The world's economies have collapsed in 2017. Food and energy costs have skyrocketed to unimaginable levels. Nations have ground to a halt, and people desperately cry out to their leaders for answers.
Amid the chaos, the world embraces a mysterious new cryptocurrency as their de-facto monetary standard. Commonly known as the Ducat, the currency provides a shelter from confiscation and inflation and an anonymous marketplace for transacting business.
But the stability provided by the Ducat is short-lived. Seen as a threat to the world’s ruling elite, the cryptocurrency is soon declared illegal by the elites’ new organization, the Central Planning Committee for the Equitable Distribution of Wealth. Yet even with the new worldwide laws and taxes of the CPC, the Ducat and its advocates continue to thrive underground.
And then a new challenger to the CPC steps forward. The Emerson Corporation introduces its world-changing innovation: inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and easily transported energy. With the power hold of the elites in question, everyone watches with bated breath to see how the CPC will react. As a threat to the strength of the CPC, will the new energy see the same fate as the now illegal cryptocurrency or will the newly established body of government fall to the infant power of the corporation?
The world behind the book
There’s a Dark Road Ahead...
Our world is ruled by elites. They dictate how we should live and think--all without a care for us. We’re simply a means to an end in a cycle where our votes and even our affections are nothing more than commodities to be bought and sold.
Sure, this may sound like just the next post in the ongoing conspiracy forums of the web. But really, it’s not. Look around. Our governments excuse their actions and waive aside their gaffes along without the naturally corresponding accountability that any leadership should inherit. Even more, enormous amounts of money seem regularly to appear out of thin air in order to mask these flaws of governance, a burden that will ultimately topple the poorly foundationed structure of our world’s economy. And when that collapse happens, it’s inevitable that a large-scale reorganization of the world will occur.
It’s easy to project that massive societal change will come from the ashes of this failed system, forcing our society to make changes we have never faced before. If we only embrace the status quo within our current culture, we’ll sink into a new dark age right at the inception of our brave new world.
...But Humanity is on the brink of something great.
But while we talk about the sky falling, it’s important to note at the same time that humanity is on the brink of something great. Well, really we’re probably on the brink of a number of great innovations. Of particular note here is cryptocurrency (especially Bitcoin, though this is not the only existing attempt. Innovators in this space include NXT and Ethereum).
Cryptocurrencies offer a temporary safe haven for people who act before the storm sweeps overhead. We can see this happening even today. Given the sad state of many third world economies today, cryptocurrency offers those citizens of such nations a way around their corrupt, confiscatory governments and toward greater financial stability and prosperity.
Satoshi Nakamoto--founder of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin--recognized this government corruption and that the government’s manipulation of the money supply was a fatal flaw--a problem which still has not gone away.
Unwilling to embrace change, Humanity's next era of progress is being held back by government in its current form. Cryptocurrency is not going away, though. We have only to watch as the struggle to regulate this attempt at freedom unfolds.
The Story’s Universe
Arrows of the Leviathan is one of six books, creating a larger story that spans several generations within the same universe. Each book jumps roughly ten years into the future. As the overall plot develops through each story, some characters perish, some survive, some thrive. In each of the books, we get to see the reasons and motivations for those choices as well as consequences represented by our character within the story.
About Ergo: The Drone
My first Novel, Ergo: The Drone, is set in the same universe, thirty years into the future. Here’s the synopsis:
Miles Dawson, a young man immersed in a dystopian world on the brink of global conflict, wants nothing more than to be recognized and admired by his peers and fellow employees of the Emerson Corporation on their man-made island of Haven. Miles’ success within the space operations of technological juggernaut Emerson Corporation gains him notice, though, from not only his peers and superiors but also from an ancient resistance cell intent on destroying Ergo, a plot created by the Corporation’s founder David Michael Emerson to enslave humanity with the use of alien technology. With the world’s other societies crumbling under slavery to corrupt governments, the small resistance believes they are the only ones able to stop Emerson from accomplishing his goal and humanity’s sole hope for justice and freedom for the individual. When recruited into the resistance movement by a life-long friend, Miles must struggle internally with his own emotions and motivations as he faces an increasing number of external challenges, which force him to decide where he stands.
Arrows of the Leviathan
This new novel is positioned as the second book in the sequence of six. It’s relative to Ergo: the Drone, which is number four, preparing us for the struggle three decades ahead.
The dystopian thread continues in this new prequel.
A grieving veteran's life turns upside down when he joins a team pursuing a billion dollar bounty. A team of hackers, spies and soldiers-of-fortune chase Debyan Radchenko, alleged terrorist and inventor of a revolutionary Cryptocurrency. Spurred by a mysterious benefactor providing advanced technology, the team collides with rival hunters and the World government. From the dusty alleys of post-coup Saudi Arabia to an information broker's Goan fortress to the gleaming skyscrapers of Hong Kong, the veteran works to fulfill a promise to the one he loves--one separated from him on a mysterious island.
While this new novel is designed to entertain, incorporating near future technologies like parametric design, nanotech, cryptocurrency, drones, 3D printing and quantum computing, it also shows how a new societal structure can make our individual lives better and reveals the dark future our elites are taking us toward.
I had two dreams graduating college. 1. To be self-employed. 2. Write a successful novel and establish a career writing stories. Fast-forward to the present. I currently work as an independent software developer. Check that off the list. Now, I'm working on the second part, creating exciting stories, and even more, making a living from it.
Inspiration for the book
My originally inspiration for Arrows came when I first learned about Satoshi Nakomoto, the legendary inventor of Bitcoin. Whether he was a solitary genius or the pseudonym for a coalition is irrelevant. As the first creator, he was able to mine Bitcoin at an unequaled rate. No one else was mining Bitcoin at the time, and he amassed a fortune worth several hundreds of millions of dollars. These Bitcoin have never moved.
I’ve asked myself what Satoshi could or would do with this money if ever he chose to move it, but that speculation in itself seems irrelevant. Essentially, Bitcoin was invented to reveal and hedge against government’s manipulation of the money supply. Satoshi made it clear through his initial work that our status quo is ineffective and that it needs to be changed.
“What a fantastic set-up,” I thought, “for a great novel--only with a bit of a broader scope!”
I don't want to do anything to damage the legacy of Satoshi, but Bitcoin needs a cultural work that puts it in the mind of the public. In the political scope, a lot of excitement has generated in technical circles because of Bitcoin’s fantastic possibilities, but nobody has been able to explain to individuals how it can change lives.
This explanation is essential for Bitcoin's expansion and growth! Advocates have to stop merely selling the cryptocurrency. They need to go beyond explaining what it can do and must start showing how it can change lives for the better. Don't sell drills; sell holes!
Major Themes Explored in Arrows of the Leviathan.
Voluntaryism, The Moral Government
Voluntaryism is one of the leading themes of the book. I outline how a society that revolves around this idea is not only possible, but preferable. Our governments penalize work, intelligence and efficiency with taxation. The more we penalize those who work intelligently and hard, the more we reap failed communities. As a tool of Voluntaryistic thinking, cryptocurrency has broad applications for additional transparency and efficiency in government.
Elites and Collectivism
Through popular culture, the elites are programing our society, dictating how we should think and act. While they create nothing, these elites continue to enjoy unmerited prestige and power.
The Importance of Efficiency, Creation and Property
Those that create wealth deserve to keep it. We need them to make more wealth, not only for themselves, but also for society. We all gain in the win-win transactions the free-market allows. Cryptocurrency offers more potential for creators to be compensated for their work.
So how big of an impact can a book actually make?
Humans have developed their storytelling abilities over time to communicate different messages. Since our beginning, we told stories to explain where food exists, tag which enemies to avoid and show how to navigate various lands and waters. Where a picture is worth a thousand words, the right story can be more persuasive than a million statistics. How many people have been taught about governmental power through the novels of George Orwell? How many more have learned about the nature of humanity from Aldous Huxley? As history demonstrates, we can steer our societies toward change for the better with our cultural works. We can cultivate a culture of freedom, and your pledge to support this book will help to spread that message.
Why am I Crowdfunding this project?
I love Kickstarter. It’s a fantastic platform, a great way for individuals to introduce the public to their visions. It’s democratising creation and helping to start new influential products in our society. In the past, a slough of gatekeepers stood in the way, where much more now, the only limit is the merit of the idea.
Crowdfunding also has a very attractive collaborative process. It’s a harbinger of hope. Someday we will fund projects that are beyond the scope of government’s role of protection of people and property. It’s wonderful to collaborate with many others who come alongside to help your vision become reality.
Why should you back this particular Kickstarter?
You enjoy thrillers
You like the excitement and action that comes with great mystery story, filled with twists and turns. You also like international settings, exotic locales, and interesting characters. The worldwide chase for Radchenko in Arrows of the Leviathan is woven with the threads of these plot elements. The book's character’s own interests and motivations impact the conflict between a corporation that has the power of a nation versus an actual worldwide government. These entities, their motivations, and also the individuals behind the conspiracy make for a great action-packed thriller.
2. You like freedom and spreading the word.
This book advocates freedom of ideas. It's about opening eyes and showing people that the way we currently do things is not the only way. We can make our societies better by embracing sound economics and technological progress.
Our governments’ current pattern of thought is unfortunately antithetical to freedom. Politicians like the status quo. They like the positions of power they hold. They like the unquestioned ability to extract wealth, rather than assisting those who build it. And this must change.
Choose to pledge and read the book yourself. Pledge to get copies for your friends, and pass them to like-minded individuals and naysayers alike.
3. You like new technology and think it’s humanity’s hope for a brighter future.
New technology fascinates me, whether it's new ways of creating energy or new materials that can revolutionize how we build what we need. I'm especially interested in the potential of 3D printers. What happens when we're able to build with multiple materials? What about resolutions and sizes that the current state-of-the-art functionality does not provide, both on a micro and a macro scale?
Arrows of the Leviathan involves real-life, up-and-coming tech, such as Graphene, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, blended wing body aircraft, new weapons technologies and technical concepts. There’s also a strategic mix of gigantic submarines, hollowed-out mountains, a city built from scratch, and a mess of the latest military hardware such as the Eurofighter, PAK-FA, the Joint Strike Fighter and advanced MRAPs. These technologies are available now or will be in the near future.
There are no laser guns; their expected development in the far future means they miss the boat for this novel. What I’ve included in Arrows are technologies that we will see or can plan to see within ten to 20 years. I’ve aimed for realism, and I've tried to keep the technology and the action as real as possible in this technothriller.
If you like new technology and learning about it in magazines such as Popular Science or Wired, this is a book for you.
4. I’m a Bitcoin believer. Why should I back this?
You, Cryptocurrency aficionado, march to the beat of a different drum. You’ve found a way to wax your ears against the elite's siren song and break a hold that financial and political leaders previously commanded. In light of this success within cryptocurrency, the problem with adoption isn’t cryptocurrency itself; it’s that the man on the street doesn’t understand it. A widespread cultural shift is required for broad cryptocurrency adoption.
This entertaining book is far from a heavy, ideological, speech-driven data-dump. While the novel has been designed to entertain its audience, it’s also meant to educate people and even evangelize them toward cryptocurrency.
Goals are important. Without them, we don’t know where we are going. That said, here are mine.
Short term goals
I want to launch Arrows of the Leviathan out onto an unsuspecting world! To do that, I need to bring a lot of attention and excitement to the project. Of course, the only way to do that is to have a fantastic product that people want to talk about. No marketing campaign can successfully sell a bad product for very long.
I can assuredly say that you’ll find this to be an excellent book. It's a work that you’ll want to recommend to friends and to spread the news about far and wide!
Medium Term Goals
In the near future, I hope to be able to complete the full series of six books. Chronologically, Arrows of the Leviathan is the second of the six novels. Ergo: the Drone, while written first, is the fourth book the order.
No, my intent didn’t start this way. I had a fantastic idea for a prequel, though, and once I immediately started outlining it, I knew what I needed to complete this saga.
In the opening book of the series, a young, female FBI agent hunts a terrorist who hurt her personally. In her vendetta, she tracks the terrorist across the world to destroy him, but not before he utilizes homemade UAVs to shoot down commercial aircraft, bombs organizations, and even assassinates the President of the United States.
I'm very excited about this first book. I have a completed outline of the plot, and if Leviathan is successful, I’ll immediately begin work building out the details of the story to complete the book.
As mentioned before, I found that I really enjoy writing fiction, especially speculative fiction. Long-term, I hope to continue developing fictional novels as a career. A key part of this success is getting my name in front of the publishing companies. I hope that by supporting me through Arrows of the Leviathan and future novels, you’ll help me in my endeavor to create more works that you can enjoy in the future.
Want to read the first few chapters?
You probably have a lot of questions about what the book actually looks like. Here’s an excerpt of the first third of the book. I truly believe you’ll find yourself engrossed in the excitement of the novel and come back wanting the rest
About the incentives
Early Bird Rewards
There are ten copies of the book sold at a cost well below their production value. These will be the first ten individuals who pledge. As such, they can get the incentives below cost. All I ask in exchange? Once the book is commercially available, take the time to write a review, good or bad, on Goodreads, Amazon or any other outlet where Arrows of the Leviathan is sold. Again, there are only ten of these rewards, so you need to move quickly to get them.
Having done several Kickstarters in the past, I have learned that international shipping is a bit of an unusual situation. Kickstarter fulfillment and customs/taxes has never really been satisfactorily answered. Ensuring compliance is beyond the scope of a single creator. There have always been massive surprises when it comes to fulfillment of international rewards, and handling of international rewards take substantially more time. Therefore, it takes more resources than a domestically-sent physical product. I wish I could offer international shipping on the physical product itself. However, based on what I've learned about Kickstarter fulfillment, I think it is most prudent to allow only for the e-book option to be sent internationally.
Thank you for your understanding.
This is something that can be changed, though; it’s ultimately a question of resources, and if the resources are available, I’m not opposed to opening up this opportunity. If you would really like to see this international option, please pledge for the e-book. As we move through the campaign, we potentially can add the international shipping option.
The e-books will be delivered in a variety of formats such as the iBook format EPUB. You can also open these on the Kindle. The Nook opens EPUB's as well. I do not plan to offer a PDF, simply because it’s a cumbersome way to read a novel (although you may have noticed that I offered it as preview).
You will have access to all these different versions, and they will not come with the DRM. I know that you'll respect the property rights of the person who created it and not share it far and wide with everyone. Why? Because it makes it impossible to properly compensate the individual who created it. Properly compensating individuals who create is important for our society. When we don’t do so, we lose creators. We need to incentivize creation so that creators can continue to make works that people value and enjoy.
How will the money be used?
Most of the money goes to manufacturing. With most books, there are expenses for cover design and interior layouts and the like. I am also a professional designer, and I know from experience that these expenses are not borne in monetary form. They’re rather kind of included in the writing of the book. However, there are some things that I cannot do. I need to tap into the expertise of some outside minds to the review the manuscript to see if I've missed anything. I look forward to working with some outside editors to help make the book that much better. And of course all professional authors do. I will need assistance with marketing the book. Some of the revenue will be diverted to marketing the book beyond the Kickstarter.
Arrows of the Leviathan has a real shot at success, but I need your help to make it into a quality production. I need your help not only to provide financial support, but also to help me throughout the process. The great thing about crowdfunding is it’s collaborative and voluntary. You can choose to pledge money and/or pledge your time. I would appreciate your time to spread the word about Arrows of the Leviathan on social media and any reviews of the book.
The hardback, paperback and e-book editions of the book will be designed as you would expect from anything you would want to put your money into. In the end, I hope that you not only enjoy an exciting story, but that society as a whole will benefit from the conversation we start toward change for humanity’s brighter future.
I have several stretch goals in mind. For now, I'll keep those under wraps. The first is the creation of an audiobook. I've had experience creating an audiobook for my prior novel, Ergo: the Drone. Many consumers today take in their media passively while on a train, in a car, or on an airplane. The creation of an audiobook for this novel will be stretch goal beyond the initial amount.
Risks and Challenges
Few people understand just how difficult a Kickstarter project is. Most think it’s free money. The reality is that it is a ton of work. The actual product itself is nothing compared to the logistical challenge of fulfillment, the difficulty running the project, and the work put into accurately projecting expenses.
I’ve successfully completed and fulfilled two projects on time and on budget. I know the ups and downs, how to project expenses and how to efficiently fulfill projects. I’ve learned along the way that there’s a natural human foible to underestimate one’s ability to get things done. As a result, I am very conservative with my estimate of when the incentives will be shipped.
A lot of Kickstarters also fail or are delayed because they have "too many moving parts." Being mindful of this, I’ve tried to make the incentives as simple to produce as possible.
One of the challenges will be the delivery time for the books. Currently, the partners that I’ve lined up for production estimate six to eight weeks. I trust their estimates are accurate but am also mindful that there could be delays along the way: shipping, hurricanes, the occasional rogue goat who gets in the way and various kinds of typographic mishaps such as rouge rags, orphans, and widows.
It’s my intent to get the incentives to you as quickly as possible, and I know that at least with this endeavor, there's no new technology that needs to be invented.
So what do I need you to do?
1. Pledge. Whatever your comfort level, each bit of support helps.
2. Spread the word. There’s strength in numbers, so post it, tweet it, pin it, share it. Or even just shave it into the side of your head. Whatever gets the word out.
So now that all that’s out on the table, let’s make this novel happen!