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Alien crystal root system in Win Scott Eckert's The Wild Huntsman

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message 1: by Will (last edited May 11, 2018 09:02AM) (new) - added it

Will Emmons | 40 comments Mod
I finally got around to reading "The Wild Huntsman" by our learned colleague Win Scott Eckert. If you haven't read it, you ought to. It's a sort of whodunnit centering around the events of 1795 Wold Newton meteor strike cum face off across the millenia between Time's Last Gift's John Gribardsun and the WNU version of XauXaz over the millenia. The story is suspenseful and full of neat Easter eggs, plus it has an understated humdinger of an ending. You should read it if you haven't. It's available in both Tales of the Wold Newton Universe (page no. references refer to this edition) and The Worlds of Philip Jose Farmer 3: Portrait of a Trickster.

Anyway -- and this is directed toward Win Scott Eckert or Christopher Paul Carey as much as anyone -- the details from the short story I'm interested in discussing are

(1) Gribardsun's revelation that an alien crystal root system like the one his younger self encountered in 1918 in The Dark Heart of Time: A Tarzan Novel was ultimately what brought down Khokarsa; (p. 460) and

(2) the discussion of the relationship between these crystal roots and the oracle of Kho. In reference to a gemstone on XauXaz's watch, Gribardsun reflects:

"The blue sapphire reminded Gribardsun of the nethkarna*, the seed of the Tree of Kho, which the Khokarsan oracles had planted beneath their temples to tap into the root system across Africa, thus gaining their oracular powers." (p. 471)

*(According to PJF and Chris Carey's Khokarsan glossary-- "neth" means pure, white, intense; "kar" means tree; and "na" means stone, hard, stubborn. See Flight to Opar: Restored Edition p. 306, 308)

My questions are:

(1) Are the crystal roots subtly referenced in The Song of Kwasin: Khokarsa Series #3 or elsewhere in Khokarsa series and/or related scholarly materials?

(2) Same question but for the nethkarna.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out. The fanzine article I'm working on is about the Dark Heart of Time and the Book of Tiznak (from The Stone God Awakens), so I want to make sure I'm not missing anything in these areas.


message 2: by Win (new) - rated it 5 stars

Win Scott Eckert (win_scott_eckert) | 37 comments Will - Thanks for noticing these details and commenting. The items you reference are all from Chris' research and discoveries. I consulted quite a lot with Chris on these topics while writing this story, so I don't want to steal any of his thunder. Hopefully he'll reply or you might reach out to him directly. :-)

As long as you brought up my Wold Newton Origins cycle, I may as well plug the rest of the stories. The other official/licensed story is "Is He in Hell?" There are three unofficial/unlicensed "side-stream" tales; these did not directly utilize Phil's concepts and creations, and thus I was able to put them out unlicensed.

These three are:

Nadine's Invitation" in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 7: Femmes Fatales by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier (eds.) (Black Coat Press, December 2010); in The Vampire Almanac, Volume 2 by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier (eds.) (Black Coat Press, May 2015)

"Marguerite's Tears" in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 8: Agents Provocateurs by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier (eds.) (Black Coat Press, December 2011); " in The Vampire Almanac, Volume 2 by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier (eds.) (Black Coat Press, May 2015)

"Violet's Lament" in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 9: La Vie en Noir by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier (eds.) (Black Coat Press, December 2012); in The Vampire Almanac, Volume 2 by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier (eds.) (Black Coat Press, May 2015)

"Violet's Lament flows into my authorized Zorro tale, "Zorro's Rival," in More Tales of Zorro by Richard Dean Starr (ed.) (Moonstone Books, March 2011)

The recommended reading order for the full cycle is chronological:

Mid-November 1795 - “Is He in Hell?”
November 19-23, 1795 - “Nadine’s Invitation”
December 11-13, 1795 - “The Wild Huntsman” (with some scenes in other time periods)
1798 - “Marguerite’s Tears”
February-April 1815 - “Violet’s Lament”
1820 - "Zorro's Rival"


message 3: by Will (new) - added it

Will Emmons | 40 comments Mod
Thanks Win. I need to catch up on my Tales of Shadowmen reading.

I also want to give a shout out to our colleague Jason Aiken (another ToS contributor) of Pulp Crazy for answering some of my questions here via email. He encouraged me to check out Exiles of Kho for more on the nethkarna.

Finally, I the main reason I came to post was to note a possible connection to J.G. Ballard's The Crystal World (1966). I just started it, but the premise is that time has started to leach out of a remote mining community in Cameroon, Central Africa. The result is the flora and fauna (incl people) are becoming crystallized. This seems like a possible tie-in.


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