Plod On, Sleepless Giant
M. P. McVey
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Review by Joshua Grasso

"Not surprisingly, McVey’s novel defies easy categorization, almost demanding its own subgenre of the science fiction/fantasy genre. Without resorting to clichéd magicians speaking in hushed tones of Armageddon, McVey has created a truly magical world which teeters on the edge of disaster. Though it combines elements of stories you might have heard before, with characters that seem (almost) familiar, McVey is able to weave his influences into a new garment that will fit every reader’s tastes. It is a thinking man’s novel without sounding philosophic, yet the characters and ideas will stay with you long after you finish the novel (and ideally, read it again). "

Joshua is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Languages at East Central University. He teaches courses in composition, British literature, poetry, Humanities, and comic books. He earned his BA and MA from the University of Tulsa, and my PhD from Miami University in Ohio.

The center of Earth shook and rumbled with the
sounds of creaking wood and grinding metal, tumbling
through the dark. The din swept through caverns, accompanied
by the boom, boom, boom of steady, heavy steps.
It would have driven any man crazy, this racket that crept
through the darkness, but it was comforting to the one who
had to listen. It was a noise he had always known, a sound
that was born with him. He was the reason for the noise.

For all time he had walked his circle; his large, gray
feet beating a pattern into the dirt. Round and round he
went, his weight pushing the large, wooden wheel to which
he was bound. He groaned from time to time … long, soulful
bellows from his wrinkled trunk.

His ancient head swayed with the thudding beat of
his steps, his long immortal ears hanging tiredly at his sides.
He would walk until the end of time. He didn’t want to, but
he was compelled to. It was his purpose … and without purpose,
what would be left?

So he walked.

He could feel their eyes upon him, those that watched
him, those that kept him in this existence … those who gave
him purpose. Their stares penetrated the thick hide of his
neck, burrowed into his spine and peeked in to his brain,
listening in on his every thought. That’s how they watched
him, how they knew when he was unhappy.

They were in his mind every second of forever, and
he came to expect their presence there. After a while he lost
track of his Watchers all together, as if they were just another
part of him. Life would not have been the same without

The Watchers always knew that, sooner or later, the
great elephant called Temelephas would work through
whatever unhappiness it was that settled in his large heart.
After all, he had been walking since the beginning of everything
and knew of nothing to which he could compare his

Walk, walk, walk, through the darkness he would
stomp; his feet pounding his life into the earth. Around he
went, his sweaty, tangled hair fl owing down around his
neck. “Round and round she goes, where she stops … nobody
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