This illustrated selection of thirteen stories by John Newcomb Crain is a record of hallucinations, waking dreams and nightmares, inhabited by space explorers, lovers, ghosts and monsters. Some are human, others non-human. None of them have been approved by the thought police.
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Inspiration for the stories in this anthology has come from wide-ranging sources. The literary inspirations include Kipling's Just So Stories, Orwell's 1984, the work of Franz Kafka, and the so-called "golden age of sci-fi" pulp fiction. One story is partially inspired by the movie The Blob. Another has influences from both Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land and Hesse's Siddhartha. Above all, inspiration has come from the events and progression of my personal life and observations.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I write by the seat of my pants, rather than developing a plot ahead of time. As a result, my characters are born of their own accord, as are real people, who come into the world, find their purpose in life, and have a final page with the words "The End" on it. I also believe something of the author is contained in all their characters to varying degrees.
"I did something so vile today that it cannot be named. No one saw me do it. I will never go to trial or be punished. You might suppose I would feel remorse, or regret, or some other flavor of guilt, but I don’t. Not a shred. And I don’t suppose I ever will. But that’s just me. Someone else might be driven to madness, perhaps even suicide. They might turn themselves over to the authorities, confess. But not me. Never. I am not burdened by conscience. No memories trouble me, but neither do they comfort or please me. Memories are meaningless, for they lack reality. Reality is blood flowing through a vein; blood running down a slaughterhouse drain; the sound of a cry beating a tympanum of flesh, marching its way to a fevered brain.
My eyes close, and I sleep."
From the short story The Bureaucrat.
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