Category : Speculative Fiction

Flight of the Owl by Donna Dechen Birdwell

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Flight of the Owl is the 3rd volume of the Recall Chronicles by Donna Dechen Birdwell.

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Civilization has collapsed. A pandemic has wiped out most of humanity. In the spring of 2127, Jonathan Swain—a backslid Buddhist monk and fugitive filmmaker—sets out in search of his grandfather’s archives, determined to discover the truth about the old man’s role in the disastrous world that was. Accompanied by a Hopi artist and a genius fifteen-year-old with a sketchy past, Jonathan’s quest takes him first to Dallas, Texas, and then to Costa Rica, where he learns that the future of humankind may depend on what he finds.




A Word from the Author

author-donna-birdwell-pictureFlight of the Owl is the third—but not final—installment of the Recall Chronicles. (There are reasons why I didn’t want to call it a trilogy!) The main character here is Jenda’s brother Jonathan. We met him in Way of the Serpent, where we learned that he was on the lam from the corporate police because of a flick he’d made that offended the plutocracy. This book picks up about six months after the conclusion of Volume I and I don’t think it will be too much of a spoiler to admit it’s straight-up post apocalyptic. The story hinges on Jonathan’s determination to discover the role his grandfather played in the establishment of plutocratic rule. He returns to the old family estate in Costa Rica to investigate, while mulling over the missteps of his own life in the context of the demise of human civilization. What he uncovers is not what he expected.

The “owl” theme emerges in several ways. Jonathan’s Hopi companion, Dextra, still heeds her grandmother’s admonitions about owls as bearers of news (sometimes good, sometimes bad). And we learn that Jonathan’s troublesome flick was based on a Hindu legend about snake beings called “nagas” and their nemesis “garudas”, creatures ostensibly linked to the Eurasian eagle-owl. There are other references, but I don’t want to spoil the story! The “Recall” theme comes full circle in this one.

(Donna Dechen Birdwell, October 2016)

 

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Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

 

Other Books in the Same Series

Way of the Serpent

 Shadow of the Hare

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Shadow of the Hare by Donna Dechen Birdwell

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Shadow of the Hare is the 2nd volume of the Recall Chronicles by Donna Dechen Birdwell.

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Malia is a stubbornly dissident author and bibliophile in a world where books have ceased to matter and barely exist. She remembers how things changed through the 21st century, but after fifty years of self-imposed exile, she returns to a world far more terrifying than the one she fled. In Dallas, Nigeria, and India she doggedly pursues the truth her heart demands.




A Word from the Author

author-donna-birdwell-pictureOnce I’d told Jenda’s story, I knew there were other stories to be told about this world I’d built. Shadow of the Hare begins with the same scene as chapter one of Way of the Serpent, but told through the eyes of the old woman, Malia Poole. Malia’s memories are imperfect but far more intact than Jenda’s, so Malia is able to take the reader back through the closing years of the 21st century and into a deeper understanding of the world as it came to be in the 22nd. Malia is an unrepentant Vintagonist – a dissident who is part of the Recall network. She’s also an author and bibliophile in a world where books have ceased to matter and barely exist. Her dissident ways force her to flee Washington, DC, and she spends fifty years in self-imposed exile in a Simpleton community in far west Texas. Contentment just isn’t her thing, though, and she returns to the world to finally fill in that one blank year of her life. Where the quest leads her occupies the last half of the novel. All I’ll say about that is that I cried more writing about Malia than about any of my other characters. The events of the closing chapters of Way of the Serpent play out in a totally different part of the world in Shadow of the Hare and in much more vivid detail.
The folktale theme in this book has to do with the different stories people tell about the shadows on the face of the moon. While some people see a human face, others see the outline of a hare. Do we see what we want to, or just what our culture tells us is there?
(Donna Dechen Birdwell, October 2016)

 

Get It

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

 

Other Books in the Same Series

Way of the Serpent

Flight of the Owl

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Way of the Serpent by Donna Dechen Birdwell

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Way of the Serpent is the 1st volume of the Recall Chronicles by Donna Dechen Birdwell.

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It’s 2125. Aging is a thing of the past, but personal memories and desires are now under corporate management. At the youthful age of 111, Jenda Swain is content with her life and her career, when an unexpected encounter with an old woman forces her to question her own identity, to try and discover the woman she once was and might yet become.




A Word from the Author

author-donna-birdwell-pictureWhen I wrote Way of the Serpent I didn’t know there was going to be a series. I was fascinated with the implications of anti-aging research leading inadvertently into near-immortality. How would people feel and what kind of decisions would they make when YOLO stretched out over a couple of centuries?

Way of the Serpent is the story of Jenda Swain, a clueless but vaguely discontent corporate drone who is shocked into action by a disturbing encounter with an old woman. Jenda sets out to discover what’s missing from her memories and her life and where she ends up is a bit of a shocker. Even authors are sometimes taken aback to learn what their characters are capable of!

My series gets labeled “science fiction” even though I’m much more comfortable aligning it with Margaret Atwood’s notion of “speculative fiction”. Besides the drug that prevents aging, the other two essential elements in the world I’ve imagined forward (straight out of this one) are the management of memories by an all-powerful social media giant called Your Journal and the demise of governments, which left everything under the control of the mega-corporations. The title of the series comes from the subversive Recall network and the fact that “Recall” can reference both “remembering” and the withdrawing (reclaiming?) of something defective.

You should also know that I have a habit of weaving folktales into my stories’ themes. (I’m an anthropologist!) In this case, it’s an old New Guinea tale of how, at the beginning of time, a snake and a bird did battle to determine whether humans would be like snakes – shedding their skins and living forever – or like birds, who have to die.

(Donna Dechen Birdwell, October 2016)

 

Get It

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Other Books in the Same Series

Shadow of the Hare

Flight of the Owl

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