»  Fire from the Sun

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Buy Fire from the Sun for your Kindle here!

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• History:   I wrote Fire from the Sun in the late 1990s, but it was too long for any publisher to take on. Microsoft Word clocks it at 382,715 words. That's not nearly as long as War and Peace (561,093 words in the Maude transation) or Atlas Shrugged (given as 645,000 by Wikipedia); and I'm not even going to mention the classic Chinese novels, except to note that my 4-volume Foreign Languages Press (Beijing, 1995) translation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Moss Roberts runs to 2,340 pages — around twice as long as Fire from the Sun.

So my novel is not really too long.

Grudgingly acknowledging that I do not carry the same weight with fiction publishers as Ayn Rand, let alone Leo Tolstoy, and that I don't have six centuries in the bestseller lists to recommend me, like the author of Three Kingdoms, in the year 2001 I self-published through Xlibris, a Print-On-Demand service. The book was even too long for them: they insisted on doing it in three volumes.

This meant that readers buying all three hardback volumes were investing over $100 in a little-known author. Further, I was not happy with the finished product, and Xlibris were unresponsive when I pointed out production faults. I am for ever grateful to readers who bought the book in any case, and to the many who praised it in private communications, especially the one who called it "a new Moby Dick," in spite of there being no whales in the book.

With the advent of eBooks I discovered (and my agent confirms) that I have retained the electronic-reproduction rights. I therefore, in early 2012, formatted Fire from the Sun as an eBook, available on Kindle for $5.99, which sure beats $100.

• Buy it:   You can buy Fire from the Sun for your Kindle here. I hope to have versions available in other eBook formats later in the year.

(But please note that as well as being a device, Kindle is also a free app for PC, Apple, and Android devices. Thus, having purchased the Kindle version, you can read it without buying a Kindle gadget.)

• Read about it:   The navigation box at right, or the links embedded here, will take you to a synopsis of the book's story, a more general Q&A description of the kind of book it is, a table of contents showing the timeline and the couplets that head each chapter, and a promotional column that National Review Online generously allowed me to post on their website at the time of original publication.