Thursday, May 29, 2014

On Reeling And Writhing And Fainting In Coils - The Latest Fracas Over Tekumel

Phil and Ambeeen, at my 25th birthday; this is what I'd like us to remember.

It has come to my attention, this morning, that long-time Tekumel fan Mr. Alva Hardison has posted an excerpt from my recent Sunday update of May 18th regarding my interactions that I have had with the Tekumel Foundation over the past few years on my book - "To Serve The Petal Throne". While I would have preferred that Mr. Hardison had contacted me before he posted to Brett Slocum's Tekumel discussion group on Yahoo, he did not, and there has been some spirited discussion as a result. In the interests of clarity and consistency, I am repeating my post of this morning on this matter here on my own blog.


First off, I want to make it clear that I am not connected with the Tekumel Foundation, in any way, shape, or form; my contact for my services as the Professor's archivist ended on November 15th, 2012, as I refused to renew it. My position as the Professor's archivist had become untenable, as I simply did not have the money to hand to support the Foundation's stated wishes and desires; in addition, Chairman Dr. Raymond's removing me from the archiving, restoration, and cataloging process that we had begun the year before made my participation in the Foundation's activities meaningless. What the Chairman wanted was a business manager and chief executive to run the Foundation for the Board, and I refused to go down that road - I'd already been there, some twenty years before, and I had and have no intention to ever go there again. I, my wife, and quite a few of my friends had had to put up with an immense amount of abuse from these same people over the years, and I have come to regard my offering my help and assistance to them back in 2011 as quite possibly the biggest mistake of my entire life. I am now entirely clear of them; they settled their debits to us, and we are done with them.

Secondly, in the course of my discussions with the various members of the Board of Directors of the Tekumel Foundation, regarding my book "To Serve The Petal Throne", I was given the terms I mentioned in my blog post. I felt at the time, and to this day, there is no possible way I could raise the money required under the Foundation's published and unpublished policies to pay their fees and expenses - if I may be blunt, the commercial market for Tekumel is so tiny that doing a hard copy of the book is simply not going to pay for itself, let alone meet the Foundation's need for revenue to support itself.

As I have stated before, on this and other Internet groups, I plan on simply offering the book as a free to download item - 'fan fiction', if you like. You go to the web site, you download the files, and there you are. What you do with the book after you download it is not my issue; I would like to hope that you might read it and enjoy my stories of my time adventuring in Phil's world. It will not be, under the Foundation's rules, an "Official", "Authorized", or "Authentic" work; I can't afford to pay for the Foundation's process to get that 'seal of approval'. I will not, as per the Foundation's stated publications policies on their blog, receive any "compensation" for the work; I am offering it to people as a way to share my sense of wonder and amazement at Phil's stunning creation.

Thirdly, I have no idea what terms and conditions the Foundation may or may not have set with their sub-licensees; the Foundation has the sole and exclusive license from the Barker Family Estate for the commercial exploitation of the Professor's intellectual property, and I would think that if you wanted to know what their policies might be you should ask them. All I can tell you about is what they told me, after all.

Finally, I want to make it clear that I am ***done*** with the commercial side of Tekumel; for the first time in thirty-five years, I am a free man. Phil made a point of asking for my forgiveness and absolution for his more wayward actions before he passed away, and I gave it to him freely - not because I wanted to exploit his legacy for my own gain, but because I loved him like a father. Our relationship ended on a high note, and that's the way I'd prefer to remember the most remarkable man I have ever met.

People, go forth and enjoy Tekumel - I adventure in Phil's world every second and fourth Saturday in my basement at noon, and that is what I plan on doing for a good long time. I am enjoying Tekumel for the first time in decades, and I plan on staying as far away from all this fracas for the rest of my life. Feel free to look at my blog, feel free to ask me questions, but leave me out of the fighting and feuding; I've had to deal with too much of that, over the years.

I wish all of you, and the Tekumel Foundation, all the luck and success in the world.

yours, Chirine ba Kal / Jeff Berry


Thank you for your time and attention. I will now return to our regularly scheduled game...