The Lost Direction
The Lost Books of Quatria, Vol. I
Epic fantasy ‘lorecore’ by Timothy S. Boucher
“‘Most peculiar,’ said the little figure. He held in one of several hands a little reed flute, which he had carved himself from a special type of reed that only grew alongside the Great River…” —The Lost Direction
Speculative fiction novel, The Lost Direction by Timothy S. Boucher, is being sold as a non-fungible token (NFT). The hot-topic term, most often tied to digital art, is now spreading into publishing. One of the first of its kind, this unique work is being offered for sale using cryptocurrency, as well as conventional print and eBook versions available from the book’s publisher. This initial volume of the Lost Books of Quatria series is the Canadian author’s first book. Concepts behind the epic fantasy already have a considerable online following, with many believing the ancient stories are true.
Ownership of an NFT is comparable to owning a signed, numbered artist print—except digitally. Major artists such as Beeple and Grimes have made recent headlines, with millions of dollars spent on NFT art sales. Boucher has also been reaping the NFT boom.Released by Lost Books, an indie blockchain publisher based outside Quebec City, The Lost Direction is recognized in the May issue of one of Canada’s most venerable journals, the Literary Review of Canada, as “a fantasy novel [that] explores rich lore.” From LRC editor Rose Hendrie, “It’s by far the most unusual text I’ve seen recently! I mean that as a compliment.” This is the first time the magazine has reviewed a book that is also available as an NFT. The book has even spawned its own online sub-genre called ‘lorecore’, encompassing books with sprawling stories and richly-detailed world-building.
An intricate adventure set in a long-forgotten civilization
Boucher’s elaborate and painstakingly created backstory lore of a people is remarkable. He began sharing his world-building creation on Medium.com and has amassed a sizeable following; including over 1000 Quatria conspiracy theorists who have come to believe that Quatria could in fact be real or are along for the ride because they enjoy alternative fringe theories.
The Lost Books of Quatria series purports to be based on newly discovered letters found in an attic in Eastern Canada. Written after World War I by the original owner of the house, Edward Allen Oxford, the documents describe a lost land called Quatria, which Oxford visited when his merchant marine vessel was torpedoed off the coast of Antarctica by a German U-boat. The volumes of the book are presented as reconstructions of the myths, legends and lore told in Oxford’s many letters sent to his wife during his convalescence. The Lost Direction introduces modern audiences to the mysterious, pre-historic civilization. The resulting story is reminiscent at once of Tolkien’s Silmarillion, The Odyssey, and The Arabian Nights, along with Jorge Luis Borges’ work.
Here, a humble fisherman is washed ashore by a storm in a lost ancient world. He must regain his memory and return home to his family before a dark magician can steal the secret way back to the land of Quatria and its untold riches. This first book chronicles the legendary voyages of Benda the Fisherman opening the Gate of Song, the tragic romance of Elum and Delrin, the founding of the Order of the Tempest, and the curious adventures of Tob Gobble, along with many others.
About the author and his inspiration for the series
The US-born Boucher, of French Canadian descent going back generations, moved to Quebec in 2011. He spent the last six years handling destructive and illegal content for web platforms, including efforts during the height of the Trump era on behalf of tech giants, non-profits and even a few governments. “We developed cutting-edge technologies combined with insightful human analysis to detect and deter the spread of harmful disinformation and violent conspiracy theories. That included those foisted by the likes of QAnon adherents, anti-vaxxers and even Russian military intelligence,” Boucher explained. “We worked with the dark side of fantasy, where lies become weaponized and real people got hurt.” It is an experience few other fantasy authors have had, and one which he doesn’t wish on anyone else, “It was incredibly stressful being in the trenches of online information warfare, where the weapons are not bullets and bombs, but words and memes. The Lost Direction was birthed from that; and was how I stayed sane during the worst of that period.” Boucher drew on his experiences to become a honed story-teller, “I reverse-engineered what I learned and embedded the idea of the book as an alternate reality artifact. I’ve spent the last couple of years seeding supporting content across the web, suggesting there is a vast conspiracy to suppress the truth of this ancient civilization, in a benign context of course.”
Despite his varied background (he also worked for years in professional theatre design) bleeding-edge technologies like blockchain were a natural fit for Boucher, who presently works for a consultancy that is helping a major Silicon Valley company develop internet protocols for use in outer-space. No doubt a dream job for any fantasy author!
The Lost Direction The Lost Books of Quatria, Vol. I
Available as an NFT as well as print & eBooks at https://lostbooks.ca