Tuesday, June 8, 2021

NBtM Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: A Country of Eternal Light by Darby Harn

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM virtual book tour for A Country of Eternal Light by Darby Harn. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post from the author. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: A Country of Eternal Light
Author: Darby Harn
Publisher: Fair Play Books
Publication Date: June 4th 2021
Print Length: 268 pages
Genre: Speculative Fiction
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"One of the most beautiful books I've ever read" - Sunyi Dean, author of The Book Eaters

A rogue black hole tears apart the solar system. Mairead’s life is already in pieces.

The Earth has less than a year to survive.

Asteroids rain hell; earthquakes rattle cities; manic tides swamp coasts. Mairead intends to give herself to the erratic waves that erode her remote Irish island, the same that claimed her child. When Gavin, an American, arrives to scatter his father’s ashes, she becomes torn between wanting for life and death.

Despite the tides, fuel shortages, and closing borders that threaten to trap him on the island, Gavin can’t seem to scatter the ashes. He doesn’t know how to let go any more than Mairead does and they find a strange comfort in their confusion.

Their affair draws Mairead back to the world of the living, but the longer Gavin stays, the more it seems there might be a future for them. There is no future.

Life closes down around them. The world they know shreds. Life drains into an inescapable abyss. And yet Mairead fights, both the gravity of her grief and the restless, dissonant desire to find some kind of peace no matter how brief.

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EXCERPT:
Here?” I say.

Gavin and I inch down grass carpeted limestone steps from the buckled road to a strand the sea exposed. This is foolish of us but then this is our fashion so we go on, being fools, further out into the moonscape the retreating sea exposed. Crabs skulk through the seaweed. The rock slick. The seals beach hundreds of yards off shore and we just keep going, skipping from one pink stained stone to the next, like playing hopscotch with no end.

Do I want it to end?

A rogue wave could come in. I could slip on a rock and brain myself. He could. Could I? Could I slip, right now, and pull him with me? I squeeze his hand. He squeezes back. He’s got me. I pull and then he’s done; he guides me to a flat bit of rock and we sit, where people have not sat or stood since there was ice covering the world.

His hand touches his coat pocket. “Maybe.”

For a long time we watch the seals sleep. They rest their hairy chins just over the water. How tired they must be, spending all night in the turbulent sea. How sad they must be, to fight this war with the water every single day. How angry they must be. Who do they blame.

Do they know.

Gavin holds the pill bottle in his hands. The current surging through him to twist off the cap. The strain on his face. The trap he’s set for himself. It’s like giving up the drink. You want to. You just can’t. It’s nothing to do with wanting. You’ve no control over it.

He can’t let go.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Darby Harn studied at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Irish Writing Program. He is the author of the sci-fi superhero novel EVER THE HERO. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, The Coffin Bell, and other venues.




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GUEST POST:
- If you could choose any fictitious book world to live in, which one would you choose and why?

There are so many. It would be easy to say I’d want to live in a galaxy far, far away or maybe the Marvel Universe. But the true joy of worlds like that is that for as much time as you want to spend there, you can leave without having to deal with any of the consequences within those universes.

If I had to pick, I would probably say the Uber-novel of David Mitchell. The Mitchellverse, maybe it’s better to say. His novels, like Cloud Atlas and most recently Utopia Avenue, are all linked in a shared universe that is very familiar to comic book readers.

Yet it’s a collection of literary novels in which the fantastic is present, if not obvious. It’s a world that feels very familiar and comforting. Black Swan Green is this love letter in some respects to the 80s. Cloud Atlas is a brilliant statement on the existence and endurance of hope. Utopia Avenue is an album of music in the form of a novel that is its own kind of alchemy. There is magic in this world. There are cosmic entities at war with each other. There is purpose and meaning and I love that.

You don’t know the ultimate meaning or purpose of this Mitchellverse, but you have certainty in their existence. That’s very reassuring, especially in a world that mirrors our own in large measure. It’s a faulty world, it’s a violent world, it’s a world that is on the brink of collapse in the near future, but it is a world I would want to be a part of. I would want to be a note in this symphony. I’d want to play my part, because every part is essential, even if it’s to our eyes insignificant. In that way, his novels are affirmative of wanting to be part of the real world, even when sometimes you really don’t.

David Mitchell is one of my favorite writers and one of my biggest influences. He’s maybe the biggest influence in the style of A Country of Eternal Light, which is otherwise a literary novel about two people living in grief that just happens to have a black hole in it. The intrusion of the fantastic into reality, that wrinkle at the edge of the paper, is something I enjoy every much.

Mitchell is also very much an influence on my Eververse series of novels, beginning with Ever The Hero, which takes place in a world where people with superhuman powers charge for their protection. I wanted to explore what it would be like if these people truly existed. They would deform the world in every way, and bend it around them as all people with power do. The Eververse is an amalgamation of so many influences, but Mitchell is definitely there.

It would be hard to pick which era of the Mitchellverse I’d want to live in. The story spans so many. All of them are equally fascinating and important within the context of the larger narrative. That’s the type of world I think we all want to live in; a world where every person matters and every event has consequence, even if it doesn’t become apparent for a long, long time.
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GIVEAWAY:
Darby Harn will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

78 comments:

  1. This will be my first speculative fiction book.. plan to buy it soon...

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    1. Thank you Michele! I hope you enjoy the book!

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  2. Thank you for hosting me!

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  3. Congratulations on the book release. Sounds like a great book.

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  4. This sounds like quite the unique read. I feel I'll be rooting for them but if the world is going to end...? Intrigued!

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    1. Thank you! It's a challenging set of circumstances to be sure...

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  5. This sounds like a very good book.

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  6. congrats on the book this sounds wonderful

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  7. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. It looks like a good read.

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  9. wow. what an interesting concept book. Good work.

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  10. Sounds like a good book. I like the cover and the excerpt.

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    1. Thank you! The cover is by Al Hess - www.cultofsasha.com.

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  11. thank you for a chance to win!

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  12. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  13. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  14. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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  15. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  16. Adding this to my TBR list. Thanks for the find.

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  17. How long was the writing process?

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    1. Hi Deborah, in some ways the origin of this goes back fifteen years or more. It took a long time for the pieces to gel and it was 2014 when I started what would become this book. It's been a long road to get here!

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  18. Speculative Fiction - what type of fiction is that?
    Thank you for sharing the review.

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    1. Hi Barabara, speculative fiction is sort of ordinary real world fiction except it has some speculative element in it, i.e. sci-fi or perhaps fantasy.

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  19. It sounds like there's a lot of tension in this science fiction story with a black hole to top it off.

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  20. This looks awesome! Added to my tbr!

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  21. Thank you for sharing that excerpt. It sounds like an entertaining book.

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  22. About how long does it take you to write a book?
    Suppose it varies?

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  23. What inspires your book plots?

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  24. Where is your favorite place to write?

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  25. Do you have a favorite author/authors?

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  26. Do you have any advice for new writers?

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  27. David HollingsworthJuly 3, 2021 at 1:23 AM

    What inspires you on a day-to-day basis?

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  28. Is it difficult to think of a title for your books?

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  29. Do you write while on vacation?

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  30. Love the cover and the excerpt sounds amazing.

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  31. Do you ever use your own experiences to write a book?

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  32. I like the cover and would love reading it too.

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  33. How many years have you been writing books?

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  34. Do you listen to music when you write?

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  35. Do you usually stick with one genre when writing?

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  36. Is it difficult for you to think of a title and cover for your books?

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  37. How long did it take you to finish this book?

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  38. David HollingsworthAugust 10, 2021 at 5:41 PM

    How often do write books?

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  39. David HollingsworthAugust 15, 2021 at 12:24 PM

    What's the best praise you've ever received on one of your books?

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  40. I read the line “ The Earth has less than a year to survive.” and I am already hooked! I do like where the story takes place on a remote Irish island. Ia a AAWW think of the shape of this world today! I can almost feel the similarity’s. This book sounds like it would be the type of book that I could not put down until I read it all!

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  41. David HollingsworthAugust 16, 2021 at 2:25 PM

    Have you ever given advice to other writers?

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  42. Do you ever not been able to finish a book?

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  43. Do you write more or read more?

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  44. David HollingsworthAugust 17, 2021 at 12:24 PM

    Did you want to be a writer when you were a child?

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  45. I would think it would be a challenge to find the right title and cover for your books.

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  46. I am already interested in the story! He has a pill bottle in his hand. Why? What is it for? Is this the end? The end of life or of the earth 🌍 Or both??
    Thank you for the awesome read!

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  47. Where is your favorite place to escape to?

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  48. At what age did you start writing?

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  49. Do you have a favorite book that you wrote?? If so, which one?

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  50. This is the first time I have heard of speculative fiction. What an genre!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  51. David HollingsworthAugust 21, 2021 at 4:04 PM

    Have you come up with ideas for your next book?

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  52. sounds like a fun one

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  53. What author do you most like to read?

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  54. Mairead Sounds like my kind of gal pal. I want to read how she deals with her grief and life situations!

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  55. What inspires your book plot ideas?

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