Nodi, an alien scribe, is losing faith in humanity.
Well … not all humans, one in particular—a man named Tim. Tim was betrayed and crucified over 200 years ago, but not before establishing himself as planet Akigol’s savior.
When Nodi pursues evidence suggesting Tim wasn’t what he claimed, he must flee or face execution for blasphemy. With a little unsolicited help from Mal, a dissonant and thief, Nodi will seek the truth about Akigol’s messiah no matter the cost.
Menaced by tongueless warriors, strange creatures, cannibals, and a wholly devoted religious persecutor, Nodi will discover he is not alone in the universe and what’s more, the drama unfolding before him isn’t all that unique.
There’s truly nothing new under the suns.
What they’re saying…
UNDER THE SUNS is an excellently executed sci-fi satire of the belief in a higher power, and a clear cautionary tale of what can happen when a backward naive populace is introduced to a distorted self-serving version of Christianity by a con man from an advanced civilization. Because of outside influences, those on Akigol have about as many variations of religion as those on Earth, and as many hates between them as well. The novel’s content is broken up into two areas, the narrative story of Nodi’s quest for the truth, and the convoluted religious distortions of Tim as related in the Akigi Bible. The sections with the Akigi Bible brilliantly satire how a text can be manipulated to be self serving to those who create it; and have various meanings, which in Ches Smith’s hands can even include cannibalism.
Update: Under the Suns was listed as one of IndieReader’s Best Books of 2014!
Nodi’s tale oscillates between the bizarre and absurd to the profound, and is interspersed with passages taken directly from the Akigi Bible (written in the style of the Christian Holy Bible). These passages are often intentionally inadvertently funny – and horrifying because of its familiarity. As I read Under The Suns, many times I thought to myself, “That’s exactly how miscommunication happens!” Or, rather, how the ignorant interpret the world. We all move through life with our selfish agendas. When those collide with others’, mayhem and religions are born.
Ches Smith has written a science fiction religious satire reminiscent of works such as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams or anything by Terry Pratchett, but with a lot more bite (and blood and gore and religious fervor I thought got left behind in the 1300′s). While this story is not for everyone, its well-paced plot and many instances of humor will find fans around the globe and maybe even on Akigol. I recommend this book to anyone who might be getting a little annoyed right now with all the holiday music invading our public spaces.
Read the whole review here: http://www.sffworld.com/2014/11/suns-ches-smith/
“Look, I don’t know how you got this number. I’m sure you think your book is great and all, but I don’t know you and I don’t want to know you. Please, for the love of God, stop calling me.”