The people of Earth are being watched. Not by the usual extra-terrestrial suspects, but by Arkhonz; powerful cosmic beings who were long ago exiled to our solar system. But perhaps more alarming, these Arkhonz have been toying with human physiology since ancient times…
This is the intriguing premise for the latest offering from Obsidian Eagle – a self-described Anti-Poet (following in the footsteps of Nicanor Parra) and a “literary guerrilla” of some notoriety on social media. In his newest book, titled A Codex For Gnostics: Cosmic Comedy Writ In The Zone of Malkuth, Obsidian draws inspiration from archaic literature such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi library.
The story begins with Brax, headstrong leader of the Arkhonh Alliance. Along with six other rebel Arkhonz, he is convicted for committing high treason against Amoun-Rah – who is basically a stand-in for GOD (Amoun-Rah is the overseer of Ketheroz, the highest zone in a Kabbalistic Megalocosmos). Consequently, the seven rebel leaders are condemned to serve out life sentences in isolation– each one on a separate planet, in a backwater solar system where Earth just so happens to orbit. Brax is assigned to the sphere of Marz, while the others are dispersed to their own neighboring orbs in this same system.
Ever dynamic, Brax quickly finds a way to communicate with the others on their respective isolated orbs. During the course of their dialogues, Brax discovers Tellz (his name for Earth), and it piques his interest. Here is a sphere at the dawn of its existence – one that is filled with primates full of promise; Homz. Needless to say, the Arkhonz pose as primeval gods and are even worshiped by humans during Æons long since forgotten.
Of course, for anyone familiar with Beelzebub`s Tales to His Grandson, this yarn may ring a bell. However, the references given above are merely from the book`s prologue! In other words, the Gnostic theme is more a point of departure toward what an astute reader might recognize to be nouveau Metafiction. That is, a lesser known strain of literary fiction given to us by the likes of Kurt Vonnegut and going as far back as Don Quixote.
A Codex For Gnostics, the second installment of Obsidian Eagle’s Lunacy Trilogy, is his most recent and also most unorthodox offering to date. An action-adventure tale which combines the teachings of Kabbalah, Thelema, and Zoroastrianism, along with the study of Egyptology –A Codex For Gnostics overflows with occult references. And yet, these references are also many-layered and highly contextualized. It soon becomes apparent that there is something both absurd and brilliant at play upon these heavy-laden pages. It is clear that there are multiple meanings to everything that the author alludes to, including the book’s title.
Loosely translated the title means: A Book For Those Who Know. So really what the writer is doing here involves creating a quizzical environment for the reader to roam around in. Elements of Magical Realism inevitably bleed in, as does the philosophy of Interstitial Art. Postmodern pastiche is prominent too. Seriously, the Codex leaves no Semiotic stone unturned.
Further, by subdividing the universe into Zephyroth zones, and playing with time, the genre fluctuates between fantasy, science-fiction, and sometimes even – the comically mundane!
The writer exhibits a sardonic sense of humor that although irreverent, is nonetheless respectful in its treatment of the subject matter. No pretenses at accuracy are made. Rather, the text is presented as an example of artistic expression and (on a deeper level) a sort of field experiment in Linguistics.
What that means is that unlike the average vocabulary used by mainstream storytellers, Obsidian Eagle favors far more exotic fare. When questioned about his wanton wordiness he replies: “I think of writing as a verbal safari where you can go hunt the wildest game in its native habitat. Capture and release.”
Epic poetry and esoteric mysticism have often gone hand-in-hand, and that tradition certainly continues in A Codex For Gnostics, Cosmic Comedy Writ In The Zone of Malkuth. The sacred is somewhat satirized but as previously mentioned, this is done in a fairly tasteful manner. In fact, there is definitely a lot of heart and soul thriving among the colorful characters introduced within these pages.
Not least of which is Dex, the main protagonist. We meet Dex during act two (out of five). Dex is just a regular guy, who by chance or happenstance ends up becoming kind of a BIG deal on the cosmic scene. Since he’s one of a few humans in a cast featuring otherworldly entities populating outlandish places, Dex tends to put the funny into any situation. Without giving too much away, it can be safely be said that part of his purpose is to take the reader along for a crazy ride!
Throughout the entire book Obsidian Eagle paints a different picture of the universe as we think we know it. The Codex relies heavily on many renown mystics who are referenced but rarely if ever mentioned directly. This referential style could be exactly what’s needed in an age of freely available information.
Now while A Codex For Gnostics isn’t exactly an easy read, it represents a new kind of literature that gives its readers a little more credit than they are used to getting. Witty turns of phrase are on display for the appreciation of sagacious connoisseur and lay person alike. Though it is brief (150 pages) it is still quite condensed, and probably warrants several rereads.
For example, like all good Codices, this one seems to contain a cipher that is difficult to decode. Maybe there’s more than meets the eye beneath the surface, but it isn’t always clear what the writer intends. Perhaps an openness to interpretation is part of the fun?
It’s probably worth mentioning as well that there’s a tongue-in-cheek “secret soundtrack” running through pretty much the whole book. Album titles, band names, and lyrical snippets from songs are coyly dropped just about everywhere. Not a page goes by that doesn’t pay homage to other similar works of fiction, movies, television etc. Different readers are bound to catch different sets of references altogether. There actually IS something here for everyone!
The author has included a Glossary of Recondite Terminology, an appendix aimed at assisting the reader with some of the trickier tropes contained within the text. It is nicely organized and informative for sure. A Codex For Gnostics is deliberately challenging yet equally rewarding for those who can stick with it until its extremely climactic final act.
It is Obsidian Eagle’s unique flair that makes the narrative of A Codex For Gnostics in no way typical of any current offerings in the science fiction or fantasy genres. If it is to be classified at all, the writings of Dante Alighieri would be a good place to start.
Obsidian Eagle embraces philosophical ideologies and religious doctrines from varying cultures; so he presents us with mythical scenarios enhanced by obscure schools of thought.
Being the second book in the author’s Lunacy Trilogy, A Codex For Gnostics once again shows the moon as the site of a battle. It is this undercurrent which connects it to its thematic prequel The Soma Tantra: A Cosmic Tragedy. That first book was a retelling of the classic Hindu myth of the war against the moon.
Obsidian Eagle is currently composing the third installment in this series. Its working title is Tome of The Sixth Sun: A Cosmic Dramady. It is will be influenced more by the last surviving Mayan manuscript, the Popul-Vuh. Obsidian Eagle has already shown us his knack for picking up threads buried deeply by the sands of time and his third book sounds very promising indeed!