the water moon


The Water Moon appeared in Fantasy Scroll Magazine. FSM started in 2014 with the aim of publishing thought-provoking fantasy and sci fi, and since then they’ve gone from strength to strength. In 2015 they published a paperback anthology of their 2014 stories featuring a number of big name authors, and they produce a podcast of one story each week as well as the bimonthly magazine.

‘The Water Moon’ is in part based on my experiences in South America, and I’d like to think the piece says a little about belief systems and the violent acts that can arise from them.

The story does this in a non-specific way because it’s fantasy, set in an imaginary island country in the Atlantic. In the real world, radicalisation, extremism and terrorism burn and bleed from our screens, and I find many of the acts of violence I see and read about completely incomprehensible.

But when I think about the broader picture, I try to remember that in the real world, the same as in fiction, everything depends on PoV, point-of-view. Extremists and radicals are people with viewpoints far from your own, and there are plenty of positive terms—revolutionaries, activists, freedom fighters and so on—that others might use to describe the very same people.

Is there an answer? I have no idea, I’m just a struggling writer :), but as a part-time Buddhist I’ve come to think that dehumanization of others: extremists, reactionaries, and heretics (as seen from your very own PoV of course), and the belief that a given end justifies a violent means, are fundamental problems.

Coming back to ‘The Water Moon’ after that slight digression, the story also owes something to Wagner’s Trystan und Isolde (which I freely admit I don’t understand), and like some of my other pieces it makes use of the fascinating mythos of Brazil’s Tupi-Guarani peoples.

6 thoughts on “the water moon

    • Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed. Even more that you let me know 🙂 . I don’t put short fiction on the blog, just the occasional link when I sell the rights for a story to a publisher.

  1. i love stories, any kind, usually not so much science fiction but i will tolerate dystopian. the title lured me, the Water Moon, being the fish that’s afraid of water while the moon determines my mood, so water moon was like a lighthouse in your list of articles. and the mention of Tristan and Isolde! my favourite opera by Wagner, one that i listen to after I have used up every bit of compassion, i understand why you used it here, the story of two lovers that have so many variations because they are light as air and evaporate as soon as their story is told to be re-imagined by another storyteller, even Romeo and Juliet never had their story retold so many times, but I digress, the Water Moon is an interchangeable story, I can read it from so many angles and that is it’s brilliance. Yet I could not find a character to identify with, they all seemed important to not discard and so were all central figures in a story that weaved plots like knots in a tapestry. they all finally presented a whole picture, the characters could be anyone of the people we work or live with, yet sometimes just familiar strangers. like Tristan & Isolde we never get the real story about what happened to them, the romance was in the unknown, just like the mystery surrounding Ivan. I enjoyed this very much.

    • So glad you found The Water Moon worthwhile, Gina. I’m sorry for my
      delay in replying, end-of year has really caught up with me. Your review is amazing. If I ever publish a collection, I would love to have it in there. 😃 Those stories, as old as a time, fascinate me as well—doomed love, love potions, all our illusions about what is “meant to be.”

      Many of the source bits and pieces for the story come from my experiences in South America—people, places and events, as well as the myths of the Tupi Guarani peoples. You’ve also given me a wake-up call about writing. I really need to find time to get back to short fiction.

    • no reason to apologise Steve, i know how year end can be so overwhelming. suddenly all projects need completing etc. i have just been through a massive document audit and feel so drained. good to have that out of the way though.

      thank you for the kind words, i just felt very connected to the story. fiction is lovely for the opportunity to escape from our own troubles.

      Love is the subject that everyone has a vested interest in no matter our age or social strata its the one topic we struggle to understand and control in our lives.

      I will never come to the “meant to be” stage, I tend to live in the now and don’t have vision for grand futures. the now is difficult enough to handle as it is. Once a long time ago I got illusions confused with reality, it is soul awakening to have truth slap you in the face! LOL!

      It must have been a very enlightening experience to live among a different culture. watching people gives us more insight into what we are made up of. the comparison and similarity of cultures across the world has always fascinated me.

      I look forward to new stories from you then. I hope you get the time to get back to your passion.

    • Thanks Gina. I think that fiction writers are the least likely to confuse illusions with reality, because we work illusions of a kind, and recognize the difference.

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