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2013 Story 23

23. THE BIRTH OF PEGASUS by K. Tempest Bradford from Dark Faith Invocations.  Some people get really really upset when you mess with the legends they grew up with. Look at how people reacted to the changes made by the producers of the BBC's Merlin series, or DC Comics' "New 52" revamp of almost every single one of their characters. In this story, Bradford makes some interesting changes to the legend of Medusa and Perseus, especially in terms of Medusa's relationship to the gods and how her "petrifying" power actually works. The changes work well for the context and point of the story, an evolving treatise not just on how religions change (Medusa as a figure of the "old ways," when people would put garland around the head of a dead horse and wait for a god to pull spring from the depths, when the cycle of life was what drove religious inclination, and Athena as a figure of the "new ways," gods controlling all within their physical domains "from the Acropolis to the sea," for example) but also on how personal belief is a fickle thing -- Poseidon's actions being predicated on what he *thinks* Medusa has done to disrespect him, and also a bit perhaps on how public perception matters to us (that whole story of Athena being born out of Zeus' head being created to avoid a Grecian PR nightmare). There's a lot going on in this story, including bits of poetry interwoven, but it holds together well and is a compelling read.

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