The cryptic dedication to Steam Submarine begins thus:
Every passing day
I think of thee
Submariner and Wolf Lady
The one true hearted wolf I've ever known.
It's a strange thing, I had to draw a line in the sand underneath this book, so to speak, to survive the traumatic events that occurred while I was writing it. I had to deprecate it to myself, so set those days behind me.
And in a way I failed to appreciate what was good in Steam Submarine - for a while I couldn't even read it - the descriptions of loneliness and darkness seemed too all-encompassing.
But it was the thought that someone else read it recently and enjoyed it that made me think there might be something to this book.
You see, the thing about Steam Submarine is that it is quite philosophical.
Steam Submarine contains in a novelistic, dramatic form everything I know about love, and about the two complementary and mysterious facets of human existence, male and female, and about sacrifice (for none of us can find fulfilment and peace and none of us can know what love is without ultimately accepting the sacrifice of another on our behalf, i.e. Jesus Christ).
Steam Submarine follows hints too, about God and creation, given in the Bible.
You see the hidden principle of Wisdom is God's counterpart in creation and is personified as female in the Bible. It's one of the most mysterious sections of the Old Testament, in the book of Proverbs. This was what I tried to understand, to integrate into the love story between Zelf and Zev, in Steam Submarine.
I believe that this complementarity between God and Wisdom is the key to understanding Christ and the Church as the Bride and Bridegroom - the ultimate male and female archetypes of which every other love is an imperfect mirror - and this is the key to understanding human marriage and human eros i.e. romantic love as well.
For human marriage is an image of the divine marriage between Christ and the Church.
This is the great mystery of love at the heart of the universe and Steam Submarine more than any of my other books begins to hint at this.
Jane Austen never married, and yet wrote "Pride and Prejudice", the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy, one of the greatest love stories in the English language.
I have not married, yet wrote this love story, a rather different genre from "Pride and Prejudice" that's for sure! A sort of philosophical steampunk.