GABBLER RECOMMENDS: ‘The Whitening Thief Latent White Supremacy in Percy Jackson’ by Maxwell T Paule

This exceptionalism is then explicitly tied to the Greek gods or their direct offspring who serve as the movers and shakers of world events. World War II is described as a “fight between the sons of Zeus & Poseidon on one side, and the sons of Hades on the other,” and among the list of notable divine offspring Riordan lists William Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. (And yes, it is only white men who are cited as famous demigods in this book.)

Creating a world in which the divine offspring of Greek gods shape the course of western civilization is already sipping at a pretty racist cocktail, but Riordan goes much further when he explains that all of these offspring are considered to be part of the same genetic bloodline. One character specifically says of the dozens of demigods assembled at “Camp Half-Blood” (No, I’m not making this up, that’s… really the name. For real.): “We’re all extended family,” and as Percy meets various campers, he repeatedly notices a “family resemblance.” To put this distinction between demigods and mortals into starker relief, Percy later receives a sword that can harm monsters and demigods, but learns from Chiron that “the blade will pass through mortals like an illusion. They simply are not important enough for the blade to kill.” (Emphasis added to highlight the absurdity of this sentiment.)

In short, Riordan has imagined that western civilization — which he here equates with Civilization Itself — has been shaped by a genetically distinct population with divine parentage who are all, to a person, more important than the entirety of the general population. We’ve now moved from sipping that racist cocktail to slamming the whole damn thing. Especially when you consider that all of these gods and demigods are white, and the only two (yes, two) people of color in the entirety of The Lightning Thief are monsters (Medusa and Charon) with foreign accents (I know).


This #CyberMonday, get a free book about divine #cyborgs hooked into the gods’ #cyber world

Did you miss our Black Friday Sale for both our books? You can still get the first book for free here. 

Mythpunk novel The Automation by BLA and GB Gabbler

Don’t be blindsided 🔩🔧🔗

Get it on Amazon.

“When a book is weird in all the right ways but it’s also just wtf weird”

I’m not sure where it’s headed myself because I’ve barely seen volume 3. – Gabs

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: How a Woman Becomes a Lake By Jia Tolentino

‘These days of fear and sadness show no sign of abating. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt lake-like—cool and still.

Just as a person does not wish to become a motionless body of water for no reason, girls don’t get to turn into lakes on a whim. I’ve been rereading Ovid lately—the clean and gorgeous Rolfe Humphries translation of the Metamorphoses, published in 1955—and, in Book V, the nymph Arethusa tells Ceres the story of how she was transformed into a spring. Out hunting alone on a hot day, she found a silent, clear river with silver willows on the banks. She took off her clothes and went swimming, only to hear a “curious kind of murmur / From deep down under”—the river god Alpheus. In “that hoarse voice he had,” Arethusa says, Alpheus asked her, “Where are you going in such a hurry, Arethusa?” She began running away from him, “naked, for my clothes / Were on the other bank, and all the more / He kept on coming; naked, so he thought / I was readier for the taking. So I fled.” She kept running, through fields and mountains and “pathless places,” with the sun at her back and Alpheus’ shadow looming over her shoulder, frightened at “the way his labored breathing / Blew on the back of my hair.”’