B. Morris Allen’s story “Graven Image” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 7 September 2018.

Metaphorosis September 2018
September 2018

Some stories come all at once, and some come in stages. “Graven Image” was one of the latter. I can’t remember why, but I wanted to write a story about frottage – the technique of creating a design by placing paper over an image and rubbing a colored substance on it – perhaps familiar to some from grave-rubbing. I combined that with the idea of a ship coming to a lonely planet. The visitor, I thought, might come away with a slightly different image on each visit. I still might write that story, but somehow this one found its way to alien temple carvings – indecipherable, of course. From there, it was a short step to the idea that tourism would literally kill the spirit of the place, and that the temple was an actual creature. The details changed a little as the piece moved on, but that was the genesis. I toyed with alternative titles, including “Frottage” and “Hold that Thought”.


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