Since the release of Patchwork Press‘s first anthology (The Lost Locket of Lahari), we’ve been talking about the next anthology and how great it’s going to be. We’ve been pretty tight-lipped on the details, only revealing small facts like the theme — CONSTELLATIONS! — and the genre — YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION! — but everything else? A mystery. But no longer!
Today, we are revealing the title, the authors involved, the constellations the stories are inspired by, and the mythology behind each star cluster. We’ll begin with the title reveal. Drumroll please…
Polaris Awakening is the title of the newest Patchwork Press anthology! Each of the seven stories in the anthology take place aboard the space station of Polaris. The station of Polaris is the brightest star in the galaxy, with it’s shining technology and renowned space academy. But not everything on Polaris is perfect — there’s a tilt of balance in social classes, and those below are beginning to awaken to the injustice of their leaders. A rebellion is thrumming through the ship, and the characters of each story all play a part in the ripple of discontent.
There are seven stories contributing to the anthology. And our authors (in order of appearance) are: Kellie Sheridan, Erin Latimer, Erica Crouch, Janna Jennings, Hannah Davies, Terra Harmony, and Meghan Jashinsky.
Kellie Sheridan‘s story will not only open the anthology, but it will be peppered throughout the anthology, interspersed between the other pieces. Kellie’s story doesn’t focus on one particular constellation or origin myth, but rather she is writing as the embodiment of Zeus (you know, Mr. Lightning Bolt, the Big Guy in the Sky). Zeus is personified as the supercomputer operating Polaris, and he’s more aware than you’d expect, which could lead to some danger for our characters…
After Kellie Sheridan’s introduction, we have our first full story from Erin Latimer. Erin’s story centers around the constellation Ophiuchus. The constellation represents the god Apollo struggling with the huge snake that guards the Oracle of Delphi. After Apollo slew the snake, he was ordered by Zeus to host the Pythian Games as a form of penance.
Next up is Erica Crouch with her story based on the constellation Lyra. In the original myth, Orpheus — a musician with almost supernatural talent — falls in love with Eurydice. But their love is doomed, and Eurydice dies, stolen away to the Underworld by Hades. When Hades hears Orpheus’s mournful music, he strikes a bargain: Orpheus will be returned his love if he continues playing his music. Eurydice will follow him from the Underworld, but if Orpheus doesn’t trust Hades and turns around to check that Eurydice is still with him, he will lose her forever. The deal is made, and Orpheus plays his lyre, but when he walks over pine needles and can no longer hear Eurydice’s footsteps, he turns around and Eurydice fades away, gone forever.
Following Erica’s piece is Janna Jennings‘s story of the constellation Gemini. The Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux, were both born from Leda, the Queen of Sparta. Their sister is Helen of Troy and there are several myths about them, including sailing with Jason and the Argonauts to find the golden fleece and fighting in the Trojan War to bring their sister Helen home. Castor is a renowned horseman, and Pollux is a great boxer.
Then we have Hannah Davies‘s story, inspired by the constellation Scorpio. Scorpio has a few different mythologies to chose from, but the one Hannah chose was a story about Orion and Artemis. Orion boasted that he was the greatest hunter in all the land and could kill any animal. Artemis — Goddess of hunting and also protector of beasts — sent a scorpion after Orion to defeat him. The scorpion stung Orion’s ankle, killing him. Zeus was impressed by the scorpion, so he made a constellation for it. In the sky, the scorpion is at the opposite side of the horizon to Orion to keep them apart.
Terra Harmony‘s story follows next, and she was inspired by the constellation Virgo. Persephone, beautiful daughter of Zeus and Demeter, is tricked by Hades who carries her off to the underworld to be his wife. Her mother was so upset by this, she completely neglected her duties as goddess of agriculture, and famine spread over the entire world. The solution was for Persephone should be with her mother for half the year, and go to the underworld with Hades for the other half of the year. When Persephone is gone, agriculture essentially dies until she returns again six months later.
And finally, to close the anthology we have a story from Meghan Jashinsky, based on the constellation Taurus. From the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, the goddess Ishtar sends Taurus to kill Gilgamesh because he spurned her. In the sky, this is why the constellation Taurus seems to be facing off with Orion (who is representative of Gilgamesh).
Patchwork Press’s Polaris Awakening is going to be a whirlwind of a read! With so many spectacular myths interpreted into the science fiction world by an array of talented authors — all with strong, unique voices — we’re readying for an epic read. You can expect the cover reveal in March, and trust us, you won’t want to miss it! The release day is scheduled for April 28th, one day before Patchwork Press’s second birthday! So let us know…