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
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.
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.)
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.
The PHANTACEA Mythos