Once upon a time, there were wonderful tales in the world. They were written by giants in the genre’ of science fiction and fantasy, with names like Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith, and Frank Baum, Burroughs and Laumer and Zelazny. They were Wonderful books that didn’t depend upon blowing things up to generate action. It was a magical place where violence happened, but rarely. Sex probably happened, but not upon the written page. Yet somehow, they carried a satisfying element of suspense, and action, and enjoyment too. Today the tradition struggles on, with writers like Terry Pratchett and his marvelous Discworld. But what if it happened here? Today? What if magic is real, and we are just too sophisticated to see it, and accept it? |
My daughter and I began this series of tales for our own enjoyment, and it has been a delightful task. All of the characters slowly develop reality as the series progresses until they are like old friends. I think both of us would be able to recognize Jimbo if we met him on the street. And I really would like to meet Pookie, or Thistle, or Heather. Perhaps, someday, high on a wooded hill deep in the forest, I will. And once, long ago, I actually met a pony very much like Beaucephalus.
In any event, finally, we have decided to publish, in hopes that you might have as much fun reading these tales as we had in the writing of them. And yes, it is embarrassing to talk about our little stories in the same paragraphs that talk about the great names of Science Fiction. But we have done our best to tell a rollicking good set of tales, rather short on gratuitous violence and sex, but long on good guys winning, beautiful women, and a world where magic is real. Because, you see, there really IS magic in a family of swans, and there are spirits in the great forests of our planet which still remain.
I would be less than honest if I did not admit, right up front, that there is a message buried in the undercurrents of these tales, for like all writers, my daughter and I have our particular views of the world that is. In fact, those undercurrents develop only slowly through the course of the series, but we remain convinced that there should be swans in the world, always. You shall see, and I suspect you will not disagree.
The scientific references within these volumes are as correct as a couple of laymen can make them, and the discoveries herein surely would make the world a nicer place.
Herckamer and the Tale of the Trees is the first book of the Herckamer Chronicles, which currently includes six volumes, with a seventh in work, and one more presently planned for completion in 2002 or 2003. The whole series of tales grew out of one of those casual discussions that often happen in a household full of readers, late at night. What would you do if you found yourself involved with real magic in the real world? The answer to that question, and the focus of these novels, is one possible answer. Our hero, Herckamer Jones, certainly finds out the hard way!
Herk is just a small town real estate agent with a high school diploma and a voracious appetite for reading. He is addicted, Like Oscar Gordon in Heinlein’s Glory Road, to ’words in a row.’ Otherwise, of course, his life is excessively dull until a stray cat enters his life. The cat is Friday, and Friday is strange. Soon afterwards, Herckamer receives a letter commissioning him to make a bid on a piece of property, the Bailey Estate, for a company called Universal Environmental Enterprises, Consolidated. Herckamer inspects the property, makes the bid for the property, and the fun begins!
It takes Herckamer a long time to figure out that he has gone to work for the last remaining elves on earth. In fact, they are corporate elves who are intent upon establishing a safe-haven for the eldritch kind in the face of the inexorable and continuing expansion of the human-kind.
Herckamer battles the great monster of bureaucracy and disbelief as he struggles to save the old forest. Finally, he realizes that only a wizard can solve the problems, but where do you find a wizard in the Twenty-first century? They are only found in fairy tales.
Or are they? Come with Herckamer Jones to the Bailey Estate, and find out!