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Book Title: Myths for the Modern Age: Wold Newton Universe|
The author of the book: Win Scott Eckert
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 366 KB
Date of issue: October 11th 2005
ISBN 13: 9781932265149
Read full description of the books Myths for the Modern Age: Wold Newton Universe:Observant and regular readers will have probably noticed by this point that one of the things I look for in my fiction is coherent (or at least interesting) world-building. The acknowledged grandmaster of this, of course, is J.R.R. Tolkien; he even coined some of the terminology associated with this, such as "Secondary World" and "sub-creation".
Some authors and other scholars take this one step farther - treating their favorite stories as the lightly-fictionalized records of real events, analyzing broad swathes of literature to uncover the "true" events behind them, and connecting them. This game has been played with popular literature for quite some time, and has interested me ever since I first heard of it. Indeed, I've even dabbled in The Game myself, and was actually intending to make this post about Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World #1.
Then, I finally manged to get ahold of a copy of Myths for the Modern Age, a collection of essays exploring this kind of "Tertiary World"-building, edited by the same Win Scott Eckert as is behind Crossovers. As a compilation, naturally there are some pieces that are more interesting than others - for example, one of the early pieces, "Wold-Newtonry: Theory and Methodology for the Literary Archeology of the Wold Newton Universe"is a particular favorite of mine; not least because of the delightful phrase, "literary archeology".
But that's not the article that convinced me to use the book for this post - that honor falls to Eckert's own "Who's Going to Take Over the World When I'm Gone?", a genealogical* study of the Moriarty family. Imagine my delight and surprise when, seemingly out of the blue, the article mentions how one of the Professor's grandchildren is none other than Howling Mad Murdock of The A-Team (the television version, obviously). Since Murdock is pretty much my favorite A-Team member, and The A-Team itself one of my favorite television shows, I was quite pleased at this.
Amongst other amusing tidbits from that section was the idea that Murdock's first name is "Hamish" - in the show, Murdock is never given a first name, only an initial. And why is this so amusing? Because the name "Hamish" is a variant form of "James", which according to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the first name of both Professor Moriarty and at least one of his brothers (the cavalier attitude some famous authors take towards continuity is part of what makes this kind of fandom so entertaining).
As if Murdock wasn't enough, both Eckert's article and a later one by Brad Mengel ("Watching the Detectives, Or, The Sherlock Holmes Family Tree") both theorize that Hannibal Smith was the son of Fu Manchu's great nemesis, Sir Denis Nayland Smith. Furthermore, it seems that Hannibal's grandfather was Fu Manchu himself (through his mother Fah lo Suee) - this Asian ancestry no doubt explains how Hannibal kept getting away with his "Mr. Lee the Chinese Laundry Man" persona.
While the inclusion of half the A-Team is what qualified Myths for the Modern Age as a Book That Makes Me Happy, there's plenty of other good material to be found within. Admittedly, much of it is available on Eckert's Wold Newton Universe website, though I understand the published versions are more up-to-date. Indeed, a quick poke around the site shows that it includes only Hannibal's inclusion, not Murdock's. This is no criticism, merely an acknowledgement that the two sources are different - and it will surely inspire me to acquire my own copy of Myths, from a source other than the library.
*Genealogical studies linking various fictional characters being one of the major features of Wold Newton Universe scholarship.
(The above review originally appeared at Words of Wonderment: 30 Day Book Challenge - Day 5. I did, indeed, end up getting my own copy.)
Read information about the authorWIN SCOTT ECKERT is the coauthor with Philip José Farmer of the Wold Newton novel THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE (Subterranean Press, 2009; Meteor House, 2014), about Patricia Wildman, the daughter of pulp hero Doc Wildman, the bronze champion of justice. Pat Wildman’s adventures continue in Eckert’s sequel, THE SCARLET JAGUAR (the 2014 New Pulp Award winner for best novella).
Eckert is the editor of and contributor to MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER’S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE (MonkeyBrain Books), a 2007 Locus Awards finalist. He has coedited three Green Hornet anthologies for Moonstone Books. His short fiction tales of Zorro, The Avenger, The Phantom, The Lone Ranger, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Hareton Ironcastle, Captain Midnight, The Green Ghost, Sexton Blake, The Domino Lady, Doc Ardan, and Sherlock Holmes can be found in the pages of various character-themed anthologies from Moonstone Books, as well as anthologies such as THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER (Meteor House), TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN (Black Coat Press), and TALES OF THE WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE (Titan Books). Eckert's critically acclaimed, encyclopedic CROSSOVERS: A SECRET CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD 1 & 2 was released by Black Coat Press in 2010.
A Honey West/T.H.E Cat crossover, A GIRL AND HER CAT (coauthored with Matthew Baugh, Moonstone Books), the first new Honey West novel in over forty years, came out in 2014. Forthcoming works include: the third Pat Wildman adventure; a new novel of one of the preeminent pulp heroes of the ’40s, The Avenger; and the unfinished fourth novel in Farmer’s Secrets of the Nine series, THE MONSTER ON HOLD, furthering the titanic saga of Doc Caliban’s ongoing battle against the dark manipulators who hold the secret to eternal life, the Nine.
Find him online at winscotteckert.com and @woldnewton (Twitter).
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