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by James Trusty
Posted: Apr 23, 2008
The Tribal Challenge is a manifesto of love.
I was born July 24, 1954. In May of 1973, I graduated from Katy High School in the top quarter of our class. Nearly two years earlier (in June of 1971), I gazed across the future. Profoundly disturbed by what I beheld, I decided to commit suicide. Something then occurred which logic would refute and reason scorn. Many strange experiences from throughout my life suddenly made sense. From then on, more and more strange experiences consorted with twists of fate to prod, shove, kick, and drag me along a path too long neglected by life’s other travelers. In the meantime, they nudged me ever deeper into my love affair with the Pen—that mistress of the night who yet remains exasperatingly fickle, demanding and jealous. She has ruined me financially and socially. Still, I try not to complain. For she and my mentors have heaped upon me treasures of the heart, mind, and soul much too wonderful and awful to hoard. Through my writings, I endeavor to share them in the hope that they might change the world for the better. Presently, I am the daddy of several cats and a dozen raccoons. They keep company with me, while I write.
I was born July 24, 1954. In May of 1973, I graduated from Katy High School in the top quarter of our class. Nearly two years earlier (in June of 1971), I gazed across the future. Profoundly disturbed by what I beheld, I decided to commit suicide. Something then occurred which logic would refute and reason scorn. Many strange experiences from throughout my life suddenly made sense. From then on, more and more strange experiences consorted with twists of fate to prod, shove, kick, and drag me along a path too long neglected by life’s other travelers. In the meantime, they nudged me ever deeper into my love affair with the Pen—that mistress of the night who yet remains exasperatingly fickle, demanding and jealous. She has ruined me financially and socially. Still, I try not to complain. For she and my mentors have heaped upon me treasures of the heart, mind, and soul much too wonderful and awful to hoard. Through my writings, I endeavor to share them in the hope that they might change the world for the better.
Presently, I am the daddy of several cats and a dozen raccoons. They keep company with me, while I write.
I--James Trusty and Sphyrex--refer to my prose as verifiction and declare its realms to be formula-free zones and safe havens from literary convention. Within them, creative free expression shall forever remain a sacred right. Therefore, let it be known that the ayatollahs, mullahs, and imams of grammar, structure, and style have no power in Sphyrex's domain. Their screechy little voices clamor unheard. The same is also true, concerning the fascists of political correctness. Let them yammer and squeal all they want. Nothing they might think or say is equal to the truth.
Now and then, you will, no doubt, encounter words that are unfamiliar. Do not fret. Just interpret them however you will and read on. Otherwise, consult the chainsaga lexicon, EL’SCORPUS. An updated version of such is available as a free download at my websites (www.sphyrex.com & www.ozni.org). [Sorry, my websites are temporarily off the Internet. Hopefully, that will change sooner rather than later.] Nevertheless, you will occasionally encounter words that you might consider misspelled. I have endeavored to eliminate such blights. But I strongly disagree with the way various words are usually spelled, as well as how assorted terms are constructed. Examples of that are “terraforming” and “battle group”. To “terraform” a planet seems to imply that one would need to create it. Rather, it is more accurate to use the word “terreform” since the process essentially means reforming a planet’s surface, atmosphere, and/or core dynamics…Call me perverse if you like, but I refuse to construct the noun “battle group” or the adjective “battle-group” as such. To me, it looks better (less awkward) as one word, “battlegroup”.
Forgive me for either bragging or complaining, but I have been working on the Ancient Circles Chainsaga and related works for over three decades. In doing so, I began at the end and worked my way back to the beginning. Meanwhile, I started with one premise and ended up serving another. Of course, I realize that it may sound silly, even delusional, to suggest this, but I am not necessarily imagining the worlds, events, places, and people represented in my writings. As it is, I write in character. By saying so, I do not exactly mean that I sit around pretending to be other people. Yet I am not exactly saying that my writings are automatic, either. To one or another degree, most of them are products of both of those methods. Dreams, visions, epiphanies, moments of perfect clarity, and other mystical experiences serve as either primary or secondary sources for them as well as for most of the remainder of my writings. Please, do not dismiss what I am telling you out of hand. Yes, there are many fools, charlatans, and madmen roaming this little world. Perhaps, I am among them. But I beseech you to, at least, consider greater possibilities than you have probably been conditioned to accept. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy my writings for whatever you interpret them to be. Nevertheless, to be accurate and truthful, I resist labeling my writings as science fiction/fantasy. And so, whenever someone asks me about them, I (formerly) categorized the main body of such as apocalyptic science fiction/fantasy (apocalyptic meaning “revelatory” and “prophetic” as well as the modern erroneous denotation suggesting “cataclysmic tribulation” or “doom”). That, however, is still not accurate enough. Therefore, I ultimately chose to describe the main body of my writings as verifiction--a hybrid class of literature, which cannot be properly described as fiction, nonfiction, or Scriptural, but which fuses together the fundamental elements of all three. [Now, I realize that the literary world only recognizes two classes of literature. But doing so is intellectually sloppy and dishonest. Scriptures, whether Jewish, Christian, Islamic, or whatever else, deserve to be placed in their own class apart from all other literature. For to deem them nonfiction is insulting to nonbelievers, while deeming them fictional is insulting to believers. Yet believers cannot prove their essence is truthful, while nonbelievers cannot prove that they are fanciful BS…I submit that mythological literature should also be placed in a class by itself. After all, myths essentially blur the lines between truth and fiction.] Anyway, verifiction tales are allegorical in structure and typically composed of multidimensional metaphors consisting of diverse elements. Those include (but are not limited to) action/adventure, drama, intrigue, mystery, mysticism, romance, erotica, comedy, tragedy, mythology, folklore, philosophy, revelation, speculation, and prophecy. I have done my best to weave those qualities together into literary tapestries portraying people and places that existed and events which occurred between 8700 and 8600BC within a distant region of our galaxy. Whether or not you are inclined to subscribe to those and various other claims made by me, invite you to venture into the world of the chainsaga and navigate its twists and turns. Perhaps, you will not only enjoy the flight, but might also glean a few nuggets of wisdom.
Thus far, I have been trying to convey the thought that, whenever anyone reads my verifiction writings, they must be prepared to think differently than they are probably accustomed to doing…I have been told that people are clever, intrepid and wise. That they yearn for progress. Alas, it seems far too many humans believe that the only means for cultural progress is the advancement of science and technology; that uninspired logic and half-baked reason are the only means to discover the truth; and that social progress only means moving ever farther away from their roots. Indeed, most folks seem to believe that nothing about the past is worthy of their attention, much less their consideration. Well, I was brought here to challenge those and other ridiculous notions. For God and the sages of Shobol worry about the Children of the Earth. They grieve over what they see coming to this little world unless her inhabitants drastically change their attitudes, ways, and means for the better very soon.
Anyway, verifiction stories are about heroes and paragons who struggled to survive in increasingly troublesome times, while striving to uphold their high ideals and godly principles. None of the narrators whose voices recall their efforts claimed to be first-rate writers. In reconstructing their tales, I have and shall continue to do my best to stay faithful to the guidance provided on their behalf by my mentors, muses, and sources. If doing so requires me to employ a cliché or redundancy, then that is what I shall do. Please, excuse my adamance (see, there is another of those pesky terms, “adamancy”, that are accepted by convention, but which are too awkward for me to consider using). For I enjoy less sway in most matters regarding my writings than you might be tempted to suppose. If I told you what has happened whenever I have attempted to jazz up a story or insert a word or phrase that I have been warned not to use, you would, no doubt, judge me to be less than sane. Even so, I know what the rules are for my participation in this project and I shall do my best to adhere to them no matter what. The alternative is much worse than the possibility of merely being consigned to obscurity.
Please, keep in mind that the nations, peoples, cultures, societies, and worlds described in my verifiction tales are every bit as important as are the individuals that I depict. And so, if it seems that I occasionally give you too much information, I apologize. I endeavor to refrain from doing so, but sometimes my enthusiasm runs amok and becomes regrettably willful. Furthermore, I portray the characters in my tales as they were, and in some cases, as they still are. Now, I do not always approve of what either the protagonists or antagonists did, thought, or said. So, I implore you to forgo accusing me of glorifying vice, drugs, wanton sex, or perversity of any kind. For I am obliged to present the truth whether palatable or not.
Thank you for your consideration,
James Howard Trusty/Sphyrex