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Welcome to a pH-Webworld Archival Page

- Preserving samplings of some Web-Publisher's Commentaries from the 1990s -

Top of Page Search Engine - Phantacea Publications available in print and digitally - Page Highlights - Ordering Lynx

Original page starts here

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Phantacea Publications in Print

- The 'Launch 1980' story cycle - 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Fantasy Trilogy - The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels - The phantacea Graphic Novels -

The 'Launch 1980' Story Cycle

The War of the Apocalyptics

Front cover of War Pox, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2009

Published in 2009; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Nuclear Dragons

Nuclear Dragons front cover, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013

Published in 2013; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Helios on the Moon

Front cover for Helios on the Moon, artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Published in 2014; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

The 'Launch 1980' story cycle comprises three complete, multi-character mosaic novels, "The War of the Apocalyptics", "Nuclear Dragons" and "Helios on the Moon", as well as parts of two others, "Janna Fangfingers" and "Goddess Gambit". Together they represent creator/writer Jim McPherson's long running, but now concluded, project to novelize the Phantacea comic book series.

Top of Page Search Engine - pHantaPubs in Print - Page Highlights - Upwards - Downwards - Fresh Graphics - Bottom of Page Ordering Lynx

'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Epic Fantasy

Feeling Theocidal

Front Cover for Feel Theo, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008

Published in 2008; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

The 1000 Days of Disbelief

Front cover of The Thousand Days of Disbelief, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published as three mini-novels, 2010/11; main webpage is here; ordering lynx for individual mini-novels are here

Goddess Gambit

Front cover for Goddess Gambit by Verne Andru, 2012

Published in 2012; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Circa the Year of Dome 2000, Anvil the Artificer, a then otherwise unnamed, highborn Lazaremist later called Tvasitar Smithmonger, dedicated the first three devic talismans, or power foci, that he forged out of molten Brainrock to the Trigregos Sisters.

The long lost, possibly even dead, simultaneous mothers of devakind hated their offspring for abandoning them on the far-off planetary Utopia of New Weir. Not surprisingly, their fearsome talismans could be used to kill Master Devas (devils).

For most of twenty-five hundred years, they belonged to the recurring deviant, Chrysaor Attis, time after time proven a devaslayer. On Thrygragon, Mithramas Day 4376 YD, he turned them over to his Great God of a half-father, Thrygragos Varuna Mithras, to use against his two brothers, Unmoving Byron and Little Star Lazareme, in hopes of usurping their adherents and claiming them as his own.

Hundreds of years later, these selfsame thrice-cursed Godly Glories helped turn the devil-worshippers of Sedon's Head against their seemingly immortal, if not necessarily undying gods. Now, five hundred years after the 1000 Days of Disbelief, they've been relocated.

The highest born, surviving devic goddesses want them for themselves; want to thereby become incarnations of the Trigregos Sisters on the Hidden Continent. An Outer Earthling, one who has literally fallen out of the sky after the launching of the Cosmic Express, gets to them first ...

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The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels

The Death's Head Hellion

- Sedonplay -

Front cover for The Death's Head Hellion, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published in 2010; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

Contagion Collectors

- Sedon Plague -

Front cover for Contagion Collectors, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published in 2010; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

Janna Fangfingers

- Sedon Purge -

Front cover for Janna Fangfingers, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2011

Published in 2011; two storylines recounted side-by-side, the titular one narrated by the Legendarian in 5980, the other indirectly leading into the 'Launch 1980' story cycle; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

In the Year of the Dome 4825, Morgan Abyss, the Melusine Master of the Utopian Weirdom of Cabalarkon, seizes control of Primeval Lilith, the ageless, seemingly unkillable Demon Queen of the Night. The eldritch earthborn is the real half-mother of the invariably mortal Sed-sons but, once she has hold of her, aka Lethal Lily, Master Morgan proceeds to trap the Moloch Sedon Himself.

In the midst of the bitter, century-long expansion of the Lathakran Empire, the Hidden Headworld's three tribes of devil-gods are forced to unite in an effort to release their All-Father. Unfortunately for them, they're initially unaware Master Morg, the Death's Head Hellion herself, has also got hold of the Trigregos Talismans, devic power foci that can actually kill devils, and Sedon's thought-father Cabalarkon, the Undying Utopian she'll happily slay if they dare attack her Weirdom.

Utopians from Weir have never given up seeking to wipe devils off not just the face of the Inner Earth, but off the planet itself. Their techno and biomages, under the direction of the Weirdom of Cabalarkon's extremely long-lived High Illuminary, Quoits Tethys, have determined there is only one sure way to do that -- namely, to infect the devils' Inner Earth worshippers with fatal plagues brought in from the Outer Earth.

Come All-Death Day there are more Dead Things Walking than Living Beings Talking. Believe it or not, that's the good news.

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phantacea Graphic Novels

Forever and Forty Days

- The Genesis of Phantacea -

Front cover of Forever and Forty Days; artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Published in 1990; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

The Damnation Brigade

- Phantacea Revisited 1 -

Front cover of The Damnation Brigade, artwork by Ian Bateson, retouching by Chris Chuckry 2012

Published in 2013; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Cataclysm Catalyst

- Phantacea Revisited 2 -

Front cover for Cataclysm Catalyst, artwork by Verne Andru, 2013

Published in 2014, main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Kadmon Heliopolis had one life. It ended in October 1968. The Male Entity has had many lives. In his fifth, he and his female counterpart, often known as Miracle Memory, engendered more so than created the Moloch Sedon. They believe him to be the Devil Incarnate. They've been attempting to kill him ever since. Too bad it's invariably he, Heliosophos (Helios called Sophos the Wise), who gets killed instead.

On the then still Whole Earth circa the Year 4000 BCE, one of their descendants, Xuthros Hor, the tenth patriarch of Golden Age Humanity, puts into action a thought-foolproof, albeit mass murderous, plan to succeed where the Dual Entities have always failed. He unleashes the Genesea. The Devil takes a bath.

Fifty-nine hundred and eighty years later, New Century Enterprises launches the Cosmic Express from Centauri Island. It never reaches Outer Space; not all of it anyhow. As a stunning consequence of its apparent destruction, ten extraordinary supranormals are reunited, bodies, souls and minds, after a quarter century in what they've come to consider Limbo. They name themselves the Damnation Brigade. And so it appears they are -- if perhaps not so much damned as doomed.

At least one person survives the launching of the Cosmic Express. He literally falls out of the sky -- on the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head. An old lady saves him. Except this old lady lives in a golden pagoda, rides vultures and has a third eye. She also doesn't stay old long. He becomes her willing soldier, acquires the three Sacred Objects and goes on a rampage, against his own people, those that live.

Meanwhile, Centauri Island, the launch site of the Cosmic Express, comes under attack from Hell's Horsemen. Only it's not horses they ride. It's Atomic Firedrakes!

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On web animated gif

August 2000

(Off to Egypt)

September 2000

(Entertainment Requested)

May 1999

(Travels in my Pants)


[Logo reads Web-Publisher's Commentary as prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2002]

September 1997

1. Introductory Remarks

2. PHANTACEA by the Loop

© copyright 2003 Jim McPherson


Final Repository for Some Remnants of Jim McPherson's Previous Web-Publisher's Commentaries

| PHANTACEA on the Web Main Menu | Online PHANTACEA Primer | Ongoing PHANTACEA Features | Ordering Information | Serial Synopses | Contact | Web Publisher's Commentary |

September & August 2000

  1. Introductory Remarks -- September 2000
  2. Introductory Remarks -- August 2000
  3. Today's Topic

1. Introductory Remarks September 2000

James Aremar propped himself up in bed and gaped at the person who had just materialized in his quarters. "I thought you were dead." He flipped on the overhead light to get a more complete view of the materialist. What he saw in the new arrival's forehead outraged more so than shocked him. "Ye gods! Not you too, Sean?"

"Suppose you mean this." Once Septupleman Sean Smythe blinked his third eye then held out his hand. "Want one?"

-- from 'Helios on the Moon'


That was Arabic for 'welcome', by the way. So why would I open with an Arab salutation? Other than why wouldn't I, of course? Primarily because it's annual vacation time again and this year I'm off to Egypt, -- to go in quest of further info on the mysterious Sed-Ceremony I've been trying to learn about, among other things. Including the Egyptian entrance to Sedon's Head.

Which, as all true Phanta-Phans know, lies beneath the Male Sphinx. Mind you, according to Edgar Cayce, so's the Atlantean Hall of Records. One thing I'm not going in quest of is a close encounter with Kinsecto, the Apocalyptic of Pestilence. (As opposed to Swarma, aka Quinsecto, who's actually an East Indian supra.) West Nile Fever sounds like something to be devoutly avoided.

Which is why I've loaded up on more insect repellant than I have sunblock, socks, or even film. Shouldn't imagine I'll be wearing shorts very often either. Be long cotton sleeves and longer cotton pants tucked into what socks I have packed. Then again, given where I'm going, wearing shorts might not be considered polite anyhow. And far be it from me to do anything impolite.

I leave that to my characters, -- in particular the once married but now faerie tricksters most consistently referred to as either Youth Life and Youth Death or Hush Mannering and Auguste Moirnoir. (They'd be the two, mutually antagonistic, perpetual seven year olds featured throughout most of my tales-told as set in the Twentieth Century.)

It's been less than a month since I put up an installment of PHANTACEA on the Web but, due to the likelihood I won't get around to putting out another one until around Xmas, I thought I'd leave you with a bunch more story sequences to keep you amused until then. (Or bemused, as the case may be.) And that's about it. Which is why I've left up the rest of last month's pHpubs.

About it, of course, doesn't quite give enough credit to the quality of the story installments this time up. (Nor to the general quality of installments any time up.) For example, over in 'Helios on the Moon', -- specifically, in SIXTEENTH-Moon, we've the real ending to ENDGAME-Gambit. Got a great battle sequence too. So do FIFTEENTH and SEVENTEENTH. Looks to me, and I should know, Moon's going to end as fast and furiously as all my other Launch serials did. Only, as immediately below, it's going to end them all!

The latter, SEVENTEENTH, actually features the main characters of Moon, that is to say Doc Defiance, the Indescribable Mr No Name, Milady Memory, and Heliosophos himself. (And I bet you thought the Gypsium Man and everyone's favourite Doughboy were main characters in 'Centauri Island'. Well, they were, -- just that now they aren't.)

Speaking of Island, in EIGHTEENTH we begin approaching its real ending as well. So, you might be wondering, what's Moon doing concluding two other serials that have already finished their run out here in WWW-Dotland? As noted elsewhere, the answer is Moon not only concludes the four Launching of the Cosmic Express Web Serials, it ends all of them. As well as itself!

In many respects the opposite can be said about 'Ringleader's Revenge'; more specifically, about it's initial subsection, 'Last of the Supranormals'. Begun last time up, it finishes this time around. So, while it lasts, for the first time ever you can download an entire PHANTACEA mini-series in one sitting. Shouldn't stop you from ordering any of my other material though. More on that in Today's Topic. (Which is actually last month's topic, but who's counting?) So, as always, -- good reading!

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2. Introductory Remarks August 2000

"That it, Ryne?" asked Murray once he reached Cerebrus. "The last one down?"

"That's it, Jerry. Except for us, that is."

-- from 'Ringleader's Revenge'

First off, welcome or welcome back. Welcome as well 'Ringleader's Revenge', the first essentially all-new set of story sequences to appear on these pages in what seems like, and probably is, years.

Second off, last time around's Peculiar Perspectives, including the graphics associated with it and most of my commentary, has been moved to the Travels in my Pants Web Feature. Ephesian Heads Stone needed a new home and that seemed as good a place as any. After all, I wouldn't have spotted it if I hadn't been travelling in my pants.

Third off, if you're looking for the ongoing House Head non-contest, it hasn't moved. Can still be found, appropriately enough, in 'The House Head Museum'. Dual logos haven't changed either. One's a sample of a, to my mind, perfect House Head. Other's an example of one, two, or maybe even three of the Ephesian Heads referred to above. Only difference is it now takes you to Revenge's synopsis page. More on that in Today's Topic.

Got the usual links to the latest installments of the two other Web Serials being published out here in Cyberia: 'The Trigregos Gambit' and 'Helios on the Moon'. It's Gambit's final chapter and, perhaps peculiarly, it doesn't conclude ENDGAME-Gambit. Rather, it concludes the very first chapter of PREGAME-Gambit. Meanwhile, over in Moon, two of my favourite long-time PHANTACEA characters, ones from twenty plus years ago now, finally make their reappearance in these pages. No synopses for it as yet, so I guess that means you'll have to read FOURTEENTH Moon to find out who they are!

As promised (threatened?) last time I've removed the final three chapters of 'Centauri Island' from the Web. (At least I think I did anyhow. Hard to be certain anything's ever removed from WWW-Dotland.) Their synopses are still up though.

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3. Today's Topic: Entertainment Requested

And why not, I request you to respond. Way I figure it you read my stories, essays and features in order to be entertained. So, why not return the favour? Not to mention (and, dot-ditto, for much the same purpose) check out the GIFs and JPEGs I put up -- be they scanned from PHANTACEA comic books or the collection of photos I've accumulated from sometimes faraway places.

(Certainly faraway from Vancouver anyway. Which is where I hang my rainhat for the better part of 10-months every year. When I'm not wearing it, that is. Which is a great deal of the time. Not that I'm complaining, understand. Fresh water's the Black Gold of the 21st Century, everyone knows that. And, touch wood, which we've aplenty as well, Canada's got an impressive percentage of the world's share that isn't black already.)

I mean, it's not like I charge anyone for the pleasure of being entertained by me. (Assuming you are either pleasured or entertained by me.) Besides, who knows, even if you aren't maybe I would be by you. More to the point, maybe a lot of other folks would be as well.

Lest we forget, however, the primary purpose of PHANTACEA on the Web has been, is now, and ever will be to market my writing; specifically the stories I weekend-write for inclusion in what I've termed 'The PHANTACEA Mythos'. Finding out how to order what I'm selling is as easy as clicking on the next sparking blue marker you come across. (That'd be the previous period, in case you missed it.)

Should you check out the order form, which you definitely should, you might notice that everything is $10 US. It did not seem like an exorbitant amount when I took PHANTACEA onto the Web over 4 years ago now but, well, I haven't had any orders lately so maybe I should lower the cost to, say, $10 Canadian. And maybe I will, -- though not yet.

What I will do right now is entertain requests. If enough of them are to lower the price for PHANTACEA: Forever And Forty Days (which is the only publication I have that's already printed and still available), or any of the disk-novels listed, then I'd certainly consider it.

The one proviso is you have to email me in such numbers that I can set up a kind of 'Letters to the Editor' Webpage wherein I can reprint (not too severely editted I trust) what you send and respond to it in a suitably entertaining manner. Of course you don't have to order anything to have your email reprinted and responded to howsoever pithily. Just have to send it in and let me determine how to respond, assuming I do.

Unfortunately (make that, at least from my point of view, fortunately) I don't have the facilities to accept payment online or even by credit card. Call me a Luddite if you like, but what you have to do is print off the order form by highlighting whatever part of it you want then, if your print program is similar to mine, hitting the 'selection' command.

After you've a hard-copy, fill it in with an old-fashioned pen, stick it in an envelope and send it by snail mail along with a just as old-fashioned cheque, certified or otherwise, or money order inside. (Hope I'm not the only one who still uses cheques.) Self-addressed stamped envelopes are also appreciated.

If you're ordering a disk-novel, and using a non-certified personal cheque then, as soon as the cheque clears the bank, I'll copy it onto a disk in either WordPerfect-6 or MsWord-7, because they're all I've got, and send it to you via the same method.

By the way, I'm reliably informed that most more advanced word processing programmes will upgrade either/or automatically. I could also copy it to TEXT-MODE and, if it's really, really crucial, could even find a way to have it copied onto a CD-Rom. (Provided it doesn't cost me too much Mighty Moolah, I aim to pleasure as well as entertain!)

Another request I would definitely consider is an exchange of links between your website and mine. Usual conditions apply. I don't put certain things on my site and won't provide a link to one that does. Lone objectionable thing I can think of, other than links to 'Born-Again Intolerancy' or 'NRA' websites, is hard-core pornography. Would have to assess the website, and its links, before I create a link to it from mine is all I'm saying. (As above, to get to my Dotland-LYNX is as easy as clicking on the next sparking blue marker you come across. That'd be the previous period, in case you missed it again.)

Lots of other requests I'd entertain as well. In terms of PHANTACEA on the Web, however, I'd prefer them of the practical variety. Suggestions about how to improve the Website, lists of chat-lines that might be amicable to having the occasional contribution from a weekend-writer with more tales to sell than tell, email-addresses to online zines, ones that might review my stories or webpage, would be appreciated. (No, I don't advertise. Have no intention of allowing advertising on this site, either. Mind you, requests aren't all I entertain. I'm all in favour of offers.)

As you're probably already aware by now, I don't just put up stories and photographs. I've a number of fay-faerie-fairly-fine-features I add to whenever the mood strikes me. For example, as also noted above, I've done a fair bit of travelling in my pants and would be happy to share some more travelogues with you. Same proviso though. You've got to email me at in such numbers that I figure I can have some fun replying to them.

Last request I'd entertain (might entertain, make that, dependent how entertaining I find it) is, well, you may have noticed 'Ringleader's Revenge' isn't listed on the order form referred to above, -- no doubt, from your perspective, ad nauseum by now. That's because it isn't finished yet. In fact, as described elsewhere, I'm not even sure how it ends. So, how do you think it should end?

Do let me know. I promise, I'll get back to you!

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May 1999

"So where is this Sharkczar character?" Before Shelter could respond, the creature itself grew out of the floor.

It was an awkward looking thing, -- as if a ten foot long Great White Shark had been grafted onto a giant's hindquarters. Its pectoral fins were powerful-looking arms and his entire body was armoured more like a rhinoceros than a shark.

"Ugly bastard," admired Shooter.

-- from 'Centauri Island'

1. Introductory Remarks May 1999

Lots to get to this time up, so let's get to it!

There are no less than nine new story sequences this time, including the final three chapters of 'Centauri Island'. All of these last, plus the unrevised two from back in February, have been moderately revised in the last month or so and come complete with new synopses.

As for the other six sequences, like the ones I put up last time, none of them have been revised. Nor have I provided synopses for any of them. Will probably do some for 'The Trigregos Gambit' next time around because it's getting close to its finale but, unless I find more free time in the meantime, you'll just have to keep following 'Helios on the Moon' in its 1993 Version for the next little while. As always, -- good reading!

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2. Today's Topic: Travels in my Pants

Ordinarily the appearance of the final chapter of one of my books would warrant a 'Today's Topic' all its own. And it's not as if the conclusion of 'Centauri Island' is an inconsequential event. After all, along with 'War of the Apocalyptics' and 'The Moloch Manoeuvres', Island did inaugurate PHANTACEA on the Web three years ago now.

Well, all right, maybe the conclusion of Island is a relatively inconsequential event since there are two more books, 'The Trigregos Gambit' and 'Helios on the Moon', still to finish before we reach the end of 'The Launching of the Cosmic Express' serials.

Even though Gambit is now in its END-GAME stages, Moon has quite a way to go yet. While, in terms of stories, I've got sequels to 'Moloch' and 'Ringleader's Revenge', a kind of prequel to Launch, waiting in the wings, what I'm missing is many more pictures to go with them.

The Web having become, in my opinion, an all-too-visually-oriented medium that's why I'm not celebrating Centauri's demise (all three Centauris, -- the book, the Island, and the fatman) so much as the commencement of an entirely new series, the aforementioned 'Travels in my Pants'.

Rest assured, as much as it will be, Travels won't be just travelogues. There will be plenty of links into my story synopses, as applicable, and other of my Web Pages, as can be found elsewhere. Just that, hey, sometimes my photos won't have anything to do with PHANTACEA.

So, um, all that said, -- where is it? Not telling. Will tell you that there's some more notes in Serendipity though and they involve another Sedon-sighting.

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March 1998

Skin sweating blood. Serpentine fangs. Taloned. Slack stomach. Four arms like the terrible Hindu death goddess, Kali. Venomous snakes for hair. Medusa. Breasts rock hard, bare and proud. A golden Brainrock girdle.

Leggings fabricated from human skin. A pouch bottomless like Wilderwitch's; from which she'd clothed and ornamented the three of her four children who wore such things.

This was Mater Matare, -- Mother Murder!

-- from the altogether cataclysmic conclusion to 'The War of the Apocalyptics'

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October 1997


Raven charged through the smoke and flames. The air itself was on fire, the oxygen burning away, but nothing slowed her down. Their auras protected them both. The cavern exit was dead ahead. The parade of people Blind Sundown'd seen through her eyes was well inside the tunnel by now. It was only a few hundred yards until they were as well.

Headless Ramazar and the Vultyrie, as unaffected by the firestorm as their foes, were giving chase. "Oh, a race is it! Vultyrie and I do so much love to race." It was hopeless though. Raven's Head was far faster than the Vultyrie. He had no choice really.

Disaster fired his flintlock focus.

-- from 'The War of the Apocalyptics'

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September 1997

"You ever consider that Celestials are little more than just godly slavers? I have. Want to be enjoined forever in some sort of Celestial Consort, praising God, the Everlasting Good Guy. Being blissfully mindless forevermore? I don't."

"Celestial slavers instead of celestial saviours. Interesting thought that."

-- part of a long conversation between Wilderwitch and the Awesome Akbar as they walk through the Faerie Garden in Temporis, from 'The War of the Apocalyptics'

1. Introductory Remarks

Welcome. Welcome back. Hope you noticed last month's ghost up and vanished. Hope also that its replacement caught your attention.

I trust what it is, a photograph shot somewhere in reality, the upper head of which is distinctly reminiscent of Sedon's Head, is immediately apparent to all those regular visitors to PHANTACEA on the Web.

Unlike the one atop the Trigoddity Web Page, I didn't take it. Nor was the photo shot anywhere I've been. As for where it was taken, well, that's quite a wild coincidence. Check out this month's installment of Serendipity for an explanation.

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2. Today's Topic: PHANTACEA -- By The Loop

Someday, in this space, I hope to be able to write: PHANTACEA -- Buy The Book! For whatever reason though, other than the material you can still order from me, there isn't much of mine published other than by me.

While I'm forever hopeful that will soon change, I'm not one to give up writing. Like any number of things, -- an ability, a craft, a knack, a gift -- you got it and don't use it, you lose it. That said, there are others who say I don't suffer from Writer's Block so much as Writer's Blockheadness. Don't you have a life?

Not too bad a one actually, thanks for asking. A tad lonely in some respects, but I'm off to Sicily then Malta in a month or so. Not everyone can say they've those options. Even if you have the money, the inclination, or, in my case, make enough to budget for indulging such once in awhile inclinations. The point is sometimes I write by the loop.

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Since these are my stories, I tend to make my own rules. One of them's that a remark made in one story, even if it was written years earlier, has to be proven accurate when I finally get around to writing the actual story referred to by the comment. If, as the saying goes, it turns out to be no longer operable then I have to do some fancy stick-handling in order to make the initial remark at least explicable.

In other words, one thing leads to another, only to warp backwards into yet another, even if you don't realize it at the time. For example, the first Strife isn't supposed to show up until 1943; yet there's clearly a Strife in 1938. Why's that? Simple.

I hadn't written the '38 serials until long after I rewrote the Comic Book stories, which I set in December 1980 -- and them only after I wrote the as yet unfinished '81-'86 sequences, one of which appears in PHANTACEA: 'Forever and Forty Days - the Genesis of PHANTACEA'.

And the true identity of '43's Strife, oft-speculated about by a number of my characters during The Launching of the Cosmic Express serials, has become an important aspect of Heliodyssey, -- my current, much-interrupted, writing project as set in 59/19 37/38 YD/AD. Got that? Good.

Of course, when you're talking fictitious, this sort of thing's easy to rationalize if you've had amnaesthetics since the late Forties and witches out memory-redacting folks for hundreds of years before even then. What's harder to account for is when you're talking factitious. When I've been self-redacted or, put more accurately, simply forgot something.

For the record then, despite what you may have read in previous installments of any of the serials, the Twin Cities, the ones that supposedly come out separately once a century and together once a millennia, are Nikaya (wickedness) and Tivatimsa (blessedness), -- not Pettivisaya.

In PHANTACEA, as I finally recollected after I started editting Gambit for the Web, Pettivisaya, the City of Wailing Souls, was formerly known as Elysium (happiness). Is now Yama Nergal's capital city of the Ghostlands, which were formerly known as the Elysian Fields, the Laughing Lands. And aren't you glad I cleared that up?


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More embarassing is when I inadvertently use the same motif overly much. An example of this is devas growing gigantic. Just because they can, due to their daemon/faerie, Stoprock bodies, -- their so-called 'subtle matter' composition --, doesn't mean they always have to!

(Devils are Fallen Angels, recall. As Wilderwitch suggests to Kronokronos Akbar while the two of them are strolling through the Faerie Garden, after multiple millennia praising God the Blob, they're not much on inventive thinking. About the only imaginative thing they ever did was get themselves booted out of the Celestial Sphere.)

If I catch myself in time, I can usually work around Show-Off Master Devas constantly puffing themselves up in front of their adherents (mere mortals, like me and thee, for the most part). Or give the pseudo-serious, synapse-snapping sequence a new twist. Sometimes though, I'm as blanked as some of my characters.

This was brought home the last couple of weekends, as I prepared this time up's synopses. In one of those bizarre, virtually synchronous coincidences I so often refer to in Serendipity, I reminded myself that I had de-manipulated, if that's a word, no less than three of my myriad characters, -- in three widely disparate story sequences, no less. And hadn't realized it until now!

(NOTE 1: Actually it's four, -- might even be five if you count Hellion Grudge's wedding ringfinger, which Count Molech bit off, along with the Ring of Nebuland, in Moloch. However, I never forgot that the Male Entity chops off one of the Demon Sedon's hands in 4-Ever & 40.)

(NOTE 2: Helios also chops off Sedon's head in the same book. But that was in an even earlier lifetime. Not to mention storyline. And with much the same effect. Devils just don't go down deadly. Especially not for the long count.)

Does this mean I'm going to go back and rewrite at least a couple of these sequences? Not a chance. Does this mean I'm as repetitive as my three-eyed characters, not as imaginative as I sometimes think I am? Well, maybe. Got to trust in your Muse though. You don't, as above, she (he?, it?) might go away.

That it happened in the same month I put the Gambit, War, & Moloch versions of it happening on the Web is what really knocks me for a loop. Could I have subconsciously made missing a hand, almost invariably the right one, the Mark of Sedon the same way a Circled-X has become the Mark of Cain in PHANTACEA? Guess I must have! (And thus will claim forevermore.)

Left-Handedness is the Sinister Affliction after all.


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Writing by the loop, -- blame it on Heliosophos, my left-handed favourite and, probably, my most original character. Even when he doesn't appear in them, one way or another, Helios almost always turns up in my stories. That's because he's a Time Tumbler.

He gets killed only to come alive again, in some other time-space, at the same age he was when he first got killed. (In 1968?) Often before the last time as well. Which gives him the unique opportunity of changing history. Which is also likely why he's called just that, -- History.

He's an attendant Her Story or, if you prefer, she's an attendant His Story. In Moloch we've already met her, -- a flesh and blood her. (Sort of?) Then again, in Moloch, he isn't born yet. Soon will be though. Unless he kills his parents first. And why would he do that? To prevent himself from bringing that other Moloch, not Count Molech, into existence in the first place.

Her Story's name is Mnemosyne, the same as the Greek Titan, -- Queen of the Muses, as it happens. Means Memory and, in many respects, she's an even more original character than Helios. She likes devils, they make her human, and she likes being human.

You see, she's mostly a machine, a Great Mother Machine, one that makes up the insides of Trans-Time Trigon, the three-peaked, hollowed out Island that also follows Helios from one lifetime to another. In other words, she's an entirely miraculous Entity.

Oh, and when she's humanized, Miracle Memory can have kids. Unless of course, rather than the other way around, it's devas who are possessing her. She can have kids in that case too though. Except then these kids are devils. We've met a few of the latter in both Moloch and the various Launch Serials. Met a few of the former as well, -- including herself.

Talk about loopy!


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Another thing brought home to me as I prepared this time up's synopses is my tendency to make notes as I go. A decent editor would probably sort me out of this habit right smartly, at least in any published manuscript, but I write mostly for myself. (Or have I said that already?)

This predilection of making notes to myself as I go along, -- more, making them part of the story, frustratingly (at least to some of my readers) often minus the endgame, end-book, climatic fulfillment --, might seem loopy, as in looney tunes. It's also quite apparent in both of this time up's Launch serials. Does that mean you should skip them? I like to think not.

Just as the dialogue from PHANTACEA: The Comic Books has been preserved pretty much in its entirety in the prose stories, I promise you that the storyline essentials of what appears on PHANTACEA on the Web will be likewise preserved.

At least until I find myself an equally loopy editor!


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3. Quick Notes on Graphics

Again for the record, as noted elsewhere, the b/w Giza Plateau photo is found on p.23 in Hancock & Bauval's 'The Message of the Sphinx' (Crown Publishers, Inc © copyright 1996). The photo of the Wingless Sphinx is from a couple of pages earlier. (Book doesn't record who took them. Naughty publisher!)

The artwork is by Ian Fry, 1987-1990. The non-Sphinx photographs are by me, © copyright 1995, 1996, 1997 Jim McPherson.

[STATUE OF A HEADLESS DANDY REMINISCENT OF RAMAZAR, TAKEN IN CATANIA SICILY, PHOTO BY JIM MCPHERSON, 1997][Photograph of Egyptian Sphinx, taken from The Message of the Sphinx by Hancock and Bauval, 1996] [Photograph of Egyptian Sphinx, taken from The Message of the Sphinx by Hancock and Bauval, 1996] [SEDON AS SATAN, ARTWORK BY IAN FRY, 1987-90] [SEDON'S HEAD LAUGHING, ARTWORK BY IAN FRY, 1987-90] [SEDON'S HEAD, UNFINISHED ARTWORK BY IAN FRY, 1987-90]


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Lynx to some other Web-Publisher's Commentaries

| Autumn 2002 | Summer 2002 | Autumn 2001 | Spring-Summer 2001 | Winter 2000/2001 | Samplings from other Not So Recent Commentaries | June-March '97 | Feb '97-July '96 |

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