What is Twixtaverse Canon?

The Twixtaverse Appears

12/10/2015
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The Twixtaverse is another fictional universe that mirrors our own, inspired by the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King. I found it fascinating the way that King attempted to weave his entire body of work together in a kind of tapestry, and thought, What if a writer were to attempt something like this from the beginning of their career? What if I created a series of books that could work as stand-alones, yet in each one there would be included characters and references that that tied them to a larger, more encompassing story? What if I could construct similar to a horror/dark fantasy Marvel Universe?

This is what I’m attempting with the Twixtaverse Canon, the Betwixt Series being the flagship of the entire culmination of novels. As I started to create a glossary of the different characters, factions, worlds, and gods that are in the mix, I realized how difficult it is going to be keeping track of every little facet of this thing. If it works correctly than the series will be extraordinarily satisfying, leaving readers craving new content. If it doesn’t work correctly, it will be a car crash of various tones and story threads that don’t seem to go anywhere.
The Twixtaverse Canon is also inspired by the Song of Ice and Fire Series. I’ve always appreciated in the books how good and bad things happen every character, which flies in the face of traditional commercial storytelling. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of moralizing or pretention, but the major drawback is that often readers don’t know who to connect with. By the end it may leave the audience wondering why they bothered.

You can’t (or perhaps, shouldn’t) kill off every major character, but there is some serious impact when an author does it correctly. Readers never know how stimulating a story can be until it completely subverts their expectations. So my intention is to make the Twixtaverse very well-planned and deliberate, gradually exposing one layer of depth after another without things getting too far out of control.

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Another thing I am wary of is not overwhelming readers with the sheer bleakness of the reality reflected in my stories. It’s too easy to fall into the grimness pit if one wants to take the pessimistic red pill regarding the true nature of the world. What I’m interested in is evoking a feeling of profundity, something mysterious and powerful and somehow true. What I’m not down for is propagating a depressive outlook. I think it really just comes down to tone and balance, adding some degree of levity and humor to really distressing situations. These books must not take themselves too seriously.

So what kind of monster is this series? I am combining a little bit of science fiction with dark fantasy, as though Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Lovecraft, George Martin, King, and Tolkien collaborated on a project. You could think of it as a cosmic horror Game of Thrones. It’s the Sandman (something that actually started as a horror series), reformed on the anvil of materialist reductionism. And while I am taking a reductionist slant in this fiction, there is plenty of supernatural, Lovecraftian horror to come front and center.

With the continued enhancement of the self-publishing industry, now is the perfect time to build a series like this. I can release short, complete works to supplement the overall narrative of the bigger novels, which will serve to build a bigger readership. I have complete creative control to take this stories as far as I want to go. I can also rerelease updated versions of the books whenever I choose, should I decide that I need to add an adjustment or improve continuity between the novels. Think of it as a patch for an online game. As big as the scope for this series may be, it may be necessary. I might also require some outside help keeping the details consistent.

So here I would like to describe how this series will get started. There is a short story called “Iconoclast”, in which a man goes back in time to assassinate a historical figure. Readers will be introduced to one of the staple characters, Gideon, and his long-standing rivalry with the Vatican. This will foreshadow an imminent interdimensional invasion soon to be visited on the world.

This will be followed by another story titled “Precursor”, in which Gideon leases his facilities to the U.S. government to prevent a political disaster. It turns out that the disaster was an indication of a cataclysmic change on the horizon. This sets the precedent for the events that follow in the novel “Philadeathia”. While this all may sound very Sci-Fi, there are only a few of those kinds of elements introduced to bolster the narrative. There is still plenty of chilling, freaky stuff in there.

“Philadeathia” is to the Betwixt Series, what “the Hobbit” is to “Lord of the Rings”. It provides readers with their first peek into the depth of the rabbit hole and the mind-scarring monsters awaiting earthy invasion.

Philadeathia

“Betwixt: The Gods Have Never Bled,” is the first of the trilogy and it takes readers to the next tier of Cosmic Horror, the political power struggles and intrigues among the civilizations of the stars and the gods. Though that may seem like such lofty concepts as to make them unrelatable, special care will be taken to usher these ideas into the mythos in familiar terms.

Then there are the stand-alone side novels that will feature various characters from the series in their own adventures, but I will write a little more about those another time. I just wanted to put this post out to promote some excitement for things to come. I also have some special plans for the future of the “Party Apocalypse” series, and I’ll write about that soon. That’s all for now and don’t forget to subscribe to my email newsletter to keep abreast of new developments.

~D.M.

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