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About Literature / Professional Core Member NICK ALIMONOSMale/United States Recent Activity
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Ages of Aenya Book Cover
This is it, everyone, the long waited final cover for Ages of Aenya. The book should be available later this year. I would like to thank my background cover artist, Zhengyi Yu, and my letterer, Hampton Lamoureux.

Learn more at Aenya.net and be sure to check out more great cover designs at TS95 Studios

 
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I am looking for a graphic artist with experience in layout, custom lettering and custom fonts. This is for an overlay to a book cover illustration. If you are interested, please contact me with your portfolio, including projects you have worked on professionally.

Thanks,
Nick A.

aenya.net 
writersdisease.net
email: alimonosbooks@gmail.com  
Ages of Aenya 2017 Cover Art by Zhengyi Yu
I am very proud to present the cover illustration for the 2017 edition of Ages of Aenya. A few months ago, I put out a request for artists for this cover. I received many talented and skilled applicants, but in the end I had to pick one.

Zhengyi Yu has been wonderful to work with. He was very attentive to what I needed and more than willing to make changes. If you're looking for a talented illustrator, I highly recommend him! Also, be sure to check out his awesome gallery at Zhengyi Yu


About this piece: Here we find Thelana overlooking Hedonia. The massive pyramid temple of Sargonus eclipses the background. One of the challenges of this piece was to depict our heroine in her natural state without triggering any censors. I wanted her in a normal looking pose, without any comically placed leaves in the way. And it had to be dynamic, to show off her power and fearlessness. She's naked in a city of thousands and yet she does not feel vulnerable! That being said, Zhengyi and I are working on an alternate cover where she'll be draped in her trademark jade cloak (hey, she gets cold sometimes). That way, you can read the adventures of the Ilmar on the subway without getting weird looks!

To learn more about Thelana, the Ilmar and the world of Aenya, please visit AENYA.NET 
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Hey everyone, check out the new illo of my character, Horde!
Horde by Filip Bazarewski

Roughly ten thousand years before the reign of Radia Noora of Tyrnael, or 5 BGM (Before the Greater Moon), the sun of Aenya, Solos, began its expanse into a red giant, having swallowed the Xexaz world of Reptos within its corona ages before. Recognizing the danger to their planet, the Zo scrambled for a plan of salvation, but were mired by political divisions. Anti-science factions did not accept the looming threat, believing it a conspiracy to gain political sentiment, whereas the scholarly community were split as to what actions could be taken, if any. Many surmised that the end of the world was inevitable, and any attempt to change course was a waste of the precious little time they had to spend with their loved ones. Evacuation was the only option. But a vocal minority considered the ethical aspect of letting a world and all of its life forms perish.

Led by the charismatic thinker, Kjus, they stressed that the planet could be saved by moving it. Years were spent organizing engineers and workers, all of whom were driven by the threat of certain doom. They labored to save not only themselves, but the lives of their children and children's children, and every descendent they were ever to have, their species and their home. Vast networks of underground tunnels were built, and a great machine, the mass piston. The machine allowed the Zo to manipulate the surrounding higgs boson field, oscillating the mass at the core to alter the planet's orbital trajectory. The plan was as crazy as it was ambitious, and few believed it could work.

All the while, the exit majority, led by chief science advisor, Kzell, focused efforts on the building of wormhole generators, fancifully dubbed fantastigates. The proposed plan was not without its share of problems, however, for the formation of wormholes was, at the time, theoretical. Of the major obstacles was energy. Like the mass piston, the wormhole generator used mass to create gravity, but creating enough to punch a hole in the fabric of space-time greatly exceeded what was required to move the planet. Another more pressing problem: even if a gate to another world could be opened, there was no way of knowing where or when the gate might lead. Mathematician and historian, Eldin, disappeared through one of these gates, and was later discovered to have become lost in time. Eventually, after a number of trials and errors, including one in which an entire island continent was sucked into a micro-black hole, the fantastigate project was abandoned for a simpler, more desperate plan. Days before Solos' final expansion, the ruling council voted to transfer their consciousnesses---their thought algorithms and memories---into an invincible golem body. Originally, they had intended to make one body for each mind, but too much effort had been wasted on wormholes. Kjus, who continued his work to move the planet, was offered to join them, but refused, choosing death over, what he regarded, the loss of his humanity.

The golem body had a number of advantages to a starship. It would be far smaller, at 12' in height, and therefore quicker and easier to manufacture. Powered by a heart of nuclear decay, there would be no need for sustenance, no food nor water storage. The fusion of organic and metallic materials, surrounded by a magnetic field, would be impervious to cold, heat, and radiation, and would never age. Once off-planet, the immortal entity would traverse the stars at nearly the speed of light, creating ionic thrust from its hands and feet. After unmeasured centuries, they would settle upon a hospitable world, where their collective minds could be dissociated into separate biological entities. This was their only hope, and a desperate one at that. The greatest flaw in the design, however, was intentional, as the golem brain was made to maintain a sense of awareness. In other words, the council members wanted to feel "alive."

As Solos exploded into its final phase, the golem launched into space, but Aenya was not destroyed. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Kjus and his devoted followers, the planet was moved into a safer orbit, becoming a moon of the gas giant, Infinity. Recognizing its error, the collective attempted a return home, but a violent solar flair from the newly formed star stripped the golem of its magnetic field, and damaged its propulsion system. Falling into an irregular orbit, the body gathered icy particles near the system's outer rim, forming a comet like cocoon around it. After untold eons adrift, alone save for the voices in its head, the Zo went insane, calling itself Horde.

Ten thousand years pass before Horde returns home. Encased in ice, it crashes onto the surface like a fiery meteor, cratering the ground and obliterating the land about Kiathos. But it is a very different world from the one it abandoned, a primitive world with two moons and one sea, where science has become magic and the Zo are long forgotten.


To learn more about Aenya, please visit Explore Aenya

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

A note about the artist: Filip Bazarewski was great to work with. He really helped me to visualize this character, offering many of his own ideas, but he also wasn't afraid to make changes when I asked for them! If you're looking for someone to do commissions, I highly recommend Filip! Check out his awesome gallery at Bejzar.  

Horde by Filip Bazarewski

Roughly ten thousand years before the reign of Radia Noora of Tyrnael, or 5 BGM (Before the Greater Moon), the sun of Aenya, Solos, began its expanse into a red giant, having swallowed the Xexaz world of Reptos within its corona ages before. Recognizing the danger to their planet, the Zo scrambled for a plan of salvation, but were mired by political divisions. Anti-science factions did not accept the looming threat, believing it a conspiracy to gain political sentiment, whereas the scholarly community were split as to what actions could be taken, if any. Many surmised that the end of the world was inevitable, and any attempt to change course was a waste of the precious little time they had to spend with their loved ones. Evacuation was the only option. But a vocal minority considered the ethical aspect of letting a world and all of its life forms perish.

Led by the charismatic thinker, Kjus, they stressed that the planet could be saved by moving it. Years were spent organizing engineers and workers, all of whom were driven by the threat of certain doom. They labored to save not only themselves, but the lives of their children and children's children, and every descendent they were ever to have, their species and their home. Vast networks of underground tunnels were built, and a great machine, the mass piston. The machine allowed the Zo to manipulate the surrounding higgs boson field, oscillating the mass at the core to alter the planet's orbital trajectory. The plan was as crazy as it was ambitious, and few believed it could work.

All the while, the exit majority, led by chief science advisor, Kzell, focused efforts on the building of wormhole generators, fancifully dubbed fantastigates. The proposed plan was not without its share of problems, however, for the formation of wormholes was, at the time, theoretical. Of the major obstacles was energy. Like the mass piston, the wormhole generator used mass to create gravity, but creating enough to punch a hole in the fabric of space-time greatly exceeded what was required to move the planet. Another more pressing problem: even if a gate to another world could be opened, there was no way of knowing where or when the gate might lead. Mathematician and historian, Eldin, disappeared through one of these gates, and was later discovered to have become lost in time. Eventually, after a number of trials and errors, including one in which an entire island continent was sucked into a micro-black hole, the fantastigate project was abandoned for a simpler, more desperate plan. Days before Solos' final expansion, the ruling council voted to transfer their consciousnesses---their thought algorithms and memories---into an invincible golem body. Originally, they had intended to make one body for each mind, but too much effort had been wasted on wormholes. Kjus, who continued his work to move the planet, was offered to join them, but refused, choosing death over, what he regarded, the loss of his humanity.

The golem body had a number of advantages to a starship. It would be far smaller, at 12' in height, and therefore quicker and easier to manufacture. Powered by a heart of nuclear decay, there would be no need for sustenance, no food nor water storage. The fusion of organic and metallic materials, surrounded by a magnetic field, would be impervious to cold, heat, and radiation, and would never age. Once off-planet, the immortal entity would traverse the stars at nearly the speed of light, creating ionic thrust from its hands and feet. After unmeasured centuries, they would settle upon a hospitable world, where their collective minds could be dissociated into separate biological entities. This was their only hope, and a desperate one at that. The greatest flaw in the design, however, was intentional, as the golem brain was made to maintain a sense of awareness. In other words, the council members wanted to feel "alive."

As Solos exploded into its final phase, the golem launched into space, but Aenya was not destroyed. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Kjus and his devoted followers, the planet was moved into a safer orbit, becoming a moon of the gas giant, Infinity. Recognizing its error, the collective attempted a return home, but a violent solar flair from the newly formed star stripped the golem of its magnetic field, and damaged its propulsion system. Falling into an irregular orbit, the body gathered icy particles near the system's outer rim, forming a comet like cocoon around it. After untold eons adrift, alone save for the voices in its head, the Zo went insane, calling itself Horde.

Ten thousand years pass before Horde returns home. Encased in ice, it crashes onto the surface like a fiery meteor, cratering the ground and obliterating the land about Kiathos. But it is a very different world from the one it abandoned, a primitive world with two moons and one sea, where science has become magic and the Zo are long forgotten.


To learn more about Aenya, please visit Explore Aenya

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

A note about the artist: Filip Bazarewski was great to work with. He really helped me to visualize this character, offering many of his own ideas, but he also wasn't afraid to make changes when I asked for them! If you're looking for someone to do commissions, I highly recommend Filip! Check out his awesome gallery at Bejzar.  

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Is a naked heroine sexist? 

-----

I can already hear the detractors, the angry feminists calling me out as a sexist. Their argument, I imagine, will go something like this,

Thelana is the lead heroine in Nick Alimonos' fantasy epic, "Ages of Aenya," and she has everything we love to see in a female character: strength, intelligence, and she can dish out punishment good as her male companion. She even passes the Bechdel test! So why am I up in arms about Thelana? Well, when it comes to hyper-sexualizing women, this author's hit rock bottom. We're not talking chainmail bikinis or skintight tights here either, because with this super hero, there is no costume. You read that right. She is utterly, unapologetically, naked. If "Aenya" was some kind of erotica, I might give it a pass. But no, this is serious fantasy, straight out of Westeros and Middle Earth. So, as a woman reader, I am left scratching my head, wanting to scream, 'Put some clothes on for god's sake!' The author even has the audacity to call himself a feminist. He defends himself by pointing out, "Hey, look, the guy is naked too!" But this critic isn't fooled. Thelana exists to tickle the author's fancy and titillate male (immature) readers.


---Angryfeminist.com



While I have yet to find an angry mob outside my office door, I suspect that, as Thelana grows in popularity, it's only a matter of time. The thing is, feminists have a lot to be angry about. We still live in a largely male dominated society. We have yet to see a female president (go Hillary!), and if we're lucky, we'll have our first woman on paper currency, the $10 bill. Despite such signposts of inequality, women have made huge strides in this country, and most Americans now agree women deserve to vote, to decide what they can do with their bodies, and to get paid the same for the same work. Modern sexism is much more subtle, and in raising two daughters, I see it all the time. The hero in any video game/book/TV show/movie is almost always male. When a woman does take center stage, they are more often treated as eye candy. The message this sends is clear: 1) Women are of lesser importance and 2) A woman's most important quality is beauty. 

To contrast this message, I tell my kids what I would if I had boys, "#1 thing in life is knowledge and compassion." Being a father to two awesome girls, fairness and equality matter a lot to me. I want them to grow up feeling invincible, like they could go to Mars if they wanted. I direct them to strong heroines like Lisa Simpson and Hermione Granger. When it comes to my own writing, I am conscious of inequality, and would hate to contribute to the problem. Unfortunately, Thelana draws out the sexists like flies. Most guys never bother to look beyond the flesh, to read the accompanying story that defines the character. On DeviantArt, Thelana gets lost amid the countless soft core images, those devoid of any life or personality. Much of this could be remedied by simply giving her something to wear, leather armor perhaps, but this is where I part ways with most feminists, because we should never define a woman by the clothes she is wearing or not wearing; and more to the point, we should not make women responsible for the way men treat them.

A girl in a mini-skirt is not "asking for it," and she certainly isn't looking to be raped. This centuries' old taboo, regarding females and clothing, goes hand in hand with sexism, and absolves men of any wrong-doing. False modesty and shame is imposed upon women by the world's worst sex offenders, from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan. Nudity, in and of itself, is neither pro nor anti women. A nude portrait can be liberating and empowering, or it can be humiliating and degrading. Like sexual consent, choice is everything. A woman stripped of her clothes is a victim. A stripper who loves what she does is not. Either way, it is the men typically calling the shots, the men who produce porn, watch porn, and, paradoxically, create the society in which women who engage in it are ostracized. If you're a woman, it's a no-win situation. Women learn from an early age to kowtow to men's desires, but that it is taboo to express their own. 

This double standard extends to how male and female heroes are regarded by some feminists (Cracked.com/Upworthy). Superman and Batman, in their skin-tight outfits, represent the male ideal, but Wonder Woman in her bikini bottom is somehow "objectified." Even Namor and Conan, who wear even less, do not represent equal treatment. Why? Because male superheroes are a projection of male fantasies, what men wish they could look like, or so the argument goes. But there are a number of problems with this theory. Firstly, it supposes that a majority of Superman fans are envying his looks, but as a reader of the comic since childhood, such a thing never crossed my mind. Sure, he's nice to look at, but what appeals to me most, and what I think appeals to most every male, are his powers. And really, who doesn't wish they could fly? Secondly, this argument supposes women do not have similar projection fantasies, that female readers never imagine themselves with a goddess-like physique, like Wonder Woman or Power Girl. Of course, given how my daughters love to dress up, and adding to that the glut of supermodels in magazines like Cosmopolitan, I think it is more common for girls to look at other girls for this very reason. Lastly, this theory implies women do not enjoy sex, or looking at male bodies, or that they have no interest in expressing their own sexuality. Not surprisingly, it is typically the male feminists making these assertions.


More clothes = More empowering?

In 1972, writer Samual Delany changed Wonder Woman into a more "modest" outfit, which he believed was the feminist thing to do. That was, until women's rights pioneer Gloria Steinem got involved, stating how much she hated that the traditional costume was taken away. Wonder Woman has long stood for female empowerment. We should not suggest that she cannot, or should not, expose her thighs, or that by doing so she is somehow diminished. We would never call Tarzan a whore for wearing only a loincloth, or say that James Bond is objectifying himself for exuding male sexuality. Male heroes are curiously exempt from any such moral judgments. While it is true that men enjoy looking at women, it is also true that women sometimes enjoy it when men look at them. Why else do women purchase sexy outfits? Mini-skirts? Thong bikinis? (OK, sometimes, it just feels good to be loose). But if no woman ever wished to be looked at, they would voluntarily don burqas, but it is always the men forcing them to do so. Female sexuality has long intimidated men and there is a storied history of patriarchal societies trying to repress it. In Egypt and throughout Subsaharan Africa, vaginal mutilation is a common practice, to diminish desire and enjoyment of sex. But to deny a woman's sexuality, whether physically or socially, is to deny her personhood.

What matters in feminism is choice and who is doing the choosing. I am not suggesting women should be nude, or sexy, only that the women who make that choice, and believe me there are those that do (they're called nudists!), need not be objectified or labeled. Thelana may be naked, but it is only because she chooses to be so, refusing to be repressed, or be defined by others. When, in Ages of Aenya, some men mistake her lack of apparel for vulnerability, it does not end well for them. By breaking with traditions of false modesty, in choosing to forgo the trappings that clothing represents, Thelana empowers herself, and it is a power that can never be stripped away, humiliated, or degraded.


  • Reading: J.D. Salinger, Neil Gaiman, Edgar Rice Burroughs

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AGEOFAENYA's Profile Picture
AGEOFAENYA
NICK ALIMONOS
Artist | Professional | Literature
United States
I have been writing and drawing since I was 6. For me, the two art forms go hand in hand. When I was nine, I dragged my father to DC Comics HQ in NYC to solicit my superhero, The Red Panther. By age fourteen, I was sending out queries for my first novel. In high school, I discovered I was not quite so talented drawing or painting, but I continued to hone my true passion, which was in literature, until earning my BA in English Fiction from the University of South Florida. Still, I continue to find inspiration in the visual arts. Sometimes, entire plot lines are born from a single image.

I am always on the lookout for *dedicated* artists to help me bring my world, Aenya, to life. Currently, I need people who specialize in portraits and in fantasy landscapes, and depending on the project, I am prepared to pay between $100 and $1500. Please e-mail me directly at alimonosbooks@gmail.com, if interested. Serious inquiries only.

Thank You!
Nick A.

Current Residence: Florida
Favourite genre of music: rock, classical
Favourite style of art: renaissance, impressionism, modern
Skin of choice: sun bronze
Favourite cartoon character: SpongeBob
Personal Quote: Malon Labe
Interests

Comments


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:iconglitchyreal:
GlitchyReal Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for the faving my stuff, Nick! :D
Reply
:iconadamthehedgehog:
AdamTheHedgehog Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Have you considered Kindle Publishing? I own a kindle myself, and I'd really love to have a story to read on a rainy night.
Reply
:iconatlantean6:
Atlantean6 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Reply
:iconkervala:
Kervala Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday Nick :D :party: :iconhappybirthdaysignplz:
Reply
:icontimdub:
TimDub Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014
I like how you take the naked hero concept and run with it.  I have also read the fiction on your blogs and like how you have a discussion of naturism as its motif along with some of the inconsistencies that define "savage" and "civilized." Your work also inspired me to level a couple of characters in the World of Warcraft game without armor of any kind.  Thank you for your visual art, literary art, and inspiration.
Reply
:iconageofaenya:
AGEOFAENYA Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Professional Writer
You're very much welcome, Tim! Keep watching my blog for when the books become fully available! 
Reply
:iconmorbiusx33:
morbiusx33 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I enjoy your art and celebration of naturism.
Reply
:iconkervala:
Kervala Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday Nick :D :party: :iconcheerplz:
Reply
:iconatlantean6:
Atlantean6 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This has all the marks of Thelana except its missing her tattoo and the scratches on her skin. [link]
Reply
:iconageofaenya:
AGEOFAENYA Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Writer
Thelana's hair is in a braid, it's a darker shade (red brown), her skin is coppery and her bow is a more a natural handmade wood bow. I know this stuff sounds trivial, but when a character is naked, it's the details that define them. If you wouldn't mind making those changes, I'd greatly appreciate it. I'd even mention you as a contributing artist on my blog.
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
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