On my website I’ve set up a section where you can read some of my stories online. First up is a very short one that was was written for, and published in, the convention program booklet for Conflux 4, 2007. I was asked to write something about Mary Shelley and her most famous novel, Frankenstein. I think the editor expected a piece of non-fiction, but she seemed quite happy to receive the piece of meta-fiction that turned up in her inbox. In it, I was trying to incorporate in a metaphorical manner a variety of issues arising from Mary’s iconic creation.
My dear Mrs Shelley,
I confess to harbouring some doubt as to whether I should call you by that name, now that Percy has drowned — dying, as all Romantic poets should, before reaching his thirtieth year. You were never his, you know. He was monogamously wed to his own extravagant fancies and by keeping his name you stand perpetually as one of them. In truth, he gave you so little. You should revert to Godwin – “God’s friend” in the Old English. That is more suitable.
For you are God’s friend, Mary. He has been watching you these many years. Watching as you created him, watching as the world’s vision aggregated upon your words like crude barnacles upon the pristine hull of a great liner. They coarsened the image, of course, those cultural parasites, but such mythologising was inevitable. Truth will out, even in fiction. I have seen how your story evolved. I have lived it.
Read the rest of “Dear Mary” here.