|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Monday, June 25, 2012
Pyr, the energetic and immensely respected publisher of the US editions of my novels The Night Sessions and The Restoration Game, is the science fiction and fantasy imprint of the even more widely respected humanist and rationalist publisher Prometheus Books. That thought always leaves me with a wicked wee smile, because I knew Prometheus Books decades before they knew me.
I first came across some of their output in the National Secular Society's old bookshop on Holloway Road, and man, it was like discovering that you had a whole unknown branch of your family who'd made it big in America. And they'd been there for generations. Robert Ingersoll! A Civil War hero, in his day the most popular lecturer in America, and they had him in print. Thomas Paine! A Founding Father, one of British rationalism's own legendary figures, and they had him in print. Along with current writers who were already on my read-everything-they-write list: Martin Gardner! Isaac Asimov!
And lots more. They're not in any way narrow or sectarian in their rationalism. They even publish books by Calvin. (And Hobbes.)
Books such as Arthur Strahler's sledgehammering geological labour of love Science and Earth History: the Evolution/Creation Controversy, and Paul Kurtz's wise, pragmatic Forbidden Fruit: the Ethics of Secularism were, looking back, essential reading in preparation for writing my own first novel, The Star Fraction. More recently, Randell Helms' Gospel Fictions and Victor J. Stenger's God: The Failed Hypothesis were somewhere in the background of The Night Sessions.
So I'm very, very proud that Prometheus is running a full-page ad in a forthcoming issue of the atheist magazine Secular World, showing off some of their featured books, and that The Night Sessions is included, in a box of its own at the foot.