Black Rain for Christmas
Scott Malensek is from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to his military and political interests, he is also an avid aviculturalist. He has worked all over the United States, but still lives in the Cleveland area.
His first novel is Black Rain for Christmas.
Black Rain for Christmas
An American spyplane mission goes awry, and a U.S. Marine pilot goes down. Once again, the United States finds itself stumbling into a war with China and North Korea. To make matters worse, the enemy has complete access to the new American MILNET communications network.
Scott Malensek relates:
I wrote the book's chronology in 1997, but the events are strikingly similar to today’s headlines. World War III starts by accident when an American spy-plane mission goes bad, and a USMC pilot gets trapped in a winter covered North Korea. The subsequent rescue attempt should have gone as smoothly as the Scott O'Grady mission in Bosnia a few years ago. Unfortunately, the North Koreans have secretly gained access to the US' new computer intelligence and communications network. The rescuers are ambushed, and the two countries begin their slide toward war.
One of the best things about the book is its realism. I used the latest military technology found in magazines like Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and from different industrial trade magazines. I spent a year mapping out the events of the war! Using force strengths listed in the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), I was able to fight World War III-virtually. Whenever there was a naval battle, a dogfight, or a shootout, I used video games from Jane's Publications to see how the sides matched up under different conditions. I also used Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six to run through different infantry combat scenarios. To get a little feel for being shot at in the bush, I played paintball games.
All in all, I've spent almost 4 years developing the story. To tell it, I use three main characters: a USAF Gulf War F111 bomber pilot, an unscrupulous international investor and a fresh out of training USMC 2nd Lieutenant. The war moves along throughout the story through small news articles to highlight parts of the chronology. The businessman and the pilot move the book along too, but most of the book is actually diary entries from the Lieutenant.
The diary entries were nice because they let me illustrate delicate situations without having to draw conclusions or force my personal opinions on you, the reader. Those types of situations include young men and women in trenches together. 18 Year-old Marines who can kill, but can’t legally drink. There are examples of racism and reverse discrimination among officers, and drug use in the ranks. The personal issues involved in killing other humans are also discussed, and there's a nice example of how fast unit morale can deteriorate in the face of hunger.
The purpose of this book is simple. I'm not Sinophobic, and I'm certainly NOT a war-monger. I’m a very happily married 32 year-old man. I love my wife, my family, my dog, my birds, my home, etc. I would NEVER want anything to happen to any of them. I am also a student of history, and I think it would be foolish to imagine that mankind as a whole has reached a point where war is now beneath our capability. As I read about at places like Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Rwanda, I think the evening news proves my point. Sooner or later, the U.S. is likely to get into another struggle. This book should serve as a warning that even though the Soviet Union is gone, there still realistic threats today.