Huckleberry Fang

By Mark Twain & Carl E. Reed

Draft 91 Posted Date: 4/29/2016

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Weird Fiction

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About the Book:

THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FANG is a reimagining of Mark Twain’s THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN as a Southern Gothic novel. The book is replete with all manner of undead and weird goings-on. Within the pages of AHF the reader will encounter vampires, witches, ghouls, ghosts, zombies, etc. The titular protagonist of the book, Huckleberry Finn, is bitten by his “pap” early on and suffers the curse of lycanthropy. He becomes a werewolf and adopts the name “Huckleberry Fang” as his gang name when initiated into Tom Sawyer’s band of robbers. The text closely follows Samuel Langhorne Clemens’ classic novel, albeit the plot is now one punctuated by outré occurrence and macabre incident. Huck Fang runs away from the widow and his pap and meets up with escaped slave Jim as they travel downriver into the heart of darkness that comprises the slave-owning, pre-Civil War South. AHF, though obviously not the same book as HUCKLEBERRY FINN, presents itself as the genuine article. This is very much by design. Without a page-by-page comparison of both texts the reader may well forget that he is reading an altered version of the book—until one of the aforementioned outré incidents occurs. In this wise the book may be considered (in the terminology coined by Philip K. Dick) a “fake fake”: not the genuine article masquerading as its own counterfeit, which is one definition of the term; but something subtler, more slippery, trickster-like: a counterfeit text that announces its fakeness while lulling us during the reading into engaging with the text as genuine; in fact as Mark Twain’s own words—until we run across a textual passage we know very well simply could not have existed in the original. This reimagined novel is thus its own möbius strip-like ontological category that perplexingly mimics, while simultaneously undermining, consensual reality. It is both true and untrue, genuine and a fraud, at one and the same time.

About the Author:

Carl E. Reed joined the Marine Corps in 1981 at the age of 17 and worked the next four years as a photojournalist in the Far East. Upon discharge in 1985 a succession of sales and marketing jobs followed. He has done improvisational theater, poetry slams and 1,000-mile rides on a succession of V-twin motorcycles. He last worked as an educational consultant for Loyola Press. His poetry has been published in The Iconoclast; short stories in Black Gate and newWitch magazines. He has published six books with Book Country to date. He and his agent are currently shopping a recently-completed 268-page manuscript of new and previously-published stories (Night Terror & Other Weird Tales) to interested publishers.

Author's Note:

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