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Reflections on Myth and Media

  • Alfablot: A Hidden Festival

    November 29, 2021 by

    As autumn chills into winter, a holiday of that evokes elves comes ‘round once more. No, not Christmas elves. I’m talking about álfablót, a Norse tradition that called on the álfar for protection in the dark months of winter. Unlike commercial Christmas, which thrives by exploding throughout stores ever earlier and ever farther across the… Read more

  • Quarterly Bestiary: Eloko: Beware the Bell (or the Stick)

    October 31, 2021 by

    Sometimes the forest guards mysteries, and sometimes the mysteries guard the forest. Or maybe they’re just hungry! In the case of the eloko (plural biloko), both could be true. An eloko is a powerful little mystery said to haunt the Congo rainforest. I’ve wanted to cover biloko since reading A Song Below Water, which gives… Read more

  • Updates, and Second Blogiversary!

    October 9, 2021 by

    They say time flies when you’re having fun. Recently, I guess I must have been having too much fun posting since I forgot my own blogiversary! After the dry spell of summer, it was nice to get a sudden surge of ideas. I missed the actual anniversary back in August, so I decided to combine… Read more

  • Monkey in the Middle: The (Nearly) Indefinable Monkey King

    September 25, 2021 by

    I love tricksters, and possibly my favorite is Sūn Wùkōng (孫悟空), the Monkey King. Recently, I got to read Professor Anthony C. Yu’s annotated and revised English translation of Journey to the West /Xīyóujì (西遊記). Seeing the original Monkey King in all his mischievous glory just made me fall in love all over again. His… Read more

  • Spirited Swords, Part 2: Five Living Blades

    August 28, 2021 by

    Welcome back! Ready for more swords? In Part 1, I listed blades that, like the Soul-Devouring Sword in Ice Fantasy, were possessed and/or cursed. These swords were animated or driven by forces that initially existed outside of their steel or bronze. Now I’d like to cover swords in a slightly different category: Living blades. Unlike… Read more

  • Spirited Swords, Part 1: Five Possessed and Cursed Blades

    August 23, 2021 by

    Greetings on this morning after Guǐ Jie /the Ghost Festival! Contemplating the roaming spirits of this thin time led me to thinking of the Soul-Devouring Sword (噬神劍) from Ice Fantasy. The energy-eating sword spirits possessing it give the sword great power but in their hunger they may strike even when the sword’s wielder would rather… Read more

  • Double Your Loki: Ragnarok 2 and Loki 1 Review

    August 15, 2021 by

    Welcome to my first official review! I’ll get to that awful Dinotopia mini-series soon, but I wanted to warm up with a more pleasant topic. I’m so used to taking a more objective stance even in the near-reviews where I talk about mythology in media, like Ice Fantasy or the Grishaverse. Those posts also focused… Read more

  • Quarterly Bestiary: Aos Si: The Complicated Neighbors

    July 31, 2021 by

    The word “fairy” can refer to many different types of mythical beings. Both the teeny winged fairies still popularly pictured and the wilder human-sized fae of YA and adult fantasy novels often reflect a patchwork of source material. Since it would take many posts to adequately cover all those sources, I’m going to focus on… Read more

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