by Bart Hopkins Jr.
Sign Changes is a novel about ideas and the ways they have changed us. It is about the way you came to understand the very words you are reading now. About the origins of symbol use. Kpol and his tribe struggle to survive an ice age 100,000 years ago and adapt to new ways. In 16th century England, a young boy leaves the countryside to learn to read and print books. In the near-present computer age, a man and woman prepare for the bombs they fear will fall. And in the distant future, a new form of life comes into existence. What connects them all?
The horses clop slowly through the London streets. Jack is sunken back against his seat attempting to assimilate all that he has seen in the last few hours. Haynes is quiet also, no doubt thinking about their meeting. Finally, Jack says “He seemed quite nice.”
The old man snorts, looks out the window. “That’s not the word I would use.”
“All this time,” says Jack, “We’ve talked, you and me, you’ve told me this and that about the king and his women and the jousting and such, you never once said that you actually knew him.”
“You didn’t need to know,” says Haynes. “And I was serious as could be about keeping your mouth shut and keeping your head. It wasn’t my idea to bring you to that meeting, Jack, it was his. You know what that means? He knew that I had brought you from the countryside; it had reached his ears. This is a man who is the leader of a country, who has gone to war, who is the head of our church. Yet a boy apprenticed to a printer has come to his attention. He did not have me bring you for nothing, Jack. My guess is that he knows my time can’t be that far off, and he wants someone else that he can trust to do some printing quietly if he needs it. Mark my words, boy, that man may be the smartest, most cunning man that I have ever met, so you use care to keep his confidence, understand?”
“Yes sir,” says Jack. “I understand.”
“Have you ever heard a mouse fart into the wind?” Haynes asks the boy.
“You want to be quieter than that.”
Prepare yourself for time travel, adventure, survival and artful insights into the evolution of communication, language and the written word. Bart Hopkins Jr. weaves four stories from four different periods in time into a powerful, tightly sewn tapestry of delight and enlightenment. See how the prehistoric tribe faces each harsh day yet still manages to enjoy love of family and life. Feel the reality of old England through a young man’s eyes and see the initial sparks of the written word grow into a powerful flame. Get ready for a love affair and tale of modern day survival down among the refineries along the Gulf Coast of Texas. Feast on the sci-fi flavored adventure that takes you to a special place. This book grabbed me from the start and never let go until I turned the last page!
About the Author
Bart Hopkins Jr. has lived in the flatlands of Texas most of his life, but he loves the mountains. He is an ex-surfer, an avid mountain hiker and occasional rock climber, and he enjoys chess and motorcycles.
Bart is interested in mind and brain topics and language. Bart is the author of Chasing Sunlight. His new novel, Sign Changes, is about symbol use and the way it helps make us human. Bart has two grown children and three grandchildren and lives with Kat, his wife of 38 years.