October, 1492. Columbus "discovers" America. The door was opened for exploration and exploitation and the world would never be the same for Native America. So much has been written about Columbus that few of us know the stories of those who came afterwards seeking gold, converts, slaves, the fountain of youth and whatever else they could lay hands on that wasn't tied down. It was the beginning of the end of a way of life for millions of people.
W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear, veteran writers of America before the time of Columbus, have created a new series that tells the story of the early years of the European invasion from the viewpoint of the peoples who populated the continent long before it was even a gleam in the eyes of the conquistadors.
This series brings to light the notorious dealings of the Spaniard Hernando de Soto. De Soto was the classic conquistador, ambitious, brutal and obsessed, who served under the unscrupulous Francisco Pizarro during his conquest of Peru. Contact is the story of de Soto’s expedition into the southeastern United States.
We already know it’s a tragic story written in blood. But is also a story of courage, fortitude, sacrifice and wisdom. It is a story that seems to never grow old (witness James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar) and it is certainly a story that bears retelling in the hands of these two very capable storytellers.