My friends at Sojourner Leather have moved their domain to http://leatherjournal.us. These are the folks that create the leather covers for my hard cover editions. They are fantastic. If you search this forum you can find some samples. Of course, they have some posted at their site, too.
"Spero is an imaginative fantasy that subtly instructs, entertains, and intellectually provokes the reader. It is fascinating reading. I'm definitely hooked on this series." Jean Heimann at Catholic Fire.
"...intelligent as well as inspiring..." Terry Barga at whattodoabout.com.The first book in the Birth Pangs series, Fidelis, is Latin for faithfulness. The second book, Spero, is Latin for hope. Spero is an exploration, in fiction, of what hope is and why we need it. It is an exploration of what things are good to put our hope in and what things aren't. In the America of the future portrayed in the Birth Pangs series, all of the things that people have traditionally put their hope in have been brought low. There are no government agencies, no schools, and not even churches. In the face of daily perils, people have to figure out how where they are going to place their hope in dealing with them. In the end, there is one daily peril that surpasses them all: death. Spero is about people- even good people- putting their hope in lesser means to tackle lesser problems and being confronted with the consequences. Spero is a 'discussion' about our chief problems and what solutions, if any, are available to resolve them.
|Buy it on Amazon||Buy it on Amazon||Buy it on Amazon||Buy it on Amazon|
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:
I noticed that I am selling my books for less than Amazon.com so I thought I would look around to see what other prices are.
To my surprise, BarnesandNoble is offering the best prices hands down- even beating me- especially on the hard cover.
Here are current prices:
|Fidelis soft cover||Fidelis hard cover||Spero soft cover||Spero hard cover|
|Birth Pangs (signed)||14.95||24.95||14.95||24.95|
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.
The biggest day of shopping each year is coming up in just a few days. We are all told we must buy buy buy in order to save the economy. Just in time, I am bringing out the first book Fidelis, with a new cover and larger print. This second edition of the soft cover has the same cover as the hard cover of Fidelis. Now, with the Birth Pangs series now consistently themed, you will find that a gift of the Birth Pangs series is an attractive, matching gift for the holidays.
If you recently purchases a copy of Fidelis in the first edition cover, please contact me and I will send out the second edition to you for $10 which includes media mail shipping. This is essentially sending you a copy at cost. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I note that Amazon.com is now selling Spero for $14.35, undercutting me by a good sixty cents! No biggie. I can still do what Amazon.com can’t, though, and that’s sign the books. An autographed set of a second edition Fidelis and first edition Spero is just right for the readers in your life.
In conclusion, make sure that if you buy Fidelis in soft cover that the cover is red and has the ISBN of 978-0979127656. Hopefully, the old one (978-0979127618) will be replaced by outlets like Amazon.com and the reviews transferred over appropriately.