Knocking on Heaven's Door A Novel By Sharman Apt Russell
On a hotter and more volatile earth in the twenty-third century, humans like Clare and Jon live in utopia, hunting and gathering in small tribal bands, engaged in daily art and ritual, reunited with old friends like the shaggy mammoth and giant ground sloth. Even better, they still have solar- powered laptops and can communicate with each other around the world. The understanding of physics has also advanced. When scientists first cloned extinct species from the Pleistocene, they discovered that many of them were telepathic—that consciousness travels in waves. For most people, animism has become the preferred religion, a panpsychism compatible with the laws of a fractal holographic universe. As Clare tells one of her students, the return to an older, Paleolithic lifestyle is “one of humanity’s greatest achievements.”

It’s too bad that utopia had to come at such a cost: a genetically engineered super-virus that wiped out most of earth’s human population. Humanity was shaken by that event, and humanity vowed to change. Now, on the 150th anniversary of that catastrophe, a small group of men and women—as well as a smarter-than-average dire wolf and saber-toothed cat—are suddenly faced with decisions in which the stakes are higher than ever before. Will earth repeat the cycle of unbridled hubris? Or is humanity’s destiny even stranger than that?

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TitleKnocking on Heaven's Door
SubtitleA Novel
AuthorBy Sharman Apt Russell
PublisherSkyhorse Publishing
ImprintYucca Publishing
Published12 January 2016
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.

About the author

Sharman Apt Russell is a longtime professor at Western New Mexico University and Antioch University in L.A. She is the award-winning author of numerous essays, short stories, and books, including Hunger and An Obsession with Butterflies. Additionally, she was the recipient of the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, the New Mexico Zia Award, and the Rockefeller Fellowship. She lives in Silver City, New Mexico.

“Is there anything Sharman Apt Russell cannot do on the printed page? A triumph of the imagination; a brilliant and mesmerizing addition to the sci-fi canon." —JJ Amaworo Wilson, author of Damnificados

“This conflicted postapocalyptic tale of sparse but still civilized humans in a world of cloned mammoths and telepathic saber-toothed tigers tries to find the balance between preservation and progress. Clare, a hunter and writing instructor, guides Brad, a lab rat who discovered an important principle of the universe, on a wilderness quest. It leads not to enlightenment but to bigender loner Luke/Lucia and mutated dire wolf Dog. Wishing for fame in a world that frowns on individual aggrandizement, Brad takes peyote, links minds with Dog, and discovers the long-sought secret of how DNA broadcasts consciousness. Aided by Luke/Lucia and Dog, he constructs a device that can resurrect the dead, including Clare’s baby daughter. Russell happily sets up a “Paleoterrific” primitive utopia and then allows the gritty reality of dying young and the discomfort of conforming to social norms in a small community to wear away at an eco-friendly life with nature. Big cats may mentally howl “I love you,” but they still want to eat you.” —Publishers Weekly

“There’s a spin on this story that is unlike the others I have read. I liked it enough that I read it all in one sitting. . . . I essentially inhaled this book. It has a wonderful flow.” –Geeks of Doom

“A dazzling and hallucinatory myth…Beautifully written and vertiginous—Castaneda jacked into the Matrix, Einstein crunching numbers on the walls of Lascaux, a druid with a sickle and a laptop.” —Andrew Todhunter, author of A Meal Observed and Dangerous Games

“Russell’s intelligence and imagination shine.” —Eric C. Otto, author of Green Speculations: Science Fiction and Transformative Environmentalism

"In classic science fiction style, Russell presents a devastated world reformed into a seeming paleolithic paradise… [a] suspenseful and gripping tale” —William Seager, author of Natural Fabrications: Science, Emergence and Consciousness

“Like Ursula K. Le Guin and Kim Stanley Robinson, Sharman Apt Russell tells stories of human reorientation within a radically reanimated world… an urgent story that immerses the reader in the agonizing entanglements and wonders of being.” —Gib Prettyman, Pennsylvania State University, Associate Editor, Resources for American Literary Study

“Sharman Apt Russell’s vibrant new novel will enthrall readers with its vision of a future in which animism, panpsychism and hard science come together to show us how the forces shaping consciousness and the universe are one and the same.” —Imre Szeman, co-author of After Globalization

"An intriguing and compelling tale of humanity struggling to recover its indigenous allegiance to Earth and Earth Law despite the genie of physical science having well and truly escaped from the bottle." —Freya Matthews, author of For Love of Matter: a Contemporary Panpsychism

“A voice keenly in tune with the discourses of science, ecology, rhetoric, and spirituality. . . . Russell’s vision of tomorrow imagines sobering consequences—and pathways to possible solutions—to the crises we face today." —Michael R. Page, author of Frederik Pohl and The Literary Imagination from Erasmus Darwin to H.G. Wells: Science, Evolution, and Ecology

“Russell has a knack for fast-paced action and poetic turns of phrase, and readers will turn the pages quickly so they can follow along with the adventures of Brad, Clare, Dog, and Luke as they journey through this new world. Fans of post-apocalyptic science fiction will find this a wild and enjoyable ride.” —Stephanie Vie, author of (E)-Dentity

“What a great read! Bringing back the animals—and reminding us of animal powers and minds—is an important message for the here and now. An engaging—and thoughtfully-informed—post-apocalyptic novel that stays with you for weeks afterward. Sharman Russell has a clever and also provocative imagination that leads the reader into deep reflection on who we are and who we might become.” —Margaret Conkey, co-author of Ancient Goddesses: the Myths and Evidence and co-editor of Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory

“With compelling characters, a driving rhythm, and a rich plot, the novel smoothly navigates between the principles of biology and physics, the mystique of animism, the politics of posthumanism, and the tropes of science fiction.” —Keren Omry, American Studies, University of Haifa, Science Fiction Research Association, Vice President

“She's earned a spot next to Margaret Atwood and Daniel Quinn for sparking readers to reflect on the tensions between the natural environment and our ever-evolving technology.” —Sean Murray, author of Composition Incorporated: Turbo Capitalism, Higher Education, and the Teaching of Writing

“Russell’s implementation of panpsychist theory brings this book to life as one of the most extraordinary sci-fis of our time . . ." —Jack Symes, author of "In Defense of Strong Emergentist Panpsychism"

“A syncretic approach where hard science and the hard problem of consciousness merge into a welcome addition to the science fiction canon. What’s more, this is a piece of storytelling at its best!” —John M. Gist, co-author of Angst and Evolution: The Struggle for Human Potential, author of Lizard Dreaming of Birds

“A gripping read—I couldn’t put it down, but I didn’t want it to end! Sharman Russell knows how to pay tribute to the great traditions of science fiction storytelling—and how to make them new for the twenty-first century.” —Lisa Yaszek, author of Galactic Suburbia and past president of the Science Fiction Research Association

“Russell’s novel remains steadfastly optimistic. A refreshing alternative to near-future dystopias, she offers a glimpse of a ‘future primitive’ in which people live more sustainably and equitably, sustained by a sense of wonder when nature turns out to have been panpsychic all along.” —Melody Jue, author of “Vampire Squid Media”
ISBNs: 9781631580680 978-1-63158-068-0 Title: knocking on heavens door category:FIC ISBNs: 9781631580772 978-1-63158-077-2 Title: knocking on heavens door category:FIC 
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