No Lunatic Preamble This

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

Ad for the last two novels in the Launch 1980 story cycle, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

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.

3 comic book covers incorporated in ad for Phantacea Publications

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.)

Collage and covers indicative of action recounted in "Nuclear Dragons"

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.


Jim McPherson


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McPherson on Vancaf 14

Monday, 26 May 2014

Vancaf Report 2014


Sooth said, as one might expect, it was more about comics than books. Ironically, while I sold copies of pHants two, three and four, (no #1s, unlike SF APE), the big seller was 4-ever & 40 — Noah as Japanese, combined with new Noah movie with Harry Potter girl in it, all growed up, may have hit chords.

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

I did manage to sell copies of Feel Theo (title) and Gambit (which I always recommend when asked for favourite). Pocketed roughly …. Big Whoop! Maybe sheer amount of pHantaProduct overwhelming to walkers-by.

Not Van Expo bucks but then again table not so much either. Wall space as per usual did better that centre aisles.

Judging from the amount of copies I saw folks carrying around, the USNA guys scored scads more shekels-wise. The Nelvana crew next to them (see below) also did well with their books, hard cover and soft. They went for about $20 a pop so folks were spending.

Front and back cover mockups for "Helios on the Moon", prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

Mockup sent to potential cover illustrators for “Helios on the Moon”, the next scheduled Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel

Ricardo Sandoval came by table a couple of times. He’s trying to flog his own comic book / graphic novel so told him about Comixology, Diamond, Ingram etc.

(Comixology, btw, apparently went from association with Apple to being bought by Amazon. Haven’t managed to get either Phantacea Revisited graphic novels on it as yet. Maybe try again upon return.)

Saturday was much better for me personally, think I only sold a couple of 4-evers on Sunday. Rain didn’t keep folks away, though numbers down on non-sun day due to falling skies outside.

Overall, have to say decent attendance both days. Free admission certainly a factor in that. More cons need free entry, especially to dealers’ rooms. Might do it again despite comparatively low yield. Got to get application in by December.

Helios on the Moon - comic book cover; art by Richard Sandoval 1978

Helios on the Moon – comic book cover; art by Richard Sandoval 1978

Array of talent was breathtaking, as was sheer amount of product. Indy comics rule. It’s almost enough to warm the old cockles. Not enough to make me start looking around for an artist or artists to finish the “Helios on the Moon” storyline that was meant for Phantacea Seven, though. (Before the artist hired for it went over to Marvel. And some real money.)

Nevertheless a version of the script’s still in archives. Plus the novelization will come out in late July, early August. So, well … maybe someday.

Surprise, for me, hit was big book collection of Nelvana of the Northern Lights. Evidently she’s one of the world’s first female super heroes, costumed heroes at any rate, predating Wonder Woman. Had a cape, wore a mini-skirt over tights, and a Canadian to boot. Which I gather she does a lot.

Book came together thanks to a Kickstarter campaign I’m told. Wikipedia article is here: I almost bought book myself; early 40s, good era-looking artwork. Its website contains her first adventure. It’s here:

The Vancouver Comic Show is on Sunday 17 Aug on Commercial Drive –; 1-855-881-9991. Sounds like a white box con so will probably pass. VPL’s Word on the Street ( is near end of September but didn’t do very well year I did it.

Vcon is a few weeks later but it’s in Surrey. (Should call it S-con but fans might mistake it for a convention about edible food and pass.)  I inquired about doing a Saturday in its Dealers’ Room but never heard back. They want an ad, though, so might try to trade one for access to a table if amenable. (Its website is here:

The Rose Con in Portland is also in Sept. Heard good things about it at Vancaf, as I did Emerald Con in Seattle but that’s next March. All comics oriented, though. Am considering going to Northwestern con next April, for books, writers, and a table.

End report.

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Kitty Clsym hits Goodreads

Cataclysm Catalyst (Phantacea Revisited 2)Cataclysm Catalyst by Jim McPherson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Cataclysm Catalyst” collects the entire Soldier’s Saga storyline, which began in Phantacea Two (1978) and concluded in Phantacea Six (1980). Most of the artwork in this sequence was by Verne Andrusiek (later Verne Andru). Last year (2013) Verne redid and completely coloured a black and white drawing of a proposed cover for an issue of Phantacea Phase One specifically for this publication. It’s quite splendid.

Flyer prepared for April 2014 launch of "Cataclysm Catalyst",  the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Flyer prepared for April 2014 launch of “Cataclysm Catalyst”, the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Much of the Soldier’s Saga formed the basis for Jim McPherson’s “Goddess Gambit“, a full-length Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel released in 2012 that concluded the epic “Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories” fantasy trilogy. The graphic novel also includes parts of the Centauri Island storyline that Jim McPherson novelized for his full-length 2013 Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel entitled “Nuclear Dragons“.

Advertisement appearing the convention brochure for APE - Alternative Press Expo, features b/w versions of front covers for Nuclear Dragons and the Damnation Brigade graphic novel

Advertisement appearing in the convention brochure for APE – Alternative Press Expo in October 2013. It features b/w versions of front covers for Nuclear Dragons and the Damnation Brigade graphic novel. Covers artwork for both publications by Ian Bateson; text by Jim McPherson

Of particular interest to Indy comics collectors in general and Phantacea aficionados in particular are the final six pages of the graphic novel. They were done by Phantacea stalwart Ian Bateson in 1980 for inclusion in Phantacea Seven, which was never published. Digitally re-lettered by Jim McPherson in the past year, this is the first time they have seen print. Also included is a reprint of “Tail Teller”, a short piece drawn by Ian Fry in the mid-1980s for the Phantacea Phase One project.

Page by page list of illustrators whose work appears in the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Page by page list of illustrators whose work appears in the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Overall this a highly pleasing addition to the ongoing Phantacea Mythos catalogue of novels, mini-novels, comics and graphic novels; highly recommended.

A partial list of excerpts from the graphic novel can be found by clicking here.

View all my reviews

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Lower Prices for Van Expo 2014

Phantacea Publications price list specific for this year's Vancouver Fan Expo, 18-20 April 2014

Phantacea Publications price list specific for this year’s Vancouver Fan Expo, 18-20 April 2014

From comics to novels, artwork by Ian Bateson and Verne Andru

From comics to novels, artwork by Ian Bateson and Verne Andru

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, will be tending the Phantacea Publications table throughout this year’s Vancouver Fan Expo Easter Weekend (18-20 April 2014).

In addition to debuting “Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst“, he’ll have with him all the usual suspects for sale, most of them at reduced prices.

See you there.

Black and white rendition of Kitty Clysm cover, art by Verne Andru, 2013

Bad Rhad’s at it again in this black and white rendition of the wraparound cover Black and white preview of cover intended for “Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst”

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Feeling Archival

Front Cover Ad for "Nuclear Dragons", art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

Front Cover Ad for “Nuclear Dragons”, art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

Cover for E-Versions of "The War of the Apocalyptics", artwork by Ian Bateson

E-Pox now available on the Kindle platform

Publisher got an email from India recently. Correspondent wanted free copies of “Goddess Gambit” and the first two entries in the ‘Launch 1980’ trilogy*, “The War of the Apocalyptics” and “Nuclear Dragoons“.

(*Launch 1980 = Jim McPherson’s currently only two-thirds completed project to novelize the comic book series. The last one, “Helios on the Moon“, should be coming out this Spring.)

Promise was to review the books for Goodreads. However, having checked out cost of shipping books to India ($20.00 per book surface, meaning by boat, expected delivery 2 months), publisher declined.

Correspondent persisted so publisher agree to send off Gambit, his favourite. (Writer’s favourite as well, despite someone once saying it was for aficionados of the weird and wild, or words to that effect.

Full Cover for "Goddess Gambit", artwork by Verne Andru 2011/12

Full Cover for “Goddess Gambit”, artwork by Verne Andru 2011/12

At any rate, publisher found this in archives. It was a long-prior-to-publication blurb for “Feeling Theocidal“, the first full-length Mythos novel ever published. Have a boo.

Jim McPherson’s PHANTACEA Mythos

Devils, Demons, Dates and suchlike Diverse Details

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007; for more hit here:

Thanks in large measure to monotheistic religions the Gods and Goddesses, the Demons and Monsters, of Antique Mythology have been trivialized, their worship proscribed and the entities themselves confined to another realm. This realm is known by various names. In some folk traditions it is called the ‘Otherworld’, in others ‘Shadowland’, and to this day in places like Tibet it is often referred to as the Inner Earth.

In the PHANTACEA Mythos it goes by all these names and a number of others, most prominently Big Shelter and the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head. That it’s been hidden since the time of the Great Flood of Genesis (the ‘Genesea’), take that as a given. That it’s hidden by the Cathonic Zone or Dome, that’s reflected in how its inhabitants count time: in Years of the Dome (YD). The sub-titular Thrygragon of “Feeling Theocidal” occurs in 4376 YD. That makes it 376 AD: four thousand three hundred and seventy-six years after the Genesea subsided.

There are a great many supernatural entities living beneath, or within, the Dome. I make a distinction between ‘Cathonic’ or skyborn and ‘Chthonic’ or earthborn beings. The latter include such familiar creatures of folklore as faeries and demons while the former are the Fallen Angels or devils of the Bible. With respect to devils, because they are described as fallen I take that to mean they are extraterrestrial in origin. To a number of the Earth-centric, Mother Goddess worshipping characters in the PHANTACEA Mythos that makes them less supernatural than unnatural and, hence, their enemy.

Collage entitled Great Gods Going Crazy, prepared by Jim McPherson, ca 2007

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007; for more hit here:

I also refer to devils as being members of the ‘devazur’ race since, to simplify matters some­what, ‘devas’ or ‘devs’ in Indian or Kurdish tradition are gods whilst my azuras or their ‘asur­as’ are demons. Yet, in the Zoroastrian tradition of the neighbouring Persians, the opposite holds true. (In fact I’ve been given to understand that the word ‘ahura’, from whence come azura and asura, just means lord or lady, depending on the context.) All in all, then, it just made sense to combine the two into devazur.

It is my contention that the Sanskrit word ‘deva’ is the root for English words such as devil, deity, divine, diva, and the Indian honorific, Devi. It seems to me that the Latin word for God, ‘Deus’, is just a variation of ‘dev’. This appears self-evident when you consider that in English the plural of ‘dev’ is ‘devs’ and the Romans wrote ‘Deus’ as ‘devs’.

Three tribes constitute the devazur race. These are the Mithradites, the Byronics and the La­zar­emists. They are named after the tribes’ (nominal) male primogenitors: Thrygragos Varuna Mithras, Thrygragos Byron and Thrygragos Lazareme.

As for their three female primogenitors, they are, or were, the Trigregos Sisters: Sapiendev the Mind, Demeter the Body and Devaura the Spirit. Except in flashbacks, they don’t feature in “Feeling Theocidal”. However, their terrible talismans definitely do.

And will as the PHANTACEA Mythos progresses. That’s why the novel’s also called: “The Thrice Cursed Godly Glories – Book One”.


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:

Note: Much of the above material was taken from the Moloch Manoeuvres webpage ( Lynx to tons more information on the PHANTACEA Mythos can be found on’s long-running progenitor: pH-Webworld.

Check out its features page (, main menu ( and terms pages ( for starters.

Written ca 2005/6 as an intro to the “Feeling Theocidal” manuscript then going through the submission process. There’s a Travels essay from 2005 re Jim McPherson’s one and only trip to India here.

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Fat-eared Helios time-tumbles to Glauberg for 101st

The latest Serendipity entry on pH-Webworld ( finds Helios off the moon and, having typically time-tumbled postmortem, ending up in Celtic Glauberg ca 500 BC.

Collage featuring the Glaubert torc and three panels from pH-4, artwork by Verne Andrusiek, 1979

Unearthed in early to mid 1990s; in Phantacea terms, could be confused with either Harmony’s necklace or the Crimson Corona; artwork from pH-4, Verne Andrusiek, 1979

We now believe this the case because, while he would have time-tumbled elsewhere (else-when) after his 101st death, his friends or followers in that era apparently left behind a wooden statue of him.

It wasn’t dug up until 1990s and, evidently missing its feet, is now on public display at the Glaubergmuseum. (Click here for what appears to be an in situ blowup of Fat-Eared Helios.)

That’s around 15 years after his 1980 exploits, which have been (and will be anew) thoroughly documented in Phantacea comics and web-serials as well as, latterly, full-length novels and (so far) solitary mini-novel (“Janna Fangfingers“).

Clearly he met the Moon Bunny ( in his 100th lifetime and, in an effort to win her favour, had his Milady Memory craft him some fat, rabbit ears strangely reminiscent of mistletoe leaves.

Why mistletoe leaves? Well, amorous sort that he is, Helios might have figured that was the best way to get the Moon Bunny to kiss him.

A golden neck torc fashioned ca 500 BC, unearthed in 1990s near Glauberg, Germany; image taken from Web

A golden neck torc fashioned ca 500 BC; unearthed in 1990s near Glauberg, Germany; image taken from Web (

As for how the Crimson Corona ended up in Glauberg, either in 500 BC or when it was dug up, more than likely it’s only a golden facsimile. Still, neither its fate nor that of Harmony’s necklace were detailed explicitly at the end of “Goddess Gambit” were they.

Could be they will be come “Helios on the Moon“. Just a matter of patience now until the latter’s released circa Beltane Day 2014.

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Found but unfudged — Full-length Gambit Press Release

Goddess Gambit Email Press Release

B/w covers of all the novels, mini-novels and graphic novels to date released by Phantacea Publications, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

B/w covers of all the novels, mini-novels and graphic novels to date released by Phantacea Publications

Black and white covers of the various Phantacea comics and graphic novels

Black and white covers of the various Phantacea comics and graphic novels

In-page lynx

Whoever writes these things really needs an editor.

Oh, wait. pHantaJIm wrote this and, even if he does occasionally invent his own punctuation rules, he is an editor.

Full Cover for "Goddess Gambit", artwork by Verne Andru 2011/12

Full Cover for “Goddess Gambit”, artwork by Verne Andru 2011/12

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Phantacea Publications Press Release

Friday, February 3, 2012


Phantacea Publications is pleased to announce Ingram Books, Ingram International and Coutts Information Services are distributing “Goddess Gambit” (ISBN 978-0-9781342-2-8), the latest PHANTACEA Mythos print publication worldwide.

Its publication both ends ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ trilogy and continues the ‘Launch 1980’ story sequences begun with “The War of the Apocalyptics” (ISBN 978-0-9781342-4-2).

Gambit’s cover, bonus graphics, a selection of excerpts from the novel, and plenty of additional information on the book, the trilogy it concludes and the story cycle it continues, as well as convenient, one-click ordering lynx to online booksellers, can be found here:

James H McPherson, Publisher
Phantacea Publications


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The back cover blurb puts its contents tauntingly.

Back Cover of ‘Goddess Gambit’

“For the Dead to thrive, the Living must die!” So proclaims Nergal Vetala, the Blood Queen of Hadd.

She’s the lone devic vampire.

For 35 years she has been unable to prevent the encroachment of the Living on her realm, the Land of the Ambulatory Dead.

Then her soldier falls out of the sky and she’s back in the pink again — as in arterial.

Too bad for not just her, everyone who plays a Trigregos Gambit loses.


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A more detailed synopsis of the novel reads as follows:

Goddess Gambit — Book Three of ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’

On the Inner Earth of Sedon’s Head the gods and goddesses, the demons and monsters of ancient myths and legends continue to exist. The Latin word for god is ‘deus’. The Romans spelt it ‘DEVS’. Collectively, the Hidden Continent’s immortal gods and goddesses calls themselves ‘Devas’, which means ‘the Shining Ones’ but is also a Vedic term for gods. Their offspring, by themselves, are called ‘azuras’.

Devas and azuras are names for deities in both Hindu and Zoroastrian Faiths. Monotheists call gods and goddesses ‘devils’. In the PHANTACEA Mythos, the gods and goddesses (who are physical beings with, more often than not, 3-eyes), together with their immediate offspring (who are virtually invisible Spirit Beings with as many eyes as the shells they occupy), make up the ‘devazur’ race.

Nergal Vetala is the Blood Queen of Hadd, the Land of the Ambulatory Dead. She is the lone devic vampire. Her azuras are known as Vetalazurs or Lazurs for short. They animate Haddit Zombies. Another kind of azura, Sangazurs, animate the Glorious Warrior Dead or Valhallans.

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.

(You can call them the Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories if you like, because that’s what they’re known as in “Feeling Theocidal” and the three mini-novels comprising “The 1000 Days of Disbelief”, the first two books in the trilogy Gambit concludes.)

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, once you’ve 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.

She reckons it won’t happen this time. Not once her slavish soldier (who might be an incarnation of Chrysaor Attis, a dominant figure in Feel Theo, and who calls her “Goddess”) acquires all three of them and becomes Trigregos Incarnate.

Re-enter what’s left of the Damnation Brigade after “The War of the Apocalyptics”.

Ah, but will they be in time to stop the Blood Queen of Hadd and her justifiably declared Trigregos Titan or will these last finish what they and the Apocalyptics began the day before?

Will Lathakra’s long-reawakened Scarlet Empress, almost as long no longer Mithras’s Virgin, and Gravity, also Byron’s Moon Goddess, who has only recently been released from All of Incain, play and win the same game?

Will their fellow firstborns, their brother-husbands, King Cold and Savage Storm (Byron’s Beast), join them or save them? Who is Freespirit Nihila?

Is it any wonder the Smiling Fiend never stops smiling?

And if you hate questions as much as I do, you now know where to find the answers.


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The colour side of a postcard Jim McPherson prepared in 2012 as a handout; artwork taken from cover of "Goddess Gambit"; artwork by Verne Andru

The colour side of a postcard Jim McPherson prepared in 2012 as a handout; artwork taken from cover of “Goddess Gambit”; artwork by Verne Andru

The first book in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ trilogy is “Feeling Theocidal” (ISBN 978-0-9781342-0-4). The 1000-Daze mini-novels are “The Death’s Head Hellion” (ISBN 978-0-9781342-5-9), “Contagion Collectors” (ISBN 978-0-9781342-6-6) and “Janna Fangfingers” (ISBN 978-0-9781342-7-3).

E-versions of Feel Theo and all three 1000-Daze mini-novels (Hellion, Contagion and Fangers) are now available on the Kindle platform. Until the end of March they can be ordered exclusively from and a number of its affiliates in Europe and Asia.

As yet there are no plans to release e-versions of “Goddess Gambit”, “Forever & 40 Days – The Genesis of Phantacea” (a graphic novel – ISBN 978-0-9781342-3-5) or “The War of the Apocalyptics” (ISBN 978-0-9781342-4-2).

As more books come out featuring the Phantacea Mythos, I am hoping sales of Gambit and the aforementioned, earlier publications will increase dramatically.


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Note: The Goddess Gambit e-book came out in 2013. You can look inside it here. Which of course means you can also look inside the printed book there.

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

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

Indeed, you could check out these lynx to Google Books or amazon’s “Look Inside” program: or for plenty more free reads.

Want even more? Boo here.

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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:

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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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 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.


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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Nuclear Non-Dragons

Page Lynx

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 No, it wasn’t either a bad dream or a false memory; it happened

On 23 January 1961 an American “B-52 plane went into an uncontrolled spin over North Carolina” and dropped not one, but two Hydrogen Bombs!

Image taken from BBC article online re the North Carolina dropped H-Bomb

Image taken from BBC article online re the North Carolina dropped H-Bomb

Evidently, “one fell to the ground unarmed. But the second “assumed it was being deliberately released over an enemy target – and went through all its arming mechanisms save one, and very nearly detonated over North Carolina … Only the failure of a single low-voltage switch prevented disaster.”


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Front Cover Ad for "Nuclear Dragons", art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

Front Cover Ad for “Nuclear Dragons”, art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

An H-Bomb that went off 8 years earlier on Salvation Island in the South Pacific figures in the back-story of both Launch 1980 full length novels: “The War of the Apocalyptics” and, as one might expect, “Nuclear Dragons“.

Here’s one such reference:

A Summoning Child like so many eventual supranormals, he was killed on Christmas Day 1953, during an unannounced explosion of a hydro­gen bomb on a South Sea lump of land howsoever presciently named Salvation Island by grateful, 16th Century, Portuguese missionaries to Micronesia (presumably because the natives never tried to eat them). Being thus vapourized was, to be put it mildly, a hell of way to celebrate one’s 33rd birthday.

This particular Summoning Child was one of number born on Christmas Day 1920. His name was Jesus Mandam. He’s definitely dead but there is some suggestion that his Callion-Clone is still with us in 1980.

Significantly the designs Jess or Jesse, as everyone except his even longer gone mother (Mary Magdalene born Ryne, Abe Ryne’s hence equally born-with-the-century twin sister), called him on a daily basis, made while he was still alive were left in the Soviet Supracity after his death.

They formed the basis for, among many other things, a good percentage of the technology that went into the Cosmic Express. And, as per the book’s back cover text here, its launch and subsequent (apparent) destruction are finally, if as yet perhaps not fully, described in the latest Phantacea Mythos entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle as released by Phantacea Publications.

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

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

pH-Webworld character lynx

Do we know who was born with Nergal Vetala, the once again Vampire Queen of the Dead in Tantalar 5980, inside her on Christmas Day 1920?

In pHantacea-pHact, we do as of “Goddess Gambit“.  (Truth told, those who followed the Phantacea Web Serials knew that a long time ago.) It’s

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