S. M. Stirling is the author of many science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Novels of the Change and the Shadowspawn series. A former lawyer and an amateur historian, he lives in the Southwest with his wife, Jan.
What is the foundation of our civilization? asks Stirling (Conquistador) in this rousing tale of the aftermath of an uncanny event, "the Change," that renders electronics and explosives (including firearms) inoperative. As American society disintegrates, without either a government able to maintain order or an economy capable of sustaining a large population, most of the world dies off from a combination of famine, plague, brigandage and just plain bad luck. The survivors are those who adapt most quickly, either by making it to the country and growing their own crops-or by taking those crops from others by force. Chief among the latter is a former professor of medieval history with visions of empire, who sends bicycling hordes of street thugs into the countryside. Those opposing him include an ex-Marine bush pilot, who teams up with a Texas horse wrangler and a teenage Tolkien fanatic to create something very much like the Riders of Rohan. Ultimately, Stirling shows that while our technology influences the means by which we live, it is the myths we believe in that determine how we live. The novel's dual themes-myth and technology-should appeal to both fantasy and hard SF readers as well as to techno-thriller fans. Agent, Russell Galen. (Aug. 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
In an instant marked by a blinding flash of light, the world changes forever as modern technology ceases to function. Those who survive the initial Change include pilot Michael Havel, who leads his stranded passengers out of the wilderness in search of civilization's remnants. Wiccan folksinger Juniper Mackenzie, her daughter, and a few friends flee to the Mackenzie's cabin, where they hope to relearn old skills and grow food to feed themselves and others. The author of The Peshawar Lancers once again starts with a global catastrophe, this time building a stunning speculative vision of a near-future bereft of modern conveniences but filled with human hope and determination. Highly recommended. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Praise for Dies the Fire
"A powerful, convincing adventure with a large cast of ordinary and extraordinary people. Don't miss it."--Harry Turtledove
"A stunning speculative vision of a near-future bereft of
modern conveniences but filled with human hope and determination.
Highly recommended."--Library Journal "Post-apocalypse novels
often veer either too heavily into romantic Robinsonades or
nihilistic dead ends. But Stirling has struck the perfect balance
between grit and glory."--Science Fiction Weekly "Stirling
shows that while our technology influences the means by which we
live, it is the myths we believe in that determine how we live. The
novel's dual themes--myth and technology--should appeal to both
fantasy and hard SF readers as well as to techno-thriller
fans."--Publishers Weekly "Fans of apocalyptical thrillers like
Stephen King's The Stand will find Dies the Fire
absolutely riveting...a fantastic epic work."--Midwest Book