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Eternal Warriors 1, 2, and 3 in ebook

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 | Posted by Theo

The War in HeavenIt was challenging to come up with a way to distribute two pretty Rowena covers and two generic Pocket covers across three books, but with a little artistic inspiration from some of my friends and readers, we managed to come up with a consistent look and release The War in Heaven, The World in Shadow, and The Wrath of Angels in ebook format.  Few in the SF/F community will be familiar with them, since despite the religious roots of the genre and the religious aspects of many of its greatest classics, most editors and reviewers openly disdain anything that stinks of a non-secular perspective.  That’s merely an observation, most certainly not a complaint, as all three books sold out their print runs, three in the case of The War in Heaven.

In fact, the one thing I learned from the experience was that the style of a book’s cover is much more important than reviews from the SF/F media.  I mean, we all know it’s important for a cover to stand out and be attractive, but what I didn’t realize was how the look of the cover tended to dictate how it would be stocked in the bookstores and perceived by the potential readers.  Whereas the first edition cover, which was an original painting by Rowena that she and I designed together, was an overtly fantastic image – the ebook’s cover to the left uses the painting with a different layout and typography – the second edition was an insipid attempt to imitate the striking black style of the Left Behind series.  (Needless to say, this was done over my protests).  It was also reclassified as “Speculative Fiction” rather than “Fantasy.” Not only did this result in the second edition being placed in the religious fiction section instead of the fantasy and science fiction section where it thematically and stylistically belonged, but it was outsold by the previous edition by a five-to-one margin. So much for the benefit of professional marketing by a big New York publishing house.


The Wrath of AngelsIn light of this lesson, it didn’t take a genius to throw out the Pocket covers and go with the Rowena ones when the rights finally reverted and the option to release them in ebook format with a new publisher presented itself. So I’m happy to be able to announce that all three books are now available from Amazon in Kindle format and Barnes and Noble in EPUB. They are not conventional “religious fiction”, however, because while most such fiction involves the retelling of religious stories by way of analogy (Aslan as Christ figure, Gandalf as Christ figure, Gaal of Anthropos as Christ figure, Paul Muad’dib as Muhammed, etc.), the Eternal Warriors novels use a Christian perspective as a conceptual framework from which the story then unfolds. For example, The World in Shadow contemplates the idea of how demonic possession might relate to the unfolding of a Columbine-style situation, whereas The Wrath of Angels looks at global geopolitics as the plaything of demonic princes. But whether they are classified as Christian Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, or my personal favorite, Christian Horror, I hope readers, whatever their faith or creed might happen to be, will find them to be different and intriguing.

The World in Shadow

6 Comments »

  1. Theo-
    I read all three of those books several years ago, and really enjoyed them. I am glad you released them as ebooks; now I will be sure to download all 3 onto my kindle.

    Comment by dkiller88 - July 10, 2012 5:09 pm

  2. this statement enfuriates me: “but what I didn’t realize was how the look of the cover tended to dictate how it would be stocked in the bookstores and perceived by the potential readers.” It makes me mad because it is true and reflects the bias that I’ve witnessed over the past decade. For those of you who don’t want to hear a rant you might want to skip down to the last sentence.

    What you witnessed Theo is the liberal bias that exists, in my experience, in most Barnes and Noble stores. Several times a conservative wrote a book that I dashed off to the store to get it and I couldn’t find it. I went to the counter and the clerk sneered and said that it was in the current events section, and it was–buried behind the latest bury-your-car-its-the-end-of-the-world Al Gore fantasy book.

    Christian literature?! Theo there are a lot of people who hate you already. They will probably hide your book somewhere in the fruits and nuts section and lay it to the spine so that no one will SEE the cover.

    The bias that exists in the publishing houses and some store outlets is acute when it comes to things pro American, conservative, or Marx forbid–CHRISTIAN.

    I’m glad that you put it up on Kindle. I vote with my pocketbook. This is not the genre that I normally write but it sounds interesting. On Kindle it competes on a level playing field without the asshats doling out shelf space. Only in liberal fantasyland does the political trump profit.

    Christian literature has strived to penetrate the mainstream. Despite numerous successes and talent they’ve been shut out. I’m glad that the ebook is now out and as it grows so will the genres that have been starved and abused. Good luck Theo.

    Comment by Wild Ape - July 11, 2012 9:36 am

  3. These look interesting. I’ll be picking them up. And I love the Rowena covers.

    Comment by westkeith - July 11, 2012 10:13 am

  4. In fairness, a strong left-wing bias is intrinsic to science fiction, as a perusal of the Wikipedia entry on the influential Futurians will demonstrate. The strong secularism of the genre is natural to it, as opposed to fantasy which sprang from religious roots. I think that’s why what religious genre fiction exists has tended to run towards the fantastic rather than the scientific, although there are some examples, like the Christ Clone trilogy, that are definitely true SF. Ironically, what is arguably the best Christian SF story ever written was written by Ray Bradbury, who was not religious if I recall correctly. The good writer is not limited to his own personal perspective.

    I don’t see the secular bias as something to complain about. The CBA developed to meet the needs of the market that was being blackballed by the ABA gatekeepers, and it will be interesting to see how epublishing affects the bestseller lists. After all, 50 Shades of Grey was never going to be published by a mainstream publishing house either. So it is vertical markets of all sorts that should benefit from the collapse of the traditional book publishing model.

    I don’t fault a militant atheist for being uninterested in my fiction any more than I fault myself for not being interested in The Hunger Games. On the other hand, sometimes it does pay off to go outside your natural interests; The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz is from a deeply Muslim perspective, which makes it all the more fascinating.

    Comment by Theo - July 11, 2012 10:15 am

  5. I love the Rowena covers.

    I do too. After Michael Whelan, she was my favorite cover artist of all the genre books I read in the 80’s. Whelan had stopped taking commissions, so I was absolutely delighted that she was willing to do it. I was so pleased with the result that I bought the original.

    Comment by Theo - July 11, 2012 10:20 am

  6. These ARE lovely covers, Theo. I understand why you wanted to buy the original.

    I believe Ray Bradbury was quietly religious in his personal life. I seem to remember reading that he would always say good-bye over the phone with: “God Bless You.”

    Comment by Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones - July 11, 2012 9:21 pm


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