1. Galadriel says:

    Sounds like something to add to my list of prospective reading material.

  2. That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking, Galadriel; in fact, I’m a bit embarrassed to have caught up with the series so late.

    Which leads me to ask an additional question: how have you, Kerry, marketed The DarkTrench Saga, to lead to all the reactions — including negative ones — that he described? One barrier to that, it would seem, is political correctness (or else sensitivity and Tolerance and things, take your pick).

    By the way, speaking of marketing, I hope the site’s new webscape adds helpful features.

  3. Fred Warren says:

    Kerry’s series has been in my “must read yesterday” stack far too long. He’s certainly not the first spec-fic writer to explore an Islam-ascendant future, but I think he’s doing some unique things with his integration of technology–taking that Sultan’s information center and projecting it ahead. He also shows how God might work within such a society in surprising ways. For Christian fiction, the idea that Christians might find themselves a subservient minority in an Islamic world, exclusive of an apocalyptic scenario, is pretty radical.

    The danger, of course, is projecting a caricature of Islamic culture into the future and painting characters from that society with a broad, negative brush. I don’t think Kerry has veered that direction, but people have a talent for finding prejudice wherever they want to see it. Smile, nod, press on.

    Found an interesting site focused on Islam in science fiction and Muslim writers of sci-fi, with lots of interviews.  http://islamscifi.com/

  4. C.L. Dyck says:

    I reviewed ASCS and interviewed Kerry some time ago. It is definitely one of the most unique and well-written books I’ve picked up. The second one has a totally different feel, but they both put me in mind of classic sci-fi authors–Asimov, H.G. Wells.
    Gotta get my cold little Canadian paws on #3 right soon, here.
    By the way, Mark Steyn’s thoughts in America Alone were summarized here in Canada by Maclean’s magazine. The Canadian Islamic Congress tried filing a “hate” complaint with the Human Rights Commission (which is a kangaroo court that acts as a parallel legal system based on “international” soft law). This notion of piggybacking Islamic sharia onto international human rights proceedings is not new or unique to Canada:

    There are processes by which proponents of shari’a do seek to operate, whether or not they’re representative of their own majority within the religion. But then, shari’a is not democratic. At any rate, Kerry’s storyworld is not about what’s impossible, but what we find uncomfortable to imagine.

    Kerry’s books do a fine job of showing that not everyone in such a world is made of two-dimensional evil. Spirituality in storytelling happens, and The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are a primary commercial proof that Islam and its political movements are not off the discussion list. For that matter, I can go on Amazon and buy an analysis of the influence of Buddhism on sci-fi and fantasy. It’s not a competition to “colonize” fiction, but it’s also not something to shy away from.
    I don’t despise Asimov for his worldview, or Khaled Hosseini for his, but I suppose it’s fashionable to despise Christianity–even (or especially) if one is a Christian. I do wish more people would fully appreciate the open forum of free speech and belief. After all, that’s what allows people to complain about guys like Kerry Nietz. 😉

  5. Kerry Nietz says:

    Good question, Stephen. My marketing plan for DarkTrench is essentially this: Watch what Jill Williamson does to promote her books, and do likewise. Ask her advice, and follow it. 🙂 At this point she’s probably the most knowledgable person we (Marcher Lord) have for getting the word out, so she’s been a good one to try to emulate.

    To be honest, I’ve tried alot of things. I’ve entered lots of contests, and had some success there in at least getting noticed. Surprisingly, the success has come mostly from secular venues over strictly-Christian ones. (You can go here to see all the entire MLP awards list: http://www.marcherlordpress.com/awards.html)

    I’ve also sent review copies out to alot of people and encouraged  people to leave reviews. Done book swaps with other authors, giveaways on blogs, lots of interviews. (I have an exhaustive list of those on my site.) 

    But really, I’ve had no guarantees on how things were going to go. I’ve been surprised by the positive reader reception. Grateful. Really, you just have to get the book into people’s hands and let it speak to them however it will. Leave it is God’s hands.

  6. Kerry Nietz says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Fred. I just read your short story in Aquasynthesis the other day. Loved it!

    Yes, in my future world, Christians are beyond being a minority. They are pretty much non-existent. The first clue to this is the very first line of the book: the chapter title is the date, and it is 2000 AH.

    Thanks to you too,Cathi-Lyn! I love this line in your comments: “…not about what’s impossible, but what we find uncomfortable to imagine.”


  7. I found the Darktrench Saga via a giveaway. Actually, I found the Darktrench Saga via winning a giveaway. I devoured A Star Curiously Singing and later, when it came out, The Superlative Stream. Unfortunately, things have been a little hectic lately and I’ve yet to order the final installment. That is high on my to-do list, I promise!

    The Islamic world is one of the things that drew my to the saga. It was different, unique. As for the person who did not want one religion should not be better than others: Eek! I thought for sure this had to be a secular voice. I wonder why this person calls themself Christian if they do not think one religion is better than another?

    It’s amazing that the some of the strongest crit received came from Christian circles. For me, the Darktrench Saga is one of the works that encourages me to keep writing faith-based novels, something Kathy Tyer’s Firebird series also does: Look what they got away with… Isn’t it beautiful?

  8. Kerry Nietz says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Kathrine! Absolutely, keep writing. If you have a story, you’ve gotta tell it.

    Have you read Kathy’s latest? Wind and Shadow is excellent.

    • No, I haven’t! Wind and Shadow is there with Freeheads as the Fall order I haven’t made yet. 🙁

    • That’s one for my Christmas list. Along with A Star Curiously Singing, of course, and surely both of its sequels as well.

      I do not appreciate this same message when any religion is portrayed as better than any other and think the implications behind this message are extremely dangerous. To me, any religious faith should promote tolerance – of all people and of all religions.

      The saddest thing for me about this one is that it came from a judge in a Christian fiction contest. Someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ—the Word made flesh, who died and rose again, and whose teachings and influence still shape our world—also feels that no religion is better than any other.

      Sobering indeed. And more than a bit disappointing.

      Kerry, though I know this likely says enough, I’m curious about this anecdote. May I/we safely assume that this contest was under the umbrella of a broader definition of “Christian”? Or does it seem representative of more folks in the Christian fiction/publishing industry? I ask because I’m curious about “intolerance” of themes such as your books explore — and because of the oft-discussed closed-box thinking prevalent in some Christian publishing. If I’m right, and this is somewhat prevalent, it would seem to be a profound theological difference with Biblical faith, not simply an aversion to boundary-pushing “edgy” fiction, or unfamiliar story genres.

      • Kerry Nietz says:

        Good question, Stephen.

        To set the record straight on that particular contest, that same judge made other comments on her blog that were way outside even the broadest definition of “Christian”. When the contest organizers were alerted to the comments, they apologized, said the comments didn’t gel with their theology, and promised a judge with those beliefs wouldn’t participate again.  I think they were being honest and meant what they said. I assume/hope this year’s contest was judged by people who are solid in their faith. 

        Since then I’ve talked to people who have been judges for other contests–more well-known contests–and it appears that, yes, there is a filament of that same relativistic thought within that community. That’s why I don’t get my hopes up when it comes to Christian contests. I still enter them, because I think it is good exposure–I mean, you’re forcing someone to read your book, after all. 🙂 But you never know what you’re going to get in a judge. 

        Plus, I realize (like every writer should) that my books won’t appeal to everyone. I’m grateful that anyone reads them, actually. A single positive comment makes my week!

        After all, we’re writing Christian science fiction here. Two circles that rarely connect. 🙂

  9. I have read A Star Curiously Singing, loved it, and blogged about it. Now I’m working my way towards reading the other two. Excellent article, Kerry! Keep up the good work and don’t be afraid of what others say 🙂

  10. Kaci Hill says:

    Oh, now I must read. 0=)

  11. David James says:

    Kerry’s books have been great so far, and though I haven’t been able to get the third one yet, I should soon correct that. He’s very gifted and a person that people should read now and in “the future”. 😉

  12. […] most good fiction, the Dark Trench Saga has its seeds in fact. In a recent interview, the author explained the story had its beginnings when he was given America Alone by Mark […]

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