Monday, May 9, 2011

Secret #8: The Four Horsemen

The vast majority of us have heard of The Four Horsemen.  They are a large enough piece of our culture that they are found again and again in our popular media.  Death. Famine. Pestilence. War.  We're all familiar with them.

Only we're not.

The Four Horsemen have their origin in the sixth chapter of Revelation in the Christian Bible.  To arrive at the versions we're familiar with today, each concept behind the Horsemen has been "dumbed down" to a ridiculous extent. For instance, The Horseman known as Famine is identified in the following passage:
When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!" (Revelation 6:5-6)
Famine?  In my mind, identifying that particular Horseman as Famine is a stretch.  Why isn't it called Inflation?  Or "Market Economy Spinning Out of Control"?  Each of the Four Horsemen has been interpreted and defined in such a manner.  After all, Death (for example) is something that is a natural part of the cycle of life, not a herald of the end of the world.

In The Awakening, the themes represented by the Four Horsemen appear around the edges of the text.
"How's it going?" the Old One asked. 
Jenny shook her head.  "No seas of blood, no apocalyptic disasters," she reported glibly. 
Nathaniel's eyes were fixed on the road ahead.  "You need to read between the lines, Jenny.  Look for a growing disparity between the rich and poor.  Search for the threads of an upcoming armed conflict.  Imagine that you are helpless, at the mercy of this world.  Where would the winds blow you?"
As the series continues, will we find that are truly four individuals who are consciously manipulating the world toward such themes?  The answers begin in The Awakening, which comes out this Friday.

The Awakening (May 13, 2011) sets the stage for A Tide of Shadows (May 2012), which in turn builds to the climax found in Days of the Fallen (May 2013).  You can read the first three chapters online for free.  The Awakening will be published on Friday the 13th in both paperback and ebook formats.

This should have posted yesterday, but I spent the day cooking for and celebrating my wife.  To all of you mothers out there, Happy (Belated) Mother's Day!  "Secret 9: Small Town Mysteries" will post this evening, accompanied by a very large announcement.

Secret One: Aleph (May 1st)
Secret Two: The End (May 2nd)
Secret Three: Angels (May 3rd)
Secret Four: The Bloodline (May 4th)
Secret Five: Heaven and Hell (May 5th)
Secret Six: What Does God Look Like? (May 6th)
Secret Seven:  Working Miracles (May 7th)
Secret Eight: The Four Horsemen (May 8th)
Secret Nine: Small Town Mysteries (May 9th)
Secret Ten: Photographing the Paranormal (May 10th)
Secret Eleven: Blood on the Threshold (May 11th)
Secret Twelve: Find the Thread (May 12th)
Secret Thirteen: How Does the World End? (May 13th)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting... so I guess he could be Famine in the sense of the food being unavailable to most as opposed to it simply being non-existent. Sitting in the hands of the few does no good for the masses.