Karl Dandenell’s story “Comes the Tinker” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 28 October 2016.
My stories usually start from the ending (what I want to see happen) or a setting (where can my characters play?). “Comes the Tinker” was one of those tales that fell into my brain as both images (the Tinker and his cart with mechanical horses) and sounds. I was in the middle of tracing my wife’s ancestors from England to the Midwest, and ran across names like Thankful, Eleazer, and Beulah.
I knew I wanted to use them in a story.
My desire in “Comes the Tinker” was to explore the traveling salesman trope, and set it in a future where nanotech had been discovered and then lost (at least for some). That led to the inevitable questions of how and why? Then I needed to address the mystery of the Tinker himself. Where did he come from? What does he want?
Finally, I wanted to write a story that felt more languid than my usual rushed prose.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I set down the initial draft after watching Firefly for the first time.
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