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parallaxicality
2011-Feb-27, 02:58 PM
I was trying to come up with a list of authors who have constructed "artificial mythologies" in their work for a friend of mine.

I came up with:

William Blake (the gold standard in the genre, really)
JRR Tolkien
HP Lovecraft
George Lucas

Yes, really. George Lucas- there genuinely are people who follow the Force as their religion. Not just as a joke either. I've also met people who worship Cthluhu, which probably would have offended Lovecraft somewhat.

I also considered, but was a bit iffy on:

CS Lewis (basically The Bible + animals)
Terry Pratchett (not particularly consistent, though I like the message)
Philip Pullman (basically ripping off Blake)
Stephen King (basically ripping off Tolkien and Lovecraft)

Anyone else? What about Thomas Pynchon? I always felt there was some kinda mythology buried in his work.

Perikles
2011-Feb-27, 03:19 PM
Stephen Donaldson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_R._Donaldson)has to be there.

What about Douglas Adams?
James Herbert (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Herbert)?

And of course Ovid.

swampyankee
2011-Feb-27, 03:22 PM
I would include CS Lewis, although he was certainly not trying to construct a mythic system. I would definitely add Jacqueline Carey, whose novels, starting with Kushiel's Dart, have a consistent and well-organized mythic system, and she is a great writer. Genevieve McMaster Bujold, with Curse of Chalion, although she is primarily know for the "Vorkosigan Saga," is somebody I'd put on the "maybe" list.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Feb-27, 03:45 PM
I thought Pullman was more Milton than Blake.

I would add Team Silent, the people responsible for the Silent Hill series of games. It has its own array of gods such as Valtiel and Samael, churches with stained glass windows which resemble, but are definitely not the same as, the ones you get in Christian churches, fairly well-defined rituals, and some very twisted ideas of heaven - we are told of one character that "she will lead us to paradise with bloodstained hands" but in fact we only get to see images of industrial decay, sickness and insanity.

Of all those mentioned so far, I'd suggest Lovecraft is probably the most successful on a popular level.

tashirosgt
2011-Feb-27, 03:46 PM
James Branch Cabell

Gillianren
2011-Feb-27, 05:58 PM
Remember, it's not inconsistencies with Pratchett. It's the work of the History Monks putting Time back together like a patchwork quilt. Sometimes, the bits go in wrong.

Chuck
2011-Feb-27, 09:48 PM
What qualifies the setting of a story to be an artificial mythology? Do Isaac Asimov's Foundation galaxy or E.E. Doc Smith's Lensman galaxy qualify?

korjik
2011-Feb-27, 10:27 PM
Gary Gygax

parallaxicality
2011-Feb-27, 10:27 PM
hard to say; Asimov was an atheist, so I doubt he really gave much thought to the idea of mythos in his fiction. However, you could argue that psychohistory itself is a kind of mythos.

Ara Pacis
2011-Feb-28, 12:35 AM
What qualifies the setting of a story to be an artificial mythology? Do Isaac Asimov's Foundation galaxy or E.E. Doc Smith's Lensman galaxy qualify?

I agree. What exactly do you mean by mythopoeic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythopoeia_%28genre%29)? Any story with a well developed back story might be said to contain a mythos, wouldn't it? Or must it only count if it's used in works other than by the original author? Or is it only if the mythos is allowed to be used by other authors without restrictions? (For example, Straczynski's Babylon 5 Universe is full of history but he maintains control of the stories, for sake of canonicity even if he lets others write them.)

Would that include The Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling? what about Doctor Who? Star Trek? Halo? Heinlein's worlds united via "pantheistic solipsism". Or does it only count if it is take to be actual myth. In that sense, I would include Lucas, as people like his movies, no matter how bad they are. I can imagine a future where some author remakes the second trilogy to make up for the story telling errors of the true story.

agingjb
2011-Feb-28, 08:16 AM
C.S.Lewis mentioned as being mythopoeic various works and authors, including: George MacDonald, William Morris, Coleridge, Beckford, E.R.Eddison, David Lindsay, Mervyn Peake, and (of course) Tolkien.

jokergirl
2011-Feb-28, 09:52 AM
I would definitely count Neil Gaiman, he has a quite good grasp of what makes myths work, and his Sandman universe is classic.

;)

HenrikOlsen
2011-Feb-28, 10:43 AM
I would definitely count Neil Gaiman, he has a quite good grasp of what makes myths work, and his Sandman universe is classic.
It could though be argued that apart from The Endless, the rest of the mythology of Sandman is the preexisting one from our world plus the already existing mythology of the DC universe.

Strange
2011-Feb-28, 10:45 AM
Kurt Vonnegut (Bokononism)
Philip K Dick (Valis and others)
Malaclypse the Younger & Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst
Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson
And countless graphic novels and manga.

MAPNUT
2011-Feb-28, 02:34 PM
How about Vonnegut's "Church of God the Utterly Indifferent" in "The Sirens of Titan"? That's a religion, not a mythology, and it's even a contrived religion in the story, but its dogma are fairly well defined.