Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Earth & Sky"

Megan Crewe is the author of the young adult novels Earth & Sky (the first in the Earth & Sky trilogy), The Way We Fall, The Lives We Lost, The Worlds We Make (the Fallen World trilogy), and Give Up the Ghost.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Earth & Sky and reported the following:
When I checked page 69 of Earth & Sky, I was struck to discover it contains this passage, in which the alien rebel Win is sharing a recording of his group's leader with Skylar, the novel's Earthling protagonist, who he hopes to convince to join him in fighting to free Earth from his people's control:
The guy—Jeanant, this leader Win’s been talking about—appears to be no older than his midtwenties. His curly black hair drifts over the tops of his ears as he nods, the even light glowing off his bronze skin. But it’s the way he stands that fixes my gaze on him. From the straightening of his shoulders to the tilt of his head, he exudes a firm purposefulness, as if he’s exactly where he needs to be.

Then he starts to speak, in a low voice that carries through the cloth’s invisible speakers in the choppy yet rolling syllables of what could be an alien language. After a second, a computerized English translation kicks in, its inflectionless tone blending into his voice.

“It doesn’t matter where they were born, who their ancestors are, what’s written in their genetic code,” Jeanant says. “Every thinking, feeling conscious being deserves our respect. Everyone of them deserves the chance to determine the course of his or her own life, without outside manipulation. Because no matter what some of us like to tell ourselves, they have their own minds with their own unique visions of the universe, that are just as valid and meaningful as anyone else’s.”

He punctuates his point with a sweep of his hands.

“Look at these people, and remember they could have been our friends,” he says. “They could be our teachers, in a far better way than we use them now. But not until we make things right and release them from what’s all but slavery. And we can. There may not be very many of us, but if we’ve learned anything from all our centuries of study, it’s that a small group can make a difference.
Jeanant's speech (which goes on for another few sentences on page 70) is a defining statement not just for this book, but for the entire trilogy. His ideas are the reason Win has come to Earth at all. His words and his dedication convince Skylar to help the rebel cause. And the goals he relates become increasingly vital to the main characters over the course of the series, as well as hinting at the weaknesses that will cause their opponents' downfall.

This excerpt doesn't capture much of the story's action or personal drama, but from a philosophical point of view, it offers a pretty much perfect picture of what these books are all about.
Visit Megan Crewe's website.

--Marshal Zeringue