I have been exploring concepts that are shared in tales from more than one culture. A lot of them have quite a bit of similarity. So there are tales that resonate in ways that they have become common folk lore for more than a few cultures. Some of these have apparently been created almost the same. Still others have probably been told by travelers and then adopted to a culture’s core tales. Some may have been remembered from so far back that the common origins are forgotten.
While exploring these iconic legends my wife and I started to create a fairly horrific but oddly topical common theme in several of the sets of fairy tales and mythologies. We bantered these tales between us and misplaced or forgot as much as we remembered. While she was quite ill, I started writing this as an entertainment for my ailing wife..
I was also inspired oddly by Mariachi music. Sad horrid tales of loss sung bravely and brightly. So instead of horror, I decided to use all of the elements of horror, but make it a bright tale of constructive choices and high convictions told by a young boy on a background of ancient dark secrets and plots. By telling this story with elements taken from slacker movies with a bright mood overall, I am trying to sneak in the same essence of provocative thought that my wife and I have had bantering these tales between us.
A Fantasy book is an interesting thing. It describes a chosen metaphysics and physics and expects you to follow along with a theology that is rarely one we would choose in life. In this way fantasy is a bit subversive. As fantasy starts to incorporate faith and religion as many fine fantasy stories do, it is inevitable that these intriguing and often dark twists will lift the corners of beliefs that we have firmly tacked down. I delight in this as I feel that a faith should be examined. I prefer a living faith or even no faith at all to one that has been pasted in place. Religions, like politics, when accepted without understanding or compassion, have a bad history of leading towards war and hatred.
With this story that incorporates, ancient myth, fairy tales and a range of belief systems, I have set it in another seemingly mythical setting. The year 1977. This is the year that Apple, Commodore, and Radio Shack started selling computers to people. This is a time when phone books and paper maps were the guides to a city. This is a time when no one had cell phones. This is the year that the movie “Star Wars,” changed the movie industry and experience. Before this year, only avid readers cared about fantasy or science fiction. Before this year, people often made the choice to stop being nerds as they grew up, since nerds were in many ways a persecuted minority.
I give you the story of Ben, a twelve year old boy who will, I hope, become as dear to you as he is to me.