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A Provocative Story for the Eyes, Ears, and Imagination

Take a fiery, hyper-metaphorical ride into the red-hot depths of buried passion and the combustible inner workings of human desire.

About Rin, Tongue and Dorner

What if our inner voices revealed a tug-of-war between powers that secure us to reality and those that, for good or ill, want to hurl us away?

A new ice age has driven mankind to settlements at the equator. In Clemency—a metropolis sheltered inside a transparent dome surrounded by glaciers­—Planning luminary Dorner hears female voices in his sleep. As the voices become more insistent, he seeks help from neuroscientist Rin, who runs tests to identify the location and import of this interior woman, who calls herself “Tongue.”

Rin’s increasingly invasive experiments help Dorner to visualize Tongue, until he’s able to fly through the cosmos of his brain and find the distant asteroid from which Tongue’s voices beckon and provoke.

Meanwhile, Rin and Dorner fall in love. Is Tongue an agent of change, bringing desire and passion to their lives, or is she Rin’s worst enemy? With Rin’s guidance, Dorner lands on the asteroid where Tongue reigns supreme, and explores a mysterious landscape of flames and human monuments—a realm of rapture and portent that threatens to undo them all.

With wild, hyper-metaphorical imagination and blazing insight, Shapero depicts the inner workings of human desire, probing the depths of our buried passions, and revealing their potential to annihilate us, or set us free.

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About the Book
A Q&A with Rich Shapero

Rin, Tongue and Dorner by Rich Shapero

Q: Rin, Tongue and Dorner imagines a future in which humans are driven by the encroaching glaciers of a new ice age to live in a weather dome, "Clemency," where citizens are encouraged to regulate "temp"—both temperament and temperature—for the sake of the colony’s survival. By the standards of our contemporary Western society, the strictures they follow are repressive.

RS: The people of Clemency have a difficult time adhering to them.

We would all prefer to believe that an enlightened outlook on desire will make it compatible with our social, familial and global objectives. That’s a pleasing idea. Unfortunately desire is fueled by thoughts of violence and transgression; by fantasies of domination and surrender; by a host of socially inappropriate thoughts.

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About the Music

Rin, Tongue and Dorner LP

Q: As in your other works, the music is allied with the domain of higher powers, in this case Tongue.

RS: I expect this is why I’m obsessed with the intersection of words and music. Words do a fine job on their own when we’re talking about earthly things. But when we’re trying to communicate with—or from—the ideal realm, music becomes important. Maybe necessary. The domain of Tongue, and the way she thinks—It’s there on the page. But when I listen to the music, I feel her presence in a different, more visceral way.

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Listen to the Music