Posts Tagged ‘Apologetic Fiction’

JohnnyCameHometrailerstillFollow this link to view the book trailer for Johnny Came Home: A John Lazarus Adventure.



mayan-calendar-jchThe Mayan Long Calendar ends on December 21, 2012 and everyone’s seeing that as a sign of an impending Apocalypse. Well, not everyone. The Mayans were actually looking forward to it as something of a Golden Age per some scholars.

In any case, Christians need not fear this hocus pocus. Jesus adamantly stated even He didn’t know the day nor hour of His Return, only the Father alone – and certainly no man! [Matthew 24:36] That includes Nostradamus, the Mayans and anybody else who may be predicting a date for the End of Days. In fact, I can confidently state that if a particular sect, movement, religion or person gives you a date for the return of Christ or the End of Days, they’re a cult. Period. Avoid them.

But what are we to make of the end of the Mayan Calendar then? I dunno. I just want to point out that my calendar ends every year and, well, I just buy a new one and nothing happens. No Doomsday. No Golden Age. So I think it will prove to be nothing of consequence. At least, I hope so. There are always some nutjobs who try to make things happen…

In any case, if you’ve decided to stay indoors this December 21, 2012, know that I was thinking of you when I decided to offer Johnny Came Home for free on Kindle one last time. This “A Good Book for the End of the World” special starts at roughly midnite Pacific Standard Time on December 20, 2012 and extends right on through December 21, 2012 until about 11:59 PM PST.

It’s a great book, and I’m not the only one who thinks so! Reviewers are calling it action-packed from start to finish, that it was hard to put down and that they can’t wait for the sequel. More than one has commented that the characters are well-developed and believable, and that the book includes Biblical truth without being preachy. You’re gonna love it!

So over the next two days, while you’re waiting around to see if our world ends, get your free Kindle copy of Johnny Came Home and see how John Lazarus saves his!

Here’s the Amazon link:

-Tony Breeden

xnscifiOver 4 years ago, I wrote an essay that caused me to seriously think about writing something like Johnny Came Home.

At the time, I was writing Øtherworld, a sci-fi tale with fantasy overtones. I was having a hard time finishing it, so I wrote this essay to sharpen my focus a bit. The idea was to define my over-all aim as what fellow author JC Lamont terms a “literary apologist.” I managed to do that, but the essay is more noteworthy for the brainstorming session it contains. This updated version of Faith-Based Sci-Fi As Exploratory Apologetic continues in that tradition.



Now by all accounts science fiction is a bit of a hard sell for the Christian book market. The reason for this is bound up in our eschatology, our beliefs about the End of All Things. End Times views within Christendom come a few clearly defined and argued categories. Most folks are familiar with the Darbyist view [pretribulational dispensationalist Rapturists] on which Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins’ Left Behind series was based. If Christendom has an established sci-fi market, it is predominantly for this specific flavor of End Times fiction. And who can blame us? It’s exciting stuff. A small, desperate, but resolute band of believers beleaguered by the all-powerful AntiChrist, a megalomaniacal dictator in control of a fascist New World Order. The story has a powerful opening hook: the sudden disappearance of every Bible-believing Christian on the planet and climaxes in the bona fide War to End All Wars, the Armageddon, and the Triumphant Return of Christ. The setting and the Bible’s mention of martyrs and divine judgments make any half-decent effort a gripping read.

I digress.

If the selective mass market offerings of Christian book chains are any indication, this is the only sort of exploratory apologetic we have. I remember browsing the local Christian bookstores, just bored out of my mind. With few exceptions, I was looking an endless sea of romance novels, marketed at women. I’m a guy, so I’m into science fiction, fantasy and action thrillers. I remember thinking, “Why should I be forced to get the stuff I actually enjoy reading from secular bookstores in novels written from a non- or even anti-Christian worldview?”

What about the stuff of traditional sci-fi? What about alien worlds? Aliens? Space travel? Artificial Intelligence? Where was the Christian exploration of these subjects? In essence, why couldn’t I read “Do Android Prayers Reach the Ears of God?” [in the tradition of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, the inspiration for the movie Blade Runner]?

Let me tell you some specific things I’d like to see addressed: (more…)

Allan Reini, author of Flight of the Angels, has offered this long and thoughtful review on Amazon:

“From its opening line, Johnny Came Home draws you into the world of its reluctant, damaged, and super-charged hero. And what a fast paced, dark, and intriguing world it is!

Author Tony Breeden lays a firm foundation for what I hope will be a series of novels centering around John Lazarus, a young man assumed dead in a tragic, but suspicious, house fire years earlier. Clearly against his better judgment, but driven by circumstances and a sense of duty he doesn’t quite understand himself, John returns to the town of Midwich with his long-haired, rocker wannabe friend, Weasel Hopkins. Weasel doesn’t know anything about Midwich or the powerful and omnipresent Titan Biotech, whose headquarters
overlook the supposedly peaceful town. In fact, he really doesn’t know that much about his friend, Johnny, either. And neither do we–at first.

The fun begins as Weasel wakes up in the battered K-car (K-car…I love it!) they had traveled in and begins to press Johnny for answers as to why his friend would drag him to Midwich, of all places. When Johnny reveals just a small sample of his super-human abilities, his friend is hooked, and so are we.

What follows is an exciting adventure that I would describe as X-men meets James Bond with just a touch, believe it or not, of To Kill a Mockingbird thrown in. Breeden skillfully weaves a story that, while leaving you breathless with ever-escalating action still takes the time to develop a rather large cast of characters–each one touched in some way by Titan’s invasive and deliciously morally-ambiguous meddling in their lives. As is real life, each character responds to their past and their circumstances in different ways, some choosing
the path of righteousness, while others opt for the more seductive path of power and promised riches. And some, like one of my favorite characters, Football Coach and more (No Spoilers!) Mike Trager, take a path that is decidedly more vague. They often skirt the line, as so many of us do, between what they know is right, and what they are obligated to do by duty, loyalty, or career. These characters press on, influenced by their past and driven by their present, ever evolving as truth is slowly revealed.

Of these evolving characters, none is more fascinating than the lead, John Lazarus himself. Dark, brooding, but with a high sense of loyalty and justice, Johnny’s journey is one of self-discovery. Breeden allows the revelations of Johnny’s past, and hopefully his coming to terms with them, to arrive at a similar pace to his discoveries of more and more of his preternatural abilities. What results is a reluctant, sometimes angry, but maturing hero that you simply have to cheer for.

It is these supernatural abilities, and their inclusion in a Faith-based Sci-Fi novel that create what I thought were some the more interesting theological questions in the book. Are super-human abilities, or the possibility of their existence, compatible with Biblical theology? If those abilities are boosted through human intervention, what is our response as people of God? Breeden does not shy away from these questions. Instead, he weaves both the questions and possible responses throughout the narrative as part of the story and the characters’ reactions, rather than hammering out obvious opinions through exposition.

Breeden also does not shy away from issues of race and prejudice in his book. Again, without heavy-handedness, he explores these issues through his characters. Johnny is a young, black man, adopted by white parents. He wonders if some of the hatred and opposition he has experienced is due to bigotry and ignorance, yet he never uses those questions as a crutch or a reason to shirk his responsibilities. Other characters must also come face to face with preconceived social notions and decide how they will respond. In fact, the entire question of the “indigos” (read the book…no spoilers.) is a parallel to so many issues and opinions we still must process in our world today.

On the subject of parallels. In my opinion, there is one, small item that could improve the story even more in future installments. Occasionally, one of the characters in Johnny Came Home would be compared to a fictional character in our actual universe, in order to illustrate a particular trait or a desire to emulate that character . While only happening a few times, I did find it a little jarring, taking me out of Breeden’s universe for a moment and back into our own. My point is this: the characters in Johnny Came Home are rich and diverse enough to stand on their own. They need no comparison!

Finally, I’d like to close this (long) review with my favorite part of the book. I am simply a sucker for a satisfying ending and tantalizing epilogue. I long for a “Life goes on,” feeling about the characters after I am done reading. I’m going to break my own rule from the previous paragraph. Think of “The Incredibles.” (Best. Pixar. EVER.) The story ends. The good guys win. But suddenly, the family is about to fight The Underminer. You know that their adventures are going to continue. You don’t have to see it happen. You can leave them there, knowing that “Life goes on.” That being said, I loved the ending of this book! Seriously, I could hear the theme music playing in my head. It is a satisfying, complete story in itself that still leaves just enough unanswered questions, just enough teasers thrown in to leave me looking forward, with great anticipation, to the next installment, John Lazarus: Man from Midwich!”

Now what are you waiting for? Go buy Johnny Came Home today!

Starting now, you can read excerpts of Johnny Came Home and John Lazarus: Mann from Midwich at

The Johnny Came Home preview covers the first 5 1/2 chapters of the book… just enough whet your appetite for the whole thing, but just enough to see why reviewers are calling it action-packed and saying that they couldn’t put it down and that they can’t wait for the sequel. Of course, you can purchase your copy of Johnny Came Home at Amazon today for Kindle or as a trade paperback.

The 2 chapter sneak peak at the sequel, John Lazarus: Mann from Midwich, was previously only available to purchasers of the Second Edition of Johnny Came Home. We couldn’t wait to let everybody see what’s coming early in 2013!

We chose WattPad because it allows you to read the book excerpts chapter-by-chapter, as you would a book. It also allows you to give us feedback!

Speaking of which, if you’ve already purchased Johnny Came Home and enjoyed it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon!


Though I’ve been working hard on writing the sequel to Johnny Came Home and on making a few revisions to the first novel [which will include an excerpt from John Lazarus: Mann from Midwich], I managed to carve out some time last night to work on the book cover for the newest John Lazarus Adventure. We’re still beta testing the cover titles, but the artwork is pretty much identical to what the final cover will look like.

And just for kicks, here’s the teaser from the back cover:

“One year after John Lazarus returns to Midwich, questions still linger. Is he human? Something more? The events of last year taught him that someone is trying to start a war between super-powered humans and the rest of humanity, but he has no idea how vast the conspiracy stretches. Or who he can trust.

As the world discovers the presence of super-powered humans, battle lines are drawn and sides are chosen. Johnny will need the help of a team of heroes to avert the coming world war. But will it be enough?

Find out more in John Lazarus: Mann from Midwich, the thrilling sequel to Johnny Came Home.

Legends arise. Dark forces gather. Heroes unite.”

“Tony Breeden has created an adventure that addresses many of the most important issues that face every generation. Johnny Came Home teaches lessons on responsibility, acceptance, exclusion, & loyalty from a Godly perspective. I highly recommend this book for adventure spirited people that want stories that have good nuggets of Biblical principles.!”

-“Buddy” (Amazon review – 5 stars)