Brave new worlds
The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment
July 17, 2021
It has been many years since Frodo managed to get the ring to Mordor, that the Elves left earth in the hands of men, Aragorn became King and history marched determinedly forward. That brave old world gave way to brave new worlds. Vikings, Marco Polo, Columbus, de Gama, Cortez and others set sail across the seas of earth. Sirs Drake and Walter Raleigh carried out expeditions to the Americas. Peary and Byrd explored frozen arctic lands, both north and south. Armstrong walked the moon and Star Trek took us to “where no one has gone before.” In both fiction and nonfiction writings, we become the explorers of our world and beyond.
While the United States was being populated and tamed from east to west, with wagon trains giving way to railroads and settlements growing into thriving cities, New Zealand was still a wild land of indigenous people dealing with their own European migration. In “Not the Faintest Trace” by Wendy M. Wilson, her main character Sergeant Frank Hardy, finds himself challenged by families in a small settlement to find two lost young men. Did they fall victim to the fast moving river or perhaps to Maori warriors who roam the forests? Is a battle in 1869, six years earlier, a piece of the puzzle? That battle haunts Hardy to this day in 1877. Was he inadvertently to blame, where a Maori King was beheaded and his wife and children viciously taken? If you like earthy and gritty reading, with untamed men being a danger to both man and woman alike, you might enjoy this series. It can be brutal, so beware. But it also provides the reader a historical window into this isolated island, surrounded by Pacific and Indian Oceans, that was once a brave new world.
“From the Dust” by A. R. Colbert takes you into a dystopian society, where the brave new world of the future has barely survived after many great and terrible wars. Developed into a life of controlled and measured safety, is this new world better than the old one? Can man handle having his life being controlled by others, in order to prevent the chaos of the past? Or does a certain segment of society always rebel and break out with challenges to authority? What happens to the young girl Claren who is recognized as an empath? Can she save both worlds, hers and the one outside the fences, outside the reaches of current power?
Then, if your mind can handle racing forward in time to the year 2399, enter the post-apocalyptic world of “Dreamworms” by Isaac Petrov. Civilization had collapsed after deadly diseases, and hundreds of years later a half life has been formed and managed by a religious group, adapting lifespans down to the total of 27 years. This new world has the advantage of Dreamtech and the ability to live current lives through the experiences of history and past memories as they dream. But is this new world in the throes of dying, too? Will experiencing dreams through the history of the past bring any revelations or knowledge that can change their course? Does it make any difference to mankind? In reality does learned experience, by ourselves or others, ever change anything? Or is mankind forever doomed to repeat the same human weaknesses over and over again, with power and greed constantly rising to the surface and ruling man’s choices? Is there anyone to help us, like maybe an alien, to push us past our own shortcomings and failings?
Last but not least in this review is the story about Wren. Spanning from the year 1944 to 1981, maybe we did have alien contact. “His Name Was Wren” by Rob Winters leads the reader down the path of alien possibilities and what could occur, at the right or wrong time of approach. Is there a yearning? To be more than we are, to stop stagnant behavior and flourish instead? Grow into what we could be. Could a Wren open a door to being better at our humanity? Or ruin it forever? Would an alien even care?
It is not by chance that our books are filled with explorers of all kinds, pushing the boundaries of our personal world, reaching, capturing and displaying to us life’s possibilities. Understanding the unknowns and seeing past ourselves is a gift. It’s a big world out there and beyond, beyond boundaries and limits, beyond space and time. If we reach out and stretch what we know to what can further be known, if we are willing to try, what will we find? Are we brave enough to boldly go? Our tools are books, information and knowledge and the experiences of others, both real and fictional. Be present day explorers in your own right. Question anything and everything and reach out for all the possibilities. Adventurer, be brave!
*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.