New Fiction: Story by Horace Jeffery Hodges, Illustrations by Terrance Lindall
A few days ago, I announced an upcoming publication of my story, "The Bottomless Bottle of Beer," a Faustian tale of more than fifty pages of text, which will first appear in an anthology, then later as a novella accompanied by another fifty interspersed pages or more of illustrations, of which you can read the first several paragraphs at that blog entry announcement. One commentator asked about the concept behind the story and the process of writing, so I explained:
I was enjoying a beer after exercise last January and had the abrupt thought that a bottomless bottle would be great.Readers will have to be the judge of that, naturally, and the story won't available until later this year, but the video of text and illustrations (8.5 minutes) is still available, along with another video that continues the story (3.5 minutes)! Incidentally, the videos contain plot spoilers, but if one ignores the text and focuses upon the images, the videos can be safely watched.
I then was struck by the further thought that this could make a great temptation story. The Faustian plot was an obvious one.
When I had time in February, I wrote about 50 pages in two weeks and had the entire story. I read it to a friend trained in law because I needed advice on the courtroom scene, and he helped me rework the terminology.
I've spent some time -- when I wasn't busy with student papers -- proofreading and sharpening some points, partly due to good advice from friends.
The story is a cautionary one, of sorts, that questions scientism and postmodernism, but with humor. I try to work in a lot of allusions to other works with similar themes concerning deals with the devil -- or other such arrangements.
There are verbal echoes of Milton's Paradise Lost, Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, Goethe's Faust, Gaiman's "Shoggoth's Old Peculiar," and many other stories. I've put these there to be noticed, but I don't have citations since this isn't scholarship, but a creative, intertextual work.
Most of all, I try to tell a good story.
Take a look, for Terrance Lindall's illustrations alone are worth your time!