- from the unpublished short story "1473"
While is was generally accepted for a long time that Christopher Columbus was the first European to arrive in North America, that story was long ago proven to be full of shit. The vikings arrived on the shores of Newfoundland a full five hundred years before Columbus, which has been archeologically confirmed. There are also literally hundreds of stories (of varying degrees of plausibility) about other visitors to the "New World" pre-1492. Henry Sinclair, The Earl of Orkney is a popular one. The Scottish Baron supposedly visited North American a full hundred years before Columbus, which is claimed to be proven by the fact that he later built a chapel in Edinburgh that depicted maize (corn) in some of the carvings, a crop which should have been unknown in Europe at the time. There's the legend of Irish Saint Brendan, who crossed the Atlantic seeking Paradise in the 6th century, and tales back as far at the ancient Phoenicians visiting as early as 350 BC are floating around out there. It's quite possible that Columbus himself had traveled to the New World himself before 1492, which is how he convinced the Spanish government to fund his more famous expedition.
In my fantastic-fiction version of the history of Newfoundland, a character named Skolvus very much exists, though he is equally mysterious and mercurial as his "real-world" namesake. He appears (so far) in one short story, a fictionalized re-telling of Pining and Corte-Real's 1473 journey that also features a few other famous faces. A great deal of mystery surrounds how he knows how to find the island (since he has obviously been there before) and where he goes after he reveals its location to others. He's not the main character in the piece, but he is important to the fictionalized history of the Isle and I suspect he will show his trickster face again.