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John J Heartfield Stories

Writing Heartfield stories is difficult.
But not as difficult as describing them.
John J Heartfield


Someday, scientists may transfer my mind into a cyborg. After that happy day, I might have enough time to share all the stories swirling around my mind. Until then, these Heartfield stories will entertain you with danger, mystery, adventure, humor, surprises, and perhaps even a revelation.

I’ve lived stories with all those elements. I don’t write for accolades or compensation, though I don’t avoid either. I write for the joy of reliving adventures or being in situations I wouldn’t want to experience personally.


Come back often. I’ll add chapters from my latest novel soon.

Controlling Time  (A Novel)

My novel Controlling Time came into existence as I imagined an interesting character involved in an unusual and violent scene. That episode didn’t survive twenty-four manuscript edits. However, the character “Time” stayed with me. For seven years, I wrote down Time’s voice and those of his friends and enemies. In those years, friends and enemies often change places. I hope you’ll enjoy the first four chapters of Controlling Time.

Read the first four chapters of Controlling Time here.


John Heartfield
Art As A Weapon
  (A Graphic Novel)

With the artist Lance Hansen, John J Heartfield is writing a graphic novel focusing on his grandfather’s cinematic life and groundbreaking artwork. The first chapter, The Night the Nazis Came to Murder My Grandfather, appears online and in print in The Nation Magazine (April 12, 2021). Another chapter, highlighting German Dada’s turbulent years, is coming soon.

Chapter One of the John Heartfield Graphic Novel

Not Funny  (A New Novel)

I’m working on Not Funny. Events leading up to The Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) fascinate me. I remember being told to be ready to duck under my desk if Russia launched nuclear missiles at my school – an extinction level event. Historians have had their say. But what was the actual story behind the game of chicken that almost destroyed the planet? With humor, action, and insight, Not Funny tells the story of characters, real and imagined, who live on the edge of oblivion in places as diverse as Greenwich Village night clubs, Kennedy’s Oval Office, and Nikita Krushshev’s War Room. Their dreams are as unreal as our reality as we remain fifteen minutes away from a variety of extinction level events. Chapters from Not Funny will be available here soon.

Short Stories

My favorite writing professor told me every great short story must have an arc. At least one character must undergo a meaningful transformation.

My Name Isn’t David  (A Short Story)
My Name Isn’t David has something for everyone. It’s an exploration of the perils pursuing perfection in life and love.

The Cat Psychic  (A Short Story)
Does Watson take care of Dorothy? Or vice versa? Only a real cat psychic can uncover a cat’s secrets.

Husband Wife Knife  (A Short Story)
A husband and wife talk about money and a nasty switchblade.

The Hostel Stories
Soon I’ll post a collection of stories from my days as a member of the Berkeley Youth Hostel staff. We were a loose bunch of misfits who opened and ran the first independent youth hostel in America. Every night we matched our wiles against the wild masses who flooded the Berkeley streets in the early 1970s.

Come back soon. I’ll always be added more stories