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Why Metaphysical Fiction?

Enjoy this brief video explaining metaphysical fiction and Iago's Penumbra:

Iago’s Penumbra is a Metaphysical novel. What’s a Metaphysical novel, you ask? It’s a new(er) sub-genre of fiction under the umbrella of speculative fiction, also called “metaphysical visionary fiction”; these extraordinary novels contain paranormal or supernatural elements with deeper spiritual themes that question the nature of reality itself.

Metaphysical fiction explores topics like consciousness expansion, past lives, mysticism, the occult, and parapsychology. These visionary novels essentially have two components integral to the story itself: a philosophical exploration of the nature of reality and a non-corporeal, ineffable or supranatural element, as in characters or events that transcend the natural.

Metaphysical (which literally means “after the physical”) refers to occurrences that we may be able to subjectively experience or sense but cannot objectively measure or explain.

This emerging genre finds readership among those who enjoy otherworldly tales, magical realism, science fiction, philosophy, cartomancy, the paranormal, and alternative spiritual paths—those who seek to delve into the larger questions about life, for, as Shakespeare wrote, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

This genre is growing because there is an urgent need in the world for a fiction category that helps readers explore spiritual ideas and concepts not just rationally—as one might through a non-fiction book—but emotionally and experientially. In a metaphysical/visionary novel, you don’t simply learn about deeper spiritual truths, but you feel them unfolding through the power of story on a gut level, experiencing them vicariously through the eyes of an engaging cast of characters from the safety of your own armchair so that you can apply them to your life as you wish.

Our present world is undergoing a threshold moment: a time of transition. Spurred by the world’s response to the pandemic, the shell of the egg is cracking, and a new way of perceiving life is emerging. If modern scholarship and the events since the pandemic have shown us anything, it is that we are creatures of story who seek mythical meaning before we are minds who believe what our scientific studies or logic suggest. As a result, we long to merge the adventure of living with transcendent discovery, combining a truly compelling story with a message that gives our lives meaning.

Iago’s Penumbra is a metaphysical visionary novel that takes the reader on a spiritual journey into a fascinating story with beloved characters to help the reader ask and safely explore these fundamental metaphysical questions:

  • What happens after we die? Why do we die? Why do things end?
  • What is this force called love that seems to rule almost every aspect of life? Why is it so powerful? How can it simultaneously seem as though it’s both the greatest and worst thing to ever happen to us?
  • What does it mean to be human? Can we lose our humanity? How can one human being treat another human being as though they are less than human?

From the opening lines of Chapter One, it is clear that Iago’s Penumbra is literally “after physical”—metaphysical—as it’s about a dead girl, but as you continue to read you will soon discover a story that is much, much more than a paranormal romance between a ghost and a clairvoyant. Iago’s Penumbra explores some of life’s most difficult spiritual truths through the lens of the archetypes, motifs, themes, and plotlines of the works of William Shakespeare as well as esoteric philosophy, ancient wisdom, our deepest fears, and even divination.

Speaking of divination, I used the tarot to write Iago’s Penumbra—in fact, I’ve also created the standalone Iago’s Penumbra Tarot, a 22-card tarot deck, that features the characters, main environments, and literary themes of Iago’s Penumbra as they correlate to the Major Arcana of the Tarot! To find out more about this deck available exclusively to readers of Iago’s Penumbra, click this logo:

You might pick up a non-fiction book to understand, but it is our fiction that changes us. Our movies, our television, and our books. It is our stories that we inhabit, that entertain us, that become a part of us—for our stories reveal who we are, what we believe, and what we imagine to be, and the genre of Metaphysical Visionary fiction answers this quest for the profound.

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