As part of my author guest blog series I am proud to present another guest blog spot. I am very excited andthe author of
So go get your copy!
Incompetent Leadership in Literature and Life
I have a habit of asking questions that sound like I’m trying to pick a fight. Disrespect is not my intention, it’s just that sometimes the quickest way to get to an interesting revelation is by following an apparent contradiction. It’s been my experience that people start getting prickly when you are closing in on the truth:
If great novels have a universal appeal, then why are they often rejected for publication dozens of times?
How many works of literature are studied because a large publisher acquired the copyright and engineered a false historical significance in an effort to increase sales?
These examples represent contemplations on literary scholarship, but there are limitless gray areas where no figure of authority will ever give you a straight answer. “You’ll understand when you’re older,” was a phrase I heard countless times growing up, often followed by the definitive, “because I said so!”
My inspiration for writing “The Reader of Acheron” was to explore many of the contradictions that are not just present within our society, but actually form the structural framework that holds our culture together. The novel is a dystopian heroic fantasy set in a world where reading is illegal. Some people have asked me, “But how did the world in your novel become like that?” My response is, “I think we are living in that world today.”
It’s amazing how conditioned we all become to minding cultural norms that make absolutely no sense. For example, we know better than to post on Facebook that climate science should be taught in high schools. This is at the same time when we encourage our children to study hard, particularly science and math so that they have a better chance at getting a good job. How do we simultaneously tell our children to study something, then find it publicly acceptable to mock the experts of the same field?
Without sounding too much like a conspiracy theorist, I think it’s fairly obvious that effective initiatives exist to condition the behavior of the general public. You don’t have to have read “The Republic” to be able to accept such conditioning is theoretically necessary, although I don’t think the resultant effects often align with the launch objectives. Incompetence of leadership, through hubris, arrogance or some other factor, really should be added alongside death and taxes to the list of inevitable things.
My follow up novel to “The Reader of Acheron,” scheduled for release in 2017, has incompetent leadership as the main force of conflict. I’m old enough now to have both been under the rule of incompetent leadership, and been tasked with realizing an incompetent ideology. The latter is not a viable position for me as I cannot brush away obvious contradictions—I’ve studied too much science for that (because I was encouraged to, I might add).
I think we all have a theory on why our society seems perpetually on the verge of coming apart at the seams. “The Reader of Acheron” very much represents the first part of what I believe is the fatal collective mindset that seems to exist only to torment us all. The response I got to book one was highly influential in guiding the progress of book two, and I am very grateful for any discussion these stories inspire. Its my hope, above all, that along with providing an entertainment value, “The Reader of Acheron” and its sequels helps create a belief system that will provide some protection for the reader against the insanity of everyday life.
About the Author:
Walter Rhein is the author of The Reader of Acheron, Reckless Traveler, Beyond Birkie Fever, and The Bone Sword. He also has a story featured in Perseid Press release Heroika: The Dragon Eaters. He can be reached for question or comment at: WalterRhein@gmail.com
Book One of the Slaves of Erafor series: Reading is forbidden, and the penalty for non-compliance is a life of slavery enabled by the forcible administration of a mind rotting drug. Yet, there are those possessed of the will to seek illumination. Kikkan, a former slave on the run, and Quillion, a mercenary and self-taught scholar. Together they seek out a small band of rebels living in hiding who offer the promise of a better world. Their leader is a mysterious figure known only as The Reader of Acheron.