Edward Lorn is the author of Keine Solche Sache in Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity. We wanted to know the inspiration behind the story, so we decided to ask Edward. This is what he shared with us –
No Such Thing
I wrote ‘Keine Solche Sache’ almost a year before submitting the story to Sirens Call for their anthology, ‘Twisted Realities: Of Myth And Monstrosity’. I’d read an article on Parthenogenesis, and wondered if I could somehow tie in the Immaculate Conception with cloning. I went into the tale with a certain theme in mind: Proving, or disproving, the existence of a soul in a fictional environment—after all, isn’t that the big fuss over the morality of cloning? I knew I was going to have problems with the legalities of cloning, so I started researching, but found nothing. My answer came in the way of a question that popped into my brain a few days later. “What if the clone is actually born of a woman and not created in a test tube somewhere?” I surmised that idea would bypass any and all concerns had by the public because pregnant women don’t have “things”, they have babies.
Still, the task of actually writing, ‘Keine Solche Sache’, was much harder than I expected. I’ve never delved into genetics or human chimerism before, nor had I ever broached anything Sci-Fi related. So, I decided to just write what I know—people.
The character of Johan Schmidt had been hidden away in my head for some time. A scientist of German decent with family ties to Nazi Germany’s occult research projects during World War II, intrigued me. Johan came to the story fully formed. Johan was an atheist, and would not be swayed from his disbelief. God, and the presence of a soul within a human being, were things to be mocked, not taken seriously.
Clara Jacobs evolved during the piece. I wanted Eliot Von Lennon—who we’ll discuss in a moment—to have a handler of sorts. She needed to be an intelligent and persuasive woman so she could speak for one of science’s greatest minds. I never thought her role would become as large as it did. I won’t spoil the story for you, but she quite literally becomes the “mother of invention.”
Eliot Von Lennon scared me from the get-go. He had a tremendous mind, and a flawed body. His beliefs were solidified in his heart: There was such thing as a soul, and more than one of them resided within him. But, at the end of the day, he was just a person who wanted the sibling he felt he’d been denied since birth.
‘Keine Solche Sache’ is a piece about human horror—the lengths at which humanity will go to be proven right. There are many places our species should not tread, but we do so anyway for the sake of science. My own beliefs are a moot point—and I keep them out of the story, as well—but, I do see the need for scientific research and development. I only hope that we don’t go to far and end up crossing a line that we can never pass back over.
I’m very proud of the finished product. ‘Keine Solche Sache’ was a stepping stone for me. The story proved that I could step outside of my comfort zone and write whatever I wanted. The thought excites me to no end.
Explore the twelve tales of horror and intrigue in Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity and ask yourself, what would you consider a fair price to pay for life immortal… or the chance of life at all?
Would a young woman pass up a shiny bauble if she believed it to be nothing more than a harmless trinket? What transpires once a year in a peaceful and remote village that no one will ever speak of? What better way for a broken man to honor a crippled existence than with a memorial of blood and vengeance? How could a disfigured woman ever dream of chancing across an object that would restore her beauty – and at what cost?
Follow the twists and turns of each writer as they delve into the legends of days gone by, as well as the consequences that are wrought when myths and monstrosities collide with our world.
Contributing Authors include:
Thomas James Brown, Nina D’Arcangela, K. Trap Jones, Amber Keller, Lisamarie Lamb, Edward Lorn, Alexa Muir, Kate Monroe, Joseph A. Pinto, J. Marie Ravenshaw, Julianne Snow, and Jonathan Templar
Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity is available in print and digital forms from these fine retailers:
Keine Solche Sache is a story of cloning, scientific research and humanity’s darker side. The following is a longer look of Edward’s contribution to Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity –
“Parthenogenesis is a dream. Or a nightmare, depending on who you are talking to.” Johan Schmidt said. “Christians call this The Immaculate Conception. They believe that Mary, the mother of the baby Jesus, had never known the internal touch of a man. I believe the lady just cheated on her husband.”
The hotel banquet hall livened with short bursts of nervous laughter. Johan waited for them to subside before continuing.
“No other religion has this belief. Allah didn’t impregnate some unknowing woman. Buddha didn’t tiptoe through the tulips to drops seed in some impoverished house wife. And don’t get me started on Shiva! The Jewish community doesn’t even believe Jesus was the son of God. So, if you’re hearing this, and you are, in fact, Jewish, you think Mary was an unfaithful wife, too. Don’t you? That’s what I thought.”
More sporadic laughter.
“I may be German, but even you must admit I have a point. The Nazis – and yes, my family tree does contain one or two – researched the possibility of this Parthenogenesis. They wanted to make the super soldier, as it were. A cloned man, or woman – they were not sexist – with infinite powers. They theorized that if they could map and control the human genome, then they could unlock the ninety percent of the brain us normal bipedals could not.”
Johan was losing the crowd. He noticed the yawns and the shuffling bodies in their seats. He sighed inwardly. They wanted him to get to the point.
“Toward the end of the second world war, Wolfram Sievers enlisted the help of Doctor Gerhard Strauss, my great uncle on my mother’s side. Doctor Strauss – a man of science and invention – perfected the cloning process fifty years before that abomination known as Dolly was conceived in a vial. Yes, you have a question?”
“Is that the sheep they cloned in Sweden?” A big nosed, college aged boy asked from the middle of the crowd. The guy’s name was Walter Nathan and he had just inherited a cool million from his recently deceased father. Johan knew him from the newspapers.
“Correct. And though Dolly was a solid thesis, she died only two months later. The staff that worked with her, built into her DNA a… shelf life, as you Americans call it, so that they would not have to explain why she’d not lasted.”
“Dolly lived for six years, Mr. Schmidt,” Walter Nathan returned.
Johan laughed. “So they would have you believe. Dolly was an inferior product, and much further behind my Great Uncle Strauss.”
Interested in learning more about Edward? Follow him on his blog.