As an author of one book and now with a second book coming out next year and four other manuscripts as you said waiting to see the light of day, what prompted you to start this project, and where can the reader get more information on the series? And I guess a follow up question would be, why do you think you’re qualified to write on such a controversial subject and to undertake such a project?
For information on “The Oxbow Report” and the series they can visit my website at mikepurington.com. To answer the rest of your question, I think a little background on me would probably help.
From the time I was old enough to read, books became a way of life. I grew up in northern Minnesota, and at that time we had no television or radio, so reading was the only outlet we had. My grandmother who raised me was a huge fan of Zane Grey so I started out reading westerns. From Zane Grey I went to reading books by Louis L’amour. At some point I came across the comic strip Buck Rogers and then found a copy of “Armageddon 2419 AD.,” and its sequel, “Airlords of Han,” by Philip Francis Nolan and became hooked on science fiction. As a side note, a lot of my report cards from school had the following comment, ‘if mike would get his nose out of his books long enough to listen he would be a good student.’ So reading came early for me. Later on I discovered H. G. Wells and started reading some of his novels. Some of his books are among the classics of science-fiction, like, “The Time Machine”, “The Invisible Man”, and “The War of the Worlds”. I think it was his writing that influenced me that while still in high school I wrote my first very bad novel, but I think that’s where my love for writing really started. Later on I read George Orwell’s, “Nineteen-Eighty-Four” and “Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World”, “A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clark, and later “Battlefield Earth” by L. Ron Hubbard, just to name a few.
In 1966 came Star Trek, and the list goes on. In all of these sci-fi thrillers evolution is talked about as fact and not what it really is, a theory. I was fortunate in that while reading fantasy I had a Christian Mother and Grandmother that taught me the difference between fantasy, reality and the scriptures. They soon realized that what I was reading could not corrupt me any more than television, hence shortly after leaving the country life and moving into town my mother bought our first television and we entered the age of electronics. That teaching is not happening to day, and that’s one of the reasons for the writing of these novels. Science fiction for me was just an updated western, good guys against the bad guys, cowboys against the Indians, thus I became a John Wayne fan. Today the lines of science, religion, and fantasy are blurred as in the case of the religion of Scientology. With all that being said, it brings us to the answer to the question. For years I had looked and asked the question, why someone doesn’t write a good book in the form of a novel that would use the argument of evolution verses creation as the background for the novel. I had just finished reading the first “Left Behind” book by Jerry Jenkins when the thought struck me. Why don’t you do it? And I did. After eleven years of part time writing the first book hit the stores.
I guess this is a twofold question. Are you writing a series where one book builds on another or just a series of Christian science fiction novels, and if you are what do you hope to accomplish?
For me that question could take a whole book, but I’ll try to answer it in a couple of paragraphs. Mark 16:15 says, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel.’ In some translations it says ‘in your going.’ So I think a better question would be, how does this book or a series of books differ from typical creation and evolution books? Let me answer the question in reverse. There are many Christians who really haven’t given this subject serious thought and accept what is being taught through a theory called theistic evolution, or the blending of science and religion to make scripture fit the science book rather than science fitting scripture. There are also the teachings of young and old earth creation who continue to fight over who’s right and who’s wrong. On the other hand there are those who believe in Darwinian evolution and would not darken the door of a church, because to allow a deity into the evolutionary process, that deity could also show up in other areas, so the question is, how do you, ‘in your going’ let them know the truth? The problem as I see it, is a lot like Count Dracula. You kill him off in one movie and he comes back in another. We have a lot of groups with good intentions, each of these groups are trying to drive the proverbial stake through the heart of evolution. But evolution like Dracula will always be around, so what is the answer? I’ve, as well as those who are hard core Darwinian disciples And the answer is in a book, or a series of books that allows the characters in the story to discuss points of view and the arguments of the day without the reader going on the defensive, and at the same time giving the reader enough good stuff to read and puzzles to figure out that even when they disagree with the theology of the book they will like the substance and continue to read to find out what happens in end. So, to answer your question, it is Christian, and it does include futuristic technology, so in a sense you could call it science fiction. But it also includes the mystery of where did we come from? There are puzzles that need to be solved, and relationships that include people falling in love. An yes it is a series where one book builds off the previous one. My goal is to write a series of books that people will enjoy, and like one person said in their endorsement, “Mike Purington has brought to his readers a gripping novel. The excitement grabs you from the first chapter; the events keep you turning the pages and the characters keep you enthralled in the plot. You will find yourself living between the lines of the text as you identify with the characters.” But the goal is also to build the kingdom. For throughout the story ground is plowed up and seed is planted. And in time I or others may plant, water, and harvest. In the end the goal is to place enough doubt in the mind of the reader that they may check the facts for themselves rather than relying on those who teach a theory based on an assumption.
Can you give us an idea of where the series is going and some of the subject mater?
I can give you the lead-in as found on the website. A 100 years ago the greatest mystery was about to unfold, M-Theory was being discussed, reality … well it just may be an illusion … and parallel universes were possible. In 2040 Oxbow had been discovered and string theory had now become reality. One of the questions confronting science and the Challenger Crew was, which reality were they in? Discover how choices made by the Challenger crew and those they come in contact with not only effect the present, but the past and the future. Can choices made alter not only the present, but the future and the past? Can a statement alter reality?
Find out along with the crew of Challenger as they try to unravel the mystery of oxbow. What does it mean, does the ancient language that oxbow was translated from hold the secrets of creation, will they finally answer the age old question that all have asked? Did we evolve or were we created? Are the ancient scriptures valid in the creation account, or are we just a product of random selection as Darwin suggested? Did the ancients actually know the secrets of creation, or were they lost in time and if so which time? Do the scriptures reference the original creation or was man created in a re-creation? Are the secrets to creation hidden away just waiting to be re-discovered? Are we just the product of an elaborate hoax, or is God who he said is and was? For Paul La Baugh, a seeker of truth and a believer in the scriptures, and now assigned to the Challenger as counselor to the Captain he must use his knowledge of scripture to help solve the puzzle of Oxbow.
At book signings and other events one of the most common questions asked, was one that I covered earlier. How does this book or series differ from typical creation and evolution books? The answer is the series explores the question “what if” through its characters.
- What if religion is just that…a way for man to explain what he does not understand?
- What if evolution happened as many scientists believe?
- What if we are the product of alien intervention?
- What if the Bible is indeed true and God does exist?
- What if man was created by God and through free will or the right to choose man denies God to the point God honors their decision and ceases to exist?
- If indeed God did create and God ceases to exist what happens to the universe He created?
- Does this all take place in reality, or does man move from reality to an alternate reality where what man speaks becomes reality?
- Does all this take place in our universe or in a parallel universe?
- And the ultimate question, if man has moved from reality to an alternate reality or a parallel universe how does he get back to the reality he left?
These questions and more confront the crew of Challenger as they seek to understand and resolve the mystery of Oxbow.
Now that we have covered the book and the series to come, can we get to know a little bit about the author?
As a professional for many years in the technology sector, I have tried to use my ability to make the complex uncomplicated and to create a futuristic technology understandable to my readers. Fifteen years of research and writing allowed me to bring “The Oxbow Report” the first in the series to be published in 2006. It is now 2011 and we are reintroducing the book along with book two “Two Dimensional Man” that should be out sometime early summer of 2012. The series “The curse of the serpent” deals with a subject we are all familiar with. As we are all aware the Evolution vs. Creationism debate has been and will always be in the forefront of discussion.
I was born and grew up for the most part in Northern Minnesota. I spent three years in the military working on the army’s largest nuclear weapon, the Pershing Missile System. After college I spent 17 years in the computer industry working on large computer systems and 17 years working in the medical field on chemistry and hematology instruments. There was a lot of travel and a lot of time spent away from home. It was during that time that the story started to germinate. I retired in 2005 due to a company reorganization and the first book, “The Oxbow Report” was published in 2006. I have a daughter who just finished college and am married to my beautiful wife of 32 years. I enjoy fishing the East Texas lakes and I look forward to deer season every year.
Where can my blog readers find out more about this blog tour and free copies of this book?
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speaker Services (www.ChristianSpeakerServices.com). Book review to post tomorrow.