Modern mythology meshed with the ancient

Recall this fellow (http://phantacea.com/blog/?p=695) from the Louvre museum in Paris? It’s most of two thousand years old.

Mithras slays the bull, image taken from web

Mithras slays the bull, image taken from web

Unfortunately it may not be in the Louvre anymore — at least Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, couldn’t find it when he was there in June 2014. (Plenty of his shots from Paris are on pHanta-pHlickr starting here, with commentary from your faithful blog-meister.)

However, aka Generic, as opposed to geriatric, Sol and Generic Luna live on here …

Three collages prepared by Jim McPherson using images taken from the Phantacea comic books and Mythos covers

Three collages prepared by Jim McPherson using images taken from the Phantacea comic books and Mythos covers

and here …

Three collages prepared by Jim McPherson using images taken from the Phantacea comic books and Mythos covers

Three collages prepared by Jim McPherson using images taken from the Phantacea comic books and Mythos covers

The two fellows in opposite corners at the top of both collages are, yes, Helios the Sun God and Mnemosyne the Moon Goddess as they looked all those centuries ago in Imperial Roman times.

(Generic Luna is sometimes erroneously called Selene. She’s not to be confused with the Silver Signaller who uses Selene as her code name, though that’s the latter day Greek goddess where she got it from.)

In terms of the Phantacea Mythos, Helios and Mnemosyne are two of its cornerstone characters, without whom there would be no such a thing. (pH-Webworld = Modern Age Mythology.) They’re the the time-tumbling Dual Entities; of whom much, much more can be found here, with even more lynx.

As for the six internal collages themselves, more on them currently links from here; double click to enlarge in a separate window. Just bye the bye, both collages have been added to the ever-growing heading banners of, you guessed it, pHantaBlog.

You can also buy the buy “Helios on the Moon“, the climactic entry of the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle and, indeed, of Phantacea Phase One itself. Order online, with credit card, here or direct from the publisher here.

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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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Serendipitous Reading — The Cross of Mithras

Collage entitled Great Gods Going Crazy, prepared by Jim McPherson, ca 2007

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007; for more hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#MitRuptNot1

Recall this from pH-Webworld: http://www.phantacea.info/summer06.htm#CrossMith1? It came out in the Summer of 2006. Even if you don’t, have a click and a boo.

While on a working vacation, supposedly to finish revising and editing “Helios on the Moon“, Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, had a read:

‘”Tell us about Mithras, Hugh …”

‘Hugh smiled. “… He was a very powerful god in his day, the Lord of Light, worshipped by most of the soldiery of the Empire as the Soldier’s God, but he was soon absorbed completely by Christianity and disappeared. Even the Cross that Christians revere today was his — the white, four-armed cross of Mithras, and it was an ancient symbol even before Mithras. It was certainly not the Cross that Jesus died on.”‘

Collage entitled Great Gods Going Crazy, prepared by Jim McPherson, ca 2007

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007; for more hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#MitRuptNot1

The Hugh is Hugues de Payens, the main man behind the founding of the Knights Templar. The book is “Knights of the Black and White“. It’s by Jack Whyte, who was living in Kelowna, British Columbia, when he wrote his Author’s Note in 2006.

It’s a massive tome, over 750 pages, and only the first book in the Templar Trilogy. As for why it deserves a place on pHantaBlog, it just shows that Jim McPherson isn’t the only one who not only does research but comes to similar conclusions.

In the PHANTACEA Mythos, the Cross of Mithras is one of the Thrygragos Talismans. The others were the Mask of Byron and Lazareme’s Starcape, aka his Cloak of Many Colours. Mithras himself (Thrygragos Varuna Mithras) gets hold of them early on in “Feeling Theocidal“.

Google it up. Or, for images, just click here: The Cross of Mithras . You might even see one of Phantacea’s in-house graphics. Somewhat less specifically, try here: The Templar Cross.

And, oh yeah, just by the by, Whyte might be wrong about it being a sacred symbol long before Mithras. In terms of named gods, there isn’t much before Mithras. He was in the Vedas. He was also named in the world’s first peace treaty, that of Kadeah, between the Hittites and the Egyptians.

And, in Zoroastrianism, he was the sword arm Ahura Mazda (Lord Wisdom) used again his enemy Angra Mainyu, none other than Ahriman (Aryan-man). (Here’s a near contemporaneous entry on pHant‘s VAM Entity.)

If he sounds like the Archangel Michael, guess who the Christians based St Michael on? Wouldn’t be much of a guess would it.

 

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Feeling Archival

Front Cover Ad for "Nuclear Dragons", art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

Front Cover Ad for “Nuclear Dragons”, art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

Cover for E-Versions of "The War of the Apocalyptics", artwork by Ian Bateson

E-Pox now available on the Kindle platform

Publisher got an email from India recently. Correspondent wanted free copies of “Goddess Gambit” and the first two entries in the ‘Launch 1980’ trilogy*, “The War of the Apocalyptics” and “Nuclear Dragoons“.

(*Launch 1980 = Jim McPherson’s currently only two-thirds completed project to novelize the comic book series. The last one, “Helios on the Moon“, should be coming out this Spring.)

Promise was to review the books for Goodreads. However, having checked out cost of shipping books to India ($20.00 per book surface, meaning by boat, expected delivery 2 months), publisher declined.

Correspondent persisted so publisher agree to send off Gambit, his favourite. (Writer’s favourite as well, despite someone once saying it was for aficionados of the weird and wild, or words to that effect.

Full Cover for "Goddess Gambit", artwork by Verne Andru 2011/12

Full Cover for “Goddess Gambit”, artwork by Verne Andru 2011/12

At any rate, publisher found this in archives. It was a long-prior-to-publication blurb for “Feeling Theocidal“, the first full-length Mythos novel ever published. Have a boo.

Jim McPherson’s PHANTACEA Mythos

Devils, Demons, Dates and suchlike Diverse Details

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007; for more hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#MitRuptNot1

Thanks in large measure to monotheistic religions the Gods and Goddesses, the Demons and Monsters, of Antique Mythology have been trivialized, their worship proscribed and the entities themselves confined to another realm. This realm is known by various names. In some folk traditions it is called the ‘Otherworld’, in others ‘Shadowland’, and to this day in places like Tibet it is often referred to as the Inner Earth.

In the PHANTACEA Mythos it goes by all these names and a number of others, most prominently Big Shelter and the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head. That it’s been hidden since the time of the Great Flood of Genesis (the ‘Genesea’), take that as a given. That it’s hidden by the Cathonic Zone or Dome, that’s reflected in how its inhabitants count time: in Years of the Dome (YD). The sub-titular Thrygragon of “Feeling Theocidal” occurs in 4376 YD. That makes it 376 AD: four thousand three hundred and seventy-six years after the Genesea subsided.

There are a great many supernatural entities living beneath, or within, the Dome. I make a distinction between ‘Cathonic’ or skyborn and ‘Chthonic’ or earthborn beings. The latter include such familiar creatures of folklore as faeries and demons while the former are the Fallen Angels or devils of the Bible. With respect to devils, because they are described as fallen I take that to mean they are extraterrestrial in origin. To a number of the Earth-centric, Mother Goddess worshipping characters in the PHANTACEA Mythos that makes them less supernatural than unnatural and, hence, their enemy.

Collage entitled Great Gods Going Crazy, prepared by Jim McPherson, ca 2007

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007; for more hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#MitRuptNot1

I also refer to devils as being members of the ‘devazur’ race since, to simplify matters some­what, ‘devas’ or ‘devs’ in Indian or Kurdish tradition are gods whilst my azuras or their ‘asur­as’ are demons. Yet, in the Zoroastrian tradition of the neighbouring Persians, the opposite holds true. (In fact I’ve been given to understand that the word ‘ahura’, from whence come azura and asura, just means lord or lady, depending on the context.) All in all, then, it just made sense to combine the two into devazur.

It is my contention that the Sanskrit word ‘deva’ is the root for English words such as devil, deity, divine, diva, and the Indian honorific, Devi. It seems to me that the Latin word for God, ‘Deus’, is just a variation of ‘dev’. This appears self-evident when you consider that in English the plural of ‘dev’ is ‘devs’ and the Romans wrote ‘Deus’ as ‘devs’.

Three tribes constitute the devazur race. These are the Mithradites, the Byronics and the La­zar­emists. They are named after the tribes’ (nominal) male primogenitors: Thrygragos Varuna Mithras, Thrygragos Byron and Thrygragos Lazareme.

As for their three female primogenitors, they are, or were, the Trigregos Sisters: Sapiendev the Mind, Demeter the Body and Devaura the Spirit. Except in flashbacks, they don’t feature in “Feeling Theocidal”. However, their terrible talismans definitely do.

And will as the PHANTACEA Mythos progresses. That’s why the novel’s also called: “The Thrice Cursed Godly Glories – Book One”.

========

E-book cover for "Feeling Theocidal", artwork by Verne Andru, 2008
E-book cover for “Feeling Theocidal”, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008; Feel Theo’s web page is here:
http://www.phantacea.com/FeelTheoPage.htm#BlownUpCover

Note: Much of the above material was taken from the Moloch Manoeuvres webpage (http://www.phantacea.info/molmyth1.htm#contents). Lynx to tons more information on the PHANTACEA Mythos can be found on www.phantacea.com’s long-running progenitor: pH-Webworld.

Check out its features page (http://www.phantacea.info/ph1.htm#logo), main menu (http://www.phantacea.info/ph2.htm#logo) and terms pages (http://www.phantacea.info/term.htm#logo) for starters.

Written ca 2005/6 as an intro to the “Feeling Theocidal” manuscript then going through the submission process. There’s a Travels essay from 2005 re Jim McPherson’s one and only trip to India here.

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Super Fecundity — Make that pHecundity

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

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

Title page for "The Soldier's Trilogy, Part II: Cataclysm Catalyst" taken from Phantacea Four; artwork by Verne Andrusiek, 1979

Title page for “The Soldier’s Trilogy, Part II: Cataclysm Catalyst” taken from Phantacea Four; artwork by Verne Andrusiek, 1979

Jesus Mandam gets mentioned a few times in “Nuclear Dragons” and probably will again in “Helios on the Moon“. His supposed twin Barsine appears in both “Goddess Gambit” and “Cataclysm Catalyst“, albeit not so much so by daddy-given-name.

So does her son Thartarre Holgatson, which should give you a hint as to who she appears as. Hint 2: Who she appears as was around in “Feeling Theocidal“, which is set in (4)376 AD, but Barsine wasn’t born until December 25, 1920.

E-book cover for "Feeling Theocidal", artwork by Verne Andru, 2008

E-book cover for “Feeling Theocidal”, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008;

E-book cover for Goddess Gambit, artwork by Verne Andru

E-book cover for “Goddess Gambit”

Jesse and aka Bar-Stool (or Bat-Bait, in the pH-Webworld serials of a decade past now) didn’t look at all alike. The explanation in the Web Wheaties (serials = cereals, not surreal) is that, as soon as they were born, Witches of Weir deliberately mixed up girls procreated during the Simultaneous Summonings of 19/5920.

But could they have actually come out of the same womb? Apparently it is possible, though not very likely: See super-fecundation and/or hetero-paternal fecundation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfecundation.

Oh, and guess who was often called Fecundity in “Feeling Theocidal“?

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Non-perversely putting putti online

Just spotted this — http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Putto. It doesn’t really fall under the category of Serendipitous Sightings or Travels but I’ll put it in both anyhow.

Five covers prepared by Jim McPherson for the Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories trilogy

All three books forming The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories Trilogy have their own web pages.

Here’s a rather lengthy clip (for a blog post) from “Contagion Collectors“, the second mini-novel extracted from “The Thousand Days of Disbelief“.

Plus, he [4-year old Dire] could still hear Drang [his more like waddle-away than runaway dachshund] raising cacophonous Cain, as his father might alliterate, albeit in his own language. But it was already sounding much fainter than it did when it woke him up.

Ergo, his ever faithful, but clearly dumb as they come hound must be dutifully chasing some bogie or another farther and farther away from their familial sanctuary. Dumb as they come wasn’t an insult either. Drang had to be at least that dumb because he’d somehow missed the bogie in his bedroom.

He couldn’t figure out how come he couldn’t see through the spirit. Weren’t spooks always supposed to be transparent? That’s what his dad claimed and his dad never lied, not even when he was making things up for story time. Then again, how was the boy to know there was noth­­ing of the spirit world about the evidently non-nightmarish creature flitting about his room fetching his boots and warmest clothing, the one who’d been sitting on his chest sucking in his breath when the increasingly distant barking first roused him?

His sort were earthborn; hence mainly earthen if not precisely earth-made. They didn’t have souls; which strictly speaking was a prerequisite for being a spirit. He did have a mind, though – unless, being soulless, he was more correctly referred to as ‘it’. Regardless of semantics, if the word ‘spirit’ could be defined as the melding of a mind with a soul, then having a mind was the other requirement. A mind and, a body to go with it, definitely made him, at the minimum, possib­ly chthonic. A pair of wings contributed to make him specifically chthonic.

The pudgy putto, as demonologists identified his aberrant species, looked a lot youn­g­er than he did. If it weren’t for the spiffy, embroidered outfit, dinky shoulder-wings and receding hairline, what almost contrarily made him look nearly as old as the boy’s Hungarian-born goldsmith of a father, he’d have thought he was a baby angel.

“Get dressed, kiddo,” the green-eyed, no doubt ne’er-do-well bird-brat demanded, as he passed him his stuff. “Your fiddlehead doc­tors may diagnose your condition dire, but it sniffs to me that you’ll get better soon. That means we’ve got to hurry. Otherwise we’ll waste all that good contagion.”

As semi-sort of noted here, Contagion’s putto was at least partially inspired by Albrecht Durer’s Melancholia. He’s wearing clothes, though. He’s also possessed by Sinistral Envy, who became the Prime Sinistral of Satanwyck after Contagion’s time.

[NOTE: the sequence is set in Nuremberg, specifically within the publicly accessible area outside the Kaiser’s great hall. I’ve been there, albeit clearly not in the 15th Century. It’s not far from the Sinwell Tower, its original keep. (As noted in Contagion, ‘Sinwell’ meant round or around in High German, not ‘sin well’, let alone good, in any other language including Sedon Speak.)]

I’ve seen Durer’s Melancholia in a couple of places on my travels. Rather, I’ve seen prints of it, as it’s a woodcut. A more famous, make that notorious, putto is Brussels’ oddly beloved Manneken Pis.

I’ve seen him, too. And his sister, Jeanneke Pis — who’s not quite so bold, hiding as she does not far away, in a darkened alley near a sign for Delirium Tremens pink elephant. Neither of them have wings, though.

The Visit Brussels website describes Manneken and Jeanneke as playmates rather than brother and sister. And, yes, it shows Manneken mostly clothed. Probably to avoid lawsuits and/or the online porn police.

Just to add an element of, what, disgust (maybe, especially if you’re not Belgian), the website notes:

On special occasions, brass-bands would play and Manneken Pis would be hooked up to different flavours of Belgian beer, which is poured from his fountain tip and given out to the public.

I’ll leave it to you to determine what it means by ‘fountain tip’.

 

 

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Evil Eye-Tems

Here’s a telling sequence from the first chapter of “Nuclear Dragons

It [Daemonicus] wasn’t in a coercive mood today. It was as furious as they were frightened.

“Nowhere in this world, nor in the other – nor in the next, be assured of that. I am a generous master yet unre­lenting in the pursuit of those who have wronged me. You will do exactly as instructed. There shall be no variations. No devi­ations. If you fear Hell coming to Earth, look no further than me.

“Eyefire-burn, Milo Mind!”

From the phantasm’s third eye came a burst of blazing fury. It engulfed Mind only briefly then dissipated. The major fell out of his chair and began to weep uncontrollably.

Longtime readers of stories featuring Jim McPherson’s PHANTACEA Mythos will recognize the speaker — though possibly not as Daemonicus. Which is how WORLD’s masterminds know him, as opposed to it. (For more on their fellow felon see here and here.)

Now consider these statements, from the Free Dictionary article on the Evil Eye (http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Evil+eye):

The spreading in the belief of the evil eye towards the east is believed to have been propagated by the Empire of Alexander the Great.

In the Greco-Roman period a scientific explanation of the evil eye was common. Plutarch’s scientific explanation stated that the eyes were the chief, if not sole, source of the deadly rays that were supposed to spring up like poisoned darts from the inner recesses of a person possessing the evil eye (Quaest.Conv. 5.7.2-3=Mor.80F-81f). Plutarch treated the phenomenon of the evil eye as something seemingly inexplicable that is a source of wonder and cause of incredulity.

The phallic charm called fascinum in Latin (from the verb fascinare, “to cast a spell” — the origin of the English word “fascinate”), was used against the evil eye.

Sounds like Major Mind and the rest of WORLD’s brain trust should have exposed themselves instead of suffered the indignities Daemonicus foisted on them whenever he got pissed off.

Plutarch, in case you too were fascinated by the article, lived c. 46 – 120 AD. {Note: “KAI SU” means “and you (too)”.}

Here’s more on just how old belief in the Evil Eye. And what to do about it.

Roman-era mosaic from Antioch depicting a plethora of devices against the evil eye

Roman-era mosaic from Antioch depicting a plethora of devices against the evil eye, image taken from the Web

Additional apotropaic remedies for the Evil Eye:

The eye is pierced by a trident and sword, pecked by a raven, barked at by a dog and attacked by a centipede, scorpion, cat and a snake. A horned dwarf with a gigantic phallus crosses two sticks.

Curiously, especially for a guy for whom mythos matters, the various countermeasures described are highly reminiscent of elements found in Roman Mithraism. For example, consider the description of the Louvre’s tauroctony (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mithras_tauroctony_Louvre_Ma3441b.jpg).

It lacks a horned dwarf with a gigantic phallus but it does bring in two of Phantacea’s Cornerstone Characters, the Dual Entities. Plus, as per “Feeling Theocidal“, should mention that the bull-slayer is Chrysaor Attis, not his father Thrygragos Varuna Mithras.

Mithras slaying the bull in a cave, above which in the upper corners Sol (top left) and Luna (top right) emerge. Luna has a crescent behind her shoulders. Around Sol’s head is a crown of twelve rays, plus another that darts out in the direction of Mithras. Also in the upper left is a raven. The dog, serpent, scorpion are set at their standard positions.

 

Mithras slays the bull, image taken from web

Mithras slays the bull, image taken from web

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Beer can dragon


Page Lynx

 TopOnwards

 

Jim McPherson writes:


Many moons ago I made mention as to how an inscribing, if that’s the right word, at the bottom of a beer mug that I drained many a time, throughout the early-to-mid Seventies, inspired not so much the creating as the naming of one of Phantacea’s strongest and most unique characters.

That would be Raven’s Head. (She’s the D-Brig member who isn’t even remotely human; at least she isn’t according to the back cover text for War-Pox.)

The posting is here, the specific link is here and the commercial logo referred to therein is also right here:

Ravenhead Logo, image taken from website

As per the posting, Jim McPherson’s beer mug in the early to mid 70s had the Ravenhead logo inscribed on its base

 TopOnwards


So, did the inspiration for “Nuclear Dragons” come from a beer can?

Kelowna Dragon Pils, picture of beer can taken from web

Beer can often found on table after editing “Nuclear Dragons”

The answer to that is a resolute ‘no’. For one thing, Dragon Pils (as opposed to ‘dragon pills’) didn’t even exist when I first came up with the notion of Crystallion, Hell’s Horsemen, and their atomic firedrakes in the by then mid-to-late Seventies.

Besides, I only imbibe after the work day’s over and, anyways, the Kelowna brand Pilsener or Pilsner is only one of my one-a-day beer treats.

Note as well, contrary to speculation rampant in certain quarters, Jordan Q for Quill Tethys, an equally unique  character, one who featured throughout ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic fantasy trilogy, is not my alter ego.

I might be a Legendarian but I’m no more 30-Beers than I am a legendary 30-Year Man. Not even in my own mind.

TopBackwards

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Look out below! Nuclear Dragons are on their way

Don’t quote me, quote Tad, Dolph Dulles, his Enormity and the Great Man (Loxus Abraham Ryne):

Tadpole didn’t need thought beams coming from the moon to ignore the old man. He never had much use for authority. “Have a look at these, then tell me I was wrong.” He handed an envelope of photographs to Dulles. “One of the pilots sent them to us just before we lost contact with him.”

Dolph whistled gravely. “If this … is real, we can’t deal with it.”

Sentalli took one look at the picture then swore: “They are … dragons!”

Ryne had to grin. “And my name’s St George!”

Here, for the first time on pHantablog is its full back and front covers. It’s what you’ll get when you buy it. Which you will, right. (No question mark, also right?)

For birthday and Christmas presents, too. (Even for Xuthrodites like the patriarch (that would be Abe Ryne) who call it Xmas or Sedonites who prefer Mithramas).

Double-click to enlarge separate window.
Front and Back Covers for "Nuclear Dragons"; artwork by Ian Bateson, 1980/2013; text by Jim McPherson

Front and Back Covers for “Nuclear Dragons”; artwork by Ian Bateson, 1980/2013; text by Jim McPherson

More on “Nuclear Dragons” can be found here, here and here. It’s auctorial preamble is here and here.

The first entry in the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle was 2009’s “The War of the Apocalyptics“. A note re the dreaded letter ‘D’ and the spoiler alert that goes with it are here and here. Both apply to “Nuclear Dragons” and both were taken from 2011’s “Janna Fangfingers“.

 

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These Nucks You Can’t Duck

Reckon it needs just a couple more tweaks and we’re good to go. Comments appreciated.

Draft covers for Nuclear Dragons, artwork by Ian Bateson 2013

Tentative front and back cover for 2013 Phantacea Mythos print publication; artwork and layout by Ian Bateson, text by Jim McPherson

Print first then e-book I reckon. Might set up a downloadable PDF too, while I’m at it.

BTW, the back cover text hasn’t changed. It just looks way better now:  http://phantacea.com/blog/?p=422#bcovTxt

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