Monday, June 22, 2009

Seasons Change

Summer is really kicking into high gear this week with forecasts of hot, humid weather in the Upper Midwest. And while we should cling to the all-too-short season for all its worth, we should also recognize that the falling leaves and crisp air of autumn harken in the not-too-distant future. The pain of letting go of summer and embracing fall should be just a tad bit easier this year with the release of two much anticipated books.

One comes out just as summer begins its farewell:

This is the culminating novel in Ferrigno's post-apocalyptic Assassin trilogy, following Prayers for the Assassin (2006) and Sins of the Assassin (2008), which was recently selected as a finalist for the Edgar Award. Key leaders are planning to reunite the U.S., long divided into an Islamic Republic and a Christian Bible Belt. Elite Muslim warrior Rakkim Epps' wife, Sarah, believes the path to reunification lies in retrieving a relic of Christ's cross kept in a safe room beneath Washington, D.C., an area long looted by scavengers known as zombies who are willing to risk contamination from nuclear fallout in order to retrieve and sell treasured items. Also interested in reuniting America is the Old One, a 150-year-old despot who has achieved near immortality through genetic engineering. Now, though, his time is running out as his body begins to reject enhancements to his system. He sends his ruthless, voluptuous daughter, Baby, to recruit Rakkim into his plan to achieve world domination. Ferrigno wraps up his provocative trilogy in grand style, alternating scenes of inventive mayhem with sweeping indictments of spineless politicians and fanatical extremists.

The first two books in the series have been great fun to read and I expect more of the same with "Heart of the Assassin." You can read the first chapter at Robert Ferrigno's Blog.

The second release will come when fall is already underway:

There is no product description yet at Amazon, but this is a pretty summary of We Are Doomed:

Derbyshire aims in this book to pour cold water on all "schemes for political improvement," both at home and abroad, to argue that our civilization is in its twilight, and to show that while there are things we could do to save the situation, we won't do any of them, because we have sunk into a collective mindset that won't let us. Hence: We are doomed.

It's not a frivolous subject. Still, every sinking ship should, like the Titanic, have a band playing on deck as she goes down. He aims to bring the bad news with a light touch, to highlight some of the ironies, and to emulate the late, great Samuel Beckett, who seasoned his sermons on futility ("we give birth astride a grave") with jokes and slapstick. Furthermore, the acquiescence of conservatives in the happy talk has been a big part of the problem. That should never have happened. Conservatism ought to be pessimistic. It has always had a strong streak of pessimism, from Hobbes and Burke, through Lord Salisbury and Calvin Coolidge, to Pat Buchanan (DEATH OF THE WEST) and Mark Steyn (AMERICA ALONE) in our own time. Derbyshire aims to out-gloom all of them, thereby sparking a needed debate within conservatism as to the proper temperament of the movement.

A tome sure to warm the cold hearts of conservative curmudgeons everywhere. While I don't share Derbyshire's sense of existential doom in the higher matters (with God there is always hope), when it comes to the affairs of men I find myself becoming more and more pessimistic with the passing years. Happily pessimistic of course.

Best to pre-order these two books now. Summer'll be over before you know it.

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