Review: Starfire

Greetings,

Starfire - Stuart Vaughn Stockton

Starfire - Stuart Vaughn Stockton

Here I am again to review yet another Marcher Lord Press novel, and again, this is one of my favorites (no, I won’t say that about all of them, but probably about most of them, haha).

Starfire, by Stuart Vaughn Stockton. Awesome book. Pure awesomeness.

His characters were deep, memorable, connectable (i.e., I empathized with them); his world’s premise, development, weaving, and execution were absolutely stunning; and his story’s plot, intricacy, concept, and progression were perfectly crafted.

And it was beautifully unique: I mean, who has ever thought of doing a high fantasy sci-fi story with a world populated entirely by dinosaurs? I know I never did, but I wish I had. Brilliant idea, hard to execute though. But he did a marvelous job of it.

And then, who wouldn’t like to read a book from the perspective of someone tasked with the creation of a world-wide catastrophe??

These kinds of things make it really hard to publish, though, at least with regular publishing venues. With Marcher Lord Press and other companies like them, it becomes very possible to get awesome stuff like this into the hands of voracious and thankful readers like me. And like you. 😉

Starfire stands out in my mind as a Wow Book. I can’t wait to read it again.

The morals, the theme, the lessons, could even be described as life-changing. Powerful stuff, deep thinking, great challenges.

Another six out of five. 🙂 So go check it out.

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A Party and a Very Special Announcement!

Hey there everyone!

* Is very excited *

A year ago, on September 20th of 2009, I started a forum on a whim. I did it mainly because I was lazy and wanted one centralized location on which to discuss my stories and world with my few fantasy friends. So I guess it was sort of ego-centric too (except I wanted to hear about their stories too, but whatever).

I invented a name more or less off the top of my head, threw together a forum, grabbed a theme off the internet, cobbled together some neat sounding names, and let my friends know. There were maybe 6 or so of us, but we liked it.

More than I expected. They loved it, and started telling everyone about it. I thought that was cool, so I told more of my friends about it too, posting on the different forums I am a part of, and etcetera.

And so people started to flood in. And they all loved it!

That was a shock to me. I mean, managing forums and communities is work, and I was kind of busy (I did, after all, start it because I was lazy and trying to save time, never mind about that…). But it was also kind of cool.

I mean, really cool.

There were these brilliant people all working together and talking and making friends and posting awesome stuff and in general being a model community. Very awesome. I loved my people (I still do, too). So I started improving the forums, adding mods and hacks and bbcodes and a logo and a website and a blog and a domain name and whatnot. All the stuff a real community ought to have. It was fun. 🙂

Well, it has been a year, and it is well over a hundred members strong, and I have a core team of dedicated Moderators and Marcher Lords and Honor Roll Members and Editors and etceteras. I also have an inner circle of lovely people who have joined together with me to take Holy Worlds to its extreme limits for the glory of God.

We have great plans.

And so that is why we are all very excited about October 21st. Why?

Because that is a year, a month, and a day since the founding. And we are going to celebrate by having a massive party on the forums. And you are invited. 😀

We want to break the record for the most number of users online at once (it is 30 right now, so this is going to be fun). We are going to invade the chat room (yep, we got one of those too in there). We are going to have contests and surprises and presents for everyone.

And…

We are going to officially open the Holy Worlds Sci-Fi Forum!

Yes, we are expanding to include a sci-fi forum just for all you space-heads out there (well, me too, ’cause I like sci-fi too).

So if you are a member of HW, make sure you come at or around noon (EST) on the 21st of this month to www.holyworlds.org. And see if you can bring a friend! We will have admins standing by to activate new accounts, so if you got a friend who loves Christian fantasy or sci-fi, tell them to come and register. We would love to have them! This is a great time to tell people about us.

See you all then!

What Do You Want Me To Write? :D

The book

Image by Dave Heuts via Flickr

Hey everyone!

I am planning to write a book (well, several books). I have a few topics for non-fiction books, and I have well over 20 concepts for novels in various stages of development, in both fantasy and sci-fi genres. I know roughly what my writing plans are for the fiction end of things will be…

But I am also planning to write a non-fiction book and publish it. It will be along the lines of what I am writing here in this blog: advocating outside-the-box, logical, Biblical lexicology and hermeneutics. I will take a set of concepts that I have expounded on here, and expand on them, examining all the different facets, and answering objections, and present them in a book form.

And, knowing me, it won’t be dry theology either. Be prepared for lots of humor, drama, and probably short stories illustrating points (you can’t keep me from writing fiction even when I am writing non-fiction). 😉

And also expect to have a hand in helping me bring it to fruition. This is a community project as much as a Jay Lauser project. I want you, my loyal friends, to help me in every stage of this creation. From picking a topic, to figuring out what to include, to helping present counter-points, to giving feedback, to editing, and of course to get all of that you will be getting insider reports on my progress and reading my stuff before anyone else in the world. Happy yet?

So First Things First. What topic would you most like me to publish a book on? Ask your friends, look at the state of the world, at what our generation most needs to hear, look back at my old posts, and think about what we have talked about, and let me know what you think I should present as my debut non-fiction work.

I can’t wait to hear what y’all say. 🙂

(Oh, if you don’t want to comment below, you can email me at jay.lauser@sir-emeth.com.)

A New Look for Holy Worlds!

We are very excited over at Holy Worlds, my site dedicated to Christian fantasy writing. We just went over 100 members on the forum! This is a big milestone for us, and in honor of the occasion, I put into place a few special changes.

The homepage, the blog, and even the forum header all got new looks!

But even cooler than that, we have our very first promo video up on the homepage, and on youtube! Check it out below:

Let me know what you think of the video and the new looks everywhere in the comments!

Shë Yösaoi – The Sylphs

Well now, it has been a long time since I last made an installment in this series…essence page for sylphs

Shë Yösaoi. The Masters of the Air and Winds. Second-born of the tribes of Ithelak. Ancient in lore and thought. Lost from the middle spheres of the world for centuries and millenniums. Remembered only for their last great act: their treachery in the Great War.

The second-born of the race of creatures that God created to call His children, were twins one of another. They were white in flesh and hair, and their eyes were a clear blue like that of the edge of a white cloud mirroring the sky. Their joyful voices and laughter cheered all who heard them, and they made many childish songs that are now regarded as supreme works of genius and art. Their names were Aoæma and Omiei.

They grew rapidly, and soon outstripped Ëlwëth in height and in prowess in climbing, for they always loved the high places. They often climbed together in the mountains and trees, rejoicing in the feel of the wind in their light hair and on their limbs.

Gradually as they grew older, they came to love each other in more than just friendship and siblinghood. At last in their maturity they were wed to each other, and loved each other yet the more.

When the time came for the gifts of God to be given to the tribes, they were blessed very greatly to their liking. They were given great ability in song and speech, and in the powers of the Aurein, such that they were able to lift themselves up into the air and climb to great heights unreachable before. They were also enabled to command the air to form itself into an invisible solid at their bidding and design, either by will or by song. They used this to build great bridges and stairs in the mountains that opened up great regions to others not as agile and able as them. They were also gifted with a keenness of sensitivity to the weather, and were able to predict what would soon occur with ease.

When the rebellion took place, they shrunk from combat, and hid in the mountains, but were seduced by the Dwarves in the end to the side of darkness, and were broken in the ensuing war. After the Deluge, they retreated to their fastnesses in the mountains and came rarely to the middle sphere of the world, preferring to live in liberty from the confines of society.

When the Great War came, they withdrew even farther, not daring to make any appearance lest they became involved. But even they could not avoid it in the end, and they joined the Elves on the request of the Zidain, the Wizards. But soon after they engaged in the battle and won great victories for the right side, they fell away and tried to set up their own empire, and were tricked by the Men into aiding the cause of darkness, though they knew it not. They became hated for this, and for breaking their oath to help in the war, and they fled to the mountains, leaving little trace of their involvement, except in legend.

They dwindled gradually to weakness, even in their own heights. But they remained pure from mingling the longest, and thus maintained their power, and became known as hermit magicians who hated people and cast trapping spells on unwary explorers of the mountains. But these were rarely true, and they liked most to live in simplicity and peace on their mountains, tending their cattle and living with the wind and their voices.

This is a long-awaited article on the 5th of my 7 tribes in Ithelak, my world. I am not sure when the next will come out, but I hope it won’t take as long as this to write. 🙂 If you want to read the rest of the series, follow this link:

https://siremethmimetes.wordpress.com/tag/tribes/

Let me know what you think! And feel more than free to ask questions. I love to talk about my world. 😀

Making a Language

Greetings,

In the Holy Worlds forum, I was asked how I make languages. The following is my response.

Languages are hard to make to completion (although my lexicon manager will make that very different when I finish it), but you rarely need a ‘complete’ language. What I am going to do is give a short list of some things that make your language get off to a good start, and how to implement them. Please ask questions and start more threads about each piece as you do them! 🙂

First, you need to figure out what your language sounds like. So you need to first pick the sounds that will be in it. Believe it or not, there are a lot of sounds that you can put into a language, and you only need to do a few of them. Greek does not have a /j/ sound! So make a list. Some research will really help you do this part well. I might post a list of sounds in another thread.

Then figure out how those sounds are allowed to be organized in your language. Base it on syllables, not words. What consonant clusters are allowed (‘/t/s/’ might be, but ‘/d/r/’ might not), and where (‘/t/s/’ might be permitted only at the start of syllables, and ‘/s/t/’ only at the ends)? What vowels are allowed where, and in what combinations? Some languages are mainly diphonic, meaning that they mainly do words in a cvcvcv order (ka-ta-ka-na). Others, like English, allow a wide variety of syllable structures.

Then figure out where your grammar is going to be structured. Is it going to be primarily in suffixes and prefixes (like Latin), with practically no reliance on sentence structure, or is it going to be primarily sentence structure, or a mixture? This is the hardest part for me, and can be skipped somewhat if you are not aiming at a complete language. Mainly you just need to figure out what kinds of things you need to prefixes and suffixes for.

Then you can, if you haven’t already, make your writing system. This is the funnest part, and I tend to actually start with this. You can do it in a huge variety of ways, and you can really have a lot of fun with it.

Now you really have all you need to use the language. If you need a word or a name in it, all you need to do is create a word that matches the structure of your language. That is it! Now, if you want to continue making it into a full fledged language (so that you can write poetry in it, for example), you have only just begun. You need to finish developing your grammar, and then you need to build your vocabulary. This last is the hardest part, and I have never actually finished a full vocabulary. Again, my lexicon manager will make it much easier (I hope), and we will all soon be able to make our own full fledged languages!

I hope that answers your first question. Unfortunately, I am sure that I have made more questions than ever. And maybe I have even made some people made at me because they have a different way of doing it. That is fine, I would be glad to hear of other ways! I like mine, but that is because it is the only one I know about. 🙂

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser aka Sir Emeth Mimetes