Itís 1855, and with a war over slavery looming on the horizon all bachelor Clark Shellcross wants to do is get married. But when his hopes are dashed he succumbs to temptation and takes a weird drug that claims to change his life. And it does! He wakes up the next morning with black skin! It doesnít take long for him to realize that 1855 is not a good time to have darkly hued skin, even in the northern city of Boston. The story of his frantic odyssey in search of his former life could only have sprung from the anarchic imagination of Harry Stephen Keeler.
HARRY STEPHEN KEELER (1890-1967) is one of the strangest writers who ever lived. In his time, he was pegged as a mystery novelist who also wrote some science fiction. Today, if you've heard of him at all, it's as the Ed Wood of mystery novelists, a writer reputed to be so bad he's good. Actually, no genre, nor "camp," can much suggest what Keeler is all about.