Out from Edom is an excellent book by J. Patrick Sutton. By profession a lawyer, he wrote such an excellent sci-fi book that I thought he was a professional writer.
I’ve accidentally stumbled upon the book on an e-book reading site, where the author uploaded first 31 chapters of the book. What to say except – it intrigued me enough to attempt to contact mr. Sutton via email on information how to buy the full book since it is
no longer available on Amazon (updated midnight May 28th: Kindle version is available). I didn’t expect a response; what I got was an explanation that the book is currently undergoing a rewrite and full version of previous revision of novel. (Of course, I won’t be sharing it — a promise is a promise is a promise.)
So a few words about the novel, while trying to avoid spoilers. The Irredente is a futuristic society which maintains purity of body, along with a religion. I enjoyed making parallels with regimes from our past, I enjoyed discovering how the author created a new variant of the well-known regimes that caused WWII, I enjoyed the original sci-fi setting…
Or, even better way to put it: Take Asimov’s Foundation/Empire series and a description of a futuristic galactic empire. Now, forget about the empire and add fascist-republican-theocratic regime (I can’t tell if it’s also democratic or not.) Now, throw in some Star Trek/Star Wars/Battlestar Galactica and see it all merge into a new kind of sci-fi social study.
One of the best and most innovative features of this book are what I’d call “future histories”. That means, at the beginning of many chapters, there is a historical overview of some events that happened in the Irredente’s era. So you’re reading this book in book’s past… about events that happen in book’s present… with occasional jump in perspective to book’s future! It’s something similar to those pieces in Asimov’s Foundation that he called Encyclopedia Galactica. Except even better: you actually feel the blur that passage of time has caused. You feel how the historians are guessing about the events and situation in Irredente. That’s nothing to say about the Great Scribe, Asimov: unless you see how masterfully Sutton has written these intros, there will be nothing wrong with Encyclopedia Galactica intros. And there really is nothing wrong; it’s just that Irredente‘s intros are somewhat bettter.
Sadly, in the revision the book is currently undergoing, they might get scrapped, or get considerably shortened. Ah well.
That’s all I can say about this great book without revealing too much stuff you’ll enjoy discovering on your own. I’m very, very happy I discovered it, and can’t wait for the chance to purchase the rest of the saga as soon as it’s released. Sadly, it won’t be soon, since even the first book is undergoing revisions. Still, it’s no excuse for you not to read what’s out there, and to wait for the second revision of Book I, as well as the remaining books.
In the meantime, this blog post will have to serve to convey my astonishment with the book, my astonishment with the speed of response of the author, and with his magical gift in form of a PDF file. Thanks, mr Sutton, and may the book be a success it deserves to be!
And finally, a small but memorable quote from one of the non-historical, “religious” intros (yes, not all are “future history”):