|Paperback: 394 pages
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press (2012)
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Edwin Blair – History Teacher and Time Traveler from the year 2136.
Abraham Lincoln – 16th President of the United States.
Noam Chomsky argues that communication with aliens would be impossible. Stephen Hawking argues that it would be extremely unwise even to try. What if it were absolutely necessary to do so? This question arises with extreme urgency at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, in this time-travel, alternate-history trilogy, A New Birth of Freedom.
This book continues at the exact point where the previous entry The Visitor ended. We find the characters in search of two “Indians” known as Big Mouth and White Hat. This search wll hopefully enable Blair and the President to communicate with the alien species. This kind of fills in one of the areas that seemed rather weak in the previous book. It was established that the aliens knew things because we wanted them to, but then I had the question, why didn’t Blair just want them to know English. To get around this, the author sets up a chain of communicators that to me really didn’t make sense or serve any purpose except to throw some historical characters in there. I still don’t understand why they couldn’t just learn English.
One thing that I did appreciate in this book, is that we see Blair, who was always disgusted with the idea of how slaves were treated as less than human, showing the same characteristics towards the alien species. In this way, they contrast the two societies and I felt like that was a nice touch and showed that any one of us is capable of carrying some kind of prejudice around.
Overall, outside of a few technical issues I found the story to be enjoyable. I look forward to Volume 3 and finding out how things ended for Mr. Blair and what exactly the Aliens were wanting. For alternate history, Civil War, and sci fi fans, check this book out and be sure to stop back by and let us know what you thought.
About the Author
Robert Pielke, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, now lives in Claremont, California.
He earned a B.A. in History at the University of Maryland, an M. Div. in Systematic Theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and a Ph. D. in Social Ethics from the Claremont Graduate School.
He taught on ground and online for countless years at George Mason University in Virginia, El Camino College in California and online for the University of Phoenix. As a professor, he published a variety of articles, including an analysis of political labeling (“Political Typology: A Suggested Clarification” – in Reason Papers), a phenomenological depiction of science fiction (“Star Wars vs. 2001: A Question of Identity” – in Extrapolation and elsewhere), an ethical appraisal of humanity’s eventual encounter with extra-terrestrials (“Humans and Aliens: A Unique Relationship” in Mosaic) and an exploration of sex roles (“Are Androgyny and Sexuality Compatible” in Mary Vetterling-Braggin’s “Femininity” “Masculinity” and “Androgyny” – A Modern Philosophical Discussion – Littlefield Adams & Co.).
Now happily retired from “the job,” he is doing what he always wanted to do since he wrote his first novel at ten in elementary school. It was one paragraph, three pages long and, although he didn’t know it at the time, it was alternate history. Since then, in addition to his academic writings in ethics, logic, and popular culture, he has published short stories in Hard Copies and Phoebe, a feature articles in Cinefex, film reviews for Video Update and both fiction and non-fiction books: an analysis of rock music, You Say You Want a Revolution: Rock Music in American Culture, a boring academic treatise, Critiquing Moral Arguments, a savagely satirical novel on America and its foibles, proclivities and propensities, Hitler the Cat Goes West, and an alternate history, science fiction novel, The Mission.
Most recently, he has updated and revised his book on rock music and it is being republished by McFarland & Co. as Rock Music in American Culture: The Sounds of Revolution. Alternate Dimensions Press has published A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor, the first book of an alternate history/time-travel/first-contact science-fiction trilogy. The second of the three, The Translator, is soon to be released.
He swims daily, skis occasionally, cooks as an avocation, watches innumerable movies, collects rock and roll concert films, is an avid devotee of Maryland crabs and maintains a rarely visited blog filled with his social and political ravings. His favorite film is the original Hairspray; his favorite song is “A Day in the Life;” his favorite pizza is from the original Ledo Restaurant in College Park, MD; and he is a firm believer in the efficacy of “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” Somehow his family and friends put up with him.
*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Nicole at Tribute Book Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.