It’s Wizards…In Space!


cover design by Vivian Belenky

Yup, Wizards in space. Bet you’d never guess I’d work on a series with that premise…but I am! I’ve joined the Wizards In Space storyverse over at Fiction Vortex. Created by Archmage Eugene Morgulis, my fellow traveling wizards (okay, one’s a dragon) are Camille Kietzman and Vivian Belenky. We’re all really excited about this storyverse and our individual series as they’re also soon launching on the new app, Fictionite!
And me being me, I had to go and interview everyone, didn’t I? BTW, you can catch my interview with my series cover creator Lazslo Zakarias from tsg.pictures over here.

 So what’s all this storyverse business?
Fiction Vortex decided to create a ‘netflix’ type experience for readers by coming up with the storyverse boxes. What happened with ours is that Eugene created the universe in which magical wizardry replaces the technical sort. He wrote the Wizards In Space pilot episode, and FV sent out a call for submissions. Vivian, Camille and I went “Ooh! That’s interesting. I want in!” or something to that effect, and we submitted our ideas.
Eugene went, “Hmm, that’s interesting!” or something to that effect, and some interviews later, we were all working on our series and figuring out technical stuff like the names of major planets, the nature of elves/gnomes/trolls, the propulsion systems of space-craft (Vivian and Eugene mostly), and whether or not goblins are good-guys at heart within their goblin society.

What it all comes down to for you, is that you have four different storylines or series all set in the same universe! Each story is written in an episode (4 episodes in total for a month) so you can follow and read at leisure by downloading from Fiction Vortex or subscribing to Fictionite. You can read all series concurrently or you can go through each series one at a time. We’ve all got different styles and stories to tell you. Our protagonists are a mixed bag. So there’s something for everyone, provided you like the absurd Douglas Adams-meets Terry Pratchett with a bit of Ella Enchanted type of read.

I’ll let each of us tell you more about our series which should be available really soon–like really soon!

 

cover design by Daniel Priego

Eugene Morgulis:
Universe Creator/Voyages of the Ivory Scepter

Where did the idea for the universe Wizards In Space come from?
The idea came from two words that popped into my head one morning: “Space Wizards.” I began thinking about how wizards in fantasy literature, despite all of their power, never actually use their magic to explore the universe. They may traverse different spiritual realms or dimensional planes, but aren’t they also curious to see what’s on the moon or Mars? Or among the stars? Once I set out to write a story about space-faring wizards, I realized that the conventions fundamental to science fiction were easily transferable to fantasy.

Indeed, so many wonders of sci-fi technology are indistinguishable from magic: force shields are wards; laser guns are wands; view-screens are crystal balls. Artificial gravity may as well be a this-way-down enchantment. The Wizards in Space universe pokes fun at these tropes, while also telling stories that are full of comedy and adventure.

Chaos Magic, thaumutants and Merlin. How does the one work, and the others come in?
Readers might be surprised to discover that the Wizards in Space universe is actually our own universe. Or at least it was. History proceeded in the same way until the Arthurian Age (6th century). It was then that the legendary wizard Merlin unleashed a terrible powerthe Magiclysmthat literally rewrote the fabric of reality, making magic accessible to all (or most). It also spawned a wide variety of fantastical creatures (dwarves, elves, etc.) as well as thaumutants (a portmanteau of “thaumaturgical mutants”) – people born with magical abnormalities.
As for Chaos Magic, the less you know about it, the better. Okay fine
it’s a form of high-level magic that involves the reordering of reality, not unlike that which produced the Magiclysm, only wilder. The use of this power comes at a price of the practitioners’ limbs, which literally disappear as chaos spells are cast. Considered too volatile and dangerous, Chaos Magic has been illegal for ages. But, a few still practice this dark art…

What excites you the most about your series Voyages of the Ivory Scepter?
My favorite thing about Voyages of the Ivory Scepter is that it takes a familiar premise—a spaceship captain and his crew exploring the universe—and ramps up the crazy. Fans of Star Trek should immediately recognize the format, and (hopefully) enjoy the fantasy twists on their adventures.

Tell us more about Archmage Foster Bildenploy. Would you say he’s an anti-hero of sorts?
Foster is definitely a hero in the eyes of his crew (the ones he manages to keep alive, anyway). That said, he has some dark secrets, which is where the “anti” comes in. I don’t like to think of Foster as either a hero or a villain. If being heroic suits his needs, he’ll be heroic. If there’s something to gain from being less-than-heroic, he won’t hesitate. But, more than anything, Foster is a schemer. He always has a plan.

Can you give us a hint (not spoilers) of some of the challenges the crew of The Ivory Scepter might soon face?
Foster’s chickens are coming home to roost. His loyal crew will have to decide just how far their loyalty goes.

About Eugene Morgulis

Eugene was born in Ukraine, raised in Milwaukee, schooled in Boston, and now lives in Los Angeles. He writes speculative fiction and practices law in the fields of data privacy and cybersecurity.
Find out more about Eugene Morgulis
Fiction Vortex
Website

 

 

Cover design by Vivian Belenky

Vivian Belenky:
Chaos Theory

Where did the idea for Chaos Theory come from?
Once I heard the pitch for Wizards in Space, I got to thinking—what’s the funniest possible main character for a series that runs on magic? And the answer is, of course, someone who would approach this ridiculous world with a relentless, determined sense of rational logic—a scientist! Humor, I believe, must emerge from the tension of contrast, and more importantly, from character. Margot sprung up easily from those guiding principles.

Tell us more about your series.
Chaos Theory follows Margot Gunder, the disgraced magic grad-school dropout on a quest to scientifically describe a universe of magic. Signing on for the crew of Algernon Hornswoggle’s marvelous ship of dreams, she encounters taciturn ogres, elven farm girls, fairy insurgents, ragtag bands of goblins, malevolent, invasive species of dryad—but she’ll face anything to keep from having to go back home to her smug, anti-magic family. And that’s not even getting into the enigmatic, demented and pantsless Mr. Hornswoggle himself, out on a revenge quest to slay the dragon that allegedly bit off his leg.

I’m especially curious about dwarf Margot and Captain Algernon Hornswoggle. Who or what inspired these two characters?
Margot is based a lot on my experiences as a scientist, a lot on my girlfriend, and a lot on my desire to see a certain type of person represented in genre fiction.

Margot is a science hero, and beyond that, a gender non-conforming gay woman of color—whose story is still mostly about death rays, exploration, found family, and kicking ass in space.
Algernon is a lot easier—think Captain Ahab crossed with Han Solo, doused with glitter and glow-in-the-dark stars and infused with essence of pure, demented optimism.

What do you love the most about Chaos Theory?
The way the crew of the ship slowly grows to become a fire-forged family, despite their diverging goals and quests. Also, the banjo-wielding space elves.

Can you give us a hint (not spoilers) of some of the challenges Margot might soon face?
Beyond the difficulties of doing science in an unexplored field, beyond the troubles of dealing with her eccentric shipmates, beyond even the tacit disapproval of her passive-aggressive family, Margot will have to come to terms with exactly what she’s willing to give up in her pursuit of the truth.

About Vivian Belenky

Vivian Belenky is a student of physics and medicine, determined to pursue every possible thing under the sun, mainly so that they can write about it later. They write primarily fantasy, much of it of a deconstructive or satirical bent. Vivian’s influences include Tolkien, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, nearly all of whom are dead and therefore okay to pillage from.
Find out more about Vivian:
Fiction Vortex
Tumblr

 

 

cover design by Vivian Belenky

Camille Kietzman:
My Fair Dragon

Where did the idea for My Fair Dragon come from?
The idea just started with a simple thought of “what if a dragon thought she was human?” From there, I kept getting images of a dragon struggling to go about day to day life as a giant lizard-like animal, likely breaking and burning things in her wake but remaining enthusiastic nonetheless. Next, I wondered how people would react to a dragon walking around in the streets.

Since dragons are fairy tale creatures, I thought about a lot of classic fairy tales and how fun it might be to rewrite them with a creature usually playing the antagonist (a dragon) taking on the roles usually held by dainty princesses and cute little animals.

Tell us more about your series.
It’s ultimately a story about growing up, as well as a story about what “human nature” is. It’s a take on a lot of children’s stories I read as a kid, especially the ones that were about growing up, fitting in, and learning to accept yourself.

I love that My Fair Dragon draws a lot on fairy tales, and fits a growing dragon into them so effortlessly. Have you always had this ability?
I don’t feel that it’s an ability I have myself, so much as the versatility of fairy tales themselves. They are stories that survived for hundreds of years while just being passed orally for a reason, after all. They are larger than life, but they latch onto feelings and motivations that are almost universal. Because of this, they can be adapted to a variety of different settings. You can tell the story of Cinderella in a medieval setting with princes and fairy godmothers, or you can tell it in New York with wealthy business men and kind grandmothers and the story might still retain its essence. This adaptability makes it fairly simple to make these stories about a dragon in space—with a few twists of course.

What’s your favorite scene, so far, in My Fair Dragon?
Honestly, it’s pretty close to the beginning! I loved writing the early scenes with Tildey’s father, even though he’s going to be a distant figure in the future. His world-weariness provided a good background to contrast Tildey’s naivete with.

Can you give us a hint (not spoilers) of some of the challenges Tildey might soon face?
There are going to be different levels of rejection and hostility that Tildey will face, and sometimes the less violent reactions will be more insidious in the long run. On the other hand, her growing awareness of people is going to be her biggest challenge. She’ll have to struggle a lot with knowledge of how different she really is.

About Camille Kietzman

Camille Kietzman has been an avid fiction writer since she was eight years old. Somehow, she ended up spending five years getting a degree in classical vocal music only to immediately ditch the idea of a performance career and go back to writing. Thanks to both Harry Potter and Ender’s Game being banned in her household as a child, she has an enduring love of sci-fi and fantasy, and particularly loves stories with non-human protagonists.
Find out more about Camille
Fiction Vortex

 

 

 

Cover design by Laszlo Zakarias of tsg.pictures

Leenna Naidoo:
Quest For The Wholly Pale

Where did the idea for Quest For The Wholly Pale come from?
I’ve long wanted to write a Merlin-related story based on the fairy tales around Emrys and Lailoken. I always imagined it would be a dramatic tale set in Dark Ages Europe.

When I found the call for Wizards In Space, I immediately thought of my younger ideas for Emrys. Applying them to a spoof set in space with strong Merlin links seemed like too much of a fun idea to resist, especially when the quest idea wound its way in.

More about my series.
Inspired by Terry Pratchett and my old readings on Arthurian romances, Quest For The Wholly Pale follows young wandman Emrys on his adventures around the outer planets of the universe in a bid to avoid a curse, laid on him by the Gray Wizard when he was fourteen. Emrys has to find the mysterious Wholly Pale—a thing few know of and fewer still know how to find—or die a death thrice-over and never know True Love.
Emrys is accompanied by his constant companion, Dierder, who lives in a portal-pocket and has six-fingers. There’s also Parchment, an animated…well, parchment, which was born when Old Lailoken tried to lift the curse of Emrys and failed.

What do I find most surprising about this series.
Writing Quest For The Wholly Pale makes me laugh out loud, which hasn’t happened in a long time. Fortunately, I no longer write much at the library or in KFC so I don’t get any strange looks any more. Writing a sustainable pun is both easy (initially) and quite hard (Is it too much? How much is too much? Will everyone geddit or edit?) But the most surprising thing about this series, for me personally, is that the more I write it, the more fun it is for me!

What excites me the most about  Quest For The Wholly Pale?
I’m learning so much but having fun too… And I get to play around with my most Pratchetty ideas. I’m constantly having to stretch myself with Dierder living in a pocket basically, and Parchment who morphed from a cursed thing to a thing cursed as much as Emrys. But I’m most excited that my version of Emrys Lailoken finally has a virtual home even more magical than my younger self had dreamt! I’m quite fond of him already and really hope he finds his True Love without dying thrice-over for it.

A hint (not spoilers) of some of the challenges Emrys might soon face?
There’s a unicorn on a luxurious space-liner with some clues to the Wholly Pale, but whether they are as useful as Emrys’ Number Five wand remains to be seen. There’s an evil sorceress who amazes Emrys, trolls dressed in lime-green for good reason, the odd gnome and gnomic questions, and two mysterious organizations which may throw poor Emrys more than just the odd spanner-in-the-works.

About Me!

I write stuff. But you know that already 😀

Find me on Fiction Vortex
coming soon

Update: 12 October 2017
Catch up on the latest news with the WIS series on Facebook.

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