Out now – Odin’s Mirror

Posted: February 9, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

This week I have another story out, Odin’s Mirror in Swords and Sorcery. This one’s free to read on the internet, so there’s  no excuse for not giving it a go.

The idea for Odin’s Mirror came to me while reading about the history of Latin America. Past 1492, that history is increasingly dominated by a bunch of disreputable Europeans, some of whom were, infamously, mistaken for gods. I can’t imagine any of them played that down. If you’re the kind of armed adventurer who’ll cross the ocean to pillage gold reserves at gunpoint, you’re unlikely to draw the line at religious fraud.

As it happened, I’d just finished reading a book about Norse religion. So when I started thinking about reversing that relationship, about what would have happened if the Aztecs or Mayans had come to raid Europe instead, turning the religious misunderstanding on its head was another obvious feature.

This story touches on the theme of empire that I discussed a while back. I wasn’t thinking about it in as much depth then, so didn’t take the opportunity to fully explore that aspect of the story. But it’s there, one of my little historical obsessions shining through.

All of which makes this story sound like an essay. It isn’t. It’s about a viking warrior. It’s about old religion and new circumstances. It’s about facing Ragnarok, and rebelling against destiny.

So go read, and if you have the time comment here on what you thought. Good, bad, indifferent, I’d value any thoughts.

Finally, a quick note on the formatting of this story. The marks for scene breaks have somehow got lost in transferring this story to the internet. Hopefully that’ll get fixed soon, but in the meantime, if you find a point where odd things happen, that’s probably meant to be a new scene. Sorry for any confusion!

  1. glenatron says:

    It was good, I enjoyed reading it- the central conceit was intriguing and the execution was very strong, sufficient characterisation and narrative without being too much. If it were me writing it I would have thought hard about the “live free or die trying” line at the end- it reminds me a little of the kind of thing that would be a Bon Jovi lyric, but then I have often written lyrics I thought were awesome and found them to have been previously written by Bon Jovi, so I am by no means on high ground in this matter. I liked the way you brought it back to the mirrors at the end- almost a technical necessity in this kind of story, but nicely done.

  2. Thanks glenatron. I put in the other mirror near the end to help the character think, but I like the way it also brings things full circle. You’re right about the ‘live free’ line, it has a distinct cheesiness about it, and I was in two minds about keeping it in. In the end, I figured that it fit a simple Viking view of the world – lets face it, if they’d had Bon Jovi in the eighth century they would have sung ‘Blaze of Glory’ in the longships, in between listening to Megadeth. But it’s not the Viking characters who have to respond to any melodramatic prose I drop in.

  3. Taurus says:

    I really enjoyed it despite being a passionate fan of the Viking and having to see them as an enslaved people did put me off but in saying that I agree with Glenatrons points bar the Bon Jovi lyric, if I picked up a piece on Vikings I would be disappointed if there was not a lyric of cheesiness in there. The mirror was so simple I actually missed it.

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