Okay, okay. Well, my real name is Jimmy Joe. Yes, it is really my name, but people don’t believe me. It is not an exciting name, is it?
Anyway, Bladesmaster is my alias. Bladesmaster is more of title rather than a real name that I found from a fantasy novel, that I once read.
This is the name I am frequently known by, particularly when I’m surfing the Web. It is also a name that I frequently used when on-line services such as e-mail and so forth.
I am also known by another alias – Storyteller. This is because I have a very small personal website called the Book of Heroes, which was formerly called the World of the Storyteller.
As for my real life. Pretty dull, if I must say so myself.
Well, I am a Chinese, born in Hong Kong, but living as citizen of Australia. Didn’t completed high school. Help my parents with restaurant business for a few years, until they went broke. I was unemployed for a year before going back to studies. I had recently completed my degree in IT in 1999.
As for my interests…. Well, I used to play lots of sports in high school. Mostly it was PE or social gathering of friends and girlfriends, such as shooting the hoops (for those who don’t know, basketball, you dingbat), soccer and volleyball. I have never distinguished myself in any one sport, but I did have a few moment of glory. These days, I like to tweak the computer and play computer games. My real passions, however, is that I like to read books.
Over the years, I’ve read hundreds of fantasy books, as well as dozens of crime, spy and horror novels. I preferred book of magic and high adventures. My favourite writers are D. Eddings, R. Feist and R. Jordan. All three of them are fantasy writers.
What got me interested in fantasy books, stemmed from my early interests in classical mythology and literature.
Though I have always had problems with my English classes (reading/writing), I have always been fascinated by classical myths of Greek heroes and gods, since 5th grade in primary school. Back then, the school library had contained only short description of the stories and characters, but not actual translations of the works. It was basically a children picture book, with little details on some Greek heroes and gods. There were also some movies that I found exciting too, particularly about “Jason and the Argonauts” and “Ulysses”, “Clash of the Titans”.
I didn’t get to read my first translations of classical literature, until I was 17 or 18. I began buying and reading books that had nothing to with school’s selected reading (which was a chore, reading mostly boring Australian and American literature). I began reading for the first time, quite simply, for the pleasure of reading.
My first book was about the famous epic poetry about the Trojan War. A little-known author named Homer, who wrote “The Iliad” (translated by the late E. V. Rieu). I have read a few other translations of the Iliad: some were in prose writing; the others were in verse (like poetry).
In the space of a single year, I have read the “Odyssey” (also by Homer), the “Theban Cycle” (3 plays by Sophocles, about Oedipus and his family), “Oresteia” (another trilogy but by Aeschylus), “Bacchus” and “Medea“, by Euripides, and all of the other plays by these three great tragedians. I have also read the “Argonautica” by Apollonius, and many others.
Three other writers are great sources of Greek myths: Hesiod, Apollodorus and the Roman writer Ovid. I could also add another Roman author, Virgil, who wrote about Trojan hero Aeneas in “The Aeneid”. But this was purely the author’s invention to explain the ancestor of the first Roman king, Romulus.
Unfortunately for the world, many thousands of works were lost, and those that survived were either fragmented or extant works by other writers.
My interests started to expand to other areas such as classical history in Greece and Rome. I’ve read translations of the “Persian Wars” (by Herodotus) and the “Peloponnesian War” (by Thucydides), as well as other works by writers such as Xenophon, Plato, Polybius, Livy, Caesar, and Tacitus.
Naturally, I began to take interests in Norse (& Teutonic) and Celtic (Irish) mythology, as well as the legends of Arthur and his knights of the Round Table, and the Frankish king Charlemagne and the Twelve Peers (Paladins).
Lately, I have been interested in the Middle Eastern culture and history, especially from ancient Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations. They are really fascinating stuffs.
The thing was, I like reading about Greek mythology, but I had never like to study them in the classroom. I did a few week of classical literature in high school, before I dropped it (maybe it was due to the teacher).
For a while I stopped buying books because I was too busy with my studies and work. Over the years, my interests had shifted away from myths and legends to modern novels, as mentioned earlier (e.g. fantasy, crime, spy, horror).
When the Internet and WWW became available to the general public and I began to study Computer Science, it has been lately in my mind, that I want to publish my own web pages. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what to publish.
Partially due to studying part-time in my final year and looking for work, early in 1999, I found that I had too much time at hand. Boredom started creeping in.
When I stumbled upon several web sites that offer to publish home page for WWW surfers, free of charge, so I joined several Free Web Hosting services. One of the web servers, offered unlimited webspaces. Since then I became member of XOOM (now called NBCi, but NBCi has gone too).
Early on, I was stuck with a single page called Bladesmaster’s Home Page, but was changed to the World of Bladesmaster. I wanted to publish stuffs that I was interested in, such as some of my favourite fantasy novels. (Note that this page (World of Bladesmaster) doesn’t exist anymore, since NBCi had removed web-hosting services.)
Originally, I have thought of doing a Fan Page on one or two fantasy authors. I gave up on this idea because I simply knew that I couldn’t compete against some of the web sites that I have seen, because of my limited skills graphic arts and drawing.
Then an idea came to me. I had decided to do a small but simple home page on classical mythology – Greek and Roman. But as I developed the contents and design my interface, I realised that to compete with other websites, I had to make my site more interesting. So I have decided to concentrate on Classical, Norse, Celtic myths and the Arthurian legend. I had to also think of suitable name for this web page on mythology.
So the idea of Timeless Myths was born.
Which is why I am still here today.