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Thread: First Ever MOTU Inspired Novel Reviewed in Naturist Magazine

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior
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    First Ever MOTU Inspired Novel Reviewed in Naturist Magazine

    The proceeding is a review of The Dark Age of Enya by chief editor Tim Forcer of the British naturist magazine H&E Naturist. In case you are wondering what this has to do with MOTU, DoE has been written and published by a He-Fan/naturist and former author of numerous fanfics once featured in the Grayskull Library. Not surprisingly, DoE features a host of MOTU inspired elements including: Xandr, a barbarian wielding a magic sword created by the "Ancients,"; Thelana, a feisty brunette warrior woman and ally of Xandr; Emma, a sorceress who transforms herself into a bird; and mermen, beastmen, snake men, an alien known as "Horde,"; an ancient and powerful dragon, and the ancient and all-knowing "Zo". Tim Forcer, who is not a He-Fan, gave DoE the thumbs up. Check out the review below:


    First published by Xlibris, 2004.

    Woohoo! Several "firsts" for Yarns Without Threads. The first book to be featured on the site before publication, the first book reviewed here which has been published by a non-traditional publisher, and the first to be illustrated with the author demonstrating his naturism.

    Nick AlÝmonos has been producing stories since the age of six, entertaining staff and customers in his father's Greek restaurant. After an arduous literary apprenticeship, he has reached the milestone of publishing his first novel, The Dark Age of Enya. And what a milestone! More than 500 pages of "sword and sorcery", as hero Xandr pursues his quest and destiny across the world of Enya, through landscapes both benign and hostile.

    Sword and sorcery is a very old tradition of story-telling - possibly the oldest. AlÝmonos is not afraid to acknowledge one of the earliest in this tradition, that ancient Greek, Homer. He also quotes from or nods to a wide range of SF and fantasy authors, from Adams to Zelazny. But this is no derivative imitation or poor copy; AlÝmonos delivers a tale which is well-constructed and moves along at a fair pace. There are a few rough edges along the way - being your own publisher's editor, as is the norm for those published by print-on-demand Xlibris, must make it more difficult to pick up minor typos - but these didn't affect my enjoyment. The main characters are all fully-developed, with faults and foibles as well as skills and accomplishments.

    AlÝmonos has been a naturist for a long time, and, partly because this is important to him, has incorporated naturist concepts and ideals into the book. Xandr is an Ilmarinen, a race whose society is totally naturist: "no more than ornamentally clad when possible, dressed when the climate demanded it". Other cultures on Enya have different mores. Most are emphatically textile, creating difficulties, tensions and irritations for Xandr and his Ilmar companion, Thelana (right), obliging them to cover up with at least a loincloth for Xandr and tunic for Thelana. A minority of societies accept nudity for young people, or tolerate the customs of strangers, providing the wandering Ilmarinen with welcome relief.

    Nudity, particularly female nudity, is not unusual in fantasy writing, and has also been a staple of SF&F illustrations and book covers. Generally, this is used to provide titillation, or to add a sexual overlay to an otherwise a-sexual tale. AlÝmonos is different in that his Ilmarinen naturism is portrayed as something intrinsic to the character of its people - there is no sensationalism. Yet he does not attempt to ignore the sexual import of nakedness for those shackled by cultural taboos on social nudity. Xandr and Thelana face a range of disapproving attitudes ranging from disapproval to outright condemnation and disgust - you can read some of these cultural clashes in the extracts, along with expositions of what nudity means to the Ilmarinen.

    Although many of the stories discussed on Yarns Without Threads refer explicitly to naturism, only two are known to have been written by naturists: The Dark Age of Enya and Glory Road. Interestingly, the latter is also a sword-and-sorcery fantasy novel. While Heinlein's sorcery is of the "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" variety, AlÝmonos uses supernatural intervention - sparingly - as an extra ingredient.

    Overall, I think The Dark Age of Enya is an accomplished first novel. Its conclusion indicates that there may be further adventuring to come from Xandr - I hope so, and look forward to more naturist-friendly fiction from AlÝmonos.

    You probably won't find The Dark Age of Enya in your local bookshop, but it is available from Amazon, or direct from Xlibris.

  2. #2
    Court Magician
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    Congrats

    Congradulations!

    i wish i could write well enough to get something published.

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalWarrior
    Congradulations!

    i wish i could write well enough to get something published.

    Getting published these days is no big deal. The important thing is writing something that the general public will enjoy. Keep on trying, and with enough practice, you can accomplish success.

    Nick

  4. #4
    Granamyr
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    The cover artwork is very lovely. I remember reading parts of the Xandr story when it was published as separate episodes in the Grayskull Library. Were those episodes included in the final book?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Granamyr
    The cover artwork is very lovely. I remember reading parts of the Xandr story when it was published as separate episodes in the Grayskull Library. Were those episodes included in the final book?

    Thank you. Believe it or not, I was never very happy with the cover art, and I have been working with a very talented artist to revise it. It should become available the middle of 2005. The first three parts of the Xandr story you refer to were indeed featured originally in the Grayskull Library and on its own site, Eldor's Study. For the novel, those three stories have been greatly expanded and reworked to fit into a much larger whole. If you enjoyed those original stories (think of them as teasers for the complete story), you should love the book.

    Nick

  6. #6
    Pollex Christi
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    Wait a minute?!?! This He-Man inspired story was reviewed in a magazine for Nudists? Really? Don't they have other things to talk about? How strange....


  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior mirckdyer!'s Avatar
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    The nudity in DARK AGE is an eye-opener; I'm pretty sure that has a little something to do with why my website ran out of copies so fast and why the inquiries for it keep coming in. What I find interesting about your use of nudity in the book is how it is, in subtext, equated with the unspoiled virtue of the Illmarinen people.

    Are there any evil Illmarinen folks out there?

    Naked assassins? Cannibals?

    Creepy, nude people, who scratch in inappropriate places just to cheese us off.

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