Noted historian, Robert Conquest, died today in California. He was 98. I took particular note of this groundbreaking pioneer author, poet, and science fiction buff, since his lone footnote appears at the bottom of page 50, Chapter 3, Arctic Shadow, Watch Eyes Trilogy:
“… Joseph Stalin ‘gives the impression of a large and claylike figure, a golem, into which a demonic spark has been instilled.”
Inspiration for our heroes and heroines can come from many people and places. The inspiration for my villain in all three books in Watch Eyes Trilogy came from Robert Conquest. In researching the facts in history surrounding the Chukchi dog/Siberian husky, I discovered a little known fact about this unique breed in Russian history, thanks to Mr. Conquest’s careful study of Stalin’s horrific purge of the 1930’s. The villainy of Stalin knew no bounds. It struck a nerve when I found out that Stalin focused on the Chukchi dogs and their breeders as well as waging his “merciless campaign against political opponents, intellectuals, military officers — anyone who could be branded an ‘enemy of the people.'” My own demonic spark was born in that moment!
Stalin killed over 20 million people by famine, labor camps and executions. Mr. Conquest’s history was proved accurate when Soviet archives were opened and the information there, obvious. Mr. Conquest had millions of readers; among them, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. “Margaret Thatcher consulted Mr. Conquest on how to deal with the Soviet Union and her former advisers said she trusted him more than any other Soviet expert.”
Arctic Storm, Arctic Shadow, and Arctic Will, comprise Watch Eyes Trilogy. Though this trilogy can be considered frontier fantasy fiction, the fantasy is most certainly born out of fact:
Eternally vigilant, the Gatekeepers focus keen Watch Eyes over all on Native Earth and in the worlds beyond. The spirit of the People, native and pioneer, depends on them. Worlds ever brush past, both human and spirit. Good and Evil are born into each: some become master; some do not. Some suffer greatly; some do not. None from the spirit world can breach the world of humans, affecting anything in the mortal world. No mortal can breach the world of spirits, affecting anything in the spirit world . . . unless . . . their life force, whether created for good or for evil, whether born out of prophecy or fanaticism, naturally grows in power and strength, finally gaining enough momentum to crash through and leave a mark.
The mark of a fanatic grows wider, deeper; his power strengthening. The ice storm is coming.
The Gatekeepers can guard the heavens but they are not masters on Native Earth. The gods can destroy but they cannot mend. The human spirit must prevail over the darkness coming.
I thank you, indeed, Mr. Conquest, for your careful study of Soviet history.