Web site staff

First Publish, the company that produced the paper edition of The Heretic, has decided to cease operations. Sadly, that means that the book is, at least temporarily, out of print.

While the online edition will continue to be available through the Happy Hacker Web site, there is still continuing demand for the paper edition. Be patient. One way or another, The Heretic will once again be available on paper in the not-too-distant future.

First Publish's demise was rather sudden, and left no time to either make alternate plans or stock up. That means it could be several months before a new paper edition is available. It takes a while to go from a standing start to a finished book.

Those of you who want to be notified when the new edition becomes available should sign up for the email announcement list. Word will go out just as soon as something is finalized. If you had an outstanding order and have not yet been notified, please email me the details and I'll take care of it.

I want to thank everyone for your continuing support. You've made The Heretic a huge success both online and on paper. I really appreciate those who have gone out of their way to let me know how much they liked the book, and frankly the sales of the paper edition have amazed me. I hope that when the sequel, Council of Shadows, is finished, your support will continue.


Finally, THE HERETIC will be available in both a paper edition and a downloadable eBook edition.

On November 1st, the paper edition of THE HERETIC will finally be released as a 6"x9" softcover. It should be available immediately through, Barnes & Noble, Happy Hacker, and other Web sites, and through your local bookstore shortly afterward.

If all goes according to plan, the downloadable eBook edition will be released at the same time. Right now, the only format planned is PDF, but we're working on including some of the other popular eBook formats.

Contrary to some of the rumors going around, the release was not timed specifically to coincide with the Holiday Gift-Buying Season. We would never stoop so low as to suggest that you buy a copy for everyone you know. It would just be so sneaky to even subliminally mention buying tons of copies to give as gifts during the upcoming holiday season.

Here's a list of suggested reading material for the modern fiction writer. Taken together, it touches on story structure, process, word choice, lifestyle, and dealing with that other world that keeps intruding on the fictional worlds you're trying to create.

What's new

Aristotle's Poetics

This is the foundation on which story is built. If you want a clear understanding of the fundamentals of comedy, tragedy, and story telling in general, this is the book to read.

Sol Stein's Masterpiece

Stein on Writing
by Sol Stein

If you think literature and popular fiction are incompatible, think again!

Sol Stein clearly details key elements that separate enduring prose from forgettable texts and details just how to apply those elements to your writing.

Byte Meets Write

We have to mention it, don't we? This is where Jason's creative side and his technical side come together—in his involvement with Poets & Writers.

Aside from producing an outstanding magazine, the organization does a lot of great work for the literary community and for emerging writers.

Life as a Creative

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
by Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan

Though the spiritual aspect of this book can be a bit thick at times, it offers excellent advice on dealing with your own creative nature.

Creatives are different. Because of this, they often have trouble dealing with the world around them. This book offers excellent advice on nurturing your creative spirit and protecting it from the things that can stifle it.

A Different Approach

Starting From Scratch
by Rita Mae Brown

A brilliant, funny, and highly entertaining book, this is another one that deals more with the writing life than with technique.


Myth as Story

The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
by Christopher Vogler

An ingenious analysis of the basic structure and elements of myth and their application to modern fiction. This book clearly demonstrates the timelessness of fiction and the importance of story structure.


"High-speed action and technical wizardry make THE HERETIC a cyber thrill ride you won't want to end. It'll leave you wondering just how virtual your own reality is."

Fred Willard, author of Down on Ponce & Princess Naughty and the Voodoo Cadillac

"Jason Chapman has put together a phenomenal proposition that crosses every genre from crime to romance. Mixing a little Clancy style with cyber adventure, it's truly a blast for anyone."

Danielle Thorne, A Grain of Salt

"Chapman's cyber-thriller will make even the non-computer literate stop for a virtual 'reality-check.' In an age based on information, you'll have to wonder how much of your own world is truth and how much is just a smoky reflection of some hi-tech illusionary fiction."

Ace Starry, author of The Magic Life

"A prescient view of a future in which cybercriminals dominate the computer security industry. I read Heretic straight through."

Carolyn Meinel, author "How Hackers Break in and How they Are Caught," Scientific American, Oct. 1998.

Fan Mail comments:

"I haven't been as wrapped up in a tale since my Gibson days."

"It was very fast paced and totaly kept my interest the whole way through. I kept telling my self that this was 'movie material'"

"... I loved it; read the thing in one sitting, not a dull moment."

"... the best book i have read in a long time."

"Congratulations on a great book."


by Jason K. Chapman
Publisher: FirstPublish, Inc. 11/2000
ISBN: 1-929925-38-7

Bookstores and other resellers can order the book through Ingram or Baker & Taylor.

by Jason K. Chapman
ISBN 1-929925-38-7

Reviewed by Danielle Thorne

"I can be anywhere in the blink of an eye. I can be in two places at once. Or, when I wish, I can be nowhere at all." --The Heretic

Such are the words of a man without an identity. Without revealing his true name, the Heretic takes his readers on a perilous journey in to the online underworld of virtual reality. In this realm people prosper with fictional bank accounts, and can disappear without a trace. For when there's no record of you to be found, you don't exist. And that is exactly what keeps the Heretic alive.

Imagine a world controlled by one unifying government; an organization that has the power to create and destroy lives. Flowing along wires and bouncing from one satellite to the next, this powerful union does exist, and people IRL (in real life) call it: The Guild. These computer Gods control the world as we know it. Secret identities protect members from corruption, but also harbor the occasional member without a conscience. Corporations turn to them for security, banks turn to them for transactions—but what happens when the monopoly, controlled by the very technicians that created the computer, goes bad?

In THE HERETIC, an ex-FBI agent comes out of his secret existence to finish the computer hacking case that once cost him his job. As the virtual world wide controlling government of The Guild turns against itself, the Heretic must find out who is behind the robbery and blackmail of major corporations all over the country. Leaving his reclusive Montana ranch, he follows the signals to Atlanta where his old Bureau partner is hot on the electronic path. With a hit man behind every corner and his online persona falling apart, it is up to the once scorned computer genius and a FBI wildcard to crack the case online; without being terminally erased in the flesh.

Jason Chapman has put together a phenomenal proposition that crosses every genre from crime to romance. Mixing a little Clancy style with cyber adventure, it's truly a blast for anyone. And yet beyond the fast paced story line, the quality of Chapman's writing is most impressive. It is a pleasure to read, original and creative with prose that jeers at the modern trappings of the ever present, repetitive cliché. With in-depth thought in to the possibilities beyond the computer terminal, and an extensive knowledge of government networking, this novel successfully provides "good eats" for the action-starved reader.

THE HERETIC is an exciting example of what can be accomplished with electronic publishing. It promises to blow away the current underlying notion that e-books will never meet the quality or standards of print. Even if you're not convinced, you won't put this story away until the Heretic finds his way home. After that, plan on joining the rest of his readers in speculating: What does Mr. Chapman really do for a living?

---Reviewed by Danielle Thorne
A Grain of Salt