Monday, February 19, 2024

World Walkers

World Walkers

Ever since having a dream that seemed to go on for a long time to conclude with a hammering sound, which turned out to be my dad doing some DIY, I’ve understood that dreams are just the imposition of order at the moment of waking on the chaos in the skull. A dream a couple of years ago dredged up something from my far past. I was an asthma sufferer when young as was my eldest brother and, in the days before pressurized inhalers we used capsule inhalers – devices that punctured a capsule full of the medicine in dust form and which, when you inhaled, spun that capsule around at the centre of a little plastic propeller. The dream, from what I remember of it, consisted of someone inserting dead flies inside black and white capsules for such and inhaler. It transitioned then to this being forced on a captive, and escape to another world. I guess the order and logic my mind was trying to impose was struggling to deal with some fucked up and disparate stuff.

I can think up some weird shit like what appeared in that dream on a moment’s notice. I often do and often write it down and that can lead on to other things and some inspirational writing. It can also feel as dry and dead as a mummy’s bones. But with the weird shit that has made its way into my mind via a dream comes with feeling – like its opened up a lot more pathways in my skull – and I find I can really do something with it. In the case of the dream above it was a novella called Fly Pills.

The novella never felt quite right. The setting was dystopian future of my Owner books but it felt like an incomplete snapshot of something much larger. I was doing far too much telling in it and nowhere near enough showing. I contemplated publishing it in one of my novella collections (Lockdown Tales) but decided that no, it needed more work.

I began that work, writing out those tellings and exploring the past of a far future human called the Fenris and what had been 40,000 words soon reached 50 then 60 and still there seemed to be more I needed to write. At one point I understood that the story lacked an appropriate antagonist, because the simple fight against a dystopia is not enough, and yet, oddly, the antagonist turned out to be another dystopia. Meanwhile Fly Pills was necessarily supplanted by the title World Walkers for this many-worlds doorstep of a novel.

I hope you enjoy it!     

1 comment:

Neil said...

I will keep an eye open for it.

Will you be doing a book signing in London?