Who are you?
My name is Mark William Chase. I am a writer, programmer, and the creator of the World of Mythania. My current project, Mythania, is a steam-age fantasy world filled with wonders both magical and technological, but devastated by war.
But for my day job I’m a programmer and software engineer.
What is Mythania?
Mythania lies far beyond the world we know, a planet orbiting the golden star Solaron along with her dark sister world, Atracus, locked in an eternal celestial dance. This is a world where juggernaut war machines ravage the landscape, where stupendous air fleets dominate the skies, where mighty wizards battle enchanted automatons, and where the march of progress is moved as much by gears of iron as it is by the weaving of spells. Empires rich in both science and magic have come and gone on through the ages. From darkness to renaissance, from wars of tyranny to eras of peace and prosperity, kingdoms have risen and nations have fallen like the cycle of the endless seasons.
Yet now, at the dawn of the Age of Progress, a new menace has cast its shadow across the world. Sinister forces threaten to rekindle the ancient war that nearly destroyed the two worlds a thousand years before. From beyond all the known lands and beyond the seas and the skies, the enemy comes. It comes not from any kingdom or nation on earth, but from above, and so very far away.
The world of Mythania has 7,000 years of recorded history, but the majority of stories are set in what is called the Age of Progress, which is the present-day period of Mythania (1500 to 1540 of the Common Age). The Age of Progress is marked by rapid developments in steam-age technology and magical devices, such as steam automatons, flying machines, airships, and aetheric engines. In the early 1530s, the Grand Imperium (also known as the Dark Kingdoms) initiated a terrible war of conquest against the free nations of southern Tarrona, beginning the War of Wars.
What is the History of Mythania?
For a comprehensive history of the world of Mythania, see the History of Mythania articles.
No, I mean the history of Mythania’s real-world development…
Of course. Development of Mythania began in 1998, when the idea was first conceived. It was originally planned to be a three-book novel series, but it quickly became clear that a mere three novels would not be sufficient. By 2005, I decided to write not three books, but six, as well as a host of short stories, novellas, and secondary stories, to more fully flesh out the ideas I have been developing.
Around 2005, I began to release some information on Mythania on the Internet. That original web site became inactive for a time, and by 2007 I had replaced it with a redeveloped the web site with the intention of publish some Mythania short stories online. The web site was again developed in 2013, and this is present web site you now see.
What is Steam Fantasy and Steampunk?
Generally speaking, steampunk is a sub-genre of speculative fiction that may be set either in the Victorian period of the late 19th century or a “Victorian-like” period in which steam power is the dominant driving force of the world instead of gasoline or other twentieth-century developments. The steampunk civilization may even be highly advanced, using spacecraft, ray-guns, and clockwork super-computers. The writings of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells serve as the primary source of inspiration for steampunk stories. Steampunk culture also turns to many Victorian-period inventors, such as Charles Babbage and Nikola Tesla, for inspiration. Steampunk may also incorporate elements of fantasy, but it is predominately set in the Victorian-period on Earth, using little, if any, magic or magical beings, even if the stories may employ fantastical “magic-like” steam-powered machines.
The “punk” in steampunk is taken from the name of its parent genre, cyberpunk. Why is cyberpunk the parent genre of steampunk? Many of the more famous steampunk authors (Gibson, Sterling, and Neal Stephenson among others) were cyberpunk authors in the 80s and 90s. Steampunk also incorporates many of the same themes, atmospheres, and attitudes about technology and society that cyberpunk does. Steampunk literature is typified by a rebellious attitude and is generally centered around misfits and anti-heroes. Basically, a steampunk story is a cyberpunk story that replaces computers and cybernetics with mechanical computers and steam-powered devices.
Steam fantasy, on the other hand, takes place in a fantasy world that contains steam-age elements. Steam fantasy may not be set on Earth at all, but in an entirely unique fantasy world, such as Mythania. In this setting, many of the traditional fantasy elements, such as wizards, dragons, and magical races, may exist. The world may also incorporate firearms, steam engines, flying machines, and mechanized war machines. Steam fantasy can also blend magical enchantments with steam-powered devices, adding a whole new dimension to the development of technological wonders. Steam fantasy may not necessarily be punkish in its attitudes and beliefs, and technology may have a positive influence on society, or be a source of endless terror and conflict, or both.
Where can I read the stories?
You can read the stories online here. I only have a few stories posted on this web site at the moment. Most of the stories are set in the modern period of Mythania, taking place either during the War of Wars or the Age of Progress that occurred just before the War of Wars. They are a mix of steam fantasy and steam-age adventure stories.
Why are there not more stories online?
I am currently pursuing publication of the majority of my short stories with both print and electronic magazines. To be accepted, those stories cannot publicly appear anywhere, which includes online. When they are accepted, I will post information on where the stories are being published.
Is there a novel?
The War of Wars, as it comes to be called, is the central conflict about which most stories set in the modern age of Mythania revolve. While the short stories highlight some snapshots and vignettes from the War of Wars, it is the novel series that chronicles the conflict and follows the lives of the leaders, champions, and tyrants of the war. The Mythania novel series originally began in 1998 as a single steam fantasy novel. In outlining, it expanded first to a three-book series, then a six-book series. The books have been in development for nearly ten years; with numerous changes, revisions, and rewrites, it still has a considerable way to go.
A few years back, I decided to post a few short stories for free on the Internet. That idea later grew into the creation of a full-blown web site detailing the history, technologies, and people of Mythania. There are no plans at this time to post the novels online, as I still have hope that they will one day be published.
Do you own the trademark on Mythania?
I do, in fact, own the Registered Trademark on Mythania® through the US Patent and Trademark office, and have (unfortunately) been forced to exercise my ownership of the trademark when I see someone else trying to use that name or title. If you have questions concerning this, please contact me. I can provide you with additional information.
How can I contact you?
Right here on this web site! Just send me a quick message.