Title: Dark Sun, Bright Moon
Author: Oliver Sparrow
ISBN or ASIN: B00MAM0ECU
Page count: 502 pages
Genre: Alternate History / Fantasy
Price (Print and Ebook): $2.99 kindle / $22.49 paperback
Oliver Sparrow was born in the Bahamas, raised in Africa and educated at Oxford to post-doctorate level, as a biologist with a strong line in computer science. He spent the majority of his working life with Shell, the oil company, which took him into the Peruvian jungle for the first time. He was a director at the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House for five years. He has started numerous companies, one of them in Peru, which mines for gold. This organisation funded a program of photographing the more accessible parts of Peru, and the results can be seen at http://www.all-peru.info. Oliver knows modern Peru very well, and has visited all of the physical sites that are described in his book Dark Sun, Bright Moon.
Tell us about your book:
Dark Sun, Bright Moon is about events that occurred a thousand years ago in the Peruvian Andes, events which fit with what we know of the region’s history. Readers in South America are slamming the book right now because it explores ancient practices, customs and beliefs that many believe should remain hidden in the past. To learn more, go to http://www.darksunbrightmoon.com/
Share any thoughts you’d like the readers to know about you and/or your book:
You can read Dark Sun, Bright Moon at the level of an adventure novel, with forays into the two separate universes which form and are formed by our own. You will meet apus and saqras from one of these domains, and nameless forces of creation in the other. Grand – ultimately, very grand – events take place. Our principal character, Q’ilyasisa, grows from an oppressed farm girl to a major power. She travels the Amazon jungle to confront civilisation-sapping parasites on sacrificial pyramids, is sent on ambassadorial missions to slavers who are developing a metaphysical weapon of mass control for their own society; she is adopted as the sister of a vast, authoritarian intelligence living in a volcano and ultimately thwarts and destroys that being in order to protect the new society that she has built.
The book is, however, deeper than an adventure novel. It explores a unique metaphysical and social order, developed over ten thousand years of total isolation. It is a world with a very different morality, where the community counts for everything and the individual for very little. One where tranquil harmony is not merely required of a community by the nature of physical reality but enforced on it by its apu. Where there is little technology on our plane of existence – no wheels, no iron, no writing – but where there is an infinitely complex set of machinery to exploit in the other domains. This is sword and sorcery without swords, sorcery or even a dragon. But there is a Cheshire cat of a friendly saqra puma, who ultimately marries or blends with a macaw that is also a fortress. Curious? Read the book.
Where can we go to buy your book?
It is available for sale on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Bright-Moon-Oliver-Sparrow-ebook/dp/B00MAM0ECU
Any other links or info you’d like to share? If you like exploring strange places and very odd ideas, you’ll love my book.
Excerpt from book:
Chapter 1: A Small Sacrifice at Pachacamac
A priest knelt before her, a feather from his head-dress tickling her face. His musky odour of old incense and stale blood was rank, even here on the windy summit of the pyramid. Four other priests held her body tipped slightly forwards, and the pressure that this put on her tired old joints hurt far more than the fine, cold bite of the knife at her neck. Quick blood ran thick down her chin and splashed into the waiting bowl. Then the flow weakened, the strength went out of her and she died, content.
Seven elderly pilgrims had set out for Pachacamac, following their familiar river down to the coast and then trudging North through the desert sands. Two of the very oldest of them needed to be carried in litters, but most were able to walk with no more than a stick to help them in the sand. Lesser members of the community had been delegated to carry what was necessary. These would return home. The elderly would not.
The better-regarded families of the town were expected to die as was proper, sacrificed at the Pachacamac shrine for the betterment of the community. Such was to be their last contribution of ayni, of the reciprocity that assured communal harmony and health. It was also their guarantee of a smooth return to the community’s soul, to the deep, impersonal structure from which they had sprung at birth.
The Pachacamac complex appeared to them quite suddenly from amongst the coastal dunes. They paused to marvel at its mountain range of pyramids, its teeming myriad of ancient and holy shrines.
Over the millennia, one particular pyramid had come to process all of the pilgrims who came from their valley. They were duly welcomed, and guards resplendent in bronze and shining leather took them safely to its precinct.
They had been expected. The priests were kind, welcoming them with food and drink, helping the infirm, leading them all by easy stages up to the second-but-last tier in their great, ancient pyramid. The full extent of the meandering ancient shrine unveiled itself like a revelation as they climbed. Then, as whatever had been mixed with their meal took its effect, they were wrapped up snug in blankets and set to doze in the late evening sun, propped together against the warm, rough walls of the mud-brick pyramid. Their dreams were vivid, extraordinary, full of weight and meaning.
The group was woken before dawn, all of them muzzily happy, shriven of all their past cares, benignly numb. Reassuring priests helped them gently up the stairs to the very top tier. In the predawn light, the stepped pyramids of Pachacamac stood sacred and aloof in an ocean of mist.
Each pilgrim approached their death with confidence. A quick little discomfort would take them back to the very heart of the community from which they had been born. They had been separated from it by the act of birth, each sudden individual scattered about like little seed potatoes. Now, ripe and fruitful, they were about to return home, safely gathered back into the community store. It was to be a completion, a circle fully joined. Hundreds of conch horns brayed out across Pachacamac as the dawn sun glittered over the distant mountains. Seven elderly lives drained silently away as the mist below turned pink.