This month science fiction author A. Lee Martinez opens up a world of possibilities with Chasing the Moon. RT reviewer Donna M. Carter said, “Readers who like their science fiction on the wacky, mind-bending side, à la Douglas Adams, are sure to love this story that examines our place in the cosmos and our need to understand even the most inexplicable things.” Today, the author shares a behind the scenes look at the inspiration for this unusual tale.
Chasing the Moon is a story you aren't meant to understand. It's about a universe too large and inscrutable to comprehend, where nothing is certain and everything our protagonists do just might be (at best) pointless or (at worst) dangerous. In short, it's a story about being human. Except with monsters.
Lovecraftian cosmic horror stories tend to sidestepped the point of view of the monsters. We know that Yog-Sothoth exists simultaneously outside time and space while also being one with every moment. We know that Cthulhu slumbers in his underwater city, waiting for the stars to align. We understand that the mi-go are a race of fungus creatures that enjoy extracting human brains. But we never really know why. Probably because we'd be very disappointed if we did. Not because of the terrifying implications, but because we'd probably discover that they aren't really sure either.
Admittedly, this is hardly a comfort. If our world was consumed by slime monsters from beyond the stars, it wouldn't make it less horrible to discover they didn't have a good reason for doing it. It'd probably make it more horrific. It's one thing to be sacrificed to a hungry fiend from another dimension. It'd be quite another to discover that the fiend bore you no malice and would've been just as happy with cheeseburgers. There's something even more dreadful about that because it says the universe isn't cruel. It's indifferent. Indifference is the ultimate horror. We'd much rather believe that Cthulhu actively despises us than barely notices us fleeing in terror.
But if he did notice us, what would he think? Most cosmic horror is about humans being killed or driven mad by exposure to something beyond their comprehension. Chasing the Moon is the opposite. It's about monsters being confused and beguiled by exposure to humanity. If Yog-Sothoth had to spend a few million years among humanity, how would it change him / her / it? Cosmic horror is a two-way street. I'd like to think so anyway. Though Cthulhu would probably disagree.
- A. Lee Martinez
To learn more about what would happen, you can pick up your own copy of Chasing the Moon in stores now!