Monday, September 22, 2008

Marcher Lord Press, Day One: The Personifid Invasion

September's Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour features a new print-media publisher, Marcher Lord Press, which specializes in Christian speculative fiction.

The official launch is October 1, but I and others in the tour have been reading some of the work soon to be offered to the reading public, and it's pretty darn good stuff. The quality and variety of the writing is excellent, the cover art is awesome, and I'm already a fan.

You can visit the website for information about which kinds of books MLP is interested in producing, the first three authors to be published by MLP, or about the founder, Jeff Gerke, so I won't discuss that here. (rubbing my palms in anticipation) I'd rather talk about the books.

The first: The Personifid Invasion by R.E. Bartlett.

Honestly, the title doesn't intrigue me. It suggests aliens or something akin to Imposter (I'm not all that interested in alien-related tales, but I enjoyed the movie based on a Philip K. Dick short story). And The Personifid Invasion is the second book in a series, and I prefer to start at the beginning.

I gave it the length of a chapter in which to grab my attention. I read two or three chapters before I realized I was well past the goal line, and sprinting ahead.

It has an interesting premise: In the future, human beings can trade in their bodies for all sorts of other types of structures to house their consciousness, from perfect human-like bodies to robotic forms to even animal shapes. There is a price to be paid, however, a trading of one's soul in a search for a contentment that cannot be found by inhabiting a beautiful shell.

God (the Tri-une Soul) is spoken about or addressed by characters, and Biblical themes are present throughout the story, but there are no "Gospel bludgeons" to beat the reader over the head. Yes, there are characters who are missionaries of sorts, seeking out personifids and other lost souls, but I who detest saccharine or sermonizing was not put off by the blatant Christian underpinnings of the novel. Rather, I admire Ms. Bartlett's skill in weaving the truth of Gospel into a page-turning science fiction tale that I believe Christians and non-Christians alike may enjoy.

The thumbnail picture above is just a detail from the cover illustration. Check out the full artwork.

Also, for my fellow geeks, click here to check out the animation segment and the art in MLP's gallery.

Tomorrow: Hero, Second Class.

Meantime, check out these other blogs on the tour:

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Kameron M. Franklin
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Timothy Hicks
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Mike Lynch
Terri Main
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Ashley Rutherford
Hanna Sandvig
Mirtika or Mir's Here
Greg Slade
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise
Tina Kulesa
Jason Waguespac


John said...

I have to admit, this is the one that I'm least looking forward to reading, simply because it's the sequel to a book I haven't read yet. That doesn't mean I'm not going to buy it, but I'm looking forward to the other two MLP titles.

But hearing that the story sucked you in raises my interest by quite a bit.

Keanan Brand said...

I'm not going to go back and get the first book in the series, but I ended up enjoying this one more than I expected.

However, though the character's problem had a point and a source, the main character's lethargy and headaches and constant emotionalism did make me almost stop reading, but I'm glad I stayed till the end.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm so jealous! You got to read them! Personified was one I was curious about, but I think Hero, Second Class looks the most like my cup of tea. I can't wait to hear what you think.

Mitchell Bonds said...

The prologue on the MLP website made me want to read this one. I haven't got around to it yet, because 1. It's not yet available to the general public, and 2. I have my own book coming out of MLP to worry about. That's right, Hero, Second-Class is my book. Can't wait to see what you have to say about it, pro and con.

-Mitchell Bonds

Beth Goddard said...

I read the first book and LOVED it! I've been eagerly waiting for the next book. Lethargy, headaches, and emotionalism? That sounds really really familiar. Hmmm. Something I can relate to:)

I wasn't officially on the participant list but have posted for the tour. I hope you'll stop by my blog.

Keanan Brand said...

Pixy - I think you'd enjoy all three of the books on offer. They're like different dishes at the same meal, different but equally appealing. (I hadn't seen your artwork since I used to frequent the old DKA site. Good stuff!)

Roger, uhm, Mitchell - Glad you wandered by. I'm trying a different format with each book, each day of the blog tour, and the entry for HSC is already written. I hope you enjoy it!

Beth - I'm headed there right now. Thanks for the visit!