No Horns On These Helmets is a short story anthology with a theme of Vikings, heathen cultures, and Norse and Germanic mythology. I edited this collection of 20 stories by 20 authors, and also have one story in it myself. The genres included are fantasy, science fiction, historical, urban fantasy, and retold folktales.
I was asked to edit this anthology for two reasons: I write and edit in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and as the author of Asatru For Beginners, I know my heathen material. Right from the selection of the title, No Horns On These Helmets, the publisher (Sky Warrior Books) and I decided we wanted this anthology to have stories that got the historical details and the details of heathen mythology and culture right. There actually is one story in the anthology that has a character who wears a horned helmet, but that story is one of the humor pieces. I selected the stories first and foremost for authenticity. Some of the authors are heathen or pagan, and some are not, but they all know their history and mythology.
As an admitted bibliophile, it took me a surprising amount of time to jump on the e-reader bandwagon. I finally gave in when I realized that 1) in many cases, the digital book is much cheaper than the print edition; 2) there are a lot of small press and self-published authors who release only digital editions of their books; and 3) there is simply no more room in the house of more bookcases. None.
So, I plopped down my hard-earned cash and bought myself a nook. I take the darn thing with me everywhere. It's a complete library in my pocket, offering immediate access to not only my favorite authors -- but also authors new-to-me.
Crow was right, the storm did come and then it just kept on coming. Since the end of last month and for many weeks now harsh weather conditions have re-written this island’s coastlines. Rainfall, the likes of which have not been seen for more than a century, leaves the countryside drowning and submerged in its deluge.
My local indie bookshop had one of these left in stock and they kindly held it for me. I ran up there in my garden clothes and damp do-rag because I was so excited to have this book in my hands.
As soon as it was rung up and handed across the counter to me, I opened the cover, turned to the opening lines and saw---Lo! "Lo," I said aloud. "Interesting choice." I asked them if they needed any copies of my book ("Staubs and Ditchwater") and we agreed the 3 they have in stock will do until I get back from PSG. I declined a bag but got a bright bookmark. Holding the book to my chest, I tip-tapped out the door and across the street to the car. I sat there for a moment, looking at the cover, then smelling the top of the book, as one does.
In the two months since the election my broader outlook has become less defensive.I have begun turning from battling the nihilistic right to the vastly more rewarding challenge of helping build a attractive alternative to modernity’s collapsed moral foundations. That collapse facilitated the right wing’s attempt to impose traditional authoritarianism in both secular and religious guise. Now, instead of constantly uprooting the right’s intellectual and moral weeds I hope to help prepare the ground for new growth and beauty. We sure need it.
My reading has shifted from politics to exploring recent studies exploring how our world is truly conscious “all the way down.” So long as materialist reductionism dominate the intellectual conversation, with irrational monotheism as the alternative, we will be regarded as exotic outsiders, and not taken seriously.This conversation desperately needs widening. More and more people are becoming aware of the inner bankruptcy of the Enlightenment project and its monotheistic alternatives, and so are open to views such as that of many Pagans if they are skillfully presented.
For this installment of Well at World’s End, we’ll take a look at the Pagan themes in the novel, Star Wars, written by George Lucas, Donald Glut, and James Kahn. Many people have watched the movies, which have become fan-classics. If you haven’t read the book, you might enjoy the story on a more personal level. As you read, even though you have the visual image of the characters and location from the movie, your own imagination takes over to reconstruct something new. Before long, the world and characters become new inventions in your own mind. There are also nuances in the book that you won’t find or will miss in the movie. Here is a sample of the opening pages, which describes the planet, Tatooine.
“At first it seemed certain nothing could exist on such a planet, least of all humans. Yet both massive G1 and G2 stars orbited a common center with peculiar regularity, and Tatooine circled them far enough out to permit the development of a rather stable, if exquisitely hot, climate. Mostly this was a dry desert of a world, whose unusual starlike yellow glow was the result of double sunlight striking sodium-rich sands and flats. That same sunlight suddenly shone on the thin skin of a metallic shape falling crazily toward the atmosphere.”