I talked a lot about the superversive approach to writing last week and I thought it might be a good idea to spend this week talking about my books through the superversive filter.
So let’s start off with the very first book I wrote, Maelstrom.
It is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel. Yes Virginia, you can find superversive even in post-apocalyptic works. The subversive crowd, Jemisin, et al, starts off with the premise that humanity sucks so much that even after it blows up the world as we know it, the human race still sucks. Superversive says yes, humanity has issues, yes it might blow up the world as we know it, but in the end the best of humanity will find a way to shine through.
And that is what you’ll find in Maelstrom. Steven Collins is a man driven on a single quest: Prevent the next extinction-level event – an asteroid crashing into our world – by creating a fool-proof shield to deflect away these cosmic killers. He eventually succeeds in building a device capable of generating such a shield to cover the entire planet.
Unfortunately, as is often the case with good intentions, something goes awry. The building where he is testing his device vaporizes after a vortex forms within the test area. Collins is sucked into the vortex seconds before the devastating explosion.
When he wakes up, he finds himself over a century in the future and is greeted by an Earth that looks like every level of Dante’s Hell smashed together. He discovers that his shield is to blame for Earth’s current condition, that over seven billion people died shortly after the accident and that there are only about one million human beings left alive in the 22nd Century.
Making matters worse, those one million are currently trapped under his shield, which has remained operational despite the explosion. Travel beyond the shield is possible, but one of the survivors of the shield’s birth has gone insane and has vowed to exterminate the last of humanity no matter the cost. This madman waits outside the shield, unable to penetrate it and return to Earth, but he can afford to wait. Life under the shield is taking its toll and the survivors have only a few more decades of life remaining before the last will die off.
Faced with this terrible outcome of his life’s work, Collins takes on the task of trying to rid Earth of this madman’s threat and save the last of humanity. Collins is not a heroic man by nature, but when the moment calls for a hero, he finds it within himself to answer that call. This is superversive.
Not everyone in the story is a good person, none are perfect. But overall, humanity in this story has suffered a terrible blow and are struggling to make a better world of the one they have been given. They will face an evil, one that looks to have the upper hand, but they will never surrender to it. They will always look to what is good and right.
There are other superversive elements to the story as well. There is love, sacrifice and honor. Alexis Tivoli is no damsel in distress. Where she fails in her original mission, she is still a warrior who does not shrink from facing the evil madman when it comes time for a rematch.
Both Steve and Alexis are damaged people, due to their respective life experiences, but they find a certain amount of healing within themselves and each other as the story progresses.
And as for the ending, there are surprises, tragedy and mourning. But there is also love, joy and hope for a better future.
And THAT is very superversive.
Check out Maelstrom for yourself and see if you agree.