aria: ([aria] whee!)
valinor spider party ([personal profile] aria) wrote2012-06-29 11:33 am

joy & norse mythology (possibly related)

It is before noon and I have already done all the grocery shopping and paid rent! I am well pleased, and also cradling a cup of tea so I don't end up faceplanting into the keyboard. I've been up for ages because I crashed at Amiel's after contra last night, and oh my god, contra continues absolutely amazing. I am pleasantly sore today, and maybe I should try to properly take up yoga so I don't end up stiff and tottery over the weekend.

Mostly I'm just absurdly happy: contra, and this weekend at the harbor there's some kind of exhibition of tall ships, and on the 4th Polaris and I are planning to watch Independence Day and 1776, as you do when you want the weirdest double feature, and to have a cookout in the back yard (where we will presumably meet some of the neighbors, because I doubt we're the only ones with this idea). And in case I haven't mentioned it lately, I love my housemates so much, see: aforementioned 4th of July plans, and the bit where when I got home today I found that K had left me the most adorable and terrifying gift ever. We're in season four of Babylon 5, and in ... celebration, or possibly to freak me out, K made a plushie Drakh Keeper, a tentacley alien neural parasite. It is SO CUTE, and buttons around one's neck! I plan to wear it like a scarf, and if I misbehave I will claim that the Drakh made me do it.

In other news, I just happily sailed through Runemarks by Joanne Harris, the basic premise of which is that Ragnarok happened five hundred years ago, Asgard fell, the gods are dead or imprisoned in various realms of the World Below, magic has been outlawed, and a dystopic Order reigns, so of course our fourteen-year-old magical heroine has to go on a quest to renew the world, and ... basically has a fantastic road trip with Loki. I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH. It occurs to me that I love most iterations of Loki not because he's played by Tom Hiddleston (because ... mostly he isn't, though I think in this he was) but because he is tricksy and saves the world a lot while loudly telling everyone that he's just in it for himself. (I may have imprinted on Howl from Howl's Moving Castle at an impressionable age.)

I also think I want to make a list of Books That Do Fun Interesting Things With Norse Mythology, but at the moment the list is limited to Runemarks, DWJ's Eight Days of Luke, and Gaiman's Odd and the Frost Giants. (American Gods doesn't make this cut cos it's about Norse mythology a bit but it's also about a hundred other things.) I am very much up for recommendations! Lots of Loki a bonus but not specifically required.
tiltingheartand: (Default)

[personal profile] tiltingheartand 2012-06-29 03:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I am approximately halfway through Michael Chabon's Summerland and it's -- possibly a candidate? The main antagonist has finally a) made an appearance and b) owned up to the fact that one of his many names is Loki, so.

(Also there is a character named Thor Wignutt who apparently believes himself to be a cybernetic human named TW03.)
boxofdelights: (Default)

[personal profile] boxofdelights 2012-06-29 04:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Summerland is really good, but if American Gods doesn't belong on the list, Summerland won't either.

A.S. Byatt just wrote Ragnarok about Norse mythology and being evacuated during the Blitz. I haven't read it, but I read a review that suggested it was disappointing about Loki.
tiltingheartand: (Default)

[personal profile] tiltingheartand 2012-06-29 05:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah idk. Like I said, only halfway through, so. (I am quite enjoying it, though.)
lotesse: (beauty)

[personal profile] lotesse 2012-06-29 04:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Did I know you did contra? I don't think I knew that. Contra for the win!
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[personal profile] sunsetstrip 2012-06-29 04:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Oooh, that book sounds FABULOUS. I shall have to check it out when I am not stuck reading dry-as-a-desert texts about colonial Mexico. SOON. (And if you made that list I would be eternally grateful.)
graycardinal: Anya from "Anastasia"; "What was that title again?" (title)

[personal profile] graycardinal 2012-06-30 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
There was a brief wave of Norse-inspired fantasy in the late '80s and early '90s, much of which is now frustratingly out of print. Some of the more interesting authors I recall were Michael Jan Friedman (more recently and much better known for his Star Trek novels, but I frankly liked the Norse material better); Elizabeth Boyer; and Thorarinn Gunnarsson (no, I am not making that up). Without attempting to Google, my recollections are these:

Friedman was doing something that started out in our modern world and jumped through the various -heims on its way to Asgard; he got about three books in before his publisher's SF/F imprint imploded (Warner Questar< if memory serves), and so far as I know the series was never finished.

Boyer did a number of mostly stand-alone Norse-flavored fantasy novels for Del Rey; the tone was somewhere between early Barbara Hambly and present-day Mercedes Lackey (specifically, Lackey's fairy tale adventures rather than the Valdemar cycle, though really closer to Hambly).

Gunnarsson produced three or five novels for Ace before Something Happened; most (though maybe not all) were part of a cycle loosely adapting the Wagnerian Nibelung. On one hand, I recall him having a good ear for the folklore; on the other, I have a vague memory that he also went in for more deliberate humor (and mostly pulled it off). And while I am absolutely not making up the name, I have a vague sense (but only a vague one) that there was eventually a minor scandal when it turned out that it was a pen name for someone who wasn't at all Nordic (and possibly had been not just a pen name, but something of a made-up identity).

See also Tom Holt, best known for Expecting Someone Taller; I have not read a lot of Holt, but he's been compared to Pratchett (only drier and a little more sedately paced), and he's done a number of folklore-meets-modern-society comedies. I am totally confident at least one of these has been Norse in focus, but I am totally at a loss as to which.