Marketing Muddle

Here’s a line from “Feeling Theocidal“, the first book in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic trilogy that ended last year with the release of “Goddess Gambit“.

5 collages prepared for the Goddess Gambit web page

A variety of collages prepared by Jim McPherson for the Goddess Gambit web page

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The speaker is Tralalorn, the demon child (at least according to Mithras, whom she’s addressing in 4376 YD). As becomes clear in “Nuclear Dragons“, she’s the one who ‘devolved’ Pandora Mannering and Augustus Nauroz in 5920 YD.

She thereby rendered them the perpetual children, Hush ‘n’ Gush (among many other names and nicknames), they still were in 19/5980 when ‘Gambit’ and the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle are set:

“Muddle the puddle, daddy, that unkind of hurt the squirt.”

Hush and Gush, art by Ian Fry ca 1989

The faerie tricksters also known as Young Life and Young Death, as sketched out by Ian Fry circa 1989

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There’s also this, from the same source:

The third eye in the Steg’s forehead bulged, whereupon it tore out of the Sari Witch and into the Master’s prison pod. Which promptly detonated, hurtling Helena onto her backside. Despite the dampness of the garden’s ground, the Master was more muddled than muddied.

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Which (finally) brings us to a link sent in by an off-blog correspondent:

Not sure what to make of her experiences. I for one think she’s underselling her output. All the years and all the time she put into writing her books and she’s reduced to selling them as e-books for 99p a pop.

Even if she sold 2000 of them at 35%, as she claims in the article, that doesn’t amount to much, maybe 700 pounds sterling. (Not a bad return on nothing, I suppose, if you consider writing and ancillary tasks nothing.)

She does make a couple of good points, though. As a fellow marketing muggle (pardon the reference to Harry Potter movies), I certainly appreciate this one: “Overall, finding the time to market my books and write the next one is the biggest challenge – there just aren’t enough hours in the day.”
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Yet it has to be done. Or as I say to myself over and over again as I try to figure out how best to market “Nuclear Dragons”:

‘One way or another I shall muddle through.’

Potential b/w ad for Nuclear Dragons, prepared by Jim McPherson, artwork by Ian Bateson 2013

Potential b/w ad for “Nuclear Dragons”, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013, rendered grey for b/w reproductions

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Except Nihila’s last name is not Tikels

That’s true enough. Then again, I’m not sure Freespirit Nihila has a surname. Could be Nemesis I suppose.

It’s equally true that a synonym for ‘nihilartikels’, namely ‘mountweazels’, has to qualify for word of the week. It rivals ‘omnishambles’, which appears here (, and ‘catasterize’, which is referred to here (

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

E-book cover for “Goddess Gambit” — ISBN 978-0-9878683-3-6

While she is fictitious, to some, and does appear in “Goddess Gambit” (, the third entry in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic trilogy, she isn’t a fictitious entry as defined in the article found here:

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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:

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McPhersonal Appearance — Vancouver Comicon Sunday 8 Sept 13

Jim McPherson, creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, will be back at the Heritage Hall (15th & Main, Vancouver) on Sunday, 8 September 2013. Starts at 11 a.m.

Hopefully it’ll be raining by then as last one was sparsely attended in large measure due to what eventually registered as the first rainless July in Vancouver’s history:

Exact address is as on poster, just a different date:

Poster for the July 7, 2013 Vancouver Comic Con

Poster for the July 7, 2013 Vancouver Comic Con. Website is here:

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Disciples of the unusual and fantastical

Have a boo here for a comment on / sort of review of “Goddess Gambit“. Then have look at whatever else Mercury Sam has to say:

5 collages prepared for the Goddess Gambit web page

A variety of collages prepared by Jim McPherson for the Goddess Gambit web page

Should note that a short synopsis of the novel is here: whereas a longer one is here:

Just in case you’re not feeling clicky, here’s a reminder of what it’s about:

  Goddess Gambit


Nergal Vetala is the Blood Queen of Hadd, the Land of the Ambulatory Dead. She is the lone devic vampire. For 35 years she has been unable to prevent the encroachment of the Living on her realm. Then her soldier falls out of the sky and she’s back in the pink again — as in arterial.


The Trigregos Talismans are a curved blade, a mirror that can be used as a shield and a bloodstone tiara. The Head’s anti-devazur movements cherish them as the Three Sacred Objects because they reputedly can be used to kill devils. For exactly the same reason devils call them the Three Accursed Objects.


They’ve been separated for hundreds of years, since roughly two years prior to All-Death Day in 5494 YD. However, they’re composed of Brainrock-Gypsium, the remnants of the Big Bang’s Primordial Godhead. Due to the PHANTACEA-fact this Godstuff is both transmutable and teleportive, if you found one it should lead you between-space to the other two.


At stake is mastery of devils, the gods and goddesses of not just the Living. At stake as well, potentially, should be mastery over the entire Headworld. Not surprisingly, when one of them finally shows up again, it suddenly seems like nearly everyone wants all three of them.


Too bad, as Nergal Vetala should know better than most, everyone who ever played a Trigregos Gambit in the past has lost.


As always, good reading.

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Foreshadowing Phantacea’s Finale

Or, to fay-say it in pHant-pHorm: ‘pHoreseeing pHant’s pHinish. Maybe I should have entitled it “Freespirit Nihila take a Star Turn“. Too late now.

Here’s a statement, taken from Farlex’s Free Dictionary (which, I’m sure you’d agree, could easily be fay-said in phant-pHorm) re Nemesis:

“Nemesis is a hypothetical hard-to-see red dwarf star or brown dwarf, orbiting the Sun at a distance of about 50,000 to 100,000 AU (about 0.8-1.5 light-years), somewhat beyond the Oort cloud.”

Artist's conception of Nemesis as a red dwarf seen from a nearby debris field with the Sun visible in the center.

Artist’s conception of Nemesis as a red dwarf seen from a nearby debris field with the Sun visible in the center.

Here another statement, one that’s true for sure:

“In Jim McPherson’s Phantacea Mythos, Freespirit Nihila is the name Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Balance as well as Panharmonium, uses once her Nemesis-persona takes over in Tantalar 5980.”

Her first appearance, in Phantacea Five, will be reprinted in the upcoming graphic novel “Cataclysm Catalyst”, the early daze of whose cover is here. She shows up throughout “Goddess Gambit” as well.

In non-real-time terms, however, she actually debuted in “Contagion Collectors“, circa Year of the Dome 5476:

Her universally admired attractiveness combined with an overstated capacity for compassion – overstated due to her seldom seen and therefore thought-fabulous, as well as ill-natured, Nem­e­sis persona – helped to make the Unity the most popular devil-god­dess of the time, if not necessarily all-time.

Later on …

Her clothing and skin was black and red and fiery orange instead of glowingly golden, butterscotch and/or transitorily dependent on the onlooker’s expectations. Her chains still had the Plates of Justice on their end but now they were serrated like a shipwright’s belt-driven buzzsaw in a stream-fed mill.

As for the wings, well, they were almost never manifest. Fletched more so than feathered, they didn’t just look like flexible, cut-anything razorblades, they probably were.

She so dominated proceedings in the aforementioned “Goddess Gambit“, she even made its front cover, thereby relegating Nergal Vetala, its titular goddess, to the back.

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

E-book cover for “Goddess Gambit” — ISBN 978-0-9878683-3-6

(BTW, the back cover can be seen here. Its text is here. Its teaser is here. Lynx to excerpts are here. Check out more of the graphics prepared for Gambit here. All are good. So’s the book. Highly recommended.)

5 collages prepared for the Goddess Gambit web page

A variety of collages prepared by Jim McPherson for the Goddess Gambit web page


The article goes on to mention Sedna, an “extremely distant planetoid [that] has an extra-long and unusual elliptical orbit around the Sun, well beyond Pluto”. (BTW again, there’s piles more on Pluto here.)

Its discoverer, Mike Brown of Caltech, noted in a Discover magazine article that Sedna’s location doesn’t make sense:

“Sedna shouldn’t be there,” said Brown. “There’s no way to put Sedna where it is. It never comes close enough to be affected by the Sun, but it never goes far enough away from the Sun to be affected by other stars.”

Brown postulates that perhaps a massive unseen object is responsible for Sedna’s mystifying orbit, its gravitational influence keeping Sedna fixed in that far-distant portion of space.

Let’s see … Add an ‘o’ and there’s Smoky Sedona, Byron’s Mouthpiece, who appears in many of the novels, mini-novels, e-books and comic books put out by Phantacea Publications over the years. (The same Sedona made it to the cover of Phantacea Four in 1978.)

There’s also Lake Sedona, in which sits Sraddha Isle, the site of much of the action in “Goddess Gambit“. Its monastery also featured in the 5495 finale of “Janna Fangfingers“.

It couldn’t really be named after an Inuit goddess of the deep, dark sea either. Not in terms of the Phantacea Mythos it couldn’t. Just ask Jim McPherson about that.

As mentioned years ago in a Serendipity Now segment, take away an ‘a’ and keep the added ‘o’ and you have, of course, a different deep and dark: none other than the Moloch Sedon.

He’s one of Phantacea’s cornerstone characters. The Cathonic Zone separating the Inner from the Outer Earth is best known to those living beneath it as the Sedon Sphere.

He usually manifests himself, ever-so-impressively, as the Mighty Eye-Mouth in the Sky and, yes, you might even consider him the main antagonist in the Phantacea Mythos.

The Mighty Eye-Mouth in the Sky about to slurp in the Cosmic Express; art by Ian Bateson, ca 1986/7, text and image manipulation by Jim McPherson ca 2008

The Mighty Eye-Mouth in the Sky about to slurp in the Cosmic Express; art by Ian Bateson, ca 1986/7; text and image manipulation by Jim McPherson ca 2008

Which is say, in many respects, he’s everyone else’s nemesis. So ask yourself this: If Sedna really shouldn’t be there, then how did it get there and when?

After all, it wasn’t discovered until 2003. Could it have been there forever or, um, might it not have been moved there sometime after, say, oh, late April 1986 perhaps?

Wouldn’t want to speculate, naturally. There is many a mention of the Soviet Supracity in the epic Launch 1980 story cycle, however. And where might it have been precisely?

As a matter of pHantacea-pHact, as per “Nuclear Dragons” it’s in the same place it was in December 1955:

There, in an already partially con­structed super city hidden in the Soviet Ukraine, they would con­tinue the quintessential work his martyred cousin, Jesus Mandam, the two years’ dead King Conqueror, left for him to complete — facilitating the hege­mony of ‘uber­mensch’, the over-man.

If he didn’t succeed where Mandam failed, the inferior, rutting rabble that made up humanity would inevitably lay to ruin the entire world with their endless wars and hideous weapons of mass destruction.

“Join me!” the Magnificent Psycho shouted into their skulls “Join our cause! It is the normal, not the supranormal, who must be subjugated.”



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