I love my music as much as I love to read. And I love it when authors are able to put the two together. What do you think of this list that David S. McCracken has put together for his book Fly Twice Backward? Let him know what you think in the comments. Follow the tour for more. And best of luck entering the giveaway!
You wake back in early adolescence, adult memories intact, including ones that could make you very wealthy now. Your birth family is here, alive again, but your later families are gone, perhaps forever. What has happened, what should you do about coming problems like violence, ignorance, pollution, and global warming? You realize one key connects most, the fundamentalist strains of all the major religions, disdaining science, equality, and social welfare. You see that there are some things you can change, some you can’t, and one you don’t dare to.
Fellow idealists help you spend your growing fortune well--such as an artistic Zoroastrian prince in the Iranian oil industry, a rising officer in the Soviet army working to find a way to destroy his corrupt government, a Bahai woman struggling against Islamic brutality, a Peruvian leader working for a liberal future, and a snake-handling Christian minister, grappling with doubts, sexuality, and destiny. They are supported by an ally who develops essential psychic powers. The group faces familiar-looking corrupt politicians, religious leaders, and corporate czars, but there is an ancient force in the background, promoting greed, violence, hate, and fear.
This exciting, emotional, thoughtful, humorous, and even romantic sci-fi novel weaves progressivism, music, movies, and literature into a struggle spanning the globe. Vivid characters propel the action back up through an alternative history toward an uncertain destination. Experience the unique story and its novel telling.
When she gets home from school, Mom surprises me with a borrowed newspaper, El Mundo: “I thought you might want to catch up on Latin American news. You can read this OK, can’t you?”
Ah, a test. Thank goodness I’ve been brushing up scanning her upper-level texts. I take in her sly, wolfish grin, restrain one of my own, and say,” Oh, good here’s an article on the coming Venezuelan election, Mom. Have you read it?”
“Um, no, not yet.”
I proceed to summarize the article and mention that the junta had called the elections confident of solidifying their mandate. I go on to add they would lose—and turn power back over to the military. Who’d have thought that my Latin American studies focus would come in so handy, so long before I pursued it!
Mom slinks off to putter in the kitchen, but soon our doorbell rings. She seems to run to answer it.
“David, there’s a man here, Mr. Walker, I’d like you to talk with.” Looks like trouble.
“Oh, about what?” I ask.
“Well, just to get acquainted, for now,” Mom says. “Um, we’re thinking you might be able to use a special teacher.”
Walker is a serious-looking tall man of middle age, conservatively suited.
“Are you a math teacher? I’d love to learn advanced stuff, like algebra.”
“Oh, do you already know about it?”
“No, not past the name. Can you teach me algebra?”
Mom puts in, “Maybe history, David?”
“That’d be nice. I don’t know much, except some about the Second World War. I was amazed a friend of mine didn’t know who General Rommel was, though.”
“Mrs. McCracken, is there something in particular you have in mind?”
“Well, he says he came back from the future.”
“Mom, if I’d done that, I wouldn’t have been so surprised by this. You’re worrying me. You don’t want to do electroshock again, I know. You were really confused after the last time.”
“This is nonsense! I’ve never had electroshock.”
“Oh, Mom, are you back in that state? Don’t you remember? You denied it then, but . . . well, you know you wet your pants whenever you’d think about it. She was doing so well, Doctor . . ..”
Do I ever have a playlist for you, and much more. Since my experience of the novel’s uniquely emotional events was often enhanced by the movies, music, reading, and poetry I love, when I put out a paperback version, I posted a list of live links on the book’s blog, https://flytwicebackward.blogspot.com/. The music is made available through Amazon Music, which lets you play practically any song ever recorded, inexpensively. There are also links for the other mentioned media.
I’ll mention just a few of the songs specifically.
- “Try to Remember,” from The Fantastics, sets the mood of remembrance combined with fantasy.
- “Any Dream Will Do”, from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, brings in the ongoing importance of dreams and imagination.
- “Sunrise, Sunset,” from Fiddler on the Roof, emphasizes the importance of family and love in the novel.
- “To Dream the Impossible Dream,” injects the hope and fear of the central quest.
- “Another Opn’in, Another Show,” from Kiss Me, Kate supports the mood of starting over.
- “I Still See Elisa,” from Paint Your Wagon, presents one character’s motivating longing over the years for Alessa, who felt obliged to leave him.
- “Beyond the Sunrise,” from Marco Polo, expresses the longing for worlds unseen.
- While you’re playing “Beyond the Sunrise”, go to the bottom of the list of tracks for “Epilogue” which isn’t in the story, but it could have been the epilogue to it, if I hadn’t needed a different epilogue. I wanted to use it.
- “Let It Be a Dance (We Do)”, reflects an important part of the attitude of the story, with dancing often entering it.
- “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”, from the movie by that name, reflects another part of the attitude of the story, in a time travel context.
No wonder my book is long, a saga, as two reviewers called it!
After three years in the U.S. Navy following a lackluster academic start, he graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1963, in Diplomacy and International Commerce. He then worked as a Latin American country desk officer in the U.S. Department of Commerce until he returned to school to earn an M.A. in Elementary Education in 1970 from Murray State University, having always been intending to teach. Eventually realizing his children qualified for reduced-price lunches based on his own teaching salary, he studied computer programming at Northern Virginia Community College and worked as a programmer until shifting back into elementary teaching.
He began working on what became Fly Twice Backward in 1983 and finally finished it in 2019! At 79, David strongly doubts he'll be doing another novel of such scope and complexity, but is preparing to work on a children's science fiction novel with a progressive bent, being a devout progressive in politics and religion, as well as a lover of learning.
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