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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading debut author's novels or those author's who have not had many reviews thus providing them much needed encouragement 
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Monday, 18 July 2016

Guest Post: Paeter Frandsen and the Spirit Blade Audio Drama Trilogy

Recently, I discovered on my Facebook feed a post from one of my friends promoting the third and final instalment of an audio drama called SPIRIT BLADE, (described as a full-cast Audio Drama series that uses cinematic sound design, an epic film score, and dynamic performances to unleash an action-packed Christian science fiction experience).

I checked out this link and I was very impressed with what I found. This audio drama is in one of the genres that I love to review. I listened to the audio sound clips and was further impressed with the quality of the production and the atmosphere and world that this series transported me to. I decided there and then to buy the first instalment. I also then decided to offer the creator, Paeter Frandsen, a guest post to promote this series and its third and final instalment, Spirit Blade: A WORLD OF SHADOWS and about Spirit Blade Productions that produced this series. 

First, a little about Paeter's bio: 
 
A fan of comic books, sci-fi and fantasy since childhood, Paeter Frandsen is the owner of Spirit Blade Productions LLC. He received his bachelor's degree in vocal performance from Arizona State University and was employed by Red Mountain Community Church in Mesa, Arizona for four years, serving as the church's worship pastor for two years. In 2006 he created Spirit Blade Productions and now lives in Mesa, AZ with his wife and two sons while continuing to serve as a volunteer at Red Mountain Community Church. Though not formally trained in scripture, Paeter has a love for studying God's Word, seeking out truth with the most reliable resources available, and encouraging others to join him in that journey.

So now please allow me to hand you over to Paeter Frandsen: 

Thanks Peter! In 2006 I launched "Spirit Blade Productions", a very small company dedicated to telling very big stories in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. I've always been a huge fan of comic books, role-playing games (both video games and "paper and pencil") and fantasy novels. Sharing the truths of the Bible has been another passion of mine for a long time. So "Spirit Blade Productions" is really the inevitable result of combining my passions and the various facets of who I am.


Through Spirit Blade Productions I produce science fiction and fantasy stories, like The Spirit Blade Trilogy, in audio drama format. Audio drama is different from an audio book in that it is performed by a full cast of actors and is completely fleshed out with sound effects and a musical score. In fact, its very much like a movie, except without the picture. Ideal entertainment for when you're driving, exercising or doing mindless work.

The Spirit Blade Trilogy is an action packed, "cinematically" produced story that takes place in the distant future, when the government has decided that all spiritual belief systems that make absolute truth claims are illegal. The ensemble cast centers on Merikk, a "has been" musician looking for meaning in life. Merikk discovers that he has a very important role to play in The Underground Liberation, a group of men secretly trying to put the concept of absolute truth and the quest for answers about God back in mainstream circulation.

The stakes are very high and the journey is a wild one. Characters travel in and out of the spirit realm, battling demons, while also struggling in a conflict with humans in the physical world. Aliens, cyborgs, science-fiction and the supernatural all collide in a genre-bending experience.

One thing I've loved about producing these stories is the opportunity to thread worthwhile themes throughout the narrative. Science fiction and fantasy have always been wonderful playgrounds for philosophy. Good and evil can be represented in dramatic ways not possible in realistic stories. Important, sometimes controversial ideas can be explored in fantastic environments that take the pressure off the audience for the very fact that they are far removed from our day to day reality.

If you look at films like Star Wars, The Matrix, Man Of Steel, and many others, you'll see imaginative fiction dealing with extremely relevant spiritual issues. Now and then we'll see a stronger Christian influence in movies like "The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe", but most times Buddhism, a form of Hinduism or "pop-spirituality" are the main schools of thought presented.

More than half of the time, science fiction is a platform for atheistic assumptions. Theological issues, like those in Tron: Legacy and The Matrix, are more symbolic than actually a supernatural element in the story. I wanted to challenge this paradigm by creating science fiction that is driven specifically by biblical thought and that also breaks the mold of the standard sci-fi genre by incorporating the supernatural as well.

The challenge isn't so much in the development of this kind of story as it is in the marketing of it. First off, it's a futuristic Christian story that has nothing to do with the "end times". Secondly, it's very violent and would likely be given an R-rating if it were a visual story. Because it is limited to audio it feels more like a PG-13 experience. Even so, many Christians are stuck pretty firmly in "family friendly" mode, so what we're doing definitely isn't for everyone. But I've found that the listeners we do have are very devoted to the series and grateful that content like this is being created.

The Spirit Blade Trilogy starts with "Spirit Blade (Legacy Edition)", which you can download for free for a limited time at spiritblade.com beginning July 18th, 2016. "Spirit Blade (Legacy Edition)" introduces the ensemble cast and has an energetic, adventurous feel to it that echoes the feel of animated shows geared toward young teenagers and adults. (But with more blood and gore sound effects than you're likely to have heard on a Saturday morning.) It's the story of someone discovering the basic truths about Jesus for the first time, but from a fresh perspective uncluttered by the churchy lingo we take for granted today.

The trilogy continues with "Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual (Legacy Edition)", where the tone shifts toward (as the title suggests) sobering darkness, as our heroes quickly discover that the choice to trust in The Only (their most commonly used name for God) does not mean life becomes a bed of roses. Suddenly our heroes find themselves overcome by a far superior force and subjected to pain and suffering like they have never known. The action ramps up and the supernatural threats become even greater. Like the Harry Potter series, the Spirit Blade Trilogy leans toward older ages as it progresses. And the dark and disturbing themes of "Spirit Blade: Dark Ritual (Legacy Edition)" are intended mostly for listeners who are 16 or older.

I'm thrilled to finally be bringing this trilogy to a close with "Spirit Blade: A World Of Shadows (Legacy Edition)". In the wake of the events of "Dark Ritual", our heroes are trying to figure out the "new normal", and are asking hard questions about the nature of evil and why God allows suffering. The scale of the action has never been bigger than it is in this story. But at the same time the characters have never been more grounded in relatable human emotions and concerns. As they count the heavy cost that will have to be paid, they can't help but ask if following The Only is worth all the suffering that comes with it.

It's my hope that this trilogy will be exciting and entertaining to all who hear it, and also give them reason to re-explore, or consider for the first time, some elements of their faith and relationship with Jesus.

You're invited to find more information and listen to our trailers at spiritblade.com!

If this has whetted your appetite for more, here is a sound clip of Spirit Blade for you to listen to:  

Spirit Blade Trilogy Promo MP3

If you want to investigate this trilogy more, go to these social media outlets: 

 


Youtube- youtube.com/spiritbladevideos

Thanks Paeter for a very insightful account of your ministry, and the Spirit Blade Trilogy Audio Drama. I will be going to the website to buy the remaining two instalments without any hesitation! Really looking forward to being entertained and my faith strengthen by this series. I love your passion for this ministry and for using this to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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