Soulsaver by James Stevens-Arce

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Synopsis

Juan Bautista and his partner Fabiola Mu–oz drive a FreezVan for the Suicide Prevention Corps of America. Their job is to race to the scene of a suicide, put the body on ice, and rush it, siren yowling, to the Saint Francis of Assisi Resurrection Center in time for repair and resuscitation. Usually this works and the former suicide promises to sin no more, if for no other reason than the pain of being resurrected is even worse than that of committing suicide. Still, the suicide rate seems to be climbing. Juan loves his job, and he loves the spiritual leaders who created it, Reverend Jimmy Divine and the beautiful woman called the Shepherdess. But when he's asked by them to spy on his partner, suspected of being a heretic believer in the Twin Messiahs, he's no longer sure who or even what to believe-and he's no longer sure that all the suicides are really suicides.
 

About James Stevens-Arce

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A graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana Campus, where he earned a B.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Theatre, as well as completing three years' doctoral work in film and theatre, James Stevens-Arce has sold and published twenty pieces of short genre fiction (science fiction, horror and fantasy) and one novel.His stories have appeared in such national publications as Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and Amazing Stories, as well as in a number of original hardcover and paperback anthologies in the U.S., Italy, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom, including the prestigious New Legends anthology edited by Greg Bear.His novel Soulsaver shared the 1997 UPC Award for Science Fiction, cited by renowned British SF critic, historian, and Science Fiction Grand Master Brian Aldiss as "the most prestigious science fiction award in all of Europe."Stevens-Arce has worked as a writer-producer-director of film and video -- television specials, film documentaries, and close to two thousand television commercials, for which last he has won two regional Emmy Awards, three Telly Awards, silver and bronze medals at the New York Commercial Film Festival, and twice been a Clio Awards finalist.Jim began his professional career in film as assistant director on the award-winning television special for Chase Manhattan Bank, Tempo 70. He subsequently directed the documentary-style television specials Festival en Bogotá, featuring Puerto Rican pop stars Nydia Caro and Danny Rivera, and Casals en Catedral, featuring world-renowned classical cellist Pablo Casals.As writer-editor of the television special Diario de Vietnam, he shared in a Best Documentary nomination from the Directors Guild of America (first non-English-language film ever so nominated). In addition, his half-hour documentary Felma Helton: Meter Maid, which he wrote, produced, directed, shot, and edited, won the Best Documentary Award at the first Champaign-Urbana Film Festival.He scripted an award-winning original teleplay titled "What is a Puerto Rican?" for the bilingual (English and Spanish) sitcom "Mundo Real," produced by Connecticut Public Television and directed two San Juan stage productions that made their respective best-of-the-year lists -- The Killing of Sister George and They're Playing Our Song.Stevens-Arce grew up with two native languages, English and Spanish, both of which he reads, writes and speaks fluently, the result of having a father from Illinois of English, Irish, Scottish and Dutch descent, and a mother from Puerto Rico, of Spanish ancestry.Though born in Miami, Florida, he called San Juan, Puerto Rico, his home for many years and completed his grade school and high school education there. He currently resides in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
 
Published September 18, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 272 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Soulsaver

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Divine's secret bastard son, Juan Bautista, has just started a great job with the Suicide Prevention Corps of America, scraping up the bodies of recent suicides and speeding them to Saint Francis of Assisi Resurrection Center for healing and soul-saving.

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SF Site

And Stevens-Arce's ideas do this very well indeed, provoking thought not only about the hypocrisy of present-day Christian fundamentalism, but the historical hypocrisy of the Christian Church as a whole, where concern for the welfare of a soul hasn't always implied concern for the welfare of the ...

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