Now available in e-book and paperback


In this surreal road novel, Anthony searches for the father he’s never met: Andy Kaufman, the legendary song-and-dance man from the ’70s. There’s a few problems here, of course. A) Andy Kaufman died in 1984, and B) Thanks to a recent cancer diagnosis, Anthony doesn’t have much longer to live, either. However, new evidence has come to light that questions whether or not Kaufman is actually dead. Could he be in hiding, after all these years? Anthony is determined to discover the truth before his own clock runs out. During his travels, he will encounter shameless medicine men, grifters, Walmart shoppers, the ghosts of Elvis and Warhol, and the Devil himself.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Max Won't Let My Kevorkian Novella Die

So my novel, Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman, has been released from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. I didn’t realize this at the time, but Max Booth III is using my work to destroy reality. If all goes well, any foundation the human race has in its understanding of the world and universe will be entirely dissolved by Yule. I attack complacency. I offend arrogance. I animate stasis.

This is my familiar battle—the old war song I keep humming.
I shout my story to the sun; It’s all there is left to do. I can’t bring my lost ones back to this world, nor can I bring back myself; however, I can keep laying down prose like planting thorn bushes. No one may read this. Everyone might. I cast it into your oceans like a message in a bottle. I have no vanity. Pain destroyed my ego.

 --Excerpt from Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven by T. Fox Dunham

Whims birth most of my stories. Ideas hit my head like thrown stones. I see something that appeals to my quirky and demented vision, and it starts a chain of plot, ideas, concepts. I had heard Doctor Kevorkian was an avowed atheist. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what would happen if he landed in Heaven? And thus, a new novella ripped out of the mental womb. I wrote it for PMMP’s One Night Stands, employing an eccentric humor that I learned from Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut. Darkness was the secret to their hilarity. To all their humor there was a frightening undertone. Both were horror authors writing in a comedy club. I sought to contribute to this style. I selected Doctor Kevorkian and figures from his life as the protagonists, and I wrote my own story in a third narrative: my battle with cancer at 18, a battle I wasn’t supposed to survive. 

Doctor Jack Kevorkian gives up on death with dignity, hangs up his hanging bottles and lets the gas out of his lethal gas. Instead, just before he dies, he decides to obviate the need for mercy killing by curing the human race of the common death. He composes an immorality concerto then promptly dies and arrives in heaven, much to his annoyance. 
The idea for an immortality engine had circulated his thoughts since his youth. The nothing first smacked him like a low-flying blind buzzard while he served as an Army medical officer during the Korean Police Action. (Not a war.) He’d grown furious watching Korean children die when blood supplies ran out and watching the devastation of the Korean county, and after suffering constant nightmares of the Armenian massacres that drove his family from their country, he determined that there must be a way to end humanity’s addiction with dropping bombs from jets and shooting holes in healthy bodies with slugs of lead propelled to lethal speeds by rapidly expanding gas. He knew the sedative effect music held over him, especially the classic pieces of his god, Bach, and he determined that as a doctor it was his duty to humanity to achieve a piece of music that would fill human hearts with such joy that would come together and no longer fight over things like religion or who was allowed to sell hotdogs. In countries that practice a form of government called Communism, the state told the people who owned the hotdogs and who could sell them. This upset capitalist countries who wanted to own all the hotdogs. More people were killed during the Cold War over hotdogs than the pigs slaughtered to make them. This affronted Jack Kevorkian, who came to believe that poverty and mortality drove all war, and if death could be cured, so perhaps could war and practically all physical suffering.

--Excerpt from Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven by T. Fox Dunham

He meets God—a Jerry Garcia hippie moron who means well. They watched together as immortality freezes the human race. Without death, there is nothing to strive for, to overcome. People turn into statues. They freeze into the universe.

I’ve struggled. I’ve fought and clawed. People create illusionary walls for themselves, carving out their own prisons in the fabric of their reality. This is what I sought to express in the novella and my novel about the legend of Andy Kaufman. I’m a bit crazy, but I’m also free. Dying freed me, and I’ve existed with the threat of cancer since. It came back in September, but I’d made a promise and beat it again. Now, in about a year, if it comes back again, it will be the last time. Guess we’ll see.

Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven is now free to read online.


Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’
                                              —Ode on a Grecian Urn
                                             John Keats. 1795-1821

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