The memories and dreams are always the same for Irving Yorke. A spiral descent through unreal architecture. An impression of narrowing. Insane battle cries of “Peel the onion!” ring through every helmet as the ironclad soldiers trudge their way down, layer upon layer, toward the dread heart of the enemy Spherical — towards the antigrav core that transforms the massive steel artifact into a miniature labyrinthine world.
Yorke is just one amid hundreds, another soft adolescent encased like a fool in blue-black armor, molded and trussed into a soldier of the Orthodoxy. Each breast bears the golden Cross of Salvation Not Yet Obtained. Each gauntleted fist grips an instrument of space-age death: barrels ribbed with electromagnetic coil, gaping muzzles and cruciform bayonets to crown the very torture-phalluses of empire.
I love the nightmarish paintings of Irving Norman and this story serves as a kind of love letter to the man.
“The Children of IVA” is the fever-dream tale of a veteran returning to an alien ship, forced to remember the horrible wounds he endured fighting a debased enemy in the name of a ruthless military industrial empire.
I’d been working on the tormented character of Yorke for quite sometime, but my discovery of Irving Norman really gave me the injection I needed to bring the story to life on the page.
To let you know how grisly the tale gets, IVA stands for Impelled Viral Autosarcophagy. So don’t expect to escape from this one unscathed.