Faith shapes the landscape, defines the laws of physics, and makes a mockery of truth. Common knowledge isn’t an axiom, it’s a force of nature. What the masses believe is. But insanity is a weapon, conviction a shield. Delusions give birth to foul new gods.
Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken–men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality. High Priest Konig seeks to create order from chaos. He defines the beliefs of his followers, leading their faith to one end: a young boy, Morgen, must Ascend to become a god. A god they can control.
But there are many who would see this would-be-god in their thrall, including the High Priest’s own Doppels, and a Slaver no one can resist. Three reprobates–The Greatest Swordsman in the World, a murderous Kleptic, and possibly the only sane man left–have their own nefarious plans for the young god.
As these forces converge on the boy, there’s one more obstacle: time is running out. When one’s delusions become more powerful, they become harder to control. The fate of the Geisteskranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath. The question, then, is:
Who will rule there?
Where to start? Well, I guess at the beginning…
My parents passed along their love of books. Without them I wouldn’t be here. Literally and literarily.
Being the spouse of a writer cannot be easy. We’re moody, lock ourselves away for months on end, and often get grumpy when reality drags us from the fantasies we’re building in our demented little minds. Or maybe that’s just me. And so… Emma, my love, thank you.
Someone once said a wise man can count his true friends on one hand. Actually, I think it was the bassist from Iron Maiden. Anyway, I have to use a second hand, so I guess I don’t qualify. Truth be told, no one has ever accused me of wisdom. I have been blessed with a truly amazing and supportive group of friends: Richard Height, Ken Iliadis, Hans Leuschner, Rich Little, Dave Stephenson, and Peter “Zed” Zosimadis. A better group of dudes in all the world there is not.
Thanks to my test readers, Richard Little (who read the book almost as many times as I have), Richard Height, and Kristopher Neidecker, who pushed me to create the wiki for this novel (http://michaelrfletcher.com/beyondwiki). Check out Kristopher’s blaagh at http://klneidecker.com/. Their feedback helped make this book what it is.
I left a fifteen-year career as an audio engineer to write books, and promptly became destitute. SpringGage hired me on as a project coordinator and continues to employ me even though I spend most of my time writing books. Apparently the idea of patronizing the arts is not yet dead. Thanks!
A special thanks has to go out to my amazing agent, Cameron McClure. She called my novel viscerally disgusting, my characters repulsive, and then offered to represent me.