The Republic of Sin: A Post-Colonial Horror Fantasy Podcast

Lusus Naturae, Biologicum Ludos 

“—Well up, pond,—Foam, roll on the bridge and above the woods,—black cloths and organs,—lightning and thunder,—rise and roll,—Waters and sorrows, rise and revive the Floods.

“For since they subsided,—oh, the precious stones shoveled under, and the full-blown flowers!—so boring! And the Queen, the Witch who lights her coals in the clay pot, will never want to tell us what she knows, and which we do not know.”

 – “Apres le Deluge,” Arthur Rimbaud ( John Ashbury)

“Contrary to popular belief, people do not learn by experience. Instead, they respond to a particular stimulus in a predictable way, and this repeatedly. Again, again, again, and again this undeviating, compulsive response may be observed. A brevet or a coffin. A yellow sash or six feet of Mexican soil. A grade or a grave.  Again, again, again, and again, generation after generation, the dismal message reappears like writing on the wall.”

                                     – “Son of the Morning Star,” Evan S. Connell

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness: the killing of microbes.”

                                      – Nicholas Moseley


From The Preface to the Fourth Edition of “A General History of the Republic of Sin” by Lord Wighead:

Wordsea: Did you know that if you divided a single drop of water so that everyone on Earth had an equal share, everyone would still get about one million million molecules? A single word can be shared in this way, dripped like a teardrop from the nose of a moment, parceled out in aerosol, a million million meanings each shared amongst billions of word creatures: our souls. The world refracted in such drops opens on other worlds – Such is Wordsea. And at the very heart of this world, the flame that illuminates it as it consumes it, by dint of their own ungovernable wills, are the Clarissians.

Clarissia is a group of notions arranged in an archipelago between Atlantis and Edinburgh, inhabited by the children of the most successful pirates and fox hunters, descended from the mysterious mytho-poetic ancestor, F. T. Cloak. (“Code in the mist. Mist is code.”)

The Clarissians adventured across the surface of Wordsea on water and consonant, and in its skies and caves as no other people dared, singly and in bands, under the dry fictions of legality but in obedience to no law but The Fox’s, their god. It is through their organized endeavors of a military nature that they reached the furthest; therefore, to begin to understand Wordsea one must follow the invasions of the Clarissians. The invasions of the regions of The Blackhorn, a continent of opaque mysteries and insurmountable depravities, are conventionally grouped together in history as “The Wars of the Republic of Sin” or “The Sin Revolutions.”     

Given the breadth of subject, the manner in which I have dealt with the whole phenomenon of the Clarissian Invasions, complicated as they were by the vicious triangular relations between Clarissia and Bastillia and The Coast of Sin, is inevitably sketchy and incomplete. What I, in the wake of a great many eminent historians with whom I do not aspire to comparison, have tried to do is to study the human aspect of this long, complex, and yet in spite of everything, glorious adventure. 

Yes, Glorious. Glory is a concept that has fallen out of favor, particularly in military matters, but along with honor and adventure, these are ideas that one cannot hope to dispense with if one wishes to know the Clarissians. To those who will object that to recount the campaigns is simply to commemorate an uninterrupted litany of deceptions, frauds, unlawful seizures, murders, bungles and catastrophes, we need only rebut that we keep what history will be from our enemies as much as we possibly can.

The first Invasion of the Coast of Sin was not a popular migration or a war of conquest undertaken by an ambitious monarch, nor was it a search for new colonies or trade routes, though all these elements were present in all the invasions to a comparatively minor degree. These campaigns remain an adventure central to the history of Wordsea because the invasion of the Coast of Sin was quite modest in a way, without real necessity, nor inspired by any single leader or prophet, rather it was an extravagant adventure which despite ending in disaster finally exceeded all expectation – perhaps because it was so extravagant.

Herein is written a fantasy, a folk fantasy family bible . . .

Credits, Acknowledgements, Apologia: 

The Republic of Sin is written, performed, and produced by Guy Benjamin Brookshire. It is a work of fantasy/horror fiction closely based on the real history of British Colonialism, particularly the story of lost colonies. It is accompanied both by collage illustrations, and contains embedded text-collage mutations. As that history is strange and painful, so shall the podcast be.

Deep appreciation and abiding affection are due to the following contributors, a list that will grow as contributions are included:

John Dermot Woods, “Today’s Shipping News”

Andrew F. Moody, “Dear Anne: Letters from Uncle Phinn”

The Laughs, “The Anthem of The Republic of Sin,” “Charlie”

Amanda Choi, “Genevieve’s Reading Introductions”

Madison Brookshire, Harmonium

John Riley Brookshire, Guitar

Beatrix Rose Brookshire, “Whisper Introduction”

Blythe Margaret Brookshire, “Egg Dream”

“The audience for this performance, reckoned at its conclusion, will consist mainly of the dead.”

  •  John Darnielle (on Cage’s ORGAN2/ASLSP)