Monday, January 3, 2011

Trend Watch: Persephone Is the New Zombies/Vampires

Well, I certainly wouldn't have predicted this one. We're seeing a lot of YA Persephone retellings. Maybe this is in part due to the greek myth renaissance effected by Mr. Riordan? I don't know. Maybe it's the appeal of the underworld? I just hope it's not some nasty subconscious preference for kidnapping/rape stories. Whatever it is, between the undead, the walking dead, and the actually dead, there's a hell of a lot of dead going around. Makes me a little wistful for the wizards and pirates.

14 comments:

magolla said...

How about pirate zombies? I could write it. Death is so . . . so morbid. I prefer life with gnomes, faeries and dragons--though they don't seem to be very hip now. Bummer. Will think about zombie pirates . . .

Lindsey Carmichael said...

Meg Cabot has a Persephone series launching this year:

http://www.megcabot.com/abandon/index.php

librarian pirate said...

With Eva Ibbotson's death, I just went back and read some of her books that I'd missed and they all talk about Persephone! Well - the ones I've gotten to so far - A Countess Below Stairs, A Company of Swans, and The Dragonfly Pool. I was thinking about that right as I clicked onto your blog so I have to share since you mentioned it.

AE said...

It is like automatons writing into this big dust bowl and that dust bowl keeps spinning and spinning collecting sameness, and moving forward collecting in and unto itself...

but once and a while it picks up a speck of something sharp and uncomfortable... yet perhaps promising and hopeful, and that doesn't belong there at all... until it makes that dust bowl into a star.

Welcome back. :)

Anonymous said...

Pirate Zombies! It's been done, though - "On Stranger Tides" by Tim Powers (a cracker.)

Ishta Mercurio said...

Hahaha! No, I would never have predicted that one, either.

I wonder how much of this writerly trending stems from the increase in writers who use social media to keep in touch and network. If we all talk to each other, we all end up talking about the same things, and then we all end up thinking about the same things, so it would follow that we could all end up writing about the same things, no?

Alex F. Fayle said...

I've never liked Zombies so I'm doing my best to ignore that trend. And I'm with you re the Persephone retellings - let's hope it doesn't come from a rape-fantasy base. (shudder!)

Ellen Faith said...

Pirates you say? Good thing I just started outlining one not two weeks ago! (while watching PotC, of course. Johnny Deep as Captain Jack Sparrow isn't something I could pass up!)

D. Lindsey said...

Have missed your wit! Glad you're back.

Aimée Carter said...

My debut, THE GODDESS TEST, is coming out in April, and it's a sort of modern-day retelling of the myth of Persephone. Or almost a sequel to the myth, you could say. But in my defense, I wrote it back in 2007/2008, before I'd read any Rick Riordan, so no wave riding here.

But I can't wait to read other Persephone-based stories coming out! Love the idea behind the myth, despite some of the details (kidnapping, rape, as you mentioned). A girl being forced between two worlds, one she loves and one she hates, oozes conflict.

PaigeK said...

I just discovered this blog and I'm proud to say that you've been bookmarked. Your comment comes at a time when I've just cracked open The Red Pyramid and begun the exposure to this new "Greek" trend. I'm not sure how it'll pan out, but then again, I am and always will be a huge fan of books concerning what goes bump in the night. For those of you who aren't tired of that sort of thing, I highly recommend Clockwork Angel. Just finished reading it and was thoroughly impressed. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to some editorial incite!

Editor B said...

As my three-year-old daughter is named Persephone I am indeed aware of (and feel ambivalence about) this trend, though I thought that might be an "observer effect." So, thanks for confirming, and well-spotted. With regard to the rape theme, however, you'll note that most modern retellings offer a more empowering take. In fact, I suspect the "rape" was grafted on or emphasized as patriarchy gained ascendancy. Remember that the cult of Persephone and Demeter was one of the biggest religions of the ancient world. It's hard to imagine two thousand years of reverence for a being defined by her victim status. But who knows? I'm not a scholar and this pretty speculative.

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