Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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The Story Behind the Stories
  IGMS Authors Share How Their Stories Came to Be
October 2018

Gods of War by Steve Pantazis

I have always been inspired by stories where the underdog must rise up against a seemingly unbeatable foe. As a young boy, I loved characters like Luke Skywalker and Frodo Baggins, who came from humble beginnings to face off against the biggest adversaries of their day. It inspired stories of my own--epic space operas, grand heroes' quests, and showdowns between the little guy and the big bad wolf. After all, what could be more satisfying than good triumphing over evil?

"Gods of War" was borne out of that yearning to tell the tale of the common folk and the human experience. At its core, it's a story about how life's calamities can bring out the best in us. It's told through the eyes of Jedidiah Martin, a red-blooded Texan, former soldier, and survivor of the AI apocalypse that not only destroyed America, but killed his wife and son. Now, a new version of this artificial superintelligence horror has surfaced, and it's up to Jedidiah and a ragtag team of fellow Mech Warriors to stop the enemy before it destroys the small town of Potterville.

As soon as I got in character with Jedidiah and started telling his story, I knew he was a man of virtue--a big, bold personality, like a Duke Nukem, but with a heart of gold--who would stop at nothing to protect the people he loves. He embodies what I want in a hero: a person with a strong moral compass, but a damaged human being who must overcome adversity to conquer his demons and do what is right for the greater good.

Courage. Survival. Perseverance. It's built into us.

We crave it in our heroes. We want them to have all the flaws that make us human, but we also want them to do the things we only imagine we can do.

The heroes in "Gods of War" embody these traits. But as is true in life, we can't succeed alone--we need each other--which is why this story resonates so strongly with me.

I'm proud to present "Gods of War" to you. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did crafting it.

All the best,

Steve Pantazis

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