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"Goddess Gambit"

- 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' -

gambitVariations

Book Three

Available since Imbolc (Groundhog or Candlemas) Day, 2012

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"Goddess Gambit", the third and final book in 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' trilogy, as well as the continuation of the Launch 1980 story cycle, is finally here.

Artwork by Verne Andru, collages prepared by Jim McPhersonHerson

Information on placing orders can be found here; much more on an earlier draft of the novel can be found here, here, here and here.

- Page Contents - The 60-Second Synopsis - Full Cover - Notes on Covers - Blow-up of Front Cover - Back Cover Blurb - Lynx to Notes re Characters on Cover - Graphics - Bottom of Page Lynx - Downwards - Upwards -

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The Sixty Second Synopsis

On the Inner Earth of Sedon’s Head the gods and goddesses, the demons and monsters of ancient myths and legends continue to exist. The Latin word for god is ‘deus’. The Romans spelt it DEVS. Collectively, the Hidden Continent's immortal gods and goddesses calls themselves ‘Devas’, which means 'the Shining Ones' but is also a Vedic term for gods. Their offspring, by themselves, are called ‘azuras’.

Devas and azuras are names for deities in both Hindu and Zoroastrian Faiths. Monotheists call gods and goddesses ‘devils’. In the PHANTACEA Mythos, the gods and goddesses, who are physical beings with, more often than not, 3-eyes, together with their immediate offspring, who are virtually invisible Spirit Beings with as many eyes as the shells they occupy, make up the ‘devazur’ race.

Nergal Vetala is the Blood Queen of Hadd, the Land of the Ambulatory Dead. She is the lone devic vampire. Her azuras are known as Vetalazurs or Lazurs for short. They animate Haddit Zombies. Another kind of azura, the Sangazurs, animate the Warrior Dead or Valhallans. For 35 years she has been unable to prevent the encroachment of the Living on her realm. Then her soldier falls out of the sky and she’s back in the pink again — as in arterial.

The Trigregos Talismans are a curved blade, a mirror that can be used as a shield and a bloodstone tiara. The Head’s anti-devazur movements cherish them as the Three Sacred Objects because they reputedly can be used to kill devils. For exactly the same reason devils call them the Three Accursed Objects. (You can call them the Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories if you like, because that's what they're known as in "Feeling Theocidal" and "The 1000 Days of Disbelief", the first two parts of the trilogy Gambit concludes.)

They’ve been separated for hundreds of years, since roughly two years prior to All-Death Day in 5494 YD. However, they're composed of Brainrock-Gypsium, the remnants of the Big Bang's Primordial Godhead. Due to the PHANTACEA-fact this Godstuff is both transmutable and teleportive, if you found one it should lead you between-space to the other two.

At stake is mastery of devils, the gods and goddesses of not just the Living. At stake as well, potentially, should be mastery over the entire Headworld. Not surprisingly, when one of them finally shows up again, it suddenly seems like nearly everyone wants all three of them. Too bad, as Nergal Vetala should know better than most, everyone who ever played a Trigregos Gambit in the past has lost.

She reckons it won't happen this time. Not once her slavish soldier, who might be an incarnation of Chrysaor Attis, a dominant figure in 'Feel Theo', and who calls her 'Goddess', acquires all three of them and becomes Trigregos Incarnate.

Re-enter what's left of the Damnation Brigade after "The War of the Apocalyptics". But will they be in time to stop the Blood Queen of Hadd and her justifiably declared Trigregos Titan or will these last finish what they and the Apocalyptics began the day before?

Will Lathakra's long-reawakened Scarlet Empress, almost as long no longer Mithras's Virgin, and Gravity, also Byron's Moon Goddess, who has only recently been released from All of Incain, play and win the same game in an effort to become their own mothers? Will their fellow firstborns, their brother-husbands, King Cold and Byron's Beast, support, join or, maybe, just maybe, have to save them? And, oh yeah, who is Freespirit Nihila?

Is it any wonder the Smiling Fiend never stops smiling?

... Top of Page ... Back to page contents ... Top of Section ... Bottom of Page Lynx ... On to Full Cover ...
Actual and tentative covers for Goddess Gambit

©Cover Art by Verne Andru, 2012; rollover collage Jim McPherson, 2004; Vetala figure by Ian Fry, ca. 1987

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Front and Back Cover for "Goddess Gambit"

Phantacea Publications (James H McPherson, Publisher). Cover artwork by Verne Andru, 2012. Vetala image on alternative, rollover cover by Ian Fry, circa 1988. Collage for rollover cover prepared by Jim McPherson, circa 2004. Text by Jim McPherson 2009, 2012.

Annuling Nihila collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012; Nihila by Verne Andru; bg by Merida MuralistVetal by Ian Fry, 1988; collage by Jim McPherson, 2004Lynx leading to a partial list of excerpts from the novel can be found here. Back cover text can be found here. As above, much more on the novel can be found here, here, here and here.

Due to its length, list price is $25.00 in Canada and the US. For a limited time, orders placed via email through www.phantacea.com will include postage for anywhere in Canada or the USA. I will still have to charge you non-Triskaidekaphobes 13% for Canadian and provincial Goods and Sales Taxes. Plus, you will still have to send me certified cheques or money via surface mail before I ship the book(s).

However, individual copies of "Goddess Gambit" can be also ordered from amazon.com and its affiliates, including amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk, as well as from Barnes & Noble and a number of other popular online booksellers. Instant ordering gratification from amazon and/or its affiiates starts here.

Bookstores and bookseller collectives can place bulk orders through Ingram Books, Ingram International, Baker & Taylor and/or many other distributors worldwide. Everyone wants your business so just ask and chances are it, or they, shall be delivered.

Since Lightning Source Inc (LSI) has exclusive rights to distribute the novel, a partial list of LSI's distribution partners, including a number outside of Canada or the USA, is here. Or you can email your order(s) directly to me today and I'll either arrange to fill them myself or send you details as to how you can order copies of the novel wherever you live. Enquiries cost zip.

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Phantacea Publications (James H. McPherson, Publisher), presents a PHANTACEA Mythos Print Publication

Actual and alternative covers for Goddess Gambit

Double-click for full, final cover, artwork by Verne Andru, 2012; alternate front cover artwork also by Verne Andru, 2012; Vetala figure on rollover cover by Ian Fry, ca. 1988; Soldier figure by John White (active ca. 1575-93); cover collage on rollover prepared by Jim McPherson, ca. 2004

For more on the Soldier figure see: http://members.shaw.ca/jmcptimps/trapants1.htm#PictishAttis

PHANTACEA: Anheroic Fantasy since 1977

Back Cover Blurb

Launch 1980

Gif used on back cover of potential dustcover for 'The Trigregos Gambit', prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005,

"For the Dead to thrive, the Living must die!" So proclaims Nergal Vetala, the Blood Queen of Hadd.

She's the lone devic vampire.

For 35 years she has been unable to prevent the encroachment of the Living on her realm, the Land of the Ambulatory Dead.

Then her soldier falls out of the sky and she’s back in the pink again — as in arterial.

Too bad for not just her, everyone who plays a Trigregos Gambit loses.

©copyright Jim McPherson
front cover artwork by Verne Andru, 2012
Vetala figure on rollover by Ian Fry, ca 1988

 

Lynx to the Latest Graphics and Text Excerpts

| Full cover for "Goddess Gambit" | Arterial Row as it applies to "Goddess Gambit" | 2012 Adverts for Phantacea Publications | Earlier images applicable to"Goddess Gambit" | More info on some of the graphics at the top of the Welcoming Page | Cover Variations and more Collages based on Verne's original | Notes on the Page and Panel Backgrounds |

- double-click for enlarged images -

"Goddess Gambit"

Book Three of 'The Thrice Cursed Godly Glories' Trilogy

Book One: "Feeling Theocidal" - Book Two: "The Thousand Days of Disbelief

"Full cover for Goddess Gambit, artwork by Verne Andru, 2012

 

Now available from Phantacea Publications
(James H McPherson, Publisher)

Cover blow-ups and details are here

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As in Arterial

Verne Andru artwork in a collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012

Yep, Vetala's back in the pink again once her soldier falls from the sky and her monstrous (for a vulture) mount, Cloud General Kronar, brings her to him.

She's determined to stay that way, too. She isn't the only goddess willing to playing a Trigregos Gambit.

The artwork in this cell is entirely by Verne Andru, though the collage was prepared by Jim McPherson. The outer backgrounds for this page are fashioned of the same image.

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Mercy is a Capital Offense

Collage of Verne Andru artwork prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012

That line actually belongs to Nergal Vetala, the titular goddess in "Goddess Gambit". However, as Vetala's soldier, by now Trigregos Incarnate, looks about to discover, Freespirit Nihila isn't exactly a kind, considerate entity (more so than deity) either.

Add in the Lathakran Death Goddess, Methandra Thanatos, as well as the Byronic Moon Goddess, Umashakti Silverstar, and it's probably only a matter of a few hundred pages for him to go from Incarnate to Incarnadine — as in an ever-after-motionless bloody pulp.

Collage by Jim McPherson, images by Verne Andru, 2012

Jim McPherson put together both collages. The artwork, though, is entirely by Verne Andru. So is the double-click on the upper one, though Verne inked it as a preliminary step to preparing a full-colour, wraparound cover for a phantacea comic book series that never got published.

(It was intended for an issue of the ill-fated Phantacea Phase One project of the mid-to-late 1980s, of which more here.)

The double-click is a similar strip of artwork. I used it for an ad I put out in 2011. More on that ad and the artwork that went into it links from here.

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Annuling Nihila

Collage entitled Annuling Nihila, latest version prepared in 2012 by Jim McPherson

If memory serves, Freespirit Nihila named herself during the course of "The War of the Apocalyptics". As per here, attempting to 'annul' her in Gambit isn't just Vetala and her soldier's problem, though.

Herta Heartthrob encountered someone very similar to Nihila during "Contagion Collectors". Her appellation, rather than name, even began with an 'N' - Nemesis.

The artwork behind Verne's Nihila is by the extraordinary Mexican muralist Ferdinando Castro Pacheco (1918- ).

I took the shots I used from pictures I took of a couple of his murals in the Merida Town Hall some years ago.

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Black & White version of a 2012 ad for Goddess Gambit

B/w version of Gambit ad, prepared in 2012 by Jim McPherson

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Colour version of a 2012 ad for Goddess Gambit

Colour ad prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012

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2012 Price List for Phantacea Publications

Price list prepared by JIm McPherson, 2012

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Dustmound

Haunted Dustmound, based on artwork by Verne Andru 2012

"Vetala's middle finger salute to the Sedon Sphere"

The throne atop Dustmound was also seen in "Contagion Collectors". As for how it got from the Hoodoo Hamlet of 5476 YD to the Hadd of 5980, well, it is made out of Brainrock-Gypsium after all.

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Vetala's Soldier

Collage made of images representative of The Trigregos Titan, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012

So who is he?

In Gambit, the impression is he's Cosmicaptain Dmetri Diomad, the Double-D of the so-called Alphabet Cosmicompanions.

I suspect he blasted off that way. However, mind's are fragile, especially if Nergal Vetala, the Vampire Queen of the Dead gets hold of you.

She starts out calling him her 'soldier'. Thereafter he becomes he becomes her champion: the Trigregos Titan.

As for whether he was actually possessed by Thrygragos Lazareme. Well, if there's ever a Gambit sequel, we might learn the truth of that then.

Aspects of artwork came from the cover of pH-5, by Bateson over Andrusiek; here and of course the Verne Andru's long awaited cover.

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The Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head

inverted map of Sedon's Head, prepared by Jim McPherson and Tim Hammell in 1978

(Double-click to enlarge map to its 1978-standard black on white format.)

A clickable version of the map is on the Peculiar Placespage whereas the more than just moderately amazing story of what I spotted in Cairo's Egyptian Museum is retold here and here.

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Daemonic Royalty (Daemonicus & Primeval Lilith)

Lilith and Daemonicus, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

The figure representing Primeval Lilith, the Demon Queen of the Night, is by Henry Fuseli (1741-1825).

I used it on Hellion's cover as well as on the mock-up I prepared for 1000-Daze, two versions of which can be seen here.

Fuseli called her Great Night so how could I not choose her to stand in for one of phantacea's most misunderstood stand-outs?

Below Lunatic Lily (who's still a mass murderer no matter how justifiable her actions could be considered), the Smiling Fiend, or someone similar, seems to be in one of his two-eyed Daemonicus moments.

I took it from a postcard I bought in Germany back in 2008 whereas the background is from a postcard I bought in Sintra, Portugal, on that same 6-week European vacation.

Other than in a flashback sequence (an earlier version of which is still online here), Demon Queen Lilith does not appear in Gambit.

Demon King Daemonicus-Smiler is, however, an entirely different matter.

A link re both of them is here. , they are noted in Hellion's Character Companion.)

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The Sedonic Eye-Mouth

Sedonic Eye Card, art by Ian Bateson, 1986; text and manipulation by Jim McPherson, 2011

The mighty eye-mouth in the sky above Sedon's Head is depicted about to slurp up the Cosmic Express.

The artwork is by Ian Bateson, circa 1986. The original appeared on the cover to phantacea Phase One #1, of which more is here and here.

As per here, a slightly different version of the Sedonic Eye-Mouth appeared on the back cover of "The War of the Apocalyptics".

The flip-side of this postcard is here. As already noted, aspects of Fangers could constitute a prequel to the 'Launch 1980' story cycle.

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Goddess Gambit

Alternative cover for Goddess Gambit, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2004; Vetala image is by Ian Fry, ca. 1988

"Goddess Gambit" began life as "The Trigregos Gambit", of which much more is here, here, here and here.

Sample chapters from the 2004 rewrite of the web-serial are here. It's unlikely they'll make it as is to 2011's Gambit but they'll be close.

Although for Vetala's Soldier the titular Goddess is, of course, Nergal Vetala, three other devic goddesses play a Trigregos Gambit in the novel.

They are dot, dot and, um, well, sort of ...

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Devils in Disguise

Devils in Disguise collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2011

The 'Devils in Disguise' collage belongs here in the sense that Gambit carries on from where an aspect of Fangers leaves off.

A few details re the shots that went into this collage are here. As for why the incomparable Harmony is wearing a shroud, well, um, let's call it symbolic for the moment.

Or, now that Gambit is available for ordering online, with or without credit cards, perhaps it wasn't a shroud at all.

Was, in pHantacea-phact, more of a chrysalis, albeit with nothing anywhere near as pretty emerging.

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2011 pHant Ad

Back of Sedonic Eye Postcard, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2011

The five novels thus far released by Phantacea Publications.

The text reads:

The gods and goddesses, the demons and monsters, of ancient mythologies have been trivialized, their worship proscribed and the entities themselves mostly confined to another realm.

Jim McPherson's PHANTACEA Mythos chronicles their ongoing striving for a return to paramountcy.

Phantacea Publications are distributed worldwide by Ingram Books, Ingram International and Coutts Information Services

Order online or from your favourite booksellers.

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Rendering Reddening

Rendering Reddening backgound collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012

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Goddess Gambit's Original Cover

Final version of cover for Goddess Gambit, artwork by Verne Andru, 2012

Before there could be any collages, there had to be an original. Rather, put better, there had to a final, print-ready image.

Artwork by Verne Andru, 2012; full wraparound cover for Goddess Gambit is here

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Wraparound Cover for pH-6

Detail of cover for Phantacea Six, artwork by Verne Andru, 1980

And of course before there was a Goddess Gambit, there was The Trigregos Gambit. But before even that, though, there was pH-6.

Interestingly, the emphasis on this cover is Bad Rhad, as he was recalled howsover inaccurately in "Feeling Theocidal", the cover of which Verne also did.

The double-click is the full wraparound cover for pH-6, which came out in, um, 1980. I had to fuse them together on Photoshop so the meshing's sadly imperfect.

Artwork by Verne Andrusiek, 1980

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This Little Pinky

Reddening rendered pink, collage by Jim McPherson, 2012

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The background image for this panel is a variation of the collage/cover I prepared for "Janna Fangfingers"; the background images for this page are as per here
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Webpage last updated: Winter 2012/13

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