Cosmogonic Marbles by Steve Downes
In the endless Cosmoses that exist in the Multi-verse (with equally endless possibilities) the adventures of two brothers, on an Earth where all myths are real and on our own dull magicless Earth, don’t amount to a hill of beans (except in the Cosmoses where they do amount to hills of beans …but that’s another novel).
In this story Philip Philips, a failed businessman, and his twin brother James, are unwilling participants in a battle of Good versus Evil when a mysterious gateway is opened by a minor God from a Dark-Age twin Earth.
It should have been James Philips who was found by the Dark Stranger and transported by an inter-dimensional being in the guise of a Womble to the Dark-Age Earth filled with every magical creature imaginable. But, as Fate would have it, it’s Philip, the useless one, who ends up leading a group of misfits across Medieval England to mount rescues, battle Hobgoblins and generally save the World(s).
James Philips meanwhile is stuck on dull, magicless, Earth in his old college, Botolf-almost-Oxford, which he discovers is staffed solely by men dedicated to the protection of our Earth from the paranormal. His old mentor, now living in a video recording, introduces him to an array of strange allies, as London, England and the World face an ‘alien’ invasion of swords and sorcery.
Others are caught up in the events of the inter-cosmic connection between two Earths; Vortigern the King has been bred for conquest and now his eyes are on our world. He brings with his armies many wizards, who themselves have gained an eye for the throne.
Sam, a young boy from West London has been sent through the gateway to the dark world of magic where he meets Snodrod and the children of an enslaved village, their only wish to get back to their homes; but they face enormous challenges … not least, Dragon-shaped ones.
The story, as told here in the first Chronicle of Botolf, takes place simultaneously in both Earths, where the connection between worlds has a strange echoing effect on every character.
Will the world be saved? Can the Wrong man do the job? Is this a rhetorical question?
All will be answered in this comedy/fantasy/mock-u-history tale.
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Steve Downes is an Irish contemporary poet, playwright and novelist, currently living and working in Ireland. Born in Drogheda, Country Louth in 1973
1995: Plays and Poetry, Steve’s first play produced was ‘Until Morning’ in 1995 by the Calipo Theatre Company and was written and performed for the charity AIDS Alliance, scenes from the play were also performed by the Nation Youth Theatre later that year.
From 1991 to 1997 Steve’s poetry was being featured in Poetry Magazines in both Ireland and the UK, included Britain’s best known publication for poem Envoi. Steve was also gaining a reputation for experimental poetry performance and in 1993 travelled across Ireland with a group of young poets performing in a range of venues.
1996: Steve’s second play ‘Voices’ was performed at the Droichead Arts Centre as part of a showcase of new Irish Talent.
His first major publication was ‘The Pagan Field’, a collection of poems inspired by the Irish historic landscape; the book’s striking artwork was created by the late Artist Teddy Doyle.
1997: Steve third play, ‘For God and Country’, won a Kenny-Naughton award, the play was a harrowing single scene of the interrogation of a freedom fighter by a policeman who represented a Totalitarian Religion-based government.
In 1998 Steve attended NUI Maynooth University and read Classical History, History and Anthropology. In 2001 he received a B.A. Degree in Classics and Anthropology and in 2003 he received a Masters in Cultural Anthropology.
In 2000, Steve wrote a collection of poems entitled ‘Ghosts’ which was featured in the book Celtic Echoes and launched in the City Arts Centre, Dublin, the book was sold in Ireland, the UK and the US and individual poems by Steve were used by Academic institutions in the US and Thailand as part of their English Literature Courses.
In 2005 Steve was shortlisted for playwright awards in Ireland and the US for his play ‘The Creator’, a surreal black comedy which sees God as a failing scientist creating and re-creating the world and its inhabitants.
Also in 2005 Steve and the English poet, novelist and filmmaker Roger Hudson launched ‘Side Angles’, two twin collections of poems published back-to-back. This experimental book sold over 2,500 copies and was highly acclaimed by critics.
2005-10 Steve’s poems were featured in two anthologies, both published in Ireland, many of his poems began to appear on on-line poetry forums around this time.
In 2010 Steve worked with Photographer Duirmuid Jones and Web-designer Jamie Stanton to produce his forth collection of poems, the on-line collection ‘Urbania’ http://www.stevedownesurbania.com/index.html, which has received thousands of views and much critical acclaim.
Where you can find Steve: