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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in fantasy

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

A few weeks ago, I listed some of the best Pagan-authored and Pagan-friendly fantasies that I had read, to date. I am happy to report that I can now add two more titles to that list.

First is Apex Magazine. I downloaded a one hundred page sampler and was immediately hooked. Every issue -- and the publication is up to number fifty-two -- contains short fiction, poetry, essays and interviews. Many of the pieces which have appeared in Apex draw heavily on mythology and folklore, and feature Gods, Goddesses, monsters, tricksters, and heroes both familiar and strange. For example, Elizabeth Bear's "The Leavings of the Wolf" (Norse myth), "The Moon to Sappho" by Sonya Taafe, "Kamer-taj, The Moon-Horse" by Dr. Ignacz Kunos, and "Coyote Gets His Own Back" by Sarah Monette.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thanks for this updated list (and the original)! Jane Yolen in general is ALWAYS an excellent read, and she respects her source ma
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thanks for sharing! I'll check it out.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Fantasy as a genre can be tad difficult to define.To paraphrase Wikipedia, a fantasy is any story which employs magic and/or "other supernatural phenomena" as a driving force of plot, theme or setting; and, like science fiction, fantasy tales are often set somewhere-other-than-here-and-now. Fantasy has something in the neighborhood of a dozen sub genres, depending on how one counts -- high fantasy, epic fantasy, sword-and-sandal fantasy, feminist fantasy, eco-fantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, et cetera and so on. It also mixes well with other genres; consider how many fantasy romances and magical mysteries are on the market. 

Fantasy is a very Pagan-friendly genre. By its very definition, it contains elements which are of central importance to our communities. Pull nearly any fantasy novel off the shelf, and you will find polytheism, environmentalism, "alternative" and "mainstream" sexualities, gender (re)construction, fantastic creatures, magic, and I could go on.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Over the last few weeks, some of the bloggers at the Pagan Channel on Patheos have been posting short explanations as to how and why they became Pagan. I'll tackle that question, too, but in a manner more appropriate to this column: as a life-long bibliophile, books have had a huge influence on my spiritual development. The genres, target audience, and quality of those books have varied widely; the majority were not even aimed specifically at Pagans. Nonetheless, during my formative years (say, childhood through mid-adolesence), these books contributed to thoroughly corrupting me.

Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster, for instance, which I first found at the public library as a child, lost track of, then rediscovered in the tiny children's section in my college library. I adore the artwork, and I love how Foster interweaves the personal histories of ordinary people with those of major personages and important events. It was this book which first made me a fan of Cleopatra, and led me to further explore women's history and the religions of the ancient world.

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Title: The Legend of Bold Riley

Publisher: Northwest Press

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

In my last post, I discussed a few of my favorite nonfiction Goddess Spirituality texts; and those were only a few of the many, many books available on the subject. This time, we'll look at some of the fiction books which focus on Goddesses, the Goddess, and Goddess Spirituality. They include children's picture books, graphic novels, romance novels, fantasy, and science fiction.* 

First is the picture book, Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave, by Mariana Mayer and KY Craft. Baba Yaga is an amorphous figure from Russian lore who is sometimes a Goddess, sometimes a malevolent figure, sometimes a shamanic guide, sometimes a witch, sometimes all four and more at once. Here, she reluctantly takes in the young Vasilisa, a courageous and clever girl eager to learn everything Baba Yaga can teach her. The Russian hag is a terrifying figure, making this book an excellent way to introduce children to more frightening Goddesses, or aspects of the Goddess. 

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