The Long, Sad Voyage of Sinbad
My first six stories, Tales of Mineternia, are adaptations of He-Man's early minicomics and were written under the names T. F. Cooper and T. F. Brooks (an homage to fantasy author, Terry Brooks). The collection was originally titled Tales of Eternia.
In 1998, they were published on a Hercules/Xena fan fiction site called (I think) Xenon's Athenaeum, and the site owner was very generous to give me an entire page for He-Man stories. Though I did not know how to make webs, most of my stories were saved on a computer at work, with only a few stored on disc. I was not online much, but seeing my fiction on the internet was very gratifying. I have a few friends and many cousins overseas (in England, India, Canada, Scotland, Pakistan, France, Southeast Asia and the West Indies) - that so many could see my website was extremely cool!
In 1999, the WB television show, Adventures of Sinbad, was at its peak, and the web was crawling with Sinbad fan fiction. I have been a Sinbad fan since a boy, so I joined in with four stories of my own - three, if you count only the decent ones. They were small, fast-moving, but unremarkable adventures, blending traditional Sinbad lore with the TV story, and a few are still online here and there. Besides sharing stories, what I enjoyed most about the new Sinbad craze was finally having others to discuss my ideas with, even the controversial ones - the joy did not last, however.
In the relaxed atmosphere of my favorite Sinbad forum, I made some observations about Sinbad's race and the show's lack of ethnic flavor, attracting the attention of racist cowards, who started filling my e-mail with insults. I did not hide that I was Indian on the forums [English-American, too, but very Indian], and this added fuel to their fire. I began spending less time on the Sinbad forums - not a conscious thing, but a slow, gradual retreat that, retrospectively, I was unaware of. I endured the e-mail harassment for a time, before changing my online identity completely and abandoning it. I am not proud to say that racial harassment, and not boredom, turned me back to writing He-Man stories.
Nineteen ninety-nine was nearly over and T. F. Brooks had returned to Eternia.
Since He-Man's early minicomics were so heavily influenced by Ray Harryhausen's films (which include three Sinbads), my dabbling in Sinbad left me on fire with ideas for He-Man stories. I began e-mailing my Athenaeum friends again and was welcomed back with open arms and encouragement to write more stories. When I finally turned my attention to writing prose adaptations of King of Castle Grayskull and Ordeal of Man-E-Faces, a minicomic clearly inspired by Harryhausen, everything turned for the worst.
During a brief leave-of-absence from work in 2000, with half of Demonking of Grayskull on Athenaeum, I discovered Xenon's site was not online. E-mailing a few friends, I learned it had been down for over a month. With very little saved on disc, I could not wait to get back to the office, ..not knowing another bleak discovery was on the horizon. While I was out, my employer had replaced all of the office computers with new PCs - The Vengeance of Xena, The He-Man, Priests of Infinitias, Ordeal of Man-E-Faces and half of Demonking of Grayskull were lost.
Or almost lost.
When I was past the crying and swearing never to write another fan fic again and the late night Lycos searches for He-Man fan fiction that surfaced nothing, I would find that I had saved early drafts of my work on disc - scraps of text I once thought insignificant. From these scraps, The He-Man, Ordeal of Man-E-Faces and Demonking of Grayskull would live again, but trust me - you will never get over that kind of pain. Five stories, two years of your work, lost forever!
Now, I save everything I do (no matter how insignificant I believe it to be) on disc and always back-up my files. I delete nothing. If you are serious about writing, you will do this - no excuses.
Below, is a list of those first five Tales of Eternia in the order published. I am not so heartsick for A Clash At Point Dread, but still hoping that Priests of Infinitias and Vengeance of Xena are somewhere on the web. If you should find them before I, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The Vengeance of Xena (1997)
*The He-Man (1998)
*Priests of Infinitias (1998)
*Demonking of Grayskull, Part One (1999)
A Clash At Point Dread (an Adventures of Sinbad, He-Man-Masters, Xena crossover, 1999)
*The Ordeal of Man-E-Faces (2000)
*These works were published under the name 'T. F. Brooks'.
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