Some word usages

Sun Dauthter Press Style Book

Cliché is a noun, not an adjective. Originally it meant a phrase so often used that it was set up as a permanent metal type-block called a cliché. Something can be clichéd but it cannot be cliché. It can, of course, be a cliché.

Critique is a noun, not a verb. You cannot “critique” something, though you can make a critique of it.

Different: Things differ from things. They do not differ to them or than them. The only correct usage is “different from”.

Key: It is not true to say that “key” is not an adjective. We may say “__ is a key question”. However we may not say that “__ is key”. In other words, key may be used attributively but not predicatively.

Nuance is purely a noun. Things can have nuances but cannot be “nuanced”.

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The Question of Conflict

In a recent discussion on whether people enjoy activities because they are related to survival, I made the following remark:

I am thinking that the question of “enjoying survival-related activities” is rather a non-traditional re-casting of  something that is true, especially in the Iron Age. We enjoy conflict. For example, every writer knows that conflict is essential to a story. A story about everyone being happy with no obstacles to overcome just isn’t pleasing to an audience. Every game, from football to chess, involves an essential element of conflict.

Conflict, of course, is ruled by Sai Vikhë and one would expect a conflict-oriented mentality to arise in the Age of Iron (iron also being ruled by Sai Vikhë). It is also interesting to note that while love is ruled by Sai Sushuri, “sex” is also ruled by Sai Vikhë. “Sex and violence” are the two mainstays of modern entertainment, both essentially vikhelic in nature.

The vikhelic tendency is also often regarded as the lowest or most earth-bound of the seven (red being the lowest end of the visible spectrum). This is not to say that conflict is a “bad thing” inherently. Indeed conflict is in some degree the nature of manifestation – if all elements had stayed in perfect harmony, manifestation would not have taken place. Chinese metaphysics describe the manifest cosmos as a constant process of elemental conflict.

This led to my being asked how I view conflict in the books I write, and I thought I would share the answer with you all:

I write my books very much from an intemorphic standpoint, and ideas like conflict certainly are ones that I think a lot about. Intemorphs are in some sense “pacifist” in that they do not use deadly force on their own kind. This is true of many animal species also – giraffes have sharp hooves capable of disemboweling a lion but when giraffes fight among themselves – often very fiercely – they use their round-ended horns, often inflicting nasty bruises and other injuries but never using their truly deadly force.

When I say this, I am certainly not suggesting that people are animals. Quite the reverse – as the Axial being, maid is the only being capable of either rising above or falling below her own thamë. Animals follow their thamë, being restricted to the horizontal plane.

So, while intemorphs may have conflicts among themselves, one that used deadly force would be considered not just wicked, but insane. Intemorphs do, however, maintain the capacity to defend themselves against demonic forces and aggressive outlanders.

As others have said, patriarchal schizomorphs war against each other and have done since the beginning of patriarchy (there is evidence that pre-patriarchal societies did not war against each other, but I am not really any expert on schizomorphic history).

Now I would contend that the war with dark forces is something in which we are all engaged – even if only in terms of the battle with our own false self. In patriarchal war-culture, the demon tends to be projected on the “enemy”. So both sides see themselves as righteous and the enemy as the “devil”. And to some extent this is a valid ritual enactment of the Vikhail, or Holy War. I much prefer the intemorphic approach, but then I am undoubtedly prejudiced.

So, conflict in the books I write is primarily conflict with demons, and (sometimes) secondarily conflict with outside forces against which defense becomes necessary. The first of these two I would call necessary conflict, since we all have to confront the demon. The second I would call accidental conflict, since it comes about only through the “historical” activities of outland forces. In other words it might or might not have happened.

So I am also saying that I believe conflict is unavoidable. If you do not ritualize conflict in wars with demons projected on your fellow Axial beings, then you will have to confront demons directly, because the vikhelic element is part of our manifest existence and cannot not manifest in one form or another – especially in the Age of Iron, where it is bound to manifest in its grossest forms.

Professor Tolkien said that he wrote fantasy adventure partly because it allowed him to write about wholly good people. This is a very interesting statement to me. Part of what he means (I think) is that in the modern climate, the psychological novel has (had even in his time) reached the stage where it is very much about “inner demons” and continually riddled with moral ambiguities. The good protagonist is considered a naïveté.

Professor Tolkien – in a manner that was actually very remarkable for the anti-romantic time in which he wrote, more or less single-handedly re-popularized the Epic style. I suppose I also gravitate toward the Epic. I write about the eternal conflict between light and dark, good and evil, and I do so from a Déanic perspective – and a Rayannic perspective.

And on Aristotle’s idea that competitive debate could replace violence:

A fundamental difference between the Intemorphic outlook on conflict and that of Aristotle (but not Confucius) is that we do not believe disagreement is endemic. In fact quite the reverse. We see debate and discussion not as a form of conflict, but as a joint search for the truth. If we end in disagreement, then somewhere along the way one side or the other must have missed something. That is our view of things.

This is very alien, I understand, to the modern west-Tellurian individualist mentality (of which Aristotle was a forerunner), which actually enshrines irreconcilable disagreement and permanent conflict into its system of government (the “party” – ie parted or separated – system). To us this seems almost as crazy as internal warfare. We believe that harmony is the fundamental principle of society, and without it society is dysfunctional.

So – my characters are fundamentally good people. They may sometimes be misled and do bad things. They may let temporary emotions override good sense and good will. They are maid (she who has the power of choice) after all. But they are not morally ambiguous. They know what is right and they live in a society which is not in doubt or conflict about what is right. Some of them (for example, the crew of the Silver Vixen, at least in the early part of the book) are very naughty and don’t give a darn. But they all know what is right, and when the chips are down they will mostly strive to do the right thing.

But the penalty for not projecting the demon on your fellow beings is that the demon attacks you directly. Goldenhead is much more about this than The Flight of the Silver Vixen.

The conflict vs harmony question also enters, more subtly, into other areas that the books examine. Technology for example. While patriarchal technology is the result of a (“scientific”) revolution against traditional metaphysics, intemorphic societies – in their very nature – were incapable of such revolutions, and their technologies are built from the application and extension of traditional science. They still take the path ever deeper into the material domain, because that is the nature of the Age of Iron, but they do it in a manner that does not involve the rejection of traditional truth. So, for example, a scientific genius like RaiChinchi is very much a member of the priestly/intellectual Estate (the Haiela) and will not carry a firearm or edged weapon.

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Text-only Anime!

Goldenhead or Bodies and Avatars has many anime-like characters. Why have anime characters in a text novel? Anime is a visual style, right? Annalinde Matichei believes that certain visual styles represent layers of reality beyond the material.

Read all about Miss Matichei’s theories of anime, good and evil, demons, innocence and war here.

It’s not like anything you’ve heard before!

Goldenhead and the Anime style

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Anime Novel Launched by Anime Authoress at International Book Fair

Goldenhead launched Saturday Oct 15th at the Baja Book Festival.

One of the novel features of this book is that several of the characters find themselves incarnated in anime bodies. The authoress, Annalinde Matichei, believes that anime is more than an art-style, and actually expresses a mode of being in some “alternate universes”.

It is difficult to argue with her on this point, since she herself strongly resembles an anime character rather than a standard human being.

Goldenhead examines the concept of “imaginary” friends and “imaginary” worlds and takes us into a universe where both may be realler than the “real” world.

An imaginary universe? Miss Matichei doesn’t think so. “A lot of people on your earth today belong to very different realities,” she says. “I think a lot of people will recognize their own situation in Goldenhead.”

Goldenhead is currently available only in its Kindle Edition at $2.99. The paperback will follow, but it seems appropriate that a book so rooted in virtual realities should launch as a virtual book.




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Goldenhead Launch

In a hotel in Ensenada, a bustling port town in Mexico. It is damp and rainy, although the Book Festival itself, I am told is inland in a desert climate and our stand is outside, so I am hoping we don’t either soak or roast!

Publicity seem to have managed to amend most of the errors on Amazon for the Kindle edition of Goldenhead. The first version that appeared was talking about “sorcerous magicians” of all embarrassing pleonasms! It should read (and now does) “sorcerous musicians”.

Very excited for the launch.

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Goldenhead now Available!

Goldenhead is now available on Kindle. Find it here.

We apologize for errors in the rather hastily assembled blurb! These will be fixed shortly.

Remember that even if you don’t have a kindle, you can get a free Kindle reader for your Windows or Mac computer, for iPhone, iPad and various other devices, so you can read Goldenhead now for only $2.99 – ahead of the official launch!

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Goldenhead Launching at International Book Festival

“They say your imaginary friends aren’t your real friends, but who stands by you when you lose your physical body?”

Annalinde Matichei’s new novel, Goldenhead launches this Saturday, October 15th, at the Baja Book Festival in Ensenada, Mexico.

Following the success of The Flight of the Silver Vixen, Goldenhead follows three girls from different “real worlds”, who find themselves inhabiting bodies that resemble 3D anime characters.

Before long they discover that they are under attack from dark forces that can kill more than the body. But they also discover that they each have remarkable powers.

Intelligent and exhilarating as The Flight of the Silver Vixen, Goldenhead moves deeper into the realms of imagination and fantasy, posing questions such as:

• Where does imagination end and reality begin?

• What is a body and what is an avatar?

• Is anime just an art-style or could it represent a different level of reality?

Goldenhead may seem very different from The Flight of the Silver Vixen, and indeed it is. Yet it is set in the same universe and is a part of the same war between light and darkness. Goldenhead explores some of the stranger and more mysterious aspects of that universe, but the two stories overlap in a very unusual way, and you will meet one of the characters from Vixen when you least expect her.

Goldenhead will be available on Kindle this weekend at $2.99. The paperback version will be released in the following month.


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Devouring the Silver Vixen

Reviewer Barbara Slack at “Inspired Quill” has done an interesting write-up of The Flight of the Silver Vixen. She says:

“By the end I didn’t want to read the book, I just wanted to devour it…I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough.”

Read the full review here.


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Silver Vixen “Rare and Exhilarating”

Book blog “I Read Therefore I Am” gives The Flight of the Silver Vixen five stars, concluding:

This rare and exhilarating book is undeniably a must read.

We loved reviewer Larissa’s categorization of the books age-range:

Recommended age: 16+
In a word: Daughter-Knights

Pop over here to read the full review.

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Young Adults and the Muse

I must confess that I had no conscious intention of writing “Young Adult” fiction – I just wrote the story that came to me and my publishers popped the “YA” label on afterwards.

I am not sure if it was only because the book is “family friendly” and the main characters are teenaged, or whether it is also because my mentality is not terribly “grown up” in many ways.

In any case, there it is. I do not really feel that “I” write anyway. I feel as if the stories come through me. That is an interesting subject in itself, isn’t it? Traditional artists believed the muses gave them their inspiration – and properly the word “inspiration” indicates a coming in of a spirit and ultimately the Spirit Herself at least in an attenuated manner.

It is typical of the Promethean culture of the modern west Telluria that “inspiration” is now used as a purely individual and psychological concept.

And if the Spirit does infuse my work in even the most distant way, I wonder if the “Young Adult” thing has some connection with that too – for I do believe that much of what passes for “adult” in modern Telluria (and I don’t just mean the obviously lewd or cruel parts) is alien to the purity and innocence of the true Self in all of us.

As it is written:

 “[C]ome to Me as little children in the pure simplicity of your hearts and the virgin innocence of your souls—for truly, all of you are children in the eyes of your Mother”.

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