A Semblance of Hope

This may be a familiar experience, it may not, but I often find myself intrigued by the idea of ‘another perspective’. Everything I write, everything I read, everything I watch, the world it self and every aspect of life in fact can always be viewed from another perspective.

This included my own past. Something I suspect we all feel at times. there are things I did in the past that had I done something even slightly differently would have changed everything about my life. Events I view now from a different perspective, because I am no longer the person to whom those things happened. I am not my teenage self… So my perspective on the events of my teenage years are not something I look back on now with the same thoughts and views as I had at the time.

As for those I interacted with, how they view those events would also be different. No one has the same perspective, no one witnesses an event the same as you do, or looks back on it the same way as they did at the time. The sister at the bar who was interest in me when I was fool enough to say her sibling was pretty, because I was both too shy to admit it was her actually I found interesting and too dumb to realise she found me interesting, for example, probably looks back on that conversation thirty odd years ago very differently to me. Though to be fair she probably doesn’t look back on it at all.

Never tell a girl you like that you think her sisters pretty, it is never what they want to hear…

~ life lessons learnt by my teenage self

Perspective’s are a concept I also find fascinating in literature. You read a story, particularly one told in a first person narrative, from the perspective that is given to you by the writer. The writer who generally has an incline of very other characters perspective even if they don’t tell you as much. Thus I often find myself wondering how events unfold from the perspective of that character who saunters around the edges of the narrative, but is never centre stage. The non-protagonist. The passer by…

Hannibal Smyth, my self-aware liar, braggard and coward who finds himself boxed into corners where he does heroic things out of self preservation and self interest is very ‘honest’ in his own assessment of his motives and undertakings. But viewed by those around him his actions at times would seem truly heroic and self-sacrificing. There perspective, and their views on his character are often different form those he professes. Something I need to remember whenever I write Hannibal stories is that everything Hannibal is whispering in my ear is only how he saw events. So when other characters do things he considers odd, its often because how they saw events is at odds to his own perspective.

Occasionally, just occasionally, I have considered writing a Hannibal story from someone’s else’s perspective. His ever present Bad Penny for example who I (as the writer) know has an entirely different view of his nibs that he does… Maybe one day I will, but I have enough projects ahead of me to say it won’t be any time soon. However to temper your disappointment at this confession (imagined or otherwise) the wonderful Nimue Brown has more or less done that exact thing and written a story set around the events of the first book of Hopeless Maine viewing those events and life on the island from an entirely different perspective. The perspective of Hopeless’s own and only journalist Frampton Jones in a new novella ‘Semblance of Truth.’

Now as it is quite possible you are aware, I am a bit of a fan boy when it comes to the work of Nimue and her partner in art Tom Browns esoteric creation Hopeless Maine (and Nimue’s writing in general). I find both the art and the writing fascinating and alluring in equal measure. So when I was given the chance to read a early copy of Semblance of Truth I jumped at the chance. True this early copy is only the text and lacks the additional joy of Tom’s art, but Nimue’s story telling stands on its own as a thing of joy, the final version complete with Toms art will only be more joy, it lack at this point doesn’t detract form the joy of reading the tale to begin with.

The narrative is in effect Frampton Jones journal, written by him, for him and him alone, as he tries to catalogue events on the island as a whole, as well as those events that only effect him personally. Things he could never put in the paper, because even in a place as strange as Hopeless Maine certain things would strain the credence of belief among his readers. And somethings he just wants to keep to himself, like the worrying way his cutlery keeps disappearing and the notes someone keeps leaving him, that are written through the medium of fish…

Frampton Jones himself, Art by Tom Brown

As the islands journalist Frampton also keeps track of births, deaths, and has to report on (these attended with various levels of willingness) various civic events like founders day, the annual church picnic, the fossilised bones of one of the islanders ancestors walking around the shore. The grand enterprise of building a bridge to the mainland. The not so grand failure to build a bridge to the mainland…

Because the narrative is told in journal entries, some long, some short, some of significance Frampton is unaware of, some that seem unimportant yet which he worries at… the narrative slowly unwinds in the present tense in the respect of how he writes it, while it is all in a very immediate past tense. Things he has just done, or witness, or seen , or not seen, or at least he hoped he did not see, but has a horrible suspension he did see, and what’s making that noise in the kitchen? As well as important advise on the rearing and care of meeps, as well as the importance of not going mad and forgetting to harvest your meeps, and why you should not feed your meeps off cuts of meat.

It also means when he starts top go a little mad for a while his descent in to insanity, and climb back from the brink are equally chronicled… Unless of course in his mad periods he is actually seeing the world of Hopeless as it truly is, and why is no one reply to his fish writing? And what really happened at the O’Stoat house? Who’s that orphan who disappeared the night Miss Chambers was killed by…. by what killed her…? then turned up again! Oh why am I thinking about the orphan? She’s clearly not important… Now! Where did all the spoons come from? Should I ask Gerald? Is Gerald real…?

Poor Frampton, a minor character in a world where events are happening he isn’t equipped to understand. Yet he strives, with a certain ineptitude, to make the island a better place, or at least understand it better. As a journalist he is a man who seeks the truth and to illuminate that truth for the betterment of all.. (and there lay proof that Hopeless is a very strange place, me thinks.)

Semblance of Truth is available as the first stretch goal of Tom and Nimue’s Hopeless Kickstarter. I’m just lucky enough to have been given an advance copy which as you may have guessed has been a joy to read. Not least to get another perspective of events on the island.

The Kickstarter has many levels , all of which will get a copy of Semblance of Truth if they meet the first stretch goal. there are many levels and many options Be you new to Hopeless or otherwise, including the Hopeless tarot, the Hopeless RPG core rulebook , The Hopeless novels , and the graphic novels themselves. So go have a look, its costs you nothing , the first looks free honest…

What do you mean is Hopeless addictive…?

No, of course its not, I defiantly haven’t backed a Kickstarter for large hardback editions of books I already own and a roleplaying game and a tarot set, Nor do I have an increasing amount of Tom’s art around the library…

Newt stretching in my kitchen! I don’t know what you mean…

Look its perfectly okay… and I am sure you haven’t lost any spoons…

Just click on this innocent little picture… Go on… you know you want to. It will give you a whole new perspective…


About Mark Hayes

Writer A messy, complicated sort of entity. Quantum Pagan. Occasional weregoth Knows where his spoon is, do you? #author #steampunk http://linktr.ee/mark_hayes
This entry was posted in amreading, book reviews, books, fantasy, grathic novels, horror, indie novels, indie writers, indiefriday, reads, sci-fi, steampunk, writes, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Semblance of Hope

  1. Nimue Brown says:

    Many, many thanks. Also, I think the newts like it.


  2. Nimue Brown says:

    Reblogged this on Druid Life and commented:
    Please do saunter over and read the whole thing!


  3. Pingback: A Semblance of Hope - Pagan Nation II

  4. Pingback: Books of the year 2022 edition | The Passing Place

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