The idea for Bobs’ tattoo-like markings came before I discovered Alfred Bester’s awesome novel, The Stars My Destination. When I did, I screamed. The front cover should give you some idea why:
The main difference is that Bobs’ markings are part of his nervous system. They’re a genetic modification that I explored in more detail in an earlier draft, and may come back to in the future.
It’s not obvious in this draft, but Bobs is actually significantly younger (seeming) than he should be. Again, this is something I want to come back to.
Bobs is controlling and it’s appealing to think he’s wrong, that the kids will break out and see through the monsters in his head. That’s the point of growing up. It felt wrong, but also right to prove him right. Monsters are real, kids – you better learn to fight!
In the draft called The Limit, the kids do break out of the limit. In this book they never do. I guess I feel a bit sad about that, but there was no way to weave it in.
The limit is a metaphor. We’ve all got one, whether we know it or not.