Friday, March 7, 2014

Radio Hope & Celebrate

Today, I'm happy to have Sean McLachlan's guest post about Egypt and its connection to his new book, Radio Hope!  Take it away, Sean!

Image from Dennis Jarvis via Wikimedia Commons
Ancient Egypt and the Apocalypse
By Sean McLachlan

Don’t worry about the title, I’m not about to start talking about how aliens built the pyramids and left a secret hieroglyphic code predicting the end of the world.  If you want New Age archaeology, watch cable TV.

Instead I’m going to tell you about the first time my mind was blown and how that indirectly affected my writing a post-apocalyptic novel twenty-four years later.  For some reason the Discovery Channel didn’t want to do a documentary about that.

Back when I was twenty-year-old archaeology student, I visited Egypt. I spent a wonderful month traveling up the Nile seeing every ancient site I could along the way.  The most impressive by far was the temple complex at Karnak.  At its heart is the Grand Hypostyle Hallway in the Precinct of Amun-Ra.  It’s a forest of towering columns all covered in hieroglyphics.  I sat in there the entire morning, awed, watching the light and shadows move over the ancient writing.

I’ve been to hundreds of archaeological and historical sites since then, but that place has always remained vivid in my memory.  Its grandeur, its mystery, its sheer size, all made a permanent impression.

In my post-apocalyptic novel Radio Hope, the action takes place barely a century after the fall of civilization, and yet that civilization seems almost as remote to my characters as ancient Egypt seems to us.  Only the very old had grandparents who remembered when cars sped down highways and the skies were full of airplanes.  Only a few settlements have electricity and virtually no one has seen a functioning computer.  In fact, most younger people think all the stories of a global communication network that brought libraries and movies into people’s homes are just fairy tales.  Sure, the Old Times were great, but the people were only human, not miracle workers.

And yet, there’s something magical about the ruins from the Old Times.  In this new toxic world the largest “city” has only three thousand people, while the ruins of the Old Times looked like they could house tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands.  Stories that the bigger cities had populations in the millions are exaggerations, of course.

And what will the great-grandchildren of my characters think?  By then all the computers will be dead, the photovoltaic panels degraded, the old magazines all faded away.  How much more mythical will those old ruins seem then?  If they wander through the rubble of London or Los Angeles, will they even recognize that human beings had built these great cities?

Maybe they’ll think up aliens to explain it all.  It will be a post-apocalyptic version of New Age archaeology.  At least there won’t be TV shows about it.

Sean McLachlan is an archaeologist turned writer who is the author of several books of fiction and history. Check him out on his blog Midlist Writer.

In a world shattered by war, pollution and disease. . .
A gunslinging mother longs to find a safe refuge for her son.
A frustrated revolutionary delivers water to villagers living on a toxic waste dump.
The assistant mayor of humanity's last city hopes he will never have to take command.
One thing gives them the promise of a better future--Radio Hope, a mysterious station that broadcasts vital information about surviving in a blighted world. But when a mad prophet and his army of fanatics march out of the wildlands on a crusade to purify the land with blood and fire, all three will find their lives intertwining, and changing forever.



This week I'm celebrating:

1) I only wrote 2k on my WIP this week *facepalm* but 2k is better than nothing, right?  And there's always next week to try, try again.
2) I finished a guest blog post for Tara Chevrestt's blog Book Babe.  She does a special feature every week on a strong heroine from a book. So if you have a book with a strong heroine, TARA WANTS YOU to write a piece about her.  For more details, go here: Book Babe: Seeking Strong is Sexy Heroines for 2014.
3) A lovely 5-star review popped up on Amazon from Lori at Contagious Reads Reviews.  Normally, I don't crow about my reviews here, but since I just did a HUGE read-for-review giveaway on Library Thing, and Lord knows what will be coming down the pike in the next few weeks *cowers in the corner* I'm going to celebrate this great review now!

Do you think an author should read reviews on their book?  What about strong heroines -- do you write them or like them in the books you read?

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is follow the link and put your name on the Mr.Linky list, and then be sure to post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! 

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