Books & Beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Fiction

I graduated from university in 2004 having received B.A. degrees in History and Politics. Moving back to my hometown of Hereford (a quiet, sleepy town near Wales) I quickly got bored (boredom to become a key inspiration throughout my quest to publish these books). Writing hadn’t crossed my mind at this stage and after a year of small town monotony I moved to London, having netted myself what I thought to be a comfy little local government job (little did I know how true this would be, but as I’m still in that local government job so can’t say too much).

Having been in the job since 2006 it was in about 2009 that I started writing. The excitement at moving to London gradually began to wane as I found myself a monotonous cog in the government system. Seeing how that world works from the inside initially manifested itself as searing cynicism and spawned a disappointed, and probably annoying, idealist. One day at work a few years ago an inner spark fired (the flint again being extreme boredom) that fuelled putting pen to paper. An idea for a working-class genius politician came to mind and after developing that character it became about moulding him into a story and background.

The Chronicles of Hope series of books is thus just that, a story of hope. Without giving too much away it’s ultimately a utopian vision of a hopeful future for humanity. The intention behind the books is merely to challenge people’s beliefs and make people think and question everything. I’ve genuinely never been motivated by money, I don’t subscribe to the theory that it brings happiness, but saying that I do understand that having none will often bring unhappiness if it stops you having the lifestyle you want to have. Fortunately my income and circumstances to that end have always been very middle of the road, something that feels like a privilege in this world we live in.

I think the Che Guevara in me hopes that the more people think and the more people work out that we’re owned by the world’s leaders and have no say in society, the closer the world might come to some kind of uprising and revolution. Despite that, there’s no great moral message at the core of the books, I’m well aware that the pile of crap is probably too deep now for such change. My hope is loosely that more people thinking about some of the issues raised could lead to more people refusing to accept the failings of the society in which we live.

2082

Frank Noon divides opinion. Whilst some say he’s a philosophical genius, some say he’s a fanciful dreamer who deliberately courts controversy with his anti-establishment views about the failings of modern society.

Seemingly nearing the end of his life in politics, he reluctantly fronts an experimental inter-galactic government project late in the 21st century aimed at making life on an overpopulated Earth more sustainable. As he battles to gain control of a relative asylum, consisting of a cross section of the populous as much at odds with themselves as the situation, he unwittingly embarks on a life-changing journey of self discovery.

As they learn more about the project and its intentions how far-reaching might the consequences be for the future of humanity?

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Genre – Political Fiction

Rating – PG

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Chapter 4 

Professor Valentine’s lecture drew to a close and soon students were emptying out into the halls. Outside the windows, the sun was setting. A violet curtain shrouded the heavens, save where the horizon blushed coral in the west. Pivoting a desk, Ransom sat atop it and threw one leg up on the chair.

“Why take me here?” asked Corwin. “If a philosophical debate is in order, I feel that I may require more bourbon.”

“Before you attended this university,” said Ransom, “you already had your doubts about God and Christianity, but here something changed. Those doubts solidified into a worldview, turning you from an agnostic into a hardened atheist. Do you recall what spurred that change?”

“I guess it was the first time that I’d applied critical thinking to religion. Once you stop trying to justify the fairy tales, all that’s left are contradictions and wishful thinking.”

“Yes, yes.” Ransom waved a hand dismissively. “That’s all very enlightening, but it’s not really what I wanted to know. What changed you wasn’t anything that you realized about religion. It was something you realized about yourself.”

The angel’s words struck a chord and Corwin understood at once what he meant. It wasn’t any clever argument or decisive piece of evidence that had swayed him. To question a creed was easy, and the merit of such arguments could be endlessly debated by those who felt compelled to do so, but to look in the mirror and question one’s innermost self . . . that took a bit more resolve.

“I came to see that I’d been accepting beliefs, or at least entertaining them, simply because they were comforting. They were what I had always been told, and easier than seeking my own answers. At first it was scary letting go of religion’s promises, walking the tightrope of life without a spiritual safety net, but if I was to be honest with myself, it was a step that I had to take.”

“Good!” Ransom clapped him on the shoulder. “That’s more like it!”

Corwin blinked hard, unsure whether the angel staring back at him was still playing for the same team.

“Humans are creatures of passion,” said Ransom. “Whether finding faith or rejecting it, the decision is often more a matter of the heart than of the head. Take the atheist who scorns God on account of the foolishness that men do in his name, or the believer who clings to faith because the harshness of life without the hope of Heaven is too much for his fragile spirit to bear.”

“People believe what they want to believe,” affirmed Corwin.

“When perceived truth differs from the truth one desires, a person must choose. You chose the right master, Corwin. In your self-reflection, you stumbled upon a simple and profound, yet seldom followed principle.”

“And that would be?”

“That the only good reason to believe something is if it’s true.”

Dead_Godless

When outspoken atheist Corwin Holiday dies an untimely but heroic death, he’s assigned a chain-smoking, alcoholic angel as his defense attorney in the trial to decide the fate of his soul.

Today many cast Christianity aside, not in favor of another faith, but in favor of no faith. We go off to school or out into the world, and we learn that reality is godless and that free thinking means secular thinking. But must faith entail an end to asking questions? Should not the Author of Reason be able to answer the challenge of reason?

Dead & Godless is a smart and suspenseful afterlife adventure that explores the roots of truth, justice and courage. In these pages awaits a quest that spans universes, where the stakes are higher than life and death, and where Christianity’s sharp edges aren’t shied away from, because we’re not called to be nice. We’re called to be heroes.

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Genre – Christian Fiction

Rating – PG-13

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