ForewordCy Dethan creeps me out.
Oh, sure, you meet him at comic book conventions and yes, he's a big, tattooed handsome man – unsettling on every level to your average ageing, balding comic editor whose idea of exercise is walking his cat – but I learned a long time ago in this business to try never to judge anyone on looks. After all, when you talk to Cy Dethan, he's quietly spoken (or he always has been when I've talked to him), polite, pleasant, intelligent, and you go away thinking, what a charming man.
And then you read his horror opus 'Cancertown' or the story you have in your hands now, 'The Indifference Engine' – a gripping, nihilist alternate reality adventure – and you start wondering just what makes this man tick.
Because Cy has a knack for creating creepy, edge-of-your-eyesight characters – the sort of creatures you'd overlook in everyday life who you really, really shouldn't, because they hold the keys to the Universe. Or, in the case of Alan Blake, who's the centre point of this story, several Universes.
You ignore such characters and the terror they might bring to your cosy life at your peril.
So I'm wondering – is it really safe to pair Cy Dethan with an up-and-coming talent like artist Robert Carey and let them create their own Universes, populated with psychotic superhumans and omniscient computer intelligences?
Be warned – this duo leave you wondering how safe your own reality is. They will creep you out.
John Freeman is a long-time British comics writer and editor whose achievements include The Science Service with Rian Hughes, editor of the monthly anthology comic STRIP Magazine and Managing Editor of the mobile comics publisher ROK Comics. He is unsettled by weirdness, which is a bit of a worry having worked in comics publishing for over 25 years. He tends to believe it's real.