Sunday, 31 August 2014

Norse Myths In Modern Fiction

Heroic Fantasy
War Of The Gods
Hrolf Kraki's Saga
The Broken Sword
The Demon Of Scattery (with Mildred Downey Broxon)

Historical Fantasy
Mother Of Kings

Historical Fiction
The Golden Slave

Historical Science Fiction: The Time Patrol Series
"The Sorrow of Odin the Goth"
"Star of the Sea"

These two Time Patrol stories are short novels. Thus, these are eight novels by Poul Anderson. Men are deified in the "fictions;" gods intervene in the "fantasies."

In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, when Lucifer retires and gives Morpheus the Key to a locked and empty Hell, Odin, Thor and Loki hope to acquire this desirable spiritual real estate as a refuge from the Ragnarok but must contend with deities from other mythologies who also want Hell. Afterwards, Loki remains at large and covertly helps Morpheus until he is again confined underground by Odin and Thor. Later again, in Mike Carey's Lucifer, the retired Lord of Hell kills the serpent that drips venom on Loki who then lends Lucifer the ship made of dead men's nails for a voyage into previously unknown realms of the hereafter. See the attached image.

I confine my remarks to these three authors, who creatively adapt an already fascinating mythology.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I would have included THE KING OF YS under "Historical Fantasy." It's also my view that MOTHER OF KINGS has less fantasy than what we see in KING.

Also, ROGUE SWORD should be listed alongside THE GOLDEN SLAVE as historical fiction. RS is a fierce, dark, grim novel set set in the early 1300s as the Eastern Empire was beginning its final, catastrophic decline. And, as you may recall, I even discovered how ROGUE SWORD has an unexpected connection to THE HIGH CRUSADE.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

Oops! I wrote too hastily! You were focusing on those works of Poul Anderson with SCANDINAVIAN ties. Thus, my first note above was irrelevant to what you meant.

Sean (Chagrined!)

Paul Shackley said...

Yes, I was just about to reply!