Posts Tagged ‘mythology’

Using Mythology in Science Fiction/Fantasy

(Random aside – I put this down for a potential blog topic in December, and all I wrote next to it was “IT’S AWESOME.”  Good job, Kit.)

So, I went and saw Thor tonight.  (When you read this on Monday, I mean Sunday night.)  Admittedly I am a bit behind the movie times, and I know it is based off the comic book character, but still my point stands.

I think the very coolest thing an author can do is wrap their story around some mythology.  Sometimes this does always go well – things can be too blatant, too predictable – but when done right, it adds a depth to the story that is a beautiful thing.

It gives you a lattice to build off of that, at times, has been in the human consciousness for thousands of years.

Another example that’s recently been pointed my way – I am reading a book on alchemy for story research.  I don’t think it’s going to work out – definitely leaning towards straight magic at this point – but it’s been interesting, and the author makes a rather decent argument that the Harry Potter books are built on the alchemical process.  I don’t know if it is or not – I was in the HP fandom long enough to hear and read many many theories – but if it’s not intentional, that almost makes it more awesome.  To match something that people have been working on and believing for thousands of years without even meaning to.  Aha, brilliant.

I like the idea of there being some sort of greater consciousness, some sort of universal truth, that we all as humans can tap into.  And I love the idea of there being something bigger than us, something we can aspire to.

Let’s face it – in a lot of cases, mythologies resonate with us on some level.  Even in today’s modern society where, as some people say, “God is dead.”  Where Science rules all, and we’re more worried about who’s going to win American Idol than our spiritual wellbeing.

Jung would say something profound about archetypes.

How do you feel about using mythology as a base?  Any mythologies that stand out as your favorite?

Of Lunar Eclipses and Inspiration

So how awesome was the eclipse the other night?  So awesome.

My new house has this random landing at the top of the stairs.  It’s tiny and useless, but it turns out to be the perfect size for three people to lie on their backs and watch lunar eclipses out the skylight while they chat about books and movies and the state of the world.

As a fantasy writer/reader, I found this eclipse fascinating.  First full eclipse in years, and, not only that, on the winter solstice.  (First time since 1378!) 

Some of my very favorite stories include real mythologies, and the double whammy of a lunar eclipse (traditionally a portent of great evil – and is said to give a greater weight to all your actions) and the winter solstice (almost all cultures have some sort of holiday associated with the solstice – oftentimes something to bring the light and spring back into the world) appeals to me greatly.

If you add in the full moon (technically, all lunar eclipses happen during full moons – when the moon is not full part of the Earth is already between it and the sun) the symbolism gets almost palpable. 

Anyone else get shivers just thinking about it?