Welcome to the beginning of a dark fictional journey. These are my themes:
Power imbalance. Abuse of power. Greed and violence. The need for control. Conflict between the desire for freedom and the need for security. Fear of change. The struggles of the heart and the dark corners of the mind.
For reasons that I don’t entirely understand, most of what I write involves some form of slavery. Maybe it’s because it runs through the entirety of human history and embodies so many of our eternal conflicts. It’s also a subject that’s been swept under the rug in the belief that it belongs to the bad old days before we became thoroughly civilized. But slavery still exists.
My stories are, in a sense, fantasies. Hidden Boundaries and Crossing Boundaries are set in an alternate universe rather than the world we’re familiar with, one where slavery is the norm. The two books are part of what I call the Hand Slaves universe. Privileged Lives is near-future science fiction. In some ways, it’s themes overlap with those of the Hand Slaves universe, but it takes place in a future that could be easily where we’re going right now.
Moving my characters into another universe or into the future gives me the freedom to concentrate on the personal aspects of the assumption of power and the loss of freedom, and examine it from different perspectives that aren’t tied to the specific facts of our world. It allows me to highlight the questions of what it means to be human and what it means to believe that some humans are worth so little that they can be owned and used as if they were objects, or destroyed in the pursuit of one’s own goals.
Why do I focus on the dark corners of humanity? There may be some answers that only a psychiatrist could winkle out, but the reasons seem pretty clear to me. First, I’ve always been an outsider. It’s in my nature to observe rather than participate. I watch and learn, and ponder what I’ve learned. Second, war, violence, and injustice have been part of my world since I was old enough to be aware of them. I was just old enough to be aware of the end of WWII, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Nazi death camps. Peace be to the people who prefer to look at the world through rose-colored glasses and tell us that humanity is evolving into something better. That isn’t what I’ve seen and it isn’t what I’m seeing now.
I have no illusions that what I write will change the world in any way. I’m not even sure that it makes me feel better. I just hope that something I write will make someone think about things they’ve never considered before.
Email: darkboundaries at gmail dot com
My writing blog: Tracking the Words
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