Could America Collapse? by James R. Duncan

I’m pleased to welcome Jim Duncan to the site today. I had the pleasure of working with Jim on his novel Blood Republic, a book that looks more and more prescient as each day of our current election cycle passes. In Blood Republic, America descends into a second civil war, one driven by conservative vs. liberal ideology run amok in the wake of the most hotly contested presidential election in history. Jim presents the story in a balanced manner, showing no discernible preference for either side. Instead, he leaves it to the reader to decide where their allegiance lies and with whom they sympathize, as well as challenges readers to question why that is. The book is available in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Could America Collapse?

Blood Republic is a slightly different political thriller than you’ve read before.

Yes, the fate of the country is at stake, with potential chaos hanging on every page, but unlike your typical Vince Flynn or Robert Ludlum novel, the hero of my story is not a dashing patriot, but reasonable, moral thought. And the villain isn’t ISIS, or fundamentalist Christians, or gay marriage, or even money, but arrogance.

Don’t fall asleep just yet though. I assure you characters and story take center stage, not philosophy. Ha.

In Blood Republic, Annie Daniels is an extremely progressive Democratic senator with the chance to become the first female in the Oval Office. Amos is her special forces brother, who is as conservative as she is liberal. In the closing hours of the most hotly contested presidential election in US history, an unexplained shooting forces brother and sister to opposite ends of a constitutional crisis and armed showdown. A second civil war, between conservatives and liberals, hangs in the balance.

So who’s the white hat and who’s the black hat? That’s just it—my goal was not to give people familiar characters that reassured their worldview, but complex ones that challenged it. I think Blood Republic ended up having a far more shocking and deadly villain than James Bond ever faced; ourselves.

Personally, I believe America is poised precariously on a higher and more dangerous cliff than this country has ever before known. Sure, maybe 1968 and few years of the Civil War saw more violence and vitriol than we have now, but we also have never had the technological potential to do as much widespread damage so quickly as we have now.

Your privacy is gone, and whether or not you believe your secrets are being used against you yet… they will. Threats from nuclear, electronic and even natural pandemics have never been as great, largely due to technological developments and ever-tighter inter-connectedness of the earth. The potential for things to go from zero to 100 on the chaos scale is far greater than at any point when people still sent letters that took days to travel to their destinations, and people on the East Coast could spend entire lifetimes not knowing what the West Coast was thinking.

Granted, technological advancements are not necessarily bad things, unless of course the people who control all that power are corrupt lunatics. Whether that lunatic wears a blue shirt or a red shirt I am not attempting to say, merely to open people’s eyes to the fact we can’t afford to have either one.

So Blood Republic might not have the next teen heartthrob racing in to save the day beneath an American flag before the “bad guys” get us, but if more people actually rethought who the “bad guys” are, maybe my book can stay fiction. And entertain the hell out of you in the process.

James R. Duncan has earned a degree from Montana State University, is an alumnus of the prestigious Breadloaf literary conference, has had short fiction published in the award-winning Home of the Brave anthology, and has sold two independent screenplays.

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