Theological Implications?

A Pastor friend finished Running Black the other day and while he said he enjoyed it, he was anxious to discuss the “theological implications”. Our phone conversation was cut short, but I’m sure we’ll get back to it. However, it made me curious what other readers thought.

As I’ve said before, a sci-fi action novel isn’t a Bible study. It’s simply not the place to wax exegetical. Listen to my sermons if you’re hankering for that, or better yet, read the Bible yourself. Running Black is entertainment with Christian themes intersecting the story arc. Now I’m sure there are “theological implications”; after all, ideas have consequences, but I’m puzzled as to what they might be. The use of violence and profanity? Financial entities leveraging governments? Clones having souls? Jihadists glassing Tel Aviv with a nuke? Christians handling firearms?

If you’ve read the book, please weigh in on this. I’m genuinely interested. And to sweeten the deal, I’ve got an extra 11″ x 17 poster of the book cover I’ll send to someone who responds. (in a civil and intelligent manner)

Lulu December sales contest

Since Running Black won’t make it to Amazon before the New Year, I entered Lulu’s monthly sales contest. If you or anyone you know would like a trade paperback copy, it’s available Here
Use the code STOCKING305 ’til Dec 15 to get 15% off.
If you’re partial to ebooks, go to Smashwords and use code KK65B for the same discount. Smashwords
Thanks all.

Final Cover

Went with the fade bar and subtitle ’cause it just seemed right. I’m waiting on the final mechanical edit that hunts down typos and backwards apostrophes, then the manuscript will be formatted, uploaded and released. I’m told it takes 6-8 weeks to wend it’s way thru distribution channels before it appears on Amazon and B&N, so I’ll be working furiously towards a pre-Christmas release. The final, final version will also include a teaser chapter from the sequel “Shift Tense.”
Thanks to everyone for their support.

Second Read and Review

I’ve been sending Advance copies to review sites in anticipation of November’s release. I’m told as a writer I need rhino skin because not everyone is going to love my book (tasteless cretins) but it’s nice the second read and review was positive too. Here’s the link, this time from Shelly Bryant at a Christian fiction site:


Fonts, sub-titles, and text boxes

Several people commented on the utility of the sub-title, and I’ve included it as a signal of intention. There are two other books planned, and I’d like to establish continuity from the start. Here’s the latest iteration. My wife thinks it odd, given the title, that the font should be white, but it seems more legible.

Eshu International – a private security firm

(I know Blackwater is “Xi” now)

News reports today highlighted the withdrawal of America’s last combat brigade from Iraq, although nearly 50K troops will remain in “non-combat” roles until 2011. The name of the operation has also been changed from “Iraqi Freedom” to “New Dawn” , as if the garnish of a new title would make the situation any less volatile, the country any less fragile. Close your eyes and call it something else… we’ll see how that global strategy works. A news footnote mentions that the size of private security forces will be doubled. (Won’t be near enough)

For more on that precarious decision, I suggest Peter Singer’s “Corporate Warriors” or Robert Pelton’s “Licensed to Kill”. Or read Ralph Peter’s articles in his recent compilation “Endless War”.

Back to the fiction…

Set in the near future, “Running Black” centers on a small team of former soldiers, an indentured corporate hacker, and illegal combat clones who’ve formed a “private security” outfit doing dirty work for tomorrow’s massive financial entities. Think it’s far-fetched? Think again. Private security is a rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar industry, and with politics, budget cuts, the constant need to maintain strategic interests, the opportunities are only going to increase.  As global markets expand, corporations are going to need real security in the face of terrorists, pirates, and constant internecine war in Africa, Asia, and the ME as they compete for consumers and resources.

The bottom rung, sketchy transactions of a shadowy outfit like Eshu International are more a matter of time than plausibility. Nations and corporations will always need dirty work done and there will always be people willing to do it for cold cash. Like Jace says in the novel, they’re ‘deniable, deletable, and disposable.’  The perfect tool for ruthless pragmatism.