I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Friday, July 28, 2017

New Additions and New Editions

My goal to collect all five covers of the From Myst to Riven has, I am happy to announce, recently brought me two steps closer to achieving it.  I was talking with a friend of mine about this project, which inspired me to look again for any new covers out there.  It wasn't that long ago that I found cover number two to stand beside my 233rd Age cover, so I thought I'd be out of luck.  It's always hard to figure out what's out there because everyone uses the stock image of the Tay cover, and all the covers have the same ISBN.  Therefore, you never know what you will end up getting.  Last time, I found the Jungle Island cover on eBay.

I searched eBay again, but there was nothing there.  Then I took to Amazon, which tends to yield worse results because it's next to impossible to get details on the covers.  HOWEVER!  This time around I was pleasantly surprised to see that someone provided an image of the specific book!  I was able to acquire two new covers: the Tay one, and the view of the golden dome coming from Gehn's lab -- you know the view...the "approaching inserting disc 5" view.  My 233rd Age cover is hanging out at my mom's house, but I have a lovely image of my three new friends together:

It took me a little while to get the image because my silly cat, Topaz, kept rubbing herself all over the books.  Oh cats.  I have one cover left: Map Island!

As I excitedly texted my friend about my acquisitions, I grew a bit concerned and asked her if she thought my collecting these items was bordering on illness.  I'd begun watching Hoarders recently -- good God, that is such a depressing show.  But I am so glad so many people are finding help.  Currently, my Myst stuff is in various places, but I think it is healthily contained.  Most of it is at my mom's house, stored in the cedar chest she gave me as a high school graduation present.  Otherwise, I've got the other 1/3rd (?) of my collection in my apartment either on display or stored in the storage place of my chaise -- if you are not counting the 4 posters I still have in their tube, awaiting frames.  I think that's still healthy.  Sheesh...I wonder if it ever crossed the Miller brothers' minds that there would be freaks like me with a collection of this stuff.

There are a few items I feel I must part with, though.  Some extra copies of stuff.  You see, when I worked in the library back in my hometown, people would donate books to the book sale and some of them were the Myst books.  The book sale functions as a kill shelter...if the books are languishing on the shelf, they are gotten rid of.  I felt the need to "rescue" them, so I took each one as it arrived.  Thus, I've got multiple copies of these things.  I think it would be a good idea to put them up for sale, but make sure I keep the lovely clean copy for myself.  All I need is one...one each of the paperback and hardcover!  Or not.  Maybe sticking with the first edition hardcovers will be fine enough.  This means I have to find The Book of D'ni in mint.  Right now, I have a library-rescued copy.  BUT!  And I just thought of this, paperback copies would be good to use when I loan out books.  If anyone ever bothers showing interest in the story that is, hehe!

In other news, unrelated to games of any kind, following the successful printing of my little Obduction walkthrough book, I decided to have my novel printed likewise.  I edited and reedited and reedited it, then formatted it to make a 6x9" paperback.  Then, I made a cover, and printed it!  No, I did not self-publish it...I don't really believe in self-publishing novels, though I know it has worked for people in the past.  I believe strongly in professional editors, and in having a team help you to make your work even better than you've got it.  My intention is to agent shop...annnnnnnnnd probably never get published hahaha!  I was so excited when I got my printed copy in, and loads of people thought it was a legit book.  I told them the difference between a professional cover and a self-published cover is the font: serifs all the way, man!  None of that silly florid font that you find on romance novels.  No sir, you want a neutral font with serifs.  You'd be surprised at the difference that makes!  Here is the cover:

Wouldn't you want to read that?  If you would indulge me, let me write a bit about it.  It's the first book in an intended 9-book series.  Yes, the number 9 is significant, as it refers to the Egyptian Ennead, a genealogy of 9 gods that symbolize completion and perfection.  The series is called the Golden Sword because it revolves around, you guessed it, a golden sword.  The function of the golden sword is to uphold order in the cosmos.  Anywho...the first book is called The Lords of Maat, as you can plainly see, and basically sets up the rest of the series.  Lord of Maat was one of the many titles for ancient Egyptian kings, meaning that they were responsible for maintaining order in the cosmos by maintaining order in their kingdom.  I'm sure you are familiar with Maat...the feather of truth, hearts were weighed against it in the Book of the Dead to see if so-and-so could continue to live in the afterlife.  There's more to that story, but I'm not trying to turn readers into Egyptologists.  There aren't enough jobs for that.

This is the summary as I have it currently.  I'm really bad at writing summaries, especially for complex stories/dissertations: In ca. 1600 BC, a thousand-year alliance between four world powers stands upon the brink of collapse, as three of the nations aim to fortify themselves against the inevitable fall of Shaddenrod.  But then, the Light and Dark Gods of the Shaddenite faith awaken through a Whisperer whose vision from the Dreamtime once again draws all four nations together.  meanwhile, south of Egypt, a Nubian king, inspired by his kingdom's recent victories against Egypt, seeks worldwide glory for Nubia.  It is by joining the alliance that he finds a way to realize his goals, though at great cost.  His only weapon: a mysterious ancient Sumerian tablet that would change the fate of the world.

On the cover of the book -- oh and this cover is by no means something that would be able to be used on a legit publication because there are too many copyright laws being broken.  Also, it's anachronistic, ha! -- on the cover of the book is Maat in her goddess form.  This image comes from the tomb of Nefertari, wife of Ramesses the Great (ca. 1250 or so BC).  The design at the top is what's called a kheker frieze and it is found in the tomb of Senenmut who lived under the reign of Hatshepsut (ca. 1450 BC), and finally, the background is a tablet written in Akkadian (not Sumerian), part of a collection of tablets known as the Amarna Letters dating to the reigns of Amenhotep III and Akhenaten (ca. 1350 BC).  See?  Anachronistic haha!

The story, obviously, is a historical fantasy and I do intend to include real, historical events.  In fact, this book does have discussions on real events and the state of affairs in Egypt and Sudan at this time.  It's the period the Egyptologists call today the Second Intermediate Period.  It's one of my favorites!  Lots of chaos abounded.  But later, I'm going to be including real events that took place in the Near East that will peg the story down at 1599 or 1595 BC -- scholars differ in their chronologies.

I've been working on this series for nearly half my life, having gotten the first inkling of it when I was 16.  Over the years, I've redeveloped it and done LOTS of research, drawing, of course, from my Classics and Egyptology degrees.  This story is always on my mind.  Always.  Personally, I think it's pretty damn amazing, but I think the majority of the world would 100% DISagree.

With all that having been said, I think I have a better chance publishing my series if I publish a standalone novel first.  And I have just the one in mind!  I got the idea for it when I was 13, but the story would never come.  It never seemed right and I couldn't figure out how to get it going.  It has been very frustrating to know that it's back there in my mind, and that I have so many details, but not the big picture.  Happily, recently, it finally came to me.  And when it came it was like I was dropped from 100 floors up, that's how powerful it was.  It's been so much fun putting it together.  I love writing stories so, so much!!!

End transmission!  Glad I got that off my chest!


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