Sequel started – “Shift Tense”

In keeping with my New Year’s resolutions, I commissioned Alejandro Martinez to start the next cover and I’ve got 12 scenes drafted. 8K worth of words that need a lot of polish, but it’s a start. I’ll post the cover when it’s complete. (No, that’s not Alex’s work, but it ‘s cool nonetheless)

This time the lads are dropped in the middle of a civil war on the “bloody nose”of Africa, in what’s left of Somalia. Child soldiers, killer drones, pirates, Russian mercs, and more. I’ve got my work cut out for me to pull it all together.

Review at Figures.com

The year ends with another good review. I’m grateful Jess H. took the time to read it, let alone give such a gracious synopsis. A thousand thanks – here’s hoping the sequel Shift Tense lives up to expectations. Happy New Year.
Review at Figures.com

Let the Stable still Astonish

Let the stable still astonish:
Straw- dirt floor, dull eyes, dusty flanks of donkeys, oxen;
Crumbling, crooked walls; No bed to carry that pain.

And then the child –
Rag-wrapped, laid to cry in a trough.
Who would have chosen this?
Who would have said:
“Yes, Let the God of all
the heavens and earth
be born here, in this place”?

Who but the same God who stands in the darker, fouler rooms of our hearts and says,
“Yes, Let the God of Heaven and Earth be born here – in this place.”

***

There is hope. God is real, and He still moves and changes lives. That’s what makes Christmas meaningful.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Coupon Code at Lulu


“Running Black” is making its way through Distribution to B&N, Amazon, etc, and should appear there before the end of January. In the meantime, if you were interested in a copy, you can purchase direct from Lulu. Use code REMARKABLEYEAR305 to get a 20% discount. Thanks.
Running Black

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)

“Ink” – a very cool film


DoubleEdgedFilms
I am a fan. No doubt about it. INK is difficult to pin down, genre-wise. Urban Fantasy, perhaps? The plot sounds typical: a little girl caught up in the never-ending struggle between good and evil in the spirit/dream world. What sets it apart is the creativity, the characters, the gritty coolness of it all. Indy films can be so lame, so angsty, you reach for the brain bleach in the first ten minutes, but not this one. This is worthy indeed. My copy is on the way – get your own.

Hobby-related post


Many of my friends know I’ve been an avid miniature wargamer for quite some time. A fellow gamer at the Lead-Adventure Forum came across one of my current projects and featured it on his hobby blog. My forum tag in the miniatures world is “Dentatus” (after a famous Roman General) and the project is based on the Russian computer game “STALKER”. More on all this later. Here’s the link: Anatoli’sGameRoom

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.

Caprica ends and I’m sad.

Now I realize it wasn’t renewed for a second season and the producers had to wrap it quickly, but in the final episode, the writers defaulted to the stock “all religion is a man-made construct. Followers are dupes while leaders manipulate the ideals and organization for their own petty or deranged ends” trope. Monotheists are dangerous, ignorant bigots. (Polys are ‘tolerant’ but in reality little better.) No one – save the Lacy character – exhibits any genuine faith, and hers is nebulous at best. Aside from the occasional tip of the hat to elusive ‘principled believers’ in dialogue, no one exhibits grace, forgiveness, or authentic conversion. There is no spiritual reality. Indeed, the Monotheist’s entire Resurrection/Apotheosis scheme denies the existence of the soul and cripples the whole idea of accountability, justice, and an afterlife.

Side Note: Let’s just come out in the open and admit the Monotheist faith was patterned after Christianity. Sure, you had a nod to suicide-vest wearing Jihadists and terrorists, but cathedrals, love, forgiveness, confessionals, and the constant chorus of ‘Praise God’… ? Come on.

Do I really expect Ronald D Moore and Co to comprehend/convey sound theological thinking? No. Are they obligated to portray a balanced view of monotheistic faith? No. Their job is to tell stories, entertain, and make money. The characterizations were engaging, the writing brilliant, the story layered and rich. Why then am I so disappointed? Because there is in fact so much ammunition currently and historically to support such a perspective, that it persists and was reinforced in the minds of otherwise creative and perceptive people, and that no Christians seem to be stepping up and providing a quality counter-points.

Napoleon Bonaparte said “Imagination rules the world.” If the battleground is the mind, I fear we are losing entire continents.