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‘Appalling Stories’: You Won’t Believe What’s in these 13 Tales

UPDATE: Jan. 12, 2018—Paperback version available now!

What happens when social media and entertainment overwhelm society? What about when a man finds out his country sides with foreign invaders against its own citizens? Or what happens when a self-righteous mob thirsts for violence? You’ll have to read, Appalling Stories: 13 Tales of Social Injustice, to learn the answers to these questions!

Pulp novels and magazines of days gone by featured gritty fiction full of excitement, startling endings, and eternal themes. You’ll find similar stories in the brand new anthology by David Dubrow, Ray Zacek, and me. But all our tales feature contemporary plots told in ways like you’ve never seen.
What does this mean? It means you find revenge stories, tales of justice, military drama, and literary fiction in Appalling Stories. But all the yarns incorporate modern issues such as LGBTQI activism, college radicalism, challenges to free speech, diversity, and more. No preaching here—just backdrops f…
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Comic Strip Character The Phantom Uses ‘LGBT’ Flag to Beat Polish Citizens

Lee Falk’s The Phantom comic strip debuted in 1936, preceding Batman and even Superman. And tales of the character continue to this day. One recent tale published in Sweden has the purple-clad hero using a rainbow-colored flag to attack Polish citizens who are protesting a “gay pride” parade. This stands in stark contrast to my fiction, including Mortal Gods: “Sodom by the Susquehanna,” a serial story being published here at Liberate Liberty.

Breitbart reported on May 2 that the Swedish version of the Phantom, appearing in the eponymous Fantomen, was featured “beating up ‘Polish nationalists’ with a gay pride flag.” The article provides a brief summary of the tale.
The story occurs in the latest issue of Sweden’s Fantomen magazine which sees the Phantom, a popular superhero in Sweden who was created by United States comic book artists in 1936, attend a gay pride parade in Warsaw and attack “Polish nationalists” who protest the event, Aftonbladetreports.
Does that sound like an enticin…

Mortal Gods: “Sodom by the Susquehanna” – Chapter 3

Mortal Gods: “Sodom by the Susquehanna” is an original story set in the universe of Mortal Gods. I am publishing it serially on an irregular schedule. Click on the “Mortal Gods SBTS Serial” tag at the bottom to access all chapters that have been published.
*****
Chapter 3:
Adam and his teammates had arrived back in Pennsylvania only a few hours earlier. He got less than three hours of sleep.
He hustled down the stairs of his family’s Boiling Springs home; wood-paneled walls greeted him as his feet hit the carpeted basement floor. He headed for a darkened corner of the basement and pushed against a portion of the paneling. It moved in and he slid it to the side. Behind it was a thick, metal door with a combination on it. He quickly spun in the correct numbers and the lock clicked. He grabbed the handle and pushed it open. The door wouldn’t have stood a chance against his superhuman abilities but its weight alone would’ve stopped just about anyone else.
The room the massive door hid was …

The Theme of Evil Existing and the Need to Destroy It

Evil exists and we should want to destroy it. That’s a theme that appears in my stories.
The idea that authors should imbue evil characters with “nuance” so as to make them sympathetic and relatable to the reader is an idea that remains popular. But I reject it. Evil characters aren’t nuanced. They may not be seemingly engaged in doing wrong at every moment of their lives, but that doesn’t change who they are. And it’s wrong to want people to sympathize with them.
This isn’t to say that every antagonist is evil, or that every character who does wrong is irredeemable. But there is nothing romantic about bad guys. Furthermore, there is nothing honorable about trying to blur the line between good and evil.
All of us know the truth on some level. In fact, we see it even in the people who try to put nuance into evil characters, or who try to show that good guys aren’t really the good guys. This results in twisting good into evil and vice versa, but it still ends with the idea that there i…

How a New Story Combines Superhumans and Espionage

Superhero movies continue dominating the box office. Spy movies remain a popular genre too. I combined elements from both these genres to create “Presidential Pardon,” a unique tale involving superhumans and espionage.
“Presidential Pardon” is another story set in the universe of Mortal Gods. It also is part of the anthology, Appalling Stories: 13 Tales of Social Injustice. (I previously wrote about the anthology here at The Loftus Party. Dave Dubrow, Ray Zacek, and I authored it, which is available as both an eBook and in paperback.)
There are no superheroes in the Mortal Gods universe; just superhuman individuals. These individuals do not run around as costumed vigilantes fighting crime. Instead, they have to live within the constraints of the law like anyone else. Or if they don’t, the government goes after them like it would anyone else. Superheroes are a far-fetched idea. People with superhuman abilities are not. . . .
Read the entire column at The Loftus Party.

Rock to a Bagpipes Cover of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ [VIDEO]

Not only do three women native to three separate continents use bagpipes (or redpipes—I’m not sure) to partially cover Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” as the second song of a two-song medley, but the video is posted to the YouTube account of an Indian woman calling herself, The Snake Charmer.
The Snake Charmer lists her real name as Archy Jay (alternatively, Archy J). The two other women playing with her are a Scottish woman named Jane Espie, and an American woman named Chelsea Joy. . . .
Read the entire post and watch the video at The Loftus Party.

Discovering Truth through Story

Stories shouldn’t be preachy but that doesn’t mean they can’t impart a lesson or relay a message. Indeed, the theme (along with motifs) is one of the five components that a story must have. So every story is teaching or promoting something. This is why people often resort to storytelling when they want to spread a lie—a false belief or ideology. Conversely, storytelling is equally useful in helping people discover the truth.

Screen Rant published a column on Dec. 23, 2017, revealing how, “Batman Comics Are Fighting For Transgender Awareness.”
At the time, we couldn’t help but appreciate that Batman supported Victoria’s transition, mentioned and alluded to in vocabulary that non-LGBTQ readers could completely miss. But those in the community would see the exact message being sent by writers James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett. In the months since that issue, Detective has kept the conversation going. But as other comic titles and publishers battle the opposing forces of readers call…

Foreign Policy Journals that Reviewed ‘Black Panther’ Would Enjoy My Fiction Too

Providence, “a Journal of Christianity & American Foreign Policy,” reviewed the movie Black Panther on Feb. 9. And if comic book movies appeal to foreign policy journals, then my fiction—which regularly features contemporary national security issues, cultural issues, and even Christianity—should appeal to them too.
Providence published, “What You Should Know About Wakanda,” last week, providing a backgrounder of the fictional nation that is home to the Black Panther.
And last March, Providence published a rather in-depth review of the movie, Logan, entitling it, “An Ode to Men of a Violent Mold: Logan, a review.”
Both Black Panther and Logan are, of course, based on comic books. But they are high-profile movies and there are some legitimate national security angles at which to review them. So it’s understandable why foreign policy journals highlight them.
But my fiction regularly features real (or close to real) foreign policy or national security issues. It also often deals with c…