Last weekend, Memorial Day 2019, I was unable to attend MisCon in Missoula, Montana. But I was there by proxy, represented by numerous friends, colleagues, and B-Cubed Press. The publisher of B-Cubed is my co-author, co-editor, and best friend Bob Brown.
As partners, we’d hit the Amazon bestseller lists a couple of times with our political satire anthologies. Alternative Truths volumes 1 & 2. Our third effort, Alternative Theologies, started with the idea of highlighting some of the hypocrisy that has invaded fundamentalist believers since the last election. It became something bigger and better than either of us could imagine. Thoughtful, poignant, grim, and sometimes downright funny, it also challenged our readers to think, to question, and we hope to affirm a stronger faith based upon what they believe and who they are. It met with critical success, but not in sales.
It seems someone, who’s faith was so fragile it could not withstand question, took offense at the book. Someone was so outraged by the book that they broke the Seventh Commandment: Thou shalt not steal.
Fifteen copies of Alternative Theologies were stolen from the dealer’s room at the convention. Cash boxes, tablets, and high-end jewelry were left untouched, you should have seen those beautiful pieces like a virgo ring. The only things taken were fifteen copies of a book found offensive. Copies from the front rack as well as those in a box under the table.
As co-editor and as a contributor I felt violated. The royalties from those books would have gone a long way toward the book earning out—paying the publishing expenses so the authors could collect a share of the profits. Many people involved in the publishing process were violated.
David Gerrold, author, contributor, and all-around good guy, mentioned the theft at a convention panel the next day. Con attendees rushed out of the program to buy Alternative Theologies.
Posts on Face Book went viral, leading to a report on Krypton Radio https://kryptonradio.com/2019/05/27/b-cubed-press-book-thief-steals-every-copy-of-alternative-theologies-parables-for-a-modern-world-at-miscon/?fbclid=IwAR1ko98wRX2mWRDEQieEM6RgR6A0kk6Ff2g7_dXNryK4NHtJQ9UAwdLzUSs.
By Tuesday morning the book had sold enough copies to push it to #1 in Religions Anthologies on Amazon, #3 in Science Fiction Anthologies on Amazon, and to #6000 on Amazon overall. Anything under 10,000 is considered a best seller among the multi-million number of books for sale.
I can only thank the fans who went out of their way to register their official protest against one small-minded thief by buying the book. These are the people who reaffirm my faith in the goodness of humanity. These are the people I write for, and keep me writing.