Alexander Marshall: Selected Writings Volume 1
This isn’t a book like any other you’ll encounter. In fact, if you picked this up expecting only some gripping stories with emotional pay-offs, you might want to consider whether you want to go any further: yes, there are some gripping tales and there’s plenty of emotion, but the framework in which you’ll receive them is probably not what you were expecting.
What does ‘framework’ mean in this context? It means that, apart from the narratives themselves, there are some odd references, illusions and connections which may have you searching Google to see what’s ‘true’ and what’s not. You’ll find parallel realities here, but not of an obvious kind; you might even begin to question the nature of your own reality a little. Which is the point, I think: Marshall wants to entertain in both conventional and unconventional ways; he wants you to think, to look, to step back, to question. And to have fun with all of that, to see where it leads you.
You’ll be taken on fast-paced trips to the stars; you’ll see distant futures; you’ll journey to alternate realities. You’ll meet larger-than-life as well as ordinary heroes and heroines; you’ll travel to the past and into fantastic forests full of the strangest things; you’ll get to know people who might be real as well as people who are decidedly not. But, perhaps more significantly, you’ll start to wonder about the boundary between fact and fiction, stories and truth, reality and illusion.
‘Metafiction’ is defined in the dictionary as ‘fiction in which the author self-consciously alludes to the artificiality or literariness of a work by parodying or departing from novelistic conventions and traditional narrative techniques.’ But in practice there can be a bit more to it, as you will find out, if you read on.
Or you can put the book back on the shelf and never know…
Here's what's inside:
The Next Chapter
The Next Chapter: Some Background
Tales from Emerald: The Golden Kuru
The Gatekeepers: A Guide Episode One: Unworldly Girl
A Meeting with Fred McGee and Joe Colby
Doctor Zennik and the Cerebrachrone
Difference of Opinion
Black Marvel’s Downfall
Raven Stark and the Mollusc-Man
Seed of Death
The Dragon In Winter
Missing Notes: A Slovakian Tale
Appendix A: Miracle Characters
Appendix B: Who Was Tobias Green?
Appendix C: Who Was Bernard Crispin?
Appendix D: Genet: Some Background
The Prologue of The Sword Sundergost
I hope you find your way out safely...
—Grant P. Hudson, Editor