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.
He 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.
Del 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.)
In 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!