It’s been a while since my last post. But been busy preparing GOD GAMES for a December 2021 eBook launch. To that end, I’ve commissioned Jon Stubbington to create images of key GOD GAMES characters that shows their relative roles in the story. Wanting to have fun with the book title, I decided to present the characters as playing cards. See the post, “A New Book Cover and a Dark Side,” on how that idea came about.
Anyway, I created playing cards for Yahweh and Lucifer, which will be used as the book cover as shown at the bottom of this newsletter. I also have a playing card for Adam and Eve.
In GOD GAMES, all the characters are named after biblical angels, although I did take some liberties as is the norm in SciFi. In general, I used an angel’s name whose description came close to matching the trait of a particular character. A simple Google search on “Angel Names” yields a ton of information about their historic meanings and roles in religion. Check out this blog post for more information on how I named the characters.
So, next up is this playing card for Yahweh’s good friend Professor Raphael Villani Liwet and his wife Professor Gabrielle Liwet. The background is their lab at the Great Scientific University of Heaven. Feel free to comment on the image.
Raphael is a fun-loving person who is overweight with round features. His belly jiggles through his lab alb every time he laughs. He is sort of self-conscious about being “slightly overweight,” he would tell others. Raphael is Yahweh’s (the main character) closest lab partner and cut buddy. They laugh at the same dumb things and play childish jokes on each other whenever they have the chance.
Raphael is the “angel of healing,” which is consistent with his role to heal Yahweh’s sorrow. Raphael’s last name Liwet comes from the angel who “presides over vanguard ideas and inventions.” That gives him an important role in helping Yahweh create a parallel universe and figure out a safe way to travel there. There is no religious significance to Raphael’s middle name Villani. But I included Villani as a tribute to a dear friend who passed away way too young. We got our electrical engineering degrees together back at Brooklyn Poly (now part of NYU).
Compared to Raphael, Gabrielle is petite with a narrow face. Her presence is more of a grownup to Raphael’s child like behavior. But they engage in frequent playful bickering that seems to bring these two together. In addition to her scientific roll in creating a parallel universe, Gabrielle’s name means “Strength of God,” which becomes apparent as she counters Yahweh’s anger to help him to be stronger after losing Gwendolyn.
And finally, there is Gabrielle’s horn which she will blow in another story. For now, she uses it as a pleasant distraction from her scientific work.
Gabrielle’s horn is not the familiar modern day jazz trumpet. Although I did play with the idea of her using that version. Moreover, there is a curious mathematical paradox about Gabrielle’s horn.
Suppose Raphael wanted to paint Gabrielle’s horn as a joke. Such an ill-advised venture can’t be completed and Raphael knows that. Not only would Raphael suffer Gabrielle’s wrath but while he could fill the horn with paint, Raphael knows that it would take an infinite amount of paint to cover the entire surface of the instrument. For you mathematically inclined SciFi fans, feel free to Google “Gabriel’s trumpet paradox” for a detailed explanation.
Below are some “clips” from GOD GAMES of Yahweh and Raphael’s thoughts that were used to inspire the playing card image.
Yahweh’s thoughts on Raphael after a spat with Gabrielle:
The thought of seeing Gabrielle, who’s no more than four feet seven inches tall, smacking Raphael’s five-foot-eleven bulk around like a bowl of jelly would be a pants splitting laughing experience. Would be great to get a sky video of that scene . . . and hold that over him for years.
Yahweh’s observation of Raphael in the control room of “The Beast,” an automated antimatter factory power plant:
Raphael stabs with his stubby fingers at the holographic control panel images to focus the rumbling mile-high magnet’s symphony of fields at the point where the blue ball shrank to nothing. He breathes forcefully through his nose as if laboring to lift a heavy weight.
Raphael’s thoughts as he struggles to keep up with Yahweh as they chase Lucifer:
Raphael, trudging through the hip-high grass as it sways back and forth, trails Yahweh and the Cherubim soldiers as they track Lucifer through the golden night, up and down small, rounded hills, with only the light of the twin moons to guide their way. Breathing heavily, he glances down with regret at his girth. Gabrielle will never let him forget this if she finds out he fell so far behind. “She’ll probably put me on some kind of diet” he mumbles quietly to himself as he pushes harder to catch up.
For the next playing card, I think I will incorporate Judge Jehoel (senior elder on Heaven’s Grand Council) and Dean Superior Professor Manion Harahel (head dean at the Great Scientific University of Heaven).
As always, your comments and questions are welcomed!