I thought this was really cool. Stanford University's Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB) published a nice write up of the sustainability activities I'm involved in with the release of my eco-thriller Patriarch Run. I'm also working with a number national security NGOs. That work isn't reflected in this post.
Author Uses Eco-Thriller to Raise Awareness about Population Growth
Colorado author Benjamin Dancer wrote a “a hard-shooting kick of a thriller” to raise awareness about the rapid growth of the human population. “Disguising a heart of pure poetry,” the novel Patriarch Run has been described as “a literary meditation clutching a straight razor behind its back.”
That straight razor is the truth. “It is my intention,” said Benjamin, “to use the platform of my thriller to promote real-world solutions to overpopulation.”
Population Media Center, an international leader in entertainment-education, knows that for media outreach to be effective, a story must be a thrill for the audience —otherwise, it won’t work. That’s the approach Benjamin took with Patriarch Run. The story is “bold, beautifully written, and surprising page-by-page.”
Benjamin’s eco-thriller is “a gripping exploration of our gendered culture and the poignant moments entailed in coming of age.” It has been endorsed by a number of leaders in the sustainability movement, including Paul Ehrlich, Bill Ryerson, and Alan Weisman. You can read those endorsements and learn more about Patriarch Run at Benjamin’s website.
How do you leverage an “unsparing” thriller to raise awareness about the most important issue of our time? Benjamin answers that question with an impressive list of outreach activities:
Population Media Center and Benjamin will be engaged in a media tour in which he will use the platform of his book to direct attention to sustainability issues, namely the unintended consequences of continued population growth.
Benjamin is also partnering with journalist Alan Weisman and filmmaker Dave Gardner ofGrowthBusters in the first episode of a webinar series about the human population.
Benjamin and the Center for Biological Diversity are distributing endangered species condoms at his events.
Journalist Ted Koppel’s recent book Lights Out has opened the door for Benjamin to connect the issue of population growth to national security by revealing just how vulnerable America is. The bad guy in Patriarch Run intends to cripple the country by taking down the power grid. A threat that had no teeth until the country’s growing population outstripped the land’s “pre-electrical” carrying capacity. Prominent national security experts have endorsed Patriarch Run’s realistic portrayal of this threat.
Benjamin is also directing readers to a rich set of resources about these issues in the Discussion Guide at his website.
“There is no more important issue for us to tackle than population growth,” Benjamin said. “Almost every other global concern stems from this root cause. Patriarch Run is meticulously researched and realistic. I wrote it to sell; my calculation was that the better the story does in the marketplace, the larger the platform I will have to bring attention to this problem.”
About Patriarch Run
Nine years ago, Jack Erikson was deployed to China to protect the United States from a cyberattack. Now, suffering from a drug-induced amnesia, he is unable to recognize his own son. What Jack knows for sure is that an elite group of operators is determined to kill him. What he does not yet remember is that he controls a cyber-weapon powerful enough to return human civilization to the Stone Age. If Jack lives long enough to piece together his mission and his identity, he will be forced to choose between the fate of humankind and that of his own family.
Readers of Cormac McCarthy and Peter Heller will appreciate both the suspense and the Western setting. In his thrilling literary debut, Benjamin Dancer also explores the timeless themes of fatherhood, sustainability and the fraying fabric of global stability. Learn more here!
Benjamin is the author of the literary thriller Patriarch Run, the first book in a series that will include Fidelity and The Story of the Boy. He also writes about parenting, education, sustainability and national security. He is the Director of Public Relations for the Colorado EMP Task Force On National and Homeland Security, which is the Colorado branch of a Congressional Advisory Board. Benjamin also works as an Advisor at a Colorado high school where he has made a career out of mentoring young people as they come of age. His work with adolescents has informed his stories, which are typically themed around fatherhood and coming-of-age.