The Impact of Visionary Fiction on the Real World – W. Bradford Swift

I asked myself a question recently: Can a book of fiction make any significant difference in the real world in which we live? I didn’t get around to asking that question until after thirty years of being a professional author and having published a couple of dozen books. Still, my perspective on writing began to change in 2019. I contribute that change to two key factors:

  • I became much more interested in the upcoming presidential election that’s due to take place on November 3, 2020, especially when I learned that author and spiritual leader, Marianne Williamson had entered the race. That spark of interest was fanned into a flame when I started listening to her message and vision for America and the world.
  • I also began to participate with an international organization, Landmark Worldwide. This educational organization had made a profound difference in my life in the late eighties and nineties. I even met my wife in a Landmark course, but then we stopped participating until 2019. Through participating in their Curriculum for Living, I became re-energized that I could make a difference in the world through my writing.

Here is why I decided I had to write my next book of visionary fiction entitled, The Fringe Candidate (Book One of the Amberica Series). The current state of our political climate is one of tremendous division between our two parties here in the United States with Independents caught in the middle. It’s a climate where many of our leaders are more interested in maintaining their political careers than serving the citizens who elected them. It’s become so bad that it’s dangerous even to bring up the topic of politics for fear it will lead to arguments among friends and family members. So instead, we try to ignore it all or allow our attention to be diverted away from what’s happening in our country. Our nation is divided by politics into red states, blue states, and a few purple ones.

The sad truth is this is our current state of affairs, and the more disturbing truth is that predictably it will only worsen over time. The division will only widen along with income inequality. Meanwhile, vitally important issues are being ignored or only given lip service: Issues such as climate change, healthcare for all citizens, our mounting national debt, the crumbling infrastructure, and more.

But imagine with me for just a minute a different future and vision. What if there was a transformation in our culture away from fear and hate and instead shaped by love and respect for each other? A coming together with integrity, open honest communication, and a collaboration of both parties with the will of the people, and there was one exceptional candidate who led the citizens of Amberica to such a future.

Wait a minute—Amberica?

Yes, Amberica. The story takes place in the fractured nation of Amberica. It surrounds the presidential campaign of fringe candidate Angeline Tarkington, who seeks to replace the current autocratic leader and put the country back on an even keel.

Led to the brink of destruction by its corrupt president, Amberica is bleaker than ever. Who could hope to unseat Oscar Wellian, a fascist who wields the full force of martial law? Plenty are willing to try, but only one entrant has what it takes to give Oscar a run for his ill-gotten gains. Enter Angeline Tarkington . . . the people’s final hope.

Despite her heart of gold and concrete ideals, it won’t be easy. Is Tarkington’s integrity enough to combat systemic corruption and heal a hemorrhaging nation? An amalgam of corporate interests known as ‘The Triumvirate’ will stop at nothing to silence her, and Tarkington can’t expect victory without sacrifice.

Tarkington’s ability to transform those around her will be put to the ultimate test, as new allies may mean the difference between victory and defeat, but will they join her? In any case, she’ll need to tread very carefully. Unmasking a monster will be an invitation to an all-out duel with the nation as the prize.

So, back to the question: Can a book of fiction make any significant difference in the real world in which we live? My answer is a resounding YES! Especially when it’s a work of visionary fiction. And that’s why I wrote The Fringe Candidate. I believe that such a transformation isn’t only possible but necessary and imminent. If you’d like to learn more and perhaps join me along the way in his new year, go to my website to learn more.

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Visionary Fiction Alliance.

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11 thoughts on “The Impact of Visionary Fiction on the Real World – W. Bradford Swift

  1. Victor Smith says:

    So well presented, Brad, that I immediately went to buy a copy and was disappointed that the book is not out yet. Very timely, of course, and I am very curious how you handle topics that have scalded many a writer that touched them. Am currently involved in a number of projects in which your book, if what promised, could contribute quite a bit. I look forward to getting to know you. BTW Monty Joynes, a pioneer VF author and personal friend, lives in Boone NC–you might enjoy his company. More later, I’m sure. Vic

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    • Brad Swift says:

      Hi Victor, Good to hear from you and thanks for letting me know about Monty Joynes. I’ve been hearing his name quite a bit lately so I guess it’s time to reach out to him, especially since he’s so relatively close.
      Regarding: “I am very curious how you handle topics that have scalded many a writer that touched them.”

      If you mean how I will handle the negative press, etc. that may come from speaking out against ‘The Man’/mainstream politics, I’m also curious how I’ll handle it. I suppose I’ll resort to a basic operating principle that has worked in my marriage and helped us be happy and content with each other for 30 years: “Anything and everything can be resolved through communication.”

      Let me also mention that Ann and I are hosting The Fringe Candidate Launch Party on Sat. Feb. 15, the day after the book goes on sale, and we’re trying something new – a virtual way people can celebrate with us through Facebook Live. If you’re interested, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2537283093265119/

      Of course, that invitation is open to all readers and writers who enjoy visionary fiction.

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  2. Robin says:

    Brad, Thank you for your positive attitude concerning change through writing and publishing. I agree, the world does need literature. Science Fiction for so long has been considered the “literature of ideas,” the stage for socio-political argument. My hope for VF is that it can explore science, technology, society, history, and/or environment. But with a closer eye to the power and necessity of individual transformation.

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    • Brad Swift says:

      I agree totally, Robin. I write SF and fantasy as well and I hope at least some of it is visionary fiction as well. Certainly, I set out to write Babble to be VF as well as The Fringe Candidate. I have a very loose definition of VF: Stories that first and foremost entertain while also inspiring readers and providing them insights into what’s possible for their own lives. Certainly, transformation is key to fulfilling that.

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  3. reanolanmartin says:

    I love how VF authors tackle every issue in every corner of society. Leave no darkness unexposed! Our stories do make a difference, Brad. Thanks for your contribution to the light!

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    • Brad Swift says:

      You are most welcome. Please keep reading and enjoying VF, and I and other VF authors will continue to enjoy the process of writing such stories.

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  4. margaretduarte says:

    Very timely, Brad. Maybe your book will spark some hope that we, as families, friends, a nation, can choose unity over division. “…away from fear and hate and instead shaped by love and respect for each other.”

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    • Brad Swift says:

      That is certainly my hope and intention. It’s also why my Muse and I are hard at ‘purposefully playing’ with writing the next installment of the Amberica series. I just hope my Muse will let me sleep a little more soundly now that she knows I’ve promised to pay closer attention to her during the waking part of my day and night.

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  5. Brad Swift says:

    The invitation I extended to Victor above is open to all readers and writers who enjoy visionary fiction.

    Ann and I are hosting The Fringe Candidate Launch Party on Sat. Feb. 15, the day after the book goes on sale, and we’re trying something new – a virtual way people can celebrate with us through Facebook Live. If you’re interested, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2537283093265119/

    PS If you’re in the Hendersonville, Asheville NC area and would like to attend the live event let me know by replying to this message. Space is limited and still I’d love to have some fans of VF attend.

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  6. Jodine Turner says:

    Brad, Your article leads with “Can a book of fiction make any significant difference in the real world in which we live?” It is the VFA’s sincere and devoted purpose to affirm that yes it does! I am happy you are tackling challenging political and ethical issues in your novel. What a way to reach readers through story. As author Toni Morrison says, “We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”

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  7. Saleena Karim says:

    Brad, thank you for sharing your story with us, and for the invitation to your virtual launch party!

    For our readers, I should mention that Brad has recorded a video interview which will be available to view here from Monday 27 January. Watch this space!

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