Posted in Superversive, Writer's Life

The Del Rio Series: Through The Superversive Lens

For the past week I’ve been talking about the concept of “Superversive” and for the most part it is a construct of the science fiction/fantasy world. But it is not limited to SF/F at all. In other words: Yes, Virginia, you can write superversive in other genres besides SF/F!

For example, take a look at my Del Rio series. It is a mystery/political thriller series set in present day. More notably, it doesn’t have a hint of sci-fi or fantasy in it. A little Navajo tribal lore in the first book, yes, but other than that it adheres to the normal rules.

But is still fits the Superversive mold.

Jack Del Rio, yes he shares the name with a certain NFL coach who was a favorite NFL player of mine when I first cooked up this series and need a name for my MC, is an FBI Agent. Del RIo’s speciality is domestic counter-terrorism.

1556904841He is your standard run-of-the-mill agent and guy for that matter. He’s not looking to save the world and be the hero, he’s just trying to make it a safer place by doing his job. In the early stages of Reservations, the first book of the series, we find out Jack is something of a driven man. He sees evil, he stops it. He single-handedly saved the life of the Queen of England from a deadly ambush during his posting to London and that event has made him a rising star in the Bureau.

So when the Director of Del Rio’s department gets a call for help from the President of the Navajo Nation to stop what appears to be a string of political assasinations on the Navajo Reservation, Del Rio is sent to the Four Corners to get the job done.

Once there, Del Rio is thrust into a world where the people on the three reservations – Navajo, Zuni and Hopi – are as distrustful of each other as they are of the people outside of their lands. He is teamed up with the Navajo Nation Police Department’s Officer Lucy Chee as he begins his investigation.

Suspects are interviewed, crime scenes are examined and the elusive killer escapes capture once before claiming a third victim. The killer is finally caught, after two failed attempts to kill the Navajo President, but the victory comes at a heavy cost.

Even though evil claims some victories in the story, it ultimately fails. There are other superversive elements to the first book, but if I tell you what they are, I’ll give away way to many surprises and ruin reading the story for you.

1556904725Del Rio’s story continues in Betrayals. In the second book, some of the foreshadowing of a greater conspiracy that Del Rio was unknowingly a part of for most of his life. As the title conveys, there will be many betrayals in this book. Some good, some not so much.

But the superversive theme holds as Del Rio starts to unravel who is involved in a plot to overthrow, shall we say, betray, the government of the United States from within. (No, I didn’t write Betrayals during the 2016 election, but someties I wonder if I pulled a Nostradamus when I originally wrote the story as a screenplay back in 1998.) 

1593132618In the finale of the series (and I have to be vague less I give away too much of the plot, sorry), Endgames, Del Rio will become the hunted as Evil seems to have the upperhand. I even allow Del Rio’s shining armour of good and righteousness slip in this book and with good reason. No man, no matter how heroic he might be, could pass through the test I put Del Rio through in this book and emerge unscathed.

But, damaged as he might be, he still shines though in the end. And that is very superversive indeed.

Check out the series for yourself and let me know what you think!









Posted in Superversive, Writer's Life

The Timeless Series: Through The Superversive Lens

Superversive writing has heroes, romance, conflict and above all else, an ending that makes the readerhapp they spent their time reading thr story.

Today i wanted to run the first two books of the Timeless series, The Timeless and Secret of the Sphinx, through the Superversive filter. As for the rest of the series, barring anymore disasters (and that is questionable at best in 2020, isn’t it?) the final four books of the series should be out by the end of the year.

DBjb5MaXoAAMEtoSo lets take a look at the first two, starting with The Timeless. 

We begin with an intrepid young author, right out of school, on a mission from the solar system’s governor to travel to a prison on Pluto. His task is to worm information out of the prison’s infamous inmate, Little John Singapore. Singapore is the First Mate of The Timeless, an 18th Century three-masted pirate ship capable of sailing through air and space, on water and anywhere in time.

Oh yes, did I mention that this is a steampunk, young adult adventure that any reader from age 10 to 100 will enjoy reading? It is set in a future when our galaxy has wandered into an area of space that has literally turned out the lights. No electronic technology works now and only the discovery of Aether allows humanity to travel about.

Little John Singapore

The Captain of the Timeless is Rock Congo and he is every ounce a swashbuckling pirate and Governor Garabaldi wants to know where Congo can be found and why he has reneged on his agreement to help capture insterstellar thief Duchess Moran.

Moran is not from Earth, but she has become tired of the Earth-led Alliance interferring in her theivery. So she decides that the best way to end that interference is to change Earth’s past so that the Alliance never forms.

Garabaldi has become aware of her plans and captures the Timeless and her crew. He gives them the option to either track down Moran and stop her, or off to prison on Pluto for immediate execution, the punishment for pirates.

The Timeless sets sail for ancient Sparta, where Moran has plans to kidnap Leonidas before he can make his stand at the Hot Gates at Thermopylae against the Persians. Congo, Singapore and the Timeless’ crew arrive just after Leonidas has been kidnapped and sets off in pursuit.

SpartanMoran and Congo come face to face for the first time in Ancient Greece and Singapore sees in an instant that they are all in a load of trouble. The Captain and the theif have fallen for one another and that is only going to make matters worse. Moran flees as Leonidas is rescued and history is preserved.

But, as Secret of the Sphinx opens, we know Moran has not yet given up on her quest to remove Earth from her path. Only know she is back in Ancient Egypt looking for a rare gem that has the power to raise an unstopable army of the undead.

A visit to the lost library in Alexandria leads to a secret chamber within the Sphinx, a chamber that will tell Moran exactly where, and when, to find this powerful gem. 

sphinx_egypt_landmark_egyptian_ancient_cairo_desert_architecture-1210983Moran gains possession of the gem and unleashes the horde as the Timeless arrives on scene. While the ship and her crew battle the attacking undead. Congo and Singapore try to capture Moran and the gem. They get the gem, but Moran once again makes her escape, the undead army is banished and history remains intact. For now.

The pursuit of Moran continues, with many twists and turns and all of it very superversive indeed.

Check out the first two books below and get ready for the final four adventures. 





Posted in Superversive, Writer's Life

When The Gods Fell: Through The Superversive Lens

I debated doing this book at all for this series of blog posts because it will be a series of several books. To be fair, the entire series needs to be judged at the same time because it has a wide-ranging scope. I mean, a 65-million year story arc is kind of hard to break down in just the first book. But for the time period it covers, When The Gods Fell ticks enough boxes to qualify as a Superversive tale.

First, humanity has succeeded in landing a manned mission on Mars and is taking its first steps toward permanently establishing residency on the faraway red planet. The crew is multi-national, giving the reader a sense that in about two decades the human race has actually gotten its shit together on is ready to fulfill its destiny.

Which destiny that will be is the point of this first book, because the crew is about to encounter a mysterious woman named Oracle Delphi and she is about to lay the mother of all alternate history stories on them.

Indian_Spacecraft_Snaps_Spectacular_Portrait-c244b1e758aba6b8ee527570b89c8416Oracle is an energy being who was once, roughly 65 million years ago, a humanoid woman living among the Castes that made up the people of Olympus, the planet we now know as Mars.

The rulers of those castes are names that we recognize today – Zeus, Yahweh, Ra, Odin, Kali, Lucifer and many, many more. Zeus sits upon the throne as the leader of all Olympus and, for the most part, the planet is at peace.

But all is not as peaceful as it might seem. Plans within plans, deceit upon deceit, lurks in every dark shadow of Olympus and even though he has been warned, Zeus is unable to thwart the machinations alligned against him and his throne.

In a very Superversive way, Zeus will not allow evil to win and finds a way through his trusted friend, Yahweh, to save as much of Olympus as possible even as the planet is decimated in a cataclysmic event that destroys all life on the surface.

space-4639299_1920Zeus’ solution, how that impacted the origins of life on Earth and what the future of humanity will be are addressed somewhat in this first book and will be explored further as the series progresses.

But the book is still superversive in that it has heroes rising to the occassion, it has setbacks for good and moments where evil does prevail, and it has some religous themes. But it still leaves the readerwith hope for the future of these characters and this world they have entered.

One point regarding said religous themes. As Declan Finn pointed out in his review :

“Even in the book, the Oracle telling the story said that yes, there was a Deity to whom these “gods” prayed. And I saw no mention of one of the kids becoming a carpenter. If you’re that concerned, unbunch your panties and just relax. This is not Dan Brown. Paolinelli is not poking at your faith with malice aforethought.”

…and that means I’m not preaching at you. I’m not setting one faith above another, and as this is an alt-history sci-fi/fantasy mash-up. I remind you that this is a work of fiction, not to be taken as me saying “this is how things really happened”.

What this story is, is just a story meant to entertain you, to help you escape the anxieties of the real world for just a few hours.

And that is very superversive.

Check it out for yourself and see if you agree. And yes, I will get back to this series as soon as I can.



Posted in Superversive, Writer's Life

Escaping Infinity: Through The Superversive Lens

Yesterday I ran my first sci-fi novel, Maelstrom, through the superversive filter. Today, it is Escaping Infinity’s turn. 

While Steve Collins was out to save the world in his own way in Maelstrom, in Escaping Infinty, Pete Childress is just minding his own business. He’s trying to get to Phoenix for a presentation without strangling his traveling companing, and best friend, Charlie for getting them good and lost again. Saving the world and all of humanity was the last thing on his mind when we are introduced to Pete.

climate-change-2254711_1920But the prologue to Escaping Infinity should have warned you that this was going to be anything but a simple road trip for Pete. Yes, that is Earth that gets scorched to a cinder on the very first page of the book. And yes, this is a superversive story despite the grim opening.

Pete and Charlie encounter The Infinity, a hotel inexplicably out in the middle of nowhere that offers weary travelers everything they could possibly want or need. Charlie is immediately taken in by the place and charges off to pursue one of the hotel staff while enjoying its casino.

Pete just wants to get a good night’s sleep, get directions to Phoenix and get back on the road first thing in the morning. But he begins to notice something seems “wrong” about The Infinity, and that feeling of “wrongness” takes hold when Pete notices two important details about the hotel. First, it appears to have many more floors than appeared possible based on his exterior view of the hotel. 

EI_PROMO_2Second, when he heads back to the front desk to inquire with Liz, the desk clerk that checked them in, he finds that the entrance he’d just used not one hour before no longer exists. In fact, he can find no exit back to the outside world at all.

His explorations lead him to several encounters with other guests, people who not only appear out of place, but out of time itself. Romans, ancient Egyptians, a couple from pre-World War II Japan and another couple heading for Paris in the days following the end of that second World War. When Pete finally catches up with Charlie, his friend is as oblivious to the trap they have fallen into as all of the rest.

The mysterious Liz suggests Pete check out a certain door in the indoor garden then scurries away when the Hotel Manager draws near. When Pete locates the door and attempts to open it he is attacked and chased back to his room by a ferocious, and

The Bear
A much smaller, and less lethal, blue teddy bear

quite gigantic beast that resembles a blue teddy bear on steroids, roid-rage and all.

Liz is waiting for him in his room after his narrow escape and Pete is unnerved to see his wounds quickly healing and his torn clothing repairing itself. Liz explains that these are all normal occurances within the walls of The Infinity. She also confirms that no one who has entered the hotel has ever walked back out.

After learning the circumstances that led Liz to become trapped in The Infinity, as well as exactly how long she has been trapped inside, Pete resolves to get them both back out. But to do so means he must leave Charlie behind and the gut-wrenching choice tears at Pete’s heart and soul as he vows not only to get out, but to find a way to return and free everyone trapped inside.

The couple’s attempt at freedom fails, just as it seems as if they had found the way out. The Manager calmly informs them that no such path exists and encourages them both to accept their fate. Beaten and exhausted, they both do and become as much a part of the hotel as everyone else inside.

Now, at this point you’re screaming “Hey, buddy, this is a subversive story! Evil wins! Charlatan! Fakir!!!!”

And it is at this point that I remind you that the one thing I am noted for in my storytelling is waving a bright, shiny object in my left hand to draw your attention away from what my right hand is doing. Or, as my friend, The Dome, says: “With you, Richard, everything is the MacGuffin!”

462px-Weapon_b_1020300100Because it is at this point when I swing my mighty Superversive battle-ax and lay an epic superversive smackdown on the story and the reader.

Suffice it to say, Pete figures out how to beat the trap that was The Infinity and finds the way out. And it is here where we find out the connection between The Infinity and the destruction of Earth, as well as the true role of the manager.

But that isn’t the end of the story. A Superversive tale has elements of religion in it. And Escaping Infinty has that. It doesn’t promote a single belief over any other – in fact, I’ve been granted honorary status in several religions by people who have read this book – but rather it incorporates a lot of biblical themes into the conclussion of the story.

And the conclussion is very Superversive. Evil does not prevail. Heroes find it within themselves to rise up when the moment calls for them and deliver. And the future of mankind, despite the terrible event that opened the story is positive and uplifting. 

 You can’t get anymore superversive than that. So, check out Escaping Infinity for yourself and let me know what you think.



Posted in Superversive, Writer's Life

Maelstrom: Through The Superversive Lens

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.

1585367776So 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.

san-cristobalWhen 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. 

maxresdefaultFaced 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.


New_Maelstrom_EBook_Cover copy


Posted in Off The Top Of My Head, Superversive, Writer's Life

Superversive Vs. Subversive

The last two days I’ve been talking about the two sides that exist – in writing and in society in general – and why I’ve chosen to walk the Superversive path as a writer and a person.

It is really an easy choice when you break it down. Superversive builds up, encourages, has a positive outlook toward the future even in the darkest of times and sees the good in the past while acknowledging where the past came up short.

Subversive tears down, it destroys, it sees only evil in everyone and everything. Subversive offers only chaos, mayhem and destruction. It feeds off these things and demands that everyone and everything be judged as wrong – except its practitioners of course – and in need of being unpersoned and erased from historical memory.

One is the light. The other is the dark. And I cannot abide the darkness that is subversive.

So I align myself with other authors who practice the superversive way: Declan Finn, Brian Niemeier, Larry Correia, Russell Newquist, John C. Wright, L. Jagi LamplighterStephanie Osborn, and many, many more. (For those I didn’t list above, my apologies but know your efforts to forward the Superversive way are greatly appreciated.)

Superversive Press was the great beacon for all of us and we were all sad when SP shut down earlier this year. But while the publishing house is no more, the movement behind it remains alive and well because of those authors who continue to create stories that meet this ideal. I have yet to encounter a superversive story that hasn’t been a pleasure to read. No matter the genre or the story arc they have all been incredibly well-crafted page-turners.

Nor have I seen anyone within the Superversive movement call for another author to be de-platformed or have their books not get published because they do not align with our way of thinking. That bit of skullduggery belongs solely to the Subverse crowd that has infested sci-fi/fantasy for far too long.

The prime examples I can think of in the subversive crowd are N.K. Jemisin,  Jeannette Ng, John Scalzi, Cat Rambo, Mary Robinette Kowal, Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden, and several others. They, along with some help from folks like ChinaMike – Lord of the House of 770 Vile Aromas – and a few others, seem to prefer the darkness. They feed off it or so it would seem.

Not only are their stories tiresome – white men evil, civilization as we’ve known it is evil, everyone is racist (except for them of course as they are as pure as the wind-driven snow) – but because they are filled with anger and hate all they can do is tear down and attack those that don’t agree with them. They also take pleasure in destroying established SF/F franchises (yes, I’m looking at you J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson).

Where the Superversive author is: “You write your stories, I’ll write mine and we go our way in peace”, the Subversive crowd is totalitarian: “You will read only our works. No one else is allowed to write and be published unless they meet our approval. Any who dare defy us must be attacked and destroyed.”

As I have said before: I prefer the Superversive path. If you are a reader new to this conflict you probably are unaware of much of what went on in the previous decade. The Subversives – like a cancer – moved in and took over the main publishing houses and awards in SF/F. They ran off those who did not think only approved thoughts. They have attacked those that laid down the foundations of SF/F and attempted to erase them from memory. Google Ng’s acceptance speech of what used to be known as the John W. Campbell Award at the Hugos. Then Google Jemisin’s hate-filled rant when accepting her third Hugo award.

Then ask yourself this: Is this the type of SF/F that I want to read? Is this the type of people who speak to the kind of future I want to see?

If your answers are no, then welcome to the brotherhood and sisterhood of Superversive. We have banded together to preserve the best of all SF/F and offer a better vision of the future. And if you want to find out who to read, just keep an eye on this blog, check out the names I listed above as well as the past and future winners of the Dragon Awards and the Helicon Awards.

You have chosen to leave behind the dark, ugly side of SF/F. It is a small, but vocal, faction that eventually will consume itself with its own hatred and fade into its well-deserved obscurity.

imagesYou have chosen the light. You have chosen The Way.


Hey, the weekend is coming up and if you want to sample some fine superversive writing just click the link to check out my books!





Posted in Off The Top Of My Head, Superversive, Writer's Life

Superversive. This Is The Way.

Yesterday I shared with you what I no longer gave a damn about. So I thought it would only be fair to share what I do give a damn about. Good storytelling that you want to read.

Much like the anarchists we see on the news today, burning, looting and tearing down statues, the world of science fiction and fantasy is under similar attack. They have been attacking long-established legends in SF/F, erasing their names from awards, demanding their books be removed from shelves, etc. And they are insisting that the only acceptable works are ones that preach the social justice themes we’ve all become tired of hearing.  They are subversive. They are also part of the reason why people are turning away from reading and SF/F in general.

I reject the subversive. I prefer the superversive. But what does superversive mean in regards to writing fiction of any kind?

The definition of superversive is: “Nurturing; supportive, building up — opposite of subversive.” Where subversive – and those who practice it – can only tear down and destroy what was created by others, superversives build up. Or, as John C. Wright said during a conversation with his wife, L. Jagi Lamplighter, ““You know how subversive means to change something by undermining from below? Superversive is change by inspiration from above.”

Russell Newquist, who runs Silver Empire, touched on this subject four years ago on his blog. Here are some highlights from his post:

  • Heroes who are actually heroic. They don’t have to be heroic all of the time, or even most of the time. But when the time comes, they must actually be heroic.
  • People are basically good. Not all the time, not in every case – and certainly not every person. But basically.
  • Good Wins. Not every time – a good story always has setbacks in it. But evil winning is most definitely not superversive.
  • True love is real. Again, maybe not for everybody. But it’s real.
  • Beauty is real. It’s ok to show the warts. But show the beauty, too.
  • The transcendent is awesome. There’s no obligation to show any particular religion, or even really religion at all. But superversive literature should show the glory and splendor of the wider universe around us, and it should leave us in awe of it.
  • Family is good and important. Not every family, sure. But those are the exceptions, not the rule.
  • Civilization is better than barbarism. This doesn’t mean barbarians are evil, or that they aren’t fun. But in the end, they’re… well, barbaric.
  • Strength, courage, honor, beauty, truth, sacrifice, spirituality, and humility are virtues. This can be demonstrated by showing people breaking the virtues. But they must be recognized as virtues.
  • There is hope. Superversive stories should never leave the reader feeling despair.

When I was first introduced to the Superversive philosophy in fiction I was hooked. These were the stories I grew up reading, these were the stories I wanted to read more of and these were the stories I wanted to write.

Even with a dystopian story like Maelstrom, or my short story Polar Shift in Planetary Anthology Series: Luna, bad things happen and evil looks to be on the verge of victory but the endings to those stories will not leave you “feeling despair”.

As for transcendence, Escaping Infinity has that in spades. It isn’t preaching a specific religion at all but I think it does show off the splendor and glory of the universe around us. And so far readers of every religion have tried to claim me as one of their own after reading it.

The characters I write don’t set out to become heroes. But when the moment arrives they are there to answer the call to be heroic. There is true love, sacrifice, honor, tragedy, grief, loss and ultimately victory.

Sometimes the hero wins at great cost, sometimes the hero is tested to the greatest depths of their soul. But in the end, the good wins through. I believe this is true in my fiction and, despite all evidence to the contrary, I believe this is true in life.

During a Twitter conversation with a few other writers, I came up with this tag line to explain our approach to writing:

“I wrote this to entertain you, not to preach to you.”

So yes, the Superversive path is the one I choose to walk in my writing journey, and in my life as well, and I will continue to do so for as long as I keep writing, and breathing.

This is the way.