ARTIST STATEMENT

While I am published by Columbia University Press (Soldier Dead: How We Recover, Identify, Bury, and Honor Our Military Fallen…2005 & 2008), my true passion is for fiction…in particular, speculative fiction. Think of 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Handmaid’s Tale, to name a few. In this genre, authors write of dissatisfaction with the status quo, often using a future or fantasy world to illustrate woes of contemporary society. Authors, if not careful, can fall into the trap of writing a polemic instead of an engaging literary piece that stirs readers to thought and, hopefully, some form of action. As I craft my work and brand, I often incorporate spiritualism of the kind described by Jung, but incorporated with the work of Joseph Campbell who believed that the archetypes we see time and again are embedded in our DNA, are part of the course of our belief systems. I feel we have moved away from what is truly important—life, spirituality, love of our fellow human beings—and have become caught up in a rat’s race where, despite how hard we run we never get anywhere.My purpose as who I am, a writer, is to call into question entrenched beliefs and patterns of behavior that are held and performed more out of habit (or fear of change) than for any actual good purpose.

Mike Sledge, March 2015