Spirit Blade Audio Book, Part 2

In a future where the government mandates the spiritual beliefs of its citizens, only a few rebellious “Seekers of Truth” remain to free the world from deception.

On his quest for meaning, Merikk follows a path that leads him across our world, and into another. Against his will he is thrown into action alongside members of the Underground Liberation, standing face to face against forces human, alien and demonic. Science fiction and the supernatural collide in a genre-bending adventure! Open your mind and then brace for impact as you discover the power of the Spirit Blade!

The Spirit Blade Audio Book is a novel that serves as the source material for the scripts of the Spirit Blade Audio Drama Trilogy (www.spiritblade.net). This archived draft has been converted into an enhanced audio book format read by Paeter Frandsen and featuring sound effects and musical score from the “Spirit Blade” and “Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual” audio dramas!

Spirit Blade Audio Book, Part 1

In a future where the government mandates the spiritual beliefs of its citizens, only a few rebellious “Seekers of Truth” remain to free the world from deception.

On his quest for meaning, Merikk follows a path that leads him across our world, and into another. Against his will he is thrown into action alongside members of the Underground Liberation, standing face to face against forces human, alien and demonic. Science fiction and the supernatural collide in a genre-bending adventure! Open your mind and then brace for impact as you discover the power of the Spirit Blade!

The Spirit Blade Audio Book is a novel that serves as the source material for the scripts of the Spirit Blade Audio Drama Trilogy (www.spiritblade.net). This archived draft has been converted into an enhanced audio book format read by Paeter Frandsen and featuring sound effects and musical score from the “Spirit Blade” and “Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual” audio dramas!

Sucker Punch Gut Shot

If you’ve found this review, chances are you’ve already read half a dozen others either deploring Zack Snyder’s film for its concept or praising it for its appearance.

All those reviewers are wrong.

“Sucker Punch” is a subtle, complex, and carefully executed exercise in storytelling and filmmaking. Snyder tells us the story of Baby-Doll, a young woman we meet immediately following the death of her mother, and stay with her during her tragic attempt to save both herself and her sister from their abusive step-father. In retaliation, the step-father commits her to an asylum where she is scheduled to be lobotomized. Baby-Doll retreats from reality into increasingly complex fantasies in her attempts to escape from the asylum and regain her freedom.

If “Sucker Punch” sounds depressing on the outset, it is. This movie deals with horrific themes of abuse and social disassociation, but does so through coy manipulation of the main character’s perception of reality. The imagery ranges from historical 1920’s to romanticized burlesque to fantasy-steampunk-scifi in a visual treat fluidly appealing to modern video gamers and fanboys. The heart of the film remains with its treatment of theme, and “Sucker Punch” is a film that deserves to be studied and appreciated for its attention to the finer points of filmmaking and storytelling.

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Continue reading Sucker Punch Gut Shot

Crisis on Two Earths

Alternate and parallel earths are a staple of modern science-fiction, due in no small part to the prevalence, or even dominance, of these stories in the pages of the DC comics titles all through the 60’s, 70’s and into the 80’s. Though the company departed from this convention during the late 80’s and 90’s, duplicate earth stories are back with a vengeance, in the comics, on the tv series, and finally in the movie-length releases.

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Perspective

Evil is never so clearly defined as in the presence of good, and the duplicate reality stories really bring this contrast to light in clear and interesting ways. Whether it is the antimatter universe of Grant Morrison’s “JLA Earth 2”, or the Justice Lords of the millennial Justice League animated series, I have always loved seeing the good guys triumph over their darkest failings brought to life. I was excited to see the teasers for this movie in front of Green Lantern: First Flight, and thrilled to hear that Dwayne McDuffie was the pen behind the script and story originally pitched for the animated series. With this kind of talent and creative team, standing in front of the movie aisle waiting for me to make up my mind, I made a judgment call and filched the price of the Blu-Ray from my Starbuck’s budget.

Background

The movie is not based on any specific Justice League story. Dwayne McDuffie pitched an original story for the millennial Justice League animated series; although it did not get picked up for the series, the script has been revised and is finally seeing the light of day. DC has a long tradition of “evil twin” universes, from Earth-3 of pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths to the antimatter universe of current continuity, and now endless variations of good and bad between 52 worlds of the multiverse. McDuffie is a veteran of comics and screen-writing both, and has a history of balancing the best of characterization and storytelling.

Story (Pass/Fail) – Pass

The lines between good and evil have never been so clearly drawn. Heroes and villains clash simply for the dictates of moral causitude. Evil is afoot, and those who stand against it must stand. The story of this movie is merely a vehicle for the twin pillars of world-shattering action and moral philosophizing. No plot twists, sudden revelations, or shades of moral gray mar the smooth purpose of this story. With a single exception, care is take so that the viewer is not jolted from his suspension of disbelief by contrived action, unbelievable coincidence, or inconsistent presentation. This story is about people who fight and why they do it.

Characters (Pass/Fail) – Pass

If the motivations of good people seldom seem as interesting as those of the bad, here we are treated to flatly small-minded and extremely dislikable villains who at first glance seem only to desire evil for its own sake. As the movie progresses, we discover the truth of the matter. The Crime Syndicate is not a maniacal group of laughing super-villains; they’re merely thugs, gangers, and hoods with unparalleled might. There is no glamor, no humanizing and sympathetic code of honor. With the sole exception of Owl-Man, these characters are repulsive and despicable. Next to them, the sketchily drawn heroes positively shine.

Technical Merit (Pass/Fail) – Pass

Impeccable voice acting conveys perfectly the character of the principle leads. Spectacular action sequences take place in astounding environments. Music, foley effects, and dialog are perfectly mixed, and a treat to the ears. Awesome visual sequences combine modern and traditional effects seamlessly. Although this film never really presents innovative material, at no point does its arsenal of tried-and-true techniques fail.

Content (Pass/Fail) – Pass

Whether Owl-Man is calmly explaining the completely rational purpose behind destroying the universe, denying the presence of inherent good in humanity, or revealing heroes and villains alike as slaves to circumstance and determinism the lead villain (voiced by James Woods) wields the moral and philosophical substance of the movie like a scalpel. Add in some generally excellent bonus features in the way of four additional Justice Leage episodes (two complete stories) from the millennial series, a bonus short starring the Spectre, an analysis of DC comics post-crisis, sneak peeks, trailers, and the complete pilot episodes of Wonder Woman (70’s) and the unfortunately unaired Smallville spin-off Aquaman, and the Blu-Ray is an incredible value. Minus about three hours of content, the 2-disc DVD still rates a hearty second place.

Shelf Life (Pass/Fail) – Fail

Reluctantly, this offering fails to offer a compelling reason for repeat viewing. No audio commentary tracks are included. Even James Woods creepy and stirring performance only carries so much weight. The movie lacks the emotional punch needed to rate serious study, or the stand-out action to make it a background piece. Even the special features, once viewed, are unlikely to be called again for their own sake. The best value for money on this movie would be a weekend rental. It will reward dedicated viewing, for the sake of the subtext and content, but nothing in this film demands it.

“Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.”

Planet Hulk

I was surprised to find “Planet Hulk” on the new movie shelf this week, not having seen any trailers for the project at all. Given Lion’s Gate’s track record with Marvel properties, and especially with adaptations of existing stories, I didn’t hesitate to slip the Blu-Ray version in between the laundry soap and frozen pizzas, where my wife would hopefully overlook it until we’re at the checkout lane….

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Perspective

I didn’t follow the Planet Hulk stories in the comics when they were current, but made the opportunity to read the back issues once World War Hulk exploded into Marvel continuity. The dozen-plus issues worth of adventure on an alien world brought the Jarella stories of the 70’s to mind, though without the trademark storytelling of Harlan Ellison or Len Wein. I found it especially intriguing to see the differences in popular culture that 30 years has wrought on a very similar story.

Background

The premise of Planet Hulk is straightforward: Hulk is exiled to an alien planet by a group of heroes from Earth because he is too dangerous to keep and presumably too difficult to kill. Now essentially free from all previous continuity, an entirely new cast of characters and settings can be introduced and explored at will. As a comic series, Planet Hulk stands on its own merit as a self-contained story that eventually leads back into the mainstream Marvel continuity with World War Hulk. As a movie, it fares even better.

Story (Pass/Fail) – Pass

The movie turned out to be a fairly faithful translation of the comic books into animation – as faithful as possible when crushing two-years worth of books and crossovers with overlapping story arcs into previous and future issues into an 80 minute movie. For all that, it is not an incredibly complex story, a superhero/sci-fi rendering of Conan the Conqueror, or perhaps Kull the Conqueror. Either way, the movie could aptly have been titled, “Hulk the Barbarian”, and stood easily alongside the best work of Robert Howard. Little effort is wasted on cleverness or complexity, and the movie smashes into the action fist-first, plunging the viewers into a never-ending cascade of violence, treachery, and injustice.

Characters (Pass/Fail) – Pass

If the plot is simply a vehicle for the action, the characters are the beating heart of the story. The leading roles of hero, villain, and love interest are impeccably voice-acted, full of barely restrained emotion, crushing determination, and despicably blind selfishness, And in an alien world where Hulk is the only hero guaranteed to stand at the end of the film, the intensely personal stakes of love, loyalty, and survival hit home with gut-twisting purpose.

Technical Merit (Pass/Fail) – Pass

Although I had hoped for the detailed animation and epic money shots of previous animated Lion’s Gate films, Planet Hulk followed the same pattern of animation as New Avengers, and the TV series Wolverine and the X-Men. Little to no cell-shading or CGI is used to enhance the flat traditional animation of the story. Character designs are simple instead of complex, and backgrounds lack detail and depth. The movie is solid, and very watchable, but feels more like it was produced on a television schedule rather than as a cinematic feature. Even the soundtrack is dutiful and easily up to standard, but fails to excel in emotional resonance.

Content (Pass/Fail) – Fail

The story is artfully simple, but will leave viewers with little in the way of meaningful conversation. A character analysis of Hulk might yield a discussion on the merits of self-control, the benefits of society, and the responsibility of the strong towards the weak, but it seems like entirely too much effort. Although the action is at times incredibly violent, it is mostly downplayed, and there is no sensual content whatsoever. The special features are appreciated efforts, and some interesting behind the scenes of the comic story, but ultimately are too few to justify the price difference between the DVD versions. The Hulk vs Wolverine episode of Wolverine and the X-Men was a nice thought.

Shelf Life (Pass/Fail) – Pass

At the end of the film, I immediately wanted to watch it again, both for the film’s own sake, as well as for the two feature-length commentaries. I suspect there is more to this than a simple action fest, and I find myself perfectly willing to put in the time to make a better study of the story and characters. Plus, my son likes to trot out his action figures and help the characters on screen earn their victory.

Hulk smash!

Speed Racer

In a world where drivers of consummate skill and daring steer super-charged racing machines across tableaus of light, color, and motion through tracks and stunts that defy the laws of physics themselves, one young man learns the cost of integrity pitted against the unassailable might of money.

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Perspective: I don’t remember the movie in front of which this trailer premiered, but I do remember determining to see this film. The Wachowski name carried little weight in my mind, following hard on the heels of the disappointing Matrix sequels and the abysmal V for Vendetta. Nor was I attracted for sentimental reasons, the Speed Racer franchise is one of the few “old-school” anime I had never actually watched, and about whose mythos I knew nothing. I came into the movie tabula-rasa; while it came as something of a shock to discover that “Speed” is the name of the main character, it certainly set the tone for the rest of my expectations.

Background: The Speed Racer anime and manga revolves around the adventures of Speed, a teenaged, hot-shot, race car driver seeking his fortune on the international race car circuit. The distinctive cars and colorful character designs form the backbone of the series, and a lasting influence on pop culture that has seemingly been absorbed by osmosis into the collective geek unconscious. The Wachowski brothers take this imagery into the new millenium with their 2008 movie release, faithfully preserving the costuming and vehicles in their vision of the story.

Characters (Pass/Fail) – Pass

The characters of Speed Racer are a cast of adults. Speed himself, a teenager in the anime, is a young man in his early twenties, just coming into the powers and responsibilities of adulthood. No gang of whiny, self-absorbed, angst-ridden tweens – these. Pops Racer is a man of passion, integrity, and optimism, qualities he passes to his sons with unerring clarity and dynamism. The primary dynamic is between family, and this is no selfish, dysfunctional Big Brother cast. These people disagree, often passionately, but respect each other and place other’s needs ahead of themselves. The maturity and responsibility exhibited by this cast of characters is a refreshing change from the over-sexed, self-absorbed, hugely-dramatic population of Twilight or JJ Abram’s Star Trek that is “all attitude, all the time.” This cast carries the audience through charisma, empathy, and admiration.

Story (Pass/Fail) – Pass

Speed Racer is about action, and the story delivers in spades. Clear-cut stakes, defining moments of glory and failure, and firm lines drawn between good and evil give us a solid adventure that doesn’t rely on twist-endings, contrived drama, or bait-and-switch tactics to keep the viewer interested. Little attention is paid to interpersonal angst; no attempt is made to employ complicated subplots. The big reveal is the payoff the rest of the movie has been charaging inexorably towards. The world of Speed Racer is so hyper-realistic that little seems beyond the scope of suspended disbelief. The action moves directly from goal to post in the most straightforward and logical manner possible – and Speed Racer never strays from the established logic of the story. In several places, the movie takes an abrupt left turn for the sake of forced comedy; Spritle is the primary culprit behind these jaunts, and his antics seem forced, awkward, and horribly distracting. In spite of this glaring flaw, the story that formes the core of the movie is solidly built.

Technical Merit (Pass/Fail) – Pass

The Wachowskis command of color, motion, and pacing is absolute. The directors use light, shadow, and color to merciless manipulate the audience’s perception of characters and emotions. Cars thunder around us in breathtakingly impossible action scenes. Scenery and set design reflects the hyper-realism that is their trademark. This world exists in some other time and place where reality appears wholly unfamiliar, but conforms to a set of rules the audience intuitively senses. Even when the audience is allowed to catch their breath while the plot advances inexorably towards its climax, the camera doesn’t sit still, pushing the story forward with the subtle sense of motion that is the main technical device used in the film. Costuming plays a huge part in the audience’s ability to immerse themselves in the film, blending anime designs with a stylish functionality one would expect on the streets of Tokyo or Hollywood. Unfortunately, where the directors fail, they fail big. Unaccountably poor green-screen sequences look positively shoddy next to the adrenaline filled racing sequences. CGI and practical effects blend seamlessly in all the important scenes, drawing unwarranted attention to the slipshod FX that seem to revolve around the character of Spritle, as if these scenes were cobbled together at the last minute by film crews borrowed from the set of the soap opera next door.

Content (Pass/Fail) – Pass

This is no darkly nihilistic cyberpunk future, nor is it a dystopian society in dire need of rebellion. In Speed Racer, one man can make a difference by virtue of his own integrity. Themes of integrity are at the forefront, delivered by Pops Racer, Rex Racer, and Racer X as they assure us that the truth can’t be suppressed, and that a man is defined by his struggle with corruption. Speed’s struggle to come to terms with what it means to be an adult is the compelling and thought provoking heart of the film. Personal violence is largely played for comedic value, but the danger that comes from the race track is never downplayed. Language is uniformly clean, with a few exceptions; authority figures are respected, if not always obeyed. In the end, it is not Might that makes Right, but rather Right that empowers Might.

Shelf Life (Pass/Fail) – Pass

Action junkies of all ages will want to see this movie again and again, roaring the fusion pumps of the T-180s through subwoofers cranked to the max. One viewing simply will not suffice to appreciate the depth of story, breadth of action, and dynamic relationships that raise this movie to greatness. Speed Racer really is a film that rewards multiple viewings, allowing the audience to appreciate the subltety of the Wachowskis’ manipulation of theme through cinematic device, admire the character of the Racer family, and thrill to the unmatched momentum inadequately reffered to as “racing”.

Public Enemies

A tale of loyalty and unlikely friendship featuring two of the most famous super-heroes on the planet, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies pairs the Man of Steel with the Dark Knight.  The iconic heroes unite when President Lex Luthor accuses Superman of terrible crimes against humanity and assembles a top-secret team of powerhouse heroes to bring Superman in.  But the “World’s Finest” duo are determined to topple the corrupt president’s reign once and for all!

-from the ad copy on the back cover of the trade paperback edition

Perspective: I picked up issue one of the new series Superman/Batman with hope that the adoption of the Kids WB Superman/Batman logo from the Saturday morning adventure hour heralded the same kind of storyteling, glanced at the clean, manga-esque interior art by Ed McGuinness, and finally noticed Jeph Loeb’s name in the writer’s credit.  I put the book down and walked quickly away.  Loeb’s excellent thriller Batman: the Long Halloween had made enough of an impression in my mind that I also purchased the overly sentimental Superman For All Seasons by the same creative team.  After that disappoinment, Jim Lee’s astounding art coupled with the promise of another detective thriller lured me into the twelve-part Hush – densely packed with guest-stars, nonsensical plot device, and held together by author’s fiat.  It wasn’t until issue seven centered on Superboy and Robin that I reluctantly acquired the back-issues; at that I point I felt morally compelled to at least purchase the book until the story-arc had been completed.  Twenty-five issues later, I want my money back.

Surprisingly, when Green Lantern: First Flight included a teaser for this project, I couldn’t wait to see the translation to animation.  I expected a clean adaptation of Ed McGuinness’ spectacular and dynamic artwork accompanied by a team of editors to turn Loeb’s poorly plotted showcase of his partner’s artistic talent into a massive brawl wherein the World’s Finest take turns whuppin’ up on a parade of guest stars.  Time for popcorn.

Background: The “World’s Finest” team of Superman and Batman have appeared in one form or another as friends and allies in adventure since 1941.  The two characters share an iconic status in the pantheon of DC heroes, and it is this status rather than equality of ability that has them joined at the hip in graphic literature.  The so-called “contrasting characterization” is a relatively recent innovation, as the heroes shared virtually identical story structures even into the 1980’s: villain appears; villain confounds hero; hero uses deus ex machina to restore the status quo.  These characters have not been used consistently in this fashion, nor in any continuing shared publication, since DC reorganized their internal continuity of story in 1984.

Following the success of adapting Darwyn Cooke’s Justice League: the New Frontier from graphic novel to animation, the adaptation of other best-selling publications seemed only natural.  Superman/Batman: Public Enemies presented an opportunity to use multiple DC character properties without attaching the words “Crisis” or “Justice League” to the project.

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Hunt for Adventure

From the towers of Manhattan to the jungles of South America, from the sands of the Sahara to the frozen crags of Antarctica, one man finds adventure everywhere he goes:

GABRIEL HUNT

Backed by the resources fo the $100 million Hunt Foundation and armed with his trusty Colt revolver, Gabriel Hunt has always been ready for anything – but is he prepared to enter . . .

The Cradle of Fear

When a secret chamber is discovered inside the Great Sphinx of Egypt, the mystery of its contents will lead Gabriel to a rmote Greek island, to a stone fortress in Sri Lanka . . and to a deadly confrontation that could decide the fate of the world!

Perspective: Although the flavor text set the novel in my shopping cart, it was the cover art that made me pick it up.  This book looks like a pulp-era adventure story.  I expected Indiana Jones in a modern day setting, and I was not entirely misled. I love the pulps – simple stories for a simpler time, full of derring-do, swashbuckling, mysterious lands, and unfathomable mysteries.  Those stories contain a clarity of purpose and characterization in stark contrast to the conflicted and enlightened leading man of today.  I bought this book desiring a return to that kind of clarity.

Background: Hunt Through the Cradle of Fear is book two of the Gabriel Hunt series from Dorchester Publishing.  It is marketed through their “Action/Adventure” line, and may be found in discount stores, book stores, online, or through Dorchester’s own book club.  The series revolves around Gabriel Hunt, a modern-day millionaire adventurer.  The central conceit of the series is that Gabriel is relating these accounts to ghost authors, and that the stories are factual accounts.  Gabriel Hunt may be found online at his website: Hunt for Adventure.

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The Rise of Cobra

snakePerspective: This ain’t your daddy’s G.I. Joe.  For that matter, this probably ain’t your G.I. Joe.  Come to think of it, I’m not sure whose G.I. Joe this is, exactly.  I am an avid G.I. Joe fan; I followed the comics and played with the toys all through the 80’s, never missed an episode of the cartoon, and jumped feet first into the nostalgic revival in 2001.

I’ve been waiting for this movie a long time.

Background: The Hasbro property enjoyed the bulk of its popularity in the 80’s, beginning as a highly successful and still wildly collectible toy line.  The Marvel comic book series soon followed, mostly under the pen of Larry Hama; a half-hour tv series little more than an extended toy advertisement eventually produced an animated film that only fueled the Joe-mania sweeping the country at that time.  After that particular version of the franchise petered out in the early 90’s, Hasbro attempted to revive the property several times with varying degrees of success.

In 2001, Hasbro anticipated a wave of nostalgia and licensed Devil’s Due to produce a new line of comics that would build from the existing Marvel continuity.  Issue #1 hit the stands the week before 9/11.

Although military fiction did not experience quite the revival it might have otherwise expected, the Hasbro property has been in more or less continuous circulation since then.  Devil’s Due lost the license in 2008 and IDW picked it up.  IDW then launched a complete reboot of the property, ignoring the Marvel/Devil’s Due continuity and beginning from the ground up.

The Rise of Cobra isn’t their movie either.

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The God Conspiracy

gc_frontcover_250One e-mail. Five lines. 4,000 dead.  And it is only just beginning…

When a small boy in Iowa forwards a mysterious email from ‘God’ to a small group of friends, he unwittingly releases a trigger that sends blood pouring throughout his farming community.  Thousands more are dead across the country in dozens of simultaneous terror attacks and the government blames fundamentalists who want to trigger the Apocalypse.  FBI Agent Joe Unes reluctantly teams with reclusive Internet radio host Barney Ison (from Sharon K. Gilbert’s The Armageddon Strain) to expose the plot — and discovers that the enemy is not of flesh and blood.

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The time is near. The great and terrible day of the Lord has come. You are one of the Chosen. Tell no one.
-GOD

Yeah, I’m freaking out too.  Move over Joel Rosenberg, there’s a new quill in the inkwell; The God Conspiracy is Derek Gilbert’s second novel, and first modern day thriller.  Derek and his wife Sharon host P.I.D. Radio, a podcast bringing us news and analysis on demand where they examine political and social headlines and hidden stories from a Biblical perspective.  Gilbert’s knack for bouncing the radar off otherwise overlooked or intentionally concealed agendas really shines through as he cants the landscape we know to a new and terrifying angle that remains far too familiar for comfort.

In the tradition of novelists like Joel Rosenberg and Tom Clancy, Derek Gilbert casts us into an America on lockdown.  Without warning or pattern, ordinary God-fearing people across the nation suddenly erupt into uniform psychosis in a weekend of terror that sends the nation into Threat Level Red.  Abruptly, civil rights become a thing of the past as citizens are seized and silenced with neither probable cause nor due process.  The Shadow Government begins its power play against the most dangerous and diabolical threat our nation has yet faced – conservative, right-wing, middle-America.  Gilbert serves us a threat that hits close to home and a cast that echoes the people we know in a situation beyond their scope of understanding and utterly out of their control.  From the small-town shopkeeper, to the stubborn FBI agent, to the former NFL star, to the Four Nerdsmen of the Apocalypse, the characters of The God Conspiracy rely on their wits, their training, and ultimately their faith to pierce the veil of lies hiding the truth and see beyond the threat against their lives and families to the real supernatural menace hiding just beyond our perceptions.

Gilbert gives us detailed characters and breakneck pacing wrapped up in a tangled plot and dripping with paranoia.  Despite the wealth of characterization, The God Conspiracy is little more than a vehicle for jumpstarting the reader’s own determination to find out the truth about the world in which he lives.  Drawing heavily from the research and information that flows through his news and opinion blog – Weapon of Mass Distraction – Gilbert taps the shoulder of several dozen popular conspiracy theories and drags them screaming into the public arena.  Even as a regular listener to his podcast and irregular participant on the Peering Into Darkness forums, I bookmarked several pages for further research, deleted all the cookies from my internet history, checked my rearview for tails, and put a fresh coat of Brasso ™ on my tin-foil hat.  The reader who does not come away from this novel with more than a few questions about his nation’s direction and the spiritual forces behind the world order has missed the thrust of the novel entirely.

The God Conspiracy is available directly from Gilbert’s blog – Weapon of Mass Distraction – as both a downloadable PDF or as a traditional dead-tree edition.  Both editions are published in partnership with Lulu.com.  Also, readers may purchase a Kindle edtion through Critical Press Amazon for use with the Kindle and many compatible e-book readers, including the iPhone and iPod Touch.  The volume weighs in at a hefty 400 pages, which prices the perfect-bound edition at $24.95, but makes the PDF a steal at only $5.00.  The Kindle version is priced at $7.96, and the dynamic formatting capabilities of the format mean this one is the best value of the bunch.  Whatever your preferred format, the pages fly by with frightening speed.  The God Conspiracy is sure to have you looking over your shoulder and evaluating the durability of your own faith.

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