Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, recently returned from his late winter, early spring brain break.
A brain break for him of course means a new book is on the horizon for Phantacea Publications and pHanta-pHans everywhere. At least it has in the recent past, witness “Nuclear Dragons” and “Helios on the Moon“, the long-awaited concluding entries in the ‘Launch 1980‘ epic trilogy.
Maybe not this time; at least not in terms of ‘new’ so much as recombined.
More on that as the year progresses, though you might find a couple of mysterious additions to the Earthlings’ row in the ‘Devils by Tribal Affiliation‘ webpage that appeared last January instructive.
For now he’s happy to report some serendipitous readings in the January 2015 edition of Fortean Times (FT 323).
Here’s something I didn’t know. According to ‘Blasts from the Past’, a column by Theo Paijmans in FT 323 (p 32; “#55: The Cities of Lost Children”), an American writer, none other than Charles Fort himself, coined the term ‘teleportation’. (Wikipedia seems to confirm that he did just that — in 1931, to be absolutely precise — here.)
This would be the same Charles Fort (1874-1932), who inspired the delightful oddballs behind Fortean Times to launch, as long ago as 1973, what’s now a regular dweller in my bin of bathroom readings. (In the same issue, Arthur C Clarke is quoted as considering forteans “… ignorant and opinionated science-bashers.”)
Nearer to the beginning of the same issue (pp 6-7), we read about something else — better make that somebody else — I’d never heard of: namely, another American, a stage-managing ‘visionary pictographer’ as much as portrait photographer by the name of William Mortensen (1897-1965).
Talk about Peculiar Perspectives, I’d provide a link re this ‘master of American Grotesque’ but don’t want to get pHantaBlog into trouble. Don’t mind getting the US edition of Huffington Post in trouble, though. So have a boo, literally.
Will say that I googled him, which was where I learned of his relationship to Cecil B DeMIlle and Fay Wray, not to mention King Kong and the Mad Hatter. Also recognized his fabulous photographic imaging of Belphegor, Hell’s perceived Prince of Sloth, among other things, including invention.
Header point being yet another article in FT 323: “I Sing the Mind Electric” by Marinus van der Sluijs (pp 40-43). As a preface, recall this from “Goddess Gambit“:
“Fisherwoman wasn’t there either. Not yet. Then she was, in a way. She was bigger than life, much bigger than Diminished Dustmound … She did look good in a glowingly golden, chain-mail hauberk; no question of that. And there was nothing better against incoming missiles, no matter what they were tipped with, than teleportive Brainrock chains.”
Or this, from the aforementioned:
Young Death, as he was best known below the larger Dome, didn’t blame the Diver. He reckoned – probably correctly – that Freespirit Nihila, whom he still regarded as Fisherwoman, must be taking it [teleportive Brainrock-Gypsium] all into herself; her Borealis brolly, put better.
Or this from a few pages later:
She [Fish-Nihila] twirled it, simultaneously raising it as if a Kevlar umbrella; impermeable not just over her, but over most of Diminished Dustmound. She thus rendered it akin to a roiling, Aurora Borealis sunshade; a whirling dervish’s flaring skirts, equally so.
So, not only am I and every other writer in books, for Star Trek, and many another elsewhere, indebted to Charles Fort for the word ‘teleportation’, it seems I’m personally indebted to the magazine he inspired for this quote from van der Sluijs’s article:
“… auroral emissions also occur at ultraviolet, infrared and other wavelengths. Enunciations of a dazzling geometry of dynamic shapes are common to both near-death experiences and eye-witness accounts of aurorae. And, bizarre as it admittedly sounds, there appears to be an uncanny logic to the impression that the auroral lights contain myriad units of incorporeal consciousness exchanging information.”
There’s also this caption under a pretty picture of the Northern Lights:
“… the Aurora Borealis [is] traditionally identified as the abode of posthumous souls.”
All of which makes for quite a stunning example of serendipitous reading, especially when you consider how my recently completed brain-break-writings concluded in terms of the as yet unresolved task of “Annuling Nihila“.
The Serendipity entry’s here. And just in case you need another dose of serendipitous same, on the day Oz prepared it, the CBC Online provided some stunning shots of, well, not Fisherwoman/Nihila’s Borealis Brolly per se, but close. They’re here.