Sunday, May 28, 2017

What is Alan Smale reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Alan Smale, author of Eagle and Empire: The Clash of Eagles Trilogy Book III.

His entry begins:
I’m generally reading several books at the same time, both fiction and non-fiction. Since most of what I write these days is alternate or twisted history I’m continuously reading for research, either central or tangential to the story I’m working on or about to start. I’m a knowledge junkie, so this is kind of fun, but it does mean that after five years of writing the Clash of Eagles series and focusing mostly on research, I faced a solid backlog of the fiction that I hadn’t gotten around to when it came out – some of it by my friends, which was particularly embarrassing. Plus, I’m now making a point of reading respected alternate history novels that I missed along the way.

Good examples of the latter are Lion’s Blood and Zulu Heart, an alternate history duology by Steven Barnes. Having just deconstructed North America and rebuilt it for myself, with a Roman invasion of the continent when the Mississippian Culture was at its height, I was interested to see someone else’s take. The Barnes novels postulate an America colonized by the nations of Africa rather than of Europe, and thus with switched racial roles: the big plantation homes are owned by a powerful Islamic African aristocracy, while the slaves in the fields are generally white Northern Europeans. It’s...[read on]
About Eagle and Empire, from the publisher:
The award-winning author of Clash of Eagles and Eagle in Exile concludes his masterly alternate-history saga of the Roman invasion of North America in this stunning novel.

Roman Praetor Gaius Marcellinus came to North America as a conqueror, but after meeting with defeat at the hands of the city-state of Cahokia, he has had to forge a new destiny in this strange land. In the decade since his arrival, he has managed to broker an unstable peace between the invading Romans and a loose affiliation of Native American tribes known as the League.

But invaders from the west will shatter that peace and plunge the continent into war: The Mongol Horde has arrived and they are taking no prisoners.

As the Mongol cavalry advances across the Great Plains leaving destruction in its path, Marcellinus and his Cahokian friends must summon allies both great and small in preparation for a final showdown. Alliances will shift, foes will rise, and friends will fall as Alan Smale brings us ever closer to the dramatic final battle for the future of the North American continent.
Visit Alan Smale's website.

The Page 69 Test: Clash of Eagles.

The Page 69 Test: Eagle in Exile.

The Page 69 Test: Eagle and Empire.

Writers Read: Alan Smale.

--Marshal Zeringue