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Forced Conversion [Kindle Edition]

Donald J. Bingle
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

Everyone can have heaven, any heaven they want, but some people don’t want to go.

"Visceral, bloody -- and one hell of a page turner! Bingle tackles the philosophical issues surrounding uploaded consciousness in a fresh, exciting way. This is the debut of a major novelist -- don't miss it." Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Author.

Mankind has largely retreated to the realms of virtual reality, where resources are unlimited and the problems of the real world--violence, conflict, sickness, and pain--can all be avoided. Unfortunately, those who stay behind in the real world pose the only risk to the immortality of those who have converted to virtual existence.

Derek, a soldier in the Conversion Forces (ConFoes), seeks to enforce the Mandatory Conversion Act on the remaining mals (malcontent Luddites, gangbangers, and religious fanatics). He just wants to put in his time and join his family on one of the virtual worlds. But until then, he is forced to deal with his psychotic squad-mates, the increasingly brutal tactics of the ConFoes, and a mal ambush. And that's just the beginning of his journey.

While most speculative and science fiction deals with worlds transformed by technological advance, Forced Conversion highlights the troubling and chaotic process of that transformation, itself. It combines the adrenaline-soaked action of military fiction with the extrapolation of current scientific trends of the best speculative fiction, while dealing with the moral and religious implications of both war and technology.

If large scale transcendence could occur, this novel explains how it would come about and what the real world would be like in the aftermath.

When Moore’s Law meets God’s Law, the result is forced conversion.

Says Ed Greenwood, Creator of The Forgotten Realms™ and Author of the bestselling Elminster novels: "I loved it! Many writers have explored hard-hitting and brutal possible futures for Earth, and told colorful tales of people trying to stay alive in them, but few have brought such imagined futures as vividly to life as Don Bingle -- and no other book I can think of examines how and why such a future might just happen as well as FORCED CONVERSION does -- or provides half the breath-catching twists and turns of Bingle's yarn. A 'good read' of the old school, coupled with all-too-plausible reasons for everything. A grim warning and a fast action adventure tale, all in one! Highly recommended!"

Best known as the world's top-ranked player of classic role-playing games for fifteen years, Donald J. Bingle is an oft-published author in the science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller, steampunk, romance, and comedy genres, with three published novels (Forced Conversion; GREENSWORD; Net Impact), several novellas (including Frame Shop) and more than forty stories, primarily in DAW themed anthologies and tie-in anthologies, including stories in Carnage & Consequences, The Crimson Pact, Steampunk'd, Imaginary Friends, Fellowship Fantastic, Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies, Time Twisters, Front Lines, Slipstreams, Gamer Fantastic, Transformers Legends, Search for Magic (Dragonlance), If I Were An Evil Overlord, Blue Kingdoms--Mages & Magic, Civil War Fantastic, Future Americas, All Hell Breaking Loose, The Dimension Next Door, Sol's Children, Historical Hauntings, and Fantasy Gone Wrong. Many of thsese stories and others appear in his Writer on Demand TM story collections by genre: Tales of Gamers and Gaming; Tales of Humorous Horror; Tales Out of Time; Grim, Fair e-Tales; Tales of an Altered Past Powered by Romance, Horror, and Steam; Not-So-Heroic Fantasy; and Shadow Realities.

Donald J. Bingle is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Horror Writers Association, International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, GenCon Writers Symposium, Origins Game Fair Library, and St. Charles Writers Group.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Says Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids: "Visceral, bloody -- and one hell of a page turner! Bingle tackles the philosophical issues surrounding uploaded consciousness in a fresh, exciting way. This is the debut of a major novelist -- don't miss it."

Says Ed Greenwood, Creator of The Forgotten Realms™ and Author of the bestselling Elminster novels: "I loved it! Many writers have explored hard-hitting and brutal possible futures for Earth, and told colorful tales of people trying to stay alive in them, but few have brought such imagined futures as vividly to life as Don Bingle -- and no other book I can think of examines how and why such a future might just happen as well as FORCED CONVERSION does -- or provides half the breath-catching twists and turns of Bingle's yarn. A 'good read' of the old school, coupled with all-too-plausible reasons for everything. A grim warning and a fast action adventure tale, all in one! Highly recommended!"

Says Jean Rabe, Author of The Dhamon Saga:
"Though this is Donald Bingle's first novel, it reads like the work of a seasoned thriller author. Forced Conversion is filled with plenty of suspense and surprises, deep and quirky characters, and engaging dialog. It is not easy to set down, so read it when you have time on your hands. It is a helluva trip ..."

From the Publisher

Technology can be a wonderful thing, when it's not ruining the world completely.

Most science fiction deals with worlds transformed by technological advance. Forced Conversion highlights the troubling and chaotic process of that transformation, itself. It combines the adrenaline-soaked action of military fiction with the extrapolation of current scientific trends of the best speculative fiction, while dealing with the moral and religious implications of both war and technology.

When Moore’s Law meets God’s Law, the result is forced conversion.

Donald J. Bingle lives in St. Charles, Illinois. This is his first published novel.


Product Details

  • File Size: 604 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Publisher: 54-40' Orphyte, Inc.; 1 edition (May 14, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050YUXXU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,203 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turning Intrigue Frames Moral Conundrum December 16, 2004
Format:Hardcover
I haven't read much, if any, any Sci-Fi in the past 20 years, but picked up "Forced Conversion" based on a recommendation. Though the backdrop of the novel is undeniably science fiction, the meat of the story is an engrossing morality play centered on two protagonists caught up in a skirmish between two opposing factions -- one a ruthless governmental enforcement squad and the other a group of religious zealots intent on protecting their beliefs. The ethical and moral questions the characters face are intriguing and thought-provoking and the conflicts they must address create enough page-turning tension to make Forced Conversion a very engaging read. I would recommend it highly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-Paced and Thought Provoking March 24, 2005
Format:Hardcover
I had just finished re-reading Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" and was contemplating the issues and choices that the main character in that story, Guy Montag, had to face as the result of his sudden reawakening and recognition of the morally bankrupt society he found himself in (a society of government mandated book burning and mindless entertainment aimed at pacification), when I decided to pick up a copy of "Forced Conversion" as my next read. To my delight, I found that Mr. Bingle's story, graphic and brutal though it may be at times, centering on a speculative near-future of government-forced conversion of humanity to eternal virtual worlds sustained by self-replicating computers (a nasty, messy, and ultimately fatal process), easily as entertaining and thought-provoking as Mr. Bradbury's classic "451." The story is fast-passed, and like Guy Montag, the ConFoe Derrick is faced with a reawakening to the morally and diametrically opposed (and mutually exclusive as we come to learn) processes of forced conversion verses self-determination (religious, criminal, debauched, or otherwise). The ending is so surprising that, like me, you'll probably have to read it at least three times to make certain your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, at which point you'll gasp inwardly. Afterwards, you'll challenge yourself as to which option would be better: forced conversion or death? If you like thought-provoking and cutting edge entertainment, I recommend "Forced Conversion," and not just to fans of science fiction.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strong sci fi October 31, 2004
Format:Hardcover
In the not so distant future, out of control population growth and exponentially rising crime and disease has made earth a less than desirable place to live. Science has advanced to the point that a mind can be downloaded into a virtual reality utopian world, but entry is one way as the body dies. The Mandatory Conversion Act makes it illegal not to convert.

Most earthlings reside in the VR realms; the locations are top secret and heavily guarded to keep the computers from terrorist attacks. There remain some outlaws refusing to convert; the Conversion Forces (ConFoes) like Derek hunt these renegades down to either kill them or force them to convert. Derek meets a Mal, who believes conversion is anti-religious. Scientists and religious believers who know where the computers are hidden unite to try to destroy the devil's machines.

The protagonist enlisted into the ConFoes because his paraplegic sister would have movement inside the VR realm. He plans to join her once his enlistment time ends. He hates the real world where he detests his fellow troops who are violent sociopaths and is forced to kill those who try to murder him because of the uniform he wears. There is plenty of action that flows to and from Derek while readers will also ponder the ethical issues that raise the overall quality of this strong sci fi.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking fun November 18, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Ask this question: What price would you pay for a life of eternal bliss to the end of time? Your body AND your soul? In creating a story around this question, Forced Conversion earns its five-star review.

In the realm of "near-future" science fiction, Forced Conversion is on top of the game. The battle between the Confoes, whose supposed earth-saving mission is to convert people from the "pain" of flesh and bone to the "heaven" of chosen, endless virtual reality inside a computer chip, and the mals, those "zealots" whose religion is to save the body and, more importantly, the soul from conversion, and the loss of choice, goes beyond weaponry. It's a battle of and for the heart of humanity. This author has made it clear that, as with most issues, there is no clear right or wrong, but a true answer lost in shades of gray. Along the way, Forced Conversion provides the thrill of the chase, of confrontation, and frightening resolution. And we see the ingenious way this author uses trappings of today's society, in humor and in poignant satire, to show that what is portrayed in Forced Conversion is not just fiction, but frighteningly possible. To the end, Forced Conversion leaves you wondering, and enjoying, the possibilities of what has happened to the not-too-distant society. But the most enjoyable fact about Forced Conversion, is its can't-put-it-down, can't wait-to-pick-it-up-again story. Along with the thought-provoking, creative story, it's just plain fun to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining read February 11, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to expect after reading the blurb of this book, but it was different enough to make me want to read it and I'm glad I did. The situation that the main character finds himself in and how he has to wrap his mind around situations foreign to him made for good storytelling. Not heavy science fiction, but a story of a possible future and how a man must face things that he is not prepared to face. I look forward to Bingle's next novel, I know I'll be reading it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Forced Conversion
An okay story, but very formulaic, I knew the "twist ending" was coming at the very beginning, there is very little depth of character development, but for $0. Read more
Published on February 23, 2013 by Kyle
4.0 out of 5 stars Fiction and inevitability
Forced Conversion, by Donald J. Bingle, is a compelling read. I know it's fiction, but it has us from page one, where we're pinned down behind a splintering Ponderosa pine right... Read more
Published on January 19, 2013 by Anne Veague
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I read through this in one sitting, not because it's that short, but because it kept me interested to the point I didn't want to put it down! Read more
Published on January 11, 2013 by J. C. Parodi
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
This is a very good apocolyptic sci-fi story but it does have quite a lot of intense violence. If that doesn't bother you...go for it.
Published on December 22, 2012 by renunciate
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing finish
I never saw it coming til it was too late to put my kindle down. Not that I would have. If only this were not plausible it would not be as scary. I enjoyed and hated the plot. Read more
Published on December 16, 2012 by By k. Rudkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Very unique concept!
I really, really like where the author went with this one. Twists and turns and was riveting without having to have a load of sequels. Read more
Published on December 12, 2012 by Justin Sanderfer
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing story with a nice twist.
Quite an intriguing action story with a twist ending I frankly didn't see coming. Not a profound book, just straight entertainment of the cross-country, post apocalypse sort.
Published on November 20, 2012 by D. Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars What if.....
I love the tales that take you a world of "what if...". What if this was or became a reality? This book really gave you a shock... ending in a mind provoking "what if...".
Published on November 16, 2012 by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this milfic scifi book
My favorite genre is milfic but I also read scifi, so when I saw this book, I thought I would give it a try. I am glad I took the chance. Read more
Published on October 27, 2012 by Virat
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.
I was quite excited about this book after reading the description and the fact that one of my favourite authors (Robert J. Sawyer) gave it a great review. Read more
Published on September 17, 2012 by L. Mishchenko
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More About the Author

Author of Net Impact, a spy thriller which incorporates real-world conspiracy theories, GREENSWORD, a dark comedy about global warming, and Forced Conversion, a military science fiction novel set in the near future. Also author of a variety of short fiction in the science fiction, fantasy, thriller, horror, steampunk, romance, and comedy genres, including stories in the Dragonlance and Transformers universes and in a variety of DAW themed anthologies. World's top-ranked player of RPGA Classic roleplaying game tournaments from 1985-2000. See my writing and gaming resumes at www.donaldjbingle.com., including a listing of the more than thirty anthologies in which I have stories. Some of my previously published stories have been collected by theme in my Writer on Demand TM series and published on Kindle, including Tales of Gamers and Gaming, Tales of Humorous Horror, Tales Out of Time, Grim, Fair e-Tales, Tales of an Altered Past Powered by Romance, Horror, and Steam, and Not-So-Heroic Fantasy. My award-winning short memoir, Father's Day, is also available on Kindle, as is Gentlemanly Horrors of Mine Alone, the ninth story in Mike Stackpole's Chain Story Project.

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