Guest Post by Sylvia Engdahl, Author of Stewards of the Flame12:21 AM
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Sylvia Engdahl, author of Stewards of the Flame to Marta's Meanderings. Sylvia is virtually touring the blogosphere in October on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion! Sylvia was gracious enough to agree to a guest post today, and I hope you enjoy her post as much as I do. Please feel free to leave comments for Sylvia!
Do you wonder how far government control of health care might go in a future society? Stewards of the Flame is science fiction, but it’s not just for sci-fi fans. In fact none of my books are just for sci-fi fans; people who don’t read much science fiction are more apt to like them than readers devoted to that genre, which is why they don’t fit the genre market and unlike my earlier Young Adult novels such as the Newbery Honor book Enchantress from the Stars, my adult novels are self-published.
Stewards of the Flame is an unusual mixture. The hero is a starship captain and it’s set in a future human colony on another world, but it’s neither an adventure story nor an exploration of strange environments. It’s partly a dystopian novel about trends in our own society that appall me, specifically today’s elevation of medical care over all other human values and the growing involvement of government in personal health care decisions. But the story is also about the so-called paranormal powers of the human mind, such as telepathy and healing. It won a bronze medal in the Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards not in the science fiction category, but in the visionary fiction category. And there’s a romance in it, too, though that’s not its central focus. I call it a science fiction novel when I’m talking to SF enthusiasts, but I don’t like to use that label when describing it to a wider audience.
The protagonists of the story reject their world’s premise that human life is defined merely by the body, that bodies can be endlessly repaired by medical science, and that there is no such thing as death. As one of them says, “We are stewards of something in humankind that our civilization no longer fosters: the awareness that we are more than our bodies, that the human mind and spirit is a tangible force that is no less real for being nonphysical. This awareness is a flame that must not be allowed to die.” But since the government, though oppressive, was established democratically and is supported by the voters, overthrowing it is not an option. So what can a small group of dissidents do to ensure their own freedom?
About Sylvia Engdahl
Sylvia Engdahl is best known as the author of highly-acclaimed Young Adult science fiction novels, one of which was a Newbery Honor book and a finalist for the 2002 Book Sense Book of the Year in the Rediscovery category. However, her trilogy Children of the Star, originally written for teens, was republished as adult SF, and she is now writing fiction only for adults.
Engdahl is a strong advocate of space colonization and has maintained a widely-read space section of her website for many years. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, and currently works as a freelance editor of nonfiction anthologies.
More information about Stewards of the Flame, the topics with which it deals, and its newly-released sequel can be found at www.stewardsoftheflame.com. Her main website is at www.sylviaengdahl.com.
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