Tag Archives: mythology


A couple of months ago FATED by S.G. Browne showed up on my doorstep. A friend I made online suggested that I review it, and a review copy headed to my house.

With the first chapter, I wasn’t sure how the listing the main character/narrator Fabio used to convey his meaning would work out. But I knew that I wanted to know what Fabio would experience in the course of the story.

See, FATED follows Fabio, the incarnation of Fate, as he navigates the practicalities of assigning fates to billions of people. He also has to navigate the interpersonal relationships with his fellow immortals, which leads to some entertaining public discussions. He has existed for millennia, and the novel opens with him battling a combination of ennui and apathy.

And then Fate falls in love. With Sara Griffen, a human.

The novel focuses predominately on Fabio as a character, so his falling in love functions as a catalyst for his concern about humanity to grow. But even if he didn’t fall in love, the novel is clear that it follows Fabio at a life changing moment. Fate is bored with his job and frustrated with humanity. And, because Fabio has a stubborn streak, he begins facing this crisis on his own.

Which speaks more to the point of the novel. The novel masquerades as a subversion of nearly every major mythology literature and Western society pull from, but the mythological elements are the mode Browne uses to communicate a larger point. Because, at its heart, FATED is about the desire and ability of humans to connect with each other and positively impact the world.

And it succeeds in communicating our need to create lasting bonds in order to make sense of the world. Fabio is lost until he truly connects with Sara, and though his connection makes him break the rules, he truly finds a purpose in his existence.

I really enjoyed reading the story because I quickly fell in love with Fabio. There’s an excerpt on S. G. Browne’s website, and you really should read that as you buy the book. It’s entertaining, thought-provoking, and definitely worth every moment of reading it.

Odd and the Frost Giants

I loved this story. Neil Gaiman is a master at taking a stable mythology and weaving a new story into the established set.

This story of Odd is one of the shortest. Not to say that it is in any way inferior to his other tales, it’s just that the scope of this story fits nicely into its well constructed cover.

Odd, a rather small human child, is delightful as he interacts with some of the more famous Norse gods in the same manner he interacts with humans. His practicality makes him endearing and worthy of the cheering he encourages. One of the best examples of his interactions happens early-ish in the story.

Odd sighed. “Which one of you wants to explain what’s going on?” he said.

“Nothing’s going on,” said the fox brightly. “Just a few talking animals. Nothing to worry about. Happens everyday. We’ll be out of your hair first thing in the morning.”

This exchange between Odd and the gods at the beginning of their interactions solidifies Odd’s reactions to the rest of his experiences before this tale ends.

The best part about the American edition is the biography Neil Gaiman writes at the end. The single page takes very little time to read, but those few moments are some of the best in the entire book. His last page supplies an excellent example for caring about writing, even when there is no guarantee no one will read it because there are always readers like me who will leave no word unregarded.

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