Grail Quest Books is excited to add Greater Good by Nathan P. Butler (WARS: The Battle of Phobos, Star Wars Tales) to its expanding library in 2012. Greater Good is a time travel tale with a twist: telepathy and telekinetics, and that’s just the start.
When an alleged terrorist from 2265 travels back to the present on a killing spree, seeking to wipe out the hemisphere-spanning America of the future, it falls to a law enforcement officer from the future to stop him before he kills again…and again…and again. Together with an FBI agent unknowingly drawn into a conflict two centuries from her time, Cray Ellis will have to use all of his skills to protect the future he knows.
“I have always been a fan of time travel stories,” says Butler, “probably going as far back for me as Back to the Future when I was still in elementary school. Between that and Quantum Leap, I was drawn into the genre and eventually followed a number of time travel stories, such as those in the Star Trek universe, the Terminator franchise, and the like. I had wanted to tell a story using telepaths and/or telekinetics for a long time, and I’d also wanted to do a time travel story. It was only around 2007 or so that it finally dawned on me that the two could work together as one new story.”
The connection between the metahuman abilities and time travel also allowed Butler to develop a new take on time travel that blends in enough elements of the paranormal and familiar takes on time travel to feel like something science fiction fans can embrace and “believe”, but without being a carbon copy of something seen before.
Butler continues, “As a history teacher who has also taught topics like constitutional law, I also found that Greater Good (as its title implies, perhaps) was fertile ground for touching on different historical parallels and social issues in a fictional way, while presenting such parallels in a different light.”
The story focuses on three main characters: a time traveling serial killer who, if he succeeds, will be committing a sort of temporal version of ethnic cleansing; a fellow time traveler who intends to stop him and preserve the society that both time travelers have left behind; and a modern FBI agent, who is caught in the middle and forced throughout the story to act in
accordance with the ethics of her time while attempting to determine what really is the “greater good” and best path forward.
The result is a complex science fiction thriller, posing tough questions about what it means to be a hero, what makes a villain, and what, if anything, is truly the “greater good.”
“Overall, I wanted Greater Good to be thought-provoking; a good thriller with plenty of twists, turns, and action; and present a unique blend of time travel and telepathic/telekinetic concepts that any science fiction reader could pick up and enjoy without having to adhere to some preexisting saga out there. Don’t get me wrong,” Butler quickly adds, “writing WARS and briefly for Star Wars were great experiences, but there’s nothing quite like crafting your own new ‘universe’ to really give an author a chance to wow an audience. I’m hopeful that this new edition of Greater Good will do just that.”
Greater Good is author Nathan P. Butler’s first full-length novel, originally self-published in 2009 and now presented in a new, updated edition with several minor additions and a brand new Afterword that examines the creative process behind developing the time travel mechanics and characterizations of the Greater Good universe.
GQB is putting together a “blog tour” here on the Middle-earth Network in May. Anyone who has an active MyMiddle-earth blog is invited to be a part of the “tour”!
Butler is a huge Star Wars fan and contributor–also one half of “Star Wars: Beyond the Films”, the official Expanded Universe podcast of “The Star Wars Report” here on the Middle-earth Network’s Star Wars radio lineup; he loves sci-fi in general, law/crime TV shows, and is also a highly advanced console video gamer (especially PlayStation). Questions could range from his many and varied Star Wars contributions to his vast podcasting experience to his gaming to questions about his storytelling.
All blogs will be linked to on a special “tour” page here at GrailQuestBooks.com. If you’re interested, please post a comment and perhaps also add what one specific topic you would be interested in asking him about. (Feel free to list 2 or 3 in order of preference if you like.)