THE RED GARNET SKY
Hannibal Barca of Carthage, A Historical Novel
By Gordon Zima
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A Carthaginian named Hannibal Barca lived between about 247 and 183 BC, the product of a military father and a mother of completely unknown qualities other than what can be imputed through her son. Before he died, presumably by suicide in Roman/Carthaginian enforced exile, he brought Rome to her knees in a virtually one man crusade started by his father. Rome got off her knees largely because this man—without timely support from his own country, and under probably unparalleled assault by adversities of fate—had exhausted his strength. The unassailable facts of Hannibal’s life are few. He is said to have been handsome, of the Hellenistic prince mode, a great general by the standards of any age, and he could turn this competence toward peaceful arenas when Carthage called him again. Perhaps his deadly enemies, the Romans, gave him the ultimate compliment. The emperor Septimus Severus is said to have erected a large monument to him at Libyssa, the little town near Marmara’s water where the Lady Barca’s oldest boy decided to make his last summation. This historical fiction is dedicated to understanding a citizen of Carthage who came very close to moving his world.
Gordon Zima trained as a chemical and mechanical engineer at Stanford and the California Institute of Technology. His engineering career is largely grounded in the defense laboratories of the West Coast of the USA, where he engaged materials problems in nuclear power plants, nuclear devices, and rocket and torpedo propulsion. As an Army Air Force weather officer in the Pacific during World War II, he served in Hawaii and Iwo Jima, and on Okinawa when Japan surrendered. In addition to The Red Garnet Sky, he has written Nuk-Chuk Tales for children and young readers, as well as two adult novels: Other Whispers, a partial fiction of an engineer’s life; and The Ivan Spruce, a love story of an American engineering entrepreneur who tangles with the Russian Underground after meeting a Russian aristocrat in the Yellowstone. He calls Pasadena, California his hometown and has lived for several years in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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