Thursday, August 4, 2011

Starting to Read: The Guild Master's General by Cheryl Moore

Unbound Boxes 

  Limping Gods: 


The Guild Master’s General

Cheryl Moore

Time Line: 3987, India

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods: Disconnected Stories. Issue # 9: The Guild Master’s General

The Guild Master’s General is a mysterious man, who appears throughout time and place. Not much is known about him, apart from the fact he has created a lot of chaos in the lives of many.

The Guild Master's General's back story, set in India (3987)


Note that for each character, within her blog, Cheryl allows you to click to read about the spotlighted character (illustrated in the top right hand corner here at BRH. I'v added one of Alexand, acquired from Cheryl's collection, which seems to me to represent her being hurt..."crumbled" Is she alive?
My thoughts: The key issue is that the General is after our main character, Alexand Merek, and steals blueprints...
Apparently the General is a shape shifter (or worse since he does report to somebody and has supernatural skills)

The author has successfully pulled me in...I'm interested and wanting to know more. Already I hate the General and am worried about Alexand's being hurt... Will she live? Or...will we be left hanging with this story...will the next story take up where this one ends? I'm feeling a sense of anxiety...I'm one of those individuals who seeks closure...


Cheryl lists her work as fantasy, feminist. science fiction and speculative fiction. I'm now quite sure I know about the last, so...out to Wikipedia (If you wish to read about this too, please click the link since I have not attempted to verify highlighted link uses here...the following helped me understand the term.

Following its coining, speculative fiction as a category sweeps from ancient works to both cutting edgeparadigm-changing and neotraditional new works of the 21st century which cite their stories and images from ancient to future times.... the creative design and generation of lore, regarding such works as J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Such supernaturalalternate history and sexuality themes continue in works produced within the modern speculative fiction genre...
In its English language usage in arts and literature since 20th century, "speculative fiction" as a genre term is often attributed to Robert A. Heinlein. In his first known use of the term, in editorial material at the front of the 2/8/1947 issue of The Saturday Evening PostHeinlein used it specifically as a synonym for "science fiction"; in a later piece, he explicitly stated that his use of the term did not include fantasy...
The Internet Speculative Fiction Database contains a broad list of different subtypes. In the 2000s, the term has come into wider use as a convenient collective term for a set of genres. Academic journals which publish essays on speculative fiction include Extrapolation, and Foundation.

Distinguishing speculative fiction from science fiction

"Speculative fiction" is sometimes abbreviated "spec-fic", "specfic" "S-F", "SF", or "sf"[24] but these last three abbreviations are ambiguous as they have long been used to refer to science fiction, which lies within this general range of literature....
The term has been used to express dissatisfaction with what some people consider the limitations of science fiction, or otherwise to designate fiction that falls under readily stereotypical genres so that it can be pigeonholed within such categorical limits as "fantasy" or "mystery".For example, in Harlan Ellison's writing, the term may signal a wish not to be pigeonholed as a science fiction writer, and a desire to break out of science fiction's genre conventions in a literary and modernist direction; or to escape the prejudice with which science fiction is often met by mainstream critics.

Cheryl, you've chosen to consider your work speculative fiction...obviously setting the stories far into the future must be part of that. I note that this is sometimes used to "signal a wish not to be pigeonholed," could you tell us (1) did you decide to write "speculative fiction" or did you start writing and later find that your work could be considered that genre...and (2) what caused you to conceive of your world of speculative fiction as opposed to, say, the mystery/suspense genre?


  1. Hi Glenda. That's a good question! I think you’re right in thinking I was reluctant to be pigeon holed. I use ‘speculative fiction’ as a term, because my work isn’t strictly science fiction, or fantasy or historical. You can see all those elements. I love sewing the mythology into real life events. For example there are some real life people in the novels, such as Grace O’Malley, the pirate Queen of Rockfleet Castle. She appears occasionally, (Julie Andrews is also in the sub plot, as Alexand hero worships her, *grins*) Oliver Cromwell also makes an appearance. *Waves fists at him for being so destructive.*
    The history of Alexand’s world is ‘our’ present, so our own history is her history. It is an imagined future, but it isn’t traditional science fiction. There aren’t any space ships, but it is more science fiction than any other genre. Emotional fiction may be another way to describe it, maybe? There is also a humorous undertone, the novels concentrate on the lives of the characters, rather than the technology, which is why I was reluctant to label it as science fiction, but it is open to interpretation and suggestion!

  2. Cheryl's writing seems like a very good literary style to me. I'm not into supernatural except for Heaven, angels, and good and evil, so I may not be the best person to comment. I watched "Wonder Woman" with my daughter, but we always talked about the fun, pretend, fictious character and didn't take her seriously. I did wonder, what are the blueprints that will unmake everything?

  3. Ha! Gail! I can tell you are the same type of reader as'll have to watch the next 8 stories to see if we get an answer...I sure hope so because to me it's an unfinished item to close out...

    Or we're going to have to demand to read the novel, even if it's not published...LOL

  4. Hi Gail and Glenda. The Guild Master's General is a slippery character, but he's featured in the background (he likes lurking behind the scenes) of the next story, which should be released on Saturday if all goes well with the artwork. It's set years after The Guild Master's General short story, but I thought I'd let you know, he's back. The issue is number 20: Maria Thamian. The story timeline section may help in placing the stories. I admit there are major gaps in time, which could frustrate some readers, but they are being filled as new stories emerge. Just FYI, the blueprints were proof of an experiment into immortality... (You can meet one of these immortals in issue 13: Anastasia Merevija. The immortals are known as Amanojuko. In the Guild Master's General issue, his task was to ensure that the Amanojuko experiment went ahead...