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Award-winning editor Paula Guran presents a diverse reprint anthology collecting classic myths and legends, retold by today’s top fantasy writers, including Neil Gaiman and Emma and Peter Straub. The Native American trickster Coyote . . . the snake-haired Greek Gorgon Medusa, whose gaze turned men to stone . . . Kaggen, creator of the San peoples of Africa . . . the Holy Gr Award-winning editor Paula Guran presents a diverse reprint anthology collecting classic myths and legends, retold by today’s top fantasy writers, including Neil Gaiman and Emma and Peter Straub. The Native American trickster Coyote . . . the snake-haired Greek Gorgon Medusa, whose gaze turned men to stone . . . Kaggen, creator of the San peoples of Africa . . . the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend . . . Freyja, the Norse goddess of love and beauty . . . Ys, the mythical sunken city once built on the coast of France . . . Ragnarok, the myth of a world destroyed and reborn . . . Jason and the Argonauts, sailing in search of the Golden Fleece . . . Myths and legends are the oldest of stories, part of our collective consciousness, and the source from which all fiction flows. Full of magic, supernatural powers, monsters, heroes, epic journeys, strange worlds, and vast imagination, they are fantasies so compelling we want to believe them true. This new anthology compiles some of the best modern short mythic retellings and reinvention of legend from award-winning and bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers, and exciting new talent, offering readers new ways to interpret and understand the world. Adventure with us on these Mythic Journeys . Stories and authors include are: “Lost Lake” – Emma Straub and Peter Straub “White Lines on a Green Field” – Catherynne M. Valente “Trickster” – Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” – Brooke Bolander “A Memory of Wind” – Rachel Swirsky “Leda” – M. Rickert “Chivalry” – Neil Gaiman “The God of Au” – Ann Leckie “Faint Voices, Increasingly Desperate” – Anya Johanna DeNiro “Ogres of East Africa” – Sofia Samatar “Ys” – Aliette de Bodard “The Gorgon” – Tanith Lee “Merlin Dreams in the Mondream Wood” – Charles de Lint “Calypso in Berlin” – Elizabeth Hand “Seeds” – Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter “Wonder-Worker-of-the-World” – Nisi Shawl “Thesea and Astaurius” – Priya Sharma “Foxfire, Foxfire” – Yoon Ha Lee “Owl vs. the Neighborhood Watch” – Darcie Little Badger “How to Survive an Epic Journey” – Tansy Rayner Roberts “Simargl and the Rowan Tree” – Ekaterina Sedia “The Ten Suns” – Ken Liu “Armless Maidens of the American West” – Genevieve Valentine “Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream” – Maria Dahvana Headley “Zhyuin” – John Shirley “Immortal Snake” – Rachel Pollack “A Wolf in Iceland Is the Child of a Lie” – Sonya Taaffe


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Award-winning editor Paula Guran presents a diverse reprint anthology collecting classic myths and legends, retold by today’s top fantasy writers, including Neil Gaiman and Emma and Peter Straub. The Native American trickster Coyote . . . the snake-haired Greek Gorgon Medusa, whose gaze turned men to stone . . . Kaggen, creator of the San peoples of Africa . . . the Holy Gr Award-winning editor Paula Guran presents a diverse reprint anthology collecting classic myths and legends, retold by today’s top fantasy writers, including Neil Gaiman and Emma and Peter Straub. The Native American trickster Coyote . . . the snake-haired Greek Gorgon Medusa, whose gaze turned men to stone . . . Kaggen, creator of the San peoples of Africa . . . the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend . . . Freyja, the Norse goddess of love and beauty . . . Ys, the mythical sunken city once built on the coast of France . . . Ragnarok, the myth of a world destroyed and reborn . . . Jason and the Argonauts, sailing in search of the Golden Fleece . . . Myths and legends are the oldest of stories, part of our collective consciousness, and the source from which all fiction flows. Full of magic, supernatural powers, monsters, heroes, epic journeys, strange worlds, and vast imagination, they are fantasies so compelling we want to believe them true. This new anthology compiles some of the best modern short mythic retellings and reinvention of legend from award-winning and bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers, and exciting new talent, offering readers new ways to interpret and understand the world. Adventure with us on these Mythic Journeys . Stories and authors include are: “Lost Lake” – Emma Straub and Peter Straub “White Lines on a Green Field” – Catherynne M. Valente “Trickster” – Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” – Brooke Bolander “A Memory of Wind” – Rachel Swirsky “Leda” – M. Rickert “Chivalry” – Neil Gaiman “The God of Au” – Ann Leckie “Faint Voices, Increasingly Desperate” – Anya Johanna DeNiro “Ogres of East Africa” – Sofia Samatar “Ys” – Aliette de Bodard “The Gorgon” – Tanith Lee “Merlin Dreams in the Mondream Wood” – Charles de Lint “Calypso in Berlin” – Elizabeth Hand “Seeds” – Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter “Wonder-Worker-of-the-World” – Nisi Shawl “Thesea and Astaurius” – Priya Sharma “Foxfire, Foxfire” – Yoon Ha Lee “Owl vs. the Neighborhood Watch” – Darcie Little Badger “How to Survive an Epic Journey” – Tansy Rayner Roberts “Simargl and the Rowan Tree” – Ekaterina Sedia “The Ten Suns” – Ken Liu “Armless Maidens of the American West” – Genevieve Valentine “Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream” – Maria Dahvana Headley “Zhyuin” – John Shirley “Immortal Snake” – Rachel Pollack “A Wolf in Iceland Is the Child of a Lie” – Sonya Taaffe

30 review for Mythic Journeys: Retold Myths and Legends

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marquise

    Generally, all the stories are decent, even if none was either catchy or that memorable for me personally. Each aims to retell myths, and most of them are from the West (Greek specifically, such as Hades & Persephone), but some are of Eastern origins, and there's also legends such as the Arthurian one. My personal favourite was Neil Gaiman's somewhat humorous take on the Grail Quest, that made me smile all the way to the end, which is rare with this author being hit-or-miss for me. Generally, all the stories are decent, even if none was either catchy or that memorable for me personally. Each aims to retell myths, and most of them are from the West (Greek specifically, such as Hades & Persephone), but some are of Eastern origins, and there's also legends such as the Arthurian one. My personal favourite was Neil Gaiman's somewhat humorous take on the Grail Quest, that made me smile all the way to the end, which is rare with this author being hit-or-miss for me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    “Lost Lake” – Emma Straub and Peter Straub - 3 stars. No idea what it's really about, but it's well written. “White Lines on a Green Field” – Catherynne M. Valente - 4.5 stars. I really liked this one. Tricksters are a great part of mythology, and Coyote is one of the greatest. “Trickster” – Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due - Myths + Sci-Fi = Good. 4 stars. “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” – Brooke Bolander - Strange and disturbing. 3 stars. “A Memory of Wind” – Rachel Swirsky - This sucked. Second p “Lost Lake” – Emma Straub and Peter Straub - 3 stars. No idea what it's really about, but it's well written. “White Lines on a Green Field” – Catherynne M. Valente - 4.5 stars. I really liked this one. Tricksters are a great part of mythology, and Coyote is one of the greatest. “Trickster” – Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due - Myths + Sci-Fi = Good. 4 stars. “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” – Brooke Bolander - Strange and disturbing. 3 stars. “A Memory of Wind” – Rachel Swirsky - This sucked. Second person POV is the devil. 1 star. “Leda” – M. Rickert - Um. This was very oddly executed, both POV-wise and grammatically, and I didn't like it much. Two stars. “Chivalry” – Neil Gaiman - Losing hope for this collection now. Farcical humor apparently is above my pay grade. 2 stars. “The God of Au” – Ann Leckie - I don't know what myth this is based on (if any), but it was really well told, and I enjoyed it. 4 stars. “Faint Voices, Increasingly Desperate” – Anya Johanna DeNiro - Well, that escalated quickly...and incredibly weirdly. 2 stars. “Ogres of East Africa” – Sofia Samatar - Well it's a no from me. 1 star. “Ys” – Aliette de Bodard - This was weird in a good way. 3 stars. “The Gorgon” – Tanith Lee - Very dry. 2 stars. “Merlin Dreams in the Mondream Wood” – Charles de Lint - Best one so far. I love Merlin. 5 stars. “Calypso in Berlin” – Elizabeth Hand - This was engrossing and strange. I haven't read The Odyssey or The Iliad, so I'm not sure what the myth of Calypso is about, but I did enjoy this story. 3.5 stars. “Seeds” – Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter - Changing the main character midstream was a strange choice. 2 stars. “Wonder-Worker-of-the-World” – Nisi Shawl - Strange and simplistic. 2 stars. “Thesea and Astaurius” – Priya Sharma - Oh, this was a wonderful Minotaur retelling. Loved it! 5 stars. “Foxfire, Foxfire” – Yoon Ha Lee - I liked this, up to a point. The ending made little sense. Is this part of a longer work of fiction? May go look. 4 stars. “Owl vs. the Neighborhood Watch” – Darcie Little Badger - This is really excellent and detailed, to be so short. Loved it. 5 stars. “How to Survive an Epic Journey” – Tansy Rayner Roberts - Meh. Unremarkable either way. 3 stars. “Simargl and the Rowan Tree” – Ekaterina Sedia - This was stupid and the language was so choppy that I didn't enjoy it much at all. 2 stars. “The Ten Suns” – Ken Liu - I admit you got me on this one. 4 stars. Thought the anachronisms were bad...turns out they're not. “Armless Maidens of the American West” – Genevieve Valentine - Blech. Second person POV. 1 star. “Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream” – Maria Dahvana Headley - Wonderfully strange retelling of the minotaur myth. 3.5 stars. “Zhyuin” – John Shirley - Could have been good, but badly executed. 2 stars. “Immortal Snake” – Rachel Pollack - Unreadable. 1 star. “A Wolf in Iceland Is the Child of a Lie” – Sonya Taaffe - Also unreadable, as well as nonsensical. One star. Not the best anthology I've read...by a long shot. Overall, 2.5 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anna Schubert

    A well-chosen collection of modern myths and retellings. Favorites: "White Lines on a Green Field" for an evocative Coyote tale, "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies", "The Gorgon", "Merlin Dreams in Mondream Wood", "Thesea and Astaurius", "Foxfire, Foxfire", "The Ten Suns", and Armless Maidens of the American West." I have mixed feelings about Neil Gaiman's "Chivalry." Part of me enjoyed the quotidian approach to myth, and part of me pushed back because the whole point of myth is that's it's not perfu A well-chosen collection of modern myths and retellings. Favorites: "White Lines on a Green Field" for an evocative Coyote tale, "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies", "The Gorgon", "Merlin Dreams in Mondream Wood", "Thesea and Astaurius", "Foxfire, Foxfire", "The Ten Suns", and Armless Maidens of the American West." I have mixed feelings about Neil Gaiman's "Chivalry." Part of me enjoyed the quotidian approach to myth, and part of me pushed back because the whole point of myth is that's it's not perfunctory, and when you make it so, even in jest, a tiny part of what makes the world magical disappears.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dan Trefethen

    This is a reprint anthology (with one original story) of modern variations on old myths. It was good to see some non-European myths included, from China, Africa, and other parts. These are reliable authors. I picked this up to cherry-pick authors I enjoy - Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Hand, Ann Leckie, Yoon Ha Lee, Nisi Shawl, Mary Rickert, Rachel Swirsky, Ken Liu. I had already read the stories by Catherynne Valente and Sofia Samatar. The editor, Paula Guran, provides a helpful introduction that desc This is a reprint anthology (with one original story) of modern variations on old myths. It was good to see some non-European myths included, from China, Africa, and other parts. These are reliable authors. I picked this up to cherry-pick authors I enjoy - Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Hand, Ann Leckie, Yoon Ha Lee, Nisi Shawl, Mary Rickert, Rachel Swirsky, Ken Liu. I had already read the stories by Catherynne Valente and Sofia Samatar. The editor, Paula Guran, provides a helpful introduction that describes the referenced myths in case the reader is unfamiliar with the originals.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marc

    I love folktales. I love buying ones with stories from around the world, which is harder than you think. It's far easier to buy ones based on ethnicity or countries especially Greek. Oddly enough, hard to find one for America. Maybe it has to do with the fact that this country is based on the backs of different cultures. With things hopefully changing, maybe we can get a book based on Native American, black, Chinese stories? Anyways, Mythic Journeys started out well but then faltered. The problem I love folktales. I love buying ones with stories from around the world, which is harder than you think. It's far easier to buy ones based on ethnicity or countries especially Greek. Oddly enough, hard to find one for America. Maybe it has to do with the fact that this country is based on the backs of different cultures. With things hopefully changing, maybe we can get a book based on Native American, black, Chinese stories? Anyways, Mythic Journeys started out well but then faltered. The problem with books like these is there's going to be stories that you inevitably don't like. That's usually fine, because most of them are short enough. The problem here is that a lot of the stories are super long and I find those are the ones that drag. I think one, maybe two held my interest. I liked a lot of the short ones but there weren't enough of them. What I thought this book might have or should have also done was give info on each of the stories. At the end of each story, there should have been a paragraph or page of which folktale it was based off of. Because the stories were so long and dragged on, I honestly forgot what I was reading about. There are a lot of big names here. They probably should have stuck to their bigger, longer work. I generally like to keep books like these around, but I'm donating this one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Houlcroft

    A beautiful collections of stories from authors not only familiar with myths, but from the detail and passion which they include , clearly in love with mythology as well. There are some tales that will be familiar ,and are reworkings of existing myths, and others completely unrecognisable, either so far removed from the source material that they appear new, or are actually new myths created for a current or future world. Some fall flat in parts, and one or two try too hard to be clever, but even A beautiful collections of stories from authors not only familiar with myths, but from the detail and passion which they include , clearly in love with mythology as well. There are some tales that will be familiar ,and are reworkings of existing myths, and others completely unrecognisable, either so far removed from the source material that they appear new, or are actually new myths created for a current or future world. Some fall flat in parts, and one or two try too hard to be clever, but even these few exceptions are lifted up by the incredible overall quality of the storytellers in the collection. “White Lines on a Green Field” by Catherynne M. Valente and “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brooke Bolander were two early favourites, drawing upon recognisable source materials in stunning and unexpected ways, and introducing me to two incredibly talented authors. Whereas “Armless Maidens of the American West” by Genevieve Valentine, “The God of Au” by Ann Leckie and “Immortal Snake” by Rachel Pollack offered an insight into the creation of new myths, and the ways in which this can be done. A carefully curated collection of stories that engage, entertain and, most importantly, educate.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    4/5 This anthology does a great job of collecting a diverse set of stories that retell myths and legends from across the world. There were only a few stories that I didn't care for and there were far more that I absolutely loved. A few highlights include "Chivalry" by Neil Gaiman, "Thesea and Astaurius" by Priya Sharma, "Armless Maidens of the American West" by Genevieve Valentine, "Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream" by Maria Dahvana Headly, and "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies" by Brooke Bol 4/5 This anthology does a great job of collecting a diverse set of stories that retell myths and legends from across the world. There were only a few stories that I didn't care for and there were far more that I absolutely loved. A few highlights include "Chivalry" by Neil Gaiman, "Thesea and Astaurius" by Priya Sharma, "Armless Maidens of the American West" by Genevieve Valentine, "Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream" by Maria Dahvana Headly, and "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies" by Brooke Bolander. But again, flipping back through this collection, there are so many stories that were excellent and only two or three that I didn't care for. If you like retellings and short fiction, this is a great anthology to satisfy both of those interests.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    The stories in this Anthology were hit and miss. Among the highlights, "The Gorgon" by Tanith Lee &"Leda" by M. Rickert. I liked the fact that the stories were drawn from multiple cultures and not just the Western (i.e. European) canon. I wish the editor had put a brief introduction to the myth/legend at the beginning of each story. She did provide the information in the Introduction but it would have been better spread out among the stories. The stories in this Anthology were hit and miss. Among the highlights, "The Gorgon" by Tanith Lee &"Leda" by M. Rickert. I liked the fact that the stories were drawn from multiple cultures and not just the Western (i.e. European) canon. I wish the editor had put a brief introduction to the myth/legend at the beginning of each story. She did provide the information in the Introduction but it would have been better spread out among the stories.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jesús

    3.5 / 5 It's hard to rate an anthology, because the stories are diverse and some can be great, some can be... not-so-great. From the 30 stories, I will recommend, with no particular order: - The Ten Suns by Ken Liu - Owl vs. the Neighborhood Watch by Darcie Little Badger - Chivalry by Neil Gaiman - Zhyuin by John Shirley - Calypso in Berlin by Elizabeth Hand - Trickster by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due

  10. 5 out of 5

    Olga Werby

    One of the best fantasy short story collections I've read in a long time. Not all stories are great, some are too pretentious, some too glib. But the majority are excellent and provide a cool take on some old fairytales. These are not kid stories. They deal with adult themes, all in very unique ways. Strongly recommend this collection.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    Like most anthologies, this one is hit or miss. A few weak ones, but the stories are short enough that the few I didn't care for were over quick. Overall, I enjoyed these modern retellings of myths & legends. Like most anthologies, this one is hit or miss. A few weak ones, but the stories are short enough that the few I didn't care for were over quick. Overall, I enjoyed these modern retellings of myths & legends.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Myths spin through time, through history. Spinning, dancing, movement. These are retellings, recreations, redreamings. Join these storytellers by the ancient fires and hear these new tales. Go forth on an adventure

  13. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    Overall an enjoyable collection of stories. A few really stand out stories, including "Calypso in Berlin" by Elizabeth Hand and "Thesea and Astaurius" by Priya Sharma. A very interesting mix on classical mythical stories that have the potential to introduce them to a new audience.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alexis Stankewitz

    This was a good mix of stories, although "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies" by Brooke Bolander was definitely my favorite. I will definitely be checking out more of her work.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    Just a lot of fun. As always with an anthology, some stories were better than others, but I tore through this and really enjoyed it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Venu Sareen

    Half of the stories are read-worthy. A few are pure platinum gold. I skipped/skimmed over four or five.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leonca

    Rating based on averages of individual stories- 3.2/5. Several good ones, but only a few outstanding enough to be memorable.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Salamah

    Good short stories.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Many excellent stories, a few good stories, one very, very strange story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lori Sheats

    A few good stories mixed in with mostly poor ones. Would not recommend

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen Cohn

    As with most anthologies, especially those written by multiple authors, I found that some of these stories were extremely good and some were less so. The volume as a whole averages out to 4 stars; there were several stories I greatly enjoyed, and a couple I started to read them skipped over. Most of the anthology is worth reading; read it for yourself and decide which stories you enjoy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tyson Pierce

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karine

  24. 4 out of 5

    Qiyah

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trine Paulsen

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  27. 5 out of 5

    anniefee

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kar

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jen Grogan

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heather

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