THE SCAVENGER HUNT IS OVER! You can definitely read through this blog post, but there are no contests or anything like that. Thanks for stopping by!
Welcome to the Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt where we are helping the Kinsman people find a new home. If you’ve just found us, be sure to start the adventure at Stop #1, which is Jill Williamson’s blog.
Collect all the clue words in order so you can enter to win the Kindle. If you want to enter to win the second Kindle, you’ll have to take a quiz at the end, so take your time and read each post carefully. The main prizes in the hunt are open to international entries. Individual author contests, however, might have different rules, so please read the parameters on each site. You have until Sunday night, February 19, at midnight, Pacific time to finish.
If you need help, or get lost along the way, click here for assistance.
After the battle, the Argonaut left orbit, stranding Wilek, Trevn, and their party, but the marines had left a damaged deep-space dart behind. With the help of a mechanic, Wilek and Trevn repaired it and flew to the next closest ship, Stop #10, the Aura Lee, from John W. Otte’s novel Hive.
Upon arrival at the Aura Lee, Wilek and Trevn were greeted by four humans, two older men, a young man roughly Trevn’s age, and a pregnant young lady. But what caught Wilek and Trevn’s attention was the appearance of one of the men and the young lady. They were covered in metal, almost like partial suits of armor. But the more they studied these strange people, the more they realized that the armor had been grafted onto their bodies.
“Simply fascinating,” Trevn whispered. He took a step closer to the girl, admiring the graceful way that metal and flesh blended together. “Did you undergo this process willingly? What advantages does this give you?”
The man with similar modifications growled. “If you want, kid, I can take you in back and show you how it all works firsthand.”
Trevn brightened, but Willek recognized the threat under the man’s words. He quickly clamped a hand over his brother’s mouth. “That won’t be necessary, good sir. We just require transport to our destination, that’s all.”
The other man laughed. “Don’t worry about Jim. His bark is worse than his…well, actually, both are pretty bad. Let’s get you to where you’re going.”
Welcome to the Least Read Blog! I’m John and I’ll be taking care of you today. If this is your first time visiting my corner of the interwebz, allow me to introduce myself further…
John W. Otte grew up in Columbia Heights, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. When he was younger, he dreamed of being a superhero, fueled by reading collections of Superman and Batman comics. Instead, he attended college at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he majored in theatre. He graduated summa cum laude in 1996 and then attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where he received his Master of Divinity in 2000. He now serves as a pastor in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he lives with his wife and two sons. His debut novel, Failstate, was a finalist for the 2013 Christy Awards and he has been a finalist two other times with Numb and Failstate: Nemesis.
Here’s a closer look John’s novel Hive.
On the run to save her baby.
A pregnant cyborg and a teenage boy fight against intergalactic governments to protect the unborn in this novel from a Christy Award-nominated author.
Why is Zain pregnant? She belongs to the Hive, a collective of cyborgs who choose to live apart from the rest of human society. At times, the Hive rent out some of their females to produce tailor-made children for paying couples. But Zain is an engineer, not a breeder. When she finds herself separated from the Hive, she decides to find the person who she thinks ordered the baby. Surely they’ll help her find her way home.
Matthew “Scorn” Nelson has spent the better part of his teenage years cracking computer systems, causing mischief and havoc wherever he can. But the night of his greatest triumph turned into a painful memory, one he wants to erase. But that night was also his first step on a road to faith. When Zain arrives on his doorstep, Scorn is horrified. What’s he supposed to do with a pregnant teenage cyborg?
Unfortunately, he’ll have to answer that question on the run. Zain’s people want to reclaim her and terminate her pregnancy. And both the Ministrix and the Praesidium, two intergalactic governments in a constant state of cold war, want Zain’s baby for their own reasons. Will their enemies run them down? Or will Zain find a new Hive for both her and her child?
A Safe Space
The storyworld of The Hive came together entirely by accident.
Several years ago, I started working on a short story as part of a contest. As I worked on it, I realized that the story I was trying to tell wouldn’t fit in a short story. Instead, it morphed into my first NaNoWriMo project. The dueling intergalactic governments of the Ministrix and the Praesidium emerged from that never completed novel.
In many ways, the Ministrix and Praesidium are mirror opposites, born out of what I believe are over-exaggerated fears of what both Church and State can become. The Ministrix is a twisted version of Christianity, one in which grace has been exchanged for power, where love has been forgotten and fear has taken its place. In other words, it’s what non-Christians expect the Church to either be or become.
The Praesidium, on the other hand, is a government supposedly built on tolerance, the kind that many modern Christians worry are being thrust upon them even now. This is a state and society where atheism is promoted as the highest good. But because faith-based morality is kept further than arm’s length, there is little to constrain society’s impulses.
I came to love this little universe I had created, so much so that when I abandoned my NaNoWriMo project, I felt the need to keep coming back to the Ministrix and Praesidium. I’ve been back twice, first with Numb and then with The Hive. I find it fascinating, these two monolithic societies locked in an uneasy truce. How would the citizens of one view the people who live in the other? Would they fear each other? Would they hate each other?
But more importantly, I wanted to figure out where Christians would fit in this picture.
True Christians would recognize in the Ministrix the ancient temptation that Satan offered Jesus in the wilderness: “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” They would (hopefully) understand that Christianity and worldly power are a volatile mix that can only breathe poison into the Church’s very soul. And at the same time, they would understand that muzzling their faith under the Praesidium would be just as antithetical to who they are.
So where could they go? Where would the safe spaces for Christians be?
This isn’t an idle question. Maybe you saw echoes of our own reality in my storyworld. Maybe mine is a bit grotesque, a funhouse caricature of the forces at play, but it still begs the question: where do we find our safe spaces? What refuge has God given us that transcends time and space?
And here you just thought this story was about a pregnant teenage cyborg, didn’t you?
You can order Hive on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD or at your local bookstore!
CLUE! Write down this clue: In
The next stop on our map is Stop #11, the planet Jupiter, on C. J. Darlinton’s blog.
Before you move on, I am giving away a copy of The Hive to three lucky winners. To enter, sign up to get my email newsletter, which is located on the right sidebar or note in the entry form if you are already a subscriber. Thanks for visiting my blog. Enjoy the rest of the scavenger hunt!