Noel Coughlan

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Member Since
August 2013

My name is Noel Coughlan. I am married and have a daughter. I live in Ireland.

From a young age, I was always writing a book. Generally, the first page over and over. Sometimes, I even reached the second page before I had shredded the entire copy book.

In my teenage years, I wrote some poetry, some of which would make a Vogon blush.

When I was fourteen, I had a dream. It was of a world where the inhabitants believed that each hue of light was a separate god, and that matter was simply another form of light.

I tinkered with the idea for a couple of decades, putting together mythologies, histories, maps etc. but world building isn’t worth much without a gripping story.

And then I finally found one, a tale so compelling I had to write it.

The Golden

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Noel Coughlan From my early teens, I wanted to create an original secondary world with a novel mythology. I conceived the Photocosm, as I now call it, as a world…moreFrom my early teens, I wanted to create an original secondary world with a novel mythology. I conceived the Photocosm, as I now call it, as a world where the inhabitants practiced a religion/pseudoscience centring around colour. Mr Blue Sky by ELO may have been an influence. The gods of this world were Lights of different colours, and matter was simply a tangible form of light. Also, darkness was not merely the absence of light but a light in its own right. The universe was a product of the interaction of these divine lights. I wrote a creation myth around this idea, and you get a glimpse of some of the events in that story in the novel.

The initial focus of my writing was the offspring of the Dark Light, the Sables. However, I was eventually drawn to the Ors, the people of Aurelian, the Golden Light. One influence in their creation was an image of a pre-Christian Irish stone head I had seen in some school history book. I suspect that the head actually may have had three faces, but the picture showed only two, in effect making the bust a sort of bald Janus.

I like looking at the world from radically alien perspectives, though they are very challenging to write because the reader needs to understand the mindset of those characters to appreciate the logic of their actions. Sometimes they’re a bit counterintuitive. I created the Stretchers initially as proxy for the reader, but they took on a life of their own. The forked cross is based on a forked stone in Ireland. It is also like a fork in a road. The saints are loosely based the early church in Ireland with a frisson of druidic authority. Irish folklore, particularly the changeling, plays a big part in their relationship with the Ors.

Lastly, the name of the book is an inversion of the normal association of evil with darkness. One of Aurelian’s many titles is Bright Lord, an inversion of Dark Lord. I like twisting and inverting things because well it’s more fun. (less)
Average rating: 4.08 · 66 ratings · 38 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
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The Fate Healer

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 2016 — 3 editions
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The Murder Seat

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More books by Noel Coughlan…
Finishing the 2nd draft of novel codenamed Spaghetti 1 at about 70k words, I immediately started on the 3rd draft. This draft will work through the detail of the story. I have the skeleton but it needs to be fleshed out in a lot of places. The organs are there, but some are too small or too big or in the wrong place.

This draft is also about making decisions. I must expunge the narrative scars o... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on February 10, 2017 01:20 • 60 views
A Bright Power Rising The Parting Gift The Unconquered Sun
(3 books)
4.17 avg rating — 47 ratings

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Startide Rising by David Brin
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The starship Streaker, crewed mostly by dolphins, has discovered what may be evidence of the race that started the whole cycle of uplift throughout the galaxy. Several other alien species, intercepting Streaker's message about the discovery to Earth, ...more
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Sundiver by David Brin
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The Earth has been brought into the galactic fold, but finds itself a pariah because of its dubious pedigree. All the other races in the galaxy have achieved sentience through uplift by older and wiser species. Or so the galactics' propaganda maintai ...more
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Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler
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As one of the characters, B.J. Voisard, might describe it, this story is exactly like the quest for the grail, except it takes place in late 19th century America instead of medieval England, and instead of a grail there’s a mysterious woman with an u ...more
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City by Clifford D. Simak
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This is a series of eight interlinked stories that deal with different generations of the Webster family and their robot servant Jenkins over thousands of years. Beginning the abandonment of the cities due to technological advances, it moves on to ex ...more
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Swastika Night by Katharine Burdekin
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Limbo by Bernard Wolfe
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Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin
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The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe by D.G. Compton
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Katherine Mortenhoe has a terminal illness at an age that is extremely rare in her time. This makes her fodder for a voyeuristic reality television show determined to track the final weeks of her life in humiliating detail. Roddie, whose eyes have be ...more
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