Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The Babel Apocalypse by Vyvyan Evans


I've got another one for fans of science fiction! Today you can read an excerpt from The Babel Apocalypse by Vyvyan Evans, first book in the new Songs of the Sage series. Then you can take a sneak peek at the rest of the series! Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for even more fun and then check out the great giveaway at the end!

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.

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: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/vyvyan-evans/the-babel-apocalypse-songs-of-the-sage/

Read an excerpt:
As I was about to glance back at the voices, a light flickered in my peripheral vision, drawing my gaze upward to the night sky. A soft white glow, high up in the dark. At first it was indistinguishable from the airway lights. But it persisted, the size of a small disk at first, before shifting to red-orange, getting larger. At that point I realized it definitely couldn’t be a hover car. This was farther up, probably low Earth orbit, which explained the initial white. But the shift in coloration—that meant a detonation, producing nitrogen dioxide, which turned deep orange when mixed with air. A gaseous cloud has reached the atmosphere, I thought. I was witnessing a chemical explosion in space large enough to be visible to the naked eye. But what was exploding?

As I continued looking up, the orange grew in intensity until it flared across the skyline, illuminating the entire landscape around me with an eerie red-orange. It was only then that I became aware of the newly hushed silence of the drunken revelers nearby. And the silhouettes of other people too, who had also stopped and peppered the pedestrian corridor. We were all now strange red creatures, watching transfixed in rapt silence as the night sky was on fire. And just as suddenly as it had appeared, it was gone; the orange light faded back into a deep well of pitch black.

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Preview of the rest of the Songs of the Sage series

The Babel Apocalypse is book #1 in the Songs of the Sage series, set in the early twenty-second century. The book’s prologue introduces one of the protagonists, Professor Ebba Black, the last native speaker of language in the automated world, who lives in a time when language is no longer learned but streamed directly to language chips, implanted in people’s brains at birth.

In the prologue, Ebba is witness to a mysterious apparition, an angelic figure who transforms into a woman, Lilith King. Lilith is the protagonist of the second book in the series, The Dark Court, and provides Ebba with a warning, a prophesy and a gift. The prophesy relates to an imminent global language outage, caused by a cyberattack on the language streaming servers in low Earth orbit. This language outage is the apocalyptic event with which Ebba, and Europol Cybercrime commander, Emyr Morgan, must grapple during the course of The Babel Apocalypse.

The six books in the Songs of the Sage series explore the power of language, and how, with the advent of powerful AI technology, it can be commoditized by big tech, and turned into a weapon of mass destruction.

Book #1, The Babel Apocalypse, explores this premise from an Earth-bound perspective, when large swathes of the world’s population suddenly lose the ability to use language, and consequently can no longer communicate.

Book #2, The Dark Court, which introduces Lilith King in detail, further develops this theme once language streaming is restored. It does so by exploring the consequences of the very language chips, implanted in people’s heads, which can be hacked, to kill off large swathes of the population. This is achieved by using language chips to suppress melatonin production in the brain, causing a fatal insomnia pandemic.

Book #3 in the series, The Destiny of the Lost, sees Ebba and Lilith team up, to counter other-worldly forces, the mysterious Watchers, who seek to use infrasound to disable language chips, causing them to irradiate the brains of most of the world’s population—causing instantaneous death.

Book #4 in the series, The Stones of Kairos, contextualizes the events on Earth, by relating them to the sinister Sage, and an intergalactic plot to control all sentient beings with an addictive system of communication: the Mind Chant. This is a unique “song” transmitted from the distant planet Empyrean to an individual’s brain, across the known universe. The “songs” transmitted by the Sage can be switched off, causing death within twelve hours, for each individual targeted. Death occurs following a period of increasingly agonizing withdrawal symptoms.

Books #5 and #6 in the series bring events to a head, as the battle between good and evil rages, centered on who controls language. The events described in these books also resolve the ending that befell our male protagonist from book #1, the Europol commander, Emyr Morgan.

The overarching motif of the Songs of the Sage book series is: They who control language control everything.

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.

Book website (including ‘Buy’ links): www.songs-of-the-sage.com

Author website: https://www.vyvevans.net/

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@vyvevans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VyvEvans

The author will be awarding a physical paperback copy of the book (available internationally) to a randomly drawn commenter. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

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