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From: Jesper Svedberg <jesper.svedberg@mailbox.swipnet.se>
Subject: (urth) Re: Witches, Daemons, Bears, Democrats
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 01:00:34 +0200

From: "David Lebling" <dlebling@ucentric.com>
Subject: Witches, Daemons, Bears, Democrats

> Which play is the Shakespeare reference in? And where in Milton? That's
> interesting. I've always had a soft spot for Finnish mythology (which I know
> isn't quite the same as Lapland mythology, but hey...). When I was a kid I
> discovered Emil Petaja's series which was a thinly disguised _Kalevala_, and
> loved it. I have to admit I've only Xena'd a few times, and not seen any
> Lapland witches. One of my Everquest characters (admission of addiction
> here) is a shaman, and they are very fun to play.

The odd thing is that we don't seem to have a concept of Lapland witches
here in Sweden. It's probably one of those things that are more common
the further away from the real thing you are, we probably just thought
they were savages. If you like Kalevala you should try to get a hold of
Ian Watson's _Lucky's Harvest_, the first volume of "Book of MANA"
sequence, which is a Planetary Romance/Fantasy also based on Kalevala.

> Yes, but the bears were my absolute favorite. I think I've read only one
> other story where bears have a civilization (as opposed to stories where
> bears are intelligent -- even Tolkien did that, and I don't count "When
> Bears Discover Fire"). I _think_ it was a Poul Anderson story, but I can't
> recall the title. I just remember the bears were very bearish, rather than
> just big humans in fur coats.

_The Bear Went Over the Mountain_ by William Kotzwinkle might interest
you as well, allthough that is perhaps more of an intelligent bear novel
than a bear civilization novel.

If you like Pullman or haven't got anything against reading juveniles,
you should check out one of my absolute favourites, Diana Wynne Jones,
who Wolfe has also recommended in an interview somewhere. Jones writes
absolutely wonderful, magical and funny novels and like Wolfe, she often
play games with time an perspectives. The best starting point is
probably the rather Wolfean _Archer's Goon_, one of her funniest and
most original novels, in which a british family is terrorized by a
family of magicians who runs the city they live in. Other books
especially worth look up are _Fire and Hemlock_, her most frequently
praised novel which I have yet to read, my personal favourite, _The
Lives of Christopher Chant_, a novel set in an alternate victorian
England about a boy who travels to other worlds in his sleep, _The
Powers of Three_ and _Howl's Moving Castle_.

  // Jesper Svedberg

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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