I’m not normally a Sci-fi book buff. I begrudgingly followed the search for Frodo’s ring, and like Narnia’s Pevensie kids, I needed to know what was on the other side of that mysterious closet. But generally such entrées into other worlds leave me cold. There are those, however, who love the escape science fiction affords and are constantly on the hunt for writers who feed their habit. Award-winning freelance writer, playwright and former Green Beret, Mike Parker is their new man. With his inventive book, The Scavengers, the author gives readers an entertaining and timely story enhanced with sword & sorcery derring-do.
The Scavengers: Book I of the Tyrfingr Chronicles is set in the future – Earth’s future. In this millennium when once again slavery and warfare have dominated society, the Tyrfingr is a powerful ancient book “that divides the truth from lies, light from darkness, the soul from the spirit.” And whoever has the book rules the world. And everyone wants the book!
Mr. Parker has accomplished some amazing aspects difficult for many who attempt this genre. First, where most leave their main players at a two-dimensional level, Parker gives his creations depth. Second, the symbolistic teachings are balanced, allowing those of us who need simplicity when it comes to thought-provoking concepts to keep up with those who demand clandestine weightiness. And third, he gives us a story that has relatable subject matter. Our world is in a precarious place and though we believe God is in control, it is somewhat unnerving to consider that there is enough evil power on our planet to destroy it at any moment.
Aimed at older teens and up, this epic tale slowly unfolds, revealing flawed characters, some seeking the way, while others are bound to repeat the mistakes of their ancestors. The Scavengers is full of symbolism, adventure and religious metaphor. A perceptive allegory replete with love, honor, treachery and spiritual profundity, Mike Parker’s 350-page paperback makes you think.
Recently I asked the author the following:
What’s the main message you are hoping readers will discover in The Scavengers?
I think most of the time when a writer tries to inject a message into a novel it ends up being stilted, unwieldy, and unbelievable. We have a message we want to get out and we try to wrap a story around it. It doesn’t work. Having said that, the question remains, are there messages in The Scavengers I hope readers will discover? Yes, I think so. I am a follower of the Christ, so elements of faith appear throughout the story. But they rise organically from the story rather than being the focal point of the novel.
What inspired you to address the themes found in your book and why did you want to put them in the sci-fi genre?
The society of the entire world The Scavengers is built on is based on a lie. I wondered, what would happen to a world whose whole society was devoid of the truth and then suddenly was confronted by the Truth? Obviously, it is impossible to set that kind of premise into our contemporary society. However depraved our world may be, the Truth is still available. I could have set the story in ancient times, but we’ve already got Ben-Hur and Quo Vadis. And quite frankly, I’m a little tired of the whole Left Behind mentality that puts the Second Coming at the end of a cataclysmic event. What if there was a civilization-destroying event that occurred and Christ didn’t come back, but left a remnant to carry on? So I placed the setting in an indeterminate future-ancient world some 1000-1200 years in the future.
Is there a particular demographic or age range you were aiming for?
The Scavengers deals with some pretty weighty issues, both political and moral, and some of the action may not be appropriate for elementary school children. If it were a movie it would probably be rated PG-13. I wrote the book to appeal to me. I think of myself as something of an Everyman, so my target audience is comprised of people like me who are just looking for a great story that will lift them out of their workaday world for a while without insulting their intelligence.
How many books are you planning for the series?
Right now I’m planning a trilogy, but who knows? It could easily be expanded into a longer series if the fan base so demands.
The Scavengers is available online at Amazon.com, from the official website, www.tyrfingrchronicles.com, from the publisher’s website, www.wordcrafts.net and at selected bookstores. Books ordered from the official website will be personally autographed by the author.