An Unsanctioned Pastiche Parody


The Point in Time:
A Moment Beyond Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

*     *     *

The Cast of Characters:
Enough to Fill a Russian Novel

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The Story:
    The World of the Looters...
    The World of the Strikers...
    ...and When Worlds Collide     

*     *     *

Where no one need ask,
"Who is John Galt?"
Because now, they know.

(No spoilers)

[Excerpted from the chapter, About The Book]

Reduced to its essential premises, Atlas Snubbed is a pastiche parody sequel to Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged,  weighing in at approximately a third its size.

I call it a pastiche parody for several reasons.  First off, it is pastiche in every sense of the word; for not only is the book meant to be a tribute to Ayn Rand and written in her style (at least to the limits of my meager ability), it is also a patchwork of "sampled" phrases and situations excerpted from her novels and other writings.  Devoted fans of Atlas Shrugged will recognize how I relish taking the words of one character and placing them plausibly into the mouth of another, usually one who is likely to be a philosophical opposite, much like parents who hear their own words coming from the mouths of their babes—and not always in the most complimentary way.  No surprise, then, that this novel is also a parody; and not merely a lampooning of Ayn Rand's writings and writing style—replete with long sentences sporting several semicolons, em dashes, and adjectives—but also an extrapolation, a sighting along the philosophical lines drawn out by her that end in some surely-unintended, yet plainly-foreseeable consequences.  In other words, it's as much a lampooning of the philosophy portrayed in the novel as it is of the novel itself.  So while there may be wry humor, poor puns, and alotta alliteration liberally littered throughout the book, overall it is a respectfully serious parody, oxymoronic though the concept may seem.

The genesis of this novel came on the heels of my 2002 campaign for Pennsylvania Governor under the Libertarian Party's banner, spawned and spurred by the combination of two key factors: Firstly, Ayn Rand is the philosophical matriarch of the Libertarian Party.  In fact, in order to be a card-carrying member of the party, it has always been required that one must sign the following oath: "I swear, by my life and my love of it..."  Uh, sorry.  Just kidding.  Actually, the oath is: "I hereby certify that I do not advocate the initiation of force or fraud to achieve political or social goals," a pledge paraphrased—do you hear me? Paraphrased—from John Galt's epic speech in Atlas Shrugged.

Secondly, and more importantly, as the Libertarian candidate for Governor, I repeatedly found myself in a position where I was forced to defend Miss Rand's philosophy to the public at large, a task I ultimately found in part to be impossible.  Not that I wasn't up to the philosophical challenge; rather my experiences drove home for me time and time again that some of her ideas are simply indefensible.

And so Atlas Snubbed was born.  As envisioned, it would highlight some of the philosophical problems I encountered during the campaign and provide the story of their political solutions as I saw them.  That statement bears repeating: this is a story of political solutions, not a philosophical treatise.  I leave such justifications to those who are enamored of them.

Despite its tight connection with Rand's Atlas Shrugged, it is not necessary to have read her book in order to enjoy Atlas Snubbed; it stands alone on its own strengths, although the parody is richer for those who have been exposed to Rand's novel.

The storyline commences with the state of affairs that existed exactly at the conclusion of Atlas Shrugged.  Like Atlas Shrugged, it is set in a fictional 1950s era where global Socialism is prevalent.  The story is a fast-paced, apocalyptic tale of the bloody collapse of Rand's United States, the handful of American cities which survive, and on the subsequent altercations between them.  Each city embodies a different philosophical archetype, one of which is a brand new political concept—the separation of Society and State—an approach which overcomes the shortcomings of all the other archetypes, including many of those of modern day America.

And of course our hero gets the girl in the end.


Ken V. Krawchuk was born and raised in the Feltonville section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the grandson of five immigrant Eastern Europeans.  He attended Roman Catholic elementary and high school, and graduated from a Jesuit university with a B.S. in Physics.  He began his career as a professional computer programmer at the age of seventeen, and at thirty-five he founded a multi-million dollar computer consulting firm.  Seven years later he was awarded the first of three United States patents pertaining to computer database theory.

Mr. Krawchuk read Atlas Shrugged for the first time at the age of thirty, and the ideas portrayed in the book transformed him from a life-long liberal Democrat into an eight-time Libertarian Party candidate for public office, including two record-breaking campaigns for Governor of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Krawchuk has been a member of Toastmasters International since 1997, and has been a professional public speaker almost as long.  He is still married to his first wife Roberta, and they have been blessed with three daughters and two grandchildren (so far), and currently live in suburban Philadelphia.