Thursday, May 24, 2007

Crouching Matrix, Hidden Christians--Leaping Lizards!

From time to time I'll review or just write about a book, and I thought I'd start off with Flashpoint by Frank Creed. I got the idea when a golden-eyed guy in a duster tossed me a copy and then began minutely inspecting his sword.

So where do I begin? Flashpoint is roughly a Christian answer to the Matrix, but most of the action (including sword fights and martial arts displays) occurs in the real world, courtesy of combined high tech and spiritual power, so there's a certain amount of Americanized wuxia going on, too. And it all happens in a not-too-distant future where the U.S. has surrendered its sovereignty to foreign powers in the name of security. Christians, meanwhile, have been branded as terrorists and driven underground.

But some of the underground Christians got a high-tech power-up when a believing scientist working for the government defected to the underground with some toys that turned out to offer both physical and spiritual enhancements to the so-called terrorists. The Christians now seek to rescue their own and wake up Americans to what has happened to them and their country. Enter a couple of teens with more experience in cyberspace than in the real world, and the whole situation becomes even weirder.

Does it work? The Elfwood community, a secular site for speculative fiction, thought so: Flashpoint earned the 2006 Best Science Fiction Novel award there. The action is intense, the characters are lifelike against a larger-than-life background, and the spiritual points in general are well presented.
I checked for further reactions with some of the many characters in my head. Murray the Alchemist from "At the Mountains of Lunacy" (featured in the anthology Light at the Edge of Darkness) said, "Eh, it's okay. But with a title like Flashpoint, it should have a lot more explosions. I mean, swords and all that jumping around are for people without the right chemicals!"
The response from the League of Superheroes crew was more involved, so I'll let them comment tomorrow.

1 comment:

Frank Creed said...

My apologies to Murray. The Sears Tower on the cover of a terrorism novel and an explosive name like Flashpoint? I could see where one might have expected a little boom-boom.

Can I call of the golden-eyed duster-wearin sword-slinger? Yo buddy--tanks fer da review.


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