This is the only straightforward humour story I’ve ever written, or even conceived. It was driven less by any particular inspiration than the fact that I’d just started a new job after nearly a year of unemployment, and was frantically trying to bring myself up to assimilate the knowledge I needed to do the job and keep up with colleagues who seemed to be so far ahead of me as to be over the intellectual horizon. The elation at being employed again and the sense of being overwhelmed by the job itself combined in a way that I could only describe through the story itself.
Looking back at it, what strikes me is the eclectic mix of information I threw into the story. I can remember startling myself with what I remembered of Greek mythology and then having to check my facts and make a few alterations. I can remember using an old joke I’d never thought was that funny – you’ll know it when you see it – though not when
and why I thought it was a good idea.
The question that really tortures me is whether it’s actually funny, but that’s not for me to say.
Perchance to Dream was published in the Triangulations: Dark Glass anthology, December 2012. It has since been republished by Digital Fiction pub in the Casual Conjurings anthology and as a standalone.
Cover by Manda Benson.