January 14, 2006 12:59 PM
Abraham Lincoln preferred the coffin to the bed.
He curled up in it during the day, wrapped in layers of headed blankets for added warmth.
In it, he felt closer to his work. This was how his children slept.
-- Beginning of "Abraham Lincoln's Children," ©2005 Andrew Zimmerman Jones
Now available in the anthology
edited by Mike Philbin
This story was originally written for an anthology that had a dual theme - vampires and cockroaches. When I approached the story, I did my best to try to find a way to take the concept and look at it from another angle. The result is this "dark science fiction" story about a biologist whose research into cockroaches becomes an obsession. This story features nothing supernatural, no act of violence, and yet in many ways I think it's one of the creepiest stories that I've written.
The story is not about the former President, Abraham Lincoln. I honestly have no idea why, at the time, I decided to choose that as the name of my character in this story. I think there was a documentary about Lincoln on the History Channel while I was trying to come up with a title or something. I know that the reason I kept the name is because it adds a certain level of bizarreness to the tale that helps buttress the rest of the story.
When I read this story at the Banff Centre for the Arts during the fall 2005 Writing with Style workshop, it received a wonderful response. The groups of poets, expecially, seemed to enjoy it. I always knew that poets were a little weird, but their fascination with this dark tale was unexpected for me. The cutest of the poets said that mine was her favorite of the science fiction stories.
See AZJones' work at:
AZJ Essay Appears in
"Exploring the Dark Side of the Rainbow," is out in
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Other stories available in these anthologies: