Friday, February 24, 2017

Rarty from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton Guest Post


Blurb

Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage -- an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It's up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn't mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children’s Story. For Adults.

“The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.”
Temple Emmet Williams, Author, former editor for Reader’s Digest


“Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.”
    Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review

. "…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse…tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…profound…a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy." -- Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)

“…sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved…a brilliant writer.” --Readers’ Favorite (Gold Medal)

“Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” —Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author

“…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” -- The Baryon Review





 About the author:

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency.
                                                                                    
Today, he is a retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. The Advance Review Copy of Rarity from the Hollow received considerable praise through Robert learning about the world of books as a novice. The final edition was released to Amazon on December 5, 2016. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert worked for this agency in the early ‘80s and stands by its good works. He continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group psychotherapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

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 Author Contacts:






Guest Post:


 Tired of Politics?
Let’s Make Political Allegory Fun Again!

I’m not sure if Facebook was a friendlier place before Donald Trump announced that he was going to run for U.S. President, but if you visit today it is filled with politics. Some posts are FAKE NEWS while others true. Regardless, divisiveness is a prominent theme of our environments on social media, television, radio, at work, and in our own dining rooms. I have read comments by some people who are sick of politics, worn out, and by others who believe that one of the most famous works of fiction, 1984 by George Orwell, describes today’s reality and believe that it is their mission to warn us all.

Several other dystopian novels have been published in the English language and have described corrupt systems that destroy societies. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, reading has been outlawed, thereby diminishing free and critical thinking. Recently, Donald Trump lashed out at media coverage by alleging that he had been treated unfairly. http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/politics/donald-trump-press-conference-amazing-day-in-history/ Whether this is true or not, the average citizen has no convenient way to judge, but skepticism about whether critical thinking is biased appears to be prominent.

In Brave New Worlds by Aldous Huxley, government forces its citizens into a cycle of endless consumption, perhaps considered by some who question whether Donald Trump has severed his business ties. President Trump’s tweet about Ivanka’s clothing line received reaction. http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/02/08/as-more-retailers-drop-ivankas-clothing-line-president-trump-slaps-back-on-twitter/ It’s my understanding, but nobody can be absolutely certain in this day and age, that Trump’s business ties to Russia are part of an investigation about the extent of the attempt to influence the U.S. elections. Fictional or factual, none of this political stuff is fun to consider.

There are several other novels full of political allegory that are quite disturbing to some readers: Animal Farm by George Orwell, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Children of Men by P.D. James…. I don’t know about you, no matter how prophetic such masterpieces have been found to be, or not, there’s enough going on in life and politics today that’s of serious concern to me. I’ll not be rereading these dystopias anytime soon. I can get all of this type of reading, all that I can handle, on Facebook.

With some exception, I am less familiar with novels that have employed comedy and satire to prompt reflection on political allegory. This is probably a weakness in my reading history, or maybe I’ve become too serious about politics that few such works are coming to mind. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller is one that I could get in the mood to reread given our political environment. So is Mash by Richard Hooker, and Wag the Dog by Larry Beinhart – the government stages a fictional war to cover-up offensive sexual behaviors by a president. Oh, I don’t know about the last one that I mentioned given the settled and dropped lawsuits filed against Donald Trump that have alleged sexual indiscretions. http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2016-11-10/lawsuits-against-donald-trump-unprecedented-for-president-elect I’m not aware of any pending similar filings. But, Trump’s infamous comment about grabbing a woman by her p_______ may cause rereading Wag the Fox to feel too serious to me at this time.  https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/us/donald-trump-tape-transcript.html

Without taking a position on anything political, I have enjoyed watching Saturday Night Live and its lampoon of our president. Since the ratings of the show is at an all-time high, apparently so have a lot of others. http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/saturday-night-live-ratings-18-49-demo-melissa-mccarthy-1201978637/ I’d like to think that the audience has included members of all political parties, religions, classes….


Rarity from the Hollow is my debut novel. It is strong comedic and satiric political allegory not obvious to most book reviewers until Donald Trump became a household name. The novel is a project that has faced an interesting, discouraging, and inspiring uphill climb since inception. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you would like to read a satiric essay about an aspiring author’s introduction to the World of Book, originally published in a beautiful print-only magazine in 2006, Wingspan Quarterly, the essay was recently reprinted, in part, on a blog: “I Found God in Cyberspace” https://gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com/2016/10/25/i-found-god-in-cyberspace-by-robert-eggleton/comment-page-1/#comment-755.

My novel circulated as an Advance Review Copy (ARC) for an extended period of time. Rarity form the Hollow received Gold Medals from two prominent book review organizations, was named one of the best books of 2015 by a Bulgarian Book critic, along with Revival by Stephen King and The Martian by Andy Weir http://codices.info/2015/12/top-5-for-2015-ventsi/ , and received several five and four star reviews by experienced independent book reviewers who post on Amazon. Only one reviewer picked up on a piece of its political allegory, and she missed the prediction in the story that Donald Trump would rise to political power. http://www.pr4us.com/pr-2618-trump-presidency-predicted-in.html

Wendy Tuck, a little known book reviewer whose blog has since been closed, found that the ARC of my novel was: “…a scathing but almost understated description of our consumption/shopping obsessed society. The greed is absolutely mind-blowing and terrifying…. I didn't realize until half way through that the idiosyncratic spelling of the planets' name was Shop Til You Drop - and how deadly serious the powers-that-be were in making mindless but competitive shoppers of everyone in the universe - which ultimately consumes every resource and destroys every planet but the ‘winner’. That will stay with me a long while.” https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1GZO2X6BU2VHB/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B007JDI508

The final edition of Rarity from the Hollow was released to Amazon on December 5, 2016. On January 6, 2017, the first review of the final edition was published, five stars. The closing lines were: "…Brilliant satires such as this are genius works of literature in the same class as Orwell’s 'Animal Farm.' I can picture American Lit professors sometime in the distant future placing this masterpiece on their reading list." https://marcha2014.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/5-stars-for-rarity-from-the-hollowby-robert-eggleton/ On February17, 2017, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes, a critic whose book reviews often appear in the New York Review of Science Fiction, published his review, five stars: "…I know this all sounds pretty whack, and it is, but it's also quite moving. Lacy Dawn and her supporting cast - even Brownie, the dog - are some of the most engaging characters I've run across in a novel in some time…." http://sturgeonslawyer.livejournal.com/

If you are worn out by the ongoing bickering of political enthusiasts, yet remain astute about the political issues of our times, consider the prospect that the early tragedy in my novel amplifies subsequent comedy and satire. You would have to read it to find out how Lacy Dawn, the protagonist, an empowered victim of child maltreatment, convinced Mr. Rump (Bernie Sanders) to talk to Mr. Prump (Donald Trump) about saving the universe. The political allegory includes pressing issues that America is fighting about today, including illegal immigration and the refuge crisis, extreme capitalism / consumerism…. Part of the negotiations in the story occur in the only high rise on planet Shptiludrp, a giant shopping mall and the center of economic governance, now more easily identifiable as Trump Tower. There is no political advocacy in the story, other than sensitizing readers to the huge social problem of child maltreatment, but the allegory is much more obvious now that Donald Trump is a household name.

This morning, I read an interesting and disturbing article about Sweden and its openness to accepting refugees. Once considered “silly” by some book reviewers, while I don’t want to spoil the read for you if you are interested, the characters of Mr. Prump and Mr. Rump in my story are played by giant cockroaches, and the story addresses infestation by cockroaches. Here’s a link to the article that I read this morning: http://freedomdaily.com/kick-the-cockroaches-out-sweden-to-deport-80000-muslim-refugees-over-migrant-linked-violence/

Half of author proceeds from Rarity from the Hollow are donated to support the prevention of child maltreatment. A very touching audio about the nonprofit agency is here: http://www.childhswv.org/

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