IndieReader Official Review -- "In a post-apocalyptic world, trans-human scientists fight a deadly disease while rebels battle with the leaders of Earth's last Commonwealth. ... This is the beginning of a complicated and intricate science fiction epic. ... The characters' personalities and backgrounds are revealed bit by bit in the course of the story, naturally and believably, so that they appear as three-dimensional people with real backgrounds and understandable motivations - no cardboard heroes or villains here. THE SONG OF THE JUBILEE is a vigorous yet thorough introduction to a very promising new science fiction world."
Rowena Hoseason, Top 50 Reviewer (Amazon UK) -- "Dazzling. That's the impact of this intro to an extensive dystopian sci-fi saga. The first book in a series of five, [THE SONG OF THE JUBILEE] sets the scene and themes in a complex, carefully crafted future history. ... [It's] a relatively short book. It contains a complete story arc, but it is only the tip of the overall tale. If you find yourself intrigued by the extensive cast of characters and the unfolding multiple scenarios, then you'll want to hop straight on to the next in the series, [THE GAMBIT WITH PERFECTION]."
"The Phantom of the Earth is very thought-provoking and raises questions not just about what we would do in the event of an apocalypse but how we associate today in our society."
From the Author
It was a pleasure to edit Raeden Zen's Phantom of the Earth Series, a subterranean post-apocalyptic that readers of hard science fiction will enjoy. As much credit as Raeden deserves for getting the science right, consulting with leading researchers in the field of synthetic biology and synthesizing information from a wealth of primary sources, what makes this series most compelling for me is the intergenerational conflict it explores. At its heart, this is a story about two families, the Selendias and the Barão-Rheas, who share a common goal of reclaiming earth's surface for humanity. But they come from factions with very different ideas about how much personal liberty the citizens of Beimeni should sacrifice to achieve this aim.
Eternal partners Broden Barão and Damosel Rhea, both scientists, work within Chancellor Masimovian's regime to defeat the plague that drove humankind underground. High achievers within a society that prizes scientific progress, they have every reason to accept the status quo, even if that means banishing underachievers to the Lower Level and sending insurgents to their deaths on the earth's surface. At the series' outset, the Barão-Rheas consider their lives forfeit to the greater cause of humanity's survival, just like anyone else.
Meanwhile, Johann Selendia, interim president of the resistance movement, strives to free his father from imprisonment and keep his underdeveloped brother from harm. The urgency behind this mission is both tactical and personal given that Johann's father, the founder of the Liberation Front, stands to reveal sensitive secrets if he cracks under interrogation. At stake are the lives of millions of members of the Liberation Front, including children, a rare sight in the commonwealth, where babies are developed into adults in a matter of days.
What I so enjoy about this series is that neither death nor banishment can extinguish the true history of the Great Commonwealth of Beimeni, which surfaces bit by bit despite the efforts of those in power to snuff it out. A five-book series is the perfect format to advance this big-canvas story, giving us first a glimpse, then a footing, and finally the full scope of the world Raeden Zen has created. From book to book, children, siblings, and compatriots take up the flag for their cause before it hits the ground. Endings are therefore beginnings, the line between good and evil blurry at best. Discovering Beimeni along with its characters is an intense ride that reaches epic heights by the series' end--an experience not to be missed.
-Erin Wilcox, Editor
ABOUT THE EDITOR
The former nonfiction editor of Drunken Boat and copyeditor for Alaska Quarterly Review, Erin Wilcox has edited some of the finest talent of our day, from literary legend Grace Paley to 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner Gregory Pardlo. Erin maintains a vigorous freelance editorial practice specializing in literary and speculative fiction. She has edited work nominated for Hugo and Pushcart Prizes, and her clients have placed work with big-5 publishers and reached top-ten status in the Kindle store. Erin writes for trade and scholarly journals such as Copyediting, Text, and The Rumpus. Her creative work has been featured in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Praxis: Gender and Cultural Critiques (SUNY Oneonta), Cold Flashes (University of Alaska Press), and The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press). Her story "Half a World Away" was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize.