Spectral Shadows
Spectral Shadows is an ongoing web serial created and written by Perri Rhoades, first created in 1993, with artwork contributed by artist Tigers Kitten. The series is currently planned to be 34 serials long, though only three serials have been worked on, with one completed and two still in the works. The first episode, Serial 1 Episode 1, was published on Spectral Shadows' Live Journal page on June 5, 2004.

The serial contains plenty of science-fiction and fantasy elements, following the adventures of the brothers Raelian and Jonathan Ommandeer and their friend Christine Rhoades James in their various forms as they travel to new worlds and throughout time, while dealing with the various issues and villains they encounter. Only Serial 1 has been completed; progress on Serial 2 has been put on indefinitely; and Serial 11 is the current serial in-progress. You can find the story either on Spectral Shadows' Live Journal page, or on Perri Rhoades' Fur Affinity page.















Introduction For First Time Readers

From the "What is Spectral Shadows?" page from Spectral Shadows' Live Journal:

"Spectral Shadows is a novelized serial. Actually, a serial of serials, each serial comprising one novel in a series of some 30 odd proposed novels. All following the exploits of the same group of characters and their many associates as they journey through time, space, astral planes and myriad societies that present some radical and off the wall social conundrums.

I've been planning and developing aspects of the series since the 1960's. The first actual writing I did on the project took place in 1979. Before that it existed mainly as several reels of tape, on which various Symphonic Rock tracks had been spliced together into a makeshift demo for a series of Rock Operas that would have dwarfed The Ring Of The Nebelung.

Such ambitions were never to be realized, unfortunately, as the idea grew too large for anything that could be done on stage. So I shifted the project to a novel series, which I figured would take 6 or 7 novels back in '79. Since then the idea has proved so expansive that there seems no limit to the number of novels it could fill.

But then the internet happened, and someone suggested the possibility of doing Spectral Shadows as a net serial, which would allow the series to expand even further, as even novels have limits as to how much they can contain. But net serials have no such restrictions, and this seems the ideal format for a series that defies all previous standards of limitation.

The saga concerns the exploits of animal-like aliens with time travel capabilities. It is very much inspired by the traditions of Doctor Who, Star Wars, Dark Shadows and I Love A Mystery, with a good bit of Watership Down and Jonathan Livingston Seagull thrown in for contrast, and a bit of Spellsinger and Xanth to provide balance.

Actually, I'm one to take inspiration from anything I've ever been into. And over my 50 years there's very little I haven't been into or influenced by. Thus you will find here a sometimes astonishing experiment in genre mixing, as well as a total trashing of genre conventions. Never tell me two genres can't be mixed. I'll throw them in the blender just to prove it can be done.

Whereas George Lukas used Old Time Movie Serials for the formatting of Star Wars, I use the formatting of Old Time Radio Serials for Spectral Shadows. This works well, as it is a very dialogue driven series in which the characters convey the story, rather than being bogged down with a lot of narration.

As you read, you will encounter many cerebral oddities and conundrums in this thinking person's adventure serial. Some situations may seem like allegories of things going on in real life. That's just my nature as a writer. Things that I hear about or discuss with others tend to work their way into the story just as easily as the things I experience in entertainment. Once in a while this is intentional, but most often it just happens. I think being impulsive makes for some daring writing. So I try to write as spontaneously as possible.

On the whole, Spectral Shadows is like a dream being experienced by someone who is into all manner of sci-fi, fantasy, cartoons and dramatic music. Various random elements from everything the dreamer has ever enjoyed find their way into the dream and take on some kind of allegorical form.

But the dream is not just a pleasant fantasy. It's a prophetic dream that carries subliminal messages for the dreamer - insights into the nature of life in the real world and the human condition. An entertaining and enlightening odyssey through the realms of imagination, featuring characters that may seem alien to your normal experience, and yet strangely as familiar as the people you live and work with.

Yes, it's a dream. My dream, which I invite you to share and enjoy.

Yours,
Perri Rhoades"

Serial Synopsis

Currently, the serial is planned to be 34 Serials in length. Serial 11 is the current active serial, with Serial 1 being completed and progress on Serial 2 put on indefinite hold. Each serial still has a basic plan as to the events that will unfold and the adventures encountered therein. If you are interested in learning more about the Serial Synopsis, as well as seeing a list of current and planned serials, head on over to the Serial Synopsis page.

Characters

One of the massive aspects of Spectral Shadows is its impressive character roster; the Live Journal page for Spectral Shadows boasts some 115 characters, though there is sure to be more than this number (if you include main characters, secondary, and so on). Characters are often seen in one form or another: Shape changing and characters dying and being reincarnated as some other form are not uncommon for the events of this serial. For a more in-depth and complete character list, see the Character Index.


Locations

It should come to no surprise that Spectral Shadows takes place in a variety of places and times. Readers will be able to visit time periods all throughout the past and present of Chikyu and various other planets and worlds, as well as visit these planets and worlds themselves. If you are interested in reading and learning about the various locations and settings in the series, head on over to the Location Page. For now, we do not have a page dedicated to specific times, but that may or may not change.

Items (And Vehicles Too)

No adventure is complete without some handy tools and items, and Spectral Shadows is no exception. Throughout the events of the serial, the characters come into contact with all sorts of mystical and magical items -- and vehicles too. This includes weapons as well. For more info, go ahead and check out the Item&Vehicle Index.

Powers

Spectral Shadows is a serial that is just as full of interesting powers and abilities that many-a-character uses. From the powers of Charm Magic to concepts such as World Belief, in the Powers Index you will be able to gather all sorts of interesting information on the powers used -- and of course learn what characters use such powers.

Unique Word Glossary/Other Index

Across your travels in Spectral Shadows you may encounter interesting words and ideas that are unique to this serial -- or at least whose definitions are different in the Spectral Shadows universe. These can include things like the InGalTeNet (from which this wiki takes its name from), and other words and phrases mentioned throughout the series. Such articles can be found in the Other Index

Well, that's the basic layout of this wiki. You can access the indexes from there, and from the indexes you can reach the individual articles -- or you could always search for them.



"I know they're imaginary characters, but imaginary characters can bring us workable, practical, everyday truth and knowledge with which we can change our lives right here and now."
Richard Bach