Thursday, September 20, 2012

Of Time and Place Blog Tour: guest post and excerpt

We are today's stop on the Of Time and Place Blog Tour presented by Tribute Books. There is an excerpt from B.R. Freemont's novel and a guest post. Thanks for spending time with us today.

Of Time and Place by B.R. Freemont

Sci-fi*Paperback (539 pages) & ebook*Price: $16.95 paperback, $7.99 ebook
ISBN: 9781937928728*Publisher: Two Harbors Press ( August 17, 2012 )

Links: Paperback | PDF ebook 

As the global energy crisis of the 21st century wears on, James Lendeman searches for answers – both for the country and for himself.

Working in the Federal Energy Department for the iconoclastic and enigmatic Kate Hastings, James is at the center of a world of political intrigue and personal conflicts. Unsure of whether he can go along with Kate’s plans for the country (and for him), he is forced to steer his own way through a maze of personal and professional problems.

When we meet James a few years later (through an ingenious weaving of dual timelines), he is in Savannah, working as a contractor for the government and debating the merits of a flirtatious college student who lives in his boarding house.

Nimbly moving forward and backward through James’s personal timeline, Of Time and Place leads its readers on a journey through the twists and turns of life in a kind of historical novel of the future. From a tumultuous romance and marriage to a romantic spring in Florence and the adversities along the way, James finds himself debating both his own life and the feasibility of maintaining a viable US economy in the mid-21st century.

Drawn from very real issues of global import, and playing out in some of the most storied cities in the world, Of Time and Place will leave every reader pondering the future – and the present.

BRF Guest Post 

After reading Of Time and Place, a person may conclude that I’m a pessimist. The main characters don’t fully succeed in what they’re trying to accomplish. Life in the middle of the twenty-first century is constricted by a reduced supply of petroleum energy and an economy that never fires on all cylinders. This “new normal”, which some economists now postulate, appears to be entrenched in the nation’s psyche.

I hope the reader can look past these first impressions. A better lesson to draw from the book is that government cannot remain adrift and avoid the larger, long-term issues. I’m not advocating big government or small government, but rather effective government. Infrastructure improvements, a rational energy policy, and an overall balance between revenue and spending need to be agreed upon and adopted. People of goodwill must come together, not forced apart.

Therefore, I would prefer that Of Time and Place not be an accurate prognostication of the future but rather a lesson in what course must not be followed. Government somnambulism and “kicking the can down the road” will not enable the nation to succeed and prosper.

Early in the novel, James Lendeman, the narrator/protagonist responds to a question from his prospective boss, Kate Hastings. He states that the time for a comprehensive energy policy solution has long since passed. Kate and James’s conversation takes place in the year 2053. James suggests the time for action had been early in the century. In other words, that time is now.


Chapter 1

Savannah, 2060

I was returning from one of my distasteful, although fortunately infrequent, visits to Washington. In order to justify the payments I received, I needed to perform a bit of consulting work, and from time to time be in contact with a continually changing nonentity in the Federal Energy Department. I had taken the train to save money. As usual, it was running late, taking nine hours to make a six-hour trip. We did encounter a one-hour power-down in North Carolina, but, still, a three-hour delay is a three-hour delay.

Elsewhere, trains could travel at four hundred kilometers an hour. In this country, even on the faster intercity routes, two hundred was a top speed. Our trips tended to be longer; all the more reason for trains to be faster. Why had we not invested in the necessary infrastructure? Worst of all, through our outmoded rail system we were wasting energy—and this particularly bothered me.

In Savannah, the train station was located a few kilometers from downtown in a rundown area of scrub brush and litter. A poorly maintained bus carted passengers from the inter-city train station to downtown locations. I got off at Drayton Street where I needed another vehicle—a street tram—to take me south, out of the historic district.

About the author:
B.R. Freemont 

B.R. Freemont was born in New York and has lived in the Savannah area for over a decade. He holds a B.A. from Columbia and an M.A. from New York University. During his business career, Freemont filled a number of management assignments and briefly worked for government entities.

Over the years, his interests have included: astronomy, domestic and foreign travel, dog breed club administration, wine tasting, and avidly reading both fiction and non-fiction.

He is married and has a son and two daughters.

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