In the Courts of the Sun

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9780525950516: In the Courts of the Sun

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 game-once used for predicting corn-harvest cycles, now proving very useful in predicting corn futures-that his mother taught him. But Jed's 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 Stephenson's Cryptonomicon and Gary Jennings's 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.

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About the Author:

Brian D'Amato 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. He has written for such magazines as Harper's Bazaar, Index, Vogue, and Flash Art, and he has taught art and art history at CUNY, the Ohio State University, and Yale. His first novel, Beauty, which Dean Koontz called "the best first novel I have read in a decade," was an international bestseller. Robertson Dean has recorded hundreds of audiobooks in most every genre. He's been nominated for several Audie Awards, won eight Earphones Awards, and was named one of AudioFile magazine's Best Voices of 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, where he records books and acts in film, TV, and (especially) on stage.

From Booklist:

According to the ancient Maya, December 21, 2012, could be the day the world ends. In this ambitious novel, a modern-day descendant of the Maya, Jed DeLanda, goes back in time to save mankind. Well, he doesn’t go back physically; that’s not possible in D’Amato’s world, but it is possible to send back the consciousness of a person and to place it inside the mind of someone living in the past. The plan was to put Jed’s mind inside the body of a Mayan king in the year 664 CE, but, instead, he winds up inside the head of a man about to be killed by ritual sacrifice. Can Jed keep his host alive long enough to save the world? This is the sort of novel that Robert Silverberg might write (and, in fact, it feels a bit like Silverberg’s classic Up the Line)—a richly detailed, intellectually stimulating adventure through time. Unfortunately, it takes too long for the adventure to begin. While it’s fine to describe the future world in which Jed lives and even to establish his credentials for being chosen as humanity’s savior, we shouldn’t be made to wait 200-odd pages before Jed is flung back into the past. Still, he is an engaging narrator, telling his story in an easy, often humorous style. With the release later this year of the high-profile movie 2012 (also based on the Mayan prophecy), prepare for this title to be in high demand. --David Pitt

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