Tag Archives: myth

Jane Lindskold’s Legends Walking

Jane Lindskold has followed up Changer with Legends Walking, which opens a few weeks after Changer closes. The same characters appear, many in expanded roles, new athanor characters participate, and the story takes on added complexity as several plot lines … Continue reading

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Jane Lindskold’s Changer

Urban fanstasy is a subgenre with as many sets of criteria as there are practitioners. Ranging from the Celto-Amerindian universe of Charles de Lint’s urban Canada and Neil Gaiman’s eclectic universe of the Dreaming, with even hybrids such as Mark … Continue reading

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Joseph Campbell’s The Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension

The Flight of the Wild Gander is a series of essays produced betwen 1944 and 1968 in which Campbell was, he says, “circling, and from many quarters striving to interpret, the mystery of mythology.” The “mystery,” as comes clear as … Continue reading

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Jane Lindskold’s Nine Gates

Ever since their exile from the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice a century ago, the Thirteen Orphans and their descendants have done their best to blend into the cultures of Earth, striving to maintain their bloodlines and protect their … Continue reading

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Jane Lindskold’s Five Odd Honors

Five Odd Honors continues the story begun in Thirteen Orphans and Nine Gates, leading the Orphans and their allies back to the Lands of Smoke and Sacrifice from which they were exiled years before. Five of the Orphans need to … Continue reading

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Roger Zelazny’s Creatures of Light and Darkness

Roger Zelazny’s Creatures of Light and Darkness is one of the more bizarre science fiction novels in the canon. I should point out that before the advent of the New Wave writers in the 1960s, science fiction reserved its adventurousness … Continue reading

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Alex Irvine’s The “Supernatural” Book of Monsters, Spirits, Demons, and Ghouls

I seem to be faced with another one of those television spin-offs, this time from the series Supernatural, about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, who hunt demons and other nasty customers not entirely of this world. For those who, … Continue reading

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Glen Cook’s Shadowline

Glen Cook dedicated Shadowline, the first volume of his Starfishers trilogy, to Richard Wagner. Yes, that Richard Wagner. Think Götterdämmerung. It’s hard to know where to start with this one. Let me give you a setting: the “now” is the … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Hand’s Black Light

Elizabeth Hand’s Black Light is a foray into the world of dark gods, misty legends, and deep secrets. Lit Moylan (her real name is Charlotte) is about to finish high school. She lives with her parents in Kamensic, New York, … Continue reading

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Laura Shamas’ We Three: The Mythology of Shakespeare’s Weird Sisters

Forest, trees: there is a certain brand of scholarship that tends to focus on minute examinations of trees in the attempt to discover a forest. I am the last to decry the idea of analyzing parts in the hope of … Continue reading

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Halldór Laxness’s Wayward Heroes

Halldór Laxness is, of course, Iceland’s greatest and best-known writer and the island’s only Nobel Laureate. I say “of course” although I only started reading him about 10 years ago. Interest in him and his works has increased in the … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Bear’s By the Mountain Bound

By the Mountain Bound is a prequel to All the Windwracked Stars, and takes quite a different cast. It is a pure fantasy, with none of the science-fiction aspects of the latter book, and leads one to think about possibilities … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Bear’s All the Windwracked Stars

Take an event that we know from mythology, although it might have really happened. Let’s call it Ragnarok, just to give ourselves a point of reference, the final war when the Children of Light fought their brothers and sisters, the … Continue reading

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Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfelice’s Greek Street: Cassandra Complex

I’m sure you’ve heard the song “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” from Kiss Me, Kate. Well, in the case of Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfelice’s Greek Street, it should go “Brush Up Your Aeschylus.” And Sophocles. And Euripides. Because you’re going … Continue reading

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Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfelice’s Greek Street: Blood Calls for Blood

Greek Street: Blood Calls for Blood is the first compilation of the individual numbers of the comic series. It offers another retelling of the Greek myths, translated to the seamy underbelly of a contemporary city — in this case, London’s … Continue reading

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John Ney Rieber’s The Books of Magic

John Ney Rieber, Gary Amaro, Peter Gross, The Books of Magic: Bindings (Vertigo, 1995) John Ney Rieber, Peter Gross, Peter Snejbjerg, Gary Amaro, Dick Giordiano, The Books of Magic: Summonings (Vertigo, 1996) John Ney Rieber, Peter Snejbjerg, Peter Gross, John … Continue reading

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Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey

I’ve been reading Joseph Campbell’s books for decades, beginning with the massive, four volume The Masks of God in the late 1960s or 1970s. (I’m not sure what it says about me that I would jump right into a 2,000 … Continue reading

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Gareth Hinds’s Beowulf

If you don’t know the story of Beowulf by now, I have no sympathy — as a freshman at university, I had to read it in Old English. This version, adapted by Gareth Hinds, uses the 1904 translation by A. … Continue reading

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Mike Carey and John Bolton’s The Sandman Presents: The Furies

Mike Carey’s The Furies, illustrated by John Bolton, is another spin off from Neil Gaiman’s series The Sandman, and captures that same blend of myth and everyday life that was such a striking feature of Gaiman’s work. The story in … Continue reading

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Joseph W. Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces

Where to start a discussion of a book on mythology that is itself nearly a legend? Joseph W. Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces is one of those landmark works of twentieth-century thought that have opened up new territory … Continue reading

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Joseph Campbell: Myths of Light: Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal

Joseph Campbell, to those who have an interest in mythology as something other than stories, is a name that should be instantly recognizable. Through his writings he has pulled together the strands of mythology, folklore, psychology, and how they all … Continue reading

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Renny Harlin’s The Legend of Hercules

Once upon a time, after having been pretty much housebound for most of a week, I decided to go to the movies and wound up seeing The Legend of Hercules. No particular desire on my part to see it, but … Continue reading

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Allan Marett: Songs, Dreamings, and Ghosts — The Wangga of North Australia

First, a brief demurrer: “Ethnomusicology” can be a really scary idea, drawing together, as it does, the formal study of music and its forms, history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and possibly a couple of “ologies” that I’ve overlooked, all discrete disciplines … Continue reading

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Ciaran Carson’s The Táin

The process by which epic poems take their form is complex and relies as much on the efforts of poets, historians, and scholars as on any organic unity of the stories themselves. A good example of this process is described … Continue reading

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W. R. J. Barron, editor: The Arthur of the English: The Arthurian Legend and Medieval English Life and Literature

Originally published in 1999, The Arthur of the English is the second volume in a series of scholarly anthologies centered on the Arthurian literature of the Middle Ages. The series as a whole is a cooperative effort of the University … Continue reading

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John Arcudi and Peter Snejbjerg’s A God Somewhere

Gods have started showing up regularly in comics and graphic novels, everything from Thor and Loki in the various Avengers series to Titania and Auberon in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman andThe Books of Magic (no, they’re not gods now, but they … Continue reading

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Daithi Ó hÓgáin’s The Lore of Ireland: An Encyclopedia of Myth, Legend and Romance

The Lore of Ireland is a magical phrase, calling up images of heroic deeds and fey enchantments, bloody treachery and shining honor, great warriors, cold queens of the Sidhe, leprechauns, cattle raids, enchanted groves, bards, prophecies — it’s sobering to think … Continue reading

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