In From the Cold – Author’s Note

To everyone who’s read this far, congratulations!

This is a story about loyalty.  English author E. M. Forster once wrote, “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.”  If each of us were forced to choose between helping a person in need and serving our country or cause, what would we do?  I don’t know the answer myself, but I, too, would be willing to shake Mark Temple’s hand.

This is also a story about aging, about retaining relevance after your career is over and the world doesn’t have much use for you anymore.  And about loneliness, and about relationships, and about other things.  Ultimately it is just a story, and I hope it has entertained you.

The title is taken from John le Carré’s classic espionage novel “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.”  I thought it was appropriate for a story about two spies trying to find warmth.  I didn’t know when I started that Netflix was launching a series of the same name.  I still know nothing about the series; I haven’t watched it.

The backstory of “Mark Temple” was inspired by the Raymond Davis incident in Pakistan in 2011, which would make a good spy novel in itself.

Monster Musume and its delightful monster girls belong to Okayado, whom I thank for creating a fascinating world.  No infringement on his characters or creations is intended.  I hope he doesn’t mind me looking at the MonMusu world through a slightly darker lens.

I am a fan of the “spy game” genre, especially Cold War-era spy novels such as those of Donald Hamilton.  My choice of 1st-person perspective was motivated by his style.  This story in particular was inspired by Hamilton’s “Death of a Citizen”; retirement can be tough for old spies.

Thank you to my wife for proofreading and otherwise indulging this peculiar hobby.

Finally, I am grateful to the readers and to all the writers here for inspiring the first substantial creative writing I’ve done in over twenty years.  It means a lot to me.  Thank you.






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