<><><> Betsie's Literary Page <><><>

The Holy Land
Home | Book Reviews | FREE Celebrity Addresses | Celebrities Page 2 | Celebrities Page 3 | Get Reviewed! | Writers Showcase | Major Record Labels | Guerrilla Publicity | Print Magazines | Independent Bookstores | Specialty Shops | Media Contacts | Celebrity Production Companies | Author Friendly Radio Shows | Screenwriting | Screenwriter Agents | Author/Talent - Agents | Advice to Authors | Want your Book Noticed? | Writer's Services | Internet Resources | "How To" Articles | Other Online Reviewers | Newspaper Book Reviewers | Recipes | Movie Reviews | Links | Meet the Reviewers | About Me

A thought-provoking political satire regarding the state of the Middle East as well as a look at the sometimes perceived holy war that the United States is currently engaged in.

Title: The Holy Land

Author: Robert Zubrin

Publisher: Polaris Books (September 3, 2003)

Genre: Science Fiction
Paperback: 304 pages

ISBN: 0974144304

Price: $14.95


Highly Recommended  


Imagine if you would a place where there is no separation of church and state. Imagine also that in that place young children are martyred in exchange for a handsome cash bonus, guaranteed, within 10 business days of the event.  Imagine now a place where the sound of a blaring siren fills the air as the inhabitants of that place drop to their knees and chant in the direction of a place perceived as the Holy Land. Now I must ask you to imagine that this place is the United States of America!


This is a story primarily about two peoples, the inhabitants of Kennewick, Washington and the Minervans.  The Kennewickians are earthlings that simply reside in or come from Kennewick and the Minervans are refugees from a distant planet who claim that Kennewick is their ancient homeland and they want it back!


In this struggle, both sides are equally repulsive in many ways to each other. The Politicians from the United States, who are driven by greed and media image, cannot defeat the Minervans through forceful military means, mainly because the Minervans are telepaths and are well aware of the soldiers thoughts as they engage in combat. Therefore they use the Kennewickians as pawns in this despicable chess game. The American politicians send the Kennewickians off to a refugee camp to make the Minervans feel remorse for what they are doing. They also send in children as martyrs, again to make the Minervans feel bad.


 The Minervans hail from the Central Galactic Empire which is part of a conglomerate of planets organized to monitor and sometimes regulate the activities of their subjects, with the liberal Western Galactic Empire in the lead role. The Western Galactic Empire, although they are technically advanced and able to control the thoughts and actions of the Kennewickians, ultimately controls the Minervans. They too become pawns in this battle for Kennewick.


As the two political battles are waged, enter our two main characters. Sergeant Andrew Hamilton, a POW from a failed attempt to defeat the Minervans and Priestess 3rd Class Aurora, she is the Minervan who captured this Army Ranger to keep as a study specimen with the hopes of making him human.


Can these two individuals stop the decay that threatens the galaxy? Well, the ending will definitely surprise you and the journey from the first page to the last will be enjoyable. This book captivated me and took my thought process to a higher level. Robert Zubrins book should find a place at the top of your Must Read list. Written in a way that can satisfy a multitude of genres, target audiences and age groups, The Holy Land has something for every one.



Author Interview


To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


Its a science fiction satire of the War on Terrorism, and concerns what happens when the liberal Western Galactic Empire relocates the oppressed Minveran sect back to their ancient homeland of Kennewick, Washington, in the midst of a USA ruled by Christian fundamentalist fanatics.



Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?


I grew up in New York State, first Brooklyn, then Long Island. Reading was my greatest pleasure as a kid, but I did not get into writing for fun until after I graduated college.


Who were your earliest influences and why?

My earliest literary influences came along two different lines. On the one hand there was science fiction, such as Heinlein, Clarke, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. On the other there was Homer. I guess they both show in The Holy Land.


What would a typical day be like for a writer?


I dont write full time- Im an astronautical engineer by profession. But when I write I write intensively. I go down to the basement and shut myself away and write all day.



How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


I started writing non-fiction about 15 years ago, mostly magazine pieces dealing with space exploration. Then I wrote a successful book about Mars exploration, called The Case for Mars. This led to a hard science fiction novel along the same lines, and the The Holy Land.



Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?


Fiction is harder for me, but its more fun because of the creative freedom it allows.



What is the hardest part about being a writer?


The loss of time with my family.



Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?


I hike. I live in Colorado where the hiking is excellent. It gives me time to think.




Whats the coolest thing a reader has said to you?


That one of my books has changed their life.



What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?


Some of them like it for its political message. Others just consider it a hoot.



Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?


No, I cant say that.



If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?





What kind of movies do you enjoy?


High spirited historical adventures, where people experience the joy of being human. My two recent favorites are Amadeus and Shakespeare in Love.



What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldnt want to live in?





Whats the best part of being a writer?


It gives you a voice, a chance to make a statement, to reach people, to change the world.



What's next?


Im working on a book called New World. It is the sequel to my hard science fiction novel First Landing. First Landing was about the first human mission to Mars. New World will be set a generation later, and the key issue is whether the Mars base will remain simply a sterile scientific station, or break out of that mold to become a fully living human society, with schools, orchestras, half-baked commercial ventures, politics, and all the other messy and wonderful things that humans bring with them wherever they create new life.



Betsie's Literary Page thanks Mr. Zubrin for this interview and we hope to see more of his work in the future.


Enter supporting content here