Trumpery Resistance

J. Steven Young

Book Cover

GENRE

SATIRE SCI-FI ROMANCE POLITICAL ACTION

    Core Theme

    EMPOWERMENT.

    TIME PERIOD

    Future

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE CAMPAIGN, TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE, THE DICTATOR

    CHARACTER LIST

    MACKENZIE DILLON: 159. LEAD. LGBT+. ENFORCER FOR DAMPNUT.

    LORDE DAMPNUT: 200+. CHANCELLOR OF THE NEW REPUBLIC.

    DAMIEN PINCER: 200+. VICE CHANCELLOR OF THE NEW REPUBLIC.

    NATE WALTERS: 35. LGBT+. LOVE INTEREST.

    JONNY MCCORD: 100+. ENFORCER. MACKENZIE'S SUPERIOR. SECRET MEMBER OF THE RESISTANCE.

    PORNIA DAMPNUT: 100+. LORD DAMPNUT'S IMMIGRANT WIFE.

    Logline

    When political parties have failed, the Oligarchy tightens its grip to hold power. A puppet leader who can’t be controlled has devastated the nation and put the population against one another. In a future 150 years from now, the climate of today has reached its limit.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal,LGBT Leaning

    Setting

    New Republic (Old New York City, Space station)

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Tasicas-Young Press (self imprint)

    Year Published: 2019

    Starting Description

    A young soldier's earliest memories have begun to surface, and it’s grown exceedingly difficult to deny the truth about his masters. Do the walls that surround him represent security or enslavement? Is it possible that he’s been supporting a malevolent force all along?

    Ending Description

    The hero managed to escape the destruction of the space station after killing the malevolent madman who destroyed the nation. He must catch and destroy missiles launched against sovereign nations as his resistance on the ground has begun to take control of the Republic.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1943924455

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity,Nudity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Rebellion Against 'The One'

    Main Character Details

    Name: MacKenzie Dillon

    Age: 159

    Gender: Lgbt

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Masculine,Badass,Charming,Sexy,Complex,Heroic,Educated,Leader,Decisive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Lord Dampnut

    Age: 200+

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Crazy,Complex,Villainous,Narcisstic,Outspoken,Criminal,Sarcastic,Unapologetic,Leader,Greedy

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Damien Pincer

    Age: 200+

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Villainous,Patriotic,Religious,Power Hungry,Outspoken,Secretive,Leader

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Nathaniel Walters

    Age: 35

    Gender: Lgbt

    Role: tempter

    Key Traits: Narcisstic,Charming,Sexy,Engaging,Blunt,Seductive,Sarcastic,Visionary,Educated,Funny

    Development Pitch

    As a feature film, Trumpery Resistance offers a fresh take on ‘political action’, transporting readers to a dark future that’s all too foreseeable from today’s tumultuous vantage. Defiant on all levels, inward and out, it’s a cautionary tale that’s wildly entertaining. In a twisted version of a future where the New Republic that used to be America is run by ageless ex-Presidents and the white elite, there is no room for those who are different. The protagonist has to face coming to terms with who he is, what he believes and who he loves, all of which threaten to get him killed. He is not alone in his desire to make changes. A resistance is started from within and with help from outside the walls that surround the nation, the world wants to bring down the powers that be, each for their own reasons. This is political satire, science fiction, dystopian, and a call for change all wrapped into one. Lord Dampnut is an anagram. Imagine if a madman did away with Presidential elections and made himself Lord Chancellor for all time with the aide of life extending technology stolen by Space Force.

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER, LGBT, POLITICS, ROMANCE

    Brief

    After a young soldier's wiped memories begin to resurface, he discovers that he's been serving malevolent forces all along. With this new knowledge, he secretly joins the Resistance and together, they make a plan to retake the country and bring peace, unity and equality to all.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: FAIR

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The Book Profile reflects the book quite well. However, the Short Summary section feels slightly choppy. It touches on the beginning and end, but not so much of the in-between. It could be beneficial to include several sentences about the Resistance and MacKenzie's relationship with Nate before delivering the story's climax.

    Draw of Story

    On the other side of the Trump administration, it's easy to enjoy this story's satire. But while it feels relatively safe to laugh at what could've been, the suspense and action is easy to engage with because the ex-President's influence still exists. The story strikes a nice balance between satire and thriller, delivering a core message of empowerment and resistance to fascism.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Generally, the story is engaging, relatable and approachable. That said, there is a lot to keep track of both in terms of plot points and character. Across the board, it feels like the characters would all benefit from further development. Perhaps some of the supporting characters could be combined to help streamline the focus a bit. For instance, the story might be able to exist without either Tinker and Scarlett. Where the characters cannot be combined (like in the case of Lord Dampnut and Pincer), it might be wise to dive into things like motivation, goals, wants and needs to make them pop more. The best villains are often those who are humanized. Despite the source material, getting into the characters' heads would them stand out, and make them more approachable overall. In terms of plot points, it may be interesting to explore the set-up a bit more. At a few points, like when we're introduced to the idea of avatars, it feels like things are added for convenience rather than necessity. It may helpful to remember Chekhov's Gun theory: if a gun is presented in Act I, it needs to go off by Act 3. This also stands true in reverse.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    Aside from the sci-fi elements, the story is largely relatable. It's easy to imagine this world and the negative implications a New Republic would have on so many. Additionally, the LGBT+ relationship is intriguing because heterosexual relationships still have an unfortunate monopoly over mainstream media (although seemingly less so than decades prior). The subject matter is also on-trend and generally approachable and engaging.

    Fanbase Potential

    Because of its strong anti-Trump message, this would certainly appeal to a more liberal audience. It might also appeal to fans of dystopian stories like The Handmaids Tale, those who enjoy big-budget adventure pieces and fans of political thrillers. In terms of target market, it feels like this may be best targeted to Millennials and perhaps older Gen Z-ers as well. It might also have some international appeal, because of the way it handles the US political arena, classism and equality.

    Awards Potential

    Based on the satirical genre, it's difficult to imagine this having Academy Awards potential, but it's possible that it could have Golden Globe potential, or depending on the chosen format, Emmys potential. That said, there is likely below-the-line potential, for the required special effects and nuances like costuming.

    Envisioned Budget

    LARGE BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    THE CAMPAIGN, TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE, THE DICTATOR

    What’s New About the Story

    The story's originality largely comes from its satirical approach to America's political climate. To this reader's knowledge, the Trump administration hasn't been tackled to this extreme in a standalone feature or TV format yet. And not only does the story deliver a strong message on democracy and equality, it does so with one foot in a sci-fi, tech-heavy world, which balances things a bit. To make it more unique might mean deeper, richer character development. For instance, a deep dive into MacKenzie and Nate's relationship in an anti-LGBT+ world could help elevate things. Putting a little more weight on the emotional aspect of this could help temper the satire a bit as well. The Handmaid's Tale could be an interesting study. While it's certainly not satirical, it does do an excellent job of setting up stakes and tension early on.

    Lead Characters

    Each of the antagonistic characters is obviously and closely related to an actual political figure, which makes them intriguing from the beginning. The comparisons are always strong enough that we end up sticking around to see how the author will portray them satirically. In terms of MacKenzie, Nate and the others, we stick around because it's easy to root for them. They are the characters most closely aligned with the audience, which makes them relatable and approachable. However, generally it feels like we only touch the surface of true character development. Doing a deep dive into these characters is likely to make the story feel more well-rounded and complete overall.

    Uniqueness of Story

    Although the story is intriguing, it doesn't feel like a rare gem quite yet. In order to get it there, elevating the character development is likely the key. Diving into things like motivation, goals, likes and dislikes, etc. will make the characters feel humanized, and thus more real and natural on the page. The deeper the character development goes, the more we'll relate to them. And the more we relate to them, the more we'll root for them with the appropriate levels of tension and suspense peppered in along the way.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Streaming TV Series: Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    Generally, it feels like the bones are here but the story still requires some work in order to be ready for adaptation. For instance, we'd need to better understand the characters in order to accurately portray them on screen. And although there's a good balance between satire and sci-fi, it feels like some of the set-up is missing, which makes certain plot points feel slightly convenient. Going deeper into these things, altering the structure a bit so the beats better fit either the feature or TV format could help elevate the project. Finally, putting a bit more weight onto MacKenzie's relationship with Nate could help enhance the stakes and the tension as the primary plot line unravels.

    Tips for Improvement

    Elevating the character development is likely key. Exploring the characters' individual motivations and goals could be a great place to start. It might also help to humanize the antagonistic characters a bit, to help them feel more natural on the page. Additionally, streamlining the plot line a bit and focusing a bit more on set-up could help the story feel more well-rounded, and thus more suited for adaptation. Referencing a plot outline tool could be helpful in determining what is necessary and what may be ancillary. It may feel like '101,' but it still often feels useful. As previously discussed, the potential is here. But a bit more work on the execution, with adaptation in mind, could go a long way. Best of luck!

    Brief

    After a young soldier's wiped memories begin to resurface, he discovers that he's been serving malevolent forces all along. With this new knowledge, he secretly joins the Resistance and together, they make a plan to retake the country and bring peace, unity and equality to all.

    What We Liked

    The project is socially relevant, and equal parts satirical and sci-fi. At its core, this is a direct message to the Trump administration and an empowering story for liberals, the LGBT+ community and those who wish to preserve US democracy in the chaos of political turmoil.

    Film: In order to successfully translate this to the feature format, it feels like the story needs a bit of a deep dive into character development, and the plot needs to be streamlined a bit. Put simply, there's a lot to keep track of here and with the confines of a feature, perhaps not enough time to do it. Pulling out the most important plot points and ensuring that they're properly set up, exploring character relationships and motivations and figuring out a definitive end point are all likely required in order to ensure success.

    TV: In many ways, this is the LGBT+ equivalent of The Handmaid's Tale, but with the added benefit of sci-fi elements peppered in. Additionally, the story doesn't seem to have a concrete starting or end point, which means that the source material is rich for exploration. And make no mistake, there is much to explore in this world, both in terms of character and plot. This iteration of the world ends on a cliffhanger, leaving ample room for expansion and continuity.

    Key points:
    Socially relevant.
    LGBT+ narrative.
    Political themes.
    Satirical.
    Suspenseful.

    Synopsis

    DILLON MACKENZIE works as an enforcer in the New Republic, where he follows the lower caste and prevents them from rebelling. He tries to quell his attraction to fellow soldier, NATHANIEL.

    Mackenzie begins to recall memories from his childhood, before he was taken away from his parents to serve the Elite. At the Great Wall, Mackenzie watches the latest press conference and takes a bet on how long LORD DAMPNUT’S new Press Secretary will last.

    Mackenzie watches as a girl who has just reached puberty is carted away, to have her virginity sold to the highest Elite bidder. He is approached by COMMANDER JON MCCORD. He leads him into a pre-Republic ‘Fake News’ printing press and shows him a news printing of the first days of Lord Dampnut’s Cleansing.

    After rifling through the rest of the artifacts, Mackenzie notices a door. Behind it are more artifacts, all labeled ‘Real News.’ McCord pushes Mackenzie to watch old recordings about the end of the United States. He watches the last democratic election, and the great Unifying event that solidified the Elite. Mackenzie is distracted by a scream and emerges from the room to find a middle-aged Hispanic woman being accosted for harboring black market goods. The Enforcers locate her young children hiding behind a cart and pull them forward.

    McCord tells Mackenzie that he’s been chosen for the Resistance and slips him a book called New Polari. The presence of the children brings back a memory for Mackenzie, and he oversteps his authority by asking the men not to kill them children. McCord chastises him for displaying emotion, but soon promotes him to a role better suited for Mackenzie to communicate with the Resistance.

    Mackenzie is honored by VICE CHANCELLOR PINCER. He encounters Nathaniel again and struggles with homosexuality in a world where it’s been outlawed. Mackenzie is introduced on stage and given a pin by FIRST LADY PORNIA DAMPNUT. McCord slips a second pin into Mackenzie’s pocket. Nate slips a card into Mackenzie’s pocket, and they make plans for the following evening.

    Mackenzie arrives home to find a box of spy gear from McCord. On his first day at his new job, Mackenzie vows to stop the mistreatment of children. When he gets a chance to look at the private data chip from the United States, he learned that the President orchestrated the Unifying event that would bring an end to democracy.

    Mackenzie arrives to meet Nate, in disguise. After Nate takes the stage to sing a song, he introduces Mackenzie to TINKER, SAMUEL, and SCARLETT, all of the Resistance. He also meets LUCAS (13). A voice sounds in his inner ear and McCord warns him of an impending raid. Mackenzie loses his disguise and pretends to arrive to do his job, after sending Nate to his apartment to disable his tracker.

    Mackenzie and Nate spend the night together. McCord calls Mackenzie to his office and they discuss plans to begin a rebellion.

    Scarlett informs Mackenzie of unrest in what used to be St. Louis. There, he meets Lucas, who produces a dead laptop computer. Mackenzie instructs Lucas to take it to Tinker to get it working again. After Lucas is caught by Watchmen, Mackenzie roughhouses him and pretends to take him in for questioning. They arrive to meet Tinker, who informs them that the laptop will only work in the Wastelands.

    McCord escorts Mackenzie to a state dinner, where he meets an agent from the Old Union. ELI MINSK arrives and presents Dampnut with his pre-republic Hollywood Star. The dinner ends abruptly when Dampnut takes ill, and the guests are all dismissed.

    McCord disables Mackenzie’s shuttle home, and Pincer offers up one of his own fleet. Eli and Mackenzie get on the shuttle, under the watch of Pincer’s men. Eli tries to consult with Mackenzie, but the shuttle begins to crash. Eli leads Mackenzie to escape pods and they land in the ruins of the Midwest. Bullets rain down on them, and Mackenzie learns that Eli has been working with the New Republic from within.

    Mackenzie pushes a distress button while chaos ensues outside. When a door is blown off the escape pod, Eli and Mackenzie run for cover. They find themselves in a crematory of one of Lord Dampnut’s death camps. Lucas appears, along with other members of the Resistance, having answered Mackenzie’s distress call.

    Eli helps cease the fire and departs with this Envoy. Samuel and Lucas tell Mackenzie that the Resistance has the silent support of the UN, and that they’ve been planning to retake the country for decades.

    The Resistance drops Mackenzie off in the middle of a blizzard, so he can be picked up by Pincer and his men. After being questioned about Eli, Mackenzie is sent to court to preside over the sentencing of masses indicted on negatively speaking about the New Republic. Instead of sentencing them to death, he sentences them to labor camps in what he hopes is a favor.

    Mackenzie is on a walk, and he receives a call from Nate to learn that he is being followed. He tries and fails to identify his stalker on his way to meet Nate and a woman who wishes to see him. The woman is one of the women that Mackenzie sent to the labor camps, and she produces a tablet from one of Eli’s shuttles. On a list of materials, Mackenzie discovers specialized missiles for biotech weapons and suspects collusion.

    Word begins to spread among the lower castes of Mackenzie’s work with the Resistance. He is pursued again and taken to the home of an accused Resistor. When Mackenzie learns that there is no proof, he has the man released immediately.

    Mackenzie is cornered by his stalker in a pub and learns that it is his former second in command, HANDSON. Mackenzie is called to see Pincer, who tells him that he is being accused of inciting unrest among the lower castes. Mackenzie asks for proof, but Pincer has none. Then, Mackenzie is promoted to McCord’s position, while McCord is called to diplomatic duty.

    Mackenzie is called into court, where he defends his time with the lower castes. He turns the tables on his accuser, Handson, and gets him charged with treason. He is sentenced to reconditioning and taken away.

    Mackenzie, Pornia and Pincer attend Handson’s reconditioning. Mackenzie is presented with his new office, which has been thoughtfully redesigned by Nate. Nate tries to seduce Mackenzie, because now that Mackenzie is part of the Elite the anti-LGBT+ laws no longer apply to him.

    Pincer and Pornia lead Mackenzie to Lord Dampnut, where he learns that nano-tech has been inserted into him to make him pliable to the Omegas, the true Elite. Mackenzie meets with McCord, who tells him that the Omegas are planning an attack on the rest of the world. He learns that he has been chosen as a part of the Omegas to take down the worst of them. He is instructed to produce whatever Eli needs to conduct a counterattack.

    Nate and Mackenzie try to work out how to get Tinker in a position to help stop the nano-tech. They decide to use Nate’s human avatars, which are essentially optimized robots that are nearly identical to humans. Tinker and Lucas choose avatars, and they sneak into the lab. Mackenzie is looking around when he is intercepted by a soldier. He is led to Lord Dampnut, who instructs him to begin making examples out of the lower castes by way of torture, public executions and whatever else he sees fit.

    Pornia walks Mackenzie to her office and tells him that she’s been having a years-long affair with McCord. Pincer has taken off to find McCord and unauthorized new arrivals. Mackenzie worries for Lucas and Tinker. Pornia promises to go to the lab, if Mackenzie goes to find McCord and take them away from Dampnut. They all are caught and thrown into a cell. Mackenzie tries to find a way out. He’s knocked out by a guard and wakes up in the lab, moments before having nano-tech inserted into him. Handson arrives to do the deed but is soon revealed to be Nate in a Handson avatar. The group escapes just as things begin malfunctioning. Tinker warns them that they must leave quickly.

    They encounter Pincher, who shoots Pornia in the head. Dampnut arrives and his guards drag in Nate’s avatar. He stabs its spine and it falls to the floor. Dampnut and Pincer argue, and Pincer shoots Dampnut dead. Pincer tells Mackenzie that the Omegas will replace Dampnut with a clone.

    Chaos ensues as the group tries to escape. They do so successfully, and Mackenzie learns that Nate turned him into an avatar. Mackenzie sacrifices his avatar in order to save the nano-tech samples and wakes up on one of Nate’s yachts weeks later. The lower caste begins to rise up, and the country begins to try to unify again. But the group knows that the Omegas are still out there, and they ready themselves for another battle.

    About The Author

    J. Steven is the author of nearly two dozen books and lives in Chicago with his husband, Tom, and their Siamese cat.