It came from Matt Hornsby

It came from Matt Hornsby

Matt Hornsby’s story “A Final Resting Place” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 20 September 2019. Metaphorosis

This story came together from a couple of different ideas I had. I remember reading ‘The World Without Us’ by Alan Weisman around the time of a train journey I took across Hungary and Romania, and looking out the window at the landscape – already much wilder than anything in the UK – and imagining it returned to nature completely in the absence of humans, a kind of European Serengeti. Would we recognise such a place, or would it be completely alien? At the same time I was thinking a lot about a central question in environmental ethics, about the value of the living world in the absence of intelligent beings like us to perceive it. That was a couple of years ago, and with the growing volume of concern about environmental breakdown, it feels more relevant. Which is lucky for me, if not for anyone else!

I also wanted to create a distinctive voice for the main character – Salzmann – that was almost uncomfortably analytical, to the extent that mundane observations of the natural world can feel eerie and disturbing. I think some of Jeff Vandermeer’s protagonists were a strong model for this, in the Southern Reach trilogy and ‘Borne’. I’m not sure I pulled it off, but that’s what I was going for.

Everything else just sort of filtered in from other influences as I was writing it. In any case, I hope it’s a good read!

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