Saturday, July 27, 2019

Boats and Planes and Mystic Portals

Although my work-in-progress, the seventh Mora novel (to be titled Warrior of the Moon), is a fantasy set in another world it returns to the premise of the very first in the series (Coast of Spears), that is people from our world passing through a ‘gate’ to another. It is set some twenty-two years after the first story (in 1936) so the technology has changed some. Lots of small things are different, of course, weapons and such. These are details that can be dropped in when appropriate, or ignored if not important to the plot.

What is important are the means of transportation that got them there. As our portal is located in the South Pacific, this means boat or airplane. Malvern and his fellows from the first books came through on a fairly large private yacht sailing from Panama (the Canal had just opened) to Tahiti. Before their time, canoes or rafts of varying sorts had brought through Polynesians, Proto-Malays, Australian Aborginals, etc. for millennia.

My first concern was Lady Lydia Viney, an Amelia Earhart want-to-be who takes it into her head to fly across the Pacific solo. For this journey she chooses a Fairchild Eighty-two single-engine float plane, modified for extra range. This is in part her choice because it is Canadian-made; Lady Lydia would rather not use something from America or Germany, and found nothing quite satisfactory made in Great Britain. Attempting such a crossing in such a machine is entirely plausible, even if a bit foolhardy. Of course, she was hopping from island to island, not flying nonstop. So I am good with that choice.

Then there is the more complicated subject of the Japanese submarine that comes through — the last visitor ever, most likely, as part of the plot concerns the blocking of the gate. One concern here is that the fate of most ships in the Japanese submarine fleet is known. How to get around that?

I have chosen to make it a vessel of the Kaichu class, a medium-sized submarine, and an older one, possibly built as early as World War One or shortly thereafter. I did toy with the idea of making it one of the German subs received as repatriations at the close of the war but decided against (though probably only I will know this — there is no need to go into any of its history in the story). Officially, this submarine will have been decommissioned and broken up; in fact, it has been secretly refitted for long-range spy missions. That is why it is cruising the South Pacific at that time. The Japanese military got wind of the research in Soviet Russia at the other gate located there (and also closed now — that happened in my non-Mora novel, Tsar of the Empty Lands) and are carrying out investigations of their own.

So I can have my submarine. To be sure, I needed (and may still need) to research it thoroughly even though the vessel itself does not play a big role (I think. Things could always change.) Perhaps some of this research can pay off in other books yet to be written. It definitely gave me some ideas to explore that might pop up in a future Wilk (non-fantasy adventures) novel. We’ll see about that.

Nothing, a poem


I have learned much about nothing
and wish to know even more;
to stuff my head full till it’s empty—
more so than it was before!
Creating the finest of vacuums,
one nature will surely abhor,
perfect to pack with the nothing
I’ll have even more space to store!

Stephen Brooke ©2019

Friday, July 26, 2019


A new look here at The Lucky Lad, after years of the rather customized theme we had been using. This completely new theme should be more user friendly both for us and for our readers. Yes, it looks a little bland compared to the old one, but that's not entirely a bad thing.

Some of this has to do with the demise of Google Plus a few months ago. Suddenly our traffic dropped way off without our sharing posts there. The hope is to link more to Twitter and FaceBook—which was a bit tedious to do with the old theme—as we post. And have no fear, after all these years The Lucky Lad has been around, we have every intention of continuing to post!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


One thing I have eschewed in all my fantasy fiction is the use of ‘spirits.’ By this I mean, all sorts of incorporeal beings, whether ghosts, demons, angels, human souls, elementals, what have you. As I do not believe in such entities in ‘real life’ it feels hypocritical to include them in the stories.

Rather, any and all beings of this sort are as solid as any other creature. They simply exist in other worlds. They are whole beings, not spirit joined to physical body — there are no souls moving from body to body or anything of that sort. I simply will not use that concept, nor will I base magic on any ‘spiritual’ force. Both allow way too much leeway and too many opportunities to fudge things.

As does all the paranormal stuff, telepathy, and so on that uses some sort of ill-defined ‘energy.’ All my magic is thoroughly mechanical and in some way relies on the ability to seek and/or travel through the infiniverse (and I do find the concept of infinite universes at least believable). Those are the boundaries I have set myself and I have stuck to them.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Warrior Theme

Before I start in on my narrative I sometimes write a preliminary/partial blurb just to help me focus on the central theme of the story. Here's what I have for 'Warrior of the Moon'—

Since he was small, Maratoa had held one desire above all others: to become a great warrior like his heroic father. Yes, he knew he had inherited sorcerous powers and, yes, he been trained in their use. But there was no place for a man with such abilities in Mora society.

Now the greatest of all wizards had crossed the ocean, on a mission that will decide the fate of their world. Does the fate of Maratoa also hang in the balance?

I'll revise and add stuff to that, of course, when the tale is finished. Maybe mention headhunters, lost aviators, etc, as best fits. Been doing more editing than writing the last few days (and watching tropical disturbance formation!) and it's also time to shift some attention to the release of 'The Crocodile God' in Sept.