Meet the Ancient One, and author Ilan Herman

Today I'm delighted to welcome Ilan Herman, author of The Lord of the Cats, Impulse, Gravedigger, and Chan Kim.  His new novel, The Ancient One, is a fantasy chronicling the life of Uxe, an African man who lives for a thousand years.  As a youth, a thousand years ago, Uxe discovers an age defying plant which now might lead to triumph in the 21st century. I'm told it evokes the Biblical times of Moses and the Exodus of the Israelites--if you know me, you'll know why that makes it irresistible to me and I'm looking forward to the read.

The Ancient One?

One of the inspirations guiding me to write The Ancient One, was the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy, a 1980 comedic pearl about a Kalahari bushman named Xi, who is a member of the pacifist San tribe. One day, a Coke bottle falls from the sky (discarded by a passing plane) and changes the village dynamics. Until that day, the hardest materials available to the tribe are wood and sandy rocks, but the bottle, with its tough glassy surface (which the tribe, disconnected from the rest of humanity, has never seen) helps in many village chores. Before long, arguments erupt about who gets to use the bottle, until the unfathomable takes place—one child strikes another. Xi volunteers to walk to the edge of the earth and discard the evil Coke bottle, and a hilarious romp ensues as he comes in contact with the world as we know it. The story highlights many of the skewed western values as seen through Xi’s eyes.
The Ancient One, also set in the Kalahari, details the life of Uxe, a bushman who discovers a magical root and the secret to immortality. I try to deal with the ethical issues that arise from the situation. I also loosely incorporate the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt as a backdrop to Uxe’s efforts to unite five tribes, as ordered by who he believes is God, and who speaks through the bonfire in his cave (analogues to the Burning Bush story in Genesis).
The relationship between the human and the deity is at the center of the story and allows me to deal with moral/ethical issues. The story isn’t religious in the least but aspects of society’s religion/faith in a monotheistic God are part of the backdrop.     

About Ilan Herman.
Ilan Herman is the celebrated author of numerous novels and short stories.  The author’s work may be found in literary magazines and books, in print and electronic editions.  Other works by Herman include Chan Kim, Gravedigger, and The Lord of the Cats.

About The Ancient One.
The Ancient One is the new novel by Ilan Herman published by The Round Thing.  The story is a fantasy inspired by the life of the Kalahari’s Bushmen, the story also evokes the biblical times of Moses and the exodus of the Israelites. The protagonist discovers a mysterious plant that gives him immortality he uses his powers for the forces of good and unites five tribes into a single nation.  Throughout the story the character talks to an animistic deity only to find out an extraterrestrial has been using humanity in a social experiment.

About The Round Thing.
The Round Thing is a new imprint looking to publish the very latest in art and literature as well as science and technology.  One of the many goals of the publisher is to thoughtfully present a map of the unknown.  The publisher is developing a magazine published in e-ink with an upcoming issue to be released shortly.  Visit on the web at


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