A young man’s struggle to find his path in a world of human illusion and error is the theme of The Infernova. A novel in verse, this secular parody of Dante’s classic takes the reader through a new Hell—an abyss devised not to punish those damned by Christian doctrine, but rather those greater agents of human misery: the irrational, the mystical, and the dogmatic religious. And just as Dante was guided on his trek by a celebrated writer, so too here—but it is the irreverent Mark Twain taking the role of Virgil. As their journey proceeds, the perils of unreason and faith-based thinking become ever more clear and dramatic.
“The preface alone is worth the cost of the book.”
— Robert G. Brown, author of The Book of Lilith
“Ingeniously conceived and masterfully executed and I can readily commend it to other secular readers.”
—Harry Greenberger, President, New Orleans Secular Humanist Association
“It was a fantastic read. Very enjoyable and thought-provoking. I plan to recommend to educational activities like Camp Quest and AEU Society programs.”
— Jason Torpy, President, Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers
“S. A. Alenthony has presented to all of us freethinkers, of whatever stripe, a truly masterful work of literary achievement. The Infernova, as you have probably already guessed, is a parody of Dante Aleghieri’s (1265 – 1321) time-honored classic, The Inferno. The reader does not need to be familiar with the nearly 700 year-old original in order to greatly enjoy this new and remarkable ‘take-off.’ Perhaps the only thing that it would be helpful for the reader to know is that Dante was the scion of a well-to-do Florentine family and a real toady to the Catholic Church. Dante’s imaginary Hell is richly populated not only with ordinary sinners, but is packed with enemies of the Church both real—often identified by name—and imaginary, such as the mythological gods of paganism … In The Infernova, as in any good parody, the situation is reversed. In Alenthony’s Hell, it is the religious who receive their just desserts at various levels of severity. Names are named, from early snake-oil salesmen such as Mary Baker Eddie and L. Ron Hubbard to those who lead larger movements such as Jim Jones, and Charles Taze Russell. In deeper levels of hell, the founders of national and international religions such as Joseph Smith, Abraham, and Moses are ‘called out.’ Finally, in Canto XXX … ‘Christ’ … and the Islamic ‘Mohammed’ are not spared … I may be playing personal favorites here, but I’d like to be reassured that the likes of Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, Garner Ted Armstrong, Tammy Fay Baker, and Aimee Semple McPherson, to name just a few, are down there somewhere. However, judging from the books otherwise inclusivity of religious sinners, I can rest assured that they have not escaped Alenthony’s Hell. In summary, I highly recommend this truly remarkable modern day masterpiece.
— Donald Havis, Steering Committee, San Francisco Atheists