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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Pagan Themes in Fiction

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Review of Horn of the Kraken

Set in the Fate of the Norns universe originated by Andrew Valkauskas, Horn of the Kraken by Stephen B. Pearl is the first in a new series within that universe. This is a universe full of magic and fantastical beasts, where the Norns choose human champions. Based on historical conversion-era Europe, featuring some historical figures such as Eric Blood-Axe, Horn of the Kraken is also set during Fimbulwinter, the prelude to Ragnarok. Fimbulwinter is the breakdown in the cycle of the seasons in which the sun never rises again and winter lasts until the end of the world. The world’s central problem is the mass failure of agriculture, and the world’s politics centers on the impact that would have if it occurred during the Viking Age. The villains, who are Christians out to convert the heathen and control the world’s economy and political structures, are using a mysterious new superweapon, the Horn of the Kraken.

Into this come five chosen heroes. Fjorn is a nobleman and a fighter/bard. Politics stalks him because of his bloodlines. Sigurlina is a seidhkona, a type of heathen witch with powers of necromancy and healing. She serves Freya and is sworn to avenge her family against Christian ruler Hakon. Audun is a rune master who has a near-death experience at the hands of the Christian enemy that echoes the story of Odin’s runic initiation on the Tree. Ragna is a thief. She tags along to get out of town ahead of trouble. Vidurr is a werewolf who serves Surtr, the king of the fiery underworld who is prophesied to fight against the gods at Ragnarok and destroy the world. Vidurr’s sole desire in life is to avenge his family against the Christian “crusaders.” Although those who serve Odin and those who serve Surtr are theological enemies within heathenry, they join forces against the outside threat of the Christians. Pearl knows enough about heathenry to portray both the Odin’s man and the Surtr’s man as having no god-based conflict with the Freya’s woman.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Planet of the Magi is published

My space fantasy novel Planet of the Magi is published. It features a female protagonist who uses magic and is influenced in her moral choices by her planet's pacifist pagan minority.

The book includes people who follow two different kinds of pagan religion grown from the same root, one that remained on a planet that one that is practiced on a space ship. I proposed that the culture that remained on a planet is polytheistic, and tied their religion to seasons and agriculture and the gods that govern those things, but the ones who live in space developed into a henotheistic religion that honors a single creator goddess. There are also three different magical systems, one practiced by the ship group, one by the majority culture on the protagonist's planet, and one practiced by an order of warrior monks founded by aliens but now including humans. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
5 Magical Novels of 2015

This is my list of novels published in 2015, which I acquired for publication, of interest to pagans, heathens, and witches.

 1. The Rishis: The Book of Secrets by Robert Delgado

(Also available in Spanish: Los Rishis y el Libro de Secretos)

Contemporary young people discover the secrets and powers of the Rishis, and the mystery of what happened in Gonur 3,500 years ago, while battling the Rishis' enemies the Mantris.

2. Jane by Rose Montague

(sequel to Jade)

Jane and Jade hunt evil before it hunts them.

3. Lucidity by Ray S. Kent

Lucid dreams can lead a boy to love, or evil.

4. Caloric by Trisha Barr

Four young people discover they are the elements bound in human form, and an ancient society plans to kill them and steal their powers.

5. Iona Kyle series by Ian Jarvis
Book 1: Dark Equinox
Book 2: Here by Dragons
Book 3: Witch Hunt

Iona Kyle uses her psychic powers to foil evil, and evil tries to foil her back.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_silent.pngIn his science fiction novel, Out of the Silent Planet, C. S. Lewis takes readers to a new vista, a strange planet, not unlike Earth called Malacandra. The main character, Ransom, is taken prisoner and brought by two scientists to the planet, where they hope to use him as a sacrifice for the strange inhabitants, the sorns. Not long after arriving, Ransom escapes and begins to navigate the new terrain. He encounters both the sorns and the hross, and befriends one creature, Hyoi, and spends time with him learning their customs and ways. Later, Ransom travels through an ether type atmosphere to commune with a god-like spirit-presence called, Oyarsa, an eldil or ruler, who explains that Ransom’s own planet, Thulacandra, or the silent planet, is ruled by an evil warring people, abandoned by the eldil. Ransom goes through a few more obstacles in order to get back to Earth, and once returned, wants to share his story, one he doesn’t think anyone will believe.

C. S. Lewis, best known for his Narnia series, takes on spirituality and human actions in this thinly disguised sci-fi novel. It is said the novel was inspired by a conversation with J. R. R. Tolkien, about how unsatisfied they were with the state of fiction at the time. For this blog post, we’ll take a look at the pagan themes presented in Lewis' work, perhaps even hidden away in this gem.

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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.”

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For this installment of Well at World’s End, we’ll take a look at the pagan themes in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fiction. I could easily dedicate the entire blog to Tolkien, but have chosen one rather obscure piece to focus on, “Smith of Wootton Major.” If you would like to read the story first, and then read along, you can find the selection here.

 “Smith of Wootton Major” is a short story written by Tolkien in 1967. It was originally known as “The Great Cake,” since the story starts off with the festival, Feast of the Good Children, which is celebrated every twenty-four years, and attended by only twenty-four village children. Baked inside the cake are a variety of trinkets, and hoped to be won by the children. (Cake with trinkets, can you see where this is going?)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Hunter Liguore
    Hunter Liguore says #
    Yes, it's truly one of my favorites, and shows the dimension of his work--and also the pagan elements...
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thanks for much for reminding me of this--it's one of my favorites.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Warning: blatant self-promotion ahead! But, there is a really good reason for said self-promotion, so please bear with me.

Science fiction as a genre is both extremely popular and notoriously difficult to define. It is often a case of "I'll know it when I see it." Stars Wars? Yes. Star Trek? Yes. McCaffrey's Pern books? Yes. KA Laity's Owl Stretching? Considering the people-eating aliens and near-future setting, yes. Devon Monk's The Age of Steam series? Um ... it's set in the Wild West, but it's steampunk, which is often considered a subgenre of science fiction, but it's got faeries and magic, too, so ... maybe? Lucian of Samosata's True History? Um ... second century fable-ish proto-science fiction? 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Eli Effinger-Weintraub
    Eli Effinger-Weintraub says #
    Hey, Rebecca. I wanted to mention The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction, a co-effort of Llewellyn and our own Witches&Pagans. Sever
  • Ryan Musgrave-Evans
    Ryan Musgrave-Evans says #
    Hey guys. If there's a free-for-all on self promotion going at the moment, I'll mention my own works. "Dead Stars" is a 110,000 wo
  • Sophie Gale
    Sophie Gale says #
    Now you've got me hunting for Pagan authors! SF is a labor of love for JMG, not necessarily a paying gig. Patricia Kennealy-Morr
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Sophie: Ack! I had no idea Greer was writing science fiction. I love his "A World Full of Gods." Adding "Star's Reach" to my To R
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Sophie: Williams and Barrette, got it. Isn't Barrette the former editor of SageWoman or PanGaia? I have not read anything by Ha

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