The Seer Thru'tei'ga'ma spoke thus to Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head: "This happens to be a myth of the At’ein’zei that we find ourselves in. One manifestation of unreality. Everything is relative to how you see it, you know. Did it ever occur to you that this tale of yours exists in many worlds? Of course it did not."
In my last post (long, long ago, it seems) I mentioned that "The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head" would be a trilogy. Here are the intended titles:
v.1: The War of the Stolen Mother v.2: The Tale of the Valley of Thorns v.3: The Quest for the Golden Fungus
The first volume will not undergo much alteration; I consider it as near-perfect as anything I've ever written. And I've always considered it quite short. In fact, its word count is longer than the first volume of "The Termite Queen," which ended up being 386 p.! "The War of the Stolen Mother" is 150,000 words, but that includes a lengthy list of names and places that I intend to abbreviate. At any rate, that book is pretty much set in stone -- I really don't want to change a thing.
But as I was checking all this out, I discovered that v.2 and particularly v.3 were simply TOO LONG! So I'm going to divide those two into three. Volume 2 will still have the title "The Tale of the Valley of Thorns," but v.3 will probably be "Beneath the Mountain of Heavy Fear." It isn't quite parallel with the other titles, but it has a solid impact. Then v.4 will be "The Quest for the Golden Fungus."
Another possibility would be to cut them up into even smaller chunks. This could be done because the books are quite episodic, actually picaresque in form -- a hero and its Companions journeying across the countryside encountering one adventure after another (and I do mean adventure -- it's basically non-stop action!) But I'd have to ponder that kind of reorganization for a while.
So what are these books about? I'm torn between letting you find out for yourselves and talking about it. I think talking about it will win out! Just what do you think books with the titles "War of the Stolen Mother" or "Quest for the Golden Fungus" would be about? What famous war fought over an abducted female comes to mind? And what famous quest was undertaken to recover a golden object?
These books interpret Greek myth from a termite perspective. And not only Greek myth, but also in a couple of major instances certain medieval tales. Termites may not experience sex, but they worship the Female Principle and their Mother. What if a fortress stole the Mother of another fortress? It would precipitate the war of all wars, because the Shshi Way of Life would be at stake. A fortress without a mother is doomed to a slow and total death. And I can't see termites being very interested in fleece no matter what the color, but they are very interested in fungus, so if there were a golden fungus reputed to have magical properties, the obtaining of it might be a briskly contested undertaking.
And what is the role of our Champion, Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head of To'wak, in all this? Well, who could Ki'shto'ba be but Hercules? Hence the title, "The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head." I can't portray every one of Hercules' Twelve Labors -- some just don't fit with termites. But you'll see the Hydra and the Stymphalian Birds and the Erymanthian Boar.
My source for all this is Robert Graves' "The Greek Myths," one of the most complete compilations of myths ever put together. I must acknowledge his influence at every step.
There is nothing more interesting and more fun than the reinterpretation of myths! So stay on board for a great ride! And read both volumes of "The Termite Queen," because Kaitrin Oliva has a role to play in the new series, also!