by: Rick Johnson
PO Box 40451
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I have had a few questions about these writings which I shall try to answer.
Why are most of the stories from a female point of view?
The truth is, they aren’t. I have a dozen John Drake stories, another dozen Jason Obrien stories that range from Ireland, to Arabia to Egypt to 7 years in Kosovo, 3 years in Indonesia, a year traveling across Asia and China and so on. Unfortunatly, these were written bc (before I owned a decent computer) so were handwritten or typed on an IBM Selectric and so need to be scanned in with OCR to get them uploaded.
The Janice and Ayiesha stories were isolated examples that sort of took off on their own.
BTW, I do try to make the female characters as realistic as I can. Aside from sex that is which is based on what a man would do and what I know from certain of my female friends who don’t have the hang-ups we do. Ask yourself, suppose you were free from the fear of pregnancy and social disapproval? Wouldn’t you actually enjoy the act? The fact that so much of the sex they do is lesbian simply reflects my normal male enjoyment of lesbian porn.
Why so much sex?
Dana! She complains that there isn’t enough sex so I wrote a couple sex scenes in one story to make her happy and she reported that she got so excited, she had to run into the restroom. I write in what people want to read, and as she is the only person who seems to enjoy my writings… You get the idea.
I try to create a strong woman who is realistic and not a super-woman, someone who uses her assets and respects her limitations. In this I was influenced by Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress series since no woman is like Xena or Laura Croft or Red Sonja or Aeon Flux or Wonder Woman and encouraging that unrealistic view of her abilities can be disconcerting when a girl discovers that she cannot do a flip over a man and render him unconscious with one blow.
Of course, my youngest daughter is the exception. 5’10” of solid muscle, record making athlete and martial artist so she breaks the average mold unlike her older sister who is 5’2” and a blonde cheer-leader type.
What about the Amazons?
The truth is that there is no reputable (and I emphasize the word reputable) evidence to indicate that the Amazons ever existed. With the exception of the King’s guards in Dohomney (if you are king you can have as many bare-boobed guards as you want hanging around you), we have no evidence for Amazon warriors either.
Saying that the Sythian/Sarmatian cultures were Amazons because we found 2 (two) graves where women were buried with swords is like saying that America is an Amazon nation because some of the people buried in Arlington Cemetery are women. In any culture an occasional woman did fight but these were the exception and so rare that when they got caught, they made the news. Most of the time, the woman dressed, acted and lived like a man, pretending to be a man and got into a lot of trouble when she was discovered.
Thus I have taken literary license to move the Sarmatians from 500 ce to 1500 ce. I have taken literary license to create an Amazon nation on the shores of the Caspian (the legends move the Amazons from Greece to the Cycledes to Turkey to Russia). And I have taken literary license to shift the borders of the Ottoman Empire around a bit.
The truth is that we have no real evidence that there were Samurai women, an Amazon nation or a World-wide Wiccan religion that was wiped out by christianity. But they make good reading. Consider that if Tomb Raider had been filmed with Lawrence Croft, you’d have a few people watching the flick. But make the hero a hot chick with big boobs and suddenly the box office sells out to horny adolescent teens, skanky old guys and teen girls pretending that they could be more than a fry-cook in the fast-food service. And double the ticket-fee if you toss in nudity and sex. That’s why Xena and anime with female ninja sell.
A lot of what you write is out-of-time. Why?
The word is Anachronistic. That means ‘out of time’. The most glaring and unforgivable is Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. Really, an Arab soldier doing a c-section in the forest with a dagger and the mother not only survives but is walking around the next day? Hundreds of pounds of gunpowder in inch-thick oak casks explodes INSTANTLY when a flaming arrow strikes the wood? Melting iron into steel and pouring it into a wooden mold to make arrowheads? Get real!
But, used wisely, it is possible to include an anachronism that enhances the story line. This is why in Adaption 4 I have Elizabeth Bathory existing around 1500, a century and a half before her historical time. The historical Elizabeth was the great-granddaughter of a Slavic king who fought with Vlad Dracula and who preferred her lesbian lovers to be large-breasted. By the time she was born, her family was reduced to a Count. I simply moved her backwards, made her the king’s daughter and implied that she was just beginning to explore immortality with the possibility that she managed to live until the 17th century. Many vampire movies explore the idea that she still lives today.
There are others, like I shift the borders of the Ottoman Empire around by decades, removed firearms, shifted a few people a century back and forth etc.
How much of the ‘history’ written by you is true?
Quite a lot actually. The diary of Christopher Columbus states that he enjoyed tieing 12 year old Indian girls up, beating them with rope whips then raping them. Ferdenand and Isabella of Spain did confiscate the property of all Jews in Spain and order their conversion or expulsion. Then they authorized Torquemada to burn any Jew who refused to convert. The Ottoman Empire did welcome and respect the religions of jew and christian and granted both faiths near equality. Pope Innocent VII did have a number of bastard kids, he did murder at least two boys by draining them of blood to prolong his own life and he did live by sucking milk from nursing mothers. Also the Wright Brothers were NOT the first to fly airplanes and what they flew wasn’t very good when compared to earlier, foreign aircraft. It is American History that likes to pretend that we did everything first and best.
Why is Jason a terrorist?
First, define the word! A terrorist is a man who uses military force against a civilian target for a political goal. Terrorists are frustrated. They spent their entire lives being oppressed by a foreign nation, seeing their friends and family killed and NO ONE helped them. So they finally got tired of writing letters and protesting and decided to take action. Read what Israel does to Palestinean women and children, what England does to Irish women and children, what America did to Indian women and children and ask yourselves who is the bad guy?
But Jason is an Irish nationalist. He lived through the murder of his wife and children by British Police. He saw England break his family via fine and confiscation of property. He saw Cromwell sell 1/5 of his people into slavery. And he saw his own Lineage, longer than any in Western Europe, labeled ‘barbaric chiefs’. The IRA was a heroic group of people who fought to protect the Irish people and to free Ireland. It is only in recent decades that they became criminal. I do have a story about Jason’s entry into the IRA in Belfast and his reaction when he realized that they were now the criminals they were accused of being and his retaliation against them.
But, like a lot of Jason’s early history, it hasn’t yet been converted to a Word Document and uploaded.
Regardless, he IS a Nationalist who believes that Ireland should be free. He also believes that Palestine should be free, that Indians should be free, that Tibet should be free and that any conquered people have the right to self government and freedom. Unlike most people who are more worried about what their neighbors will think, he’s just not embarrassed to admit it.
Are the Demons good guys or bad guys?
I don’t think you can apply human concepts to non-human beings. It’s like talking to your car. Really, it’s a machine. It has no emotions or feelings so why treat it as if it were human?
Demons were a race of socialist, pacifist vegetarians until they accidently met humanity. They were forced to change to survive. To a Demon, NOTHING is more important than the Swarm and they willingly sacrifice the individual for the good of the Swarm. They see humans the same way, something to sacrifice for the good of the Swarm. They use us but have no desire to rule us. The Commonwealth and Drakonis does spend a lot of effort trying to convince them to not destroy Earth though. If they do destroy Earth, it will be because they see Earth as a danger to them. However, before meeting humanity, they had no word for ‘war’, ‘rape’, ‘crime’. We taught them that.
Why are so many of your characters Irish?
My writing teacher told me to write what you know. I don’t know anything about the Army or Marines other than what I see on TV so when I need a military background, I refer to my own Air Force service. I get so tired of all the heroes always being American so I chose to make Jason Irish because that is how I was raised. I am an Irishman raised mainly in America so I think and act Irish. (note that to compliment a baby is, to us, a curse. If you compliment a baby, it invites the Fey to steal the child so you only compliment babies if you hate their parents and want to hurt them. In Ireland an imaginative insult is actually a compliment. Now try to write a decent Irish character when you weren’t raised that way.) Fiona, however, is American of Irish descent so she has some very few Irish qualities but thinks mostly like an American. Thus she doesn’t understand Jason at all even though they share the same ancestry. Janice and Eibhlin are extensions of Jason and so must be Irish since they are all Obriens. For Drakonis I wanted to show that the culture was forced integration with encouraged intermarriage so most of those are of mixed heritage. Drakonis lost it’s heritage but avoided racial strife. You decide if the price was worth the benefit.
George is totally an American as is Diane and a few others.
Why is Jason’s name Obrien? Why not O’Brien?
I actually explored that in North to Barsoom when I had an Air Force Security officer investigate him. The truth is, I wanted it simple because my little fingers don’t work well and I am dyslexic so dropped the apostrophe and lowered the case of the second letter.
In Ireland ‘Mac’ means ‘son of’ and ‘O’ means ‘descended from’ but is a male name. (Note Irish poetry rhymes at the beginning of the line, unlike American poetry that rhymes at the end of the line. It saves us having to find a rhyme for ‘orange’.) Jason and Janice use the American male versions of their names but Eibhlin prefers the Older form and so uses the feminine and Gaelic versions of her name. In Dammit> I cover that a bit. I’m trying to keep them all in the same family.
To contact me or to request topics to be covered, send to RikJohnson@juno.com
by: Rick Johnson
PO Box 40451
Return to the Home Page.