Auroral lights no Borealis Brolly

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, recently returned from his late winter, early spring brain break.

Front cover for Nuclear Dragons, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013; banner at top added by Jim McPherson, 2014, for digital versions of the novel

Crystallion leads Hell’s Horsemen against Centauri Island, artwork by Ian Bateson taken from the front cover of “Nuclear Dragons”, 2013

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.

Artwork from front cover of "Helios on the Moon" by Ricardo Sandoval; promo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Helios, with his ‘holocaster’, and the She-Sphinx (All of Incain) , with Thunder and Lightning Lord Yajur (Lord Order) sneaking up on them; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval taken from front cover of print version of Helios on the Moon, 2014

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.

(Which begs for an entry on Phantacea and that I’ll pass on to Webmeister Oz after I’m done passing this onto  pHantaJim, Blogmeister.*)

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

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

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.

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

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Not an autobot — honestly

This came in from a contributor to the BCFSA newsgroup on Yahoo recently (2015-01-29).

[NOTE: names deleted to protect the insensitive; Comments appreciated at bottom of page]

> This is the BCSFA group, not the stupid sluts ass. Banned.

Thank you. On a similar note, what about self-published-book spammers?

To which Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, felt obliged to respond:

Self-published books are about the only way to get something that might not be agent-driven, hence far too often, dried out, regurgitated smuck from “established” publishers too cowed to put out anything actually,  or at least comparatively, new..

Think I’ll post re “Nuclear Dragons” and “Helios on the Moon” shortly.

Jim McPherson
Phantacea Publications

Artwork from front cover of "Helios on the Moon" by Ricardo Sandoval; promo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Helios, with his ‘holocaster’, and the She-Sphinx (All of Incain) , with Thunder and Lightning Lord Yajur (Lord Order) sneaking up on them; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval taken from front cover of print version of Helios on the Moon

 

Which he did. (No word yet if’s been accepted for dissemination, though)

Greetings anew

After debating whether to release “Nuclear Dragons” on Kindle or wait until I can combine it with its companion, “Helios on the Moon“, I decided to release it solo. I may still (re)combine them at some point in the future. I may also reunite the three mini-novels that make up “The 1000 Days of Disbelief” as an e-book and (mildly) interactive PDF, but that’ll have to wait, too.

The easiest way to get a quick read overview of all the Phantacea Mythos publications, with lynx to their various webpages, starts here: http://www.phantacea.com/#DotComPubs.

Poster to accompany Helios on the Moon press release; utilizes cover from both Phantacea Revisited graphic novels and the three full-length novels making up the Launch 1980 story cycle, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Poster to accompany Helios on the Moon press release; utilizes cover from both Phantacea Revisited graphic novels and the three full-length novels making up the Launch 1980 story cycle

Some of the walk-in bookstores in Vancouver area where you can peruse and, yes, even buy Phantacea Publications are listed here: http://phantacea.com/orderViaCards.htm#walkins. Of course any bookstore anywhere in the world can order them through Ingram Book Distribution.

BTW, the print publication of “Helios on the Moon” officially came out on Sunday 30 November 2014, precisely 34 years after the launching of the Cosmic Express. And that November the 30th was also a Sunday. How’s that for serendipity.

Attached are some nice big shots from the graphics table of that selfsame webpage. Reckon they might tempt you to pay a visit to the Phantacea Publications website. Not surprisingly, since Phantacea started off a series of comic books in the late Seventies, it’s very visual.

Front cover for Nuclear Dragons, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013; banner at top added by Jim McPherson, 2014, for digital versions of the novel

Crystallion leads Hell’s Horsemen against Centauri Island

 

Comments are both welcomed and encouraged on pHantaBlog (www.phantacea.com/blog).

And I can assure you this is a very much non-robotic contribution to BCFSA.

Jim McPherson
Phantacea Publications

www.phantacea.com
www.phantacea.info
www.phantacea.com/blog

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

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Helios on the Moon Press Release

Poster to accompany Helios on the Moon press release; utilizes cover from both Phantacea Revisited graphic novels and the three full-length novels making up the Launch 1980 story cycle, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Poster prepared to accompany Helios on the Moon press release; utilizes covers from both Phantacea Revisited graphic novels and the three full-length novels making up the Launch 1980 story cycle

PRESS RELEASE                                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jim McPherson’s long term project to novelize the Phantacea comic book series culminates with “Helios on the Moon”

VANCOUVER, BC: “Helios on the Moon”, the climactic entry in the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle, doesn’t just pick up where its predecessors, “The War of the Apocalyptics” and “Nuclear Dragons”, left off. It fills in the blanks they left behind, then blazes onto its own startling conclusion of Phantacea Phase One.

A multi-character extravaganza that’s cosmic in scope, yet very much earth-centric, it takes off with the Cosmic Express on the Thirtieth of November 1980, veers to the far-off planetary Utopia of Weir then, finally, rages back to both sides of the Whole Earth ten days and many lost lives later.

This is the rest of the stunning storyline only touched on during the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels: “The Damnation Brigade” and “Cataclysm Catalyst”. With a surprise addendum to “Goddess Gambit”, Book Three of ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic trilogy, this is the rest of the story as it happens on the Moon, beyond and, indeed, below it.

And if you think Jim McPherson’s Phantacea Mythos is only going through a phase, you’re right. But what a fantastic phase it is.

For more information contact:

Phantacea Publications
74689 Kitsilano RPO, 2768 West Broadway, Vancouver BC, V6K 4P4
Primary website: http://www.phantacea.com

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

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Sunday’s McPhersonal adds a Sandovalian

Ricardo Sandoval, the covers artist for “Helios on the Moon“, will be joining Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, at this Sunday’s Vancouver comicon,

And, yes, that means a cover decision has finally been made. Rather, two decisions have been made — one for the upcoming print release of the climactic entry in the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle; the other for dot-ditto digital versions of same, unless you’d prefer to refer to them as Hel-Moon PDFs and e-books.

Promo prepared for upcoming release of Helios on the Moon by Jim McPherson, 2014

Double-click to enlarge; the better to read if you do. Artwork is from the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels.

That graphic isn’t it (them). This is — better make these are.

And, while you’re there, check these out:

8 collages against the back drop of the Louvre's Dual Entities

The Dual Entities are two thousand years old. The ‘Launch 1980’ collages were prepared in 2014.

C>U Sunday at Heritage Hall, (16th and Main in Vancouver).

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Modern mythology meshed with the ancient

Recall this fellow (http://phantacea.com/blog/?p=695) from the Louvre museum in Paris? It’s most of two thousand years old.

Mithras slays the bull, image taken from web

Mithras slays the bull, image taken from web

Unfortunately it may not be in the Louvre anymore — at least Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, couldn’t find it when he was there in June 2014. (Plenty of his shots from Paris are on pHanta-pHlickr starting here, with commentary from your faithful blog-meister.)

However, aka Generic, as opposed to geriatric, Sol and Generic Luna live on here …

Three collages prepared by Jim McPherson using images taken from the Phantacea comic books and Mythos covers

Three collages prepared by Jim McPherson using images taken from the Phantacea comic books and Mythos covers

and here …

Three collages prepared by Jim McPherson using images taken from the Phantacea comic books and Mythos covers

Three collages prepared by Jim McPherson using images taken from the Phantacea comic books and Mythos covers

The two fellows in opposite corners at the top of both collages are, yes, Helios the Sun God and Mnemosyne the Moon Goddess as they looked all those centuries ago in Imperial Roman times.

(Generic Luna is sometimes erroneously called Selene. She’s not to be confused with the Silver Signaller who uses Selene as her code name, though that’s the latter day Greek goddess where she got it from.)

In terms of the Phantacea Mythos, Helios and Mnemosyne are two of its cornerstone characters, without whom there would be no such a thing. (pH-Webworld = Modern Age Mythology.) They’re the the time-tumbling Dual Entities; of whom much, much more can be found here, with even more lynx.

As for the six internal collages themselves, more on them currently links from here; double click to enlarge in a separate window. Just bye the bye, both collages have been added to the ever-growing heading banners of, you guessed it, pHantaBlog.

You can also buy the buy “Helios on the Moon“, the climactic entry of the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle and, indeed, of Phantacea Phase One itself. Order online, with credit card, here or direct from the publisher here.

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Three fronts and a back

“Helios on the Moon”, the climactic entry in the ‘Launch 1980’ epic fantasy, is almost ready for print.

(Lynx to many excerpts from the novel, yet another breathtakingly exciting ensemble piece from Phantacea Publications, are here; more on the trilogy is here and here.)


The back cover looks and reads well but still can’t decide on front. What’s your favourite? Kindly make your choice and add a comment at bottom of page.

The front cover depicts what’s become of Thunder and Lightning Lord Yajur, the onetime Unity of Order, 500 years after his last appearance in “Janna Fangfingers“. He’s advancing menacingly on the Male Entity, Heliosophos (Helios called Sophos the Wise).

The She-Sphinx, All of Incain, is beside Helios. The UNES Liberty is in lunar orbit with Planet Earth in the background. The Liiberty was mentioned in “Nuclear Dragons“. All appeared throughout ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ trilogy, but made her biggest splash in “Feeling Theocidal“.

The Dual Entities have never appeared, at least not explicitly, in any of the Phantacea Mythos novels thus far released by Phantacea Publications. They are, however, among the Cornerstone Characters in Jim McPherson’s Phantacea Mythos (of whom much more is here).

The first front cover is as provided by the artist, Ricardo Sandoval.

Front and back artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014; text and layout by Jim McPherson

Potential covers, with spine, for Helios on the Moon, the multiple character, 2014 Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel that concludes the Launch 1980 fantasy epic


The second front cover incorporates the outer space background used in the mock-up used most recently on pHantaBlog here. The She-Sphinx, All of Incain, is also whiter than in other two covers.


The third front cover goes back to the first sphinx but meshes the Earth from the first and the outer space of the second.


The back cover text now reads:

The Dual Entities return to their own timeline determined to make life perfect for everyone.

Heads are bound to roll!

Scientists first detect signals coming from outer space in early 1978. Finally there is proof humanity isn’t alone. A month later, they pinpoint the source. Elation gives way to near-panic. The beams are coming from the Earth’s moon!

The United Nations’ Security Council agrees to meet this off-worldly intrusion aggressively. The result, the UNES Liberty, is already in lunar orbit when, on the Thirtieth of November 1980, the launching of the Cosmic Express takes place on the Outer Earth’s Centauri Island.

At the same time, three Great Goddesses preside over an extraordinary session of the Courtroom of the Visionary in the far off Utopia of New Weir. Meanwhile, on the Inner Earth of Sedon’s Head, the Hidden Continent’s most revered Death Gods prepare to welcome home the entirety of their fragmented family, devils almost to a one.

From the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos comes the culmination of the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle. Plus, a surprise addendum to “Goddess Gambit”, the concluding novel in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ fantasy masterpiece.

As for who’s depicted under the text on the back cover, that’s here.

Back cover, minus text, for "Helios on the Moon"; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014s

Background images for back cover of “Helios on the Moon”; text and obligatory boxes at bottom to be added; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

 

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Back Blurb Flag-Poled

Back Cover Text for “Helios on the Moon”

Don’t expect any salutes but reckon tentative-it deserves a run-up anyhow.

Text will override Ricardo Sandoval’s bas-relief figures on Helios as Sol, All of Incain, Moon Memory as Luna, the Unity of Order, Doc Defiance, Cosmicaptain Starrus, the Indescribable Mr No Name and Mnemosyne as Strife.

Comments welcome at bottom.

Back cover, minus text, for "Helios on the Moon"; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014s

Background images for back cover of “Helios on the Moon”; text and obligatory boxes at bottom to be added; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

The Dual Entities return to their own timeline determined to make life for everyone not just vastly better but perfect.

Heads are sure to roll.

Scientists first detected signals coming from somewhere out in space in early 1978. Their excitement was palpable. Finally they had proof humanity wasn’t alone in the cosmos. Then, about a month after their initial detection, the source was pinpointed. Elation immediately gave way to near-panic. The beams were coming from the Earth’s moon!

In an extraordinary session of the Security Coun­cil, the United Nations agreed to meet this off-worldly intrusion aggress­ively. The result, the UNES Liberty, is already in moon orbit when, on the Thirtieth of November 1980, the launching of the Cosmic Express takes place on Centauri Island.

At the same time, on the far off Utopia of New Weir, three Great Goddess preside over the latest session of the Courtroom of the Visionary. Meanwhile, on the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head, the Death Gods of the Frozen Lathakra prepare to welcome home the entirety of their fragmented family, devils almost to a one.

From the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos comes the culmination of the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle, plus a surprising addendum to “Goddess Gambit”, the final book in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ fantasy masterpiece.

Covers and/or splash panels reflecting action recounted in "Helios on the Moon"

Front covers for pH-2 and pH- 4Ever&40 graphic novel bracketing splash panel from pH3; artwork by Gordon Parker, 1978; Peter Lynde, 1978; and the two Ians, Fry and Bateson, 1990

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Looking for Beta Readers

Potential Cover for "Helios on the Moon", artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Potential Cover for “Helios on the Moon”, artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014; based on front cover for pH-3; that’s All of Incain (Ginny the Gynosphinx) beside Helios and Lord Order sneaking up on him from behind

The pHantacea-pHact of the matter is Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, is reluctant to judiciously edit, as opposed to hack apart, “Helios on the Moon” any more than he already has. Hence this posting.

The book as it now stands is 136,000+ words, double-spaced and in 12-point, Times New Roman font. Including a list of chapter titles, that amounts to 516 pages. It’s available as a watermarked PDF solely for review purposes.

In terms of what I’m looking for, I’d direct you to Wikipedia’s definition here.

Note in particular:

“Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity [and back story], characterization or believability.”

If interested in beta-reading the manuscript then providing helpful comments and/or observations, please respond either in the comments section below or via email.

Or you could go the Goodreads route as per the following:

Beta Reader Group discussion

Authors Seeking Betas > 135k/concluding novel in epic fantasy based on Phantacea comic books (edit)


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Jim McPherson (jmcp) | 1 comments “Helios on the Moon”, the final novel in the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle; Anheroic Fantasy written by Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos; ‘Launch 1980’ is Jim McPherson’s long-running project to novelize the Phantacea comic books series; other entries already published in this story cycle are “The War of the Apocalyptics” and “Nuclear Dragons”; publisher’s imprint: Phantacea Publications; website: www.phantacea.com; pHantaBlog: www.phantacea.com/blog; email: jmcp@phantacea.com

Promo prepared for upcoming release of Helios on the Moon by Jim McPherson, 2014

Double-click to enlarge; the better to read if you do. Artwork is from the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels.

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Portents of Phantacea Yet to Be

Jim McPherson writes:

Here are a couple of mock-ups prepared by Ricardo Sandoval for the front and back covers for the upcoming, full length Phantacea Mythos novel entitled “Helios on the Moon“.

Potential Cover for "Helios on the Moon", artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Potential Cover for “Helios on the Moon”, artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014; based on front cover for pH-3; that’s All of Incain (Ginny the Gynosphinx) beside Helios and Lord Order sneaking up on him from behind

For those unfamiliar with the PHANTACEA comic book series, Ricardo did the front cover for pH-3. And, yep, they look somewhat similar. That’s because I liked it then and, with the addition of All of Incain instead of the cowering woman (who was supposed to be Miracle Memory), I like it even better now.

As for the back cover, with the exception of Mik Starrus (based on the back cover of pH-1), the figures will spread out onto the edges. Text and the usual pasted boxes at bottom of cover will override Starrus a la the back  cover of “Janna Fangfingers“.

Back cover, minus text, for "Helios on the Moon"; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014s

Background images for back cover of “Helios on the Moon”; text and obligatory boxes at bottom to be added; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

The other inspiration for the back cover is the double-sided Mithraic slab that used to be in the Louvre. I was there in June 2014 but it wasn’t, at least not that I could find.

Which reminds me. A third installment of my Character Likeness shots from that trip, and blogmeister pHantaJim‘s commentary, are now on pHanta-pHlickr. More to come, I’m sure.

There’s also a rather strong suggestion as to where PHANTACEA might be headed here. Rather, since the novel concludes the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle (my prolonged effort to novelize the comic book series), where the comic book series would have gone had I been able to keep it going all those years ago.

Business card used by Jim McPherson when in Phantacea mode

Business card used by Jim McPherson when in Phantacea mode; the Pharaoh’s head on right is actually a parking shot on Giza Plateau as shot by Egyptian air force circa 1929/30; Sedon’s Head on left by Jim McPherson and Tim Hammell, ca 1978

Comprehensible comments appreciated.

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Baroque Convolutions


With a dashing of syntactical twists and turns

  1. Top of Page
  2. Setting the Scene for the Skreigh
  3. Begin Rant
  4. Seed those Dumps
  5. Memo to Self
  6. Syntactical Turns
  7. Twists to Thievery
  8. Unfashionable Omniscience
  9. Writers don’t just play God in their own Books
  10. Capital Crimes
  11. Non-Issues
  12. Never Done in North American English
  13. Never say ‘Never’ in any English
  14. Well, that clears that up then
  15. According to one person anyhow
  16. Speaking Personally
  17. Speaking Thirdly
  18. Anheroic Mosaic Shared
  19. Conclusive Coherence
  20. Quotation re Multiple Viewpoints in a Novel
  21. Quotation(s) re Perspective Breaks
  22. Bottom of page comments

 

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

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

Top of Page

So, Jim McPherson came back from a 6-week working break in warmer, sunnier climes reckoning Helios on the Moon was ready for a quick edit by a professional prior to a Spring publication.

Reckon anew, mate.

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Top of Page

This came back from a 10-year pro in the field, albeit not specifically in the field of editing full-length fantasy novels:

Here are a few more questions and thoughts:
And here are Jim McPherson’s responses.

1) There is a seriously large amount of initial information. Is it my understanding that readers will be aware of much of the background and back story? Is this an alternative history? I’m just trying to get my bearings, as ordinarily I’d suggest a writer drop that back story in over a long period, “seeding” it more organically rather than employing the huge info-dump you do here.

This hurts, all the more so since I’m super-conscious of the issue already. Yet I heard the same criticisms re “Nuclear Dragons”. They came despite my efforts to set up background and back story details in such a way that they could be skipped readily.
I even went so far as to write a preamble (reprinted here and here) in which I advised (highlighted here) readers to bypass material in parentheses if they find it too distracting or time-consuming.
Guess I’m supposed to accept the supposedly
‘prevailing wisdom’ that the days of leisurely, information-laden immersion in someone else’s imagination is non-Helios history. A sad situation to be sure.

That said, I’m hearing it so often I’m going to step back and reconsider the whole way I’m handling this issue. Might I need to revert to Character Companions like I did for 1000-Daze? Or add a glossary? Maybe it just needs more seeding, less dumping. Comments appreciated.
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2) Your style is quite convoluted, and even baroque in its syntactical twists and turns. That is definitely not a criticism … your readers’ expectations might be quite sophisticated and therefore it’s not a concern. The current trend is to write more simply.

Definitely sounds like a criticism to me. And if it isn’t a concern why mention it? As for writing simply, what does that mean? I’ve read efforts by folks I reckoned very good writers to produce material for Young Adults. The results sometimes seem so simplified that if I didn’t know better I’d assume they were written by simpletons for simpletons.
Still, I quite like
‘convoluted and baroque in its syntactical twists and turns’. Think I’ll steal it.

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3) Whose voice is narrating this? Is it a third-person omniscient perspective? If so, that’s fine (although again, not currently fashionable), but the sudden injections of colloquialisms such as “um” and “sure as shit” might need to be dialed back a little. They are jarring from a “god” type perspective.

What you’re dealing with, in me, is a chatty, conversational writer trying to be both friendly, as in non-threatening, and entertaining.
As for having a narrator with ‘a third-person omniscient perspective’ not being fashionable, that’s nonsense. Then again, if it isn’t, is that what you have to learn to write in this day and age of low-sales and writers increasingly having to turn to the DIY ‘Indy Market’ to stand any chance of seeing their writing in print?
In which case, call me determinedly unfashionable as I hate being nonsensical, at least in the sense of writing rubbish. 
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4) Gypsium? Is this an invented element or mineral? A play on gypsum? I couldn’t find it anywhere online or in my dictionaries. Either way, I don’t think it ought to be capitalized. We don’t capitalize granite or limestone, etc.

Hel-Moon is the sixth full-length Phantacea Mythos to be published by Phantacea Publications. The imprint would not exist were it not for the Phantacea Mythos.
Gypsium etc, like Deva (as in Master Deva), has been capitalized in every one of the books, in the comics before them and in the many web-serials betwixt and between.
Gypsium etc are made up words, I treat them like proper nouns and will continue to do so. Similarly, when I use the term Shining Ones (which is what the word ‘deva’ literally means) I capitalize it.
Capitalization makes a word stand out, gives it a kind of heightened status. It adds emphasis without the use of either italics or single quotes.
And if we do go ahead, don’t bother changing all the en-dashes to em-dashes. That’s not how I use them so I’d just have to change them all back.
Em-dashes, especially in mid-sentence, are unsightly.
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5) Re the use of single quotes: It’s just never done in North American English… except when it’s a quote within a quote, or is within a newspaper headline.

I would dearly love to eliminate single quotes, especially where I’ve had to add emphasis in form of italics. They’re a pain to have to reformat when it comes time to move over to In Design in order to prepare a PDF for the POD-printer.
They are, however, extensively used in fantasy novels, some of which I perhaps oddly believe use North American English. Steven Erikson’s Malazan books for example (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malazan_Book_of_the_Fallen) and George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, which are probably the two series I most admire in the field, use them a lot. Erikson is Canadian and Martin is American.
Single quotes are often used for dialogue in flashback sequences and very commonly to indicate conversations conducted in telepathy. Devas often communicate via telepathy.
BTW, in a previous section, I used single quotes and emphasis as follows: “the word ‘deva’ literally means”. Is that wrong too?

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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


When asked for clarification on an earlier point (#3), the editor came back: “… today readers are not as primed for it [someone writing from a third person viewpoint often using … godlike omniscient perspective]. They find it odd or jarring or even boring …”

To which I replied: Huh and double huh!?! Sez you, I say.

Personally I won’t buy anything written in first person. I mean, what’s the point? Especially in terms of action-oriented books wouldn’t this be a typical sentence: “I whirled, kicked him in the knackers but he managed to shoot me anyhow, so now I’m a zombie. Have to be, right — otherwise how could I be writing this?”
Talk about boring, an action hero writing his own book. Certainly eliminates the stress of worrying if hero live or dies.

As for following one character throughout, even when it’s in third person, well, that’s almost as bad. Without pulling them off the shelf – or more like pulling them out of boxes in basement – I can guarantee you Erickson and Martin don’t do that and they’ve hundreds of characters in every (really, really long) book.
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Phantacea is ‘anheroic fantasy’, as in without heroes. It’s also a Shared World novel with a lone writer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_universe). Another common term for this sort of thing is a mosaic novel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic_novel); albeit, ditto, one written by one author.
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Hel-Moon progresses to its conclusion via a series of events that are experienced by a wide range of characters in a variety of disparate situations that may not cohere until its final chapter, though there could be lots of little endings along the way. (Sorry for the run-on sentence.)
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That in mind …
“Multiple viewpoint novels are common in literature, so it would hardly be a risky choice if you chose to write one yourself.
“…  a Third Person Story is narrated by that invisible, godlike witness to the novel’s events (or the magic camera, if you prefer that analogy) – and it seems perfectly natural for this narrator to choose to slip inside not just one character’s skin during the telling of the story, but several.”
(http://www.novel-writing-help.com/multiple-viewpoint-novel.html)
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Which leads to this:
“But when should you switch [viewpoints]? There are a few simple rules here…It is virtually always best, if at all possible, to start a fresh chapter when you switch from one viewpoint character to another. Next best is switching viewpoints during a break within a chapter (the kind denoted by a line of white space, or by asterisks if the break occurs at the bottom of a page).”
(http://www.novel-writing-help.com/switch-viewpoints.html)
When it comes to what I call ‘perspective breaks’, as much as possible, I double-up with a eight ======== followed by a paragraph or two of italics then another =========. I also use dates to provide breaks, though that’s usually at the beginning of chapters and not so much in mid-chapter.
And that’ll do for now.
End longest rant yet.
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