Welcome to My World

When you open an Eric R. Johnston novel, you are transported to a place of dark creatures and dreadful nights. There is no hope and no escape; only despair. Enter if you dare.

Series of Darkness

Monday, May 21, 2012

Politics in Fiction--Harvester: Ascension

I'll just come right out and say it. Harvester: Ascension is a political statement. That isn't to say that those who aren't into politics won't enjoy it. Quite the contrary. This is an action-packed sci-fi thriller. But what I do want to lay down for you here, is some of the groundwork that went into the novel, how current events have influenced the book's writing, and what it all means.

Harvester began with a concept. When European powers "discovered" other cultures, they attempted to either exterminate them or convert them to their way of living. In other words, their intentions were hostile, so if we were to encounter alien life, would we try to convert them to our culture, religion, government? Or would they do the same to us? It seemed like one or the other would be inevitable. What if we were forced to give up our heritage and worship some alien god, and follow some strange form of government?

Andrew and I discussed the concept, and put it in outline form, but little of what went into the outline went into the final novel. The reason: that strange form of government seemed to be at our doorstep already, and we let the real world influence us, using that as a form of living outline.

An extremist group, calling themselves "The Tea Party," after the Boston Tea Party, but more accurately described as a wannabe Shay's Rebellion, came on the scene in 2009, espousing ideas that made no sense whatsoever to anyone with more than two brain cells. On one hand, they claimed to love the constitution, but on the other hand, they derided it completely, declaring it (without specifying they were talking about the constitution, because they seemed to be too ignorant of American history to know this) one of the worst things ever created by the hand of man. Basically a political group that advocated scrapping the constitution and reinstating the Articles of Confederation was gaining an enormous amount of political power because they had control of most of the media outlets.

Congressman stating and signing pledges that their first goal was to ensure Obama was a one-term president, political hacks like Rush Limbaugh saying he hopes Obama fails, and other seditious ravings made me think: there is a novel in this. So, the question guiding the novel transformed into this: what if aliens invaded, their primary target being America, during a time that the tea party, or people with a similar attitude toward American government, were in power? Answer: you get Harvester: Ascension.

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