Postmortem: “Dust”

Yesterday, I’d posted an old bit of orphaned writing that was never finished, written back in 2006, called Dust, An Introduction. I had stated in the forward that, while I acknowledged my debt as a writer to The Gunslinger, by Stephen King, the first in an epic series about Roland (a gunslinger) seeking the Dark Tower, I hadn’t at the time considered it a direct influence on Dust.

A little mouse I know posted the following comment:

This is good, but it is very close to the gunslinger. The last law like figure chasing a mystical nemesis across an open unforgiving desert.

Original Comment Link

Honestly, without having the context that I have for the story, it is a fair criticism. It certainly looks like a bit of fanboi writing, an ode to Stephen King, on the surface. I certainly won’t deny that the Dark Tower series hasn’t left it’s mark on my own writing — it is perhaps my favorite set of books by King, although I lean more towards the first three or four than I do the latter books. And, as much as I like Wolves of the Calla, even King will admit that it is basically a rip-off of the Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven themes. He did his own bit of borrowing for that one. To go back, however to the original point that Dust is a bit too similar for comfort, I feel a valid point was made and it is up to me to defend my original statement that the influence is less than it might seem. As life would have it, I have additional information that I didn’t present in the forward that might modify such criticisms.

But first — let’s go in depth as to the similarities.

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