It came from Michael Gardner

It came from Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner’s story “Renewal” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 15 September 2017.

Metaphorosis September 2017
September 2017

Before writing “Renewal”, I’d read a short story about an immortal couple who were both hundreds of years old. This got me thinking about common fantasy depictions of immortals – vampires, Highlander – where they don’t age, they live forever, and every once in a while they change their identities so they can continue their lives without raising suspicions. Of all the things to get hung up on, I began wondering how anyone today could easily change identities with so much information online, and held by Government and business.

So that got me thinking about reincarnation. As a concept of immortality, it solved the “new identity” challenge. And I soon came up with the idea of a man essentially fathering himself. I thought this concept brought with it some interesting challenges, such as facing death over and over, as well as having a romantic partner become your mother. I was aware that there was a risk that anything I put to paper might simply come across as oedipal and sordid, which I didn’t want, but I decided to start writing and see how it turned out.

The second element that became a key part of the story was my own tendency to dwell on things that go wrong – thinking about what I should have done, and how I could do things better if faced with a similar situation next time. This became a key trait for my main character, and shaped how he approached his immortality.

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