My friend for nearly twenty years, author Woody Lewis and I sat down for the first time to talk about his book, his membership in the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), meeting and playing drums with Jimi Hendrix, his family’s relationship to Sally Hemings, and the struggle with writing about being black in America.
Evan Ratliff is a two-time National Magazine Award finalist, the co-founder of the Atavist publishing platform, the editor-in-chief of The Atavist Magazine, and the author of The Mastermind: Drugs, Empire, Murder, Betrayal.
The audio play is short, just seventy-three minutes, but that’s more than enough time to take you on a melancholy trip through the hours leading up to the impromptu Christmas Eve truce in World War I.
This is less a view of flyover country and more a response to flare-ups in flyover country. Still, I sat down and read the book in one sitting because it’s smart, well-written, on point, and unapologetic. I dig that.
While the story doesn’t really add much to the Alien universe—it really is a mash-up of the two movies—it’s still fun as hell to be back with Ripley (although she feels a little less feminist badass in the book, but not offensively so).
The book chronicles the rise of Homo sapiens from our earliest days on through the very near future, gently walking the reader through the complex issues of empire building, the development of cultures, and the ethical examinations of what it means to even be human.