Collapsing Into Life was long in gestation, passing through several distinct versions over the years. It was based–very loosely–on the circumstances a close friend of mine found herself in way back when. To me, it felt like she was living in three places at once. No, she’s not Melissa, but her situation did stimulate my thinking for this story, which went well and truly off-piste. And yes, we remain close friends to this day.
I’m generally known (not well-known, but still) as a science fiction writer, but from time to time I do stray into other genres. In fact around 20% of my fiction fits elsewhere. My published work includes ghost stories, an eschatological fantasy, and other pieces that are plain unclassifiable. Collapsing Into Life is a case in point, but also a maverick in its own right. What is this story supposed to be? A case could be made for literary science fiction, but then again maybe it’s a psychodrama featuring a delusional protagonist. As the story’s author, I was never entirely sure, which in some ways was part of the fun of writing it. In any case, does its genre matter? After all, the story is the story, however I (or others) choose to classify it. But narrative ambiguity can make a finished piece difficult to market. Most editors prefer certainty, which is fair enough. So I count myself fortunate indeed that Cracked Eye took on Collapsing Into Life and assigned Rachelle Meyer to illustrate it. You can always tell the quality of a publication by the value that’s added. Cracked Eye and Rachelle added loads of value to this story. The illustrations – some of them animated – are superb throughout, giving the story a graphic novel feel.