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Images (c) 2001 Frank Wu


Illustration for the story by Paul Di Filippo in Fantastic Stories magazine, Spring 2001.  The story is about, among other things, a group of corporate bad guys, members of a so-called Phineas Gage society - named after an unfortunate soul who had a railroad tamping rod shot through his skull.  He lived, but his personality was changed from nice guy to socialopath.  The members of the Phineas Gage society replicate this neurological damage.  They shoot inductees in the head with a nailgun, replacing the missing brain tissue with electronics.  Who needs the moral centers of the cerebral cortex, anyway?  One of the devices at their disposal is a remote control-type invention which can "freeze" people or animals, including the tiger and the lady in the drawing.

A note about nudity: I use it only sparingly and purposefully in my work.  I believe that sexuality is a God-given thing (male and female He created them), but is too often exploited and trivialized in our over-stimulated culture.  But here I wanted to use it to emphasize how the bad guys in the story are lording it over both the animal kingdom and other people.  I believe that we have been given dominion over the natural world, and, for some of us, authority over others in some matters. But we should assert that responsibility with caring, justice and mercy, not selfishness, greed and megalomania.

These are two of the other illustrations I did for this story: