A Perilous Journey
Many people who’ve read Fall to Earth feel the ending is ambiguous/cliffhanger. I have to admit it’s true, but there was a purpose behind the exit of a character from the story, and that was to leave room for another character to enter the story who is a major influence on Arthur. She comes about in the second book, and there’s some resolution to threads left open at the end of Fall to Earth.
Who am I talking about?
Indiana Beckham, the Lancelot archetype.
What intrigues me about Lancelot beyond the pedestal he’s placed next to Arthur and his developing affair with Guinevere, are the adventures he has and the names he’s taken. He’s been known as the White Knight, the Black Knight, the Red Knight, the Injured Knight, the Knight of the Cart, and so on. I’ve played with some of these themes with Indiana, expressing her evolution over the course of the series from a character that (outwardly) appears one-dimensional into someone who has evolved and shaped by the events and people around her, while still holding onto the core of who she is—the world’s best swordsman.
I also needed to anchor her in a place, much as he existed at Camelot and Joyous Gard within Arthurian Legend, I had to blend it with overlapping myths of Lancelot’s child Galahad, who would (in my iteration) be the firstborn into the power Indiana had gained from Arthur through her transformation. Often I find in Arthurian Legend that places and things appear out of nowhere (which happens a lot in teleplays, but less often in longer written works).
The Siege Perilous is one, being the seat reserved for the knight who would find the Holy Grail. Oddly, Malory’s work often refers to it as a seat that would kill anyone who was not the finder of the Grail—ominous. I mean, there are better ways of saving a seat at a table…
I encountered in my teens a more recent iteration of the Siege Perilous in the page of Uncanny X-Men: a gem that was a portal that judged those who entered by higher cosmic forces and, if found worthy, were reborn into a new life without memory of the old. That still has some influence on me today, as I see the Siege Perilous as a bridge between the Old World of the Human and the New World of the Augmented Human. If I do justice to the story and intentions, you’ll see that play out further in the final volume.
Want to know more? Check out the series on Amazon. Look for Matrix Trigger on May 1st!