Inspiration: Betraying the God of Light
May 11, 2014
Good versus Evil is the ultimate theme in fantasy stories ranging from novels to movies to video games. I’ve written an e-novel called Betraying the God of Light with an extreme twist on the traditional fantasy model of good versus evil. In my story, the Gods of Light and Dark both possess evil and good qualities.
This book was partly inspired by former American president George Bush. In January of 2002, Americans were still understandably irate over 9/11. During this emotional time, Bush coined the phrase Axis of Evil to describe the countries of Iran, Iraq and North Korea, which of course implied that the U.S. was part of the Axis of Good.
This was not terribly surprising considering Bush’s Christian background, which often posits the Good versus Evil dichotomy. Bush even went on to say that he was on a mission from God when he authorized the attack on Iraq. When the Hussein regime was removed, he claimed the Iraqi people had been liberated from their evil dictator.
Obviously, in times of war, portraying the opposing side as evil can justify the violence to the general population. With the help of the media, the American government successfully linked the leaders of Iran, Iraq and North Korea with evil. Here are Khomeini and Kim as the Devil and Hussein as the boyfriend of the Devil.
Bush’s Axis of Evil perfectly mimics fantasy stories where good and evil are clearly defined. In two of the most famous fantasy stories, Frodo and Aragorn from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are truly good. Sauron and Voldemort are the epitome of evil that must be destroyed.
However, in real life, unlike these fantasy stories, the “evil” side does not view itself as evil. In fact, it views itself as good and the other side as evil. While some Americans may think Bush is good and Khomeini is evil, some Iranians think that Khomeini is good and Bush is evil.
So which one is right? In reality, both Bush and Khomeini possess good and evil qualities. For example, Bush lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction to justify a war - evil. He also did more to help combat the spread of HIV/AIDS than any other US president - good.
My book starts at the very beginning of time. The Big Bang creates two gods – one male and one female. But, the force of the bang is so tremendous that it splits the male god into two halves: A dark side, called Naro and a light side, called Brote. Naro and Brote become obsessed with destroying one another.
In traditional fantasy, Dark equals evil and Light equals good. And of course the dark is portrayed committing atrocities, so its evil is never in doubt. In my story, the dark Naro believes himself to be good and the light Brote to be evil, while Brote believes the exact opposite.
Naro’s good qualities include: 1) all humans are equal to one another and 2) they can improve their status as high as they can through hard work; His evil qualities include: 1) extreme competition among his humans leads to murder and 2) There is almost no trust or loyalty among humans.
Brote’s good qualities include: 1) his humans have very strong family bonds, and 2) all his Brotians have a clear sense of their purpose. His evil qualities include: 1) women are beneath men, and 2) all Brotians’ status is pre-determined and they cannot rise above it.
The female god is Crevahn. She loves both of her brothers the same and refuses to take sides in their war. She creates the world, the oceans and her own children, the jiva, whom she charges with protecting and nurturing animals and plants. She is the ultimate and stereotypical Mother Nature.
With no hope of Brote and Naro ending their war, Crevahn has a vision that unless she intervenes her earth and all life will be destroyed. With the help of her children and one unwitting Brotian woman, she devises a plan to re-unite her brothers back into one God.
I’d like to make one more quick point about most fantasy stories written in the West. They typically lack the diversity that exists in our real world. In Lord of the Rings, all the humans, elves and dwarves are white. In Harry Potter, which takes place in the diverse UK, all the major characters are white.
I love both stories and will read them with my children when they are older, but I wanted to create a world as diverse as our own. The three gods each have children. Crevahn’s children are of one race called jiva. Brote has two races: sun jiva and human. Naro also has two races: moon jiva and human.
I wanted to disassociate the Brotians and Narons from any connection to evil and good with races and skin color, especially black and white, in the real world. I gave the Brotians orange skin and the Narons grey skin since neither color can be associated with us.
There are just over 1,600 jiva initially created by Crevahn and their skin color, hair and eyes are just as diverse as in our own world. Currently, this is the only drawing of a jiva that I have. In the future I hope to have a large collection which will reflect the picture on the right..
Before closing today, I’d like to briefly introduce the two main characters. This is Vyas. He is the only jiva to carry a weapon. When Crevahn created him, a small amount of Naro was trapped inside his heart. He must travel to Naro’s resting chamber to help Crevahn save the world while being tormented by his own darkness.
This is Malla. She is an abused Brotian human wife that is forced to make illegal alcohol. Her life is turned upside down when the most powerful sun jiva appears in her basement severely wounded. She nurses him back to health, but carries a secret that will end in her execution or in her helping Crevahn save the world.
Thank you for taking the time to hear about my book. Currently in the US, ebooks are outselling paper books so my publisher is offering it only as an ebook for now. If the book sells well, it will be available in paper in the future. If you’d like to find out more about it, I have some fliers.
This is the transcript of the talk I gave at Pecha Kucha in Nishinomiya, Japan in 2011. To watch the video, click here
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