The opening paragraphs for "Ceres' Chosen" were first penned on June, '96, during a vacation trip to Maine that my wife and I were taking. But the genesis of this story goes further back--to Hillel Schwartz' excellent history of diet mania, Never Satisfied (Free Press, 1986). In the final chapter of that book, the author imagines a utopia where fatness is not anathema:
"...if this were a fat society, a society that admired and rewarded fatness - a society that has never existed in this country for both sexes at the same time - things would be very much different and very much better. It would be like Servia, Indiana, in 1899, 'A Town of Fat People.' population 206, temperate, quiet and affluent. Or like Roseto, Pennsylvania, in the 1960's, population 1,700, nearly all of the residents obese and hardly a heart murmur among them."
That image of a Fat City kept returning to me every time I started floundering around for a new story, but it wasn't until we were on the road in our own version of Vee-ger that the specifics fell into place. Nothing like highway hypnosis to get the mind wandering.
To those who are wondering, The Music Man is indeed one of my favorite movies. As a young FA, I had a thing for Ethel Tofflemeyer...