Saturday, June 04, 2005

RebelFire 1.0

Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman are doing something quite wonderful. They’re talking to kids. And what they’re talking about is freedom, determination, and self-reliance.

Out of the Gray Zone is the first in a projected series of “young adult” novels, a category of fiction dominated until now by adolescent warlocks, happy dragons, and high school girls angst-ridden over their latest crushes. You won’t find any of that crap in this initial RebelFire book. This is the story of teenaged Jeremy, whose rock ’n roll inspired dreams are being quashed by CentGov-sanctioned spycams, sensors, monitors, permits, and doses of dope — “all for his own good.” In the Gray Zone of America’s Pacific Northwest, even his favorite rock band, RebelFire, has been silenced and replaced by “a cheerful bleat of very bad march music” on the satellite link. Jeremy’s always lived under the control of CentGov and its Departments of Firearms Elimination, Drug Enforcement, Homeland Serenity, ad nauseum, but he’s become increasingly dissatisfied. And now that they’ve taken RebelFire away...

I confess that Out of the Gray Zone didn’t grab me right away. Hell, I’m a middle-aged guy, not a 16-year-old anymore. So Jeremy’s whining early on left me cold. I didn’t really care about his dream of becoming a “lightmaker” for RebelFire. But I know Claire Wolfe — and to a lesser extent, I know Aaron Zelman — and I patiently pushed on through the first 30 or so pages. I wasn’t let down. Once Jeremy launches an escape from the Gray Zone and begins hiking to Tacoma in search of RebelFire, things really take off. His adventures are exciting, sometimes shocking, often violent. The characters he meets will stir you. And if you don’t fall in love with Hero, the furry mutt who joins Jeremy along the way, you’ve got a heart made of steel wool. Shame on you.

This new RebelFire series is just what the Freedom Movement ordered. I can’t recall a libertarian novel as truly perfect for teenagers (yet entertaining for adults) since J. Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night, and that was 25 years ago. If you have a kid, or even know a kid, who enjoys reading, drop Out of the Gray Zone into their hands. It’s a terrific tale of despair, perseverance and, ultimately, hope. It may turn their heads around. And you’ll like it, too.

You can buy Out of the Gray Zone right here. The site even offers sample chapters to read.

(Final note: RebelFire 1.0: Out of the Gray Zone comes with a nifty CD that contains two distinct versions of the RebelFire anthem “Justice Day.” The first, by Rockne Van Meter, is classic rock and very good. The other, by Opium War, is labeled “heavy metal” but reminds me of X, the greatest punk band I ever heard or saw in the early ’80s. I can imagine John Doe and Exene cranking out this song on a tiny stage in West L.A. Chinga, it sounds good!)

4 Comments:

At 11:47 AM, Blogger psyren said...

Dude.... it sounds just like an idea i've been working on... christ. If its as good as you say, being a 'young adult' myself, I'll look out for it. Is itout in the UK do you know??

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Wally Conger said...

Claire and Aaron's novel is available for sale online only, as I understand it. You'll find it at the link I offered in the original post.

 
At 2:47 AM, Blogger psyren said...

cool, thanks for the tip! Mom.....

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being 36 yrs old, I have bought and read the book myself. I couldn't put it down.I love the way it unfolds and hope that there is more to come.I highly recommend this book to all who are involved in the freedom movement.

 

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