Today in a series of replies to FAQ (frequently asked questions) sent to me by fans (and sometimes not so much), I answer the question “What Was The Inspiration For The I.S.S. Mordrake?“, asked by Marla from New Orleans.
Those of you who have already read my book “Demonspawn” might have paused just a moment perhaps, to wonder why I named the starship which most of the story centers around, “the Mordrake”… and so here it is – the actual inspiration for the name!
“Demonspawn” is a dark gothic thriller sci-fi novel filled with suspense and horror, with a villain I’m proud of! The name of the ship, naturally, was chosen to enhance the overall sense of apprehension, tension and suspense of the story. Naturally, the name of the ship isn’t explained in the story, and I never mention the first name of whomever the ship was named after (for example the USS John F. Kennedy). I write quite a lot of hidden meanings and symbolism into my stories, and quite often, things have dual meanings or implications – and I also leave some things to interested readers to research on their own – and of course, once they learn the origin of these, it adds to the flavor! This is, if you will, a look behind the curtain.
Ladies, gents (drum roll please) I give you Edward Mordrake!
The dreadful and tragic tale of Edward Mordake however, turns out to have been a very successful case of “poetic license” (a.k.a. lying) used by a newspaper journalist in 1895 to boost readership! Presented as fact, it seemed a lot of people were taken in back then – including some serious academics who referenced the only published source for the legend – an American newspaper article. The only seemingly credible contemporary medical sources for what is really an ‘urban legend’ today turns out to have been ‘lay sources‘ – a.k.a. the original syndicated newspaper article written in 1895 by Charles Lotin Hildreth, ‘a poet and author of speculative fiction’.
Regardless of all that er – debunkery, I thought the name was rather unusual, appropriate, and evoked a nice level of spine-chilling horror, so I named Joe Lofflin’s ship after it. To give you a little more of an idea of relevance to the story, parallels are draw in the story between the paradigm that is Edward Mordrake and the mindset of the terrifying villain in “Demonspawn” – the Akx.
Why don’t you read it for yourself, and see? 😉
I hope I’ve answered the question to your satisfaction!
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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.