Young God is a delightfully irreverent, wholly tongue-in-cheek yarn that aims to recreate the natural history of religion from its apparent origins during the Stone Age to the beginning of writing in the Bronze Age, when it first became possible to sustain the beliefs of the day as some awesome ´Holy Writ´, as it were one might now think, for all posterity. Based on assorted artifacts, legends, and other echoes of the past as still found in that most basic of all human tools, common, everyday speech but especially of the idiomatic variety this entertaining work of fiction need be taken seriously only if you believe that humanity's closest living relative is the chimpanzee; that genetically speaking, chimps are actually closer to us than to their next nearest relative the gorilla; that originally, the chimp's brain and ours were about the same size relative to body weight but that since then, our own has grown so big, especially in the area given to reasoning, that our head now often has difficulty making it through the mother's birth canal; and that down the generations, this increase has sometimes resulted in, well, some highly amusing, would-be explanations of our existence!
ABOUT THE COVER: The object on the cover, discovered in 1908 amid the remains of what was once a popular mammoth-hunter's camp along the banks of the Danube River, near the modern village of Willendorf, Austria, is estimated to be at least 20,000 years or 1,000 human generations old. Some four inches tall, or say, about the right size for holding the original rock in one hand while sculpting it with the other, it's carved of soft sandstone, bears traces of red ochre, and is actually but one of many similar figurines turned up over the last hundred years or so across a 4,700-mile range reaching from the French Pyrennes to Siberia´s Lake Baikal; think the entire width of the United States and then add another seventeen hundred miles. Exactly what these figurines represent has long been a subject of spirited debate, but one matter is undisputed: while they're generally found to have been produced and in a few cases, mass-produced over several hundred generations at the very dawn of human-like representation in western art, there has been no comparable find of male figurines from that long period of human history, anywhere. This particular carving, now on display at the Museum of Natural History in Vienna and currently reproduced in art history books everywhere, was the major inspiration for my novel. - J.J.