We are happy — but not surprised — at the great reviews for our upcoming Spring books: Figs and Alligators, the new memoir from veteran journalist, and Entropy Refraction, the science fiction epic from acclaimed novelist Mark Laporta! Congratulations to Mark and Aaron, and more to come we are sure.
“[Entropy Refraction] is a sense of wonder story and although the author has taken pains to give his characters some depth, most readers are going to be far more interested in the imaginative plot elements, the aliens, and the mystery involving the reticent race. This strikes me as a good book for a hot summer day, but you might enjoy it just as much during the winter.” — Don D’Ammassa, editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, writing on the Critical Mass wesite
“Laporta’s solid second Against the Glare of Darkness novel sees an old threat reawakened…. [T]he ancient Quishik aliens, who threaten all sentient life by manipulating probabilities and stealing mental energy, have been imprisoned beyond the normal limits of space-time. But now they’re working to break free, evidenced by destructive signs such as gravity distortions and an obliterated planet. The “distinguished crustacean” diplomat Ungent Draaf and his streetwise ward, Shol — a member of a race of oppressed and genetically engineered humans — offer hope by searching for a mysterious lost race called the Ootray, who fought and defeated the Quishiks millennia before…. Ungent, Shol, and the other defenders against the Quishiks remain engaging, with Shol’s discovery of Ootray tech driving the story forward. Fans of the previous book will appreciate the series’s direction.” — Publishers Weekly
“[In Figs and Alligators,] an American recounts the years he spent living in Israel with his family and the evolution of the country…. Leibel recalls his eventful experiences there — he lived in Jerusalem as well as on a kibbutz, where he worked at an apple orchard, and eventually became a journalist. He served in the Israel Defense Forces for 14 years and at one point was recruited to become a spy by Israeli intelligence. The author leads readers on an astute tour of Israel’s metamorphosis from a “Third World country with a First World military establishment” to a “start-up nation” that was the “most important technological center in the Middle East.” Leibel’s story is brief … but brimming with historical drama. He lived in Israel during the Yom Kippur War, the nation’s peace with Egypt, and the first intifada. This is a remarkable introduction to a complex country, personally charming and historically edifying. A thoughtful and thorough explication of a turbulent nation.” — Kirkus Reviews
When I first heard about Aaron Leibel’s Figs and Alligators, I was very anxious to read it since it coincides with many of the years I lived in Israel. I did not, however, think that I would be as affected by it as I was. All the memories of my years in Israel came rushing back and I laughed and I wept as I read. Simply written and conversational in tone, I could have been sitting in the same room with author Leibel and comparing notes…. It is very difficult to put into words what is to be “a stranger in a strange land” yet Aaron Leibel succeeds in doing so beautifully. Unlike the Israel of today, arriving in the first quarter of the state was very different. I went to build a nation, the home of my people and so I was willing to live with the sacrifices I had to make to be part of a new and vibrant society…. There is humor and pathos on every page but above all else is the author’s honest retelling of a time that is now gone; a time when idealism ruled and was often fulfilled. — Reviews by Amos Lassen