Come 27 September 2015, the Word on the Street is Phantacea

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

Suffering from aphantacea or a deepening desire to add to your thickening trove of PHANTACEA products?

Jim McPherson, the creator-writer of the Phantacea Mythos, shall be manning the Phantacea Publications table at Vancouver’s Word on the Street book fair in and around the VPL’s Library Square on Homer Street on Sunday, 27 September 2015.

Click baby blue highlight for details regarding PHANTACEA Mythos print publications.

Virtually all of this material will be available at extraordinary shows-only prices of $10.00 per novel and/or graphic novel, plus $5.00 per mini-novel and/or original Phantacea comic books (while supplies last).

Promo prepared for upcoming release of Helios on the Moon by Jim McPherson, 2014

Double-click to enlarge; the better to read if you do. Artwork is from the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels.

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Not an autobot — honestly

This came in from a contributor to the BCFSA newsgroup on Yahoo recently (2015-01-29).

[NOTE: names deleted to protect the insensitive; Comments appreciated at bottom of page]

> This is the BCSFA group, not the stupid sluts ass. Banned.

Thank you. On a similar note, what about self-published-book spammers?

To which Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, felt obliged to respond:

Self-published books are about the only way to get something that might not be agent-driven, hence far too often, dried out, regurgitated smuck from “established” publishers too cowed to put out anything actually,  or at least comparatively, new..

Think I’ll post re “Nuclear Dragons” and “Helios on the Moon” shortly.

Jim McPherson
Phantacea Publications

Artwork from front cover of "Helios on the Moon" by Ricardo Sandoval; promo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Helios, with his ‘holocaster’, and the She-Sphinx (All of Incain) , with Thunder and Lightning Lord Yajur (Lord Order) sneaking up on them; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval taken from front cover of print version of Helios on the Moon

 

Which he did. (No word yet if’s been accepted for dissemination, though)

Greetings anew

After debating whether to release “Nuclear Dragons” on Kindle or wait until I can combine it with its companion, “Helios on the Moon“, I decided to release it solo. I may still (re)combine them at some point in the future. I may also reunite the three mini-novels that make up “The 1000 Days of Disbelief” as an e-book and (mildly) interactive PDF, but that’ll have to wait, too.

The easiest way to get a quick read overview of all the Phantacea Mythos publications, with lynx to their various webpages, starts here: http://www.phantacea.com/#DotComPubs.

Poster to accompany Helios on the Moon press release; utilizes cover from both Phantacea Revisited graphic novels and the three full-length novels making up the Launch 1980 story cycle, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Poster to accompany Helios on the Moon press release; utilizes cover from both Phantacea Revisited graphic novels and the three full-length novels making up the Launch 1980 story cycle

Some of the walk-in bookstores in Vancouver area where you can peruse and, yes, even buy Phantacea Publications are listed here: http://phantacea.com/orderViaCards.htm#walkins. Of course any bookstore anywhere in the world can order them through Ingram Book Distribution.

BTW, the print publication of “Helios on the Moon” officially came out on Sunday 30 November 2014, precisely 34 years after the launching of the Cosmic Express. And that November the 30th was also a Sunday. How’s that for serendipity.

Attached are some nice big shots from the graphics table of that selfsame webpage. Reckon they might tempt you to pay a visit to the Phantacea Publications website. Not surprisingly, since Phantacea started off a series of comic books in the late Seventies, it’s very visual.

Front cover for Nuclear Dragons, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013; banner at top added by Jim McPherson, 2014, for digital versions of the novel

Crystallion leads Hell’s Horsemen against Centauri Island

 

Comments are both welcomed and encouraged on pHantaBlog (www.phantacea.com/blog).

And I can assure you this is a very much non-robotic contribution to BCFSA.

Jim McPherson
Phantacea Publications

www.phantacea.com
www.phantacea.info
www.phantacea.com/blog

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

.

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Three fronts and a back

“Helios on the Moon”, the climactic entry in the ‘Launch 1980’ epic fantasy, is almost ready for print.

(Lynx to many excerpts from the novel, yet another breathtakingly exciting ensemble piece from Phantacea Publications, are here; more on the trilogy is here and here.)


The back cover looks and reads well but still can’t decide on front. What’s your favourite? Kindly make your choice and add a comment at bottom of page.

The front cover depicts what’s become of Thunder and Lightning Lord Yajur, the onetime Unity of Order, 500 years after his last appearance in “Janna Fangfingers“. He’s advancing menacingly on the Male Entity, Heliosophos (Helios called Sophos the Wise).

The She-Sphinx, All of Incain, is beside Helios. The UNES Liberty is in lunar orbit with Planet Earth in the background. The Liiberty was mentioned in “Nuclear Dragons“. All appeared throughout ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ trilogy, but made her biggest splash in “Feeling Theocidal“.

The Dual Entities have never appeared, at least not explicitly, in any of the Phantacea Mythos novels thus far released by Phantacea Publications. They are, however, among the Cornerstone Characters in Jim McPherson’s Phantacea Mythos (of whom much more is here).

The first front cover is as provided by the artist, Ricardo Sandoval.

Front and back artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014; text and layout by Jim McPherson

Potential covers, with spine, for Helios on the Moon, the multiple character, 2014 Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel that concludes the Launch 1980 fantasy epic


The second front cover incorporates the outer space background used in the mock-up used most recently on pHantaBlog here. The She-Sphinx, All of Incain, is also whiter than in other two covers.


The third front cover goes back to the first sphinx but meshes the Earth from the first and the outer space of the second.


The back cover text now reads:

The Dual Entities return to their own timeline determined to make life perfect for everyone.

Heads are bound to roll!

Scientists first detect signals coming from outer space in early 1978. Finally there is proof humanity isn’t alone. A month later, they pinpoint the source. Elation gives way to near-panic. The beams are coming from the Earth’s moon!

The United Nations’ Security Council agrees to meet this off-worldly intrusion aggressively. The result, the UNES Liberty, is already in lunar orbit when, on the Thirtieth of November 1980, the launching of the Cosmic Express takes place on the Outer Earth’s Centauri Island.

At the same time, three Great Goddesses preside over an extraordinary session of the Courtroom of the Visionary in the far off Utopia of New Weir. Meanwhile, on the Inner Earth of Sedon’s Head, the Hidden Continent’s most revered Death Gods prepare to welcome home the entirety of their fragmented family, devils almost to a one.

From the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos comes the culmination of the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle. Plus, a surprise addendum to “Goddess Gambit”, the concluding novel in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ fantasy masterpiece.

As for who’s depicted under the text on the back cover, that’s here.

Back cover, minus text, for "Helios on the Moon"; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014s

Background images for back cover of “Helios on the Moon”; text and obligatory boxes at bottom to be added; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

 

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Back Blurb Flag-Poled

Back Cover Text for “Helios on the Moon”

Don’t expect any salutes but reckon tentative-it deserves a run-up anyhow.

Text will override Ricardo Sandoval’s bas-relief figures on Helios as Sol, All of Incain, Moon Memory as Luna, the Unity of Order, Doc Defiance, Cosmicaptain Starrus, the Indescribable Mr No Name and Mnemosyne as Strife.

Comments welcome at bottom.

Back cover, minus text, for "Helios on the Moon"; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014s

Background images for back cover of “Helios on the Moon”; text and obligatory boxes at bottom to be added; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

The Dual Entities return to their own timeline determined to make life for everyone not just vastly better but perfect.

Heads are sure to roll.

Scientists first detected signals coming from somewhere out in space in early 1978. Their excitement was palpable. Finally they had proof humanity wasn’t alone in the cosmos. Then, about a month after their initial detection, the source was pinpointed. Elation immediately gave way to near-panic. The beams were coming from the Earth’s moon!

In an extraordinary session of the Security Coun­cil, the United Nations agreed to meet this off-worldly intrusion aggress­ively. The result, the UNES Liberty, is already in moon orbit when, on the Thirtieth of November 1980, the launching of the Cosmic Express takes place on Centauri Island.

At the same time, on the far off Utopia of New Weir, three Great Goddess preside over the latest session of the Courtroom of the Visionary. Meanwhile, on the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head, the Death Gods of the Frozen Lathakra prepare to welcome home the entirety of their fragmented family, devils almost to a one.

From the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos comes the culmination of the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle, plus a surprising addendum to “Goddess Gambit”, the final book in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ fantasy masterpiece.

Covers and/or splash panels reflecting action recounted in "Helios on the Moon"

Front covers for pH-2 and pH- 4Ever&40 graphic novel bracketing splash panel from pH3; artwork by Gordon Parker, 1978; Peter Lynde, 1978; and the two Ians, Fry and Bateson, 1990

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No Lunatic Preamble This

At long last moving into publication mode for “Helios on the Moon”. Here’s its Auctorial Preamble, with some lynx and a couple of new graphics:

Helios on the Moon

Ad for the last two novels in the Launch 1980 story cycle, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Black and white version of an ad for the concluding books in the Launch 1980 story cycle from Phantacea Publications

– Auctorial Preamble –
********

Thus ends Phantacea Phase One.

So I intended to write on the inside front cover of Phantacea Seven in 1981. Except, it never got finished. I next reckoned on writing it about a decade later when Phantacea Phase One #15 came out. Except, this time, that project never got beyond the #1 stage; not in print anyhow.

Phase One #2, along with a number of background stories, were ready for press; as were the scripts and reprint art for a good deal of the rest. While most of these last did make it into one or another of the graphic novels subsequently released by Phantacea Publications, pre-orders didn’t warrant continuing the Phantacea Mythos at that time; especially not in that form. (Artists aren’t just temperamental, they’re costly.)

Let me repeat: ‘Thus ends Phantacea Phase One’. Sounds good, after all these years, but “Helios on the Moon” does much more than that.

It also ends the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle, my personal project to novelize the PHANTACEA comic book series. Plus, for those who felt the ending of the last trilogy, ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’, as presented in “Goddess Gambit”, was not absolutely clear as to whether anyone survived – or anyone not explicitly done away with already didn’t – that will be sorted starting about nine chapters, or ‘moons’, from now.

3 comic book covers incorporated in ad for Phantacea Publications

Covers for pH-2 (Gordon Parker), pH-3 (Richard Sandoval), and 4-Ever&40 (Ian Fry, Ian Bateson), all of which figure in “Helios on the Moon”

Not surprisingly Ninth Moon shares commonality with “The War of the Apocalyptics”, the first book in the Launch trilogy, in that it begins winding down the stirring saga of the Damnation Brigade and their erstwhile companion in supra-doings, Kid Ringo, nowadays Ringleader.

As for the Family Thanatos and their never-remembered guest, the fiendish, always smiling fellow who speaks in bold-italics, they show up three moons prior to D-Brig et al. Of course non-devic characters didn’t just precede non-devic characters literally, in terms of literature, they preceded them chronologically.

Witness “Feeling Theocidal” and “The Thousand Days of Disbelief”, which were set in the Cathonic Dome’s Fifth and mid-Sixth Millennium respectively. Or “Forever & 40 Days”, which featured a series of graphic story snippets set before there was a Dome, let alone a Genesea necessitating one.

The previous book in this trilogy, “Nuclear Dragons”, divided into four parts. ‘Indescribable Defiance’ began it with the launching of the Cosmic Express. We saw what happened to one of its cosmicars in War-Pox, and to the cosmicompanions aboard it in Gambit. We’re about to begin finding out what becomes of one occupant of the control hub, one of the other cosmicars and the seven cosmicompanions occupying it.

Nuke’s aforementioned first part additionally brought our attention to the highly disconcerting matter of a perceived menace on the Moon, something also alluded to during War-Pox, and what governments and top dog corporations were doing about it.

For starters, they set up the United Nations SPACE Council (‘Society for the Prevention of Alien Control of Earth’) and appointed the by now 80-year old Great Man, Loxus Abraham Ryne, to run it.

He thereupon had built, and launched, the United Nations of Earth Spaceship (UNES) Liberty. Not long before Hel-Moon gets (over more so than) underway, it boldly blasted out there in order to deal with said menace, be it alien or otherwise. (Go with the otherwise.)

In terms of the titular pair who provided ‘Indescribable Defiance’ with its sectional sub-heading, did you know the Space Shuttle Columbia took off secretly in December 1980, months prior to its official inaugural flight? Returned safely as well. You do now. You’re also not too many moons away from finding out whom it was transporting towards the Liberty, which is already in lunar-synchronous orbit.

Nuke’s second section, ‘The Strife Virus’, focused our attention on, among others, a pair of (very) long lasting, inveterate nasties, Daemonicus and Strife. Both first appeared, or at least were mentioned, in Feel Theo, the initial book of the ‘Glories’ trilogy. To say the least it seems they’re extremely difficult to deal with permanently.

Until, that is, in terms of her anyhow … well, that would be telling too much for a preamble. That said, while preambles may be no place for telling all that’s to come, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least remind you of All, capitalized.

Nuke readers will recall the Phantom Freighter, whence Crystallion and Hell’s Horsemen, whence also Sharkczar. And what have they got to do with Incain’s She-Sphinx you might ask. Once again I refer you to Feel Theo, as well as “Janna Fangfingers” and Gambit. Ginny the Gynosphinx is no Andy the Androsphinx. She moves. And when she does, be smart. Stay out of her way.

Speaking yet again of Feel Theo, the time-tumbling Dual Entities featured in a number of its story snippets, if perhaps not explicitly so in its underlying narrative, the one-day saga of Thrygragon (Mithramas, Year of the Dome 4376) as told from a number of different viewpoints. As foreshadowed during the course of ‘The Strife Virus’, they do much more than feature in this book; hence its title.

In some respects remarkably, Nuke’s final two subsections, ‘Supra Survival’ and ‘Sinking and Swimming’, did leave a few tales left to tell. One who won’t be telling them is the deviant Legendarian, Jordan ‘Q for Quill’ Tethys. (The legendary 30-Year Man, aka 30-Beers, came as close as anyone in the Phantacea Mythos comes to being a protagonist throughout the ‘Glories’ trilogy.)

Collage and covers indicative of action recounted in "Nuclear Dragons"

Mr No Name collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014; pH-7 cover, incomplete, by Ian Bateson, 1980; pHz1 #1 cover, the Mighty Eye-Mouth in the Sky by Ian Bateson, 1985

Gambit readers may recall that, for a change, Jordy’s latest lifetime did not seem to be in jeopardy once the moment of its moderately cliff-dangling dénouement arrived. Indeed, they probably assumed that either he or the improbably enormous, ever-fishifying Fisherwoman had saved everyone worth saving.

That was certainly one of the impressions left. Another was that the subheading for Gambit’s final third, ‘Endgame-Gambit’, meant endgame everyone. When it comes to the Phantacea Mythos, it’s always dangerous to make assumptions. That’s why it’s Anheroic Fantasy (anheroic = without heroes).

I do feel fairly confident in leaving you with one almost certainly accurate assumption, however: Every ending begets a new beginning. And a correction to my opening statement.

Thus begins the ending to Phantacea Phase One.

 

Jim McPherson
Creator/Writer
The PHANTACEA Mythos

 

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Looking for Beta Readers

Potential Cover for "Helios on the Moon", artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Potential Cover for “Helios on the Moon”, artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014; based on front cover for pH-3; that’s All of Incain (Ginny the Gynosphinx) beside Helios and Lord Order sneaking up on him from behind

The pHantacea-pHact of the matter is Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, is reluctant to judiciously edit, as opposed to hack apart, “Helios on the Moon” any more than he already has. Hence this posting.

The book as it now stands is 136,000+ words, double-spaced and in 12-point, Times New Roman font. Including a list of chapter titles, that amounts to 516 pages. It’s available as a watermarked PDF solely for review purposes.

In terms of what I’m looking for, I’d direct you to Wikipedia’s definition here.

Note in particular:

“Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity [and back story], characterization or believability.”

If interested in beta-reading the manuscript then providing helpful comments and/or observations, please respond either in the comments section below or via email.

Or you could go the Goodreads route as per the following:

Beta Reader Group discussion

Authors Seeking Betas > 135k/concluding novel in epic fantasy based on Phantacea comic books (edit)


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Jim McPherson (jmcp) | 1 comments “Helios on the Moon”, the final novel in the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle; Anheroic Fantasy written by Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos; ‘Launch 1980’ is Jim McPherson’s long-running project to novelize the Phantacea comic books series; other entries already published in this story cycle are “The War of the Apocalyptics” and “Nuclear Dragons”; publisher’s imprint: Phantacea Publications; website: www.phantacea.com; pHantaBlog: www.phantacea.com/blog; email: jmcp@phantacea.com

Promo prepared for upcoming release of Helios on the Moon by Jim McPherson, 2014

Double-click to enlarge; the better to read if you do. Artwork is from the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels.

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Mixed Swag

1. Now that his early summer travels and the World Cup are over, Jim McPherson, creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, is supposedly back at his work desk after a six-week hiatus. The weather’s wonderful in Vancouver, though, and the Folk Fest is this weekend, so don’t expect much more than a weekly update for pHantaBlog, at least in the near future.

2. Reports supranormal storytelling has added a couple of new raconteurs. Joining McPherson (PHANTACEA) and a fellow by the name of George RR Martin (Wild Cards), are Ian Tregillis (The Milkweed Triptych) and Lavie Tidhar (The Violent Century). Of the two, and after reading a couple of offerings by each, Tregillis seems worthy of recommendation, this despite his use of — drumbeat of dread, please — time travel.  Quel horreur!

3. Got a link forwarded from NY Times re, well, have a boo yourself. It’s long but fairly unbiased and impacts on self-publishing, a subject near and dear to not just McPherson and his bank balance:  “Amazon, a Friendly Giant as Long as It’s Fed“.

Feel free to register, if you aren’t one of the (literally) hundreds who already have, and leave a comment on article or issue in box at bottom of today’s entry. pHantaJim loves comments, so long as they contribute to the conversation. Spam gets rejected forthwith, so no more lynx to handbag websites or suchlike, por favor.

4. Character Likenesses 2 is now up on pHanta-pHlickr.  Commentary by blog-meister, yours truly.

5. Also check out the latest entry in Serendipity and PHANTACEA: “Tell-Talos Talaria”  for yet another oddball connection to “Helios on the Moon“, the upcoming final entry in the Launch 1980 epic trilogy.


 

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Kitty Clsym hits Goodreads

Cataclysm Catalyst (Phantacea Revisited 2)Cataclysm Catalyst by Jim McPherson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Cataclysm Catalyst” collects the entire Soldier’s Saga storyline, which began in Phantacea Two (1978) and concluded in Phantacea Six (1980). Most of the artwork in this sequence was by Verne Andrusiek (later Verne Andru). Last year (2013) Verne redid and completely coloured a black and white drawing of a proposed cover for an issue of Phantacea Phase One specifically for this publication. It’s quite splendid.

Flyer prepared for April 2014 launch of "Cataclysm Catalyst",  the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Flyer prepared for April 2014 launch of “Cataclysm Catalyst”, the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Much of the Soldier’s Saga formed the basis for Jim McPherson’s “Goddess Gambit“, a full-length Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel released in 2012 that concluded the epic “Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories” fantasy trilogy. The graphic novel also includes parts of the Centauri Island storyline that Jim McPherson novelized for his full-length 2013 Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel entitled “Nuclear Dragons“.

Advertisement appearing the convention brochure for APE - Alternative Press Expo, features b/w versions of front covers for Nuclear Dragons and the Damnation Brigade graphic novel

Advertisement appearing in the convention brochure for APE – Alternative Press Expo in October 2013. It features b/w versions of front covers for Nuclear Dragons and the Damnation Brigade graphic novel. Covers artwork for both publications by Ian Bateson; text by Jim McPherson

Of particular interest to Indy comics collectors in general and Phantacea aficionados in particular are the final six pages of the graphic novel. They were done by Phantacea stalwart Ian Bateson in 1980 for inclusion in Phantacea Seven, which was never published. Digitally re-lettered by Jim McPherson in the past year, this is the first time they have seen print. Also included is a reprint of “Tail Teller”, a short piece drawn by Ian Fry in the mid-1980s for the Phantacea Phase One project.

Page by page list of illustrators whose work appears in the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Page by page list of illustrators whose work appears in the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Overall this a highly pleasing addition to the ongoing Phantacea Mythos catalogue of novels, mini-novels, comics and graphic novels; highly recommended.

A partial list of excerpts from the graphic novel can be found by clicking here.

View all my reviews

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Baroque Convolutions


With a dashing of syntactical twists and turns

  1. Top of Page
  2. Setting the Scene for the Skreigh
  3. Begin Rant
  4. Seed those Dumps
  5. Memo to Self
  6. Syntactical Turns
  7. Twists to Thievery
  8. Unfashionable Omniscience
  9. Writers don’t just play God in their own Books
  10. Capital Crimes
  11. Non-Issues
  12. Never Done in North American English
  13. Never say ‘Never’ in any English
  14. Well, that clears that up then
  15. According to one person anyhow
  16. Speaking Personally
  17. Speaking Thirdly
  18. Anheroic Mosaic Shared
  19. Conclusive Coherence
  20. Quotation re Multiple Viewpoints in a Novel
  21. Quotation(s) re Perspective Breaks
  22. Bottom of page comments

 

Helios on the Moon - comic book cover; art by Richard Sandoval 1978

Helios on the Moon – comic book cover; art by Richard Sandoval 1978

Top of Page

So, Jim McPherson came back from a 6-week working break in warmer, sunnier climes reckoning Helios on the Moon was ready for a quick edit by a professional prior to a Spring publication.

Reckon anew, mate.

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Top of Page

This came back from a 10-year pro in the field, albeit not specifically in the field of editing full-length fantasy novels:

Here are a few more questions and thoughts:
And here are Jim McPherson’s responses.

1) There is a seriously large amount of initial information. Is it my understanding that readers will be aware of much of the background and back story? Is this an alternative history? I’m just trying to get my bearings, as ordinarily I’d suggest a writer drop that back story in over a long period, “seeding” it more organically rather than employing the huge info-dump you do here.

This hurts, all the more so since I’m super-conscious of the issue already. Yet I heard the same criticisms re “Nuclear Dragons”. They came despite my efforts to set up background and back story details in such a way that they could be skipped readily.
I even went so far as to write a preamble (reprinted here and here) in which I advised (highlighted here) readers to bypass material in parentheses if they find it too distracting or time-consuming.
Guess I’m supposed to accept the supposedly
‘prevailing wisdom’ that the days of leisurely, information-laden immersion in someone else’s imagination is non-Helios history. A sad situation to be sure.

That said, I’m hearing it so often I’m going to step back and reconsider the whole way I’m handling this issue. Might I need to revert to Character Companions like I did for 1000-Daze? Or add a glossary? Maybe it just needs more seeding, less dumping. Comments appreciated.
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2) Your style is quite convoluted, and even baroque in its syntactical twists and turns. That is definitely not a criticism … your readers’ expectations might be quite sophisticated and therefore it’s not a concern. The current trend is to write more simply.

Definitely sounds like a criticism to me. And if it isn’t a concern why mention it? As for writing simply, what does that mean? I’ve read efforts by folks I reckoned very good writers to produce material for Young Adults. The results sometimes seem so simplified that if I didn’t know better I’d assume they were written by simpletons for simpletons.
Still, I quite like
‘convoluted and baroque in its syntactical twists and turns’. Think I’ll steal it.

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Top of Page

3) Whose voice is narrating this? Is it a third-person omniscient perspective? If so, that’s fine (although again, not currently fashionable), but the sudden injections of colloquialisms such as “um” and “sure as shit” might need to be dialed back a little. They are jarring from a “god” type perspective.

What you’re dealing with, in me, is a chatty, conversational writer trying to be both friendly, as in non-threatening, and entertaining.
As for having a narrator with ‘a third-person omniscient perspective’ not being fashionable, that’s nonsense. Then again, if it isn’t, is that what you have to learn to write in this day and age of low-sales and writers increasingly having to turn to the DIY ‘Indy Market’ to stand any chance of seeing their writing in print?
In which case, call me determinedly unfashionable as I hate being nonsensical, at least in the sense of writing rubbish. 
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4) Gypsium? Is this an invented element or mineral? A play on gypsum? I couldn’t find it anywhere online or in my dictionaries. Either way, I don’t think it ought to be capitalized. We don’t capitalize granite or limestone, etc.

Hel-Moon is the sixth full-length Phantacea Mythos to be published by Phantacea Publications. The imprint would not exist were it not for the Phantacea Mythos.
Gypsium etc, like Deva (as in Master Deva), has been capitalized in every one of the books, in the comics before them and in the many web-serials betwixt and between.
Gypsium etc are made up words, I treat them like proper nouns and will continue to do so. Similarly, when I use the term Shining Ones (which is what the word ‘deva’ literally means) I capitalize it.
Capitalization makes a word stand out, gives it a kind of heightened status. It adds emphasis without the use of either italics or single quotes.
And if we do go ahead, don’t bother changing all the en-dashes to em-dashes. That’s not how I use them so I’d just have to change them all back.
Em-dashes, especially in mid-sentence, are unsightly.
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5) Re the use of single quotes: It’s just never done in North American English… except when it’s a quote within a quote, or is within a newspaper headline.

I would dearly love to eliminate single quotes, especially where I’ve had to add emphasis in form of italics. They’re a pain to have to reformat when it comes time to move over to In Design in order to prepare a PDF for the POD-printer.
They are, however, extensively used in fantasy novels, some of which I perhaps oddly believe use North American English. Steven Erikson’s Malazan books for example (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malazan_Book_of_the_Fallen) and George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, which are probably the two series I most admire in the field, use them a lot. Erikson is Canadian and Martin is American.
Single quotes are often used for dialogue in flashback sequences and very commonly to indicate conversations conducted in telepathy. Devas often communicate via telepathy.
BTW, in a previous section, I used single quotes and emphasis as follows: “the word ‘deva’ literally means”. Is that wrong too?

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Front and back cover mockups for "Helios on the Moon", prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

Mockup sent to potential cover illustrators for “Helios on the Moon”, the next scheduled Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel


When asked for clarification on an earlier point (#3), the editor came back: “… today readers are not as primed for it [someone writing from a third person viewpoint often using … godlike omniscient perspective]. They find it odd or jarring or even boring …”

To which I replied: Huh and double huh!?! Sez you, I say.

Personally I won’t buy anything written in first person. I mean, what’s the point? Especially in terms of action-oriented books wouldn’t this be a typical sentence: “I whirled, kicked him in the knackers but he managed to shoot me anyhow, so now I’m a zombie. Have to be, right — otherwise how could I be writing this?”
Talk about boring, an action hero writing his own book. Certainly eliminates the stress of worrying if hero live or dies.

As for following one character throughout, even when it’s in third person, well, that’s almost as bad. Without pulling them off the shelf – or more like pulling them out of boxes in basement – I can guarantee you Erickson and Martin don’t do that and they’ve hundreds of characters in every (really, really long) book.
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Phantacea is ‘anheroic fantasy’, as in without heroes. It’s also a Shared World novel with a lone writer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_universe). Another common term for this sort of thing is a mosaic novel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic_novel); albeit, ditto, one written by one author.
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Hel-Moon progresses to its conclusion via a series of events that are experienced by a wide range of characters in a variety of disparate situations that may not cohere until its final chapter, though there could be lots of little endings along the way. (Sorry for the run-on sentence.)
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That in mind …
“Multiple viewpoint novels are common in literature, so it would hardly be a risky choice if you chose to write one yourself.
“…  a Third Person Story is narrated by that invisible, godlike witness to the novel’s events (or the magic camera, if you prefer that analogy) – and it seems perfectly natural for this narrator to choose to slip inside not just one character’s skin during the telling of the story, but several.”
(http://www.novel-writing-help.com/multiple-viewpoint-novel.html)
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Which leads to this:
“But when should you switch [viewpoints]? There are a few simple rules here…It is virtually always best, if at all possible, to start a fresh chapter when you switch from one viewpoint character to another. Next best is switching viewpoints during a break within a chapter (the kind denoted by a line of white space, or by asterisks if the break occurs at the bottom of a page).”
(http://www.novel-writing-help.com/switch-viewpoints.html)
When it comes to what I call ‘perspective breaks’, as much as possible, I double-up with a eight ======== followed by a paragraph or two of italics then another =========. I also use dates to provide breaks, though that’s usually at the beginning of chapters and not so much in mid-chapter.
And that’ll do for now.
End longest rant yet.
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Bad bogie derails Kitty Clysm

Yep, as reported on pHantacea on pHacebook a couple of weeks ago the release date for “Cataclysm Catalyst”, the second graphic novel under the Phantacea Revisited byline, has been pushed back rather rudely.

Black and white rendition of Kitty Clysm cover, art by Verne Andru, 2013

Bad Rhad’s at it again in this black and white rendition of the wraparound cover  intended for “Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst”; artwork by Verne Andru, 2013

It isn’t a total train wreck. It just looks like one.

Output Prieview of failed tiff

PDF of cover tiff showing Output Preview on Acrobat; green indicates unacceptable colour saturation

Screen shot showing levels

Tiff supplied for Cataclysm Catalyst with text and logos removed; levels read fine on Photoshop

Problem seems to be high density colour. And if anyone knows how to correct it, please advise forthwith.

I’m still hopeful it’ll be ready by Beltane Day 2014 (the morning after Walpurgisnacht, the start of Witch Week). That would make it Mayday — the First of May 2014 for those not up on howsoever pagan celebrations.

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