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"A Thriller for the 21st Century"

 

 

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FAQ about SECOND EDEN

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What category does the book fall into?

“It is a Science vs. Religion thriller, though some have categorized it as a Sci-Fi thriller in the mode of Michael Crichton.”

Can you synopsize the plot for us?

“Sure. A cynical defense analyst becomes embroiled in a government cover-up of an indisputable UFO incident and its relationship to an enigmatic book brought back from Mars. But when the book’s meaning is revealed, human history will have to be re-written and popular religious beliefs re-examined.”

What is that curious symbol that appears on the cover of the novel?

“A detailed answer to that question will give away the plot. But I can say that it is a variation of the Egyptian ankh. It appears in the prologue and again and again, with increasing significance, until the very end of the novel.”

This seems to be the most politically incorrect book I’ve read recently. Care to comment?

“Yes. Rampant PC in our country was one motivation for writing the book. I suppose if you are offended by the notion that you have Free Will and that consequently you are responsible—and accountable—for the choices you make, you may be put off by the book’s theme. People have great power. With great power comes great responsibility.”

The book has a surprising ending. You could take it as good or as VERY bad. What was your intention?

“I gave a lot of thought to the ending. One reason novels are such a unique and wonderful experience is that the reader is allowed—no, encouraged—by the writer to fill in the cracks and crevasses, and in the end to create his own story out of the book. I intended the ending to be ambiguous, so that each individual could react in his own way, depending on his own worldview and, more importantly, on his personal view of his or her own spiritual authority.”

Is this book anti-Christian? Anti-religion?

“Heavens, no! No pun intended. In fact, the key theme of the book is inclusiveness, whereas—sadly—virtually all religions today are exclusive. If you aren’t with them, you’re against them, so to speak, or at least doomed to purgatory. Islam is the most poignant example of this. No, Second Eden postulates that science and mysticism can actually coexist—are inextricably intertwined, in fact—, leading to a new view of spirituality that avoids the need to be ‘against’ anyone.”

How much science do you need to understand to enjoy the book?

“The bookstores have labeled the book—wrongly—as science fiction. It’s really a thriller/suspense novel with spiritual and near-future scientific themes. While every effort is made to keep the scientific lingo to a bare minimum, there is some discussion of DNA research and its implications for terrorism, stealth technology, paleontology, anthropology—especially as it relates to the sudden emergence of fully human, in the modern sense, hominids somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago—and more, but it’s pretty much written at a lay-person level.”

Some think the book is anti-feminist. What do you say to that?

“I prefer to think it’s pro-motherhood. After all, Molly is an accomplished physician and scientific researcher, but her dream is to be a married mother. The book doesn’t denigrate the role of women; to the contrary, it exalts the unique role of women. We in American seem to have forgotten that only a woman can be a mother. Only a woman can have that singular, bio-chemically-based bond with an infant that is denied to men. The bond depends, interestingly enough, on smell; it’s imprinted at birth, so another woman cannot fulfill the unique role that the birth mother has been given. Many people today have bought into the lie that children are little adults that can be raised no differently than domesticated animals, on the equivalent of farms by hired hands; in other words, it doesn’t matter whose hands those are. Women have bought into the lie that motherhood is not only not a worthy career but that it is not as valuable—nor as valued—as traditional male careers.”

What’s the main message of the book?

“There is divinity in each of us. Each of us is far more powerful than we know. But with great power comes great responsibility. We are responsible for our choices and those choices have consequences, though NO consequences involve “permanent fatal errors,” to use the infamous failed-email announcement. Moreover, no one’s ultimate success is ever in doubt, no matter how unpleasant the paths down which some meander may be. That’s why I say: Second Eden proves that life is not like a box of chocolates. Rather, it’s like a circle: no matter where you start your journey and no matter which way you go, you always end up home.”

Who are your favorite writers?

“John Steinbeck for his highly crafted descriptions. Ernest Hemingway for his spare, incisive prose. Robert Ruark for his unerring sense of adventure. And Michael Crichton for making science fiction utterly believable.”

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