Beyond the Fears of Tomorrow
Beyond the Fears of Tomorrow is the story of a man who is unable to cope with the conflicts and insecurities of the real world. He withdraws into his mind where he creates his own universe and he plays God, sometimes with reluctance. More
Beyond the Fears of Tomorrow is the story of a man who is unable to cope with the conflicts and insecurities of the real world. He withdraws into his mind where he creates his own universe and he plays God, sometimes with reluctance. Once in his alternative universe he tries to create the perfect order of good. However, at the crowning point of his achievement, his universe is destroyed, partly out of what he unknowingly created from his repressed fears. Unable to effect any change he is forced to watch as this destruction happens. This in turn forces him back to the real world, with full memory of what transpired.
By Anthony Haberman
Have you ever wanted to escape life so badly that you simply created your own universe and escaped
into it? Eller, the protagonist of a new book by Casey Robert Swanson, does just that, and it's a fantastic
Beyond the Fears of Tomorrow follows Eller as he slips into the dark void of his own creation and
generates another world from his dreams.
Desiring to create a perfect universe, he starts to sculpt the Home Planet, his reincarnation of Earth.
Swanson gives a glimpse into the primordial plains and forests of our own world as he depicts this act
of creation. The inhabitants of this world are then born from his memories.
We find Eller playing god with his new race of people, and helping them along, Sid Meiers-style, as
they build civilizations and reach out to new planets.
Everything goes dreamily until a new race, the Swarm, is born from Eller's foul memories of our
world. In the end, Eller is jettisoned back into reality, but not before watching an alien starship invasion,
an emperor’s assassination by nuclear wea-ponry, and a priestly thought-bomb ravage his world.
The most remarkable facets of this work are its length (the book can easily be read in a single
sitting), and its poetic form.
“Beyond the Fears of Tomorrow” is written in verse, making it feel like a classical legend, a
Homeresque epic. While enjoying this science-fantasy existential romp, you'll find yourself in Eller's
place, filling in the stretches of history and exploration with your own fantasies. Your thoughts on
creation, imagination, and perhaps even spirituality will be challenged and stretched.
Swanson does a remarkable job of not only putting Eller's story on paper, but also involving the
reader in his actions. Anyone with half a taste for sci-fantasy or free-verse poetry will want to pick of a
copy of this fantastic book.
Biographical background: The author grew up in the Seattle area where he attended the University of
Washington and majored in history and Russian studies. He started the, "Beyond the Fears of
Tomorrow" while he was in college in 1978. He finished the book 26 years later.
His inspirations were Pushkin’s "Eugene Onegin" and Longfellow’s verse. Swanson has always been
a fan of story telling in poetry.
This weekly column is written by members of the Ridge Writers, the East Sierra Branch of the California
Writers Club. Meetings are held the first Wednesday evening of each month at High Desert Haven, and
free programs are offered throughout the year.
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