Feature

Independent Publisher Book Awards 2000 - Ten Outstanding Books of the Year

Here are profiles of the ninth and tenth award-winning titles.
"Most Unique Design" - Spore: A Star Guide to Extraterrestrial Worlds , by John McCoy. Published by Penterion Systems, Inc.; www.spore.net; ISBN 0-9967382-0-9; 150 pages; 13"-sided triangle/triptych; Casebound with plastic carrying case.

Spore: A Star Guide to Extraterrestrial Worlds is an illustrated science fiction storybook, unique for not only its triangular physical design, but for the design of its content. Using a "Navigation Matrix" of three levels, the premise is that such a complicated presentation was necessary for the "Lexicon Team" to "translate" it from the original extraterrestrial languages it was discovered in. Three primary colors are used to help "Navigators" access the information:
- The color blue denotes the core story-the physical plane, and those sensations that our bodies tell us are tangible as we move through space.
- The color red highlights scientific profiles and images, mental states, and our perception of the passage of time.
- The color yellow signifies the frontier of spiritual growth, insight, and the energy fields that compose destiny and a soul's stages of ascending incarnation.

Smaller triptychs containing background information and character descriptions are attached to regular pages throughout, adding yet another dimension to the book. "Lavishly illustrated" is an understatement to describe the paintings and decorative design. This book must be seen and held to be believed

The Story:

Earth, a few years from now...

Massive earthquakes, epic volcanoes and severe storms herald the arrival of the fabled "Pole Shift," the inversion of the planet's magnetic axis. Inside our planet, the polar movement twists the magma with incredible power, driven by an unknown force in low Earth orbit.

Civil society deteriorates and prophecies from ancient civilizations intersect at the dawn of a new millennium. A solution must be found before Earth tears herself to pieces.

In the jungle near the Aztec site of Teotihuacan north of Mexico City, a team of archeologists discovers a mysterious, triangular, metallic "book" with several prophetic visions. The book, of which Spore is a replica, guides the team and you on a magical journey through worlds full of surprise and insight, set against a backdrop of dramatic global change.

Within this magical storybook, you will discover a set of secret keys of the Universe. Spore will draw you into its web, one that connects the ancient to the alien and forms a fresh inflection in human history.

Spore is a fast-paced epic, suitable for a wide variety of readers, from precocious kids to adult sci-fi fans..

Here's how it begins:

"Stars twisted and light bent as the strange and ancient cousin orbited toward Earth in a thunderous mirage. Marduk's planetary mass rumbled slowly out of the darkness closer to our home, this tiny, sacred stone in space. In the molten-lava heart of our world, the core responded to the first gravity waves from Marduk with a new shift in direction-a rebellion of Mother Earth began to grow stronger."

Spore is unique in every way a book can be.

- - - - - - - -

The Ten Outstanding Books of the Year

For 18 years our mission at Independent Publisher has been to recognize and encourage the work of publishers who exhibit the courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground, and bring about changes, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society, our environment, and our collective spirit. Click here to see the entire listing of Ten Outstanding Books.

Search keyword outstanding in the IP Archives for profiles of other Outstanding Books of the Year. "Story Teller of the Year" - Girl in Hyacinth Blue, by Susan Vreeland; published by MacMurray and Beck ISBN 1-878448-90-0.

One of the most talked-about independently published novels of 1999, Girl In Hyacinth Blue tells the life story of an unsigned painting by the Dutch Master Vermeer, through its various owners from seventeenth-century Holland to the present. The story is told in reverse chronological order, beginning with a man who inherited it from his Nazi father and can no longer keep the secret to himself, back in time to the moment of Vermeer's own inspiration to paint it.

Like Vermeer's paintings, this novel illuminates the poignantly dear moments in people's lives. Tied together by a collective admiration, even love, for the painting, Vreeland's characters remind us how beauty transforms and why we reach for it, and what in our lives is singular and unforgettable.

"Extraordinarily skilled historical fiction: deft, perceptive, full of learning, deeply moving." - Kirkus

Author Susan Vreeland's short fiction has appeared in journals such as "The Missouri Review," "Confrontation," "Calyx," and "Alaska Quarterly Review." Her first novel, What Love Sees, was broadcast as a CBS Sunday night movie in 1996. She teaches English literature, creative writing and art in San Diego public schools.

An excerpt:

"When Father and Toby came in, she couldn't look directly at them. The two German families were awkward, not knowing where to put themselves. A boy younger than Toby stood wordless and clinging to his father. Mother had Toby introduce each guest to Hilde, had him pass out the Haggadahs, had him bring the white kittel to his father to put on. She had him arrange on the Seder plate the celery, the shank bone, the charoseth, a withered root of horseradish, and a small peeled potato carved narrower at one end to look like an egg, and then she asked him to watch on the porch for sunset in the western sky. All this, Hannah knew, so he wouldn't think to take the little German boy upstairs to show him the birds.

Mother rummaged in the sideboard and brought out the old Delftware candlesticks. "Here," she said to Hannah. "These were your great-grandmother Etty's, but tonight and forever, they'll be yours. Wash them and put them on the table."

And Hannah did.

"Sunset's coming," Toby announced from the porch. "The sky's all goldy." Her mother struck a match and held it to an old candle stub until a flame rose, touched it to the two tapers in the silver candlesticks and handed it to Hannah. She did the same with hers. Watching her candlelight illuminate the girl in the painting, she knew why this night was different from all other nights. Real living had begun."

- - - - - - - - - -

The Ten Outstanding Books of the Year

For 18 years our mission at Independent Publisher has been to recognize and encourage the work of publishers who exhibit the courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground, and bring about changes, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society, our environment, and our collective spirit. Click here to see the entire listing of Ten Outstanding Books.

Search keyword outstanding in the IP Archives for profiles of other Outstanding Books of the Year.


Comments