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Hypnotic Tales 2013 is an anthology of short stories intended as a travelling companion for the 21st century commuter.
Some of them are light-hearted; others delve into the darker side of human nature. All are written to entertain, inform and provoke thought.
There many varied themes; the difficulties of family relationships are explored, as are the mysteries of paranormal and hypnotic phenomena. And, for those with a liking for Philosophy, there is also a lengthy argument about the nature of consciousness itself … Is reality quite as it appears?
The collection includes 'Attack of the Apache' which was short-listed and highly commended in the 2013 Yeovil Literary Prize short story category.
The anthology is divided into two sections: The Light and the Dark.
The first story in The Light is “The Last Dive” which introduces Jack Gillespie as he makes the most crucial decision of his life … whether or not to end it. He undergoes a spiritual epiphany, chooses to live and heads towards the surface. As he does so, it sets in motion a chain of events that result in marriage and his setting up a practice as a Hypnotherapist in the Clifton area of Bristol.
Jack appears in other stories throughout the collection, most especially: “I Never Saw Emma Again”, “The Bridge across Time” and “Attack of the Apache”. These chronicle some of his most intriguing cases.
The last story in The Dark is “The Simulation Argument” which links back to “The Last Dive” and pulls together the many themes of the anthology. Jack reflects on his spiritual experience underwater as he struggles to save the life of Gerald Finnegan. There is a strong philosophical content to the closing tale as the two men question whether the world of our everyday experience is really as it appears. The story refers to the work of Nick Bostrom, the leading historian of trans-humanism, a term for the convergence between machines and people which goes beyond cyborgs.
In “Freedom of
the Famous”, self-styled master hypnotist Anthony Enigma attempts to become
a celebrity … with disastrous results. Can he escape imprisonment?
In “Master Leonard”, Detective Inspector John Philips investigates a baffling series of homicides in the Bristol Area. Is there a supernatural explanation?
In “The Priest and the Psychopath”, Father Pat McCarthy comes face to face with a dangerous madman; but who is the most at risk?
In “The Fateful Card”, Hypnotherapist Tim Trevelyan faces a crisis of conscience; is he prepared to orchestrate a murder in order to win the woman he loves?
In “Sleep not and Keep the Watch”, Hypnotherapist Maggie Devereux is requested to perform a past life regression by a female client desperate to overcome insomnia. What will this reveal?
In “Drop a Cog”; Welshman Gwen Jenkins encounters extraordinary happenings in the Biker community in his native county of Pembrokeshire.
The many themes throughout the anthology include: computer simulations, past life regression in hypnosis, demonic possession, insomnia and the illusory nature of reality .