Tales of the Wold Newton Universe

Win Scott Eckert broke the news yesterday about the table of contents for the upcoming anthology Tales of the Wold Newton Universe, due out from Titan Books in October 2013. I’m honored to be collaborating on the book’s introduction with Win, and that the anthology will include “Kwasin and the Bear God,” my 20,000-word novella with Philip José Farmer that’s set between the first two chapters of The Song of Kwasin. I will note that this is the first-ever Wold Newton fiction anthology, so if you like Farmer’s Wold Newton mythos, you’re going to want to pick up this one. The book is now available to preorder at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Here are the full contents:


Introduction by Win Scott Eckert and Christopher Paul Carey

The Great Detective and Others

“The Problem of the Sore Bridge–Among Others” by Harry Manders (Philip José Farmer)
“A Scarletin Study” by Jonathan Swift Somers III (Philip José Farmer)
“The Doge Whose Barque Was Worse Than His Bight” by Jonathan Swift Somers III (Philip José Farmer)

Pulp Inspirations

“Skinburn” by Philip José Farmer
“The Freshman” by Philip José Farmer
“After King Kong Fell” by Philip José Farmer

Wold Newton Prehistory: The Khokarsa Series

“Kwasin and the Bear God” by Philip José Farmer and Christopher Paul Carey

Wold Newton Prehistory: John Gribardsun & Time’s Last Gift

“Into Time’s Abyss” by John Allen Small
“The Last of the Guaranys” by Octavio Aragão & Carlos Orsi

Wold Newton Origins / Secrets of the Nine

“The Wild Huntsman” by Win Scott Eckert

Khokarsa Series Checklist

I was recently asked what is the suggested reading order for Philip José Farmer’s Khokarsa series when you include the short story and two novellas along with the three novels. I’ve also been asked to put a comprehensive checklist of the series together linking to where the stories and novels can be purchased. So that’s exactly what you’ll find below.

I should also note upfront that several of the stories below overlap one another. The Song of Kwasin and “Kwasin and the Bear God” begin just after the events of Hadon of Ancient Opar, and The Song of Kwasin runs synchronously with (and beyond) the events of Flight to Opar. Further, “A Kick in the Side” begins just after Chapter 19 of Flight to Opar, and “Kwasin and the Bear God” is set between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of The Song of Kwasin. Sounds complicated, but if you read all the stories, it’s all clear and makes sense. I’ve also included Time’s Last Gift, a prelude to the main series, to the list. And for the compulsively obsessed chronologists, I’ve included the year or years when each story tales place, designated in both B.C. (Before Christ) and A.T. (After Temple, i.e., after the founding of the Temple of Kho at Khokarsa; see Farmer’s Chronology of Khokarsa). Follow the linked titles to where you can purchase each story (note: the three novels of the Khokarsa trilogy are due out in a few short weeks in the omnibus Gods of Opar: Tales of Lost Khokarsa, which can be read and enjoyed either with or without reference to the other works in the series).

Khokarsa series suggested reading order:

Time’s Last Gift (novel): 12,000 B.C.–2073 A.D.

Exiles of Kho (novella): 10,812 B.C.–10,810 B.C. (788 A.T.–790 A.T.)

Hadon of Ancient Opar (novel): 10,011 B.C.–10,009 B.C. (1589 A.T.–1591 A.T)

Flight to Opar (novel): 10,009 B.C.–10,008 B.C. (1591 A.T–1592 A.T.)

“A Kick in the Side” (short story): 10,009 B.C. (1591 A.T.)

“Kwasin and the Bear God” (novella): 10,009 B.C. (1591 A.T.)

The Song of Kwasin (novel): 10,009 B.C.–10,004 B.C. (1591 A.T.–1596 A.T.)

Free fiction: Read the opening scene of “Kwasin and the Bear God”

“Kwasin Exiled” by Roy G. Krenkel

Meteor House has posted the opening 3,300-word scene from “Kwasin and the Bear God.” The novella is set in Philip Jose Farmer’s Khokarsa series and picks up the story of Hadon’s giant, exiled, ax-wielding cousin Kwasin just after the events of Hadon of Ancient Opar. While “Bear God” is a standalone story, Kwasin’s adventures on the island of Khokarsa will continue in The Song of Kwasin, the third novel in the Khokarsa cycle, which will be published next year in an omnibus of the series (stay tuned for details).

In related news, it appears that Titan Books will be putting out a new edition of Time’s Last Gift, which serves as a sort of prequel to the Khokarsa series (it’s little secret that the protagonist of Time’s Last Gift, John Gribardsun, shows up in the series as the god Sahhindar). This is very exciting news indeed for Farmer and Khokarsa fans, and well timed with the upcoming release next year of the Khokarsa omnibus.

Now Available: “Kwasin and the Bear God”by Philip José Farmer & Christopher Paul Carey

The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 2: Of Dust and Soul, edited by Michael Croteau, and with a foreword by Greg Bear, is now shipping from Meteor House. The anthology features a 20,000-word standalone novella—“Kwasin and the Bear God”—which I wrote based on Philip Jose Farmer’s fragmentary alternate outline to The Song of Kwasin, the forthcoming third novel in the Khokarsa series (things are moving forward with the latter, so stay tuned for more details).

Here’s some background on “Kwasin and the Bear God”…

Back in January 2009, after I’d already completed the first draft of The Song of Kwasin based on Phil Farmer’s partial manuscript and a nine-page outline, I was visiting the Farmers in Peoria, Illinois in celebration on Phil’s 91st birthday. Phil’s (and my) friend Paul Spiteri and I were among the last of the celebrants still at the house that weekend, and as we had time before our flights out of town, Phil’s wife, Bette, encouraged us to go downstairs and look through the files for unpublished material by Phil that might be worthy of seeing the light someday. Fatefully, the first filing cabinet drawer I opened contained a folder that I had never seen before labeled “HADON – Khokarsan Lore.”

My heart jumped a bit at this point, because up until that moment I thought I had had access to all of Phil’s fairly extensive extant notes on the Khokarsa series, which Phil and Bette had generously allowed me to photocopy on an earlier visit. But it turned out there were several more gems remaining to be found in this newly uncovered “Khokarsan Lore” folder, including an incomplete alternate outline to The Song of Kwasin. In the end it turned out that the outline was generally unusable for the purposes of the then-already-written third novel, as a large portion either repeated the original outline or broke the established continuity of the two published novels in the series. But there were two very exciting pages of outline detailing a side adventure of Kwasin on the island of Khokarsa.

Phil was too ill at this point to discuss anything to do with the material I’d uncovered, and had really stopped talking much at all in his last few years (although back in 2005 when the original Song of Kwasin outline had turned up he was well enough to give me a few pointers as to how he wanted the novel to wrap up). Bette, however, realized the significance of the new find and told me to take the folder home with me to make copies and study at my leisure. So I did, and sadly I only managed to return the files to Peoria a few days before she passed later that same year, a few short months after Phil’s passing that February.

“Queen of Serpents” illustrated by Charles Berlin

After I got home from the January visit, I used Phil’s detailed, Tolkienesque notes and articles pertaining to the Khokarsan language from the newly found folder to sync up the Khokarsan names, terms, and phrases in The Song of Kwasin with Phil’s syllabary and grammar rules (let’s just say, Phil was quite the linguist, and I was blown away with how much time and thought he’d put into the Khokarsan language). The novel soon sold to Subterranean, and the idea of doing anything with Kwasin’s lost adventure from the fragmentary alternate outline floated in limbo until I was honored to have Meteor House ask me to write a novella based on the material. And that’s the story of how “Kwasin and the Bear God” came to be.

Artist Charles Berlin has done some fantastic illustrations to go along with the novella in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 2, and I’m really pleased with how the story turned out–I’m told it does a good job of capturing Kwasin’s trickster nature (thanks to Phil’s outline, no doubt!). Anyway, I hope you’ll check out the anthology, which includes a Brobdingnagian assortment of talent, including folks like Spider Robinson, James Sallis, Bradley H. Sinor, Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier, Mary A. Turzillo, John Small, and more. But most importantly, it contains a bunch of never-before-published stuff by Philip José Farmer! Check out the full table of contents here.

New novella: “Kwasin and the Bear God”by Philip José Farmer & Christopher Paul Carey

As Meteor House and The Official PJF Home Page have now posted the table of contents for The Worlds of Philip José Farmer: Of Dust and Soul, I’m finally able to reveal that the forthcoming  novella I’ve been calling “The Bear God” here on my blog is actually titled “Kwasin and the Bear God” and that the story is based on an alternate outline fragment by Philip José Farmer to his third, as-yet-unpublished Khokarsa novel, The Song of Kwasin. I’ll be posting more behind-the-scenes details on that outline and how the story came to be in the coming weeks. But for now, know that a new 20,000-word Farmer novella featuring Hadon’s ax-swinging, trickster cousin will be heading your way soon.

Also, head on over and check out the TOC and stellar lineup of contributors to The Worlds of Philip Jose Farmer 2: Of Dust and Soul, which also includes a good number of never-before-published rarities by Phil Farmer himself.

Fathoming history…

I’ve been trying to squeeze in spare moments to work on Certain Fathoms, and have made some progress reworking the outline. Last night I stayed up into the wee hours looking through the photocopies I’ve made over the past couple years while researching my real-life protagonist, and which now rise as a mountain of sorts on my desk. It’s easy to get lost on one’s way while trying to make a story historically accurate, so I’m working right now to find a good balance in my mind between being faithful to actual events and personalities and telling an entertaining and cohesive story. I hope to spend the whole day tomorrow chiseling out the outline tomorrow, in particular the middle portion of the novel.

Meanwhile, I recently got a sneak peak at the two stunning illustrations that will accompany “The Bear God” when it’s published later this year in a forthcoming anthology. I hope to have more details for you on the anthology shortly, and also some BIG NEWS on a related project. Stay tuned.