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Welcome to the Introduction Page for the two Variations Web-Serials

| Top of Page Search Engine | Latest listing of phantacea publications available in print and digitally | 2014: "Cataclysm Catalyst" | 2013: "Nuclear Dragons" | 2013: "Damnation Brigade" | Blog on | Get Busy | 2012: "Goddess Gambit | 2010/11: "The Thousand Days of Disbelief" | 2009: The War of the Apocalyptics" | 2008: "Feeling Theocidal" | Quick Lynx | Bottom of Page |

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.

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'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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What might have been, will be for sure in 2014

Two versions of Rhadamanthys Revealed, art by Verne Andru, 1980-2013

Cover(s) by Verne Andru, 1980-2013; text by Jim McPherson, 2014

BTW, pHz-1 #12 only exists in script form; Kitty-Clysm is pH-Webworld shorthand for "Cataclysm Catalyst";

Double-click to enlarge images in this panel here

 

Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst

Cataclysm Catalyst front and back cover in black and white, art by Verne Andru

The third graphic novel from Phantacea Publications extracts another complete story sequence from Phantacea 1-7 and Phantacea Phase One #1. Includes artwork by Dave Sim, Ian Fry, Sean Newton, Verne Andrusiek, and Ian Bateson. Dedicated webpage is here. Order online or from the publisher.

Double-click to enlarge a black and white version of the cover in a separate window

What was once, will be again

Helios on the Moon, bw versions of front cover for pH-3, art by Richard Sandoval, 1978

Thirty-six years after its original release, Jim McPherson completes his Launch 1980 project to novelize all the Phantacea comic books with the release of "Helios on the Moon"

pH-3 artwork by Richard Sandoval, 1978; rollover adjustments made by Jim McPherson, 2013

Double-click to enlarge images in this panel here
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Phantacea Seven

- The unpublished comic now novelized -

pages 1 and 2, artwork by Ian Bateson, 1980

At long last, the second entry in the Launch 1980 epic fantasy has arrived

Check out the expanded Availability Listings for places you can order or buy Phantacea Publications in person

Images in this row double-click to enlarge here

Look out below!

Full covers for Nuclear Dragons, art by Ian Bateson, 2013; text by Jim McPherson

Nuclear Dragons are here!

- A phantacea Mythos Mosaic Novel -

Jim McPherson continues his ongoing project to novelize the entire Phantacea comic book series

Double-click on image to enlarge in a separate window

Dedicated webpage can be found here; back cover text here; lynx to excerpts from the book start here and here; check out material that didn't make it here and related excerpts from its scheduled follow-up, 2014's "Helios on the Moon", here; for the time being its Auctorial Preamble is reprinted here and here

Centauri Island

- The web-serial enlarged radically -

pages 3 and 4, artwork by Ian Bateson, 1980

Ian Bateson's unpublished artwork from Phantacea Seven provides the basis for the first full-length phantacea Mythos Mosaic Novel since "Goddess Gambit".

Ian Bateson's breathtaking wraparound cover for the novel utilizes his own dragons from pH-7. Those from the unfinished cover for the Phantacea Phase One project can be seen here and here.

Images in this row double-click to enlarge here and here

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Phantacea Revisited 1

B/w first and last pages from DB graphic novel

Check out the expanded Availability Listings for places you can order or buy Phantacea Publications in person

NEW: Read most of the mini-novels making up "The Thousand Days of Disbelief" today on Google Books

Hit here to see what else is currently available there

Guess what isn't coming soon any more?

Text reads Graphic Novel coming soon or here

Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade"

A Watermarked PDF of the graphic novel can be ordered from Drive Thru Comics here

To order from the publisher, click here or go straight to here.

Postage is extra. Please be aware that as yet Phantacea Publications can only accept certified cheques or money orders.

The Damnation Brigade Graphic Novel

artwork by Ian Bateson and Vince Marchesano

Artwork never seen before in print; almost all of pH-5 available for the first time since 1980

Images in this row double-click to enlarge here

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No wonder they call themselves the Damnation Brigade

Variations of DB cover, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2012, collage by Jim McPherson, 2012

Now available from Phantacea Publications

Images in this row are double-clickable from here, here, and, to a lesser degree, here.

pHantaBlog On

Two Damnation Brigade Collages, 2009, 2012

Register now and contribute whenever you please

The 2006 PDF of Mythos Mag, with its updated 2012 lynx, can be downloaded here.

Hit here for a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) of the most recent pHantaBlog entries

The Phantacea Revisited Project

D-Brig covers

Collecting the Phantacea comic books 1977-1980, 1987, Rv1:DB contains material from pH #s 1-5 + pHz1 #s 1 & 2.

This will be the first time in the better part of 30 years that material from pH-5 has been available except from online traders.

Watch for "Phantacea Revisited #2: Cataclysm Catalyst" coming in the Spring of 2014

 

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D-Brig advertisement with graphic novel table of contents on one side2013 Phantacea Publications advert with price listSearch all the Phantacea Sites
Contribute to the all-new pHantaBlog and download a free PDF of Mythos Mag #1 while you're at it
Get hold of "Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade", a graphic novel collecting the DB-storyline from pH 1-5, as well as Phantacea Phase One #s 1 & 2 (unpublished) now available for ordering from Phantacea Publications

Get hold of "Cataclysm Catalyst", the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel collecting the Soldier's Saga from pH 2-6, as well as Ian Bateson's unpublished Hell's Horsemen sequence intended for Phantacea Seven, now available for ordering from Phantacea Publications

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"Goddess Gambit"

– Now available from Phantacea Publications –

Eyemouth over cover for Gambitsedonic eyes"For the Dead to Thrive, the Living must Die!"

So proclaims Nergal Vetala, the Blood Queen of Hadd.

When her soldier falls out of the sky she's not only back in the pink again – as in arterial – she reckons she's found the perfect foil through which to play, and win, a Trigregos Gambit.

She might be right as well.

Thus Ends 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Trilogy


For more on the actual celestial phenomena upon which the eye-collages were based, click here. There's additional information re the Sedonic Eye here and here. The complete cover for Phase One #1 is here whereas yet another variation of it is here. The left eye double-click is the full cover for "Goddess Gambit", artwork by Verne Andru 2011/2. The right eye double-click is of Ian Bateson's enduring, 1986 Sedonic Eye as prepared by Jim McPherson, 2011. Gambit's main webpage is here.

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"The 1000 Days of Disbelief" is not only 3/3rds Done, it's E-done (albeit for Kindle, not kidding nor kindling)

In part to celebrate the 35th Year of Anheroic Fantasy, Phantacea Publications is pleased to announce that "Feeling Theocidal", Book One of the trilogy, and all three mini-novels extracted from 1000-Daze are available on the Kindle platform from amazon.com and a number its affiliates worldwide.

Alternative covers for Goddess Gambitcovers and characters from Janna FangfingersSubtitled Sedonplay, Sedon Plague and Sedon Purge, the mini-novels commence, continue and conclude Book Two of 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' trilogy.

Watch for e-versions of Book Three, "Goddess Gambit", and its full-length predecessor in the Launch 1980 story cycle, "The War of Apocalyptics", coming soon from Phantacea Publications.

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========

Like the first two mini-novels extracted from 1000-Daze, "The Death's Head Hellion" and "Contagion Collectors", "Janna Fangfingers" contains a book-specific character companion. An Auctorial Prefatory and the opening chapter extracted from Gambit round out a 230-page volume bargain-priced at only $12.00 per book CAD and USD, vastly less as an e-book.

(Please note: although their character companions are for the most part applicable to Feel Theo, in large measure they're not so much so to either War-Pox or Gambit, which tend to feature characters more prevalent in the phantacea comic books and web-serials.)

Together they carry on recording the multi-millennia-long chronicles of the gods and goddesses, the demons and monsters, of antique mythologies — the same seemingly endless saga also presented in the 1990 graphic novel, "Forever & 40 Days — The Genesis of phantacea", and the three, thus-far-published, full-length mosaic novels featuring Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos.

Variations on covers prepared for Goddess Gambit

Each of the mini-novels is complete unto itself. Among many another character, they feature Thrygragos Everyman and his firstborn Unities (the incomparable Harmony, Thunder & Lightning Lord Order and Uncle Abe Chaos) in their freewheeling prime. On top of that, Fangers presents a framing story set in 5980 Year of the Dome. As such it could be considered a prequel to the Launch 1980 story cycle that began in earnest with War-Pox and eventually picks up again in Gambit.

[Check out www.phantacea.com for extracts, synopses, teasers, and a grab bag of even more intriguing graphics pertinent to Phantacea Publications' 35th anniversary.]

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Cover for the Death's Head Hellion, artwork prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010Cover for the Contagion Collectors, artwork prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

"Forever & 40 Days — The Genesis of PHANTACEA", a graphic novel with additional features written by Jim McPherson, "Feeling Theocidal" (Book One of 'The Thrice Cursed Godly Glories'), "The War of the Apocalyptics" (the opening entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle), the three mini-novels, "The Death's Head Hellion", "Contagion Collectors" and "Janna Fangfingers", that comprise "The 1000 Days of Disbelief" (Book Two of 'The Thrice Cursed Godly Glories'), the trilogy's concluding novel, "Goddess Gambit", the graphic novel "Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade", "Nuclear Dragons"(the second, full-length entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle), plus the latest graphic novel, "Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst", and "Helios on the Moon", the culminating entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle, should be available at your favourite book stops.

If they're not, kindly direct local librarians and neighbourhood booksellers to www.phantacea.com in order to start rectifying that sad situation. Either that or, if you're feeling even more proactive, click here, copy the link, paste it into an email and send it to them, along with everyone else you reckon could use a double dose of anheroic fantasy. It will certainly be appreciated.

Help build the buzz. The more books sell, the faster the PHANTACEA Mythos spreads.


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Covers for Feeling Theocidal and Forever and Forty DaysTwo Ian  Bateson covers of the same scene

Individual copies of "Feeling Theocidal", "The War of the Apocalyptics", the three mini-novels comprising "The Thousand Days of Disbelief" ("The Death's Head Hellion", "Contagion Collectors" and "Janna Fangfingers") and "Goddess Gambit" can be ordered from amazon.com and its affiliates, including amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk, as well as from Barnes & Noble.

Libraries, bookstores and bookseller collectives can place bulk orders through Ingram Books, Ingram International, Baker & Taylor, Coutts Information Services, and a large number of other distributors worldwide.

E-books for Kindle, Kindle Fire, I-pad, I-phone and other applications can be ordered through amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and other amazon affiliates worldwide. An interactive e-book containing the entirety of "Feeling Theocidal", as built specifically for Adobe Reader, is available direct from the publisher. (Certified cheques or money orders only, please.) E-books on other platforms are also available. Check you favourite online bookseller for the latest list and ordering instructions for Phantacea Publications.

BookFinder.com lists the latest releases from Phantacea Publications along with a goodly number of additional booksellers carrying them. Also listed therein are almost all of the PHANTACEA Mythos print and e-publications, including the graphic novel and some of the comic books.

Another interesting option for the curious is Chegg, which has a rent-a-book program. Thus far its search engine shows no results for phantacea (any style or permutation thereof) but it does recognize Jim McPherson (a variety of them) and the titles of many releases from Phantacea Publications.

As for the Whole Earth (other than the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head, at least as far as I can say and always assuming it's still around in what be its 61st century), well, this page contains a list of a few other websites where you can probably order the novels in a variety of currencies and with credit cards.

Of course you can always email or send me your order(s) via surface mail. No matter where you live or what currency you prefer to use, I'll figure out a way to fill your order(s) myself. Just be aware that I can only accept certified cheques or money orders. Plus, I'll have to charge an additional 12% to cover Canadian and provincial goods and sales taxes as well as Canada Post rates for shipping.

I do use bubble mailers, though.


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pH-Webworld

- Jim McPherson's phantacea Online -

Logo for Phantacea reads Anheroic Fantasy since 1977

| List of ph-Webworld's Serial Synopses | The Volsung Variations | The Vampire Variations | Graphics |

[Collage for PHANTACEA on the Web, done on Photoshop by Jim McPherson, Year 2002]

- double-click to enlarge collage -

HELIODYSSEY

- 1938 Variations -

© copyright Jim McPherson (PHANTACEA)
| pH-Webworld's Welcoming Page | Internal Search Engine | Main Menu | Online PHANTACEA Primer | Ongoing PHANTACEA Features | pHantaBlog | Information for ordering by credit card | Information for ordering by certified cheque or money order | Serial Synopses | Contact | pH-Webworld Miscellanea | Lynx to additional websites featuring Jim McPherson's PHANTACEA Mythos | Bottom of Page Lynx |
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'The Volsung Variations'

(Serialization began in Summer 2006; additional information, complete with images, can be found here.)

Thus far in PHANTACEA on the Web, there have been three story sequences set in January-February 1938 ( 'The Moloch Manoeuvres', 'Helioddity' and 'Coueranna's Curse'). Although I've grouped them as the HELIODYSSEY Quintet, the PHANTACEA fact of the matter is the titular character, Heliosophos (Helios called Sophos the Wise, the Male Entity, in his Eleventh Lifetime), only appeared in the last two.

Statues reminiscent of the Dual Entities, photo taken in the British Museum by Jim McPherson in 2005To say the least he hasn't been faring too well. (In 'Oddity' he was shot to shelly hell by his presumed father-to-be, Agenor Heliopolis. In 'Curse' he was so unhinged he actually took sides with Strife, Donar Lancz and his Nazi Hermiones, who were/are anything but harmonious.)

One hopes Herr Hel Helios does better in 'Volvar' but, given his history, don't expect too much of him. One hopes he does better this time around primarily because he's planning to take on the Moloch Sedon directly and, as everyone knows, Sedon is none other than the Devil Himself.

(Recall: Herr Hel's targets in 'Oddity' and 'Curse' were who he thinks become the parents of Helios's original self, Kadmon Heliopolis, who won't be born until 1940, two years from now. Since they still remain safely out of reach between-space in Djinn's Nebuland -- presumably off Crete, which was where we last saw them in Kore-15 -- he seems to have temporarily given up on them.)

One way or another, his target has been the Moloch Sedon ever since he, with considerable help from his Milady Memory (the Female Entity, she also in his eleventh lifetime) and the Undying Utopian Cabalarkon (who's still experiencing, in a manner of speaking, his only lifetime), created the grandfather of all third generational devils in his Fifth Lifetime.

(NOTE: The tail-end of Helios's Fifth, as well as aspects of his First and a couple of other, as yet unnumbered lifetimes, were detailed in the graphic novel, 'Forever & 40 Days - the Genesis of PHANTACEA:', which is still available. There's a detailed overview of the complete package here. There's even a few illustrations from it and lynx to other ones still out here in pH-Webworld.)

He's a decent shot at the Mighty Eye-Mouth in the Sky because, as detailed in Kore-9, the Female Entity isn't being humanized by a Master Deva anymore. That means the mind-of-her-own Mnemosyne Machine is just that, an altogether subservient Memory-Machine: Trans-Time Trigon's innards. In other words, while she's still somewhat independent, she's obligated, as in preprogrammed, to do exactly what he tells her do.

There are complications of course. It wouldn't be Anheroic Fantasy if there weren't complications. One them may or may not be Memory of the Angels, Mnemosyne D'Angelo, whom Helios thinks is dead and who, notwithstanding Unholy Abaddon's remark to Young Death in Kore-5, may yet turn out not to be the Female Entity in her first lifetime.

Bust of a Helios type with an All-like creature on his head; photo taken by Jim McPherson in the Musee D'Orsay, Paris 2004Three other complications may be the identically teen-aged, Gold, Silver and Bronze Volsung cousins:

  • Valfreja (not the Freya Strife's become -- that'd be her horrid mother, Hulga born Volsung become Faust, and then rejuvenated such that she can now pass for her own daughter - or could, rather, until Kore-15);
  • Tanith von Blut (who, appearances to the contrary, didn't die in Kore-14); and
  • Brunhild von Alptraum (the onetime SOS-hothead {SOS = the Sorority of Sausages}codenamed 'Burning Hell', unless it's 'Torches for Arms').

Not long into 'Volvar' the three Volsungs, splendid specimens all (not that, being Summoning Children, that's a surprise), are going to gain some additional codenames: Cousin Contamination, Cousin Constellation and Cousin Conflagration.

Here's the kick-butter (as opposed to the churned butter) of it: Besides being splendid specimens, nearly every one of the Summoning Children we've met in the 1938 serials thus far are incarnations of Master Devas, third generational devils, which is what makes them supranormals.

So, even if the real Valfreja is more like the other two's aunt, who are the Volsung cousins incarnations of? In reverse order, what follows are some of 'The Volsung Variations' explored during the course of this novel:

1. Animated flame or torch taken from webMight Burning Hell be an incarnation of Methandra Thanatos? And, if so, does that make Brunhild von Alptraum an incarnation of Thalassa and Aires D'Angelo's birth mother? Or might she be an incarnation of Fiery Acheron, one of the Thanatoids of Lathakra's 5-years cathonitized offspring? Other than remarking that, should either scenario be at all accurate, Brunhild would be well-advised to reconsider desiring Airhead as her next boyfriend, I'll reserve comment on that until I finish rereading 'Volvar'.

(NOTE 1: Methandra of Mythland was once Mithras's Virgin and has always been Mediterranean Athena, the devic patroness of the Athenan War Witch Sisterhood. She's also Heat to her husband and immediate brood-brother's King Cold of Lathakra {which was once Sedon's Horn, but now lies off the mid, east coast of the Cattail Peninsula}. As of 5923 Tantal and Methandra together have had 10 fourth generational, devic children, all twins, and a solitary azura. There are some perhaps only superficially spoilsport lynx re them here, here and here.)

2. Might Tanith Silverhair, the unrequited love of wannabe Supra Saviour Jesus Mandam, be an incarnation of Pyrame Silverstar, the possessive half-mother of all the sedons, small case, so necessary to maintaining the Cathonic Zone (Cathonia, the Dome)? I'd say yes. Could Jesus Mandam be Heliosophos in his first lifetime? I'd say hmm.

(NOTE 2: Over the years of PHANTACEA on the Web, I've provided a number of lynx and features regarding the connections between Machine-Memory, the fabulously female Perpetual Presence and Primeval Lilith, the Demon Queen of the Night. Here's a sampling of them > > > > > >)

Bust of a Helios type with an All-like creature on his head; photo taken by Jim McPherson in the Musee D'Orsay, Paris 20043. What if Valfreja 'Call Me Fred' Volsung turns out to be an incarnation of Antagone? And what if Uncle Abe Chaos, most recently from 'Curse' (wherein Helios showed up at Castle Nightmare in his guise), finds this out? That'd certainly complicate matters. After all, as detailed years ago in 'PREGAME-Gambit' #s 2, 3 & 4, Unholy Abaddon is a devic suicide who was once the Unity of Chaos.

(NOTE 3.1: Antagone, she of the anti-matter protectorate of Nothingness, on the Cattail Peninsula {Sedon's Ponytail on a map of the Hidden Headworld}, became Unholy Abaddon's beloved post-Thrygragon.

(NOTE 3.2: That being the case then Wolfie, the 10-year old wild child we encounter in Volvar-1, misidentifies Fred as Milady Malaise, whom devils additionally call Sickness. Sickness is one of the female Apocalyptics, a member of Thrygragos Mithras's 10th brood of triplets by the Trigregos Sisters.

(NOTE 3.3: As for who Wolfie grows up to become, well, you knew I'd get to her eventually, didn't you?)

A Max Ernst painting entitled Chimere 1927; scanned in from a postcard bought in Paris 2004; figure suggestive of All of Incain; tirangle suggestive of Pyrame Silverstar Oh, I should mention Herr Hel Helios is planning to cue-ball the Moloch Sedon. To do that he figures to draw the Devil down to not so much the bottomless pit as to the pit's bottom. That'd be Minius or Absudyl, the lowest layer land of the Mandroids, where Sub-Trig's currently located and wherein he's holding onto Note 2's two-in-one Sed-moms, Pyrame fused with Lilith.

Should also mention that, should the Devil not come calling voluntarily, Helios plans to go visiting. To do that, he figures to ride Incain's She-Sphinx, All the self-proclaimed Invincible, into the Sedon Sphere (the Hidden Headworld's night sky, aka Cathonia, where he commonly appears as a huge eye-mouth) and thereafter render the Devil a Satanic skyscraper, one that could thereupon be deconstructed, as in demolished.

Needless to say, he'd prefer it if Sedon came calling rather than if he had to go visiting. If Herr Hel Helios has somewhere he's at his strongest, it's Trigon. The bottom of the bottomless pit therefore belongs to him whereas, contrarily, the night's sky belongs to the Devil Himself.

[Photograph of a Female Sphinx reminiscent of All of Incain taken in the Cairo Museum by Jim McPherson, Year 2000]'Volvar' introduces a number of new characters besides Wolfie. One of them, Judge Warlock, turns out to be a very specific Sed-son: none other than Sedon St Synne, Cybele's father of record. A Wayfarer in the Wild Weird, it sometimes seems like he's been around forever. (Make that 1996 in terms of PHANTACEA on the Web, though he was alluded to on the cover of pH-1, almost twenty years before that.) He certainly has been around for all three of the main eras covered in these Web-Wheaties thus far.

Another is Tom-Tiddly Taddletale, a blue-skinned faerie type who can't rhyme to save a dime, let alone his life. He may or may not have something to do with Jordan Tethys, the legendary 30-Year Man, who's been a literally recurring character of mine for much longer than his print debut in the graphic novel, PHANTACEA: '4-Ever & 40 Days', which I published in 1990. ('pH 4-Ever' is still available, by the pay-way. Or have I mentioned that already?) May or may not have mentioned that a 5938 incarnation of the Tethys deviant will also be along straight away.

Shot of a painting spotted in a hostel in Ouro Preto, Brazil, by Jim McPherson, 2007So will the most current Bast. That'd be Claudia D'Angelo's Bast, as opposed to Leonora, Celestine or Mnemosyne D'Angelo's Bast. Which would tend to confirm she is a demon and not an extremely enduring, howsoever hostile, psycho-cat. As for the Horny Ghost herself, yes, she's another character who'll be returning in 'Volvar'(perhaps for last time too, at least for the last time in the HELIODYSSEY Quintet of Anheroic Fantasy novels).

One more new character needs mentioning. That'd be Magnus Minus, the nominal Lord of the Lower Layers (Minius or Absudyl, depending on who's doing the describing), which is where Helios intends to collect the chthonic crud he needs to cue-ball Sedon.

Aka the Midget Minotaurus of Minius, Magnus Minus is a lead-headed (as in lethargic, to the point of falling asleep mid-sentence), thick-as-bricks half-life who's been dead to the world, either side of it, since the Simultaneous Summonings of 19/5920. For some reason he thinks he's Demon King Daemonicus. Rather, he thinks he should be the demons' King.

This only vaguely demonic dimwit is actually angling to become a newly reconstituted Daemonicus, which will no doubt prove yet another complicating factor for a couple of reasons. First of all, the reigning Demon King is the Moloch Sedon. Second of all, the real Daemonicus is, 1938-nowadays, a brainless, hollowed-out exoskeleton composed of shape-shifting subtle matter that's worn like a suit of armour by the aforementioned Judge Warlock.

In PHANTACEA fact, clothing could be something to key-keep your eyes open for, if only because suchlike items will come into runway play before 'Volvar' reaches its high velocity, more so than high fashion, climax on Apple Isle, Sedon's Human Eye-Land, a couple of years from now.

Said clothing would include a sun suit of armour, an Aegis of Athena, a Cloak of Many Colours, a certain feathery regalia and, if you can believe it, some items that actually seem to think for themselves. Indeed, given all the backstabbing that goes on as well, maybe 'Volvar' might therefore fit better in the 'Cloak & Dagger' genre of fiction than that of Anheroic Fantasy.

All in all, welcome to yet another PHANTACEA Mythos reading adventure. For a change I'll be joining you on it. That's because I haven't read 'Volvar' since I wrote it circa 1997/8!

Structurally speaking, 'The Volsung Variations' is divided into three sections: "Fred in Fairyland", "Queen of the Heavens" and "Fred's Inferno". The sectional titles refer to codenames given to the three Volsung Summoning Children. It begins with events that happened off-camera in 'Coueranna's Curse'(between Kore-13 and Kore-14) and carries on from there. A mosaic spotted on a stairwell in the British Museum that's reminiscent of the Male Entity; photo by Jim McPherson 2005

'The Volsung Variations' centres on events that take place on the Inner Earth of Sedon's Head at the end of the Year of the Dome 5937, which is to say it focuses on events that take place near the beginning of 1938, Outer Earth time. For the most part, said events occur in mid to late February of that year, as we westerners count time, and/or mid to late Balek as time is counted beneath the Dome.

Each of its three sections brings with it its own anheroic cast of characters. All of those who appear in "Fred in Fairyland" also appear in "Fred's Inferno". "Queen of the Heavens" isn't quite so populous but, hey, it isn't everyday someone lets their clothes do the fighting. Even rarer is when clothing, and other accoutrements, fight each other.

Then again, this is the PHANTACEA Mythos. As such, whether anyone in this massive, and massively cantakerous, cast can avoid catastrophe, either indvidually or collectively, that may well come down to a cat named Bast.

Altered photo of a mosaic on a wall in a stairwell of the British Museum, origninal phontograph by Jim McPherson, 2005Warning

A good percentage of the action in 'The Volsung Variations' takes place in Crepuscule, Sedon's Outer Nose. It, the Grey Land of Twilight, as well as the devic protectorate of the Grey Lady, Krepusyl Evenstar, is full of fairies.

Consequently, 'Volvar' contains odious oodles of grammatically incorrect fay-saying. Reading it may prove hazardous to your inner editor.

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'The Volsung Variations'

  1. "Trigon Now; Twilight Then"
  2. "Faerie Fight"
  3. "Sea, Sickness, and Sundown"
  4. "Head-Bangers and Balance Beans"
  5. "In the Company of Chaos"
  6. "Subterranean Trigon"
  7. "Celestial Supras"
  8. "Monolithic Monotony"
  9. "Grail Knight's Sky"
  10. "Subterranean Queen"
  11. "Multiple Memories"
  12. "Garuda Pyrosis"
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'The Vampire Variations'

(Serialization began in Summer 2006; additional information, complete with images, can be found here.)

In Kore-15, which is to say near the end of 'Coueranna's Curse', Sorciere says to Fisherwoman: "Aren't we a little young to save the world?" To which Fish responds: "It's the young who need one, avian." Begging to differ, but doesn't everyone need a world? Including vampires!

A child  from Lake Titicaca in Peru taken from the Web, reminiscent of Tralalorn'Vamvar' starts out with Sorry, Barstool and Fish. They're Solace Sunrise (Sorciere), Barsine Mandam (Bat-Bait) and Scylla Nereid (the ever-fishifying Fisherwoman). The first two are 17-year old Summoning Children; Fish is a couple of years older but still a teenager. The first and last of the three are mothers.Sorry's daughter is Shahiyeda Sundown (Shah). Fish's daughter is Winifred Auranja (Wave). All three naturally have mothers (and fathers) of their own.

Fish doesn't know who her parents are but we might meet them anyhow. Sorry and Sandbar, as Fish has dubbed them, among other things, are pretty sure they know who their parents were. Even if they're wrong, we'll meet them too. Better make that meet them four, as is usual for birth parents.

In terms of their birth mothers, this is singularly interesting because they're dead. In terms of Barsine's, this is doubly interesting because both of her potential birth mothers are dead. Which explains why I've decided that a scanned-in version of Gericault's 'Le Radeau de la Meduse' shall become the page-topping image for the synopses of 'Vamvar'.

In other words, welcome to the final, at least for now, PHANTACEA Mythos reading adventure set in 19/5938. For a change I'll be joining you on on this journey. That's because I haven't read 'Vamvar' since I finsihed writing it sometime circa 1999!

Gericault's 'Le Radeau de la Meduse', scanned in from a postcard bought at the Louvre, Paris, 2004; Barsine's birthmother, Olympias Sangati Kinesis, is a Lamia Medusa

Recall Neath and Lathe, from 'The Moloch Manoeuvres'? They were, put delicately, deadened during the Shootout at the Okay Colosseum, as synopsized for Mole-10. However, in the course of the HELIODYSSEY Quintet of novels, their bodies have twice proven useful (in Kore-7 and again in Kore-14, if you missed it).[SHOT FROM AN EGYPTIAN SARCOPHAGUS IN VIENNA, 1996]

As for all those potential Black Queens Count Molech (Etzel Sangati) was after in Moloch, albeit in his role of a potentially vampire-making Blood Beast Prime, most of their mothers appear in 'Vamvar' as well. They'd include Barsine's birth mother as well as those of Roxanne nee Heliopolis, Argiope 'Bright Face" Zeross and, possibly, Virginia "Living Agate" Mannering,

We're talking lamiae here, aren't we? Yep. But we're also talking only the first (of five) subsections in 'The Vampire Variations'; the one entitled: "Blood Beast Moms". The other four are: "Apple-Approaching Apotheosis", "What Faerie Fools These", "Twinkle Twilight" and "Dalliance Demoniacal".

Remind me to tell you about them sometime.

A mask that reminds me of Shamanitoulin, photo by Jim McPhersonMasks shot by Jim McPherson, the main one is reminiscent of Lamia LouAn image of a porcelain figurine found on Web, suggestive of John Sundown transforming into a fetishimCurrin's "Moroccan" (2001), scanned in from a postcard bought in Paris 2004; suggestive of FisherowomanA Fino's Mary Magdalene, photographed in Puno, Peru, by Jim McPherson, 1998Shot of a statue suggestive of Sorciere saving Shah from an Ophidian assassination attempt

A raven's head such as Manitoulin has on his walking stick, scanned in from a postcard bought at the Louvre Museum, Paris 2004Structurally speaking, 'The Vampire Variations' begins by following some of the characters who made it to the Inner Earth of Sedon's Head through the Tholos Tomb for Pygmies at the end of 'Coueranna's Curse'. As it progresses a number of those characters will drift off to 'The Volsung Variations' or elsewhere, perhaps to the grave. Eventually it will be up to Sorciere (Solace Sunrise) alone to do what she can to rescue Shahiyeda, her 3-year old daughter by John Sundown, from Janna Fangfingers and her vicious vamps.

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'The Vampire Variations'

  1. "Semi-Sisters Three"
  2. "Burial Plot Thickening"
  3. "Grave Gravy"
  4. "Tympanic Memories"
  5. "Rafting Towards Medusa"
  6. "Blood Beast Prime-Slime"
  7. "Mercy Killings"
  8. "Fishtails"
  9. "Devils Above; Saints Below"
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Graphical Clickbacks

[Collage for PHANTACEA on the Web, done on Photoshop by Jim McPherson, Year 2002]Statues reminiscent of the Dual Entities, photo taken in the British Museum by Jim McPherson in 2005Bust of a Helios type with an All-like creature on his head; photo taken by Jim McPherson in the Musee D'Orsay, Paris 2004Bust of a Helios type with an All-like creature on his head; photo taken by Jim McPherson in the Musee D'Orsay, Paris 2004Shot of a painting spotted in a hostel in Ouro Preto, Brazil, by Jim McPherson, 2007Gericault's 'Le Radeau de la Meduse', scanned in from a postcard bought at the Louvre, Paris, 2004; Barsine's birthmother, Olympias Sangati Kinesis, is a Lamia MedusaA child  from Lake Titicaca in Peru taken from the Web, reminiscent of Tralalorn[SHOT FROM AN EGYPTIAN SARCOPHAGUS IN VIENNA, 1996]A raven's head such as Manitoulin has on his walking stick, scanned in from a postcard bought at the Louvre Museum, Paris 2004

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Page background is a whitened, then lightened even more, cliffhead spotted and shot in Hasankeyf, Turkey, by Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, in 2003. It reminded him of a Tyrannosaurus, but he's somewhat pixilated after all these years writing phantacea-related material.Cliffhead spotted and shot by Jim McPherson in Turkey, 2003

Another shot taken from the Roman ruins high atop the plateau of Hasankeyf is here. Many more cliffheads can be seen in the series of FAQs posted here and here. The Tyranno Cliff features as the background of Coyote Nine: "Coyotes of a Conundrum is a good name for a FAQ page" while the Hasan House Head shows up on the mockup cover for "Decimation Damnation" .

As per here, it turns out these two Helio-heads are actually of a Shelios. In 2004 the Musee D'Orsay's explanatory placard didn't note that the sculptor François Rude (4 January 1784 - 3 November 1855) used the bust as a model for "Le Départ des Volontaires" (aka La Marseillaise), his contribution to the Arc de Triomphe in Central Paris.

- Double-click image in this panel in order to open background gif in a separate window -
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