Heliodromi in Vancouver

We’ll start this with the opening paragraphs of “Feeling Theocidal“. (Which, as per here and here, you can look inside online for free.)

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:


“Arise, Gorgon ‘Q for Quisling’ Tethys,” intoned the Mithrant praetor.


When the chained, and badly beaten, deposed governor had done so, the adjudicator began reading off his personally prepared script. “You freely admit to committing crimes of mass murder, including parricide, uxoricide, filicide and effective fratricide; this last with respect to your underlings within the Mithrant Brotherhood, who were attempting to take you into lawful custody.

“You also admit to secreting about yourself, undeclared, a number of Utopian eyeorbs, what they sometimes refer to as prison pods. Compounding your crimes in this regard, you used one of them to capture and hold onto the Master Deva intending  to invest you into the sixth rung of our brotherhood’s seven steps to exaltation, that of the Heliodromus.”

He paused to allow the crowd’s murmurings of mostly outrage die down. “Your name shall assuredly survive within the annals of infamy for you are guilty on all counts …”


Jim McPherson writes:

So here I am driving downtown to work the Phantacea Publications’ table on the Sunday (no pun intended) of this year’s Van Expo (Vancouver Fan Expo — 2013 April 20-21). What’s this? My nearest bridge is blocked by vast numbers of horribly fit-looking joggers.

Old Buggery, I think to myself, it’s the Sun Run. (Thus the unintended pun.)

I detour, find another bridge and make my way to the Convention Centre where Van Expo’s being held. All the way I’m muttering to myself: “Darn Heliodromi”. Added to my (minor) annoyance, I arrive late for re-opening of show; hence no doubt missing dozens of sales.

I’m still mumbling about Darn Heliodromi when this fellow stops at my table. “Nice costume,” I say to him. He’s wearing shorts, a number vest, a sweaty tee-shirt, sneakers, a sunhat and a Green Lantern dressing gown.

(There were plenty of fine costumes on display throughout weekend. Funnily enough, when men and women are wearing masks, or heavy makeup, they don’t seem to care what else is on display. Ask me body painters must be made of sterner stuff than those who have their bodies painted then strut about the convention floor inviting boggle-eyes and flashing cameras.)

“This isn’t a costume,” he says to me. “I’ve just come from the Sun Run.”

Darn Heliodromus didn’t buy anything either.

(Heliodromus means Sun-Runner. Its plural I’m assuming would be Heliodromi. In Phantacea I take it to mean a messenger to or from the gods a la Hermes, Thoth or Mercury. Devilish Heliodromi are referred to as Sky Magicians. However, in Roman Mithraism, a Sun Runner is the sixth rung up the ladder to enlightenment.

(Interestingly, to me anyhow, the seventh and top rung is Pater Patrum or simply the Father. When Christianity supplanted Mithraism amongst the Roman soldiery in the 4th Century AD, its headman gained that very title; hence the Pope.

(Along more than a few devilish Heliodromi have appeared during the course of chronicling the Phantacea Mythos, the Sky Magician who appears most often, at least in the printed books, is the very Master Deva referred to in the quote above: Djinn Domitian, the lion-headed Heliodromus of Mithras, aka the Masochist, of whom more is here.)

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