Introducing Meta-Visionary Fiction Part 1 – Gordon Kierle-Smith

As authors of Visionary Fiction, we all have our own take on the genre and how we go about enriching it with our own particular approach. However, all of these share a common purpose to go beyond mere “entertainment” and its various mind-numbing manifestations. This is writing with a purpose, designed to expand readers’ consciousness by means of conceptual and inspirational challenges with a potential capability of kindling fresh inspirations of their own…

Blurring the borderline

Our genre covers a vast range of contexts, which includes acknowledging the precept that everything is in a constant state of flux and time is an illusion. We may, therefore, feel drawn to exploring various ways of weaving this aspect of the metaphysical into the corpus of our writing. How far we need to go before Visionary Fiction shifts into the realm of Meta-Visionary Fiction (MVF) is, no doubt, debatable. However, for the sake of the present argument, we can define MVF as being an approach drawing upon a range of literary devices to blur the borderline between “vision” and “hyper-vision”. “Fake News” is one of them. Although NOT the kind of “Fake News” you might imagine.

Instead of only using regular narrative or description, a great deal of important information is delivered in the form of press articles (such as the “imagined” Sydney Morning Herald cutting shown here), interview transcriptswebsite screenshots and other add-ons. All contributing to create a more dynamic environment designed to be “as real as the reader needs it to be”.

The first forays into “meta-visionary” territory appeared in the “Genesis Antarctica” trilogy between 2012 and 2016, preparing the ground for the multi-dimensional aspects of “Revelation Antarctica” in 2019.

Naysayers

There is a downside to all these good intentions, however. Some readers misunderstood the “Fake News” device and trashed “Genesis Antarctica” because “The Sydney Morning Herald didn’t use that typeface for its headlines in 1962”. Similarly, if just one of the 99 items in “Revelation Antarctica”* takes readers outside their comfort zone, feedback can be equally damning.

Timelessness rules!

In addition to these characteristics, Meta-Visionary Fiction has yet another astoundingly unique aspect, to be fully explained in a future article. Suffice to say, it offers readers the option of glimpsing, first hand, what timelessness really implies… and how synchronicity orchestrates the “illusory” passage of time.

Unbending Science rejects MVF

One recent anecdote illustrates the kind of opposition we are likely to encounter in our “crusade” to stimulate a thirst for awareness among our readers. It is also rather amusing:

I had sent a message about “Revelation Antarctica” to an investigating scientist in Ohio who has studied evidence of aliens in Antarctica. He was very keen to find out what I know and how I came to discover it… I sent him a pdf of the entire book and we set a time for him to call directly the following day (no Skype or Zoom…). Our conversation lasted nearly two hours and he was very keen to know how I had managed to get hold of certain facts which are, apparently, VERY highly classified secrets!

When suggesting some of the information may have been partially channelled, he didn’t want to know. Although he did ask if I had seen any strange lights in my room when the “inspiration” manifested… Well, I hadn’t, although there was always a feeling of “guidance” pointing me in the right direction. (After watching Brad Swift’s interview on the VFA site discussing his latest book, The Fringe Candidate, I shall adopt the term “muse” from now on. Much better).

Anyway, our Antarctica scientist became even more excited when he saw the material was accompanied by my “pseudo-authentic” articles, screenshots, forum extracts, etc. He kept trying to discover my sources, emphasising he is a scientist solely interested in finding out how I had obtained so much classified information. Then, a couple of days later, I presume the penny dropped. Maybe it was my “as real as you need it to be” mantra that did it!

After sending another message developing the importance of VF as a trigger to awareness among a wider audience, he sent the following cryptic message with only a few words in the subject line. No message as such:

I quote:

“I am only interested in truth ( -:)”

After so much initial enthusiasm from the scientist-investigator, this was a devastating comedown. Until I realised it was, in fact, an encouragement! If this “secret” information had been solid enough to grab – and retain – his attention for almost three whole days, we must be doing something right!

In the end, perhaps the extracts from the “Star Peace” movie script blew it? Or the article about “Remembering the Future”? It could also have been the alien-built (and rotating) moon…? Or the underlying reasons why certain people were unable to see the Masterships.

We will probably never know.

The next article will be largely focused on the 4 possible ways of reading “Revelation Antarctica”.


You can find out more about Revelation Antarctica on the VFA site here:

https://visionaryfictionalliance.com/how-and-why-was-this-book-written/


About the author

Initially a compulsive writer of poems, dramatic monologues and radio plays, from 1967 – 1973, Gordon Keirle-Smith was a visionary artist, producing highly symbolic paintings. Everything changed when he met Johfra and Ellen Lorien, two founder members of the Dutch meta-realist visionary art movement. He desperately wanted to emulate them… but lacked the formal training needed to come anywhere near their technical mastery… He therefore decided to start painting with words rather than oils and brushes. In 1973, he moved to France, where he drafted the first version of “Zandernatis” incorporating all the symbolic and visionary images he would never have had the time – or the skill – to paint. After a series of contrasting careers, Gordon founded his own communications coaching, copywriting and transcreation business in 1994, allowing him to hone his journalistic, creative writing and copy editing skills in an incredibly diverse range of fields. Perfect grounding for what came next. In 2013, he unearthed the original typescript of “Zandernatis” and began updating it, adding the innovative aspects of the work he was now able to introduce. Two years later, all three volumes of “Zandernatis – Where Legends Were Born” – a definitive “meta-realist allegory,” had been published with translation into French underway.

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4 thoughts on “Introducing Meta-Visionary Fiction Part 1 – Gordon Kierle-Smith

  1. margaretduarte says:

    What an interesting artile, Gordon! “I am only interested in truth ( -:)” Ha, sometimes fiction is “truer” than nonfiction. Your “muse” did a fine job of sending you so much “classified information.” And, yes, your anecdote “illustrates the kind of opposition we are likely to encounter in our ‘crusade’ to stimulate a thirst for awareness among our readers.”

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  2. Robert Springer says:

    This was great. I did something like this with my MA Thesis novel, Resurrectorium 1920, a novel of life in the Kingdom of God during the second/general resurrection of the dead when nearly everyone is being brought back, but in cohorts. This is set in the cohort for the 19th-20th centuries when “the rest of us” are coming back.

    The novel was an “epistolary novel,” a technique I was inspired to use by reading “Flowers for Algernon,” by Daniel Keyes and Studs Terkle’s non-fiction, “Working.”

    More than letters, the novel was a mix of material from archives. I created: the epistles from resurrectees (the bulk of the novel), handouts given characters or put into circulation, a courthouse transcript (based on a real one) of a trial by jury, and the town newspaper where headlines did most of the work but each story was actually part of the novel. The newspaper also allowed me to use images — mostly public domain and one sophisticated modern image. The epistles were “augmented” by a device (whether it was a sci-fi or supernatural device isn’t made clear). This device gave the character (and reader) access to things not normally part of an epistle.

    But here’s the rub. The only meta-artifact I had in Organ Pipes of the Soul were “teletype” printouts, which I was able to shorten. The shorter version does not rely on the fonts I created in the original. I’m using this shorter version in the print book, too, so the text is more adaptable to ePub, Kindle, Nook, iPad, Browser readers, etc.

    But Resurrectorium 1920 with its newspapers would be difficult to convert to ePub. The newspapers especially. As I edit this, I will have to give some thought to these meta-texts.

    So, this might be something to consider when using meta-texts. They are fun to create and can provide the reader with a new ‘in’ to the novel, but if they require special fonts, are format intense (as in newspaper layout), or even format dependent (they won’t work without their format), we’ll have to consider the implications for our e-book readers.

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    • Gordon Keirle-Smith says:

      Hello Robert,
      Fascinating to learn about your books and the use of “exterior” sources to give a new dimension to the reading experience. As to maintaining those layouts of “exterior sources”, such as press releases, web pages etc., I get around that by inserting a jpeg image of the “printed” page or “screenshot” and then following it by the “raw” text content. I usually precede the image with a line saying “Full text follows after screenshot”, so the reader gets the overall view (and can even get a full-screen image by double-tapping on a Kindle screen). After which they have the plain text to read in full at their leisure… This seems to work rather well. I also like creating posters announcing various events or things like health warnings… Another variant is “reproducing” screenshots of websites vertically. In other words, you have to turn the physical book or Kindle round so you get a “landscape” view.
      One final thing, I’m looking forward to your forthcoming book – particularly because I play the pipe organ (well, a digital version because we can’t get all those pipes into the basement music room…). Purely for pleasure and instinctive improvisation, but it must be one of the most euphoric therapies going… Organ Pipes really are good for the Soul…

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  3. Victor Smith says:

    Am fascinated about where you are taking this, Gordon, and by Robert Springer’s comment above as well. To a degree, I get the differentiation you are trying to make between MVF and plain old VF, even if I feel I am huffing and puffing to keep up with you without a prayer that my old brain cells (too many on the left side, not enough on the right–and I don’t mean politics) can sustain the pace. I also wonder, in some of this far out stuff, if the truth is closer to “the emperor has no clothes on.” Nevertheless, I’m curious enough to hang in for now.

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