It's Christmas time in Pinehurst, Kentucky. The town is preparing for the annual Christmas Festival, when an unexpected visitor arrives, saving a child who falls into the river. Josh seems to have some remarkable abilities, including stretching wood and multiplying food. But he is also changing some of the residents. Everyone sees Josh differently, from the local sheriff who believes he is an escaped parolee, to his landlady who sees a resemblance to her late husband. Is he a Christmas miracle, an alien, or just a trouble-maker? James Bishop's new book The Dissident is a deep look into how we view ourselves, others around us, and reality itself.