Anno Amagium is a long-form, long-term fiction endeavor, encompassing interconnected novels, shorts, and a web serial. The world and characters have been in development for 3 years. The series is set in a modern-day, alternative version of Earth where everyone has the inborn capacity to perform magic. These potentially destructive powers are governed by a global order known as the Amagium, which imposes and enforces a magic licensing system that dictates what sort of spells and magical technology can be safely used by the general public.
As you might expect, Anno Amagium is firmly situated in the contemporary/urban fantasy genre with a few alternate history flourishes. I am looking to simultaneously embrace the genre’s pulpy roots, while bringing in a broader array of influences from other fiction I love.
The core narrative story follows three different protagonists with very different backgrounds. Sev’s narrative reads like a character-driven fantasy adventure filtered through the lens of contemporary crime fiction. Think The Witcher meets The Wire. Meanwhile, Hace and Lin’s stories subvert popular magic academy tropes, reading more like Ender’s Game, or contemporary Shonen anime than Harry Potter, detailing the brutal training required to become a Keeper. Other prominent influences on the series include Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, Ursula K. Leguin’s Earthsea universe, Gege Akutani’s Jujutsu Kaisen, Pat Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle, Gen Urobuchi’s Psycho-Pass, Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Mysteries, Michael Connelly’s novels, a plethora of TV procedurals (Lucifer, Evil, NCIS, CSI, Law and Order, et al.), and more video games than can possibly be healthy.
The Earth of Amagia is similar to our own, but warped by a lens of pervasive magic. Its history follows a familiar beat-map to our own, and some important names appear throughout, though they are often renown for different achievements. Modern conveniences and technology exist, though they are generally fueled by magical energy and artifice rather than fossil fuels and conventional engineering.
The City of Arroyo is the primary setting for Anno Amagium stories; a well-to-do suburb in the coastal nation of the Pacific States of Ericia. Like a superhero (or serial killer), tremendous truths and dangerous secrets lie dormant beneath the city’s pleasant exterior.
Based on Pasadena, California, Arroyo differs from its source material in a few ways. There are a greater number of gullies and gulches, separating the city into borough-like “terraces,” connected by opulent bridges. The city is also threaded with colossal, petrified rose briars of unknown origin.
Check out the maps page for a clearer picture of the world and additional historical information!
First and foremost, Hank Whitson is a storyteller.
He is also a pop culture omnivore, gaming geek, escapism nerd, avid reader, and anime aficionado, among other things. Well-traveled, uniquely trained, and highly motivated, he has been recreationally world-building since he was 6-years-old, and doing it professionally for over a decade.
Born and raised in southern California, Hank joined Pasadena Dance Theatre’s ballet company in high school. There, he became pas de deux partners with Grace, the woman who would become his wife.
Together, they attended University of California at Irvine, where he sold books at Barnes and Noble and practiced Iaido while studying English. He received his bachelor’s with a special departmental emphasis in creative writing.
Hank continued his higher education at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Digital Media masters program, where he wrote his thesis on video game criticism.
After half a decade of producing ARGs (alternate reality games) for interactive marketing campaigns, Hank struck out as a freelancer. Apart from penning Anno Amagium, he works as a designer, narrative consultant, and gaming journalist.
If you are looking for resumes and writing samples, you can find his portfolio site here. You can also read his writing on Game Rant, Looper, and SVG Gaming. He does Twitter sporadically, and Instagram infrequently.
He and his wife currently live in Duarte with no fewer than three (3) black cats.
Unless otherwise attributed, all content on this site is either free-use or Hank Whitson’s copyright.
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