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The Mythic Dream

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  437 ratings  ·  136 reviews
An all-new anthology of eighteen classic myth retellings featuring an all-star lineup of award-winning and critically acclaimed writers.

Madeleine L’Engle once said, “When we lose our myths we lose our place in the universe.” The Mythic Dream gathers together eighteen stories that reclaim the myths that shaped our collective past, and use them to explore our present and fut
Unknown Binding
Published August 27th 2019
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love a good anthology - The Mythic Dream isn't just good though, it's great.

Every anthology carries the implicit promise that you'll find at least some stories you like - the other side of that coin, of course, is that it's almost impossible that you'll like every story. Editors have to cast a wide net to catch as many readers as possible, and taste is a varying thing. Somehow, though, I enjoyed each and every story here - there's genuinely not even one dud.

Don't think that means they've sacri
The Artisan Geek
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
------------------VIDEO REVIEW------------------

I finished reading The Mythic Dream last week and what a stunner it was!! In this anthology a host of amazingly talented authors reimagine old myths, interrogating issues of gender, politics, sexuality, patriarchy, power dynamics and family. This is perfect if you’re looking to not only read myths of the Greeks and Romans, but those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Japan, Irish, Indian and many more. There’s not a single story in this book that I did
Average Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️.9

I’m always looking for anthologies, particularly fantasy ones because I find it to be an excellent opportunity to discover new authors. So, when I happened upon this one during my endless browsing on goodreads, I knew I had to read it. I was also impressed when I saw that it was a collection of mythology retellings, which reminded me a lot of another anthology A Thousand Beginnings and Endings (also happens to be my favorite).

This one has more stories inspired by Greek/
4.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because I want others to read this and I really did love it!

When you have a short story collection like this, by so many different authors, it's kind of hard to give it an overall rating, especially if there were some stories you didn't like quite so much. But overall, this is a very strong collection of stories and I discovered some new authors along the way. The theme of this set is the retellings of myths from all cultures, and that, in itself, was quite interes
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall rating of anthology: 4

This is a high quality collection of stories which are retellings of myths from diverse
cultures, written by contemporary fantasy, science fiction, and horror writers.

The audio is ably read by Samantha Desz. She does take some liberties with the text,
but those are always in the spirit of the story she’s reading, so they didn’t bother me.

Ghosts of the Midway by Seanan McGuire


A poignant reimagining of the Persephone myth, set in a travelling carnival.

The Justified by
May 11, 2019 marked it as to-read
I'm a simple girl
I see Naomi Novik
I click "to read"
Peter Tillman
The standout story for me was the Arkady Martine: she rewrites ancient Sumerian poetry as space-opera! Strong 5 stars. John Chu’s tech startup and Jeffrey Ford reimagining the myth of Sisyphus “amid the rolling green meadows of Asphodel” were just a half-star behind. And a whole batch of 4 star stories, and other good ones just behind those. Excellent anthology: strong 4 stars overall. Look for the Martine and likely some of the others on next year’s award ballots. I read it because of Jonathan ...more
Jonathan Strahan
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This really is a cracker of a book. I could go around and around about my own personal plusses and minuses, but it's probably the most complete collection of original stories I've read so far this year. There are at least three stories that stand amongst 2019's very best. If you like SFF and short fiction, this one is a no-brainer essential purchase.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's rare that I'll give an anthology more than three stars. The quality of the stories usually varies, and I'll find a few stories that I really like, more that are so-so, and some that just don't do it for me. Of the eighteen stories in this volume, I only found one to be sub-par. That's amazing!

I also am a big fan of mythology reinterpretations and this book does that with myths from Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Tewa, Ireland, China, India, Judaism and Wales. Some were myths I knew well, l
Feb 01, 2019 marked it as dnf-lost-interest  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately it didn't work for me - I think short fiction is more interesting when the authors don't have the... restrictions that a retelling inevitably seems to give a short story. Even the authors who managed to make it work didn't turn it into anything that would have looked impressive outside the anthology, and inside of it, I didn't feel like the stories were coming together in a way that made them worth reading for a "the whole is more than the sum of its parts" reason.
The book's a bit slim for the 18 stories it contains, but though short, the stories were good overall, some more than others as is expected in anthologies. They all are myths to retell, but not just Western myths as there's myths from Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well.

I got two stories as my personal favourites from the collection, the first of which was Wild to Covet by Sarah Gailey, a modern retelling of the story of Achilles from the point of view of his mother, Thetis, and set in what
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, anthology
I love the book, but I don't really love short stories? Some of them were pretty amazing though. I'll just write a bit about the stories I personally enjoyed. Seanan McGuire and Naomi Novik are strong writers and their stories both reflected that. I think that their lyrical writing style really meshed well with the myths that they were telling. It was nice seeing some of the myths from other cultures, even if I wasn't as well versed in them, and I think I'd like to pick up a book from Kat Howard ...more
Jun 06, 2020 marked it as get-back-to-later  ·  review of another edition
Stopping here because I was only reading four of the stories for our Locus award post, but I wil definitely continue reading the anthology later, because it's really great so far.
elizabeth jovena
3.5 stars rounded up.

uh i should be studying but:

wow! phantoms of the midway is def one of my fav short stories ~ carnival ghosts [greek, 5/5]
the justified is rly, rly hard to get into, but gets good later [egyptian, 4/5]
fisher-bird — absolutely love love loved this!! [greek, 5/5]
a brief lesson - creepy ~ make sure to read the original folk tale [native american, 3.5/5]
bridge of crows - story within story within stories :) [japanese, 5/5]
labbatu - goddamn cool [sumerian, 5/5]
wild to covet - ok i
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-read
It's hard to review an anthology overall, since even the best anthologies vary in quality on a story-by-story basis. The Mythic Dream has a killer prompt, but unfortunately it's a prompt that many of the authors don't quite know what to do with. As a result, there's only one true stand-out, and many of the stories are disappointing indeed.

Phantoms of the Midway – 3. The writing is lovely and excellent, but I always feel like I never quite *get* Seanan McGuire, like there’s some larger point that
I was hoping to like this a lot more. I think most people's appreciation of this collection will be from their familiarity with the source myths and I just wasn't that familiar with a lot of them.

My favorites were:
Phantoms of the Midway by Seanan McGuire
A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy by Rebecca Roanhorse
A Bridge of Crows by JY Yang
Kali_Na by Indrapramit Das
Live Stream by Alyssa Wong
Close Enough for Jazz by John Chu
Florilegia; Or, Some Lies About Flowers by Amal El-Mohtar
Maria Haskins
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this anthology, Parisien and Wolfe wanted writers to use and subvert the old tales and engage with the classic narratives "by recontextualizing them, giving them new perspectives, new worlds to inhabit”. The stories in The Mythic Dream achieve that goal in spectacular fashion. This is a vivid, evocative, often visceral, collection of fiction by authors who have unique, bold, and original takes on the source material, spanning the genres from horror to science fiction and fantasy.
Maria Itliong
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read-books
Great retelling of myths we already know.
Jill Elizabeth
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Several of my favorite authors were featured in this Anthology, so even though I'm not normally a fan of short stories I wanted to check it out. As is always the case for me with short story collections, I skipped over several, enjoyed a handful, and absolutely adored a few. No surprises, the late included the authors that I already knew and liked - Seanan McGuire, T Kingfisher, and Kat Howard predominant among them. But I was also pleasantly surprised to discover a few new Authors who I will be ...more
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-net-galley
4.5 Stars

Most of my blog readers know I'm not much of an anthology fan but I'm always willing to make an exception for anything by Dominik Parisien and Hugo Award-winning editor Navah Wolfe. Each of these stories is a recasting of classic mythology, and some are simply breathtaking. Featuring stories by Seanan McGuire, Ursula Vernon (as T. Kingfisher), Ann Leckie, Rebecca Roanhorse, JY Yang, Arkady Martine, Sarah Gailey, Carlos Hernandez, Stephen Graham Jones, Kat Howard, Jeffrey Ford, Alyssa Wo
reading this book was a bated breath pulled taut, nocked like an arrow, and fired into the glittering night sky. i could almost hear these old myths sigh as they took on new forms, flight. nearly every single one of these stories was masterfully crafted and absolute delights to devour—i can't even really pick a favorite because all of them filled me with awe and a wicked sense of wonder one way or the other. i will be revisiting this book and these lovingly retold fairytales many, many times in ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this collection. Navah Wolfe and Dominik Parisien have done an excellent job putting together the stories and authors that make this whole. I really enjoyed reading the stories, seeing if I could recognize the myth (mostly: no, but sometimes yes!), then reading the author's afterward about their story and the myth, then doing a little google search about the myth to see what the "canon" version was. It was fun.

I'm pretty much saving all of these to look back for my Hugo short
I won't belabor the point here as much as I did for the last collection edited by Parisien and Wolfe that I dipped into (the immortally wise and funny Robots vs. Fairies ), but I will put it simply and straightforward ... ly: this is another fanstinkingtastic collection of stories from science fiction and fantasy authors of such range and skill that you're basically looking at a Hugo awards ballot, or perhaps the best possible mix of comic-con panelists. Every author with whom I was already f ...more
All around a really good collection! Lots of really talented authors featured here. My top ones were Martine's space opera heist, Gailey's retelling of the story of Achilles from the point of view of his mother, and Novik's labyrinthine piece on the Minotaur and Ariadne.

"Phantoms of the Midway" by Seanan McGuire: Classic McGuire, and carnivals are always good fun. I didn't catch the myth reference until the very end, when it became a very pleasant surprise. Gotta love that atmosphere.

"The Justif
This was such a good mix of stories and I loved so many of them. And the fact that each came with an author postscript giving a bit more detail on the background or inspiration behind the tale.

There was a fairytale of love and vengeance.

An own voices gentle horror story, both futuristic and old, of cyberfame and capitalism. It also led me to the Tewa legend of Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden for extra resonance

An urban fantasy within which lived an Iri
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am most definitely not organized enough to write a review on eighteen short stories. I went into this 100% for Naomi Novik's story in this, and I've only heard of a couple other contributors. Most of these stories were a huge win for me, though!

A fair bit of these are Greek myth retellings, and that's fine I guess, since it's what most people default to and I'd be a hypocrite if I said I didn't enjoy most of the stories, especially the Greek retellings by Seanan McGuire (a very loose H&P telli
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, lgbtqa-plus
“Once, we gathered, in the dark, around fires, and we told stories of the gods who controlled our fates and moved the world, the mortals who shaped the destiny of nations and crossed swords or wits with beings of supreme power, of why things were and are.”

The most solid anthology I've read so far.

I mean, when you start your book with Seanan McGuire and a retelling of Hades and Persephone, you know you got me in the bag.

Of course, my area of expertise, nay, my passion, lies with Greek Mythol
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Breathtaking collection of speculative fiction intertwining mythology and lore from all over the world with social justice themes and struggles from the here and now.

I am not usually riveted by a collection of works by different authors, regardless of genre, given that each piece can be hit or miss, depending on the skillfulness of the author and the author’s stance on matters I care deeply about having to do with anti-oppressive frameworks and intersectional feminism. In this collection, the a
Katherine Ehlers
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Mythic Dream, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, collects 18 short stories from authors invited to retell mythological tales. The authors chose different mythological traditions (Greek, Norse, Egyptian, Hindu, Welsh, Sumerian, and more), different genres (sci-fi, cyberpunk, contemporary, historical fiction, etc.) and approached their retelling in wildly different ways, but the collection as a whole works well together. Some of this cohesion comes from the high quality of the stories ...more
Realms & Robots
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Mythic Dream fascinates with its unique collection of classical myth adaptations. The tome features a brilliant cast of science fiction and fantasy’s top authors, each with a unique writing style that resonates throughout the retellings. Many of these myths were new to me, adding an important learning moment about the stories that shaped so many world cultures. Overall, you’ll find expertly written stories, each with a unique twist on tales that enchant, horrify, and entertain.

A few favorite
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Dominik Parisien is an editor, poet, and writer. He is the co-editor, along with Navah Wolfe, of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Robots vs Fairies, and The Mythic Dream. With Elsa Sjnunneson-Henry, he is the co-editor of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction.

His work has appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Humber Literary Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Quill & Quire, Uncanny Magazine, Strange Hori

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