clockworkdollsI’m not a believer in either a God or a benign universe.

I grew up Church of Scotland, R.E. at school, church and Sunday school on Sundays. It didn’t take. I also have a scientific background with a degree in Biological Sciences that leads me to tend towards the “clockwork dolls” analogy of who we are being a complex function of genetics, biochemistry and nurture.

But I have had encounters that I can only class as supernatural that have given me a curiosity as to how everything hangs together, and I’ve had a couple of precognitive dreams have led me to think more deeply about the nature of fate and time.

I wrote this in one of my books, and as a personal philosophy, it’ll do for me:-

Life is an opportunity to create meaning by our actions and how we manage our way through the short part of infinity we’re given to operate in. And once our life is finished, our atoms go back to forming other interesting configurations with those of other people, animals, plants and anything else that happens to be around, as we all roll along in one big, happy, ever changing, universe.

Don’t try to understand it – just enjoy the dancing.

Plus, I like the idea that some of my atoms will be around to see the death of Sol. That’ll be cool.

I covered the territory a few years back in my novella, CLOCKWORK DOLLS.

This one is a bit of a departure for me. It’s darker than a lot of my other stuff, and features a protagonist who is very hard to like.

Dave is a shit; a self-obsessed wanker with few redeeming features. The fact that he reminds me a lot of myself at a certain stage of my life is neither here nor there. He’s also a skeptic of all things paranormal and likes to show off.

I wanted to write about such a person having an epiphany, of sorts, and it took me down some strange alleys, into studies of philosophical discussions, and thoughts of beer, love, and my place in an uncaring Universe.

As I’ve said, it turned out darker than I anticipated, but there’s also hope here, and I learned some stuff about myself in its progress, which was nice.

clockworkdollsA novella from DarkFuse. Does all human passion, all memory, all imagination come merely from the chemistry in our brains, like the movements of a clock follow from the arrangement of its cogs and wheels? Are we just clockwork dolls? Or is there an organizing principle at work, something we can ask for answers to the important questions of existence… something that might answer?

Dave Burns has asked.

Now he, and his friends, might not live long enough to understand the reply.

Full of strong and well written characters, an ever building sense of dread, topped off with a satisfying conclusion. This novella hits the mark perfectly. – Ginger Nuts of Horror

I know William Meikle’s writing chiefly through his pastiches of the work of others, the role of pulp chameleon one at which he is very good indeed and never less than entertaining, but if this is an example of what he can come up with under his own steam then it’s something I most definitely want to see more of. – Pete Tennant, Black Static #34

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