The Found Diary of Avery Alexander Myer — and a letter matrix challenge

The Found Diary of Avery Alexander Myer, an ontological mystery by M.A. Fink, featuring over 45 sketches by Gromyko Semper, is now available on Learn more about it on the Tornado Skin Press website. Award-winning sci fi and fantasy author, Dean Francis Alfar, writes:

“M.A. Fink’s first novel deftly combines elements of the surreal with a fierce groundedness of character as he takes us along one man’s fantastic journey through strange worlds in pursuit of truth. A love letter to Myst, The Mysterious Island, and Lewis Carroll’s wonderland, ‘The Found Diary of Avery Alexander Myer’ has a voice all its own – inspired by the 19th century but rendered with today’s sensibilities – always well-observed and engaging in its sensuous attention to detail as each layer of story is revealed. Fink’s contribution to speculative fiction is a pleasure to read.”

Surrealist artist Gromyko Semper provides the “notebook sketches” within Avery Alexander Myer’s diary, as the character struggles to unlock the mystery of the strange world in which he has found himself. The sun illustration in the sidebar of this blog, and the sketch on the letter matrix, below, are by Gromyko Semper.

Here is a teaser and a “mystery” that perhaps you can unlock yourself: a letter matrix that reveals something about the novel. Anything on the card (the whole image below) may or may not be a clue to the solution. Can you solve it? You don’t need to read the book to figure out the matrix. Nevertheless, you may enjoy reading the book and finding out how the main character ends up figuring out some puzzles of his own…


Let us know if you solve the matrix!


Want to read a short, compelling, fantasy novel?

M.A. Fink has written a short fantasy novel (something I think would especially appeal to gamers), illustrated with drawings by Filipino surrealist artist Gromyko Semper.  The length is about 48,000 words, and each chapter in the story represents a single entry in a mysterious and increasingly bizarre diary. He is looking for genre-published authors to read the manuscript and—if you like it (and I think you will)—to write a short blurb for the back coverl (he already has one blurb, but would like one or two more).  Contact me through “comments” on this blog if you are interested, and I’ll send you a reader’s copy. THX


Interregnum Timeline: 2056 (excerpt)

Collage, “Madame LaMorte,” by Gromyko Semper.

The following is an excerpt from M.A. Fink’s Interregnum Timeline:


The most popular “mercy” (immersive video game) is Schütze, a wild and borderline pornographic science fiction adventure involving the hypothetical aliens behind the Big Bow Triangle. Social commentator Sanray Shotaway remarks, “With continuing silence and frustration about the meaning (if any!) behind The Message, its reality has devolved into burlesque and parody.”

NASA starts construction on an orbital facility designed to build spacecraft and launch them from space. Called Nerio after the consort of Mars, it is ultimately intended to provide a platform for a manned mission to the red planet.

Nerve regeneration becomes a medical reality, albeit an expensive and time consuming one. Almost overnight, most forms of paralysis are curable.

Brazil is recognized as a major economic power, largely through its increasingly libertarian stance towards corporate industry, as well as its new-found disinterest in environmental issues – intense worldwide protests notwithstanding.

— M.A. Fink

Gromyko Semper — Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect digital montage, by Gromyko Semper, who is the illustrator for The Found Diary of Avery Alexander Meyer.

Gromyko’s note: The butterfly effect is a metaphor that encapsulates the concept of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory; namely, a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. Although this may appear to be an esoteric and unusual behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position. The butterfly effect is a common trope in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with “what if” cases where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes.

Gromyko Semper Rising

A great article about artist and illustrator Gromyko Semper, by Sylvia L. Mayuga in GMA Online.

The_Division_of_Eve's_apple_by_Gromyko Semper
The Division of Eve’s Apple, by Gromyko Semper


It all made sense to Gromyko now – his childhood fascination with the mythic world of Japanese manga, his abstract watercolors and surreal drawings in adolescence. They were scenes of his inner world light years from the ricefields. He was not alone when he turned his back on realistic art no longer real. It was at antipodes to this new vision of art beyond even the post-modern. The provisional word for it would be “post-post-modern,” suggests the artist Ben Tolman.

Cyberspace was a new artistic commons in altered space and time. And it had technological handmaidens in software to manipulate photos and create 3D images. Many call this magical art on the Internet “a connection to, even the fabric of, a global subconscious mind” – just the place for Gromyko Semper.