Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Light Crusader’s Dark Dessert, by James Beamon

The idea for "Light Crusader" came to me in Afghanistan.  I was in Helmand Province, where landscapes range from rugged mountain streams to sparse, flat desert.  It was both desolate and beautiful.  Nothing new existed; the entire populace seemed to be experts in the art of gerry-rigging, giving the place a reassembled, post-apocalyptic feel. 
I wanted to bring this feel back to the States, so instead of a light-crusaders-dark-dessertconvergence of cultures on the other end of the world we have a convergence of gods at the end of the world.  All I needed was a spot to stage the story when I ran across the Dismal River on Google maps, with the small town of Tryon sitting twenty some odd miles down.  Yep, all the places in the story exist today in some form; since I've never been to Tryon in person it'd be nice to know how close (or far) I came to depicting it here.
Research and inspiration aside, what I like most about "Light Crusader" is the world as a host for all doomsdays.  We tend to imagine the end of the world as an instantaneous, nuclear flash bang or a two minute infectious bite frenzy.  I like the end of the world on the timetable of the gods, beings unconcerned with age or years or fitting all the action into a single movie scene.  Life still goes on for a humanity forced on an immortal schedule, forced to deal with a multitude of pantheons the world over and their competing notions of what the end is.  Like the province of Demeter, it feels like fertile soil for my imagination.

--James Beamon

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