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God Drug
Stephen L. Antczak
Marietta Publishing, 201 pages

God Drug
Stephen L. Antczak
Born 20/07/1966 in Salem, MA, Stephen L. Antczak grew up in South Florida where, besides dodging the local reptilian fauna, he was an avid reader of comic books, Encyclopedia Brown, Tom Swift, and the Heinlein juveniles. A creative writing class at the Univ. of Florida, under Smith Kirkpatrick, led him to expand his writing to short fiction. Singer for the punk rock band Officer Friendly, he also co-published (with author James C. Bassett) a punk-influenced sci-fi 'zine: Science Fiction Randomly. Antczak has sold some 35 odd stories since his first sale of "Rise and Fall" to the original anthology Newer York. The Twilight Zone genre tale "Reality," made the Preliminary Ballot for the Stoker Award. Antczak had two screenplays optioned in 2001, and had a treatment for a comedy sci-fi series optioned in 2002. He is also developing an original werewolf/superhero comic book called Nightwolf, with artist Georges Jeanty. In 2003, Antczak co-wrote the award-winning short film No Witness, which was based on his own short story of the same name. He also co-wrote and co-starred in the feature-length movie Twisted Issues, which was hailed by critics as one of the "25 Must-See Underground Movies of the 1980s." He also directed the Atlanta debut of the play A Girl's Guide to Chaos, which garnered excellent reviews and sold out every performance. His novel God Drug is due out in 2004 from Marietta Publishing. Daydreams Undertaken, from the same publisher, collects fifteen short works of which 11 have been previously published. Antczak lives in Atlanta with his extremely supportive girlfriend, Suzi, and their six pets.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Daydreams Undertaken
E-texts: "Imitation Process Cheese Food Substitute for Love"
Marietta Publishing

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Nathan Brazil

'The General tunnel-visioned to a past that wasn't even his past, a battle he never fought, a war that never happened. That didn't matter.

It had happened, if only in Jovah's reality. Jovah's reality was all the reality the General needed. In it, helicopters were dragons, Sparrow was the world, and the General was pure fire.'

God Drug is small press publication, from a company, writer and artist who are trying to give us something a little bit different. Niche, is the word that springs to mind. Sometimes, that can make for a refreshing change, among the formulaic mass market fodder foisted upon the book buying public by the mainstream. At other times, such titles are a reminder that some big league editors know what they're doing, and filter out books that aren't quite up to scratch. God Drug falls somewhere in the middle.

The premise is that a military-made drug, based on LSD but far more powerful, has led to the creation of a small group, fractured personalities that are aspects of the soldiers who took part in the experiment. Jovah was the only survivor, and he was rendered both insane and unable to exist in the real world, due to the detrimental effect of his perceived reality. For example, he thought that sunlight would burn him, so it did. Senses all messed up, he was placed in a sensory deprivation tank, and forgotten. Now, the splinter personalities are on the loose in the real world, working toward the ultimate goal of recreating reality. Jovah wants to be reborn into a world he never knew. If at this point you're confused, and thinking that you may have been accidentally dosed with an hallucinogen, then you're probably just where the writer wanted you to be.

God Drug features a cast that falls into two categories; people who never were but are now partly real, and a small town America bunch of recreational drug takers. The former include Hanna, the embodiment of beauty, and the General, who is, by design, an off-the-shelf Dwight T. Nukem the Third Vietnam veteran. The latter group are centred around Sparrow, a Kate Moss-like singer in a local band. It's an interesting mix, with a concept built for exploration. The story is helped along by over 20 Chinese-style full page line drawings by Andy Lee, which are scattered throughout the text.

After a promising start dealing with the nature of reality, the story becomes more of an action based acid trip with predictable themes. The characters from our existing reality are presented as being members of contemporary counter culture, but play punk music and live like leftover hippies. The unreal characters are also based in the here and now, but experience nightmares of their participation in a fantasy version of Vietnam. Whenever they close their eyes they're back in a war that never happened, except in the mind of Jovah. Often talked about but not seen, the sole survivor of the God Drug experiment is a shadowy presence that never quite comes into full view. Ultimately, I found this rather frustrating. Jovah was such an interesting idea -- a broken man trying to create a reality in which he could literally come back to life -- but seemed to fade into the world of lost plot devices, as the story diverged. What remained was an okay short novel, that wasn't as fascinating nor original as it should've been.

Copyright © 2005 Nathan Brazil

Nathan Brazil
If Nathan Brazil were dyslexic, he'd be the dog of the Well world. In reality, he's an English bloke who lives on an island, reading, writing and throwing chips to the seagulls. Drop by his web site at

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