Tony Stark Gets A Head in Life…

… couldn’t resist the dreadful pun! That’s what comes from tackling the concept of beheadings, oracles and Orphic tradition- all in one story. Read about how Tony came up with this fascinating tale of opportunistic resurrection here in his interview for Wild, Wicked and Sparkling.

VRELO CAVE   Vrelo Cave is located in the Canyon of Matka on the right bank of Treska River near the Macedonian capital of Skopje. Vrelo is a system of two caves, one above and one underneath the water, and a lake. Highlight of the top cave is a three meter high stalagmite, called the „Pine Cone”. The actual depth of the submerged cave has not yet been determined, it seems to lie well over 500 m, and therefore some consider Vrelo Cave to be Europe’s deepest underwater cave.

1. Tell us a bit about your inspiration for your tale.

I was thinking about the connection between beheading, resurrection and mystery schools of spiritual belief.  I found that there had been a lot of talk this year about decapitated, cognizant heads after Alien:Covenant came out, what with double Michael Fassbender and all; that apocrypha seems to me to be very closely based in not just Sumerian myth, but the early Orphic tradition- love lost through personal responsibility, re-inventing of the soul in new forms- as well.  The idea of the disembodied character-inna-head being given new life made me start thinking about other notable cases throughout mythology and history. 

 Mimir’s head was given the ability to prophesy and assisted the gods for ages after it was removed from his body. Orpheus continued to give oracular messages after the Maenads ripped his head from his shoulders. The conceit that the head contains the seat of the soul, and moreover, once it has been separated from the material body, that it has supernatural powers, is an interesting one. Throughout history, Marie Antoinette is one of the most notable decapitation victims, and so I began thinking, who would be the one to give her head new life? Orpheus seemed a logical conclusion; his Orphic teachings are primal reincarnation. [I don’t know much about what Mimir believed in 😉 but he seemed to be more of a personal advisor to Wodin than an independent agent like Orpheus. ] The way in which Orpheus maintains that one travels intact across lifetimes made me think about him hearing about Marie’s death and 1815 re-interment. I started thinking, hey, now’s my chance. Orpheus’s head being taken to Macedonia linked up with other  personal apocrypha about the region and seemed a natural fit. 

2. What draws you to the Hallowe’en season?

I think it’s the energy in the season that reminds you that, even though there is death all around, from the leaves in the trees to the crops to the apparent deaths of animals that migrate or hibernate, energy moves to the spirit realm. It is still there, changed, eldritch perhaps, but all around. So, I’d have to say, the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

3. Tell us about what would make the best Hallowe’en party ever.

Costume party, of course. Starting off with giving the kids their candy, so that all the party goers get into the Hallowe’en spirit. Then a nice house party, with the backyard set up for whatever activities the weather is amenable for (because northern Canada Hallowe’en often involves snow!) and then not too much loud music or too much heavy drinking. Lots of good costumes and fun.

4. Who has inspired you to not just write, but to keep writing?

I draw great inspiration from Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis, and Shakespeare. Tolkien for his truth, Lewis for his insight, Shakespeare for his volume and quality, gathering things from disparate sources and making a cohesive whole that spoke to us all. He was like if Frank Lloyd Wright and a magpie had a baby that could write.

Virginia Stark has helped give me inspiration to keep writing, and to keep on to the ends of things and then beyond. I would say that our StarkLight Press followers, and especially our GAF Universe followers, help to always ask the right questions that require another story, another novel, to flesh out. Discovering the truth of the world is its own reward, but having an interested, engaged, intelligent audience is a beautiful and happy bonus.

5. Where can people find your work and more about you as an author?

StarkLight Press now has almost my entire body of work, which I am very happy about. The only other place to find my stories is with a totally awesome press out of America, Writerpunk Press. They’re the only ones I’ll work with other than SLP, because they have great respect for what you’re trying to do creatively and they have a very high quality, high energy group of authors and workers. They put out a beautiful product, also.

You can shortly find the whole body of work from the GAF Mainframe in our upcoming Encyclopaedia Galactica, featuring entries and magazine excerpts that fill the blanks around our Galactic Armed Forces Universe stories. It’s been a blast to work on, compiling pictures from fans, computer artwork and my own pieces for illustrations. Our latest novels for the GAF Universe are coming out this winter and spring of 2018. We’ve phased out the public access to the bulk of the work on the site and will be bringing it back with secure membership and login later this month- it’s a big compliment to have your work swiped and referenced and talked about on the Internet, (especially when people link to your stories and interviews, referencing them as fact!) but our authors and fans have put so much work in that it deserves a little security.

https://punkwriters.com

www.starklightpress.com

www.gafmainframe.com

 

The Great Space Race

The Great Space Race

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Howard Donovan rolls his eyes in exasperation at the offensive antics of the Pismarian pirate racers as the starting lineup for The 187th Annual Galactic Grand Prix waits. This year’s Grand Prix takes place in the Gamma Quadrant, a dangerous and primitive part of the Milky Way. Pirates and shady characters have found their way into this year’s race as a result, bringing stolen technology like the Winged Particle Surfer to try to increase their winning edge. The Galaxy’s most versatile personal flight craft, the Donovan Jump Jet, will have its work cut out for it in this motley collection of space ships of intergalactic design. Howard will have to be on the look out for cheats and sabotage of all kinds as he tries to negotiate one of the most challenging space race courses in the GAGA.

The account of this thrilling space sport is told in the science fiction anthology, Tales from Space 2. Available this July from StarkLight Press, Tales from Space 2 features this story as well as tales about the wroiling mass of consumers, workers, stars and soldiers that make up the GAF Mainframe science fiction universe.

You can find the first volume of Tales from Space here, in print:

https://www.amazon.ca/Tales-Space-Anthology-Tony-Stark/dp/1518816614/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466644672&sr=8-2&keywords=tales+from+space

Look for the Tales from Space e-book on Scribd here:

Look for GAF Mainframe books An Incident in El Noor, The Arkellan Treaty and Space Stranded, coming later this summer from StarkLight Press.

Here is an excerpt of Virginia Carraway Stark reading an excerpt from The Great Space Race:

StarkLight Press Mission Statement

I would like to offer a warm welcome to all of our new blog followers, Facebook fans and superlative fiction aficionados.

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Welcome to StarkLight Press- the Center of the Media Galaxy!

 

What does our awesome tagline mean, exactly? Well you should ask.

At StarkLight Press, we believe in two things above all else- the Imagination and the Power of Story.

We believe that the Imagination is truly the seat of everything great in the human psyche. Without its fire in the crucible of our minds, we would not be able to rise above our misfortunes, our limitations, and our pain. It allows us not only the ability to develop innovations in our lives in terms of concrete reality, but it is an integral first step in raising the tones of our hearts and minds. Without imagination to provide us with windows into There, we would never be able to soothe our spirits so heavy with the troubles of Here.

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To that end, StarkLight Press fosters an Immersive Fiction Experience, with credibly fantastic worldscapes, characters and action that gives the mind a playground for the Imagination, with plenty of tire swings and monkeybars for all.

We believe in not just casting a light on other realms, worlds and dimensions, but illuminating them as fully as hearsaid experience might convey, so that the reader has fodder for their imagination long after they put down one of our books.

By stoking the fires of the imagination with such vibrant and intricate worlds, StarkLight Press provides you, the reader, with an escape that will lift your spirit throughout your day, and inspire you to look at your own familiar worldscape with a fresh perspective. A fresh perspective that maybe will make your own worldscape a little bit more awesome.  This freshness of subject matter is the key to releasing all the positivity the human imagination can produce.  We hope at StarkLight Press to inspire this world to blossom with ideas and purpose beyond the limits set for it, and us, by those who lack imagination entirely.

The Power of Story is the cordwood by which the fires of the imagination nurture both our hearts and our future.  By telling fascinating, credible and, well, amazing stories, StarkLight Press aims to remind the reader that the Universe is in fact at least as amazing as those childhood fancies entertained, and that they can exist in the adult realm as well by providing our grown minds with the added intricacies, information and plot that are required to stoke the fires of a more developed reader.

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We’ve heard the wistful wishes of fans from all over, that they only wish they had MORE of a story, or knew MORE about a certain aspect of this, or that. More… and better. Stories that don’t deliberately fall flat for mass consumption. Characters that are pale versions of what they should be to sell… whatever. Worlds that are REAL, not just slapped together with the spit and baling twine of a dozen writers scanning fan commentary after every new installment comes to the public trough.

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StarkLight Press believes that its readers are canny, cognitive and reject the mass-media spoon with its conventions full of mushy and indistinct snippets of story.

We know you can handle it.

That’s why we make certain our fiction serves only two masters- Imagination, and the Power of Story.  If it doesn’t come to mind to speed your morning commute, we won’t publish it. If you don’t find yourself bringing it up at the dinner table the next week, it’s not yet good enough. If it doesn’t make your eyes widen with the delight of your starving inner child who is finally able to satiate its grown up mind on fiction that not only soothes but satisfies- you sure won’t find it here.

That’s what we’re all about, which is why our GAF Universe has been a cult favorite amongst the brightest and most creative folks out there.

That’s why our StarkLight Anthologies are so popular, filled to the brim with new authors armed with new, exciting tales.

That’s why our non-fiction imprint, Arras Books, is ground-breaking, because it re-introduces the mundane world to the reader by adding the truth behind the dusty history.

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That’s why we keep our universes living, and infinite, not vague past histories of dreams once dreamed, now dead.

Our stories are the future- they have tales to be told, and worlds to be explored.

Most importantly, they have things they are willing to share with each of us, here and now, today.

-Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO, StarkLight Press.