Thursday, May 4, 2023

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Babel Apocalypse by Vyvyan Evans @VyvEvans @GoddessFish


by Vyvyan Evans

GENRE: Science Fiction


Language is no longer learned, but streamed to neural implants regulated by lang-laws. Those who can't afford language streaming services are feral, living on the fringes of society. Big tech corporations control language, the world’s most valuable commodity.

But when a massive cyberattack causes a global language outage, catastrophe looms.

Europol detective Emyr Morgan is assigned to the case. His prime suspect is Professor Ebba Black, the last native speaker of language in the automated world, and leader of the Babel cyberterrorist organization. But Emyr soon learns that in a world of corporate power, where those who control language control everything, all is not as it seems.

As he and Ebba collide, Emyr faces an existential dilemma between loyalty and betrayal, when everything he once believed in is called into question. To prevent the imminent collapse of civilization and a global war between the great federations, he must figure out friend from foe—his life depends on it. And with the odds stacked against him, he must find a way to stop the Babel Apocalypse.

For more information on THE BABEL APOCALYPSE or to purchase a copy visit its Website


It wasn’t her cold beauty that marked out Ebba Black as unique—her chilling looks, as she called them—although her looks invariably made an impression on all who met her. Rather, it was the fact that she was the last nate in the automated world. That made her famous. Undoubtedly she was celebrated for other things too—Ebba Black the Babelist, the heiress, the conspiracy theorist, the charismatic professor. Maybe even the oddity. After all, Ebba was the last speaker of languages that would die with her. With Elias’s passing five years prior, she had no one left to speak them with. And Ebba Black would not marry. Commitment of that sort wasn’t her thing, and she would certainly never have children. You could say she wasn’t the maternal type.

Ebba knew she was unique in other, ineffable ways, too. For one, she listed things to herself, silently, in her head. Reasons to know me. Reasons not to know me. Reasons to hate me, to admire me. But not reasons to love me. Never that. That was forbidden. Ebba never allowed anyone to get that close.

Sometimes Ebba even indulged in one of her trademark waspish grins. To no one in particular, while she mentally scrolled through one list: reasons to kill. The list with the names. Her list of lists. The grin was the only outward sign she was performing a mental stock-take. It wasn’t good to be on that particular list. Ebba Black was neither the forgiving nor the tolerant type.

Interview with Vyvyan Evans

    How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

    My background is in linguistics, working as a university professor. Hence, I had written and published a good number of non-fiction books before moving into science fiction. I published 14 non-fiction books, including technical books, textbooks for university students and popular science books on language and communication for lay readers.

    But my favorite book is my new work of science fiction: The Babel Apocalypse. This book is a natural extension of my entire career as a researcher in linguistics. It imagines a near-future in which language is no longer learned, it’s streamed to neural implants in people’s heads from internet in space. But when a global language strikes, catastrophe ensues.

    The book explores how language works, and when it doesn’t what we all lose. I hope it makes the reader think about language in a whole new way.

    If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

    The Babel Apocalypse is the first book in the Songs of the Sage sci-fi series.

    There are six projected books in the series which, in increasing turns, examine the role and nature of language, and communication. The thematic premise is that, in the wrong hands, language can serve as a weapon of mass destruction. This overarching motif is explored, across the six books, both from Earth-bound and galaxies-wide bases.

    As language involves symbol use and processing, the book series, perhaps naturally, also dwells on other aspects of human imagination and symbolic behavior, including religious experience and belief systems, themselves made possible by language.

    The second book in the series, The Dark Court, is set five years after the events of the great language outage depicted in The Babel Apocalypse. It explores how the language chips in people’s heads can themselves be hacked, leading to a global insomnia pandemic. The Dark Court will be published in 2024, as book 2 in the series.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    The six books in the Songs of the Sage series are linked by four protagonists, whose fates and lives are interlinked, and who crisscross each other through space, and time, all linked in a variety of ways.

    The central theme of language as the hallmark of what it means to be human is explored in a variety of ways. Also explored is the way, in the future, language can be used as weapon against those who use it, when science and AI takes over.

    As language entails involves symbol use, the book series, perhaps naturally, also dwells on other aspects of human imagination and symbolic behavior, including religious experience and belief systems, themselves made possible by language.

    How did you come up with the title for your book?

    The book’s title refers to an event predicted by one of the protagonists, Ebba Black. Ten years before the events depicted in the book, Ebba published a so-called Babel Apocalypse manifesto, advocating ways to have humanity unhooked from the language streaming that has taken away their humanity, and their native ability to use language. She saw the loss of language, transferring to AI as a Babel Apocalypse—the end of language.

    How long did it take you to write this book?

    The concept for the book came to me in 2017. But it wasn’t until 2019 that I began writing. It took over three years to complete.

    What does the title mean?

    The book title brings together two biblical events: a reference to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, which presents an origin myth for the beginning of language. The Apocalypse refers to events that take place at the end of the world.

    Both ideas are important, in various ways, in the book, The Babel Apocalypse, and indeed the entire Songs of the Sage book series. The Babel Apocalypse narrates a global catastrophe caused by a failure in language streaming technology. Hence, the imminent collapse of civilization described in the book relate directly to the two biblical notions implied by the book’s title.

    What did you learn when writing the book?

    The main female protagonist is a high-functioning sociopath with psychopathic tendencies. Yet, she is fearless in attempting to restore language, to restore humanity, on a global scale. I learned from her that it is possible to flawed, yet also to act in the service of good.

    What surprised you the most?

    That I actually did know how to use semi-colons, but that I’m hopeless with the Oxford comma.

    Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

    No so far, but watch this space…

    What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

    I build up a detailed “portrait” of the person, including their actions. And then I unpick what must have led to those actions, their thought processes. This helps to get to know a character, what makes them tick, so to say.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Dr. Vyvyan Evans is a native of Chester, England. He holds a PhD in linguistics from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and is a Professor of Linguistics. He has published numerous acclaimed popular science and technical books on language and linguistics. His popular science essays and articles have appeared in numerous venues including 'The Guardian', 'Psychology Today', 'New York Post', 'New Scientist', 'Newsweek' and 'The New Republic'. His award-winning writing focuses, in one way or another, on the nature of language and mind, the impact of technology on language, and the future of communication. His science fiction work explores the status of language and digital communication technology as potential weapons of mass destruction.

Connect with Vyvyan Evans

Website ~ YouTube ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

The Babel Apocalypse earned a starred review in Kirkus: "A perfect fusion of SF, thriller, and mystery—smart speculative fiction at its very best."

The full review is here


A physical paperback copy of the book (available internationally)

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