Welcome to Realm Explorers! In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors. Enjoy your travels! And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.
Kyle Robert Shultz.
Title of book and/or series:
The Beast of Talesend (Beaumont and Beasley, Book 1)
Brief summary of the story:
A detective who doesn’t believe in magic and who is famous for debunking it ends up magically transformed into a monster. He joins forces with an eccentric enchantress in a quest to restore his humanity.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The Afterlands are a parallel universe where fairy tales all really happened, roughly two thousand years ago. The “modern” world is built upon the aftermath of all those stories. The Beaumont and Beasley series takes place in the early 1920’s E.A. (Ever After), and Book 1 is set in the city of Talesend (the Afterlands’ version of London). The Afterlands’ equivalent of the UK is the United Kingdom of Camelot.
If we were to visit Talesend as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
The city’s main attraction is the Museum of History, where you’ll find various artifacts left over from fairy tales. Few of them are actually magical, of course, but the original Mirror from the story of Snow White is on display there. It will only speak to people who have magical abilities, but trust me, a conversation with it isn’t worth the price you’ll pay.
What dangers should we avoid in Talesend?
Stay out of the city’s less savory districts. There’s a thriving black market in magical artifacts in Talesend’s underworld, and the people who trade in such things are generally quite ruthless. The ordinary people of Talesend may not believe in magic, but the criminals know it’s realーand they’re not afraid to use it.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Talesend?
For the most part, Talesend cuisine isn’t very different from what you’ll find in the England of our world. However, there is a certain cafe whose existence is known only to a chosen few, where inhuman creatures hiding amongst ordinary humans go to get more “specialized” foodstuffs. Not recommended unless you have a taste for basilisk spleen.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Talesend?
Guns are the most common weapon. The more magically-inclined use firearms that fire enchanted bullets, causing miniature blizzards, lightning storms, vaporization, temporary transformation of the target into a duck, etc. Other enchanted weaponry is common in the Talesend underworld as well: brass knuckles that impart temporary bad-luck hexes, crossbows whose bolts can swerve to find their targets, and knives that put people under sleeping curses.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Talesend?
Automobiles are a recent invention, but are rapidly becoming commonplace. Zeppelins are also used frequently. The odd horse-drawn carriage can still be seen once in a while, but they’re slowly falling out of favor.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Talesend that we don’t see on Earth?
You’re unlikely to encounter anything besides ordinary humans and animals in Talesend, as most magical species are either in hiding or presumed extinct. There are legends of monstrous wolves who roam the streets at night, but no definitive proof has ever been found of their existence. It’s as if they have some supernatural power that prevents people from gathering information about them.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Talesend? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic has little influence on the everyday lives of Talesend’s citizens. Most people don’t believe it exists. But sightings of monsters and bizarre phenomena are becoming more frequent every day, causing some to wonder if magic is returning to the world.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Talesend?
Since it’s the 1920’s in the Afterlands, there is no particularly advanced technology. However, more and more people are secretly using devices that fuse “modern” technology with magic.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Talesend.
Motion pictures are the latest fad in recreational activities. They’re silent, however…and quite frankly, they’re not very good by 21st-century-Earth standards.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in the Afterlands as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
The calendar is the same, and Christmas exists in the Afterlands. (As does Santa Claus.) Aside from that, Talesend celebrates two local holidays: Excalibur Day (April 17), a commemoration of King Arthur’s reign; and Hyde’s Night (November 5), a remembrance of when the nefarious Mr. Hyde’s plot to destroy the city was thwarted.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Talesend? Please describe what it involves.
Narratianism is the most common religion in Talesend. This is virtually identical to Christianity, except that God is also referred to as “The Narrator,” a being who spoke the entire multiverse into existence. There is also a cult called Arcanism, dedicated to the worship of magic itself. Followers of this faith tend to be fanatical and dangerous.
What is the political or government structure in Talesend? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Like England, Camelot is a constitutional monarchy. The current queen is Guinevere III, who recently took the throne at age seventeen. The people of Camelot are fiercely loyal to her. The Prime Minister, Everard Dwight, is less popular, as he’s rumored to have connections to Talesend’s organized crime.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Talesend?
Despite the fact that most people in the Afterlands don’t believe in magic, superstition is far more prevalent there than it is in our world. They have a thing about mirrors in particular. Don’t break any mirrors. You’ll end up a pariah, and I can’t promise there won’t be some magical consequences as well.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
My mother’s family has a European background, so I’ve drawn from that to some degree in creating the culture and atmosphere of the Afterlands (given that they are, in essence, an alternate Europe).
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
None, really. I just write to entertain, not to make statements.
I began writing in my early teens after being bitten by a radioactive book. As a Christian, I strive to write fiction that is entertaining and wholesome, but devoid of overt “messages” or agendas. I live in the wilds of southern Idaho, removed far enough from civilization to keep humanity safe should any of my rough drafts break through the electric fence. Aside from writing, my other passions are worship music, digital art, horseback riding, and raising miniature sheep.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book?
Where can readers connect with you online?
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Talesend. Questions about the world or the book? Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!
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Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima