Being the flitting butterfly that I am, I have picked up drafting Shadows of Our Fathers for the first time in three years. For those who don’t remember, Shadows of Our Fathers is the third and final book in the Primal Patterns series. In truth, when I had started the series, there were meant to be seven books. However, the series was not as popular as I hoped and most of that is on me. I cannot undo the way the initial book Lucifer’s Odyssey was written and promoted, but I can try to bring some closure to the series for anyone who cares to trod through my first novel Lucifer’s Odyssey.
Anyone who has read the Goblin Rebellion (the second book in the series) has told me they liked it better. Part of that sentiment is due to the fact that my second novel was of course going to be better organized and executed than my first one–after all, I gained a lot of experience in the process of creating the first one. However, I think the other reason for the general tepidness of reader interest in Lucifer’s Odyssey was because of its ambiguity, which I will admit was completely intentional and probably ill-advised as I was genuinely scared of the metafiction aspect of the novel to influence my career as a Computer Scientist and professional. As I said, I cannot undo what was done. I can try to complete the series, even if it is unfortunately shorter by four books. We’ll never see the trial of Archimedes. We’ll never see the Others. But we will see the finale of Lucifer’s Odyssey. We’ll see his fall.
So, what is this series? It’s four things.
First, it’s an expression of my love of Zelazny and the Plato’s cave analogy. The multiverse is a projection of primal patterns that intermingle, creating shadows and superpositions in a complex blend of fantasy and science fiction. It’s a space opera that expresses all of the things I love about authors like Vinge. It has adventure sprinkled in with science fiction and fantasy, more like Zelazny, but with the interesting possibilities of quantum physics and string theory like you might find in Vinge. There are so many easter eggs and winks to readers of Zelazny, especially. BTW, if you haven’t read the Great Book of Amber, please do so. It’s one of my favorites.
Second, it’s the other story of the Bible, the one that is outside of the influence of Jehovah and also one that tries to present the massiveness of space and the possibilities of immortals inhabiting it, moving through it, and ultimately exploiting it. In the Primal Patterns, there are really four major powers vying for a place in the multiverse. 1) Jehovah, he’s the one we all know about. He’s a scientist and creator of Order. He’s an angry smiter. He’s a spurned god. He’s so calculating, omnipotent and powerful that he’s scary, especially to his followers. 2) Gaea is the softer side of Order, the New Testament pairing to the Old. She seeks and offers love. She nurtures Jehovah’s creations. She gives them hope. 3) Lucifer is the leader of Chaos. He is the King. He’s a gifted demon who sees things that no one else can see in the chaos. His brother Sariel has such an amazing arc in this series. He helps Lucifer but his immaturity and his struggle to become who he is meant to be causes Lucifer’s fall, in many ways. 4) The Elven Realm. Oh, Elandril. Persephone. The Certamen. The grand creator Archimedes. You were honestly my favorite concept, a direct extension of my work in distributed artificial intelligence. No one deserves a break more than these gifted intellectuals. Oh well, there’s only going to be three books, but you will at least find stability in a weakened state.
Third, it’s propaganda, in a way. The Primal Patterns are written by an elf named Rex, himself an extension of my great uncle Rex, who was a cigar-smoking curmudgeon. The elves were allies of the demons, especially after the events of the Goblin Rebellion. For every action, there is a reaction, and Jehovah has earned the mistrust of the elves. The Primal Patterns series is meant to be a mixture of truths and lies, exaggerations and caricatures, like any fiction. But this kind of fiction is also another expression of a love of mine: “Official” histories like Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the Bible, really. If you read any of these skeptically, you can see where things are exaggerated for effect and sometimes metaphors are used to teach lessons. The Primal Patterns are like that, but wrapped in kernels of truth. How much is true? That’s for the reader to interpret, just like any other “official” history.
Fourth, it’s metafiction. It’s meant to make you question narratives you find elsewhere. It was written, in some way, to expand my own mind and allow me to openly think about a Bible that made more sense to me, one that included the vastness of space and an origin story for Lucifer and Jehovah that gave each powers that actually threatened each other. It started out with the relationship of Lucifer being imprisoned under Jehovah’s thumb, just as we see the Heaven/Hell relationship depicted in teachings from the Bible, but Lucifer escapes and he finds his way back into a position of power. Some of the strangest (to me) stories from the Bible get an expanded telling in the series, with a stronger tie to Jehovah’s intentions like the ARK and the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc. Revelations becomes reality. And it’s set in space, which is vast and so hard for any of us to wrap our minds around. And yet, we introduce concepts like multiverses and faster-than-light travel that make our already massive universe somehow even larger.
Anyway, based on the sales of Lucifer’s Odyssey and the Goblin Rebellion over the years, I don’t expect these to attract much interest when I release Shadows of Our Fathers, hopefully this year. But I did think it might be neat to share with some of you why this series was written, where it’s going, and when you might be able to expect the finale. I’m guessing sometime very late this year. Last quarter of the year.
Thanks for your patience and interest. Happy reading!