Liberty Bell and the Last American

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From September 4th through September 18th, my Evenmere novel, The High House, will be one of a number of books in a BookSweeps giveaway. The winner will get a lot of swell Tolkien related merch and 30 fantasy novels. The particulars can be found by clicking on:


Jess Flarity, a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, is presenting a paper at the Northeast Modern Language Association about my rewrite of the Night Land. He interviewed me on Zoom about the book. Unfortunately, I caught covid two days before the interview and was a bit out of it, even forgetting to turn my camera on for the first few minutes, but it can be found here.

Before I wrote The Back of the Beyond, I wrote another novel entitled Liberty Bell and the Last American. I set it aside for a time, but it’s now available on Amazon as an ebook or print edition. Here’s the premise:

Americans love their Constitution. In seventeen-year-old Liberty Bell’s era it has become a myth.

Centuries after the Great Blackout obliterates the world’s digitized information, America’s history is forgotten. Only confused legends remain, written in The Americana, a book depicting a golden age where famous Americans from different eras lived and interacted with one another at the same time.

Raised on the stories and ideals from The Americana, Liberty Bell joins secret agent Antonio Ice on a quest for her country. But in the Old Forest, forgotten technologies are reawakening. Historic figures such as Albert Einstein, Harriet Tubman, and Thomas Jefferson are coming to life.

The source of their return, a mystery hidden since before the apocalypse, lies waiting for Liberty. Her knowledge of The Americana holds the key to unraveling the riddles of the past.

Will the American continent return to the freedom of Liberty’s forefathers? Or will it descend into a dark age of tyranny? The choices she makes will determine its fate. For, as The Americana says, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it—and forfeit all coupons, discounts, and travel miles.”

Filled with quotations from exceptional Americans, here is a humorous and poignant celebration of America and its Constitution. For a list of the quotations by chapter go here.

Part of the mythology for Liberty Bell comes from my short story, The Battle of York, which originally appeared in The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy and was later reprinted in both Tor Books’ Year’s Best SF 10 and in Lightspeed Magazine. It can be read online for free here, including an audio version. There is also an interview on the site.

Besides writing books, I’m also a musician and recording engineer. A number of years ago, I wrote an album’s worth of music based on my novel, The High House. At the time, I was raising my family, teaching fulltime, and writing books, so I tinkered with recording and producing the music off and on. Now that I’m no longer teaching, I’ve finished the album. Is it any good? Beats me. But it’s now available for download on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc. Cover art by Scott Faris. Additional mixing and production by Chris Neal. To hear snippets, go to my Music tab.

I recently received an email from science journalist Charles Q. Choi, who has written for Scientific American, The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Geographic News, and many others. I’m familiar with his articles in Scientific American. He’s written a review of my novel, The Back of the Beyond on his website. I didn’t click on the link at first, thinking the email might be from an imposter, pretending to be a famous journalist. I’m thrilled to hear from him. The review can be found here

A short story of mine, Cage of Honor, has been published in issue #4 of editor Howard Jones’ fun pulp magazine, Tales from the Magician’s Skull. These kinds of stories are enjoyable to write.