Imaginary worlds can play such a big role in our lives. So many people have been moved by Middle Earth, many of us know which Hogwarts House we should be in. As adults we can invest a surprising amount of passion and energy in things that do not, in any tangible sense, exist. And those investments can have huge, real world consequences. How many people get into physics because they secretly hope to invent warp drive, or the light sabre? We have to imagine something before we can make it real.
Creating a world is an incredible process. Creating a setting that is not exactly the world you inhabit is plenty enough of a job. Living between the world that is seen, and a world that is only seen by you is a strange sort of thing to engage in. Those more drawn to shamanistic world views might be inclined to wonder how much the world a creator ‘sees’ was there already, just waiting to be found…
When a speculative book comes into the world, we get to interact with each other’s imaginary places. One of the great joys for me, in helping Tom create Hopeless Maine, has been watching people get involved and make parts of the story their own. It’s a roomy reality, it’s always been open to collaborators, and back when we were running The Hopeless Vendetta regularly – the island’s newspaper, people really did get involved in the stories. (Do, do read the comments).
Hopeless Maine is back out – volumes one and two in a single edition, plus The Blind Fisherman (previously on the webcomic but not previously on paper) and a new small story about Reverend Davies.
The Book Depository has been the most reliable place to find a copy, it’s available all over, but keeps selling out! http://www.bookdepository.com/Hopeless–Maine–Volume-1/9781908830128
At the same time, Kevan Manwaring’s The Long Woman has just re-released. This is book one of a five book series and I know the rest are on their way. The Long Woman has more of this world in it than the other four books, but it opens the door to a fabulous, speculative otherworld. It’s a setting that I very much enjoy and am delighted to be re-reading (plus, I’ve books four and five yet to read!).
The Long Woman is on Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1906900442
There’s something wonderful about being able to share in, engage with, talk about other people’s fictional realities. Worlds made of dream and hope, of nightmare and concern, and everything that goes on inside a person.