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Host Of Many Now Out Featuring My Story Fortune Teller

hom front coverThe Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a very interesting organization with a focus on Hellenistic-Egyptian paganism that derives its inspiration from the ancient city of Alexandria, home of the famous library where all the legendary wisdom of antiquity was gathered. In that spirit, the BA has been steadily publishing on a fairly prolific basis a series of books exploring various aspects of ancient paganism. One of these previously published books, an anthology entitled Beyond The Pillars, included my short story Raw Meat For The Great God Pan.

The BA’s latest work is Host Of Many, devoted to the Greek Lord of the Dead, the dour and taciturn brother of Zeus and Poseidon, condemned by lot to rule the world’s lower depths, to possess all its mineral wealth, and to only command empty, dead souls. This book has my rather scabrous yarn, Fortune Teller, about the ups and downs of a hedge fund manager who finds an unlikely direct line to old Plouton himself through an elderly Greek soothsayer. The story previously appeared in 2019 in Horror Sleaze Trash.

I don’t have anything to say about my own story, leaving that to the reader’s judgement, but I do want to note that, like the BA itself, Host Of Many is quite an interesting, rather mixed bag.  While there’s the good selection of poetry and fiction that one would expect from a BA anthology,  it also has tasteful, evocative illustrations; serious nonfiction articles that explore various aspects of myth and Hellenistic paganism with a Plutonian focus; descriptions of various rites, sacrifices, and incantations that can be performed at home in privacy if one is of a mind to invoke and worship the Dark One, and even Mediterranean cuisine recipes for solstitial feasts that sound absolutely delicious (A pomegranate aperitif? Ah, chef’s kiss!).

I don’t really consider myself any judge of poetry, but I do particularly want to single out one short story for praise, The Haunting Of Vipsania Licinia by Rebecca Buchanan. This is a truly spooky piece about a turn of the century, hoity-toity Eastern museum that acquires an entire, uprooted Roman tomb from Italy as its showpiece only for the museum’s curator to learn to his horror that the spirit of the tomb’s occupant violently objects to such disrespect and profanation. Ms. Buchanan is plainly deeply versed in the spirit and letter of the ancient Roman faith and culture, with its deep worship for ancestors. Her respect for and fascination with the subject, along with a straightforward narrative and historically accurate details, helps to create an effective ghost story that ends on an ironic twist, which I, of course, won’t give away.

I can seriously recommend this book to fans of fantasy fiction, pagans or pagan curious types, philhellenes, devotees of the esoteric, and anyone who might enjoy an entertaining, varied melange of Hades centered offerings.



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