This is a new weekly thing I want to try out. A few weeks back my wife was writing a Round Robin writing thing with a friend. She needed to know (as her character was an Arcane librarian of some note) what would be 1) hidden in these Egyptian tombs the other person was exploring 2) why 3) what could that lead to.
So I began rattling of various things about Egyptian mythology and their underworld, Anubis, some of the people who’ve used Egyptian themes in their stories (the wildest I’ve ever read is H.P. Lovecraft’s Under the Tombs, I shit thee not, it is narrated by Harry Houdini as he is capture by Bedouins). I then Googled some stuff and started surfing Wikipedia about Horus, Duat (this is, sort of, the Egyptian Hell) and all of the amazing mythos and lore that was just sitting around for a fantasy author to take advantage of.
And the mind boggling thing was, no one really is, not in a big way that I know of anyway. Things are changing in fantasy, with urban fantasy and even high fantasy borrowing from things other than European mythology. Saladin Ahmed is my favorite example of this, and I applaud the authentic and fascinating use of Middle Eastern themes and mythos in his work. A lot of people would look at him and say, well, that’s because he is middle-eastern (in descent) and he can do that. Well, that’s just stupid.
There is a whole big world filled with lore out there, and for a long damn time all we have taken borrowed from Europe, and usually it was the same few things. There is nothing wrong with that, my first post on this is probably actually going to be the Fay (I already was working on it for something else, so it’s mostly ready to go) and I love vampires, werewolves, witches, warlocks, dragons, all that good stuff. I’m going to do a post on all these things. But I want to explore how people did them differently, and some of the other cultures they show up in.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, one of my favorite authors is Jim Butcher. In the Dresden Files he has a massive collection of beasties to draw from, and something I love, is that he pulls from various different cultures. My favorite example of this are his vampires. He doesn’t have one kind, he has three (and I think four) and each is based on different versions of the vampire, because in our real world, there is a vampire for every culture.
So, Monday I will post my first topic on Lore. I hope it is enjoyable, and even more so, I hope it is useful. I look forward to the feedback.