Fire on the Mountain by Terry Bisson

Fire on the Mountain

Terry Bisson

What if abolitionist John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry had succeeded?
Imagine Afro American astronauts landing on Mars and a utopian Black nation called Nova Africa thriving in the Deep South! This book uses a blend of nineteenth century letters, ex-slave narratives and science fiction to turn US history upside down. It's a book that that keeps you greedily devouring the pages and leaves you hungry for more.

Extract

The railroad men and the soldier both said 'Kansas Brown' was behind the raid, as if his name had deep significance. White folks made much of Brown, though I had never heard his name, nor had any of the slaves until that day, when he became more famous among us than Moses at one stroke, and not as 'Kansas' or 'Osawatomie' Brown but as Shenandoah Brown. The railroad man told how the hotel had been torched and in the confusion Brown and his men had retreated across the Shenandoah into the Louden Heights, which is what we called the Blue Ridge there. They had fast-firing breech-loading Sharps rifles. Once in the laurel thickets who would follow them? 'Not the Virginny milishy,' the soldier said, laughing. 'They're at the tavern a-soaking their wounds in gov'mint whiskey.'

Parallels
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe