Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name:  Ray Ellis
Title of book and/or series:  KRACKEN
Brief summary of the story:
The year is 135 New Reckoning. A Godless world is rebuilding itself. When a stranger from Mike Stone’s past appears on his doorstep, his ordinary life is suddenly and violently destroyed. Mike’s past has come back to haunt him. Now with his family attacked and his home destroyed, Mike finds himself running for his life through a jungle-planet filled with terrors and a monster known only as the Kracken.
In the midst of the chaos, Ted Waters launches his plan for domination. In a post-apocalyptic world, Waters sets himself up as the sole leader of the emerging world government. Using children as slaves, he mines a new narcotic used to subdue the people’s will. 
Kracken, the story of two men, two opinions and two bases of power set on a collision path. When the two collide, Mike finds himself confronted by the God he thought he left behind.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The story begins in New-New York set at an undetermined date in the future. The city has grown to encompass all of New Jersey and the south-eastern portions of Connecticut with skyscrapers creating deep valleys and dark shadows on the streets below; and all this atop a hidden world that sinks several kilometers beneath the city street and spread almost as wide.
The action then transfers to the planet Yargon in the Gliese System, near Corot 27b. The planet is separated into two worlds, the deep jungle side inhabited by the book’s titled creature and dominate predator, the Kracken; and the arid desert side where the Sand Serpent, a giant anthropoid, serpent combination that lives beneath the yellow sands.
If we were to visit Yargon as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
The strange fauna is a natural draw for any visitor and would garner the greatest traffic to the deep jungle.  The unique texture of the sands and vibrating rocks is a natural attraction to the desert.  But if you were to visit Yargon, you would have to visit the underground caverns and follow the rivers that run through the caves. Of course, while there you wouldn’t need any lamps or flashlight due to the natural fluorescents in the rocks and water.
What dangers should we avoid in Yargon?
Apart from the Kracken, the dracs are three meter tall, and with 360 kgs of muscle and bad attitude, would represent a real danger to anyone traveling on foot through the jungle. Leathery hide and protruding poisonous fangs makes the drac a hard battle and not easy to kill.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Yargon?
Actually no, the plant life while different is very similar to the fruits and vegetables that grow here on earth.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Yargon?
Beam technology is the tool of the day.  The handheld IMR/S457 Agitator is the weapon of choice for the bad guys. The weapon burns the optic nerves and causes the brain to swell in the cranium, paralyzing the victim on its way to cause neuro-shutdown prior to cranium explosion.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Yargon?
In the city the common means of transport is the hovercraft, which is kind of like a car-minivan-rocket, but if the idea is be space bound, then the inter-orbit ships are what is used.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Yargon that we don’t see on Earth?
The animals of Yargon are many and varied from the 10 meter tall Kracken, to the 15 meter long sand-serpent. The dracs, the gorilla sized carnivores, and the murkurs, a fuzzy wide-eyed plant-eating mammal that has a playful curious nature.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Yargon?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
There is no magic, but on occasion, the supernatural is experienced when the characters interact with the Spirit of God.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Yargon?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Beside form the weapons used, the apartments are smart and equipped with A.I. that builds a relationship with its inhabitants, and builds an environment that is best for the user’s needs.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Yargon.
None come into play in the course of the story.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Yargonas on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
The only celebration is the New Reckoning and is reminiscent of New Years and Fourth of July combined.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Yargon?  Please describe what it involves.
There are two religions prominent, Humanism and Christianity; although the other world religions are still around, but in lower levels and small pockets.
What is the political or government structure in Yargon?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The government is in the beginning of change. The world’s governments and systems of control are all coming under the control of a single man, Ted Waters. Ted Waters is single minded and is set on taking control of the world, he is an Anti-Christ type.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Yargon?
It is only mentioned in the first book, but comes into greater play in the second – which is being written now- but the underground church is a viable subculture and is fighting against the rise of The Company.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?

In a funny way yes, during the two terms of former President Bill I began to observe in him a continued striving to build a legacy of greatness. It seemed to me the more he strove the murkier things got for him. This is where the germ of my protagonist was born, a man who had fallen from the zenith of power and was forced to rebuild himself. To ask the questions what would it takes to rebuild one’s life and what could replace a life’s ambition and ultimately become more than he was before.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
The book deals with the topic of child slavery, child sexual abuse and illegal drug use/abuse.

Author Autobiography

A veteran law enforcement officer, former Marine, and ordained Christian pastor, Ray’s first novel, “Notorious” (previously released as “N.H.I.: No Humans Involved”), was published in 2011. Since then Ray has been selected as one of Idaho’s Top 50 Authors for the year of 2011, and then as a Top 10 Idaho Author in 2012; most recently Ray was awarded the 2014 ACFW, Idaho Chapter Writer of the Year.

When not writing, Ray can be found still working as an active duty officer, speaking to student groups, or teaching Bible studies in his local community.

Ray’s published works include three novels and one short story:
– “I” – A Short Story
– Notorious – A Nate Richards Novel – Book One. Previously released as N.H.I. (No Humans Involved)
– Dead List – A Nate Richards Novel – Book Two. Previously released as D.R.T. (Dead Right There)
– Insidious – A Nate Richards Novel – Book Three.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book? 

All my book are available online: http://www.nccpublishing.com/  
Notorious –http://goo.gl/ZshfR
Dead List –  http://goo.gl/jPVfY
Insidious –http://goo.gl/u3D9z
KRACKEN – http://goo.gl/xaeyo3 
Hastings Book Stores
Where can readers connect with you online? 
I can be reached at my blog at http://truefiction.rayellis.org/ or at my email address at [email protected], Tweeter: @RayEllisBks, FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/ray.ellis.94
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Yargon.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the sci-fi world of Xlamu, in Realm Explorers Part XXXXVIII!
-Annie Douglass Lima