Sunday, February 28, 2016

Flag of Atenist Egypt

This is the flag of an Egypt where worship of the Aten managed to survive.  This is because Akhenaten, in our world known as the Heretic Pharaoh, went about his reforms in a bit more subtle way.  Instead of one god replacing many gods, Akhenaten created a belief system not unlike Zoroastrianism, Hinduism or Platonic Philosophy.  It is believed that above all is Aten, but he is complex and difficult to known in his highest form.  Therefore, to make himself known, Aten has sent out emanations of himself that were thought of as the gods of Egyptian Mythology.  The pharaoh is said to be able to commune directly with Aten and hold a special place in the new religion. 

The desire to spread the word of Aten to all corners of the globe lead Egypt to focus on expansion.  Even in the present day, thought their empire had since shrunken, they remain a major player of the world stage.  Their closest ally is Greece, whose religion is based around the veneration of the Agathon and is largely based around the writings of Plato and Aristotle.  In the past Egypt went through bouts of religious fanaticism, but today it is largely a secular society, those Atenism is still followed by most of the population.  The survival of Atenism meant that the Abrahamic Faiths never happened, so the geopolitical and cultural situation is quite different from out world.  

The black stands for the black fertile soil of the Nile River.  Black has been considered a symbol of good fortune ever since ancient times in Egypt.  The gold sun in the center of the flag is of course Aten itself. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

My First Publication with The Wolfian

Well everybody, I've published another story and been paid a grand total of $0.00 for my work.  I knew that going in so it's all good, and I gets my name out there and builds my reputation.  Where is this latest publication?  It's in The Wolfian Issue 6, edited by Jay Wolfe.

The Wolfian is a British e-magazine based in Swansea, Whales that's devoted to liberalism and social democracy.  It's full of tones of great articles and pieces of fiction.  Issue 6 contains my alternate history flash fiction story Happy Dominion Day.  It's set in a world where America lost the Revolutionary War.  Issue 6 of The Wolfian is available from Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks or you can buy a physical copy.

Digital is only 99 cents while physical is $9.99 but ether way you should give it a buy, I promise you won't regret it.  I originally intended this to be published in Alternate History Fiction Magazine, also edited by Jay Wolfe, but there was a bit of a mix up.  Not a bad thing, as it gave me motivation to write a new story for Alternate History Fiction Magazine, and so I'll be published twice.

Not much more to add here, other than that I hope you enjoy Happy Dominion Day.  Until next time everyone.

Flags of The Grand War

My friend Lynn Davis has always been one of my favorite alternate history map makers.  When she said she wished she had flags I made a flag of an Islamic China based on one of her maps.  Lynn loved it and ask if I wanted to make more flags for her Grand War series.  Well, how could I say no to something like that?

So in this post I'm going to share those flags with you.  So without further ado let's get on with it.

So here's the flag of Islamic China.  It's green since that's a color you see in a lot of Islamic flags, and the star and crescent moon are included as well.  The writing is Arabic, the sacred language of Islam, and it says "Truly there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him".  The dragon adds Chinese influence, plus Lynn and I really like dragons.  Fun fact, this flag was featured in a work of art Lynn commissioned of two Chinese soldiers having sex.  You know you've hit he big times when your work is featured in a Rule 34 commission!  

Here we have the flag of Ruthenia.  Lynn wanted something that looked like the OTL flag of Ruthenia, and I figured nothing says alternate Russia quite like a bear holding an ax. 

For this one we have the Holy Germanian Empire.  Lynn wanted a red background and white cross, but that struck me as too simple.  So I added these crests to symbolize both the empire's earthly power and holy authority. 

This one is Norman France.  We've got the Norman lions along side the French fleur-de-lis to represent the mixed heritage of the nation.  Also, gotta love the red-blue contrast.

Here we have Japan.  It has black and white like the flag of the Tokugawa Shogunate, because it was opened up earlier in this world, and the imperial chrysanthemum.

This one is the flag of Anglo-Saxon Britain.  It's red, white and has a dragon.  All common Anglo-Saxon symbolism.  Plus, again, who doesn't love dragons? 

And here we have the United Kingdoms of Arcadia.  Lynn wanted something that was like a cross between the flags of America and Canada, and she like what I came up with. 

For this one it the flag of the Punjab Empire.  I wanted to do a pennant to mix things up, and I gave it orange since it's a Hindu empire and I added the pillar of Ashoka for added effect.

This one is the flag of Hispania.  It's Christian, but retains many elements of it's Moorish heritage, and the flag reflects this mixed heritage in it's symbolism. 

This is the flag of the Byzantine Empire.  Lynn wanted something like the Russian flag.  The gold is for God, the purple is for the emperor and the red is for the common people.  It's contains the imperial double headed eagle, and the Alpha and Omega symbols are to stand for the empire's strong Christian influences.   

Here we have the flag of The Caliphate.  It's a swallow tale to add variety to the fairly basic design.

Here we got the flag of Persia.  Pretty much the same as Iran's flag save for the inclusion of the Persian sun and lion.

This one is the flag of Vinland.  It follows the same pattern as all of the other Norse flags in reflecting it's Nordic heritage. 

Finally we have the flag of Korea.  I figured that as a Chinese vassal they'd get some Islamic influence as well.  We've got a flow and some phoenixes along with the phrase "God is great" in Arabic. 

Well that wraps up this flag post.  If you like Lynn's maps be sure to donate to her Patreon account.  I hope you all enjoyed getting to see these flags.  I love how they all have medieval feel to them.  Fitting, give that's when this world's history diverged from our's.  I'm actually credited as a vexillologist, someone who studies flags and banners, in Lynn's Grand War book.  Until next time everybody.     

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Flag of the Minoan Empire

It's been a while since I last posted a flag.  I usually like posting maps and flags together, but after doings some thinking about it I've decided that I'm more of a flag guy and a map guy.  As such I'm cranking up production on my flags and putting maps on the back-burner for the moment.

Anyway, here's the flag this post is about:

This is the flag of the Minoan Empire.  It comes from a world where the eruption of Thera never happened.  As a result the Minoan civilization continued to flourish and eventually went on to conquer the Mycenaeans.  The Minoans forged several trade networks and founded an empire that stretched across the Mediterranean.  The Minoan conquest of the Mycenaeans meant that Ancient Greek civilization, as we know it, never came to be.  

The Minoan Empire prospered for many centuries, but just as Greece and Rome did in our world, eventually it had to come to an end.  However, just as later civilizations looked to Greece and Rome for influence and inspiration, so to did the future civilizations of this world look to the Minoans.  Minoan culture cast a heavy shadow on future civilizations, and the legacy of the art and ideas would live on even after thousands of years.

The dark purple represents the wine-dark sea, and the Minoans control over it.  The golden axes are Labrys, a type of double bladed ax commonly found in Minoan artwork and ruins.  They are believed to have symbolized authority. I figured a bulls head was a bit too obvious a route and wanted to do something a bit more unique. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fan Art and Commissions # 3

Well it looks like the time has come once again to look at some of the fan art that I've had commissioned.  First up we've got a piece by Brazilian artist Desinho.  Actually, its a two-for-one special.  Same art but slightly different.  Based on my fanfic idea Adventure of the Silver Bullets, and that's just what it's called.

From left to right we've got Nico di Angello, Mizore Shiryuki, Mako, Reyna Ramirez and Ashoka Tano.  As you might have guessed, Reyna and Ashoka are lesbians, Mako and Mizore are good friends, and Mako and Nico are gay.  It started out mainly as way to troll shippers, but I came to genuinely love the various parings.  It helps that Nico is canonically gay, and we get some subtle hints that Reyna might be lesbian in the books.  Also, many Star Wars fans have noted that Ashoka always seemed to have more chemistry with female characters rather than male.    

The story here is that the Silver Bullets just finished a major mission and these five are going on vacation to San Fransokyo.  Yes, the one from Big Hero Six.  Anyway, let's move on.       

This is a map I had commissioned from Bruce Monroe based on my pal Matt Mitrovich's scenario What Happens Next? Hammer and Cross.  Originally, I was going to make this map myself, but I wasn't confident in my skills, so I handed the reigns over to Bruce.  When this map came out Matt was having a very rough weekend and was going through some self-doubt, but then he saw this map and it renewed his confidence and made him happy.  It is so good when art, especially art I commission, can do great things like that.  It even got featured for Map Monday.  Speaking of commissioned art doing great things.  

Here's a map based on my flag of The Russian Philippines.  It was created by the great map maker Lynn Davis.  Lynn was going through some though finical times when this map was commissioned.  I had always wanted a map made by Lynn, and I wanted to help out a friend, so it killed two birds with one stone.  I mean, just look at it!  It's super professional quality, and Lynn helped iron-out the creases in the scenario.  I hope one day to commission another great map from Lynn in the future.  It also go featured for Map Monday.  

And here we have another creation from out pal Alan Garcia.  This time we have Minami Shimada from Baka and Test as Sailor Mars.  I especially love the little spell scroll she's got.  Not really much more to add on this one that I haven't said about past Sailor Moon crossovers.  So let's move on to the final edition to the list.

To round out the list of commissions and fan art we have C.C. from Code Geass and Sailor Saturn.  You can check out my review of Code Geass over here.  You can always count on Alan Garcia for quality art work.  This might be my last Sailor Moon commission for a bit.  I'm thinking about mixing it up and doing something different next time, but you'll have to wait and see about that. 

There's no honorable mentions this time around.  Well, that concludes another look at my fan art and commissions.  I hope you had fun and maybe we can do this again soon.  I'll see you guys next time.