The Word Reclaimed, written by Steve Rzasa, was published by Marcher Lord Press in October. I was graciously offered a pdf of the book for review purposes, which I gladly accepted. Although reading a pdf is not my favorite way to read a novel, I found that the effort was worth it. Steve Rzasa’s book is a wonderful, classic piece of space opera in the tradition of Star Wars. The author was kind enough to grant me an interview, but before that, here’s the official blurb.
Far in the future, the five colonized systems have finally been freed of the curse of religion. By mandating tolerance across all colonies, no one can bring religious persecution upon anyone else. Things have been this way for a generation. Long enough for most of those living to have never known a Torah, Koran, or New Testament, except in stories. And the Kesek secret police work hard to keep it so. So what happens when a bitter teenage discovers a holy book that has been earmarked for destruction? What happens when it begins speaking to him. And now that Kesek is coming for him and his father and anyone else who gets in his way, what is he going to do with this troublesome book? The Word Reclaimedis epic space opera amidst civil war, treachery, and political alliances as sifting as Martian sand.
And now for the interview. Enjoy!
What led you to write this particular story?
A few years ago I hit upon the idea, what if a man found a Bible in the wreckage of a starship? Then I wondered what it would be like if written religious texts were banned, and faith was regulated. From that came the genesis for “”The Word Reclaimed.”
In a way, The Word Reclaimed reminded me of several really great space operas–like Star Wars and Anne McCaffrey’s novels, among others. What particular books or movies impacted you as you were growing up?
Ah, you discovered the not-so-great secret! I love the Star Wars series and read several novelizations, especially the “Heir to the Empire” and “Black Fleet Crisis” trilogies – those I read in college. I did most of my science fiction reading in high school and college. I thoroughly enjoyed C.J. Cherryh’s “Merchanter’s Luck” as well as the Honor Harrington novels of David Weber.
Oh! And I can’t forget the canceled “Firefly” TV series. Best sci-fi show ever!
Who are your favorite authors, those whose books you’d love to settle down with on a cold winter afternoon or evening?
The aforementioned “Merchanter’s Luck” is one I re-read regularly. I also really enjoy David Drake’s “Lt. Leary, Commanding.” Kathy Tyers’ “Firebird” trilogy is a great one, too.
How long did it take you to write The Word Reclaimed?
The Word Reclaimed is actually the first half of a much longer epic I called “Commissioned.” It took about six years to write the whole works, with most of the work completed during nine months in 2008-09. Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press decided he wanted to publish the novel but asked me to find a cut-off, a cliffhanger of sorts. I did, and “The Word Reclaimed” was born.
Who was your favorite character to write? What is your favorite thing about that character?
Well, my protagonist Baden was enjoyable if only for the fact that he’s an average guy struggling with some real questions of faith and belief. But I’d have to settle on Detective Chief Inspector Nikolaas Ryke of the Kesek secret police as my favorite to write. He’s just mean! It was fun to take one character and see just how much of a villain I could make him.
If you could be any character from a fantasy or sci-fi book, who would it be and why?
That’s easy – Han Solo! Or at least, somebody with his same job description. Come to think of it, I’d love to be on the crew of the good ship Serenity of Firefly fame …
What projects are you working on now?
I am in the midst of rewriting/editing the sequel or Book 2, entitled “The Word Unleashed.” The release date is April 2010. After that, well, I have lots of ideas for this universe.
How can readers find you on the web?
My website, www.steverzasa.com, has the latest information about “The Word Reclaimed” and background about the universe in which “The Face of the Deep” series is set. “The Word Reclaimed” is available for purchase through www.marcherlordpress.com, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.