Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A New Birth of Freedom: The Translator, Robert G. Pielke (4 stars) Review & Giveaway

A New Birth of Freedom: The Translator Summary

Noam Chomsky argues that communication with aliens would be impossible. Stephen Hawking argues that it would be extremely unwise even to try. What if it were absolutely necessary to do so? This question arises with extreme urgency at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, in this time-travel, alternate-history trilogy, A New Birth of Freedom.

A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor (Book One) Summary

It has taken centuries to recognize that all humans possess certain unalienable rights. There will come a time when we have to consider whether others deserve those rights as well. That time will come on July 3rd 1863. 

When a stranger carrying a shiny, metallic valise steps aboard a train carrying Abraham Lincoln home from a 2 year stint in Congress, everyone stares, wondering about the stranger's odd clothing and strange footware with the word Nike emblazoned on them.

When the strange man shows up in Lincoln's office at the White house 14 years later, still wearing the same clothes, carrying the same valise and looking not a day older, the president and his staff know something is odd.

But when Edwin Blair opens his valise and projects a 3d image of the Earth on Lincoln's wall, then proceeds to tell a fanciful tale about time traveling aliens preparing to land at Gettysburg on July 3rd, they are sure they've met a lunatic.

Unfortunately for them, they're wrong. 

Please visit the A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor 2011 blog tour page for more information.

Prices/Formats: $16.95 paperback, $4.99 ebook
Pages: 394
ISBN: 9781611605426
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Release: November 1, 2012


The Civil War had a huge impact on who we are as a nation. In the A New Birth of Freedom series, it has an even greater impact as an historian from the future travels there to prevent the end of our world at the hands of aliens.

The first book in this science fiction trilogy, The Visitor, sets the stage. Edwin Blair time travels back to meet Abraham Lincoln and then to Gettysburg to try and stop the future destruction of our planet. An alien cube is to land in the middle of the battle, and Blair needs Lincoln's help to orchestrate a momentary truce between the North and the South against a common enemy.

The action continues in the second book, The Translator, as Blair tries to understand the ramifications of changing history. The aliens have momentarily been stopped and a few are being held for interrogation. Blair must use all of his knowledge, combined with the knowledge of the significant historical figures of the time, to figure out how to communicate with aliens (known as pests). Then, he must decide how to use the information.

But nothing is simple when it comes to time travel. If Blair changes things too dramatically, a paradox will occur. One that could wipe out his own existence which would preclude him from ever going back in the first place. What he ultimately figures out is that he can only change things slightly enough so as not to overly affect the future, while still making a lasting small change that he will ultimately understand.

The author does an amazing job with history and the difficult task of exploring time travel and the confusing effects such an ability could have. Civil War buffs will especially love the interactions of a future historian with people like Lincoln and Robert E. Lee. Several times, I was intrigued enough by the events to head to the Internet to look up Civil War dates and facts.

I highly recommend this book to those who love history with a twist and science fiction fans, although I think others will enjoy it as well. While readers could pick up The Translator as a stand alone, it reads better with the background from book one, The Visitor. And don't expect a tidy ending at the end of this book... it definitely leaves you wanting to read the last book in the trilogy.

Note: I am vague about the details of both books for good reason. I don't want to ruin the experience for readers, as the twists and turns are a huge part of the books' allure.

Ratings: 4 stars (for both books)

About Robert G. Pielke

Robert Pielke, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, now lives in Claremont, California. He earned a B.A. in History at the University of Maryland, an M. Div. in Systematic Theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and a Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the Claremont Graduate School.

He taught on ground and online for countless years at George Mason University in Virginia, El Camino College in California and online for the University of Phoenix. Now happily retired from “the job,” he is doing what he always wanted to do since he wrote his first novel at ten in elementary school. It was one paragraph, three pages long and, although he didn’t know it at the time, it was alternate history.

His academic writings have been in the area of ethics, including a boring academic treatise called Critiquing Moral Arguments, logic, and popular culture. Included in the latter is an analysis of rock music entitled You Say You Want a Revolution: Rock Music in American Culture. He has also published short stories, feature articles, film and restaurant reviews. His novels include a savagely satirical novel on America and its foibles, proclivities and propensities, Hitler the Cat Goes West, and an alternate history, science fiction novel, The Mission.

Most recently, he has updated and revised his book on rock music, which is being republished by McFarland & Co.

He swims daily, skis occasionally, cooks as an avocation, watches innumerable movies, collects rock and roll concert films, is an avid devotee of Maryland crabs and maintains a rarely visited blog filled with his social and political ravings. His favorite film is the original Hairspray; his favorite song is “A Day in the Life”; his favorite pizza is from the original Ledo Restaurant in College Park, MD; and he is a firm believer in the efficacy of “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” Somehow his family and friends put up with him.

For more information about the author, please visit his website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and on GoodReads.

This is a blog tour, please visit the A New Birth of Freedom: The Translator blog tour for more stops.

Buy A New Birth of Freedom: The Translator
Amazon: Paperback, Kindle
Whiskey Creek Press: Paperback, ebook

Note: I received a complimentary copy from Tribute Books for review purposes. No other compensation was received. A positive review was not guaranteed or requested; the views expressed are my own.

For more information on Tribute Books, please visit their website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


I'm thrilled to be giving away an ebook copy of A New Birth of Freedom: The Translator to one lucky reader.

To enter to win, please leave your name and email address in the comments below. The contest will close at 5:00pm EST on Friday, February 22.

I will put each name in a hat and have my trusty assistant (my lovely 12-year-old daughter) pick one. 

Good luck!


Bob Pielke said...

Thanks tons for your comments!! And I support the notion of reading the books in order! ;-)

Bob Pielke

Tia Bach said...

I really enjoyed it. An amazing concept. Would love to know when the third one is due?

Bob Pielke said...

I'm in the midst of writing the third one. There will be a twist or two...or three....etc. therein as well! ;-) [You are from Maryland, too??]

Tribute Books said...

Tia, thanks for sharing your thoughts on Bob's book. I'm so happy you enjoyed it.

And thanks for always giving such a nice, detailed review that's spoiler-free :)

Tia Bach said...

Bob - Looking forward to the third.

Nicole - I definitely didn't want to spoil this one. There's some great stuff there! Thanks for including me on the tour.

The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson said...

My ex is an astrophysicist and reasoned this way: Odds are that we are NOT alone in the universe. Logically, we can assume half thef aliens are ahead of us in development and the other half behind us. We don't need to worry about those behind us - it's the ones ahead who might actually be able to approach us. He then supposes that half of THOSE are more peace-loving than we are, but the other half are not. We DO need to worry about those ahead of us and not peace-loving, so we should be careful embarking on SETI programs (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence.)

Thanks for the review - combines so many of my interests, LINCOLN and science fiction - so much fun.