Sunday, June 06, 2021

Six SFF titles about gods and pantheons

Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia, and currently lives in England.

She is a Crawford, British Fantasy and Hugo Award winner, and was a 2013 finalist for the Astounding Award for Best New Writer.

Cho is the author of the Sorcerer to the Crown novels, historical fantasies with a postcolonial sensibility about magicians in 1800s London. She's also published a short story collection, Spirits Abroad, and a novella about nuns and bandits in a wuxia take on Emergency Malaya, The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water. Her newest novel is a contemporary fantasy called Black Water Sister.

At Cho tagged six SFF books about gods and pantheons, including:
Circe by Madeline Miller

In a similar vein to [Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's] The Palace of Illusions, Circe is hardly obscure, but a highly enjoyable take on a lesser female member of the Greek pantheon. Daughter of the god of the sun, Circe starts off a vulnerable, bullied girl in a court of divine dickheads, but when she encounters the mortal world, she comes into her powers as a witch. It’s always challenging to ground stories of supernatural beings unless you give them sufficient limitations; Miller brings to Circe a vivid interiority that roots this narrative of gods and heroes in one woman’s experience.
Read about another entry on the list.

Circe is among Jennifer Saint's ten top books inspired by Greek myth, Adrienne Westenfeld's fifteen feminist books that will inspire, enrage, & educate you, Ali Benjamin's top ten classic stories retold, Lucile Scott's eight books about hexing the patriarchy, E. Foley and B. Coates's top ten goddesses in fiction, Jordan Ifueko's five fantasy titles driven by traumatic family bonds, Eleanor Porter's top ten books about witch-hunts, Emily B. Martin's six stunning fantasies for nature lovers, Allison Pataki's top six books that feature strong female voices, Pam Grossman's thirteen stories about strong women with magical powers, Kris Waldherr's nine top books inspired by mythology, Katharine Duckett's eight novels that reexamine literature from the margins, and Steph Posts' thirteen top novels set in the world of myth.

--Marshal Zeringue