Note from Doc Talos author/contest judge R. Paul Sardanas: A fascinating piece of pastiche detective work by Joan Lee, who links the notorious stories and poems by Anais Nin, Henry Miller and George Barker, commissioned privately in the 1940’s by an individual known to them as “The Collector” (later revealed to be Oklahoma oil man Roy Johnson), to an even deeper source…none other than James Talos Jr,. using Johnson as a front. With that fascinating premise as a platform, Ms. Lee explores the perspectives of male and female passion with unique depth and vibrancy.
Comment from author Joan Lee: The writings presented as those of Anais Nin in this short piece are indeed by Nin, culled from interviews and from her commission works for authorial patron “The Collector”. Her works from that commission were collected in the book “Delta of Venus”, written in the 40’s and published in 1977. The shyness with which the character of Doc Talos approaches sexuality and the thoughts of women, as well as his own literary presence in the 1940’s, made a unique conjunction to play with in this pastiche story. I do not reveal what Doc writes at the end of the story for the simple reason that it is your own thoughts, dear reader, that I wish to have you imagine writing in his place. That is part of the mystery and glory of sex: the infinite ways that it can be articulated in our own hearts and minds.
Thank you to R. Paul Sardanas for the invitation to write this story, and for the mirror-images on the title page of Anais Nin and Ron Ely, which beautifully conjure the exchange of thought that takes place between these unique individuals.
Additional note: If you are interested in submitting fiction to the Summer 2021 contest (first prize is a Bantam Doc Savage paperback Czar of Fear first edition, signed by James Bama, and all contestants will appear in a special souvenir paperback collection of the stories) you can read the contest guidelines HERE.