The Slaves, the second installment of my series The Janus Clan is my most violent novel so far, one that takes the art form of transgression far and beyond, I'm proud to say. A friend of mine told me that reading it had been an ordeal, and I said thank you. He said he had a hard time dealing with all the wounds it opened, and I beamed at him. I want my readers to have a hard time with it, want them to ask themselves the hard, the truly hard questions.
But it’s also, in many ways an upbeat tale, one about empowerment, liberation from enslavement, or at least the start of the long road to true Freedom.
It is extremely violent, an attack on the senses, both mentally and physically, but it has to be, with the story it's telling. It's a tale for adults, in all meanings of the word, one hardly subtracting anything from the horror that is the current human society.
I remember once when I discussed it over the phone with a representative for a publisher. «It’s so rough, so beyond brutal». I could virtually see him sit there and shake his head.
- So what? I aksed him.
He never really replied to that one, except in hopeless generalities. I discovered a startling truth that day, in my youth and naiveté: A story that explicitly revealed the horrors of modern life just wasn’t feasible to established publishers.
Eventually I would discover that a lot of stuff wasn’t feasible to any established publisher. They would speak a lot in public about the need for fighting censorship, but when push came to shove… they would turn away. The obvious reason for this is that they’re an integral part of the public censorship, one bastion of several erected to keep troublesome and truly alternative material from reaching the public.
I am a Storyteller, I want to tell stories, but I’m also a very engaged, passionate human being. I look at the current world and want to change it, change it dramatically, also through my art. Censorship, in all forms has always been one of many pet peeves of mine, and I certainly don’t hold back when I’m writing in fear of what timid, domesticated people may back.
Thanks to David Huxley for the crowd picture, one which turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. Thanks also to Obskur (not Obscure). I didn’t end up using his picture, but it still helped me in the process.
Amos Keppler's stories, poems, music and art published on the web. 99 percent of everything published on the Midnight Fire Arena is done by him.