Belated news about another contract I signed with Forbidden Fiction. "The Snake and the Lyre" is a retelling of the Orpheus story. If you'll recall, the famed musician goes to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife, Eurydice. Hades agrees to let her go, but imposes a condition I've always found strange. He says Orpheus can't turn around to look at Eurydice before they return to the world above.
Similar requirements appear in other stories--such as the biblical story of Lot's escape from Sodom and Gomorrah--but it doesn't make sense to me in the Orpheus story. The obvious symbolism is that you can't escape death while looking toward the past, but that doesn't satisfy me here.
My Forbidden Fiction story grew from an attempt to invent a more satisfying explanation for this mystery. Many of my favorite themes surfaced, particularly my ongoing exploration of the consequences of a high and uncontrollable sex drive.
More details when they're available.