Myths for the Modern Age is a nonfiction anthology that examines Philip José Farmer's vast Wold Newton family tree, a group of heroic and villainous literary figures -- Tarzan, Doc Savage, Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, Philip Marlowe, and James Bond, to name a few -- that Farmer saw as members of an extended generic family.
From the Wold Newton family tree's bizarre inception -- a fallen meteor near an English village in 1795 caused beneficial genetic mutations to residents, endowing them and their descendants with extremely high intelligence and strength -- to speculation about what literary figures are and are not possible descendants, Myths for the Modern Age includes almost 30 essays (many by Farmer himself) that will spur endless hours of lively discussion between genre fans. For example, in "D Is for Daughter, F Is for Father" by Mark K. Brown, he theoretically connects Sue Grafton's private investigator Kinsey Millhone with the "Farmerian Monomyth." Is she really part of the Wold Newton family tree?
Informative, witty, and endlessly fascinating, this anthology of post-Farmerian speculation should appeal to literary scholars, genre aficionados, and lay readers alike. Science fiction and pop culture fans who enjoy this kind of mind-expanding literature should also check out other nonfiction MonkeyBrain releases like The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana by Jess Nevins, Wizardry & Wild Romance: A Study of Epic Fantasy by Michael Moorcock, and Projections: Science Fiction in Literature and Film, edited by Lou Anders -- all invaluable resources for genre historians. Paul Goat Allen