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Beyond the Thieves Pole
The Weight of The Dead by Brian Hodge
© 2013 James LaFond
An excerpt from The Weight of The Dead, a novella by Brian Hodge, was the feature in issue #69 of Cemetery Dance Magazine. The illustrations by Erin S. Wells evoke a world of perpetual late autumn.
This is another offering in the increasingly popular post-apocalyptic genre that straddles horror and science-fiction. This genre has had its appeal since the late 1960s, and over the past ten years has garnered a much broader readership. As with dystopian science fiction and dark fantasy, horror has bloomed in literature and film with the erosion of our culture. Phillip K. Dick’s brand of bent future is now being explored by many hands, and I suspect Mister Hodge’s hand is wielding one of the defter pens.
Brain Hodge is a prolific novelist and short story writer who knows his craft well. Rather than spend pages in the classic sci-fi/fantasy vein laying out the alternate reality, he takes you right into his imagined future from a character’s point of view. The character is a teenage girl whose father has been found guilty of murder by their small community. I do not want to let you in on any of the humanely viewed aspects of this particular setting, as Brian plies his trade so well. Suffice it to say, that in the space that most award-winning authors that I grew up reading would take to outline the story through a blocky narrative, Brian takes us right in. After a scant few thousand words he has fleshed out a convincing community through the eyes of a compelling protagonist.
I will be looking out for the novella.
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