Saboe’s ambitious fiction debut mixes ancient mysticism with science fiction and fantasy.
The book takes place 200 years after the Great Calamity, a catastrophic event that wiped out life on the planet. Soon after, during the Great Awakening, civilization undergoes a spontaneous transition from primitive to advanced thought and technology with no logical explanation. Humans live easily to 500 years of age, but how did it happen? And why are life expectancies suddenly beginning to diminish? There are some who doubt the viability of the unexplained Great Awakening–resisters who adhere to the school of Cosmic Plurality, a taboo belief that other life exists in the universe, and that perhaps civilization’s new higher intelligence was a product of extraterrestrial activity. Reu-Nathor, High Minister of Knowledge, convenes a meeting of the minds at the Citadel, society’s think tank. It is ordained that an expedition of ships will be sent out to discover new trade routes and trade partners on a 12-year mission. Peleg, the young protagonist, is slated as Chief Cartographer aboard the Urbat, one of six ships that fan out across the globe. Caught between adhering to society’s rigid belief system and a quest to answer the unexplained, Peleg sets out on an adventure comparable to Homer’s Odyssey. That this fictionalized account of early civilization reverberates with biblical overtones matters less than its melding of genres–which gives timeless questions new scope and accessibility. In the book’s introduction, Saboe discusses the puzzling reality of OOPARTS (out-of-place artifacts) from different epochs, which today appear in archeological digs. Clearly, the author aims to delve into mysteries and events that have puzzled humanity for millennia. Here he reinvents Sumerian mythology, stitching in themes from the Torah and adding his own flourishes of philosophy, theology and geography, in sum asking the question: What if science is wrong? What if, even in precivilization, humankind has always held superior intelligence?
A gripping, first-rate epic that challenges current dogma.