August 17th, 2012, 01:11 AM
New inspiration for worlds
As of late I've grown a little disenchanted with many European mythologies and cultures inspired by them keep popping up.I still love them, especially the religion and legends of my Celtic ancestors, but I've been looking for something new.Perhaps something from Europe I know very little of or something much more foreign to my knowledge.
I've actually developed a certain curiosity pertaining to Laotian culture which was sparked by an episode of King of The Hill.I know it's not the best starting point for the study of the culture of Laos, but I got curious.I've also developed an interest in pre-Buddhist Vietnamese beliefs.
Anyway I was hoping there was a chance someone here could point me in the direction of something new with a fair amount of info on it that I could use to revitalize my fiction.
August 17th, 2012, 09:32 AM
Pre-Buddhist Vietnamese beliefs? Sounds like you're already there.
August 17th, 2012, 12:07 PM
Do you want both Laos mythology and Vietnamese, or only one?
You're basically looking at Asian shamanism and Daoism, plus folklore myth native to Laos and Vietnam.
Try this to start and use the search engines:
August 18th, 2012, 10:35 PM
The problem is I'm not finding a lot of the info I'm looking for.
Originally Posted by kmtolan
August 19th, 2012, 03:42 PM
Pre-colonial African history/mythology.
Though, in general I find it rather cheap to plunder mythology for ideas. Stories aren't about conjuring up the most interesting fantasy race, it is about human emotions.
Ooh well, Scott R. Bakker is the most interesting fantasy writer at the moment, and he writes in a Biblical-Jerusalem setting. That isn't explored much, but it really only suits really dark fantasy.
August 22nd, 2012, 03:25 AM
Well given that taking something from a fictional culture can be seen as plagiarism or even lower, and that you can only use the same cultural setting so many times we really don't have much of an option. All fictional mythologies are essentially concepts plundered from what we know with a little twist on it.
Originally Posted by Zalz
August 25th, 2012, 12:26 PM
We Read for Light
Your post reminds me of a question/challenge posed by Joseph Campbell (American folklorist & mythologist, 20th Century) who asked: "What is the new mythology to be, the mythology of this unified earth as of one harmonious being?"
Implicit in his question was the notion that the mythologies we have grown up with are derived from our cultures of birth and childhood; that the time has come for the global community to transcend cultural boundaries and create a fusion that can coax future generations toward an environmental and social consciousness that has little room for either war or ecological destruction.
Sci-fi and fantasy are perfect vehicles for such endeavors; and though it is always risky to start one's writing project with a didactic mission in mind, Mr. Campbell's challenge has certainly made me less interested in producing volumes and volumes of re-hashes of the Siegfried/Beowulf/Arthurian hero stories, or even the Christian sacrifice story.
With or without Campbell's challenge, the new mythologies are emerging. The film Avatar is an example. Yes, certain aspects of Cameron's screenplay are derivative, but it's the fusion of sources (western-type hero, eastern-type avatar, science-based ecological lesson) that set the show apart from standard space opera. Even Lucas's Star Wars (very much a hero quest) borrows from Taoism in its non-tribal-god concept of "the Force." It's no coincidence that Joseph Campbell was a script consultant for Star Wars.
It's certainly a challenging and rewarding time to be a writer.
August 25th, 2012, 01:55 PM
Author and Game Designer
Why limit yourself to one mythology? Many novels have different races and nations with some elements taken from human history, together with some completely made up, but equally compelling.
Just the interaction among those different views of life makes the possibilities endless, even when one of them is a supposed common mythologies.
Take Steven Erikson and his Malazan Book of the Fallen cycle. He paints a huge canvass with all sort of civilizations and philosophies in it and the result is magnificent.
August 25th, 2012, 03:26 PM
I don't limit myself...I don't see where you got that idea from.I'm just disenchanted with the sources I commonly draw from to a point.
Originally Posted by Taramoc
August 27th, 2012, 07:17 AM
Author and Game Designer
Wow, easy there. I didn't mean necessarily you, I was talking in general to everybody in the thread. Gotta love the English language and its liberal use of pronouns...
Originally Posted by Riothamus
I was just suggesting how a possible route to infuse a bit more life in the most commonly used cultures is to see how they react when having to relate to others, invented or not. It may save the writer (I was going to say "you", but I learned my lesson) a lot more research and still come up with something new.