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A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor, by Robert Pielke Book Review | SFReader.com
A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor, by Robert Pielke Genre: Alternate History Publisher: Altered Dimensions Press Published: 2010 Review Posted: 6/17/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor, by Robert Pielke
Book Review by Paul Weiss
Have you read this book?
The eternal paradox of time travel!
Is it possible to change the past without altering or de-constructing the present and its relevant future beyond recognition?
Despite almost certain failure, Edwin Blair, an academic from the 22nd
century studying 19th century American history, has been assigned the
task of visiting the USA, war torn and hemorrhaging from the
self-inflicted wounds it is suffering in the bloodiest conflict in its
history, the American Civil War. A cataclysmic battle in earth's distant
future with a space-faring civilization, from which humanity escaped
alive by the narrowest of margins, has left behind the intelligence that
the invaders will return to earth. They will be landing in the middle
of the Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest conflict of the Civil War, on
the morning of July 3, 1863. Against all odds, with the help of a
skeptical President Lincoln, Blair must persuade the commander of the
Union's forces, General Meade, and his confederate opponent, General
Robert E Lee, to cease hostilities to deal with invaders from another
planet - a threat that they could not even begin to conceptualize let
A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM is a provocative blend of genres -
speculative fiction, sci-fi and alternate history - that brilliantly
uses the irony of slavery and prejudice in early America as a
springboard to deal with considerably less obvious sociological issues
that Pielke is convinced mankind will ultimately face - alien first
contact and communication. Convinced that Noam Chomsky is mistaken when
he suggests that we will be unable to communicate with entirely alien
species and refusing to accept Stephen Hawking's much-publicized fears
about the dire results of alien knowledge of our existence in the
cosmos, Pielke addresses the ultimate question of how we will deal with
the extension to an alien species of what we consider to be inalienable
rights appropriate for humans and humanity.
Pielke's writing style is exceptionally warm, pastoral and easy-going
yet utterly absorbing and fascinating. A wealth of period detail
immerses the reader in the minutiae of life during a turbulent 19th
century America, a time when it was questionable whether the word
"United" would ever be attached to the word "States". Long time fans of
classic sci-fi will joyfully reminisce about their favourite stories
from the likes of HG Wells, Clifford D Simak or Isaac Asimov and sigh
with gratitude at the realization that these writing giants' ability to
combine unforgettable story-telling with thought-provoking social
commentary is being brought to life again in Pielke's debut novel.
Reading A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM was much more than merely
exciting. It was a rare privilege and I look forward with bated breath
to the continuation of a planned trilogy. Highly recommended.
Click here to buy A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor, by Robert Pielke on Amazon