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Wandering The Imajica

It all started with a magic carpet in Liverpool

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
13
The Great Dominions

My favourite book is Clive Barker’s “Imajica” . I have read many books that have taken me to other worlds.

Michael Moorcock’s Multiverse based Eternal Champion still takes me to unbelievable but familiar places with magic , time travel , demons and swords and supernatural foes. The books seldom transgress 150 pages but they take you all round alternate versions of our own reality.

Philip Pullman's “His Dark Materials” with it’s alternate Oxfords connected by mysterious gateways which leads us to other worlds as well as the familiar ones, and I haven’t even mentioned the wonder “Lord of the Rings” by JRR Tolkien but I know a million Vocal Creators will cover that far better than I ever could.

I could spend the whole of this piece just listing books that employ this concept which opens up many avenues for the author to explore and share with the reader.

I first encountered Clive Barker through a Book Club Associates recommendation “Weaveworld” , basically about a magic carpet found in Liverpool with fairies living in it, yeah that sounded interesting I thought sarcastically, but Barker is probably my second favourite author after JG Ballard.

So into the Imajica , now this is how I see it. I may get things wrong, but I will tell you why I love this book and the worlds contained within it so much. It is 1200 pages which is fairly hefty so I gave mine to a great friend and got it on Kindle, which makes it very convenient to read, and I am always reading it , restarting when I finish it. For me it is that good.

I never want it to finish, I want it to go on forever. So I am going to tell you some things about it which grab my imagination and keep me hooked but will try not to give anything away.

The Imajica is a conceptually circular construct consisting of five dominions floating and effectively disconnected in the “In Ovo” a haunted place dangerous to any individual travelling through it , literally “Here be Monsters” , but monsters you have never imagined but Clive Barker has.

There is a god figure “Hapeximendios” who supposedly resides beyond the Erasure, a wall of nothing at the end of the fifth dominion.

Dominions can be crossed into via way stations but the traversing through the In Ovo causes the travellers body to be turned inside out and if they get the timing wrong cand be stuck in that state, also while travelling through the In Ovo they are vulnerable til they reach the next dominion, and may not even be safe there as the monsters from the In Ovo sometimes slip through.

There are two sets of twins or doppelgangers Gentle / The Autarch , and Judith / Quaisoir , these are major characters whose genesis still makes me admire the intelligence of the author.

The dominions are separated and there needs to be a magical reconciliation to bring them together, but in the 1700’s on Earth this failed disastrously , resulting in the formation of the Tabula Rasa (Clean Slate) to ensure the suppression of magic so this would never happen again , but if it wasn’t going to be tried we wouldn’t have the book.

At the beginning of the book we meet Pie, a mystif (a sexual and physical shapeshifter assassin) contracted to kill Judith which he fails to do in New York though he is London based. Pie ends up marrying Gentle , and Judith survives.

We follow a lot of characters through the dominions meeting monsters , lots of goddesses but no gods (or the ones we do are mere charlatans). We see wars and destruction journey through amazing lands working toward reconciliation.

Even though it’s a constant read for me (I read other books , have George Orwell’s “Homage To Catalonia” on the go as well at the moment) every page is a new wonder as I have a generally bad memory.

I know how it ends, I know how it starts but forget the details and am entranced when they reveal themselves to me once more.

I know there’s “Game of Thrones” , “Riverworld” “Lord of The Rings” , “Star Wars” and so many more , but “Imajica” is the world that I am happy to lose myself in and to enjoy

The video is Julian Cope singing "The Great Dominions" appropriate for this post and like Clive Barker he is from Liverpool.

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Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales, Poems, Music & Love

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Comments (3)

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  • Tom Baker3 months ago

    You know, the "never wanting it to end," as you say above. I feel the same way about "The Books of Blood." I've read those stories again and again since I was a high school metalhead thirty-plus years ago, obsessed with horror and the occult. But they really do put me back in the Eighties again.

  • Tom Baker3 months ago

    "Hell's Bells" https://vocal.media/horror/hell-s-bells Also, don't know if you get into Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman," but I put him very much in the same league with Barker. The Sandman is another all-time favorite, and I've written essays on it several times.

  • Tom Baker3 months ago

    I love Clive Barker, and have written about him several times. One of my favorites is "The Hellbound Heart," but also the "Books of Blood," "Weaveworld," "Cabal," "The Great and Secret Show." He exemplifies for me a certain era, 1980s, a certain new vision of horror that combines modern downbeat sensibilities, fantasy, myth, etc. Extreme grue as well, lol.

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