A BRIEF LOOK INSIDE MY CHARCTERS’ LIVES IN THE NOVEL CAPTAIN BONNY MORGAN: THE CASSANDRA PROPHESY
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A BRIEF LOOK INSIDE MY CHARCTERS’ LIVES IN THE NOVEL CAPTAIN BONNY MORGAN: THE CASSANDRA PROPHESY by Robert Gowdy
In my novel Captain Bonny Morgan: The Cassandra Prophesy, my characters live in a futuristic (science fiction) galaxy that in many ways operates in an ancient or, for lack of a better term, past reality. The galaxy, while high-tech, or futuristic, in that the technology exists for space travel at superluminal speeds, it nevertheless still adheres to beliefs in the sanctity of monarchies and royal lineages, aristocracy and nobility, the institution of slavery, and ancient traditions and moral codes that existed in the galaxy at a much earlier time. Because of my interest in the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean at the turn of the eighteenth century, and because I wanted to do something a little different in my novel, I created a galaxy that has operating within it, on a rather large scale, a pirate community made up of nine competing pirate factions. These pirate factions also operate within a forcefully imposed galactic, totalitarian Empire led by the Emperor Tulla and his wife, the Empress Flaccilla Lanelle.
One of the main characters in my novel, but not exactly the main character, is Captain Bonny Morgan, a pirate who lives and operates in The Cassandra Prophesy’s galaxy. She is a very special woman, from a special, unknown species (she very much resembles an overgrown blonde fairy without the Victorian wings) who has taken on the persona of a galactic pirate in order to do her job. Her job, too, is unknown, because Bonny Morgan has, in addition to her unknown origin, a secret vocation that is not revealed until the end of the novel. But to do her job, she operates in, and among, the galaxy’s pirate communities, conducting much of her business at pirate strongholds, pirate taverns, and aboard her Intimidator-class heavy assault cruiser, the Fancy. Bonny Morgan is, therefore, a very formidable woman, operating aboard a very formidable pirate vessel, a woman who conducts her day-to-day affairs in true pirate fashion. To assist her, she has her fist mate, Miss Bernadette Tell, her bosun, Mr. Quist, her second mate, Miss Pearl, and her friend and fellow “countryman,” Jon Black.
The two characters who can perhaps be characterized as the “main characters” in the novel, Princess Lysette and her slavegirl, Tink, due to circumstances beyond their control, find themselves having to leave the shelter and privilege of Emperor Tulla’s royal court and, by necessity, try to operate effectively among the pirates they meet along the way. Additionally, because Princess Lysette needs to disguise herself once she embarks on her journey, Tink, her slavegirl, suggests that she pass herself off as a slavegirl. Not only must the Princess now learn to live and operate among pirates, she also has to adjust her life in order to appear and act as an owned slavegirl would appear and act. Tink, on the other hand, has no problem whatsoever adapting to any living environment she encounters along the way. Although a slavegirl, and a royal slavegirl to boot, she is nevertheless her own woman—and, to a certain extent, rather independent, which is an interesting personality trait for an owned, and well-trained, slave. But Tink, too, has a hidden past, bits and pieces of which are revealed along the way as Tink conducts her day-to-day affairs while assisting Princess Lysette on her journey.
Then there’s Princess Lysette’s mother, the Empress Flaccilla Lanelle. A formidable woman, one with eminent political, military, and spying (intelligence) skills, Flaccilla operates both covertly and overtly to bring down her second husband’s totalitarian Empire. However, the Empress Flaccilla is thoroughly in her element while working to overthrow Tulla’s Empire, so she has no problem conducting her day-to-day life as she always has. So, given that her comfort zone remains intact as she implements her coup, she continues to be able to satisfy her raging sexual appetite while at the same time effectively conducting the day-to-day affairs of her coup.
And lastly (although there are many, many other interesting characters in the novel), there’s Admiral Shi’in Kul. Admiral Kul is the head of Emperor Tulla’s vaunted Night Watch, the Empire’s Imperial State Security Service. As head of the Night Watch, Admiral Kul has his own personal Imperial Super Carrier, Death’s Talon, that allows him to operate rather freely within Tulla’s galactic empire. However, Admiral Kul is also working to overthrow Emperor Tulla’s regime, albeit quite independently of the Empress Flaccilla. And although Kul makes good on his attempt to overthrow Emperor Tulla, Kul is nevertheless a very, very flawed man. Kul is addicted to the powerful opiate penophine, as well as a raging alcoholic. As the day-to-day affairs of his coup attempt unfold, Kul falls further and further into clinical depression, which is compounded by his anxiety over the possible failure of his coup, or his possible death before he can see his coup come to a successful end. Each day sees him become weaker and weaker, both in his resolve to implement the coup, and his ability to control his own addictions. And to compound all of this, Kul is a homosexual, which, under Emperor Tulla’s regime, is a sexual preference that has been outlawed within both the Imperial government and the Imperial military, both subject to Command Order 169 that recommends summary execution to any government or military official found in violation of that order. So, suffice it to say, Kul is a very troubled man trying to successfully function within an Empire that could kill him at any moment, not to mention the addictions that could almost certainly kill him as well. Kul’s life in his day-to-day world is, to say the least, precarious.
Robert “Doc” Gowdy is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a Ph.D. in Literary Criticism and Theory and an emphasis on Nineteenth-Century British literature. His specialization in literary theory is psychoanalytic criticism and theory, particularly Lacanian psychoanalysis, with further emphases on Milton and Eighteenth-Century British literature. Doc Gowdy is currently an adjunct assistant professor at Texas Woman’s University where he teaches various literature courses. His interest in writing is long standing, but aside from academic writing, his first novel, Captain Bonny Morgan: The Cassandra Prophesy is his first foray into fiction. Captain Bonny Morgan is based on archetypal themes and patterns from mythology, such as fairies, goddesses, and the Hero’s Journey, and based loosely on Doc Gowdy’s active duty service in the United States Marine Corps with special emphasis on the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean at the turn of the Eighteenth-Century.
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