Dystopian fantasy literature creates vivid and intricate landscapes that capture reader’s imagination and allows them to escape into unknown worlds. “Gods of IMAGO” by Greg Belliveau, M.F.A., instructor, English, is the second installment in the IMAGO series. The sequel continues to expand the established dystopian world by introducing new complex characters and raising questions about the nature of evil, the fragility of society, and the enduring struggle for survival.
“When I originally started the first novel, IMAGO, I wanted to flex my muscles a little bit and see if I could build a world. I love the art of the prose, capturing language and concrete details,” said Belliveau. “I’m a huge fan of China Miéville. He’s a world-building writer, but the thing I love about him is that his prose is so powerful. It’s like you’re reading really great literature. Everything is intentional – the language, the world, the story. He’s just good at what he does.”
One of the things that sets Belliveau apart from other dystopian sci-fi writers is his ability to create a gripping narrative through thought-provoking prose. As he continues to make his mark in the genre, he has “tried to emulate some of the people I really admire.”
“I know the readers want to know what happened to the characters at the end of the first book, but I also wanted to introduce them to a new place with new characters in the same world,” said Belliveau. “I’m really fascinated with how artifacts take on meaning over time, over generations and thousands of years. One of the items in book number one is a scrap of paper that a scientist wrote formulas on. It’s just a scrap of paper, but when the paper ends up on the island, it becomes an artifact and affects a whole belief system. If readers have read the first book, they’ll remember when it was written.”
“It’s been fun to explore larger concepts such as philosophy or religion. It’s one of the reasons I love fantasy. You can unhinge yourself from the realism of today.”
Belliveau will be at the Capital University Bexley Campus on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 4 to 6 p.m. for a book signing and reception. All events will be held in Convergent Media Center Room 121.
An instructor at Capital since 2016, Belliveau mainly teaches composition and a humanities class or two.
“I love teaching the composition classes because most of the students never really thought about writing that much. There are so many students who come in who don’t really want to be there, and yet, it’s so cool to watch them tap into their creative side through writing,” said Belliveau. “It always makes me think about why we write. For a lot of students, their relationship with writing really depends on a previous teacher. It’s fun to see students who don’t think they know how to write anything, start to write.”
Belliveau can trace his love of writing and storytelling to his childhood. From his first publicly shared story in the third grade to his current novel, Belliveau has seen how the industry has grown and changed.
“As a kid, I was always reading. I think writing and reading go hand in hand. Most writers stem out of a love of reading,” said Belliveau. “It’s a really different world than it was 20 years ago when I published my first novel and I think it’s good. It’s powerful that people can read a book on their phones. It’s a very cool place to be.”
To learn more about English at Capital, visit https://www.capital.edu/academics/english/.
To learn more about Greg Belliveau, visit https://www.gregorybelliveauwriter.com/.