September 21st, 2014

Star Goddess

September post # 20: "Redeus: Divine Tales", Ed. Aaron Rosenberg

Redeus: Divine Tales, Ed. Aaron Rosenberg

I picked this book up at Shore Leave a couple of years ago and found it highly entertaining.
Note: The intro to the book mentions Shore Leave specifically, and I found this quote on a website from one of the authors, Steven H. Wilson: “Just 20 days ago, Bob (Robert Greenberger) emailed a dozen authors who are regulars at the Shore Leave and Farpoint conventions to invite us to come and play in the sandbox.” (1)

Here’s the Amazon description: “The gods have returned. All of them! The change promised by the ending of the Mayan Calendar in 2012 manifested itself in an unexpected manner. Every pantheon of gods and goddesses, from every belief the world over, has returned ... changing the world forever. As the pantheons settle into their ancestral lands, they vie for worshippers, gaining or losing power along the way. They find the world of man a bewildering, crazy quilt, and each wishes to remake their lands in their own image. Come and meet some of the inhabitants of this strangely familiar world in eleven new tales that explore what it means to worship in this new reality. A Knight Templar hunting mysteries. A rookie pitcher with a unique belief system. A wounded soldier returned to battle by a goddess. A reporter who isn’t sure what to believe. A homicide detective on the Manhattan beat. A man out to kill the gods. A single father trying to survive in a world without Santa Claus. And many more!”

There are three books so far in the series. It’s a “shared universe” with multiple authors writing to what so far seems to be a master plan.

The various gods have various ways of dealing with the modern era and their new worshippers (most of them unwilling worshippers). In some parts of the world the old gods reject new technology and take their people back to the level of their societies when they were originally worshipped. In other parts of the world, the gods accept and make use of new technology. The Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu, for example, accepts solar power as a form of worship. And, in the second book, an obscure French pantheon, displaced by Roman gods 2000 years ago when Gaul became part of the Roman Empire, hires a human motivational coach to help them get their worshippers and land back.

The first book is more entertaining the second. A good portion of the stories in the second volume seem incomplete. It’s clear to me the intent of the series is leading up to a war between the gods, and many of the stories in the second volume feel incomplete. They build on what was established in the first book and clearly will lead into what will happen in future volumes, but I was left too many times with a "what happens next" while reading this book.

I haven’t had the chance to read the third volume, which features stories focused on North American pantheons, but I plan to do so soon.

(1) Steven H. Wilson, one of the authors, goes into more detail about how this project came about here:

In a fandom filled with amazing art, Eleathyra is one of my favorites

Eleathyra's Thor and Loki art is breathtaking. I wish I had the language to properly describe art - because each one of these pieces (and all her other work too) deserves pages and pages of description and praise.