Friday, August 5, 2022

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Genes of Isis by Justin Newland @GoddessFish


The Genes of Isis

by Justin Newland

GENRE: Mythological Fiction / Fantasy


BLURB:


Akasha is a precocious young woman who lives in a world where oceans circulate in the aquamarine sky waters.

Before she was born, the Helios, a tribe of angels from the sun, came to Earth to deliver the Surge, the next step in the evolution of an embryonic human race. Instead, they left humanity on the brink of extinction and spawned a race of monstrous hybrids.

Horque is a Solarii, another tribe of angels, sent to Earth to rescue the genetic mix-up and release the Surge.

When Akasha has a premonition that a great flood is imminent and falls in love with Horque, her life becomes an instrument for apocalyptic change. But will it save the three races - humans, hybrids and Solarii – from the killing waters?


Purchase The Genes of Isis on Amazon


Excerpt:

The moonlight flooded through the window but Issa was still awake. Once the street cats grew tired of fighting and the hyenas and foxes stopped scavenging, she roused herself and began her descent. Clutching a glow lamp in one hand and Fryme's package in the other, she crept downstairs and stopped in the middle of a corridor, beside a section of wall that would have appeared unremarkable to anyone else. She knew otherwise.

A few words, an arcane utterance, followed by a shimmer of light and the astral curtain disappeared, revealing the secret door. She stepped through it, into the corridor beyond. She was going to the God Crucible, an occult chamber beneath her house. Its astral protections were such that no one, not even Cheiron, suspected its existence. Her breathing was shallow. This was the first point of no return.

Her glow-lamp threw long shadows down the narrow, sloping tunnel. Divided in two, it had steps on one side and a slanting ramp on the other. In front of her on the ground was a piece of white bandage, accidentally torn off the mummified body of her son, which she'd dragged down the ramp before Cheiron had arrived. How heavy he had been. They didn't call it a dead weight for nothing. She could still smell the musty odour of the dust particles she'd dislodged.

At the bottom of the ramp, the tunnel gave way to a dome-shaped chamber, the God Crucible. Her son’s cadaver lay on a bench, and she ran her hand over the embalming bandages. Beside it was a second, vacant bench. There, she would lie during the ritual she was about to perform.

The Anubis embalmers had washed Horque’s body, encased it in natron salt, and mummified it according to all but one of the traditions of the Jackal-headed God - the exception being that they had not removed any of his organs. On his chest, she laid out a scarab pectoral and into his mouth, she placed a length of straw. 



Interview with Justin Newland


Hi Nancy, thanks for having me on your blog as part of the Goddess Fish promotion of my novel, The Genes of Isis.


About The Genes of Isis.

The Genes of Isis follows the story of the Fallen Angels and the Flood from the Bible, and re-tells it in a modern way, giving it a different twist.

In that story, the Fallen Angels mate with the daughters of men and create a race of monsters, hybrids, and mixed-genetic creatures. Genetics went wild. Yet today, human genetics are stable. Boy gets together with a girl, and the result is another standard-issue human. So somewhere along the line, genetics got stabilized. The Genes of Isis is a fictional account of how that happened.


What drew me to the stories of Ancient Egypt?

I wanted to explore our human origins. Where did we come from? How did we get to where we are today? Why are things as they are? I wanted to conceive a story that offered the discerning reader a different entry point to these age-old questions. Inevitably, it led me to Ancient Egypt, the world’s earliest recorded historical culture.

As the oldest, Egypt civilisation influenced everything that followed: the first in any field always does. That’s why Egypt is known as the Mother and Father of all things.

The Ancient Egyptians imagined their origins through creation myths, such as the myth of Isis. In it, Osiris, her husband, is murdered and has his dismembered body parts distributed all over Egypt. Isis gathers them together and miraculously brings him back to life. This is a story of life and death, procreation, rebirth and the struggle for power, all archetypal themes. It’s about genesis because that’s what genes of Isis means.


Where did the Biblical flood fit into the story?

In the Book of Genesis, the flood lasted 40 days and nights. If so, how did all that water get up there in the first place? Here’s an utterance from the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts:

'I shall cross the great lake in the sky and return home to my double on the sun.'

Not only does this moot a ‘lake in the sky’ but it suggests the Ancient Egyptians were beings from the sun or sun-folk.

More recently, Old Mother Shipton, a Yorkshire prophetess, coined her answer:

Beneath the water, men shall walk. Shall ride, shall sleep, shall even talk.'

What if the waters were already up there in the sky, causing the earth to shrink like a dried prune, leaving the remaining oceans on shallow sea beds?

This gave me the idea for the sky waters, an important element of the world of The Genes of Isis.


What drove you to expand these initial ideas into a full novel?

Legends from other ancient cultures mentioned cross-breeding between species, mixed genetics and hybrids. The apocryphal The Book of Enoch spoke of the Grigori or fallen angels who came to Earth and mated with 'the daughters of men,' spawning the Nephilim, an antediluvian race of giants. The Epic of Gilgamesh talked of strange beings such as fish-men who came ashore for the day and returned to the sea at night.

What if these fallen angels were sun-folk who manifested in human form and settled in Ancient Egypt, as suggested by the Pyramid Texts? What if antediluvian genetics were unstable, in that the bindings that prevented successful inter-species cross-breeding had become loosened, spawning mixed genetic creatures and humans with animal heads?

This was the germ of the idea for the novel: an alternative genesis of the human race.

Interwoven with these ideas were esoteric concepts such as the akashic record and the astral body. The akashic record is conceived of as a compendium of thoughts, events and emotions encoded in a numinous plane of existence. From this, I derived the name of the novel's heroine, Akasha, a Sanskrit word meaning aether or atmosphere. The astral body is a personal spirit entity which can leave a person during sleep, travel through the vast numinous corridors of the akashic record and in so doing re-connect to the history of any person or event from any previous epoch. This is what Edgar Cayce, an American mystic, claimed to have done.

Other sources included Doris Lessing's Shikastra which speculated on how humans may have lived in the time before recorded history. The name Samlios, where the initial action of the novel unfolds, is taken from Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson.

All this nourished my fascination for the supernatural and ancient times.


How did you build a narrative and characters around the ingredients gathered from your knowledge of Ancient Egypt?

With two sources, one Biblical and one Ancient Egyptian, I needed two protagonists, one human, the other angelic or sun-folk, whom I called the Solarii. I envisaged the embryonic human race as blue-blooded, gentle folk whereas the Solarii were drawn as red-blooded and severe. A comparison of opposites yielded a girl and boy, young and old, Akasha and Horque. Thus the main characters took shape.

When I started work on the novel, I began with the idea and a storyline. The characters emerged from the plot. Sometimes my imagination revealed things about them, like what they carried in their pockets, their physical characteristics, and their character. I found them crouching behind the plot lines, emerging out of the shadows of the narrative and in the great halls of the unconscious (in dreams).


What haunted you throughout the process?

Looking into pre-history, there was a sense that I was peering into a dark timeless abyss, where sometimes, as Nietzsche predicted, the abyss stared back. That was unnerving, especially as most of what I was researching had no solid facts on which anyone agreed. But it did leave plenty of room for the imagination to roam.

The final word is the haunting saying:

Egypt knows you, but do you know the Egypt in you?


If you want to know more, you know where to look.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers - that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

His Books

The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind. ISBN 9781789014860.

The novel is creative, sophisticated, and downright brilliant! I couldn’t ask more of an Egyptian-esque book!” – Lauren, Books Beyond the Story.

The Old Dragon’s Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times. ISBN 9781789015829.

The author is an excellent storyteller.” – British Fantasy Society.

Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of the Industrial Revolution. ISBN 9781838591885.

The novel explores the themes of belonging, outsiders… religion and war… filtered through the lens of the other-worldly.” – A. Deane, Page Farer Book Blog.

His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery. ISBN 9781800463950.

In Topeth, Tula confronts the truth, her faith in herself, faith in a higher purpose, and ultimately, what it means to abdicate that faith.”

Connect with Justin Newland

Website ~ Facebook



Giveaway:


one signed copy of the paperback (US or International)




Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


2 comments:

Justin said...

Hi Nancy, many thanks for hosting this stop on the Goddess Fish blog tour of The Genes of Isis.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

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