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17
Apr

Guest Post: David Alderman

Official BannerDave Alderman and the Crossover Alliance authors represent a shift in biblical-based spec-fiction, one that resonates with me. Seeing as the Crossover Alliance Kickstarter is in full gear, I figured it was appropriate for Mr. Alderman to do a guest post here at HSSJ

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The Crossover Alliance and Kickstarter Campaign
A shift has been slowly occurring in the Christian fiction market. In years past, the definition of Christian fiction did not allow for content that extended beyond a PG rating, and anything considered ‘edgy’ or otherwise offensive was rejected by publishers. These publishers weren’t merely the gatekeepers barring entry to the possibilities of becoming a published author, but they were also the gatekeepers barring entry into genres that fell outside the norm of the traditional fare.
Then the self-publishing movement occurred, and Christian authors realized they didn’t have to follow the rules anymore. A genre known as edgy Christian fiction arose. Authors began crafting Christ-centered fiction that fell within the lines of science fiction, fantasy and romance. But there was still a strange stigma regarding the content that was allowed in these pieces of fiction. Swearing, sexual content, and even violence were still trapped behind an invisible fence that authors built around their fiction for fear of being ostracized by the Christian community altogether.

I wasn’t content to have this fence around my fiction, and in 2009 I self-published Black Earth: End of the Innocence, the first novel in my Black Earth series. End of the Innocence broke all of the rules of Christian fiction by portraying edgy content and tough spiritual themes. Not sure how to market my work, I eventually came up with the term edgy Christian speculative fiction. I even started an online community called The Crossover Alliance to try and pull authors and readers of this type of fiction together to help market it to the world.

Years later, I am in the process of turning The Crossover Alliance – http://www.thecrossoveralliance.com – into an online publishing company specializing in edgy Christian speculative fiction. The demand for this type of fiction – Christ-centered speculative fiction filled with real-world content – is growing. The big name publishing companies no longer have a say in what type of fiction can make it through the iron gates. Many authors are looking to specialize in this genre, while numerous readers are looking for more stories that cross the lines between secular and Christian fiction.

To this end, I just recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the first year of The Crossover Alliance’s publishing costs – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2054728317/the-crossover-alliance-first-year-fiction-catalog. This includes professional editing, cover design, and other various business expenses. If you want to support this type of fiction, please consider pledging to our Kickstarter campaign. Our goal is to raise $10,000 by May 9th, and we’re already 14% of the way there. You can score some awesome Kickstarter rewards, including subscriptions to our publishing catalog, unique bookmarks, and other goodies. Not to mention, you’ll also be responsible for changing the very face of publishing.

IMG_0101David N. Alderman is an indie author of two speculative fiction series—Black Earth and Expired Reality. You can find all of David’s work at http://www.davidnalderman.com. He is also the founder of The Crossover Alliance (www.thecrossoveralliance.com), a publishing company specializing in edgy Christian speculative fiction. He participates in National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) each year. When he’s not writing or spending time with family, you can find David gaming on any number of different consoles.

Cool YouTube video below!

11
Apr

New Deus Ex? Yes, please.

It isn’t the end of the world, but you can see it from here.

 

 

My otaku is raging. Deus Ex: one of the slickest, coolest FPS/RPG game franchises ever made, and IMO, the latest iteration of cyberpunk. Makes me want to buy a new pair of mirrorshades.

Can’t come soon enough.

11
Apr

Celtic stained glass giveaway

12"x 12" Foil wrap construction.

12″x 12″ Foil wrap construction.

The Barrow Lover Stained Glass Giveaway (hereafter known as TBLSGG) winners will be drawn April 30th.

This contest is open to anyone in the ConUS.* To enter, simply fire off a quick, honest review of TBL at Amazon and your name will be added to the pool. If your name is drawn on that fateful day, and you respond with mailing specifics, I’ll mail you one of three Celtic stained glass panels, free of charge.

No, I won’t sell your personal info or spam you with sage writing advice and witty anecdotes. This is my way of combining my two vocations and showing appreciation to those who support my writing. I’m genuinely grateful. It’s that simple.

Thank you and have a great weekend.

(That’s a picture of the Second place panel, btw)

* apologies to overseas readers. Not to limit my gratitude but out-of-country crating and shipping is simply too expensive.)

7
Apr

Under Strange Stars – out the door.

UNDER_STRANGE_STARS_final_rgb_flatten_6x9inchesThe next installment of The Clar1ty Wars is now available at Amazon for Kindle and other flavors of e reader.

UNDER STRANGE STARS picks up where One Bad Apple left off: Seeb in hiding, detectives Lynch and Sarin chasing a trail of bodies that is only growing longer, a series of vicious terrorist attacks suddenly leaves Drop City reeling.

Both the Corporations and the Du-li independence movement maneuver in the shadows, forging deadly alliances in the fight not merely for supremacy, but the future of the entire Kepler22 system.

Pick up your copy now.

Thanks,

Patrick T.

1
Apr

Celtic stained glass Giveaway

TheBarrowLover 2 preview-1If you recall back to Oct. 2014, part of The Barrow Lover’s release was a Celtic stained glass giveaway. The idea was to combine my part-time and full-time  vocations, generate Amazon reviews, and say thank you to you folks who are gracious enough to buy and read my work.

Well, the review count is currently at 17, which isn’t bad after five months. I was aiming for 50, but as I’m not what you’d call an ‘aggressive marketer’, it might be while before I hit that.

I need clear window space in my shop for some of the new ideas stewing in my mind though. So…I have decided to set a deadline of the end of this month and draw names from whatever the pool stands as of midnight on April 30. Winners will be announced here on HSSJ the next day.

To reiterate, I am giving away three Celtic-themed stained glass panels. (Yes, I’ll ship them at no cost.) To enter, all you need do is leave an honest review at Amazon for my little Celtic-flavored ghost novella. It’s that simple.

No sock puppets please – one entry per person.

Winners will be announced May 1, 2015, and must contact me within seven days of the drawing to confirm their shipping specifics. Failure to do so will result in your entry being null and void, and another name drawn.

Sorry, but this is only open to folks in the ConUS. (Overseas shipping is too expensive)

The Panels:

First Place.

Beveled Triquetra centerpiece, with rough-rolled wine and deep green halo. Secondary halo of 3/16″ beveled clear float glass. Perimeter body is mossy sage green with 1/8″ ribbed architectural glass arms. Corner accents are translucent stipple glass with hand-beveled 3/4″ thick green dalle de verre glass. Outer thin perimeter is a Kokomo heavy textured clear glass.

Foil-wrap construction, the panel measures 20.25" x 20.25"

Foil-wrap construction, the panel measures 20.25″ x 20.25″

Second Place.
12″ x 12″ small hanger with beveled Triquetra Center, Kelly Green Artique halo, Kokomo Wavolite secondary halo, Wissmach translucent white arms and rough-rolled medium gray body.

12"x 12" Foil wrap construction.

12″x 12″ Foil wrap construction.


Third Place.

Another 12″ x 12″ hanger, this same as above save the centerpiece is a negative-blast Celtic knot pattern on pale gray antique glass.

12" x 12" Foil wrap construction.  Picture taken form angle to catch etched pattern.

12″ x 12″ Foil wrap construction.
Picture taken form angle to catch etched pattern.

So, if you like stained glass, Celtic stuff, ghost stories, quick reads, and have an opinion, this might be for you.

Thanks and have a great day.

31
Mar

Father Gabriel goes to Indiana

After watching TWD finale last night, then skimming the headlines of the last several days, a couple thoughts bounced off each other this morning as the coffee kicked in.

1. Fr. Gabe as a weak character. I cringe every time he comes on screen. I don’t mean the obvious in-show cowardice. (Even Eugene has shown more backbone) The good Rev strikes me as a cardboard standee, a typical ‘last-refuge-of scoundrels’ sniveler trying to prop himself up with religious bravado. Yes I know such people exist, (I’ve met them) but as a Christian myself, that bothers me. In real life and on screen.

Now Hershel was devout. Genuine. Portrayed as misguided at first, he was nonetheless solid, smart and brave. I miss him. I’m just disappointed this latest Scripture-quoting, Bible-toting believer is plagiarizing a page from the ‘lame religious guy’ stereotype playbook. At least he has enough faith/depth of character to have a crisis-of-faith. Otherwise, just shoot him and move on.

Now contrast him with the show’s main homosexual character, Aaron – who is most definitely playing against type and trope – and I have to wonder if he were played as a ‘typical flamer’, would there be any social outcry and push-back? Any cries of ‘perpetuating negative stereotypes’, ‘painting with a broad brush’, and gross distortion? You betcha.

Double standard? Evil Liberal Bias? Probably not. But I did wonder what would happen if the roles were ‘reversed’, as it were.

2. What exactly is going on in Indiana? From the furor, you’d think after throwing Rick and crew under the bus, Father Gabe snuck off off and wrote Indiana’s Religious Freedom Bill.

If indeed the law is based on existing Federal laws signed by Pres Clinton and Obama, if it is indeed virtually identical to similar laws currently on the books in other states, then why have LGBT activists swarmed Indiana like a horde of hungry Walkers? Why THERE and why NOW? How is this one different or special? I mean, don’t rights work both ways?(BTW, you might want to lose the ‘Sodomize Intolerance’ sign there)

No, I’m not a lawyer but by my reading of news summaries and various sources, the law doesn’t target a specific group. At all. It does not give or create any ‘new’ right for owners and servers; it simply clarifies and codifies existing rights and responsibilities. This isn’t legal discrimination. That someone might use it intolerantly isn’t a valid reason to negate the law. Capability isn’t culpability.

3. This past half season of TWD, I’ve been more impressed by the writer/director choices than absorbed in the characters’ plight. Not that I wasn’t gripped, but from a story-teller’s point of view, there have been some remarkably well constructed episodes. Several times I was ‘wish-I-thought-of-that’ jealous. The Season finale held up that high standard; Glenn’s mercy and sobbing, Sasha’s restraint/Maggie’s intervention and prayer, (she is her own woman but she’s also Hershel’s daughter), and using the Rick and Morgan meeting to end the show.

In light of all that’s going on in America and our world right now, the scene that stuck with me was Daryl and Aaron in the car. Tricked, trapped, mobbed on all sides by danger and certain gruesome death, they decide to stick together. To go down fighting side by side if it comes to that. There’s no ‘hick/queer’ labels, no agendas, no blame-game. Just two human beings facing a much larger common threat.

You’d think with all the deep and lasting problems in our world – poverty, hunger, illiteracy, corruption, slavery/sex-trafficking, terrorism, ecological damage, etc, etc, we’d have a sense of proportion, be grateful and realize our nation, however imperfect, is a singularly remarkable achievement in human history. We have freedom and prosperity at previously unimaginable levels.

Both sides of this current issue need to take a step back, dial down the rhetoric, and remember respect and rights run both ways. Of course we’re not going to agree on everything. Who does? But it’s time to stop and look at the bigger picture. We’re all in the same boat here. Problems we’re facing, we need serious help.

And if I understand Jesus’ teachings and the New Testament  correctly, all of us, and I do mean all of us, need a Savior.

26
Mar

Three colorful movie recommendations

Been a long cold winter with too many hours spent in front of my computer monitor seeking distraction and entertainment. However, I did find a few items worth mentioning and figured I’d pass them on.

1. The Green Prince

The incredible true story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of a Hamas founder, and top secret informant for Israeli intelligence for more than ten years. The movie also features his main handler, Gonen Ben Yitzhak, and chronicles their unlikely alliance and friendship during the violence of the first Intifada. I won’t spoil it, but it is a gripping, well-produced and fascinating documentary well worth your time.

2. Blue Ruin

Free on Netflix, this smoldering, stripped down revenge flick was actually Kickstarted to life on the screen. To describe it as a straightforward revenge-type flick doesn’t do justice to the realistic portrayals, the lean, taut writing, the rock solid characterizations. No glamor, snarky one-liners, or trite rationalizations, this is a bloody straight-edge razor of tragedy, confusion, and the mess of vindictiveness and retribution. Worth it but be prepared.

3. Black Mirror

Called the Twilight Zone for the Facebook and Twitter generation, this is another Netflix find. Essentially a ’15 minutes into the future,’ kind of sci-fi, Black Mirror extrapolates and toys with the effects of rapidly advancing technology on the social media generation. The title is apt; it does indeed reflect the darker side of human nature. After watching several episodes, I was both jealous and horrified at the brilliant and terribly plausible scenarios. British-produced, it has the usual deliciously understated acting and polished script. Be warned however, this show is blunt and handles mature themes. It somehow manages to be explicit without being graphic, but there are some very difficult moments.

And there you go. Have an excellent weekend.

24
Mar

A Shift Tense ask

SHIFT_TENSE_final_rgb_flatten_6x9inches_with_bleedsI know folks are busy, but could a couple of you break the ice and fire off reviews for the Shift Tense compilation? Short and sweet will do it. Anything to let potential readers know it’s being/been read. The other three combined had 30 or so, and it would be cool to start the ball rolling for this edition.

LINK TO KINDLE EDITION

Thanks much. Have an excellent day.

21
Mar

SOZO free this weekend

Sozo (Original Cover)“A powerful and startling short story…”

Finishing up “Under Strange Stars” but wanted to let folks know my short piece ‘Sozo’ will be FREE at Amazon this weekend. So it’s yours for nothing if you want it.

Thanks.

ps – speaking of Amazon, I had to buy replacement keyboard stick-on letters for my computer, I’ve worn down so many keys.

That’s a good problem, right?

7
Mar

A random pair

Arabs kids getting high on… Crushed Ants.

“Habib, wait ’til we spark this up”


And: In Russia we don’t make snow man. We make SNOW TANK!”

20 tons of SU 122-54

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