Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Novel Truth about this Real Fantasy

I have discovered a novel truth about the Saga.

Typically such "fantasy" writing is considered "escapist" or other such terms, selected to indicate a certain kind of refusal to deal with the "real world".

On the contrary, the Saga is Superlatively Real, because it RESTORES to our common lives a measure of something lacking: Virtue. Sacrifice. Honor. Devotion. Dedication. Courage. Interest in Things of the Spirit. Adventure For the Sake of Others.

This is not simply "real", but radically Real, and perhaps Quite Dangerous, since our Enemy likes us to feel dull, disappointed, bored, lethargic, satisfied, and interested in the mundane... oh yeah, and especially our Enemy wants us to prefer short stuff, little stuff, stuff that is in tidy nibbles, sort of melt-in-your-mind's-mouth, 140-character (or 15-second) granules of Bland.

The Saga, on the other hand is TOUGH, CHEWY, AND (to the disappointment of a very strange faction who ought to know better) QUITE LENGTHY...

Sure, there are risks I am taking by writing it... and there are risks YOU are taking by reading it...


Also, as Bernie Brown points out somewhere: we have allies who are more than a match for our enemies.

Let us move forward in confidence, therefore - because:

Our help is in the name of the Lord. Who made heaven and earth.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

An Illustration for The Wreck of the PHOSPLOION

Here is an image of a picture I made as a possible cover (or frontispiece) for The Wreck of the PHOSPLOION...

It may be a bit misleading, as it shows several items from the story all at once - that is, it is NOT a scene you will find within. At the bottom you can see the main characters: the triplets Mike, Mark, and Matt Weaver, and their friend Tom Felsen; and on the right Joe Outis at the wheel of his grandfather's boat Remmirath with Mike Tronder.

Above is the artist's attempt to show the Wreck against the backdrop of the vista looking west, into the little bay of Quayment from out in the Atlantic - to the left is the lighthouse on the Point; to the right is the "young cathedral" of St. Ambrose's, at the top of the north hill (yes, it also has a warning lamp for sailors), and the strange dome on the top of Weaver's Bookstore, and the huge complex called "Benny's" (the real name of which is "Levin Shipping") with its lighted menorah. In the left midground is the doomed Greek cargo ship Phosploion, now burning and sinking rapidly, with the Remmirath in flight.

At the top... ah, well. Where the beams from the Great Lights of Quayment cross is that archival storage bag containing a fragment of the letters of St. Bernard - a document printed in 1494... and Something Else... but I shall not here reveal what it is. And if you are wondering about the blue and violet arcs, faintly visible near the top... well then I suggest you get the book. You see, I am bound by the Great Law of the Story, so wonderfully phrased by G. K. Chesterton:
Nothing would induce me to tell the reader anything about the solution of the riddle. The man who tells the truth about a detective story is simply a wicked man, as wicked as the man who deliberately breaks a child's soap-bubble - and he is more wicked than Nero. To give away a secret when it should be kept is the worst of human crimes; and Dante was never more right than when he made the lowest circle in Hell the Circle of the Traitors. It is to destroy one human pleasure so that it can never be recovered... [GKC ILN Nov 7 1908 CW28:210]