In The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf speaks to Frodo of the history of the One Ring and the Dark Lord. Overwhelmed by all of the terrible news he had just heard, Frodo says, “I wish it need not have happened in my time.”

“So do all who live to see such times,” Gandalf replies, certainly reflecting on the hundreds upon hundreds of years he has witnessed during his wanderings across Middle Earth. Then he fixes Frodo with a thoughtful look and gives him advice that has echoed through the ages. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

This project begins in a tumultuous time, not only for me personally, or for my family, or America, but for the whole world. Launching in the latter half of 2020, IN SUCH TIMES is the chronicle of the connections which people build between one another. A story about families growing, changing, and crossing orbits in late twentieth century America. In many ways the world in which we find ourselves now is better and safer than ever before, as the perils of the Cold War begin to fade and institutional injustices are brought to light, while in other ways it feels that the dangers have infiltrated our homes as we carry computers of previously unthinkable power in our pockets every day. The threat has moved from the unknowable Other way over There, to the Other infiltrating our airports, to our very friends and family who may all be carriers of a deadly plague.

IN SUCH TIMES is a medley of fiction and reality. Stories tagged as Journal chronicle the weekly life of a blended family. These stories are mostly true, though sometimes we change details do protect privacy or slightly re-order events to better build drama. Stories tagged as The Story are family tales and bits of folklore picked up from other travelers as we wander the country. While there are grains of truth in The Story, we don’t promise that any particular event actually happened where, when, or to who we describe it.

Feel free to contact us here or on social media if you have questions or comments about IN SUCH TIMES. I hope that you come to love these characters as much as I do and are thrilled, saddened, entertained, and stirred to thought by this continually growing collection.

If you enjoy IN SUCH TIMES, consider supporting us at the author’s Patreon. You can also follow our Instagram, Facebook page, or Andrew’s Twitter. IN SUCH TIMES is created by Andrew Linke as part of the OTTO MAKES art and literature project, with occasional posts from contributing authors. Your kids can take classes with Andrew at OutSchool, and we will soon have courses for adults up and running.