On Cloud Nine – A Down-to-Earth Fantasy
by Jake Hogeterp
Publication Date: Nov 1, 2010
Suggested Retail (Paperback): $19.95
“If Cloud Nine did not exist, you would have had to invent it.” So says Emmenda, Tender First Class of Guests Manifesting Excess Happiness and a Cloud Sprite dedicated to her task and the Cloud’s unwavering mandate. So what’s all the that turmoil about just as Paul Hogarth, a humble baker who’s just won a first-novel prize, wafts in from the hold of the Joyful Reaper, for his stint of happiness rehab?
It seems not all Cloud Sprites are content with the status quo. With Down Below’s madcap ride to apparent self-destruction, some feel Cloud Nine can no longer lay claim to its legitimacy as a Protective Realm. Paul becomes an unwitting pawn in the struggle, both on the Cloud and back home in his solid form. Will he have to carry the message to his fellow humans? Will they believe him? Welcome to Cloud Nine. Even if you may already have been there, you’re in for an adventure you never would have expected.
On Cloud Nine – Back Cover Blurb
If you happen to be fortunate enough to have “that overburdened part of your spirit where joy resides … swept off to Cloud Nine for rest and rehabilitation,” you will enter a metaphoric structure of another realm where “possible” is transformed into “probable,” as you are summoned up from the domain of real life to the magically real by the equally startling stratagems of the author’s imagination. On your journey, you will encounter a view of life that promises not only joy, but a fair share of not-so-happy, as well. In effect, you will be rewarded with a perspective on the world that still includes in its safely guarded coffers, much that has elsewhere been lost. Hang on tight and enjoy the exhilarating rollercoaster ride, and be prepared to “deflect a stray thunderbolt that [could at any moment] backfire and aetherize the entire Cloudworld.”
Canadian Authors Association, Toronto Branch
Author Bio Note:
Jake Hogeterp’s current major projects are the translation from Frisian of a short story collection, and the editing the novel of an emerging writer who also happens to be a grand-niece. Having recently retired from a brief career in bookselling, his working hours are mostly taken up with freelance editing of short and long fiction. On Cloud Nine is his first novel. He lives in Scarborough, Ontario.
Reading and Book Club Guide
The following reader and book club guide is intended to help you find interesting approaches to reading and discussing On Cloud Nine. We hope this enhances your enjoyment and appreciation of the book – Hidden Brook Press
1.) The author sub-titles the book “A Down-to-Earth Fantasy.” Is this an attempt to categorize the story by genre, or is it a set-up? What points lead you to your conclusions?
2.) “If Cloud Nine did not exist, you would have had to invent it.” How does metaphor in this story inform our perception of the world?
3.) How does Paul’s life as an over-qualified underachiever qualify him for the hero’s role:
- a) Among the cosmic forces,
- b) Among his fellow humans?
4.) Can the old-world cosmology depicted in On Cloud Nine still teach important concepts?
5.) What might Cloud Nine’s admission of failure say about the shortcommings of the world’s religions?
6.) The New Age Movement makes frequent reference to spirit guides. Do the aetherial creatures of On Cloud Nine qualify as such guides?
7.) On Cloud Nine suggests that our inability to harness our collective technical genius will be humanity’s downfall. Explain why you would agree or disagree.
8.) Paul’s concert oration was ‘erased’ from the record. Would this have been his choice or was he a victim of censorship? What opportunity may have been lost?
9.) “Musick has the charm to soothe a savage breast.” Has the noise of our time dulled our senses to the charm of art? Would Sandra’s impromptu cadenza be applauded only for its technical brilliance?
10.) Imagine a brief synopsis of Paul’s novel, Paradigm Lost. How might this book have foreshadowed the events of On Cloud Nine?