Greetings, Loyal Reader!
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” I’m sure this quote never quite meant to me what Emerson intended, because I always picture cantankerous D&D hobgoblins saying foolish things and clubbing people who disagree with them.
What has this to do with Jason Cosmo? As any reader of an ongoing fantasy, science fiction, detective, or other series knows, eventually even the most careful author will contradict him- or herself regarding the established facts of the fictional world. In Book 1, Throndor the Barbarian was an only child, but in Book 7 he recalls hunting spider bears with his brothers back in the day. And don’t get me started on Star Trek.
Sometimes these contradictions are on minor points, sometimes they go to the fundamental logic of the fictional world. When I was a much, much younger reader such errors or illogic tended to bother me. I can nitpick with the best of them. However, many years of reading superhero comics pretty much beat that out of me. I learned to stop worrying and love the retcon. Actually, I think the old Marvel Comics No-Prize was the coolest response to apparent errors: “We made a mistake? No, no. It may look like a mistake, but there is actually a good explanation. That one of our readers will provide.”
Having now authored a fantasy series myself, I am much more forgiving of the apparent errors made by other authors. When you’re making up the entire history, culture, commerce, etc. of a world on the fly, it is hard to keep everything straight. I maintain a timeline of Arden’s history and the events of each book, and I have uploaded notes to the Cosmopedia — but even that may not be internally consistent.
My real-world explanation of any errors is that I’m only human. With the addtional caveat that, Jason Cosmo being a humorous adventure, I will sometimes deliberately sacrifice logic or consistency for the sake of a joke.
But the in-continuity explanation for the inevitable errors that will arise as we go forward? That’s part of the fun! I hope that as I continue to chronicle Jason Cosmo’s adventure, that the characters and world will be engaging and interesting enough that Loyal Readers will actually find details worth nitpicking or debating. Just assume that any apparent mistakes are on purpose — even if that purpose is yet to be revealed!