I have a book coming out on Tuesday. It’s a dark fantasy political thriller. Huh what? If that wasn’t a thing before then it is now! Listen: the book has a scene where a demon kills a couple dudes and sticks one guy’s decapitated head in the hollowed out torso of the other dude. The book also has a political prison, the smothering of the first amendment, and a look at how evil convinces us it is a force of good by suggesting that it’s doing all of this with our best interests at heart. So yeah, a dark fantasy political thriller. Can you dig it?
When I wrote the first draft of The Greater Evil, I knew it was my most obviously political book. I hadn’t exactly gone into it with that intention, but when you make the Antichrist the President of the United States politics are going to figure into the story somehow. That’s a given.
But that’s not to say that my other books haven’t been political. (I’ve come to think of Brain Mold as a horror story about the American health care system.) All art is political, on some level or another. The suggestion that art shouldn’t be political is in fact a political statement, because what you’re really saying is that you don’t want art that has a viewpoint contrary to your own.
The majority of The Greater Evil was written before the crazy 2016 election year. And since that time, I’ve detected some strange similarities between the dystopia I dreamed up for my book and the world we seem to be hurtling towards today. None of it was intentional. It was not meant to be a commentary on the happenings of today but rather a vision about how evil (disguised as something upstanding and just) would seek to obtain power through law and order. There’s that blah-blah disclaimer at the start of the book about how all similarities to real people are coincidental and I feel the need to stress that fact (which is kind of sad, if you think about it). My book’s villain President Carpenter is not based on any individual either living or dead. I threw bits of good and bad history into a pot, added my imagination, and the resulting stew is the character. The men who are aligned with Carpenter and those who oppose him are not based on anyone or anything, either.
Unintentional or not, the book has some extra purpose to it now beyond telling a story about monsters and madmen. It’s now my fictional stone to throw at the idiotic giants who loom over us all. And I’m more than okay with that. Because ya know what? I am freaking the freak out about what is happening in the world today.
I believe we should help each other, I believe we should practice basic human decency, and I believe that we’re stronger and wiser when we bring different voices into the conversation. The current US administration represents the opposite of those beliefs. I alternate between anger and terror whenever I think about how they’re handling world affairs. (You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook for less reserved reviews of their job performance.)
I’ve heard that celebrities shouldn’t talk politics. Well, I think that’s bull. They’re people, too, and in America our people are allowed to share their opinions. Now, I am not a celebrity, but I am writing fiction for your entertainment, so I guess some of that ‘shut up’ advice applies to me, too. But I’m not listening. I think it’s important to speak out for what you believe in, especially in times of darkness and uncertainty. Not everyone wants to hear it—some will vehemently disagree with you and even those on your “side” are not always open to further discussion on all subjects. (Speaking personally, I’ve made more friends while discussing the issues over the past year than I have lost because we did not agree.) And anyway, I cannot be one of those people who switches it off, pretends not to see the corruption and hypocrisy, and says nothing about the maddening absurdity of it all. I may lose some potential readers for being outspoken. Hell, I may gain some readers. I don’t know, but it can’t be helped either way.
I respect those who speak their mind and I gravitate towards those who inspire me. I don’t really take away anything from those who remain silent. So, I speak up when I can, I get angry when I can’t help it, and I stand up when I find the courage. I’m trying to do some good in my own way.
Art is political. So are artists. I had briefly considered changing pieces of the book so as not to draw any direct connections to our world today, but I wrote these things because I was afraid of them then, and I’m even more afraid of them now. The Greater Evil has a little something to say. And so do I. We’re not changing to make one part of the readership happy, because they probably weren’t going to like the book in the first place.
With all of that said, I do hope you enjoy the book. It’s dark, weird, and sometimes a little too familiar, but it also features unlikely heroes who choose to resist when the world would rather they remain silent. I’m proud of the novel. It’s my most mature, thoughtful, and angry piece of fiction so far… But of course it still features a few monsters. Because, hey... it’s me.
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of books and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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