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Friday, July 22, 2011

RABBLETOWN: Life in These United Christian States of Holy America

Remember in 1988 when Pat Robertson was running for president? I do and it scared the bejesus out of me. The whole religious right still terrifies me. I've always said that if fascism comes to America it will be through the pulpit. The year 1984 had passed with all its references to George Orwell's book and it got me wondering if the religious right won the day and had its way, what America would be like in 2084. I started fiddling with time lines, seeing how many generations of Robertsons and Fallwells it would take to get to 2084. I figured that economic stimulus programs would be church-based. Abortion would not only be a capital offense, pregnancy would be mandatory for married women of child-bearing age. I started the story from the viewpoint of a mason working on the Great Christian State of Kansas cathedral project, who lived in a former duplext that now housed his family of 11 children and six other families.

The book proceeded and then stalled. I had written myself into a corner. From time to time, I would return to it and really liked its opening. Some very interesting things were going on, especially what happened to the Roman Catholic Church. The rise of Islamo-fascism provided the final prod and semi-retirement provided the time. I revisited the manuscript and found my way out of the corner. It came in the shape of a boy with a remarkable memory for Bible verses.

Shortly after I completed the manuscript, I got together with a former KU colleague, Michael Irvin, who is now doing freelance design work, and asked if he would look at the book. He agreed, liked it, and did the cover design.

It's live now on and Smashwords.

Short novel, about 40,000 words. Hope you'll give it a read.

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