Press: Blackburnian Press (August 11, 2009)
Author Name:Alenthony, S. a.
Dante Alighieri's magnificent Inferno has ruled for centuries as literature's most imaginative depiction of the fates of the damned.
As a masterwork of allegorical fantasy, it stands unequaled.
As a survey of the true causes of human misery, it fails utterly, built as it was upon a medieval religious worldview divorced from reality.
Alenthony's The Infernova is the new book that rectifies this error by turning the classic vision of the Christian hell upside-down.
Retelling the poem from an atheist's perspective, the story parallels Dante's descent through nine infamous circles where increasingly pernicious sinners endure their symbolic punishments.
The upper circles house the minor offenders: those who lacked clarity or promoted fallacious arguments.
The middle levels incarcerate those who preyed upon-and profited from-irrationality: paranormalists, conspiracy theorists, astrologers, and their ilk.
Lower and yet darker realms are reserved for religion's criminals, such as televangelist-frauds, pedophile-priests, and terrorists, while at the pit's nadir reside the legions of the world's prophets and a virtual menagerie of the countless gods born of their imaginations.
Dante was famously accompanied on his journey by his revered hero, the Roman poet Virgil.
In The Infernova, it is the satirical and irreligious gadfly Mark Twain who takes the role of guide and companion.
As their odyssey continues, the dangers of irrational and mystical thinking grow more clear, and their dialogues and encounters with hell's residents provide a unique tableau on which to set out the arguments against supernaturalism.
Mythological traditions have long used narratives and parables as vehicles to get their messages across.
While secular writers have produced a steady stream of quality non-fiction recently, works of fiction and poetry are more rare.
The Infernova addresses the paucity of atheist imaginative writing, and will be of interest to all manner of freethinkers, humanists, and skeptical persons looking for a different kind of deconstruction of the world's superstitions.
What an impressive book! The verse is wonderful.
It's an ingenious idea...
and well done.
It was a fantastic read.
Very enjoyable and thought-provoking.
I plan to recommend to educational activities like Camp Quest and AEU Society programs.
I enjoyed and appreciated every page...
ingeniously conceived and masterfully executed and I can readily commend it to other secular readers.
From the Back Cover
A young man's struggle to find his path in a world of human illusion and error is the theme of The Infernova.
A novel in verse, this secular parody of Dante's classic takes the reader through a new Hell - an abyss devised not to punish those damned by Christian doctrine, but rather those greater agents of human misery: the irrational, the mystical, and the dogmatic religious.
And just as Dante was guided on his trek by a celebrated writer, so too here - but it is the irreverent Mark Twain taking the role of Virgil.
As their journey proceeds, the perils of unreason and faith-based thinking become ever more clear and dramatic.
About the Author
Alenthony is uniquely qualified to satirize religion and irrationality, as he had the misfortune of being born to parents that were Jehovah's Witnesses.
He literally almost died as an infant due to their well-known refusal to allow blood transfusions.
Despite the fact that he was slated to be a Christian by accident of birth, he became a doubter instead by choice.
He earned a Ph.D.
in physics a decade after dropping out of high school.
He and his wife Claire are raising their two freethinking kids in the relatively moderate state of Minnesota.
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