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Welcome to the Winter 2005/6 Web-Publisher's Commentary Page

| Three Site Search Engine | Phantacea Publications: Latest 2015 List | 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 |

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, 1980/2-2013; 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

 

Cataclysm Catalyst

Cover art by Verne Andru

Phantacea Revisited 2

Now available for ordering online, the third graphic novel from Phantacea Publications extracts the complete 'Soldier's Saga' from Phantacea 2-6 as well as the 'Hell's Horsmen' sequence as drawn for pH-7 and the 'Origin of the Devil' from the Phantacea Phase One project.

Illustrators include Dave Sim, Ian Fry, Sean Newton, Verne Andrusiek (later Andru), and Ian Bateson; full colour cover by Verne Andru off his black and white Rhadamanthys Revealed proposal as reproduced here and here; dedicated webpage is here.

- Double-click to enlarge in a separate window here and here -

 

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 partially 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

Both Phantacea Revisited graphic noves are now available from Phantacea Publications.

"Phantacea Revisited #1: The Damnation Brigade" follows D-Brig from their reconstitution on Damnation Island through to their deadly struggle against the Apocalyptics of War, Death, Plague and Catastrophe, along with their allies, in Subcranial Temporis.

The survivors may reappear in RV2:CC; always assuming there are any, that is.

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

A variety of mildly interactive PDFs produced specifically for Phantacea Publications can be downloaded here; this season's selected highlights from pHantaBlog are here

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

The Phantacea Revisited Project

Covers for the Phantacea Revisited graphic novels

Collecting complete storylines from the Phantacea comic book series (1977-1980) and pHz-1 (1987).

Rv1:DB contains material from pH #s 1-5 + pHz1 #s 1 & 2. It's the first time in the better part of 30 years that material from pH-5 has been available except from online traders.

"Phantacea Revisited #2: Cataclysm Catalyst" features the launching of the Cosmic Express, the origin of the Devil Sedon, the complete Soldier's Saga and the 6-page, never before print-published Hell's Horsemen sequence intended for pH-7.

RV2:CC contains material from pH #s 1-7 + pHz1 #s 1 & 2. It's the first time the entirety of pH-6 has been reprinted with its hand-lettering corrected.

 

 

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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

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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)

covers and characters from Janna FangfingersAlternative covers for Goddess GambitIn 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.

Subtitled Sedonplay, Sedon Plague and Sedon Purge, the mini-novels commence, continue and conclude Book Two of 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' trilogy.

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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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Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos Online

Phantacea Publications logo

Double-click to open a separate window with a different banner

Web-Publisher's Commentary

- Featuring the Winter 2005/6 Collection of Character Likenesses -

Winter 2005/6

1. Featured Story: "Apis Isle"
2. Introductory Remarks
3. PHANTACEA Essentials (Lynx to illustrated mini-essays)
4. Hestia Housekeeping
5. Today's Topic
6. Latest Stories and Synopses
7. Notes on Graphics
8. Sites with Loads of Graphics
9. Previous pHpubs
10. Novels in search of a paying publisher
11. Lynx to India TIMP and notes on background image

Clickable Image Map relating to Jim McPherson's PHANTACEA Mythos

Image Map: Click on individual graphics for the Cyberian equivalent of teleportation

PHANTACEA on the Web

- written by Jim McPherson
- unless otherwise noted the web-design, photographs and/or scanning are by Jim McPherson
- where applicable artwork is as noted in the mouse-over text

© copyright 2006 Jim McPherson

| 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 |

Lynx to complete mosaic novels within the PHANTACEA Mythos whose potential covers, background information and introductory chapters are still online

| 2002: "The Moloch Manoeuvres" | 2003: "The War of the Apocalyptics" | 2004: "Decimation Damnation" | 2005: "The Trigregos Gambit" |


Introductory Remarks

Greetings. Welcome, or welcome back.

The usual 'Hestia Housekeeping' section is on the other side of the table. (Click here to find out why I call it such.) The FAC ('Fantasy, of the Anheroic-variety, Coyotes') section, what someday may become the equivalent of a PHANTACEA FAQ ('Frequently Asked Questions') sheet, is now elsewhere.

What follows are lynx to a number of typically idiosyncratic mini-essays and Character Likeness studies I've prepared over the years for on the Web. They illustrate some of the peculiar perspectives I've developed while writing the PHANTACEA Mythos.

Contact me [jmcp@phantacea.com] and feel free to ask any questions you might have regarding PHANTACEA. I'll do my best to answer them either directly or right here in 'pHpubs'.


PHANTACEA Essentials

  • The Time-Tumbling Dual Entities: The two most confounding characters in the PHANTACEA Mythos; conceivably the Male and Female Principals;
  • Heliosophos: The recurring Male Entity; in his 1st Lifetime during the 1955 & 1960 web-serials, his 11th during the 19/5938 serials and his 100th during the 19/5980 ones;
  • The Moloch Sedon: The skyborn, as in extraterrestrial, lone member of the first generation of devazurkind, the inspirations for the Gods and Goddesses of Mythology; his essence composes Cathonia, the Sedon Sphere; arguably the Devil Himself;
  • The Smiling Fiend: Aka Smiler, Ahriman, Sodom, Rhadamanthys, Judge Druj; claims to be the firstborn son of Thrygragos Sedon;
  • Lilith, the Demon Queen of the Night: The immortal, chthonic or earthborn daemon who must possess the birth mothers of mortal Sed-sons at the moment of their conception; without Sed-sons alive on both sides of the Whole Earth the Sedon Sphere would collapse; arguably the Devil Herself;
  • Fisherwoman: The ever-fishifying, deviant daughter of the Dual Entities who features in many of the web-serials thus far presented online;
  • Freespirit Nihila: As the firstborn daughter of Thrygragos Lazareme and the Trigregos Sisters, the eldest female Master Deva; once Harmonia, the Unity of Balance, she becomes Nihila, initially the lone Unity of Panharmonium, in the Launch sequences set in 19/5980;
  • The Celestial Superior: In both Life and Afterlife she appears (thus far) in many of the 19/5938 serials; arguably an incarnation of Serathrone Hallow, one of the two triplet, firstborn daughters of Thrygragos Byron and the Trigregos Sisters;
  • The Cretan Snake Goddess: Who dresses a little like Pyrame Silverstar, the Perpetual Presence, partial mother of the Sed-sons;
  • The Trigregos Talismans: The Three Sacred Objects, what may hold the secret to controlling devils and therefore Sedon's Head;
  • Utopians of Weir: Extraterrestrials stuck on the Inner Earth since a decade before the Genesea, the Great Flood of Genesis, those who have them can manifest gargoyles out of eyeorbs attached to the top of their eye-staves;

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[Featured Story logo done on Photoshop by Jim McPherson, Year 2002]

Cain, Slayer of Abel, knew what the Apis Bull should look like. He kept one as a pet in Enoch City; called him Serapis. Despite its manifest perfection, Serapis was just your basic, everyday, garden or field-variety, double-horned beast.

The bull that came to visit the old killer towards the end of 664 PD was no mere beast. The Biblical Adam's primogeniture should have realized it immediately.

Not only was it huge, anthropomorphic and standing upright, it did not have a white square or diamond in the middle of its forehead. It had a third eye.

Some sixty-six hundred years later, other than developing an additional set of a ram's backward horns, the Bull of Mithras had not changed much.

-- from 'Apis Isle', the second to last chapter in: 'Coueranna's Curse'

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Hestia Housekeeping

Something of a different look for the masthead, bonus panel and background tiling this time up. That's because there's a new TIMP ('Travels in my Pants') out here in PHANTACEA's minuscule portion of Cyberia that employs much the same look. More on the India '05 TIMP momentarily.

Hestia Housekeeping amounts to the 'What's New' section of pHpubs. Consequently I always begin it with a 'What's Old' link to where I put its previous update.

Now that that's done, we can get on with this edition of Hestia Housekeeping. So what is new in the Winter 2005/6 edition of PHANTACEA on the Web?

Firstly, there's three more installments of 'Coueranna's Curse'. Which, by my count, is the 9th complete novel I've serialized during the course of web-publishing PHANTACEA.

These three installments are also the Curse-conclusive chapters of 'Coueranna's Curse'. Which of course means I'll have to start the 10th complete novel come this summer's update of phpubs.

Fine, I'm ready for that. Already written it, haven't I? It's entitled 'The Volsung Variations'. Looking forward to presenting it, sooth said.

What I'm not so much so looking forward to is acknowledging the 10th anniversary of PHANTACEA on the Web? (The 30th anniversary of PHANTACEA comes up in 2007. That I'm not looking forward to at all. I'm getting old and fragile.)

Next door there's the latest list of lynx to mini-essays I've done or redone of late. There's also, count 'em, four more Character Likeness studies, as I refer to these mini-essays, down below in the topic section. There's plenty of new graphics to go with them as well.

That's about it for Fanciful Gif suggestive of Gloriel, prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005 upgrades or updates. Question is: Where to go from here? How about taking things in reverse order? Sounds like a plan. Here goes ...

Character Likeness studies is something of a misnomer this time up. The only real Character Likenesses are of Gloriella D'Angelo Dark and the two Silverclouds. The other two, Devic Names and Anheroic Fantasy, amount to more like Peculiar Perspectives Photo Essays.

This last provides an opportunity to comment on what has been a frequent criticism of my writing; namely that, what with so many characters, it's difficult to know which one, or even which groups of ones, we should be cheering for in any given story sequence.

In addition to Anheroic Fantasy, meaning a fantasy not just without heroes, but for the most part without villains either, every one of my books is a PHANTACEA Mythos Mosaic Novel. In other words, there isn't really a central character in any of them.

Every novel provides pieces, usually in the form of chapters, that build into a whole. A PHANTACEA Mythos Mosaic Novel does that too of course. However, my pieces usually contain clumps of characters who interact with each other before they move on to interact with clumps of characters from a different piece.

A case in point is 'Coueranna's Curse'. Therein I ask the reader to get into, say, the interactions of characters on Charan's Ark then, often abruptly, sometimes in the same chapter, to move onto to the clump of characters in Castle Nightmare or at the Dre'Aths' North Sea hospice.

Each locale has its own set of personalities, local issues and hills-of-beans mini-dramas (apologies to Rick, the Humphrey Bogart character in 'Casablanca').

Meanwhile, bouncing around the periphery, with their own business to attend to, and occasionally inserting themselves pivotally into the proceedings, are such monumental, above-and-beyond everyone else characters like Unholy Abaddon, the recurring Dual Entities and, very rarely, the Moloch Sedon himself.

In other words, as in life, in the PHANTACEA Mythos there is always the big picture and the little picture. No mosaic novel, until perhaps the last one, which I've three-quarters written, is going to altogether resolve the big picture.

There will always be an Inner and Outer Earth in PHANTACEA. There will (almost) always be aliens, supras, deviants, devils, demons, faeries and witches. What there won't always be is the same hills-of-beans characters. Hey, even the ever-fishifying Fisherwoman and the various members of the Damnation Brigade haven't shown up in every novel.

As for the final installments of 'Coueranna's Curse', I'll refrain from commenting on them until this summer's update of phpubs. By then I'll have had a chance to do their synopses. Will say that the synopses for Kore-10, Kore-11 and Kore-12, generously laden with lynx to earlier synoptic summaries, are now available for your fee-free perusal.

So is the latest TIMP. There's actually two of them. Unfortunately the shorter of the two is another installment of 'The Necessity of Knees'. (I've already noted how old and fragile I've become.) The longer piece, India '05, is subtitled 'Unsolicited Observations and Photos'.

While both are pretty much straight forward travelogues, and both contain photos taken on my trip, there is a section in the bigger one relevant to the PHANTACEA Mythos.

Feedback encouraged. And, as always, good reading.

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Stories and Synopses

'Coueranna's Curse'

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Jim McPherson's Latest Collection of Mini-Essays and Character Likeness Studies

Gloriella D'Angelo Dark (Aka Radiant Rider, Rainbow; also of other angels and a devil or three) / Devic Names in the PHANTACEA Mythos / The Two Silverclouds (The remaining members of Thrygragos Byron's three firstborn; plus shots of an actual Rudra idol and that of an Uma) / Anheroic Fantasy(Who are we supposed to cheer for in PHANTACEA)

Gloriella D'Angelo Dark (Aka Radiant Rider, Rainbow; also of other angels and a devil or three)

The PHANTACEA Mythos thus far consists of six comic books, a graphic novel and, out here in Cyberia, a to-my-mind shockingly large number of web serials. With the exception of the graphic novel ("Forever & 40 Days, the Genesis of PHANTACEA", which is still available for ordering) various members of the Family D'Angelo have shown up in all of the above; none so more frequently than this feature's titular character.

Gloriel, as most everyone calls her, was on the front cover of Number Four (circa 1979). There she's menaced by the entire Byronic Nucleus, ever-changing Chimaera most numerously. Fanciful graphic suggestive of Gloriel, prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005As you'll have gathered from that cover, as well as the graphic to the left, her supra-talent has everything to do with rainbows. Hence her 'Rainbow' nickname.

Not only does she ride the things (hence her supranormal codename, 'Radiant Rider'), she becomes them. In that respect she's a state-shifter.

(By the way, one of the definitions of the word 'glory', is of a nimbus or halo; more specifically, according to Laurence Gardener in "The Magdalene Legacy", as published by Harper Element in 2005, it's of 'a glow encompassing the body or having no specific outer shape'.

(Look up Brocken Spectre sometime for pretty as well as pretty suggestive images of 'glory'. Are those or are those not rainbows surrounding a humanoid shape? Might they all be shots of Glory of the Angels? Just asking.)

She can also project rainbows visibly. That doesn't make her an illusionist, like most of the Head's top drawer witches, because she usually does so in the form of solid objects shaped in accordance with her whimsy of the moment.

In PHANTACEA terminology that makes her a materialist. Trinondev eye-staves are an equally impermanent, materializing medium. Supras such as the first set of Ryne Twins (David-Cerebrus and Saul-Psycho) can do something similar, although they call what they can do 'telekinesis'.

She's some other supra-talents. Has, for example, and as we've witnessed a few times, access to her so-called 'little angels'. These, she'd tell you, she sends into people in order to make them good. It certainly worked for Cyborg Cerebrus when his twin brother, the Magnificent Psycho, tried to take him over in the early stages of 'The War of the Apocalyptics'.

She also has, or had, something she calls her 'Big Angel'. As detailed mostly in 'Psychodrama', it's come out of her a couple of times. Although there's a gold-mining box about her Big Angel elsewhere, suffice it to say she thinks it's a leftover of her long dead, supranormally powerful older brother Leandro, Amoeba Prime.

He's definitely the source of the seven Psychic Siblings, including Trebleman, from 'Rings 60', and Doubleman, from 'Helios on the Moon'. Hence an oddly reading headstone you might spot next time you're wandering around Hell on Earth (Satanwyck, Paradise for the Damned):

'LEANDRO D'ANGELO -- RESTING IN PIECES'

Me, I'm not so sure about that. I suspect in the fullness of time I'll discover her Big Angel has as much or more to do with her paternal aunt, Celestine (aka Celeste Mannering, the Celestial Superior), whom I did a Character Likeness mini-essay on awhile ago.

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========

Which brings me to the other graphic I prepared for this mini-essay. For your clicking convenience I've rendered it an Image Map like the collage at the top of the page. As follows, it's made up of seven primary images. Graphic presenting a mosaic of images related to Gloriel D'Angelo Dark, prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005/6From the top, moving from left to right, they are:

1. Discord (Strife) from one of a number paintings Rubens did entitled "The Judgement of Paris";
2. The graphic I prepared for the mini-essay on the Celestial Superior;
3. Ian Fry's black and white drawing of Gloriel riding her radiant rainbow;
4. An extract from Fuseli's painting entitled "Titania and Bottom" (I used a fuller extract in the graphic above):
5. Remnants of a statue identified as 'Iris', Goddess of the Rainbow, in the British Museum;
6. Part of a statue entitled "The Flying Celestials" that I shot in Delhi's National Museum in 2005;
7. A statue of Mercury/Hermes, shown here carrying a caduceus and riding a Pegasus, that I shot in Paris.

Scan of photo taken at the Delhi National Museum by Jim McPherson in 2005; the statue is entitled 'The Flying Celestials'Putting the pieces into an explanation approximating coherence takes some doing. Here goes:
1. What Witches of Weir refer to as the Strife Virus isn't; she's a devil (Kore-Eris, Marutia); she adheres to witches who travel on their stepping stones between-space; in particular Strife adheres to the daughters or granddaughters of Sed-sons;
Gloriel's maternal grandfather is Sedon St Synne; he's a Sed-son; in 1980 he's the last of the Outer Earth's Sed-sons; when last we saw Strife, near the end of 'Helios on the Moon', Machine-Memory, the Female Entity, has just stuck her inside Gloriel's mother, Sophia born St Synne D'Angelo;
2. Celestine D'Angelo was known as Celeste Mannering on the Inner Earth; she and Sedon St Synne had a daughter together, Pandora Mannering; Pandora's children were Saladin Devason and Morgianna eventually Sarpedon (5980's Morrigan); Sal became the Master of Weir in 5950; thirty year's later, when he hooks up with Wilderwitch, he's the last of the Inner Earth's Sed-sons;
3, 4. Gloriel is regularly referred to as 'Glory of the Angels'; in Greek 'angelos' simply means 'messenger'; among other things, in my dictionary 'angel' is defined as a 'heavenly guardian, ministering spirit, or messenger';
throughout the PHANTACEA Mythos all three generations of the Family D'Angelo [her father Raphael ('Papa Rafe') and his siblings (Celestine, Dolores and Mnemosyne), Gloriel herself, her and her siblings, including the adopted twins, Aires and Thalassa ('the Elemental Twins') and their numerous offspring] are referred to as Angelics; a synonym for 'angelics' is 'celestials';
5. Non-capitalized, 'iris' has a number of familiar definitions; one of the less familiar of them is 'the rainbow'; capitalized, 'Iris' refers to both the Greek mythological goddess of the rainbow and, in Homer's 'Iliad' (wherein Rhadamanthys is described as a judge of the dead), the female messenger of the gods; eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that I used the same torso-remnant at the bottom of the first Gloriel Collage, above;
6. It seems there are 'Celestials' in Indian tradition as well as Mediterranean mythologies; from the looks of this one, she's using a rainbow as a skipping rope;
7. In the PHANTACEA Mythos the devic Irisiel Mercherm is an early born daughter of Thrygragos Lazareme; herein she is also known as the Libertine's Heliodromus (Sun-runner or Messenger to the gods, devils that they are, as well as to the Sedon Sphere); antique Illuminaries came up with her name by combining Iris with Mercury and Hermes; ordinarily she doesn't ride a Pegasus, nor does she wield a caduceus, but I couldn't resist including an image suggestive of that particular devil (Irisiel) in this Gloriel Collage;

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter. Any questions?


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Names for the Nameless (PHANTACEA as an equal opportunity Mythos)

The Hidden Headworld's third generational devic deities received the names they're commonly known by in the PHANTACEA Mythos from long-gone Illuminaries of Weir.

Being Utopians, the hate-devils descendants of extraterrestrials who pursued the Sedonshem for countless millennia on their generation ships, some of the names they came up with weren't necessarily very flattering. In that respect, "Carcinogen the Leper", for Plague, the Apocalyptic of Disease, comes to mind right away. Properly pronounced so does the name they gave to the Byronic Zodiacal "Pyconja" {'piss-on-ya'}.

Photo of a Mohito, suggestive of a  pureblood Utopian woman; photo taken in Delhi by Jim McPherson, 2005Pureblood Utopian women are white-as-daylight whereas Utopian men are black-as-midnight. Non-hybrid Utopian women such as Melina born Sarpedon become Zeross, 5980's High Illuminary of Weir, have often been described in these webpages as ambulatory alabaster. Which, come to think of it, isn't very flattering either.

(NOTE: The photo on the right, which I snapped in Delhi's National Museum, might be of a decidedly non-ambulatory statue representing a Utopian woman. Then again it might not be. My notes tell me it's of a Mohito. Don't ask me what a Mohito is because I haven't the foggiest.)

Before these Illuminaries got into the act, circa 1000 to 500 years BC (Before Christ or, if you prefer, Before the Common Era), only the Moloch Sedon, the lone first generational devil, and the six members of the second generation of devazurkind, the Great Gods (Byron, Lazareme & Varuna Mithras) and, according to some, the Great Goddesses (Demeter, Sapiendev and Devaura), had names. Mind you present-day Illuminaries claim their ancestors named them (Demeter = Body, Sapiendev = Mind, Devaura = Spirit).

Until then, that is to say from shortly after they became individually solid entities circa 2,000 years after Xuthros Hor caused the Great Flood of Genesis, Master Devas were known only by their attributes. (NOTE: 'Master Devas' is the collective term for third generational devazurs.)

For example, prior to Illuminaries coming up with Nergal Vetala, her fellow devils addressed her as 'Fecundity'. They did so because she was the most fertile of the female Master Devas. Just as accurately, if perhaps not quite so unequivocally, her devic siblings (Mithradites) and cousins (Byronics or Lazaremists) often called her 'Grower', the middle third of the Nergalid Trinity.

Similarly they often refer to the two male Nergalids as, respectively, the Planter or Digger (as in Gravedigger) and the Harvester or Reaper (as in Grim). Illuminaries named them Zuvem Nergalis and Yama Nergal. The former's Tvasitar talisman is a spade while the latter's Brainrock power focus is actually a pick-axe. (The scythe the Underlord is usually depicted as wielding was stolen from Unmoving Byron's Straw Man during the expansion of the Empire of Lathakra in the 48th Century of the Dome.)

Four-armed Indian deity identified as Durga, photo taken by Jim McPherson in the British Museum, 2003Generally speaking Illuminaries took the names they gave devils from Outer Earth mythologies. Nergal is Mesopotamian, Zuvem is Zoroastrian, while both Yama and Vetala were inspired by supernatural beings of Vedic or Indian origin. King Cold's Illuminary-given name, Tantal Thanatos, came from two separate Greek myths whereas Methandra, the name they gave his sister-wife, Heat to his Cold, is a pre-Babel-babble (Sedon Speak) letter-jumble of two words, Mediterranean and Athena.

In the PHANTACEA comic books, as well as both the original web-serial and the revised version of 'The Trigregos Gambit', Nergal Vetala first appears as an old woman. With two arms, a third eye, a sickle instead of sword, and wearing moderately more clothes, she might have looked much like the reproduction to the right.

Unfortunately, it's of an Indian vampire-type called Durga, not Vetala. She also seems to have an empty baby-belly rather than a full one. Then again Vetala can only have Azura Spirit Beings after mating with another devil. Unless they're possessing someone, in which case their shells have the resultant offspring ('deviants'), that's true of every known third generational devil.

Rather, it was true until the fourth generational Thanatoids came along starting in 5919 YD (Years of the Dome). As depicted toward the end of 'The War of the Apocalyptics', all versions of it, the first two (of ten) Thanatoids were followed 61 years later by the four Apocalyptic Nucleoids.

The Smiling Fiend (Ahriman, Rhadamanthys, Sodom, Smiler, Bad Rhad) revealed to Jordan Tethys (the legendary 30-Year Man) his version of how first Mater Matare (Mother Murder) then Heat (Hot Stuff, Methandra Thanatos) begot fourth generational devils in the revised version of 'The Trigregos Gambit'. (That chapter is still online while, in case you've missed it, a sample cover for the novel is down below.)

Of course, as noted elsewhere, one of Bad Rhad's many aliases is Judge Druj and Druj means 'The Lie'.

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The Silverclouds (Rudra, Umashakti, the two remaining members of Thrygragos Byron's three firstborn; plus shots of Rudra and Uma idols taken in India)

Ancient Illuminaries were bang-on, or close to it, when they named devils after Outer Earth mythological figures. For the most part, though, they based the names they gave them on the devils' most commonly accepted attributes instead of their usual appearance. An idol identified as Rudra, photo taken by Jim McPherson in Udaipur, India, 2005An idol identified as Uma, photo taken in Delhi, India, 2005While devils are shape-shifters, this is certainly true of our titular Silverclouds.

Fact is, at least to judge from photos I took while travelling in India of a Rudra (left) and an Uma (right), their PHANTACEA namesakes don't look at all like their Outer Earth counterparts.

In that regard also, although the Vedic Rudra was both a beast lord and a storm god, I'm not so sure he lorded over were-things as Rudra Silvercloud does in the PHANTACEA Mythos.

I can assure you that the Indian Uma and Umashakti Silvercloud are both moon goddesses, however. As for whether the Outer Earth Uma waxes and wanes, figure-wise, the same as her Inner Earth proxy, I just assume she does. Or did, as the case may be.

To his face devils tend to call Rudra 'Beast', not 'Savage Storm'. (That's why I placed the panther-pinata graphic above his head in the accompanying collage.) Rather than 'Byron's Moon', they call Uma 'Gravity', after her most impressive attribute, control of just that. Being firstborns, they're awfully, um, awesome in terms of abilities. (NOTE: as remarked elsewhere their breed, brood or litter-sister, Serathrone Hallow, never made it to the Whole Earth.)

The Silverclouds have a long history, or his- and her-story, of being somewhat rebellious. In truth, as detailed in the revised version of 'The Trigregos Gambit', they're friendlier with their firstborn cousins, the Thanatoids of Mithras and the three Unities of Lazareme, than they are with their siblings and father, Bodiless Byron.

This millennia long friendship with the Thanatoids is why Uma spent nearly 50 years imprisoned within All of Incain. (That's why I incorporated my favourite graphic of the She-Sphinx in the collage's lower left corner.)

Collage prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005That Rudra wasn't similarly imprisoned, in 5933 Year of the Dome, is due to the fact that when a number of Byronics ambushed the ten, by-then-teenage, fourth generational Thanatoids while they were walking down Sedon's Peak in Antheal (April) of that year, he didn't try to frustrate them.

Uma did, Daddy Byronhead took offence and, for said offence, he stuck her in the She-Sphinx. (Curiously, not to mention coincidentally, Gloriella D'Angelo was born on the same day, Good Friday 1933, the Byronics ambushed the Thanatoids.)

Uma lingered inside All until, as described in 'Helios on the Moon' (which I still haven't got around to revising) the Great God her Father needed her help in order to take out, among others, the aforementioned Yama Nergal on Demetray, the 2nd of Tantalar 5980. Less than a week later, on Sedonda the 7th, Uma makes the mistake of hooking up with her firstborn cousins: Heat (Methandra Thanatos) and Freespirit Nihila (once Harmonia, the Unity of Balance).

It seems the Byronic, the Mithradite and the Lazaremist firstborn females have succumbed to the lure of the Trigregos Talismans. Naturally Uma is lusting after the Amateramirror. It is a Moon Mirror after all (which is why I show her sitting on it). As for what happens next, well, you'll have to wait until Gambit is print-published to find that out.

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Anheroic Fantasy (What with a cast consisting of aliens, supras, deviants, devils, demons, faerie tricksters, Hecate-Hellions and Witches of Weir, who are we supposed to cheer for in PHANTACEA?)

Logo reads "A Peculiar Perspectives Photo Essay"I agree. It's a distinct dilemma.

For example, in not just the revised version of 'The Trigregos Gambit' you might appreciate Nergal Vetala's desire to regain control of Hadd, what she believes is her rightful protectorate.

Except, first, Hadd is the Land of the Ambulatory Dead. Except, second, other than indigenous Iraches, who invites their zombie grandparents over for tea and scones these days? Except, third, she's not only a damn devil; she's a damn bloodsucker.

Kali on a porch, poster photographed in Pushkar, India, by Jim McPherson in 2005She became a vampire deliberately to boot. (Make that to bite.) Understandably, perhaps. As above, her fellow devils refer to Nergal Vetala as 'Fecundity' for a very good reason. Vamps are infertile.

Ask yourself this: What bright woman, especially if she's an evidently immortal devil, wants to bear a seemingly endless number of azura (Spirit Being) offspring, often simultaneously and invariably in great quantity, who are genetically incapable of disobeying their fathers?

Dad (make that dads) are around, their lone mother is too, guess who gets the Vetalazurs' nutritional worship? It ain't Vetala. No wonder she eats them. No wonder as well she rejects Smiler's suit in Gambit:


“I’ve been contemplating matrimony, Fecundity.”
a not-immediately familiar voice said to her, Nergal Vetala, the Vampire Queen of the Dead. She was re-energizing herself on her Brainrock throne. Was also unashamedly wallowing in the worship emanating from her still-gathering multitude of Vetalazur-animated Dead Things dot-ditto.

“Is that a proposal?” she asked after the standard awkward silence that ensued after he, he whom no one could remember even existed until he manifested himself, did just that.

“You might call it that."

"Too bad there’s a rather undesirable drawback to what you’re ever so romantically proposing. As you’re thoroughly aware, otherwise you wouldn’t be here, the problem with Master Devas as fathers is they get first crack at the adulation of their azuras. In that respect we put-upon mothers, the ones who do all the work, are little more than an afterthought."

[NOTE: I decided to throw in a photo I took in Pushkar, India, of Kali on a Porch not just because I had it, though that's not a bad reason. For one thing, given Vetala's attitude towards men in Gambit, it seemed appropriate. In terms of the PHANTACEA Mythos, who else but Vetala would wear a necklace of severed heads? (The answer to that might be Bad Rhad. Then again, to hear him tell it anyway, he only wears two of them; that of his fellow firstborn brothers in Thrygragos Sedon: Varuna and Mithras.)

Another reason is that Vetala has two twelfth-breed, immediate sisters in Thrygragos Mithras. They'd be Mater Matare, the mother of the Apocalyptic Nucleoids, and KalaTal. She's the arachnid devil whose devic protectorate is the Forbidden Forest of Tal, Sedon's Moustache. It's from there, Tal, that so many of Gambit's demonic 'Indescribables' come. And, yes, old time Illuminaries probably did name Kala after Kali.]

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Then there are demons. There's all sorts of them. In Gambit alone there are KalaTal's 'Indescribables', Klannits (mobile mirrors), a Rockhead (unless he's a Gobble Stone), talk of Grim Grinners (Heinous Hyenas) and nests more. My favourites are the Ghasts. Don't confuse them with ghosts, though they are white as a sheet. That's because that's their most common form.

In PREGAME-Gambit, young Thartarre, age 5 in 5945 YD, is terrified of them. Calls them Hankering Handkerchiefs:

He became convinced his bed-sheets were Hankering Handkerchiefs. No amount of dissembling would dissuade him of that. So what if hankies were small little things you stuffed in your pockets? Demons were shape-shifters, weren't they? They could grow as big as bed-sheets, couldn’t they? Did his sheets have eyes or mouths, did they float about in the dark or talk to him? They did in his dreams. Those are just nightmares. There’s a difference?

Graphic prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005; main image suggestive of Rakshas demons

There are also Rakshasas demons (singular: Rakshas). In the PHANTACEA Mythos, they're Gatherers of the Dead: albeit the Valhallan 'Glorious' or Warrior Dead (the variety of Dead Things animated by symbiotic Sangazurs as opposed to Haddazurs and Nergalazurs, who are parasitic).

Valhallans figure prominently in 'Centauri Island', another already-serialized novel I haven't got around to revisiting as yet. Both Sangs and the Rakshasas who carry their spirit selves around in Crystal Skulls before inserting them in recently deceased sell-swords, and such like, have major roles to play in Gambit.

Here's a descriptive sequence from GAME-Gambit re Rakshasas. It's told from the perspective of former Kronokronos Susano Mikoto, yet another anheroic sort who's spent literally decades in quest of the Trigregos Talismans. A samurai and deviant both, he's leading the such like referred to a few sentences ago:

As counter-intuitive as the notion was, it seemed to Mikoto they were a race of deviants who grew up to become demons.

Rakshasas suffered from what had been described to him as reverse-butterfly syndrome. Impossibly beautiful, wholly humanoid demigods from birth until sometimes as early as their thirties, but rarely any later than their forties, they would just drop dead, on the spot, without any symptoms or warning signs. Their corpses wouldn’t decay; wouldn’t just rot away like any ordinary dead thing. They fuzzed-up. It was as if, howsoever considerately, they would bodily grow their own shroud of downy cobwebs.

You could leave them like that, where they lay, through all manner of weather, all fluffy bunny rabbit and kind of cute in an immobile and nose-worthily non-smelly way. You had to pen them in or dumb animals would make a dog’s breakfast of them; had to mesh over the top of the pen, too, or dumb birds would peck them pulpy. Animals or birds did that, they usually wouldn’t last until their next meal. The few that did smartened up rapidly. Their descendants weren't anywhere near as dumb either. Marvellous how instinct develops.

Rakshas corpse-flesh, rather the fuzz covering it, was toxic. Just touching it or breathing it in, once it started molting, could kill you. Besides, you penned them in properly, they took up space. You’d be tripping over mommy or daddy all your life, until you dropped dead beside them and became as in the way as they were already.

[NOTE: Rakshas demons figure in the Ramayana, a famous, not to mention sacred, Hindu religious text. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states: "The canons of [Rajasthani] sculpture instruct the artist to carve them with a terrifying appearance, complete with fearful side tusks, ugly eyes, curling awkward brows, and carrying a variety of horrible weapons." Having never read the Ramayana I decided to make up my own PHANTACEA version of the horrors.]

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Let us now consider the Living. After devils and demons, they have to be the good guys, right?

The shaven-headed, brown-robed Sraddhite Warrior Monks are religious zealots. Only they worship a man, Sraddha Somata, who's been dead for nearly five hundred years in 5980. They're so fanatical they choose their High Priests solely because he looks like him. The Godbadians are imperialistically inclined, capitalist pigs who worship Byronic devils. Howsoever ironically, Iraches living in Hadd still worship Nergal Vetala as their Goddess of Life Eternal. They also invite their dead, azura-animated ancestors over for tea and scones.

Title reads The Trigregos Gambit, prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005As for the supras, primarily D-Brig 5 (Raven's Head, Blind Sundown, OMP-Akbar, Wildman Dervish Furie and the Untouchable Diver), well, they're not normal are they? Duh-the-dogfish that, to quote Fisherwoman. That's why they're supranormals. Fact is they're not called D-Brig (the 'Damnation Brigade') for nothing. To say the least, they've their individual issues.

So does Fish, who's a supranormal witch, a deviant (meaning at least one of her half-parents was a possessive devil) and the ex-queen of Aka Godbad, Sedon's Mouth, Lower Jaw and Goatee on a map of the Hidden Headworld. She also has two rows of shark-sharp teeth and likes to eat her meat raw. Besides, she talks funny.

Scratch her. Better pray she doesn't scratch back, though. Fish is a nasty piece of work:

“Splatter-matters are more pressing-for-fish-oil than smacking mackerel Right Whale now. Driftwood-good to see you again. And, speaking of which, the Sea, the otter-other Water Witch, you ever see Sea Stuff again, you tell her Atlantean could have died a whole whitefish-slower than he did."

Although he has those amazing, teleportive rings and is consequently Gypsium-gifted (or Brainrock-blessed, if you prefer), Aristotle 'Harry' Zeross, Ringleader, isn't technically a supra. He's a dad, loves his wife and their three hybrid-Utopian children, curses and swears, gets falling down drunk, beat up and drugged near-comatose. All of which makes him sympathetic enough, I suppose, but Harry's not much use when the going gets rough.

How about Jordan Tethys, the legendary 30-man, or one of my personal favourites,Young Death, the male trickster? Jordy certainly gets a lot of ink but, not only isn't he much use when the going gets rough either, he does a bunk every time it does. As for Young Death, he has some truly disgusting, necromantic talents.

Regarding the Utopians of Weir, their ancestors were aliens. Plus, they're divided into two camps. One is the Zebranid 'lepers' of Demios and Morgianna Sarpedon; the other is the Trinondev Warrior Elite of Golgotha Nauroz, who's a clone, and Saladin Devason, who loves being the Master of Weir. While both camps want the Trigregos Talismans in order to use them to eliminate devils, seemingly both camps would first use them to eliminate each other. Not very nice at all.

So, who's left? The life-defending Athenan War Witches? Devil-worshipping cannon fodder, if you were to ask me. The Morrigan's Mother Earth worshipping Hecate-Hellions? They're anti-devil but work with the Dead. Janna Fangfingers? Too bad she's a blood-sucking vamp, otherwise she might be worthy of a clap (as opposed to the clap). Kronokronos Mikoto and his Good Companions? They're mercenaries.

Vetala's Soldier, her Attis, her golden-brown warrior? He isn't much better, sooth said. Could be a whole lot worse, truth told ditto. Nonetheless, how about him? He fits the definition of protagonist in that he's the leading character in Gambit; is there from virtually its first word to its last and is therefore the glue that holds everything together.

True enough. But, given all he gets up to in Gambit, and to hear his Uncle Harry tell it, all he's got up to in his comparatively short and almost always violent lifetime, should we really cheer for him, hope he finds redemption and either triumphs over Vetala's evil influence or at least meets an heroic end? Hey, be my guest.

All in all then, is it any real wonder I've referred to the PHANTACEA Mythos as Anheroic Fantasy since virtually its Day One.

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4. Graphics: Footnotes and off-page links:

  1. The collage in the masthead at the top of 'pHpubs' is an Image Map; run your mouse over the graphics incorporated within it and, when a hand appears, click there to take you elsewhere on the Web; there are nine elsewheres; clockwise, their destinations are the following webpages: Serendipity, Terms Peculiar to PHANTACEA, 'The Moloch Manoeuvres' revision, the webpage dedicated to the two 'Damnation Brigade' serials, 'The War of the Apocalyptics' revision, information on some of the inspirations that led to the creation of PHANTACEA, a link to the list of Glossaries, a link to information on the Moloch Sedon Himself, and the webpage dedicated to the as yet unpublished novel, 'Decimation Damnation';

  2. The mouse-over behind the first two Gloriel graphics reads: "Fanciful graphic suggestive of Gloriel, prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005"; I shot the admittedly non-silver-haired woman on a beach on the outskirts of Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica circa early 2003; there was a rainbow in the distance when I took it but, I'm sorry to say, it got lost in the printing process; information on the Gloriel shape in the rainbow effect can be found here; information on the lower shape in the rainbow effect can be found here;Digitally dicked image suggestive of Gloriel D'Angelo, based on a painting by Fuselli

  3. Information on the Gloriel Collage starts here; the collage is an Image Map; run your mouse over the graphics incorporated within it and, when a hand appears, click there to take you to information as to its individual components;

  4. The mouse-over behind the 'Celestial using a rainbow as a skipping rope' reads: "Scan of photo taken at the Delhi National Museum by Jim McPherson in 2005; the statue is entitled 'The Flying Celestials'";

  5. The 'Alt Txt' mouse-over for the graphic used to illustrate the 'Illuminaries of Weir' link is: "Photo of a Mohito, suggestive of a pureblood Utopian woman; photo taken in Delhi by Jim McPherson, 2005";

  6. Old Vetala's 'Alt Txt' mouse-over reads: "Four-armed Indian deity identified as Durga, photo taken by Jim McPherson in the British Museum, 2003";

  7. The mouse-over behind the first idol in the Silverclouds section reads: "An idol identified as Rudra, photo taken by Jim McPherson in Udaipur, India, 2005";

  8. The mouse-over behind the second idol in the Silverclouds section reads: "An idol identified as Uma, photo taken in Delhi, India, 2005";

  9. The 'Alt Txt' mouse-over for the Silverclouds collage isn't very informative; nonetheless, for what it's worth, it reads: "Collage prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005"; although it perhaps should be, it isn't an Image Map; the central images are by Ian Fry, the artist who drew the graphic novel I published in 1990 ("Forever & 40 Days, the Genesis of PHANTACEA", which is still available for ordering); he did them for me in the late 1980s; the panther head above Rudra's head is a photo of an actual pinata; I shot it in the British Museum in 2003; the moon-mirror Umashakti's sitting on was taken from the Internet; I've been using the same image, representative of All the self-proclaimed Invincible She-Sphinx of Incain, on these webpages since shortly after I took it in Catania, Sicily, in 1997;

  10. Logo read reads: "A Peculiar Perspectives Photo Essay"; there's been plenty of them since I started 'pH-Webworld' in 1996; here's a link to a list of some of them; my favourite, and most personal remains: 'Sedon's Head - Inspiration or Destination';

  11. The 'Kali on a Porch' graphic has as its 'Alt Txt' mouse-over: "Kali on a porch, poster photographed in Pushkar, India, by Jim McPherson in 2005";

  12. The mouse-over behind this digitally dicked and, I have to say, artfully constructed graphic reads: "Graphic prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005; main image suggestive of Rakshas demons"; have to admit I'm quite pleased with it; also have to admit I'm quite pleased with the PHANTACEA-alone description of Rakshasas; I took the photograph I worked with in the British Museum in 2005; unfortunately, the whatever-it-is was behind glass, in a tantalus, when I took it; getting rid of the consequential reflection has thus far proved to be beyond my talent in terms of digital-dicking; that said the head-head, the belly-head and the right-arm-head are definitely there in the original; hope it's still there next time I visit London;

  13. The 'Alt Txt' mouse-over for the front cover graphic for 'The Trigregos Gambit' in the Cheering for the Living aspect of pHpubs topic section is: "Title reads 'The Trigregos Gambit', prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005"; a smaller version of the Ian Fry drawn Vetala figure can be found in the Summer 2002 pHpubs; the complete potential dust-cover can be found in the Covers Gallery;

  14. The tiled image behind "Sites with Loads of Graphics" is a digitally dicked shot of Supernova 1987A; I also used it on the new dust-cover for 'The War of the Apocalyptics' as well as for the full cover of the revised version of 'The Trigregos Gambit', here's a link to a note as to the significance of 1987A in the PHANTACEA Mythos;

  15. Notes on the background tiling for this edition of pHpubs can be found here; it's best viewed there and here;

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5. Sites with Loads of Graphics:

Google.ca supplies what amounts to a pH-Webworld web gallery. Just go to http://www.google.ca/, hit the images link and type in PHANTACEA. Pasting into the address area of your browser the following Url might work as well: http://images.google.ca/images?q=phantacea&hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&start=100&sa=N&filter=0

PHANTACEA on the Web is chock-a-block with visuals. Good places to ogle artwork from the comic books and graphic novel are One to Six, 'Twenty-Five Years Plus' and what began as 'The Genesis of PHANTACEA' webpage. Most of the other graphics are scans I did of my own photographs or material I put together using PHOTOSHOP. All the essays are loaded with images. Try out the framed version of the Main Menu. You won't go anywhere else but, then again, you won't get lost either.

  • The PHANTACEA Mythos: Beehive Ghost Houses

  • The PHANTACEA Mythos: Heliodyssey WARNING: Graphic Summary -- Might take awhile to load!

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6. Latest List of Lynx to some previous Web-Publisher's Commentaries

| Summer 2005 | Winter 2004/5 | Summer 2004| Spring 2004 | Autumn 2003 | Summer 2003 | Autumn 2002 | Summer 2002 | Autumn 2001 | Spring-Summer 2001 | Winter 2000/1 | August 1998 | Samplings from other Not So Recent Commentaries | June-March '97 | February '97-July '96 |

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Webpage Last Updated: Winter 2005/6

There may be no cure for aphantasia (defined as 'having a blind or absent mind's eye') but there certainly is for aphantacea ('a'='without', like the 'an' in 'anheroic')

Ordering Information for PHANTACEA Mythos comic books, graphic novels, standalone novels, mini-novels and e-booksSun-moon-kissing logo first seen on back cover of Helios on the Moon, 2015; photo by Jim McPherson, 2014

Downloadable order form for additional PHANTACEA Mythos Print Publications

Current Web-Publisher's Commentary

Jim McPherson's Worldwide Email Address -- jmcp@phantacea.com

PHANTACEA: The Web Serials

pHantaJim's Weblog


Website last updated: Autumn 2015

Written by: Jim McPherson -- jmcp@phantacea.com
© copyright Jim McPherson (www.phantacea.com)
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Websites featuring, at least in part, Jim McPherson's PHANTACEA MythosLogo reads Jim McPherson's PHANTACEA on the Web

Phantacea Publications: http://www.phantacea.com

Jim McPherson's PHANTACEA Mythos (pH-Webworld): http://www.phantacea.info

Jim McPherson's Phantacea Blog (pHantaBlog): http://www.phantacea.com/blog

pHantacea on pHacebook: http://www.facebook.com/phantacea

pHantacea on pHlickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89008792@N06/galleries/

Phantacea Publications on Google-PlusPhantacea logo from 4-Ever & 40

Jim McPherson's pre-2010 Travels: http://members.shaw.ca/jmcptimps

The Wonderful Weather Wizard of Oz's 2011 Travels Site: http://members.shaw.ca/jmcp_oz11/index.htm

Jim McPherson's post-2010 Travels: http://members.shaw.ca/jmcp1749

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Image Map re Gloriel D'Angelo Dark Rubens Discord Celestial Superior Ian Fry's Rainbow Rider, late 80s Ian Fry's Rainbow Rider, late 1980s Fuseli's Titania fairy dancer Headless statue of Iris spotted and shot in British Museum by Jim McPherson Flying Celestials spotted and shot in New Delhi's National Museum, 2005 Parisien Hermes, Paris 2014