The Solemn Dream by Charles Mabe is a work-in-progress literary action science fantasy about childhood attachment disorder in adults, healing from trauma, developing helpful perspectives, societal ethics and forgiveness, and becoming a greater person.
After a very unhappy childhood, “Solemn” dies at 25 and wakes up in the space-age afterlife of Heleia, where everyone’s home planet is chosen by the seraphs— demigod social workers and keepers of the peace— based on that person’s emotional and ethical maturity. Here, Solemn chooses to become a young child again, hoping to heal and to finally find a loving family.
Jessi Vargas is a forever-19 bully who lives on Nemesis, the planet for those who don’t care that they’re harmful. Sick of being surrounded by terrible people, she prepares to leave the planet— even though she may not be worthy.
Lu Montsely is a kind and patient humanitarian who hides a terrible past. After a century of effort, she is almost ready to ascend to the utopian world of Themis to join her loving husband. Lu mentors Solemn and Jessi as her final test, and— along with their wise and humorous helper android Iota— they form a small family on Eleos.
But many do not believe that criminals deserve second chances. When the seraphs discover mass-produced weapons, they need the aid of Solemn’s new family to investigate. Solemn soon finds themselves the recipient of powerful abilities that give them a unique role in the growing conflict. And before long, Solemn and family are not only fighting to become happier, kinder, and greater— but also for the fate of the entire Helian afterlife.
This novel is for adults. Although it is not unfit for mid-to-late teens to read, they are not its intended audience. The novel is full of intelligent talk about adult subjects such as social politics, childhood trauma, and therapeutic practices.
It also includes the following:
- Progressive and accepting views on self-identities (LGBTQ+ and other kinds)
- Mild discussion of bigotry and other forms of injustice
- Implied criticism of capitalism; explicit criticism of the criminal justice system
- Non-graphic talk about child abuse and trauma
- Non-graphic violence
- Occasional explicit language
- Non-condemning mention of casual drug usage
Welcome to the home of my (currently-WIP) novel!
Who Am I?
Not much, not yet. My name is Charles, and I live in the United States. I had a very unfortunate childhood and developed complex PTSD and an attachment disorder (I’m doing pretty okay though!). I’m also autistic and have mild cerebral palsy. Even if the United States paid people equitably these days, they aren’t really equipped to help me find work that I can do. So I remain on disability while I learn from and contribute to the internet and its communities.
I spend a lot of my time obsessing over the multimedia arts. I love comics, movies, and video games! I’m always running an online community or three. When I was very little, I began writing stories and songs and drawing pictures. I wanted to be like Don Bluth, but more! Even at that age, I tended to focus a lot of my stories around the theme of being rescued by new family from abuse and abandonment. As my childhood continued to be terrible, I kept channeling those themes into creativity— and I continue to do, even though I’m now an adult.
That brings us to today!
What Am I Doing?
For years and years I wanted to create one master work. It was always multimedia in my head. It’s had a few different versions, settings, and main themes; but one aspect always remained the same— it was about an adult who returns to childhood to deal with their abuse and abandonment trauma, and to find loving new family for the first time. I also wrote a soundtrack for it! I’ve been practicing it on piano for years.
And now I have matured, and the concept has matured. This website features this work-in-progress in the form of a novel. When finished, I intend to promote it socially first— through social workers, psychologists, teachers, and others. I will not be immediately looking for a trade publisher. I hope to get a movie deal, so it can have the beautiful traditional-style animation and soundtrack that I always dreamed up for it.