I remember the first Zecharia Sitchin book I saw, but when and where exactly are somewhat are an issue. Given whom I was with besides my parents—my aunt, uncle, and cousin recently moved up from Florida—and the weather, I’m thinking it was fall 1996 or winter 1997. It was this little new age shop in Chattanooga that we had gone to one Saturday night because of this performance by someone—some Native American performer I believe—but we came in just after the person finished and had nothing to do except look around the little shop. I was close to a little bookcase and started looking at it when I saw the title The Wars of Gods and Men, which instantly got my attention.
For several years before that night, I had pretended to have adventures in this fantasy story I had created in my head that featured numerous gods from various pantheons inhabiting this grand Paradise on Earth but not on Earth (I didn’t know anything about dimensions or pocket universes at the time) with myself as an immortal going through history awaiting my showdown with the big bad but until then battling his minions in fantastic lightsaber duels that ended with me cutting off their heads. Back then I had no idea of copyright infringement and plagiarism, but I had a healthy creative bent for fan fiction that included aspects of Star Wars and Highlander. So the title, The Wars of Gods and Men, was something I was interested in.
I grabbed the book and looked at the front cover, noticing that it said it was “Book III of the Earth Chronicles”. Further intrigued I looked at the author’s name and noticed three other books with his name—The 12th Planet, The Stairway to Heaven, and The Lost Realms—which together with the book in my hand were the first four books of Sitchin’s work. After reading the back covers, I really wanted to read them and it was easy to convince my parents—well my mom since my dad didn’t care one way or another—to buy them.
To be honest at the time in the shop I didn’t know if Sitchin’s work was fictional (a cross between fantasy & science fiction) or history, but it really didn’t matter either way since I was interested in both and still am. However as I began The 12th Planet I realized Sitchin was writing about “hidden” history or as some would call it pseudohistory. But as a teenager, who was finding stuff to use as rebellion, I didn’t care and I kept on reading. From approximately spring 1997 to July 2001, I completed the four books I had purchased that night plus the fifth book, When Time Began, which I had purchased at either Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.
Over the years I’ve read—or listen to—various books in which the authors have used the ideas in speculative books as plot points for their books. The most famous is Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code that takes from Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. Others examples are by Clive Cussler, Atlantis Rising is most likely influenced by Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock and Trojan Odyssey uses Iman Wilken’s Where Troy Once Stood as a backdrop.
I bring this up because one day I hope to write my own fantasy epic set on an alternate history version of Earth by humans along with my own versions of elves and dwarves. One of the things I want to do is make things seem familiar to our own history, but with two other sentient species on the planet things will also be very different. This is where my rereading of Sitchin’s books comes in. Although Sitchin’s work is now famously known in popular culture with HISTORY’s Ancient Aliens, I’ll be eschewing those particular aspects and focusing on cosmology, mythology, and other theories Sitchin wrote about. My major issue is to ensure that people who read my work will not use the following meme for their review:
So that is how I came across Zecharia Sitchin and why I’m reread him over the coming year.