- Series: New Birth of Freedom
- Paperback: 226 pages
- Publisher: Altered Dimensions Press; 2nd edition (August 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1936021234
- ISBN-13: 978-1936021239
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,919,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor 2nd Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Pielke draws in the reader with an intriguing opening section—in which a mysterious figure seeks out Abraham Lincoln in 1849 with a very unusual request—before this historical sci-fi novel goes off the rails. Edwin Blair encounters the future president on a train and pays him to agree to meet with him again in 14 years. In need of cash, Lincoln agrees, and in 1863, while in the White House dealing with the Civil War, Lincoln grants Blair an audience at a turning point in the conflict. Blair reveals himself as a visitor from the distant future, 2163, who needs the help of both the Union and Confederacy to save Earth from alien invaders known as the Pests. While the story will continue in at least one additional volume, Blair's indifference to how his intervention in a seminal event in U.S. history would change the future evidences a failure of imagination that will disappoint sci-fi fans. Civil War buffs will find better fictional depictions of the major figures elsewhere.
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NOTE: Regarding PW's review and the comment about Blair's "indifference," the author is appreciative of the notice -- this indifference is quite intentional! As noted there will be two more novels in this trilogy - so keep reading! ;-).
SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW [7/5/11] "comprehensively well organized; every line and action focused. The real draw is the mystery and excitement. His writing is clean, precise, and perfectly well paced." READ IT AT sanfranciscobookreview.com/science-fiction-fantasy/a-new-birth-of-freedom-the-visitor
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Top Customer Reviews
What grabbed me was the concept of going back in time and talking with someone. I'll confess to having fantacized about doing that and then wondering what I would say and what ought not to be said. Wanted to see how this author would deal with the questions. In this case, the main character begins by seeking out Abraham Lincoln, first when he was a one-term Congressman and then just prior to Gettysburg.
This is speculative fiction/alternative history, somewhat similar to Eric Flint's 1632. As in that yarn, history is meddled with. Suddenly, the Battle of Gettsburg deviates from the course of events established in our history books -- but events take a far more drastic turn than that, because the main character is not the only, um, entity returning to the nineteenth century. And with the massive upheaval all this change brings, there is no way of knowing the future consequences. I was reminded of that 80s movie "Back to the Future," in which images of people not yet born begin to fade from photos.
I think the author has done enough historical research to deliver plausible portraits of Lincoln and all the other characters from that era who become involved. On the other hand, my feeling is that he strays outside certain norms of narrative convention, resulting in scenes that are rather exasperating. Credibility is at risk, too. I mean, even given that time travel is possible, and aliens, toward the end some of the developments are asking too much of the reader. (The term deux ex machina comes to mind more than once.) And then instead of resolving or explaining it, the author tells us to come back for the next installment in Book 2.
I knew immediately that this was a self-published work, because, alas, the very first word in the Introduction is an error. And a good many other typos follow. Possibly something this off-beat could never be handled by mainstream publishers (is anything being handled by mainstream publishers any more?), but I'll continue to grumble about such quality issues until self-published authors pay more attention.
Three stars for the original ideas and daring to do something different. Before finishing his next book, he should find a good critique group and a copy editor.
It's a serial novel and there will be 2 more parts. I eagerly anticipate the next 2 installments.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fabulous premise. Very strange book. Nearly unreadable prose--and evidently, there are more volumes.