Adam Bender is an award-winning journalist and author of speculative fiction that explores modern-day societal fears with a mix of action and romance.
Adam's latest novel is The Wanderer and the New West, a dystopian western about lawlessness in near-future America. He's also the author of two dystopian sci-fi novels about government surveillance: We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Adam adapted his first novel into a screenplay and has written several short stories.
In his day job as a journalist, Adam has covered politics and technology for Communications Daily and Computerworld Australia. He has won multiple investigative reporting awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Specialized Information Publishers Association for his telecom and internet news coverage.
Despite how this all might appear, Adam is generally a rather modest and amiable fellow. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Mallika, and he'd be happy to have a craft beer with you at the next Phillies game.
Learn more about Adam at WatchAdam.blog and @WatchAdam on Twitter!
What's the story behind your new novel?
The Wanderer and the New West reinvents the Western novel with a dystopian outlook on a possible America that fully protects the rights of armed citizens to stand their ground.
After writing two dystopian novels about totalitarian governments, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the dangers of the opposite situation happening -- too little government and too much deregulation. With so many terrible shootings happening in America and a lack of political will to do anything about it, I decided that guns was the issue I wanted to tackle. The Western genre seemed the most natural way to tell the story, and I was excited to try to modernize a genre that is classic but perhaps too associated with the past. By combining the fun action and adventure of that genre with a very current issue, I hope I've created an entertaining book that also contributes to the gun debate.
What's the story behind your We, The Watched series?
My novel We, The Watched and its sequel Divided We Fall is dystopian fiction about a nation where the government keeps close surveillance of its citizens. There is no separation of church and state, so the government isn’t just looking for criminal activity – they are watching for anything they deem to be heresy, which is a great blanket term.
The story came from my feeling somewhat helpless in the wake of 9/11 as the US government passed a series of national security laws to increase surveillance called the PATRIOT Act.
I was fascinated not only by the surveillance itself, but the rationale for it. Everyone was feeling pretty vulnerable and so it was hard not to accept anything that was pitched as preventing another terrorist attack. Besides, how could anyone be against something called the PATRIOT Act?
Seven enters a dystopia where the government conducts mass surveillance and keeps a Watched list of its own citizens. The Church has become as powerful as the State, and people who resist are called Heretics and face execution. Seven's amnesia gives him a blank-slate perspective that helps him see through the propaganda, and he soon gets involved with a group of rebels called the Underground. But this same perceptive power could get him into a lot of trouble with the government police force known as the Guard.
A rogue vigilante seeks redemption in a lawless, near-future America that fully protects the rights of armed citizens to stand their ground against mass shooters and motorcycle gangs. Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2018, The Wanderer and the New West won gold for Dystopia in the 2018 Readers' Favorite Awards and best Western Fiction in the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards.
Read about the next direction of matchmaking apps – exchanging lives! A reluctant groom leaves his bride at the altar by trading places with a man who wants to be married. A series of testimonials by the wedding party shows how LifeTrade can give everyone a “happily ever after."
On his tenth birthday, a boy living on the moon asks his grandpa about the blue planet glowing in the forever-night sky, and why they live the way they do. A short story by the author of We, The Watched.
For years, underground street artist Ignatius has dodged surveillance cameras to spray-paint a dissident symbol: a dark visage with fiery eyes. Dissatisfied with his impact on the totalitarian country he calls home, Iggy sets his sights on tagging the most important government building in the nation. But will the soldiers of the Guard let him get away with it?
A dystopian government orders Agent Eve Parker to arrest her fiancé when he becomes a revolutionary known as Seven. When Eve learns more about the President's plan to broaden citizen surveillance, she begins to question if she's on the right side. Meanwhile, a foreign enemy threatens to take advantage of an increasingly divided nation.
What if a stranger took over the part of your best friend? In "Life Trade," a would-be screenwriter seeks answers after his buddy is replaced by someone new. He discovers a matching website for people who want to trade places.
An amnesiac struggles to conform in a surveillance society where the government keeps a Watched list of its own citizens. Seven’s blank-slate perspective lets him see through the propaganda, but attracts the eyes of the Guard.