Category Archives: Novels

New in Swedish Nephilim Crime Fiction

nefilim-asa-schwarzCrime Fiction writer Åsa Schwarz’s Nefilim has been published in English translation, as Nephilim (Stockholm Text, August 2013).

The premise of Nephilim is (as you might guess from the title) that there are a special group of people among us, ones who protect their secret, that they are descended from fallen angels. But the opening concerns two interpolated stories, one about a wealthy American who believes he is about to uncover the remains of the ark on top of Mount Ararat, its contours having been revealed by global warming and ice melt. He’s a bit of a religious nutter, but fortunately he doesn’t get a lot of page time. In the second story, a group of activists in Stockholm are planning an assault on a corporation that is contributing to global warming by breaking into the opulent home of one of its owners and spray-painting messages on the wall.

- Barbara Fister, “Review of Nephilim by Asa Schwarz“, Scandinavian Crime Fiction, 20 August 2013

Åsa Schwarz explains how she was inspired to write this novel:

Nephilim, by Åsa Schwarz (the English translation)

Nephilim, by Åsa Schwarz (the English translation)

One day I got an e-mail that would change my life. It contained a link from my friend Carin about The Nephilim. According to the web site, they were a mixture between human beings and fallen angels, and they are supposed to have been swept away by the Flood. What a novel this could be, wrote Carin. Sure, I thought. But someone else will have to write it. I couldn’t see a story angle that interested me enough to want to sit down in front of the computer and start writing…. I heard the newscaster say that the UN climate change panel had published a report detailing how much the sea level had already risen. They estimated that the sea level would rise a further few decimeters before 2099. Nobody knew exactly what the consequences of global warming would be, but one thing was certain – there would be a catastrophy. The sea level is rising, I thought. The sea level is rising. Why did that sound familiar? Where had I read about great bodies of water recently? Suddenly the penny dropped. Carin’s e-mail. The Nephilim. The Flood. The world is submerged under water. Is a new Flood on its way? What if The Nephilim weren’t swept away by the first Flood? What if they are right here, right now – among us?

- Åsa Schwarz, “Åsa Schwarz: Nephilim“, Mystery Fanfare, 13 August 2013

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Filed under Biblical Giants, Literature, Nephilim, Novels

Of Giants in the first Hobbit Movie and Confusion between CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien and a Maladroit Malapropism in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections

Looks like there will be giants in the first Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey:

From the book: “When [Bilbo] peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out, and were hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them, and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang.” Looks like that has inspired a scene here – we see a later glimpse of such a giant rolling headlong down the mountain past a ledge where the terrified company cower.
- Empire, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Trailer Breakdown

Stone Giants, The Hobbit

Stone Giants, The Hobbit

And this leads me to something that Jonathan Franzen wrote. In the same year that The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released (2001), following years of hype about the filming of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy, Franzen penned this line in The Corrections:

Caroline did not entirely approve of Narnia – C.S. Lewis was a known Catholic propagandist, and the Narnian hero, Aslan, was a furry, four-pawed Christ figure.
- Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (2001), p. 141

Now J.R.R. Tolkien might rightly be described as “a known Catholic propagandist”, but C.S. Lewis was Protestant. He was baptised and grew up Anglican and, after a short bout of unbelief, reaffirmed his allegiance to the Church of Ireland (the Irish version of the Church of England). Much to the dismay of his friend and fellow author, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Clive Staples Lewis rejoined the Prods.

In addition to this apparent confusion of Tolkien for Lewis, I also found a malapropism in The Corrections – a possible side-effect of Franzen being a first-rate wordsmith, as all this play in the rhythms and sound of language might make one prone to slipping in an accidental homophone. On p. 203, “an access of ANHEDONIA” should be “an excess of ANHEDONIA”. I’d go on, but I wouldn’t want to be accused of being pedantic and nerdish.

Readers of Remnant of Giants should be aware that, unlike in The Hobbit, there are no giants in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections. There is a talking turd, which is certainly Rabelaisian; but none of the big fellas.

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The Hebrew Edition of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand – for those of you fortunate enough not to have read her books – is the slightly deranged high priestess of neo-liberalism. Her sorry excuses for novels are revered as scripture among champions of the free-market, wielded against any whiff of socialism by opponents of “Big Government”, and quoted from regularly in Ron Paul internet chat-rooms. It’s likely that one of her books is sitting side-by-side with the Family Bible on the shelf of your average talk radio listener in those “red states” of the US of A.

Her most (in)famous novel is Atlas Shrugged. So I was kinda amused to discover the translation of the title of Atlas Shrugged in the Hebrew edition:

איין ראנד, מרד הנפילים

איין ראנד, מרד הנפילים

That’s מרד הנפילים (Mered HaNephilim) or The Revolt of the Nephilim. Finally, something to smile about in Ayn Rand’s unrelenting and turgid fiction.

H/t: J. Lundell

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Mt Sinai Find pits American Reporter Against Biblical Aliens to stop 2012 Apocalypse

John R. Fogarty - The God Key

John R. Fogarty – The God Key

It’s not every day a book gets a press release like “Mt. Sinai find pits American reporter against biblical aliens to stop 2012 Apocalypse“. That’s the marketing line, however, for book one of John R. Fogarty’s series called The God Key: Return of the Nephilim (2012).

Erich von Däniken - Chariots Of The Gods

Erich von Däniken – Chariots Of The Gods

The book is inspired by Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past (1968) in which von Däniken argued that ancient aliens had been fairly much responsible for the pyramids, Stonehenge, and anything else really big and made of stone long ago. Fogarty is “convinced that aliens visited the earth and left their mark in our remote past. As a Christian, however, he also believes in the biblical account – and that there is a direct link between the two”.

The God Key: Book I: Return of the Nephilim is self-published and available on Amazon and Create Space. Says Fogarty:

“Once I began studying ancient structures in the Middle East, I realized ancient man could not have built these places, but someone did. Once I linked that someone with the Nephilim from the Old Testament, the rest tore off my keyboard like a storm.”
- John R. Fogarty, Mt. Sinai find pits American reporter against biblical aliens to stop 2012 Apocalypse, PR News Channel, 24 October 2012

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GiantKiller Pictures to Produce Trilogy about David


GiantKiller Pictures plans to produce three films based on the five-book Lion of War Series by Cliff Graham, telling the story of the giant killer David and his mighty men (“Gibborim”).

The series follows the life and exploits of the historical King David from exiled warlord to King of a united ancient Israel.
- Global Virtual Studio

The Lion of War trilogy will be directed by David L. Cunningham (Beyond Paradise, To End All Wars, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising) and produced by Grant Curtis (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Drag Me To Hell), and is currently being adapted for film by screenwriter John Fusco (Young Guns, Hidalgo, The Forbidden Kingdom). Director David L. Cunningham is the son of Loren and Darlene Cunningham, founders of Youth With A Mission (“YWAM”) - a Christian missionary organisation with over 11,000 staff from over 130 countries, which organises sports camps, dramas, musical events, and other arts events as venues to convert young people to Christianity. Much of the filming for the trilogy is planned to be carried out in Hawai’i, where Cunningham was raised (in Kailua-Kona).

It is hoped that the Gibborim will do for the Big Island what the Hobbits did for New Zealand.

Only the first of the planned five books in the Lion of War series, Day of Warhas been released to date (Zondervan, 4 June 2011). The second book, Covenant of War, is due for release on 13 February 2012.

DAY OF WAR

In ancient Israel, at the crossroads of the great trading routes, a mercenary named Benaiah has come to the camps of the warlord David, believed by many to be the man destined to take the throne. Over the course of ten days, from snowy mountain passes to sword-racked battlefields, Benaiah and the other members of David’s ragtag army must battle overwhelming odds to protect everything they hold dear, all the while encountering the mysterious God of the Hebrews that David so passionately follows.

COVENANT OF WAR

Civil war has raged for seven years across the kingdom of Israel between those loyal to the dead King Saul’s line and the young warlord David. Newly crowned as king, David must rely upon his most elite warriors, known as the Mighty Men, to hold off an invasion of their hated enemy the Philistines while simultaneously trying to heal the wounds of tribal strife. To make matters worse, there is evidence of a traitor in the inner circle of the king.

- Lionofwar.com

Lion of War books

Lion of War books

The author of the Lion of War series Cliff Graham is a military chaplain in the United States Army and was involved in the second US invasion of Iraq. He is a speaker at events such as “Man Church”, “Men Sharpening Men”, and YWAM.

Cliff Graham on his masculine readers:

LION OF WAR is shamelessly masculine in its tone and intended audience. That has led to an uphill battle, because men don’t read as much as women. 80% of all book bought in a Christian bookstore are bought by women, for example.

Cliff Graham on the summary execution of Osama bin Laden:

It’s not so much that a death should be celebrated; rather, that justice has been done, and said justice was carried out by a group of warriors who have quietly ignored the sensitivity training popular culture has been demanding of men. As details emerged of the raid, with all of the elements of the most exciting Hollywood movie, we were confronted with the reality that supermen really do live among us…. At its worst, manhood is capable of terrible heartache, oppression, and evil. But at its best, while the world was depending on it, the higher callings of chivalry and valor prevailed, and a group of rough men did dangerous things so that their ladies and children could sleep peacefully at night.

Cliff Graham

Cliff Graham

Cliff Graham on the un-Jewish, red-headed David:

The word “ruddy” here is the Hebrew word admoni, and it hints at reddish hair. However, it’s not specific to red, and it’s likely that he didn’t have pure red hair in the Irish manner we know of as that would have been inconsistent with the ethnic Hebrew skin and hair tone. A better description might be that he had auburn hair; somewhere between brown and red. Regardless of how red his hair actually was, he would have stood out significantly from other Hebrew men, who had very dark hair.

Cliff Graham on Tim Tebow:

… a warrior’s heart is evident in this guy…. I hope Tim reads Day of War one day. Not just because I wrote it, but because I think he would resonate with the theme of leaving it all on the battlefield, wherever and whatever that battlefield might be.

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Filed under 2 Samuel 21, 23, Biblical Giants, Film, Heroes / Gibborim, Novels

A Book Review only 97 Years After Publication: The Revolt of the Angels by Anatole France

Anatole France

Over at Religion Dispatches, Bernard Schweizer provides an entertaining, albeit somewhat belated, review of Anatole France’s satirical 1914 novel Revolt of the Angels.

As in Philip Pullman’s recent His Dark Materials trilogy, in Revolt of the Angels, God is a cruel despot who is overthrown by angels, who in turn take his place. However, in Anatole France’s novel, the heavenly revolution is quickly followed by terror. After Satan assumes the throne, power corrupts him, and things quickly start to go downhill until they descend to the unthinkable …

And Satan found pleasure in praise. . . . Satan, whose flesh had crept, in days gone by, at the idea that suffering prevailed in the world, now felt himself inaccessible to pity. He regarded suffering and death as the happy results of omnipotence and sovereign kindness. And the savor of blood of victims rose upward towards him like sweet incense. He fell to condemning intelligence and to hating curiosity. . . . Dense fumes of Theology filled his brain.

Just as I always thought: Satan loves Theology.

You can get the book on pdf, for free, here: Revolt of the Angels (26.9 mb). Great moustache.

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Alan Moore writes his Bible: Jerusalem to be printed on Bible Paper?

Alan Moore’s prose novel Jerusalem, forthcoming 2012, will be approximately 750,000 words long.

I was talking to Professor Steve Jones at one of those evenings that I did, the Uncaged Monkeys at the Hammersmith Apollo. I was telling him that Jerusalem, when I’d passed the two-thirds mark, was already over half a million words. He said: “You know, that is bigger than the Bible.” So I was quite pleased with that. I’m just hoping everybody else will confuse quantity with quality. It’s undoubtedly a very big book.
- Alan Moore

of course, I have doubted that people will even be able to pick it up. This is going to be a very large book. I was talking to some people today who might be involved in the publishing of it. And they were suggesting why don’t we go it to a Bible publisher? Get it printed on Bible paper?
- Alan Moore

Alan Moore: “I’ve disproved the existence of death” New Statesman, 16 June 2011
“When I first heard about virtual reality I thought: is there any other kind?” New Statesman, 17 June 2011

The number of English words in the King James Bible is 773,692. The number of Old Testament words (Hebrew and Aramaic) is approximately 306,375; New Testament words (Greek) is 138,020; the total for Old and New Testaments is 444,395.

In the Bible there are about 773692 words
- Rhona Pipe and Graham Round, The Big Book of Bible Facts

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