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“Willem of the Tafel” is the gripping new novel from Hans M. Hirschi, the author behind the gay fiction darlings, “The Fallen Angels of Karnataka” and “Living The Rainbow: A Gay Family Triptych”. In this next adventure, set centuries into the future, the world we know is gone.
It is a post-apocalyptic Earth where few have survived the Great War. Those that remain have taken refuge underground, deep beneath a mountain. When Willem is exiled and forced to the surface, he must struggle to survive. He embarks on a journey, making discoveries that threaten to alter the future of humanity once again.
As in Hirschi’s previous works, “Willem of the Tafel” examines social issues and the big questions that affect humanity. “The biggest difference is this story takes place five hundred years into the future, after humanity has literally screwed up the planet,” he explains. “Humanity gets to start all over. Maybe this time they’ll get it right.” “Willem of the Tafel” will be available now, digitally and in softcover, on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple’s iBookstore, Smashwords, and at selected local bookstores. [pullquote]As in Hirschi’s previous works, “Willem of the Tafel” examines social issues and the big questions that affect humanity.[/pullquote]
“I’m a child of the seventies and eighties,” continues Hans M. Hirschi from his home in Sweden. “I grew up during a time when all out nuclear war was a daily possibility, before the infamous Reykjavík summit between President Reagan and Secretary Gorbachev.
“For young people today, it’s almost impossible to imagine just how often my generation came close to the point of disaster. Things may not seem so dire today, until you realize how more countries, including China, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea are now nuclear powers. What would happen if nuclear warheads were to fall into terrorist hands? The scary truth is things may be more dangerous now than ever before.”
And if nuclear weapons do not do us in, there are other serious threats that may lead to apocalypse, warns Hirschi. “We have become reliant on technology. We use interconnected systems for energy, food supply and banking, which means we are vulnerable to hacking and sabotage.” [pullquote]“For young people today, it’s almost impossible to imagine just how often my generation came close to the point of disaster. …”—Hans M. Hirschi[/pullquote]
He believes the real enemy, however, is staring at us in our own mirrors. “We are not considering the consequences of our decisions,” he says. “Some European countries thought Ethanol was the answer to their oil dependency and invested heavily in it to fuel their cars. Then corn prices spiked and poor people in Mexico began to starve. We failed to realize the impact it would have on other regions.”
“Look at the drought in California,” he continues. “Should the US be concerned with food shortage? Probably not as they will be able to import from elsewhere, but what will happen to food prices? Will the poor in those exporting countries still be able to afford to feed themselves?”
It is concerns like these that inspired Hirschi in writing “Willem of the Tafel”. “I worry about global warming and the waste of our natural resources, and how future generations, our children and grandchildren, will be left to deal with our negligence,” he says.
The novel’s main character, Willem, is merely seventeen when we first meet him. He must navigate through a battered world that is the result of our generation’s carelessness. Luckily he meets Hery, another young man, who helps him along the path to his destiny.
In their meeting, we learn how in this futuristic world, people have evolved to look beyond racial and gender lines. (At least most have; those that haven’t are doomed to pay the price for holding on to twenty-first century ideology.) That Willem and Hery decide to become a union – or ‘to mate’, as described in the book – stirs no reaction from the other characters in the novel. 500 years into the future, homosexuality has become completely accepted.
“My main purpose in writing novels is to entertain,” says Hirschi. “I hope readers enjoy the story and embrace it and take the characters to their heart. If they can also reflect on social issues like why racism is on the rise today and why we are seeing record temperatures, then maybe, just maybe, I’ve been able to contribute something even more substantial along with my story.”
“There’s always hope,” he sums up. “I remain optimistic that humanity will learn to live with one another and appreciate the differences among us – black, white, gay, straight, and so on – and that we will come to understand that we must live within the framework of what our planet can provide.”
Willem of the Tafel by Hans M. Hirschi is available digitally and in softcover now on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple’s iBookstore, Smashwords, and at selected local bookstores. View the Book’s Official trailer here.
[From a News Release]