A New Birth of Freedom: The Translator by Robert G. Pielke

Welcome to Author Robert Pielke

Robert Pielke, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, now lives in Claremont, California. He earned a B.A. in History at the University of Maryland, an M. Div. in Systematic Theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and a Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the Claremont Graduate School.

He taught on ground and online for countless years at George Mason University in Virginia, El Camino College in California and online for the University of Phoenix. Now happily retired from “the job,” he is doing what he always wanted to do since he wrote his first novel at ten in elementary school. It was one paragraph, three pages long and, although he didn’t know it at the time, it was alternate history.

His academic writings have been in the area of ethics, including a boring academic treatise called Critiquing Moral Arguments, logic, and popular culture. Included in the latter is an analysis of rock music entitled You Say You Want a Revolution: Rock Music in American Culture. He has also published short stories, feature articles, film and restaurant reviews. His novels include a savagely satirical novel on America and its foibles, proclivities and propensities, Hitler the Cat Goes West, and an alternate history, science fiction novel, The Mission.

Most recently, he has updated and revised his book on rock music, which is being republished by McFarland & Co.

He swims daily, skis occasionally, cooks as an avocation, watches innumerable movies, collects rock and roll concert films, is an avid devotee of Maryland crabs and maintains a rarely visited blog filled with his social and political ravings. His favorite film is the original Hairspray; his favorite song is “A Day in the Life”; his favorite pizza is from the original Ledo Restaurant in College Park, MD; and he is a firm believer in the efficacy of “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” Somehow his family and friends put up with him.

Interview
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

** A very interesting question – for all writers of time-travel stories. It brings to the fore the logical dilemmas – and perhaps the logical impossibility — of time travel. Without getting into the niceties of the debate, there seem to be only two alternatives: either ALL times exist ALL the time or only the present exists. Time travel writers almost always opt for the former, and try their best to work around the seeming contradictions. Here one of them: If all times exist, then going back to the past necessarily involves changing the future – even if only a little bit. BUT that can’t happen, since  the original time has to exist for the time traveler to exist and go back to the past! Story-wise, I like dealing with the past.

What is one book everyone should read?
** There really is no such thing, for one thing, you can only sensibly talk about future generations, and certainly not people who lived before such a book would have been written!  😉  AND there are so many different cultures to take into account, that an answer to this question would inevitably result in more than one book. BUT for American culture in today’s world, my choice is To Kill a Mockingbird. (And everyone should see the film too!)

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
** Read my book so that you’ll have a good answer for the previous question!

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 
** I’m now working on the third and final book of the trilogy. After that I have contemporary SF novel in the works – no time travel. But it does involve communication with other species. Plus I’m constructing a plan for a straight, traditional literary novel about Viet Nam vets and Viet Nam anti-war protesters. In process, by the way, is a screenplay based on book one of my trilogy.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?
** John Steinbeck, Ambrose Bierce, Harper Lee, Ralph Eliison, Charles Bukowski, Bram Stoker, Susan Sontag, Jack Kerouac, Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
** Hand’s down, it’s my book, Hitler the Cat Goes West, and if you want to know why, you’ll have to read it. BUT be forewarned….it’s not about a German ictator, felines or taking Horace Greely’s advice…and if it were made into a film, it would be rated NC-17.

Favorite Food?
** Steamed crabs seasoned with Old Bay from Baltimore and the original Ledo’s Pizza from College Park, MD.

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
** I just saw Spielberg’s Lincoln. I was looking forward to that ever since I heard it was going to be made. AND I was not disappointed. It was absolutely excellent – thought provoking, dark, moody, inspirational and important.

How do you react to a bad review?
** Drink heavily.

What do you do in your free time? 
** What’s that??

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
** The Tale of a Type A, Anal Retentive, Obsessive-Compulsive Writer and the Hedonist Stuck Inside of Him.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
** Apropos of the previous question: Up at 4 am/TV new until 5 am with coffee and a biscuit/6 am swim laps/7-12 write/12-1 lunch/2-2 nap/3-6 political commentary on TV followed by cooking shows on TV/5-6 – yes an overlap – fix dinner/ 6-7 dinner/8-10 or 11/TV or films/11 or 12 bed

What’s your favorite season/weather?
** Winter – I like to ski

Favorite music?
** One of my books is Rock Music in American Culture: The Sound of Revolution…..guess….!  hahahahha

Write a Haiku about your book
Bullets of July,
Back in eighteen sixty three,
Odd strangers collide.
In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
** Bai Ling….Oh…you said “co-author” – never mind…

A New Birth of Freedom: The Translator

Noam Chomsky argues that communication with aliens would be impossible. Stephen Hawking argues that it would be extremely unwise even to try. What if it were absolutely necessary to do so? This question arises with extreme urgency at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, in this time-travel, alternate-history trilogy, A New Birth of Freedom.

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1 ebook copy of The Translator
Open Internationally
Ends 2/28/13

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