“The way things happen, not the great movements of time but the ordinary things that make us what we are, the savage accidents of our births, the simple lusts that because of whimsy or a challenge to one’s pride become transformed into complex tragedies of love, the heartless operations of change, the wild sweetness of other souls that intersect the orbits of our lives, travel along the same course for a while, then angle off into oblivion, leaving no formal shape for us to consider, no easily comprehensible pattern from which we may derive enlightenment…I often wonder why it is when stories are contrived from such materials as these, the storyteller is generally persuaded to perfume the raw stink of life, to replace bloody loss with talk of noble sacrifice, to reduce the grievous to the wistfully sad.” from “Barnacle Bill The Spacer,” by Lucius Shepard.
“[A]mbiguity is a feature of most of my work and I’m used to writing in that mode. As far as the reader’s interpretation goes, I wanted to keep them guessing for a while, but I think that by story’s end it’s pretty clear what’s going on.” – Lucius Shepard
I had a dream two nights after I found out that Lucius Shepard had died. In it I owned a huge, modern house with lots of windows and ramps and angles to the roof, surrounded by a perfectly mowed lawn. I sat in a barcalounger and drank fizzy drinks from wine glasses thin as straws and laughed at those passing by on the busy road nearby, desperately trying to get somewhere in their lives. I watched mummers covered in glitter dance on a wall screen and ignored the cries of those outside. Until I looked out the window and saw that they had all stopped their cars and were crowding on my lawn, erecting a great pavilion of leaves and burlap and scalps. They all shaved themselves and painted each other purple and then massed under the great tent they had built to berate me for trying to wall myself off from the world, until the noise shattered all the windows and the house collapsed around me. That was when I woke up.
Read the rest of this entry