A visit with Lionel and Patricia

POST SCRIPT

It’s been well over a year since I wound up the Galaxy 666 Podcast, but I wanted to add this post script.  I completed the podcast while living in Japan, and now I’ve moved onto Germany.  This summer, my family and I had a chance to get back to England and Cornwall (we used to live in Cornwall), and I had the great fortune of being able to meet Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe at their home in Wales.

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Their home is a quite modest and comfortable row-house along one of the neighborhood streets of Cardiff.  It was raining lightly, and they showed me into the parlour where we spent a pleasant hour talking about writing, story and some of the work that Lionel and Patricia have recently been working on.

The parlor was filled with pictures of their daughters and many statues of frogs given to them by their friends from around the world.  The frogs are meaningful as L&P have been working on a book that takes place in a frog world at a location called “the pond.”  It is currently being illustrated and should be coming out in the near future.  As a result, people have taken to sending them many a frog (as you can see in this picture).  I don’t recall the title, but it will be published on their actual names so it is one to keep on the look out for.

Another work they have in the planning stages is based on the life of Joan of Arc.  It is a historical fiction (a “fact-tion” as Lionel calls it) where research they have gathered is tied together with their own literary creations and story to tell of, perhaps, how Jeanne d’Arc escaped the fires of Vieux-Marché in Rouen.  Lionel and Patricia have done a lot of traveling and research into all sorts of mysterious tales and have released a string of books (see “The World’s Greatest Unsolved Mysteries”) taking advantage of Lionel’s great skill in telling a good tale, so this yarn appears to be right up their alley.

We also spent a fair amount of time discussing their Derl Wothor trilogy which has recently been re-released in a Kindle version.  Derl Wothor (an anagram of “other world”–these MENSA people just can’t resist) is a world L&P populated with three larger than life characters, the Black Lion, the Golden Tiger and Zotala the priest.  Each of the main character’s represent an separate aspect of a person’s nature; the Black Lion is the need to be in control–to conquer life, the Golden Dragon is the need to enjoy life and live in the moment, and Zotala is the need for one’s life to matter and to be of service to others.

It was a great visit for me and a highlight of my trip.  It was good to simply talk about writing and character and to see that L&P are far from stopping with more exciting stories on the way.  I am also glad I had the chance to thank him in person for all the fun of the Badger Years, and I greatly appreciate his gift to me of a copy of Debbie Cross’s work, Down the Badger Hole–a book that any fan of Galaxy 666 should have a copy of.

 

Jack Molesworth,

Stuttgart, Germany

23 July 2016

 

 

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Session 71

Audio link

Welcome back fellow travelers to Galaxy 666 and our big farewell.

Please have your glasses of alco ready to raise for our final toast.

To our friend Havah for her help in creating the energy that led to the Galaxy 666 Podcast.  Your enthusiasm and sense of fun gave this project the great initial boost it needed.  It would not have happened without you.

To Darren Nash and the team at Orion Publishing for helping me obtain permission to use Galaxy 666.  Thank you so much for this great opportunity.  For everyone else, please don’t forget about them at SFGateway.com.  They have many more titles from ‘ole Badger Publishing that deserve a look as well.

To my dear friend Kelly for going through every single session as I was producing them and telling me only what I wanted to hear.  It was always great to get your caustic and drool comments–hopefully one day we will get that chance to buy telescopes and hang-out doing nothing but watching stars.

To Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe for their dedication in writing so much so fast in such a crazy way that they have left behind a fantastic body of fun to explore and enjoy.  I loved Galaxy 666 and always will.  Thank you so much for creating it, and giving me permission to do the podcast.

And finally, to all of you who came out with us on our journey whether that happened now, on 26 June 2015, or sometime in the future.  This podcast wasn’t done to create a following, but it always felt great to see that someone else joined.  I hope you had fun and found it worthwhile.

Kampai!

We have one more session, and best to get to it, so curl-up, turn up the volume, turn down the lights and prepare to veg out.

See you out there, in Galaxy 666.

Your humble guide, TEWG

Your humble guide, TEWG (Japan, 2014)

Session 70

Audio link

Welcome back fellow travelers to Galaxy 666.

Here is where we end it, the podcast of the worst novel ever written–an unbridled success.  “Success” is a word like “tall,” it means different things to different people.  You may be confused at my pronouncement of the Galaxy 666 Podcast as a “success” so I should probably spend a moment defining “success” in this case.

First, and probably most importantly, we did it.  We went from an idea over a dinner table with friends to the completion of a 71 session podcast that will now ride wordpress and internet archives and youtube for as long as they exist.  Creating the podcast involved getting publisher and writer permissions; learning about face-book, twitter, tumblr, audacity, auphonic, Amazon S3, internet archives, feedburner, youtube, Itunes and wordpress–many of which I had never even heard of prior to this.  It involved months of script writing, recording, voice acting (attempted), research and sound editing–much of which was a lot of fun ‘though still demanding.  Throughout I received support and input from friends which really made it a great time, and I have now created something to spur the memories of my kids someday so that they recall the fun we had going through Galaxy 666 a long time ago. To me, that’s success.

And I have to say, that is why I also consider Galaxy 666 a success.  It has been a joy to me, and certainly I have gone far beyond what poor Lionel and Patricia had ever intended, but it usually is for the reader to add their own thoughts to any book they read.

Now, once more into the breach dear friends, once more.

As always, your faithful guide,

TEWG

Session 69

Audio link

Welcome back fellow travelers to Galaxy 666.

Our remaining time together is short.  Don’t think me premature, but we must all start to form our post Galaxy 666 plans.  We all knew, some prayed, that it would all come to an end someday, and that end is nigh.

For me, I plan to move onto politics, work at my own form of nation building.  If there has been one thing that life in Galaxy 666 has taught me, it’s that I should go into politics, and work at my own form of nation building.  I don’t know what everyone else’s plans are, but would love to learn. Perhaps we may all meet again someday to relive the joy and memories. Unless, it’s like a hundred years from now and I’m dead or something.  But I might have some kind of cyborg brain or be in the great collective internet consciousness so you can still try to look me up.  Anyway, nation building.

YFG TEWG

Session 68

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Welcome back fellow travelers to Galaxy 666.

Travel has always been an important feature of literature, either the journey to somewhere new or the arrival of something new.  But why should it be so?

Travel is movement to something new, the change from the static.  It is that initial change that causes all pieces of an environment (especially the characters) to change, and it is that change, the mystery of how all conflicts will be resolved, which is of interest to us.

Literature shows life and reflects life.  We are comfortable knowing what is coming, but we also find it dull.  Instilling a change, going on the journey, accepting the new into our lives, is far more interesting, maybe because it could prove dangerous.  Change gives life color and fun, which is why we do and should travel.  So let us travel now into Galaxy 666.

YFG TEWG

Session 67

Audio Link

Welcome back fellow travelers to Galaxy 666.

A time of sums and reckoning is upon us.  At the end of our journey we must tally our results to see if our goals have been achieved, and I regret to inform you, my most devoted fans, we fallen far short of aims.

The Italian Galaxy 666 political party, did not take off; the grammy for best Galaxy 666 Podcast was not awarded to us; our attempts to negotiate the purchase of a small Pacific Island for some change and a pair of nail clippers I found in the car have come to naught; and our herculean efforts to cut a mountain into the shape of a large spaceship flying through an elaborate, yet tasteful depiction of the Galaxy 666 logo only resulted in my getting lost and contracting a case of poison ivy.

And yet, can we be truly sad?  Of course, we can.  Had a we set our goals lower, might we have achieved them?  Probably not.  But we can say, “you don’t win if you don’t try.”  We might as well say that, as there is sod-all anything else left to do.  Except of course slip back into our addictive habit of visiting that most peculiar of novels.  Galaxy 666.

YFG TEWG

Session 66

Audio Link

Welcome back fellow travelers to Galaxy 666.

We have reached the final chapter of Galaxy 666 and our journey begins to come to a close. Death, it is said, is only a end if you think the story is about you.  A novel is the same.  As it comes to a close, Spring continues to move into the Summer, the plans we made continue to unfold and unravel.  We age, we procreate, we dream, we try, we fail.

We are in the middle of a never ending river that will carry us along for a short time, allowing us a brief interaction, before it leaves us behind and continues on to support, trick and amuse other travelers.  The key feature of being a traveler is that sense of “just passing through,” of not being tied to where we are at the moment, or maybe anywhere.  Maybe the journey that we are on is only one of millions of journeys of which we are a part.  Some belong to us, some belong to others. Each eventually ending, just as others continue on.

So now, let us begin to end, remembering all of our other journeys, and those of those around us that will continue beyond Galaxy 666.

YFG TEWG