangs.com. Horvath maintains a Christian ministry site at http://www.sntjohnny.com

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A press release at prlog.

(PRLog.Org)Oct 04, 2007 “ La Crosse, WI. Even though A.R. Horvathâ’s Fidelis has been available since 2006, positive reviews still are arriving. These arrive in the midst of rumors that Fidelisis 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@ birthpangs.com. Heimann’s review can be found at her blog at http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/2007/10/book-review-harry-potter-alternative.html or by by visiting A.R. Horvath’s web page at http://www.birthpangs.com. Horvath maintains a Christian ministry site at http://www.sntjohnny.com

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“Fidelis” follows the path of a man waking up in a broken world that is pockmarked from nuclear strikes and still coping with the lingering effects of a terrible disease. He discovers the equally new landscape of his own soul. Filled with adventure and warfare, as equally compelling is its attempt to explore concepts of truth, valor, manhood, and destiny. The crutches of society have collapsed. The intangible characteristics that make the human race indomitable are now permitted expression. “Fidelis” is the first of the “Birth Pangs” series by author A.R. Horvath.

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LA CROSSE, Wisc., — A.R. Horvath’s new novel, “Fidelis,” is the first of a seven-book story arc that grapples with humanity’s courage and hope in the face of a history of pain and suffering.

“Fidelis” takes place in a not-too-distant or unlikely future, and tells the story of a man crossing the new landscape of an America that has been crippled by disease and ravaged by nuclear strikes, struggling to find his way home. As his journey reveals the horrors and wonders of the altered world, he awakens to realizations about his own soul.

The book wrestles with issues such as truth and propaganda, manhood and bravery, fact, and faith in an adventure story packed with action and suspense.

Horvath, a church worker who became a trucker for a short time, said the series sprang into his mind during his last month on the road when he, like the main character, was separated from his family for long periods of time.

Christians might identify some parallels in Horvath’s novel with the themes in the Bible but Horvath points out that his writing is not geared exclusively, or even targeted, for Christian readers.

“It is an exploration of what it means to be human, and an inquiry into what worldview best explains both man’s goodness, as well as man’s badness,” says Horvath. “You would think after this last century, we would not need to be reminded of man’s badness, but it seems we do. In the Birth Pangs series, no reminder is necessary, just as after the Holocaust no reminder was necessary.”

He continues, “This is one example of where the influence of Rowling, Lewis, and Tolkien come into play. Evil is real in their worlds and there are serious consequences when dealing with it, or ignoring it. Their worlds are not ‘they lived happily after’ worlds. Good people die and stay dead. But there are things worse than death. And there are things stronger than death, too. The undying hope of the human race requires an explanation and not every worldview succeeds in giving one. The clash of worldviews in the face of societal collapse forms the backdrop to “Fidelis.””

To purchase, learn more, or read a sample, visit Horvath’s website www.birthpangs.com. Horvath is also available for interviews and speaking engagements.

Copies of “Fidelis” (ISBN 0979127610) can be obtained through his site, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble.

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This release can be downloaded in pdf and printed by clicking here.

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 CONTACT: A.R. (Anthony) Horvath (author)
PHONE: 608-385-2629
EMAIL:
[email protected]

 

Christian Author Challenges Readers’ Perceptions, Explores True Nature of Humanity in Book, Fidelis La Crosse, WI Few fiction authors seek to challenge their readers with their literature these days. That’s a trend Anthony Horvath would like to see changed. His new novel, Fidelis, is the first of a seven-book story arc that grapples with humanity’s struggle through pain and suffering, and Horvath is not afraid to explore deep issues and topics with his readers.

Fidelis takes place in a not-too-distant or unlikely future, and tells the story of a man crossing the new landscape of an America that has been crippled by disease and ravaged by nuclear strikes, struggling to find his way home. As his journey reveals the horrors and wonders of the altered world, he awakens to realizations about his own soul.

Horvath, a church worker who became a trucker for a short time, said the series sprang into his mind during his last month on the road when he, like the main character, was separated from his family for long periods of time.

The intangible characteristics that make the human race indomitable are expressed as the book wrestles with truth and propaganda, manhood and bravery, fact and religion in an adventure story packed with action and suspense, as well as a deep examination of our own existence.

Christians might identify some parallel of Horvath’s novel with the Epistles of Paul, particularly 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 and 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, but Horvath points out that his writing is not geared exclusively, or even targeted, for Christian readers.

It is an exploration of what it means to be human, and an inquiry into what worldview best explains both man’s goodness as well as man’s badness, says Horvath. You would think after this last century, we would not need to be reminded of man’s badness, but it seems we do. In the Birth Pangs series, no reminder is necessary, just as after the holocaust no reminder was necessary.

An excerpt from the first chapter is available for free online at http://www.birthpangs.com/download-part-of-chapter-1/. The website hosts a spin-off role-playing game and a discussion board frequented by the author.

Fidelis (ISBN 0979127610) is the first book in the seven-book Birth Pangs series. It is available for purchase from http://www.birthpangs.com, as well as Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

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Yea, ok, that was a long time ago now, but I’ve been WAAAAAY too busy to come in here and mention it. Here below is the link to the feature article that was done on me and appeared in a couple of the local papers.  Below the link is the full text to the article.

http://www.holmencourier.com/articles/2007/04/19/features/01author.txt

Holmen author A.R. Horvath  Tony to his friends found inspiration for his debut novel on the road. by Adam Bissen

There is plenty of precedent for that in the American literary tradition, but Horvath didn’t look to racing speeds, madcap adventures or the freedom of the highway when he plotted out his story.

No, when Horvath conceived the trajectory of a planned seven-novel series, he was a professional truck driver, kept away from his family for 10 days at a time as he drove across the country.

After half a year as a truck driver Horvath came off the road, returned to Holmen and wrote Fidelis, book one in his Birth Pangs series, in just four months. Fittingly, it is about one man’s struggle to return to his family after being stranded halfway across the country with obstacles in his path.
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