For many of us, each day’s news headlines bring another wave of anxiety as we look to an uncertain future, and as genre fans, we often divert our attention to tales of the fantastic — on the page or the screen — as temporary escape from the harsh realities of the world around us.
But for many authors, filmmakers and other artists, horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres can provide an important outlet for expressing those anxieties. Jordan Peele’s GET OUT, for example, proves how a well-told (and damn scary) horror tale can shine a powerful spotlight on challenging and critical social issues.
Now, author Terry M. West — best known for his vast monster metafiction series NIGHT THINGS — is tapping into our shared anxieties for his novella ALL OF THE FLESH SERVED, which began life two years ago as a short story, but was vastly expanded in the wake of the 2016 US election.
Set centuries after “The Great Cataclysm,” ALL OF THE FLESH SERVED finds the remains of human civilization deep underground, ruled by a brutal regime known as the “Ministry of the 45th.” If that number sounds familiar, that’s because it is: West’s tale examines a possible outcome (taken to the ultimate extreme) of the policies proposed and/or enacted by the current US presidential administration.
“This isn’t a satire,” West notes. “I have been wracked with fear and anger, and rather than unleashing it on people who disagree with me, I decided to work it out in this story.” His approach is best summed up in the Voltaire quote which opens the novella: “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”
ALL OF THE FLESH SERVED is slated for publication on May 5, and you can pre-order the digital version on Amazon now.