Fictional authors in The Shadow Histories
The Shadow Histories’ chapters are often headed or concluded by quotes from the writings of named authors. They may be reporters, storytellers, lecturers, historians, or commentators – and they are all integral to the period and setting of the novels.
Many of the quotes also list the books or articles from which the selections have been taken. In addition, there are also addresses of netsites, suggesting that further information about these authors may be researched online; for example, egl.newalbionmyths, or egl.microlitesalvagers, or egl.mythiccodesandshadowwars.
All these accredited authors exist only in the world of The Shadow Histories, as do their writings and authoritative references to other works. They may even make an appearance within the stories under their own name or alternative names from an earlier incarnation. Many lead characters have a variety of aliases, nicknames, assumed identities, and code names. After all, that is what The Shadow Histories is all about: the truths that lie behind the events in history that we only think we understand.
The device of establishing a fictional stable of authors and their works is one I have much admired in the writings of others, most notably James Herbert in his Dune series. It can help to establish the believability of a created world, giving it a strong historical foundation. A significant number of these cited written works have been completed, at least in part. In the case of Jean Frecé, author of children’s cautionary tales, the full book exists along with accompanying illustrations.
The role of storytellers is an important central concept in the world of The Shadow Histories. The power of narrative to influence a populace can be a powerful force and can be wielded in so many ways. In a world struggling to recover from two devastating world catastrophes, it can unite a people’s sense of identity. There are many parallels between the real world as it was after two World Wars and the events in The Shadow Histories.
The Ortumnials are a group of journeymen storytellers dedicated to fostering hope and imbuing purpose in the post-Event populace. They never identify themselves as anything more than ordinary balladeers or raconteurs of epic story cycles and inspiring yarns. They pop up at fayres and gatherings all over the country. In fact, their work is highly secretive and part of a mysterious order of dedicated humanitarians. They operate undercover, often posing as labouring itinerants travelling rough, or sometimes disguised as hobos.
Many fanciful ideas and myths surround their existence, including that they are magicians, or Dream Collectors, or even the companions of angelic entities. The truth is that no one knows the true origins or intentions of these Ortumnials. They are, in fact, members of an elite inner order of the Sufinam dedicated to arcane methods of protecting and nurturing the emotional, spiritual, and mental welfare of the recovering nation.
Some authors quoted in The Shadow Histories:
- Thomas Carlan Morledge aka Old Tom Morledge. ‘Gifts To Come’; ‘All is Pattern. Everything is Code’; ‘Mystery And Evolution’, a lecture given at the Recovery Institute of Britain.
- Brough Savage. Storyteller, poet, translator of OE Anglo Saxon epic poems. “To route the loathsome foes of shade, Did Waelbeorc’s twenty fence the glade. Great hack-edged shields to guard the mound, That none may yield or lose the ground.” – From the epic ‘Waelbeorc’s Stand’.
- Jean Frecé. Poet and author of scary children’s tales. ‘Lethal Lullabies and Cautionary Tales’; ‘Iski Friski Dora’; ‘Oncely Twicely, Do It Very Nicely.’
- Cullie Brown. A writer who contributes netsite articles on myths and legends of the Aelim–Chameleon wars. ‘The Aelim in Human History’; “We are all that is left of a race who were once beings of light.” – From the Peaks Engravings translations of 1999.
- Rue Brawler. “Watch the storm coming. Your system’s in shock. The Earth’s weeping shadows. It’s time to take stock...” – From ‘Hobo Holocaust’.
- Charles Oakham. Professor of Literature and storytelling. ‘Crucible of the First Thought’.
- Shell Harker. Writer for Privacy Booth Magazine.
- Kerin Havers. 80-year-old UK industrialist who wrote a collection of sinister stories called ‘Ghost Legends’ in the 1950s and 60s.
- Bronco Mason. Microliter and visionary poet whose exploits were recorded in ‘A Guardian Reflects’.
- James W Carter. Specialist in myths and post-Event sagas, e.g. Leyuman and Thorn Seed.
- Beowulf Clark. Writes commentaries on eastern texts ‘The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu: The Way of the Warrior’, and other ancient texts.
- Joss Moffat-Smith. Writer for Phoenix comic and Radio Adventures of Doc Shade and his Science Hero Liberty Team.
- Jem Barnstable. Articles on Bloom historical records. Articles on post-Event public transport and resources in News Archive Services, egl.bloomhistory.co.uk
- David C Beltane. “This is the truth of our lives, that we are none of us alone…” – From a 1914 lecture pamphlet ‘Deprived of Form’.
- Lapis Kent. “There are no dead ends. There is always a way out, even if it is the way you came in.” – From ‘Amber Child: A Tale of Mythic Codes and Abnormalities’.
- Cate Waverly. Claims co-credit of the translation of the Peaks Engravings. Also writes on the re-establishment of worldwide electronic communications, ‘Increasing Use of The Electronic Global Linkup’.
- Suskind Gromsen. ‘Legends of the Six Thorn Seeds: God Weaving and Dream Paths: The Dream Lore’. (A reference to enigmatic Peaks Engravings mentioning the Meldae, shapeshifters or chameleon beings.)
- Fidious Leath aka Thomas Carlan Morledge. “We are all hiding, wanting to be found…” – From ‘A Many Divided Strength’.