Monday, January 04, 2016

Noah's Revenge

In 2014, I grew very excited when I learned there was a movie coming out, focused on one of my favorite stories. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, Noah also featured some of my favorite actors: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Hopkins.

Noah, the Bible's "last man standing" story about the limits to which mankind can push God, and how God in His mercy manages to save a remnant from judgment, fires the imagination with a tale of impending apocalypse, a giant wooden boat full of animals, and a fresh start on a world wiped clean of the mess we have made of it.

So it's hard to overstate how deeply my anticipation turned to chagrin and disappointment when I saw the utter mess Aronofsky made of the film. None of the power was in it. The role of Noah himself was utterly twisted from that of the faithful, obedient and courageous saint the Bible portrays him to be. The Nephilim (which the Bible says were a race of brutal giants) were somehow turned into ridiculous rock people, glorified demons who were being punished by God for their noble ambition to help mankind. Everything was turned on its head.

The movie left me with a sort of PTSD, recurring fears that the real story of the heroes who survived the global judgment because of their faithful obedience and courage would be forever lost in the minds of a generation who looks to the silver screen for its reality.

It also left me determined not to give up and give in, but to fight back. I believe it's possible to faithfully fictionalize the account of the Deluge without compromising the truth, warping the protagonists, and glorifying the villains. How best to get revenge for Darren's debacle?

Fountains of the Deep is a novel I wrote 30 years ago. For most of that time it has sat in a desk drawer, dust falling like rain. But watching Noah helped me realize it was a story that needed to be heard, so during the past year or so I have invested a lot of time and energy preparing it for publication on the Amazon Kindle platform.

And it is a novel: an intentionally fictionalized and dramatized account. Ninety-eight percent of what transpires in Fountains is a work of this author's imagination. But the 2 percent that intersects with the biblical account of the Flood is accurate to that account, and draws from the power of the story which many people consider to be fantasy, but which Christ himself treated as historical truth (see Matthew 24:37 and Luke 17:26).

Amazon published Fountains yesterday morning, and I'm gratified that people have already purchased and begun reading it. Yesterday afternoon one reader wrote on my Facebook timeline:
"So far, honestly, I love it! I couldn't put it down ... until my Kindle died! LOL! I should have had it charged in anticipation!"

I'm at that point in my life where I don't really care about making money. (I will die neither rich nor poor.) I really just want the story to get out. That's the reason I have partnered with Amazon, this coming weekend (Friday through Sunday), to offer the 310-page Fountains of the Deep absolutely free to anyone who wishes to download it via the Kindle platform.

After this, I will work on a printed version of the novel (which I will need to charge something for, just by virtue of the cost of printing it), for those who still need to hold paper in their hands to feel like they are reading something worthwhile. (I am also working on a "read by the author" audiobook version.)

The only thing I would ask of those who download a free copy this weekend is to read it as quickly as possible, then return to the book's page on Amazon and write a review. I honestly want to know what you think of it, and whether you would recommend it to other readers. Also please help me share the news about Fountains of the Deep on social media. "Like" my author page and share the posts there about the novel on your own Facebook page. If you are a Twitter-er, please tweet about the novel using the hashtag #FountainsOfTheDeep.

This grassroots promotion will help the book gain traction and widen its potential audience. (Since I have self-published rather than going with a publishing company, with all its resources, getting your help in this way is my only real chance for getting the word out about the novel!)

Doing this, helping share a story of the events surrounding the Great Flood, will be the best revenge I can think of on those who would water down and distort such a marvelous story through a ridiculous movie like Noah! Thank you!

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