In the future, when Darwin's laws of evolution are judged insufficient by the minds of the creatures they have produced, an artificial intelligence is assembled to seek out a new set of characteristic traits suitable for perpetuating human life. "The Horties" brings a happy American family of four, average in every respect save that they are all invisible, into the focus of this investigation. The members of this family, known only as Dad Hortie, Mom Hortie, Girl Hortie and Boy Hortie have their own ideas regarding the merits and drawbacks of invisibility. They are unwillingly drawn into a izarre web of relationships involving Poison Pie, Man of the Mushroom People; Seventeen, formerly a robot; Alton, a reluctant zombie; and Eugenia, a sorceress intent on casting the last, great spell to reduce the sum total of misery on planet Earth. Each is interested, in their own way, in understanding the relationship between invisibility and the suffering that pervades human existence. However, some of these individuals view the well-being of the Hortie family as a necessary and acceptable sacrifice in pursuit of ambiguous goals that are only unveiled in fits and starts as the investigation unravels.
All of the major characters in "The Horties" have been rendered in felt fingerpuppet form and can be viewed at the Poison Pie Publishing House.
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About the Author
David J. Keffer was born in Kansas City, MO. He pursued a technical education earning a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. After a year as a post-doctoral scholar at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., he began his career as an engineering professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he remains today. He has published about 90 technical papers in archival journals. Outside of engineering, David Keffer studied world literature and creative writing. He has published analytical articles on the works of Primo Levi and Kobo Abé located in the Scriptorium of The Modern Word site (http://www.themodernword.com/). He created various reading aids to several classical Chinese novels (http://tinyurl.com/3k8n9qm). Over the past two decades, David Keffer has been active writing novels, poetry and stories. Several novels and illustrated stories are available on the web at http://www.poisonpie.com. David Keffer lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife, Lynn, and two children. As a family, they enjoy hiking through the local mountains and are always on the look out for poison pie and other ambivalent mushrooms that dot the landscape.
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