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Helios on the Moon , by Peter Lynde circa 1978


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Introductory Comments provided on behalf of Phantacea Publications, Spring 2015

The pH-Webworld online serial, 'Helios on the Moon', ran in the late Nineties, early 2000s, out here in Cyberia. It had its origins in the phantacea comic book series, 1977-1980. The launching of the Cosmic Express aspects of it were reprinted in the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels: "The Damnation Brigade", 2013, and "Cataclysm Catalyst", 2014.

The initial story sequences were scheduled to conclude in Phantacea Seven, which was only partially completed. Replacement scripts were subsequently prepared for the Phase One project, which was abandoned after only one issue. Although the scripts were preserved, currently there are no plans to commission artists and letterers to finish the series.

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, reworked the Centauri Island storyline that begins the Moon serial. He incorporated it within "Nuclear Dragons", 2013, the full-length second entry in the Launch 1980 fantasy trilogy. A similar, albeit vastly expanded version of the Moon storyline therafter became "Helios on the Moon", 2014, the culminating entry of 'Launch 1980' epic fantasy.

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Bulk of page last rewritten: Spring 2007

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-- The Web Serial --

It was early 1978 that the signals were first detected. They came from somewhere out in space. At first scientists, while publicly holding their tongues, were extremely excited. Finally there was proof that humanity wasn't alone in the cosmos.

Then, about a month after their initial detection, the source was pinpointed. Elation gave way to shock then to near panic. The beams were coming from the Earth's moon!

Helios announcing to the world that he was taking over, from pH-3 as drawn by Richard Sandoval in 1978Were, as the title kind of gives away, coming from Helios on the Moon. But, stop me if you've heard this question before, who is this Helios called Sophos the Wise? The simple answer is the Male Entity, a number of whose stories were recounted in 'Forever and Forty Days', which is still available for ordering, and who is also the titular character of the Heliodyssey story sequences.

But who else is he? Heli, the father of Joseph the Carpenter and therefore the surrogate grandfather of you know who? Cain, Slayer of Abel, whom the Biblical Lord marked with what might have been an X in the middle of his forehead, about where a third eye would be, and forbade anyone to kill?

Someone as obvious as the Greek Sun God, best buddy of Thrygragos Mithras, -- yes, that Great God, the one not only of India, Persia, Asia Minor then Imperial Rome worship but of Sedon's Head. And, if he is, what's the solar lunatic doing there rather than on his own nominal sphere of influence? Mating with the Mistress of the Moon mayhaps?

Was he once, twenty-five hundred years after Xuthros Hor caused the Great Flood, King Cadmus of Thebes, -- he who, according to Apollodorus, brought the Phoenician alphabet to Ancient Greece (as well as, it goes without saying, Europe) and was the brother of Europa, the mother by Zeus (Varuna? Mithras? Sedon Himself?) of Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Sarpedon in Cretan Mythology (as well as, it also goes without saying, she who gave her name to the continent)?

As recounted in 4-Ever could he be, or have been, the time-tumbling Mad God who created the Moloch Sedon, the first devil, in the faraway planetary system of Old Weir; was killed, hardly for the first or last time, by his own creation twenty odd years thereafter; then, in yet another lifetime, destroyed Weirstar in a supernova burst not seen by us until 1987?

Or is he Kadmon Heliopolis, -- who hasn't been born during the Heliodyssey sequence of stories set in 1938, yet whose very birth Helios called Sophos the Wise is doing his best to thwart forty-two years before the Launching of the Cosmic Express? Huh! That time's Helios is trying to kill his for-all-time Heliopolis-self before he, any-time's Heliosophos, is even born?

Well, yes. Something like that anyhow. On second thought, to be more accurate, better make that maybe yes. To all of the above!

"Jim got him, Abe," Big Max duly told the patriarch later that day on Scorpios [in 1968]. "Heliopolis is history."

In a minor burst of prescience, Ryne said he devoutly hoped not.

Point being, besides that O.J. Maxwell was unwittingly right and Loxus Abraham Ryne denied his devoutest hope back in '68, something is on the Moon in December 1980. That something is bombarding the Whole Earth with thought beams presumably as a prelude to a full-scale invasion of our precious planet.

Even though no one -- except the ones responsible for them, obviously -- knows who or what that something is, one thing is certain: even our ever-warring countries and cut-throat corporations are not going to sit idly by and let it happen without a fight. So the United Nations forms the Society for the Prevention of Alien Control of Earth (S.P.A.C.E.).

The UNES Liberty
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Under the direction of Abe Ryne, now eighty, the SPACE Council funds, constructs and launches the United Nations of Earth Spaceship Liberty. It is now in orbit around the Moon searching for the source of these beams. Another space craft is launched on November 30, 1980. This is the Cosmic Express and it is, of course, promptly destroyed.The Black Rose of Anarchy, illustration by Gene Day, 1979

Well, again, maybe destroyed is a bit of a stretch. But it's certainly blasted apart and parts of it end up very near the moon. Very near the Liberty as well. One part in particular is Cosmicar Two. Its Cosmicaptain is Mikelangelo Starrus and its other six crew members include his wife, whose name is Nidaba.

As one might expect, especially if you've read 'The War of the Apocalyptics', all seven are possessed by devils. But by which ones? Put it this way, while the answers aren't found in 'The Trigregos Gambit', all seven have already appeared in it.

And all seven will be reappearing in Moon:

"Well enough, Cold. Your children are no longer stars in the Sedon Sphere, that much is certain. Neither are forty or so of your siblings and, unfortunately, a couple of dozen of our cousins. The Byronic Reaper called by Illuminaries of Weir Vanthysces is out. So is Lord Order and your triplet-brother, Dream."

The Black Rose of Anarchy, illustration by Peter Lynde, 1978Recognize the voice? He appears too. As do not only Utopians of Weir on Earth such as Blackguard from 'Centauri Island' but Utopians from New Weir. Their goddesses, too. And who are they, besides the collective mothers of devazurkind? Gambit has a adjective.

That all? Hardly. There's Thalassa D'Angelo, the last member of the Damnation Brigade, from War, Doc Defiance and the Indescribable Mr No Name from Island, and virtually all the characters who survive Gambit. Which might be a few less than you'd think.

Fact is, as noted elsewhere, Moon not only concludes the four Launch Serials, it ends all of them. As well as itself. But does it end Helios himself? Not if a certain memorable character from the Heliodyssey sequence of stories has her way it doesn't.

After all, if Helios is History, it stands to reason there's a Herstory!

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'Helios on the Moon'

  1. "His Stories"
  2. "The Moon -- Above, Below, and Beyond"
  3. "The Smiling Fiend"
  4. "The Ubiquitous Uncle Universe"
  5. "Then Til Tuesday"
  6. "Moon Angel"
  7. "Starrus on the Liberty"
  8. "Pandora's Gift"
  9. "Yajur on the Moon"
  10. "Psychic Siblings"
  11. "The Family Thanatos"
  12. "Dragon Days"
  13. "Anarchism Forever"
  14. "Sedon's Peak"
  15. "Damnation -- Post-Apocalyptics"
  16. "Repast with the Past"
  17. "Sea Goddess"
  18. "Crystallion"
  19. "Memory of the Demons"
  20. "The Trigregos Sisters"
  21. "Helios Dies Again"
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Graphical Click Backs

The Black Rose of Anarchy, illustration by Gene Day, 1979Helios on the Moon , by Peter Lynde circa 1978Helios announcing to the world that he was taking over, from pH-3 as drawn by Richard Sandoval in 1978The UNES LibertyThe Black Rose of Anarchy, illustration by Peter Lynde, 1978

Last Rewritten: Autumn 2007
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Webpage last updated: Summer 2014

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