Synopses & Reviews
A mind-bending, time-bending, zeitgeist-defining novel about the days leading up to December 21, 2012the day the Maya predicted the world would end
December 21, 2012. The day time stops. Jed DeLanda, a descendant of the Maya living in the year 2012, is a math prodigy who spends his time playing Go against his computer and raking in profits from online trading. (His secret weapon? A Mayan divination gameonce used for predicting corn-harvest cycles, now proving very useful in predicting corn futuresthat his mother taught him.) But Jeds life is thrown into chaos when his former mentor, the game theorist Taro, and a mysterious woman named Marena Park, invite him to give his opinion on a newly discovered Mayan codex.
Marena and Taro are looking for a volunteer to travel back to 664 AD to learn more about a sacrifice game described in the codex. Jed leaps at the chance, and soon scientists are replicating his brain waves and sending them through a wormhole, straight into the mind of a Mayan king
Only something goes wrong. Instead of becoming a king, Jed arrives inside a ballplayer named Chacal who is seconds away from throwing himself down the temple steps as a human sacrifice. If Jed can live through the next few minutes, he might just save the world.
Bringing to mind Neal Stephensons Cryptonomicon and Gary Jenningss Aztec, yet entirely unique, In the Courts of the Sun takes you from the distant past to the near future in a brilliant kaleidoscope of ideas.
"Fans of the late Michael Crichton will welcome this engrossing SF thriller, the first in a projected trilogy by D'Amato (Beauty). As December 12, 2012, the date the Maya predicted would mark the end of the world, approaches, the Warren Group, a shadowy conglomerate, seeks to use technological advances to forestall disaster. One way is to send the mind of Jed DeLanda, a savant skilled at a contemporary version of the Mayas' sacrifice game, into the body of a seventh-century Mayan hip-ball player to learn more about why the apocalyptic prediction was made. DeLanda's time-travel comes just as a devastating calamity, possibly triggered by biological weapons, hits Orlando, Fla. The action shifts easily between the near-future and the past. While the use of modern idiom in the historical scenes may take some getting used to, the period details are as convincing as those in Simon Levack's superb Aztec mysteries (The Demon of the Air, etc.)." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In the Courts of the Sun
by Brian DAmato is an enthralling and original read, a stunningly inventive novel that will keep you turning the pages until the wee hours. With the sure hand of a master storyteller, DAmato weaves together Mayan history, modern science, game theory and the coming Mayan apocalypse to deliver a gripping read. Beware December 21, 2012!
Douglas Preston, author of The Codex and The Monster of Florence
"A remarkable, unique, stand-out book. Prodigious in its scope, its originality, its ambition, its intelligence, and the mastery of its research. In a word: awesome. Or brilliant. Make that two words: awesome and brilliant."
Raymond Khoury, author of The Last Templar and The Sanctuary Fans of the late Michael Crichton will welcome this engrossing thriller. . . . The period details are as convincing as those in Simon Levacks superb Aztec mysteries.
Publishers Weekly (starred)
Ambitious. . . . a richly detailed, intellectually stimulating adventure through time.
About the Author
Brian DAmato is an artist whose sculptures and installations have been shown in galleries and museums all over the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1992, he co-organized a show at the Jack Tilton Gallery in New York that was the first gallery show to explore the then-new medium of virtual reality. His first novel, 1992s Beauty, was a bestseller; Dean Koontz called it the best first novel I have read in a decade.