CSFF Blog Tour – The Skin Map, Day 1

The Skin Map, Book 1 of the Bright Empires series, is the latest release by vaunted fantasy/historical fiction writer Stephen Lawhead. The author himself describes the series as the most challenging he’s ever undertaken, largely because of the complexities. The work is a unique cross between science and fantasy.

Above all, Mr. Lawhead remains one of the great storytellers of our day. He knows how to create interesting characters, build tension, generate suspense.

Because The Skin Map is such a unique undertaking, the book trailer might be the best way to introduce the premise.

And now a bite of the actual writing for you to chew on:

The main room of the inn was bustling with a brisk trade, but they found a table and ordered three jars of the best. When the ale came, the publican brought a bowl of roasted and salted cobnuts. Sir Henry raised a toast, and they all quaffed down the sweet ale. “As soon as we’ve finished here,” Cosimo announced, “we’re off to fetch the map.”

“And then?” wondered Kit.

“Then we shall determine the best course of action from several that are open to us,” answered Cosimo. “If my hunch is correct, we’ll be heading off to one of the nearer leys—the Cotswolds are full of them, and there are several within striking distance.”

They drank in silence for a while, then Kit said, “Tell me, is it always the past we visit? I mean do you ever travel to the future?”

“The absolute future?” His great-grandfather shook his head of wavy white hair. “No. Never. At least I’ve never heard that it was possible. Now, the relative future—well, that’s something else altogether.”

“Come again?” asked Kit.

“See here,” Cosimo said, “the relative future is what Sir Henry would visit if he were to travel to London in, say, 1920.”

“The past for us, but the future for him. It’s relative to where you started from. I get it.”

“Precisely,” agreed his great-grandfather. “But no one—not Sir Henry, myself, you, or anone else—can go beyond the present time of the Home World. That’s the absolute future, and no one can travel there.”

“Why not?”

Cosimo glanced at Sir Henry, who frowned. “We don’t know,” he confessed. “We’ve tried, but it does not seem at all possible. We don’t know why.” He paused, then added, “It is a question that has been troubling me for years.”

“We have theories,” prompted Sir Henry.

“Yes, and the simplest explanation is that the future hasn’t happened yet.”

“Which is why they call it the future, I suppose.”

(from The Skin Map, pp. 150-151)

Be sure to visit the other blogs participating in the tour (a check mark links to an article that has already been posted). Note in particular that you can win an autographed copy of The Skin Map from Robert Treskillard.

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson.

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