Written by Bill Thirdson
From the editor, Installment 2:
Now, I know my version of things here in Bolugi Bay is very similar to Barbara Riddler’s Bitter Light of Dawn, but remember, mine is magical fantasy, and hers is literary biography, or biographical fiction, if you want to call it that. We may have started at the same place and with the same four people, but one story is out of this world and one is very much in it. If you ask me, I’ll remember more specifically what happened and what I imagined happened, and she will put things together as she heard it from many others because she wasn’t here until much later. Mine will be truer because it all comes from my mind; hers will be truer because she will put it in a very fine order and dress it up with nicer trappings.* We definitely will not end up in the same place.
*(Like footnotes, and stuff.)
From the editor, Installment 1:
Perhaps it is not fair that the editor announces himself first but since my novel is the fantastic story of Bolugi Bay itself and contains as characters other Bolugi Bay Company authors themselves, as younger children and young adults, it seems appropriate to me to post first. The novel is a magical fantasy and you may decide for yourself whether you think it is true or not, and whether it will endwell or ill.
You very likely know that I am the current editor also of The Bayward Press, Bolugi Bay’s twice weekly newspaper and ad sheet, and have been for over twenty years. My grandfather was also the editor, of the paper, and his employer was the wizard founder of the community of Bolugi Bay as well as the newspaper. You will read all about him in this book and any sequels to it, although you may get a less fantastical take on all the Bolugi Bay characters that matter by the more straightforward biographical fiction of Barbara Riddler’s The Bitter Light of Dawn. She does not make up names for members of the company and their ancestors. It serves the centering role of telling you where you are through all our novels and stories.
I could not bring myself to name the main character of my fantasy novel with my own name, but I assure you it is as close to my own story as I choose to remember it. I did also find compunction in naming my character’s friends with their own names but if you don’t already know us by living here in Bolugi Bay, then read both my work and Barbara’s and you’ll easily be able to tell who is whom. You have the opportunity to have two authors’ views of the younger lives of several, if not all, of the other Bolugi Bay Company authors.
In fact, who knows yet how any of us are fictionally portrayed by any and all of our group’s writers in various stages of our lives, or through what kinds of psychological lens we will all be seen or distorted by each other? [I’ve read ahead and I think I see many of us in all manner of disguises.] I’ve no doubt that I will catch hell from my friends for what seem to be off kilter portrayals, but at least I did tell them all what I intended to do. It’s fiction, folks. No one is exactly who you think they are. Just as audience members often confuse the roles we play on stage with the “real lives” they make up about us while watching us, I imagine this whole literary exercise will be great puzzling fun for many, writer and readers alike. I just hope no one gets hurt.
The literary artifice I did preserve, however, is in my choice of narrator for Bolugi Bay. He is not usual, certainly not normal, but I hope he is delightful in his way. He is a kind of angel, you see, but not a religious one per se, though he seems to be. And yet he is a moral immortal. As my narrator tells me, everything that matters should be moral, or at least our reactions to whatever happens in this world and others should always be moral. My story is about magic, morality, hope, disability and endurance, all of which I and my narrator know firsthand. Enjoy reading all or part of this whole thing, whether I made it all up or not. – Bill Thirdson