Review of … call it a notice instead

Another extract from the archives. This fellow didn’t say what he thought of Goddess Gambit so much as what it was about.

Don’t think it’s appeared anywhere else so here goes, with lynx …

Gambit P-card

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stevo’s Monthly Picks (Read-Only Folder) –  August Book Recommendations

(Stevo’s Book Reviews on the Internet: http://forums.delphiforums.com/n/main.asp?webtag=stevo1&msg=170.1&gid=148890425

Goddess Gambit by Jim McPherson (creator/writer) and Verne Andru (cover artist) Phantacea Publications, $25.00 –

In addition to concluding the Glories trilogy, Gambit picks up from where Janna Fangfingers left off. As such, it eventually carries on the Launch 1980 story cycle that began in 2009 with The War of the Apocalyptics.

Starting at the end of November 1980 (Maruta 5980 Year of the Dome), its ensemble cast includes many characters new to Phantacea Publications, though not to the Phantacea Mythos.

Among them are the fabulous, if fearsome, Fisherwoman (Scylla Nereid, now over 60 but as formidable as ever), the Hellions’ late 60th Century Morrigan (Superior Sarpedon), her husband and fellow Summoning Child Demios (once codenamed the Ace of Spades) and her year-older brother, the Master of Weir since 5950 (Saladin Devason).

Welcome back the Legendarian (Jordan ‘Q for Quill’ Tethys), Bodiless Byron’s Firstborn Silverclouds (Savage Storm and Lunar Uma), the Thanatoid Death Gods of Lathakra (King Cold and the Scarlet Empress) and a certain next-to-never-remembered smiling fiend (who may or may not yet prove to be the Moloch Sedon slumming).

Why are earthborn demons fighting against the Living and why are Hellion Witches fighting against demons? Aren’t they supposed to be allies? They were in Feel Theo, which took place on Mithramas Day 4376, and still were throughout the seven hundred or so years (4824-5495 YD) covered during 1000-Daze — what’s changed?

Who is Freespirit Nihila? To her exceedingly short-lived regret, didn’t Herta Heartthrob encounter someone very similar, perhaps even identical, to her in Contagion, circa 5476?

Did any members of the Damnation Brigade survive the War of the Apocalyptics? For that matter, did any of the Apocalyptics?  No matter … If they’re alive and dare trifle with them, Nergal Vetala, the Blood Queen of Hadd, and her soldier, her champion, the Trigregos Titan, whoever he is, will happily kill them.They’ll kill anyone who seeks to play let alone win a Trigregos Gambit at their expense.

Kill them then command their corpses to rise up and kill the more!

 

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

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

 

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Found but not Forgotten

From the archives. Don’t know about Bible-thumping background but it’s pretty clear the writer of this disappointing review of the first Phantacea Mythos graphic novel just doesn’t get it.

Still, in the spirit of any publicity is good publicity, have a boo and a comment, if you’re registered.

Forever & Forty Days by Jim McPherson and Ian Fry

01/07/2012. Contributed by Aidan Fortune

author pic

pub: Phantacea Mythos. 84 page softcover graphic novel. Price: $ 9.95 (US), $11.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-97813-423-5.

check out website: www.phantacea.com

Initially released in 1990, this collection covers the genesis of his Phantacea gods in Jim McPherson’s mythological series.

In the sixties, acting as a backlash against the bible-thumping upbringing, McPherson creates a ‘new’ mythology loosely based on characters and events from the Old Testament. It lay unpublished in his basement for years until he decided to distribute it himself.

This book was supposed to act as a foundation for the ‘Phantacea’ series, to help readers get a better understanding of what McPherson was trying to achieve. However, I shudder to think what the rest of the series is like if this is the case. There is more to be gleaned from the author’s foreword about the Phantacea universe than the following eighty pages.

It’s all bit disjointed, flitting all over time and space with The Devil being the only constant character. Ironic that he should be the one reassuring element of the collection.

I found it difficult to read the text for the first few pages, as the font was too tight, making it hard on the eyes. In fairness, it improves after the first ten pages or so but someone new to the Phantacea universe may not be so willing to persevere with it.

Confusion and migraine-inducing text aside, the book has some merits. The art, while a bit sketchy at times, has a nice look to it and conveys a mythological atmosphere, plus the dialogue is wonderfully ridiculous with fun narrative text boxes to hammer home the plot points at various interludes.

Ultimately, while I didn’t enjoy ‘Forever & Forty Days’, I’m actually more annoyed at myself for not doing so. What McPherson created in ‘Phantacea’ was ambitious and bold and deserves more credit than it probably receives here. I would be interested in trying the rest of the series but I don’t think this particular collection is the best introduction to it and it may turn more people away than leave them clamouring for more.

My advice would be to try other books in the ‘Phantacea’ series before this one and see if it’s right for you.

Aidan Fortune

As noted above, not sure about this review. So, in an effort to slightly clear the air, as taken from the Phantacea Publications website, here‘s what the graphic novel’s all about:

Forever & 40 Days - the Genesis of PHANTACEA

The gods and goddesses, the demons and monsters, of ancient mythologies have been trivialized, their worship proscribed and the entities themselves mostly confined to another realm.

Culminating in the Genesea (aka the Great Flood of Genesis), the graphic novel, "Forever & 40 Days - the Genesis of PHANTACEA", recounts many of the challenges these then only eventual gods and goddesses faced prior to their apotheosis. Of them, about half take place pre-Earth.

Nothing less than the PHANTACEA version of the origin of the Devil himself highlights this 1990 collection of short featurettes drawn by Ian Fry and initially intended for the phantacea Phase One project.

(Secular Note 1: According to some faiths, fallen angels became devils. They had to have fallen from somewhere, which in Phantacea Mythos books makes them extraterrestrials. Are the heavens not outer space? Of course they are.)

(Pun Alert: As for why Hor looks Japanese on the cover of pH-4Ever, when Jim McPherson first heard about Japan’s famous Noh theatre as a kid, he decided it had to be named after Noah. The notion never left whatever else is left of his peabrain.)

========

Plenty more here

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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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VCON Attendees — Remember Russia

As per also per here, Jim McPherson will be signing copies of "Nuclear Dragons" at this year’s VCON. Its theme is …

Pirates and Piracy:  Sea, Space and Web

Swashbuckling rogues, desperate space battles, the future of intellectual property rights, grizzled old seamen following ancient treasure maps, the basics of Ferengi business practices, peer to peer file sharing, and maybe even a little Captain Morgan…

I’ve been advised that cosplay is a word; a portmanteau, no less. Apparently it also has a drawback. Folks get caught up in character so random acts of piracy may be expected.

What’s scary is what happened to Greenpeace activists this week in RussiaRussia levels piracy charges at whole Greenpeace crew. Evidently Vladimir Putin is not a costume-player.

Two pirate women, artwork by Melissa Mary Duncan, 2013

Image Courtesy of Melissa Mary Duncan www.melissaduncan.ca. Melissa is one of VCON38’s attending artists. We invite you to join her in the art gallery on Saturday (5 October 2013) to watch her at work and enjoy her process.

The big event takes place on Friday, 4 October 2013, starting at 7 p.m. Free entry for the book signing event Friday evening. Vendor’s Room is open to the public all weekend, 4-6 Oct. Website is here.

Event address: Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel, 3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond, BC. Important information follows.

TRANSIT AND WALKING DIRECTIONS FOR VCON 38

DIRECT BUS SERVICE AT HOTEL – LIMITED AND UNUSUAL HOURS,
about every 20 to 30 minutes.  The “unusual” part is because the hotel is directly on a Night Bus route.

Friday:  c. 1:30 am to c. 4:30 am, N10 Downtown/ Richmond – Brighouse Stn
c. 6:25 am to c. 7:25 pm, C92 Bridgeport/Airport South

Saturday c. 1:30 am to c. 4:30 am, N10 Downtown/ Richmond – Brighouse Stn
c. 8:10 am to c. 7:05 pm, C92 Bridgeport/Airport South

Sunday c. 1:30 am to c. 4:30 am, N10 Downtown/ Richmond – Brighouse Stn

Monday  c. 1:30 am to c. 4:30 am, N10 Downtown/ Richmond – Brighouse Stn
c. 6:25 am to 7:25 pm, C92 Bridgeport/Airport South

The C92 stops by the hotel on its way out (Stop #58061, on Russ Baker Way) from Bridgeport (Canada Line) Skytrain station to Airport South, and again on its way back (Stop #58058, on Miller Road). Contact Transit at 604-953-3333 and reference these stop #s to get precise service details.
The N10 Night Bus between downtown Vancouver and Richmond center also stops right by the hotel, at the same stops It makes 6 trips each way, half-hourly, late every night. The first 3 trips each way make a side run to the Vancouver Airport and Bridgeport Skytrain station. The bus winds up stopping by the hotel at least twice each way on these trips.

More travel info to VCON here

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Routes not to take to VCON

As per also here and here, Jim McPherson will be signing copies of "Nuclear Dragons" at this year’s VCON. The big event takes place on Friday, 4 October 2013, starting at 7 p.m.

Free entry for the book signing event Friday evening. Vendor’s Room is open to the public all weekend, 4-6 Oct. Website is here.

Two pirate women, artwork by Melissa Mary Duncan, 2013

Image Courtesy of Melissa Mary Duncan www.melissaduncan.ca. Melissa is one of VCON38’s attending artists. We invite you to join her in the art gallery on Saturday (5 October 2013) to watch her at work and enjoy her process.

Event address: Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel, 3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond, BC. Important information follows.

Note #5 in particular. Evidently cosplay (which apparently is a word; a portmanteau, no less) has a drawback. Folks get caught up in character so random acts of piracy may be expected.

ROUTES to NOT TAKE:

1) DO NOT ATTEMPT to walk to Templeton Skytrain station.  It is a very dangerous route across marshy land and strangely looped roads, the nearest station side is blocked off, and Skytrain service does not run past 1:00 a.m.

2) DO NOT CROSS Sea Island Way or Bridgeport Road, except at the lighted intersections at No. 3 Road.  There is a very tempting disused railway crossing at the east (Richmond) end of each bridge. However, traffic is very fast, very frequent, and knows it has the right of way. Sea Island Way is extremely bad: the one-way traffic is coming fast over the hump of the Moray Channel Bridge, and WILL NOT SEE YOU IN TIME.  Traffic on Bridgeport Road is one-way toward Airport Connector Bridge, and has long clear sightlines, but the crossing is still not legal and still not recommenced.

3) DO NOT ATTEMPT to use the north side of Sea Island Way AT ALL, unless you work in the hut at the west end.of the Moray Channel Bridge.  There is a crosswalk on the north side of the bridge, but it is marked “closed”, and strongly fenced off at both ends..Only bridge service staff are allowed to use it, and only when they’re actually turning aside the center of the bridge to let tall river traffic through.

4) DO NOT use the bridge at Bridgeport Road (Airport Connector Bridge) to get to the hotel,. Cars must go this way, but it is a longer route among the tangled roads.  If you use this bridge by mistake, there is a bicycle path, west of the bridge, that leads back under the bridges’ ends and connects up right across from the hotel..  It has “subject to flooding” warning signage on it..  Hope it is not a very high tide!.

5) (For over-enthusiastic pirates) If the Moray Channel Bridge crossing is held up for a passing tall ship, DO NOT ATTEMPT to board said ship.  It will not let you off anywhere you actually want to go, and your outfit and gear will be ruined in the process.

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