A new science-fiction novel co-authored by Archbishop of Newark John J. Myers and “Roger Rabbit” creator Gary K. Wolf has sold “decently” in the first six months since its publication. The “fast-paced intergalactic tale” is about a space marshal and a con man who team up with a widow and her two children to fight a cosmic villain named Space Vulture.
The two authors, who have been friends since childhood, based the story on the pulp fiction of their youth. They would tease out themes for the book and devise plots over the phone, editing the text via e-mail.
The archbishop said he worked on the book at night, when he didn't have appointments, or at his summer residence.
“Pulp science fiction, just as pulp westerns, are not great art. And we knew that. But it can be fun. ... This won't be a classic. We didn't write it with that in mind,” Bishop Myers told the Star-Ledger.
Archbishop Myers described how he wove minor religious elements into the story.
"Science fiction tends to be atheistic, or not to refer to creators or higher beings," Myers explained to the Star-Ledger. "I enjoyed getting some lines in there on how Cali prays when she's in trouble, and how the boys knew their dad was in a better place. These are things that indicate a higher being without it being explicitly Catholic."
The archbishop said his favorite part of the plot involves the character development of Gil Terry, the con man who has had his human body parts replaced with insect parts for failing to pay a debt. Archbishop Myers said the character transforms “from being a scalawag, as my mother would say, to being a nice guy in his relationship with the boys.”
According to the Star Ledger, Space Vulture publisher Tor Books said the book has sold decently. Though the book’s Amazon.com ranking is low, reader reviews are reportedly positive.