GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MYTHOSPHERE
This page is intended for the use of both those who have a taste for detail, and for any interested in writing further Mythosphere stories. Any story of much complexity, and Mythosphere is more complex than most, imply a context far more vast than the story gives. After all, a story of moderate length hardly has space for all the history, geography, geneology, biography, and social science that a world implies. Besides, the reader's first interest is the story, and that has to be kept moving. Here therefore is additional information about both the settings and the people.
First, the island in which Mythosphere is headquartered. It is in the Carribean. Its name is St. Sebastian, and it covers just under 400 square miles. The capitol is New Aberdeen, a city of 22,000, just over a third of the population of the whole island. It was at one time a Spanish colony, a fact reflected in much of the architecture and some to the family names. The island was taken over by the British in the 18th century, and became an independant state after World War II. It's chielf product is sugar cane, which covers much of the island in spite of the rugged terrain. Aside from agriculture, the chief sources of income are tourism and Mythosphere, which is also the island's largest taxpayer. There is also a small distillery that makes rum, mostly for local consumption, a soft drink bottling plant, and a small boat factory. The capitol occupies a narrow crescent of land between the bay and a steep, rocky hillside behind it.
Mythosphere is housed in a single large, single-level building, half way up a large hill overlooking the town. If small in the real world, however, it's virtual area is twice that of the island it occupies. It began with Richard King creating Samarkand, an exotic mock-up of a city, the majority of whose structures were simply facades, or at most, boxes with nothing inside but the emptiness of cyberspace. Slowly as technology advanced, countryside was added to the simple geometric forms of buildings, and more of the facades became actual structures. Eventually the technology devoped for creating the river, though originally it was only a couple of miles long, beginning nowhere and ending nowhere. Richard's brother George was brought in for the sake of his investment capital, and he became Neptune, founder of the second city, Byzantium beside a slowly growing sea. Samarkand, with no coast, and its more archaic operating systems began to seem obsolete. A great deal had been invested in it, however, and Richard King gave it to his daughter, Diana to salvage or lose. Other divisions of Mythosphere had been developed and others were created, but Samarkand, for all its limitations remained the largest and most vital division.
At the time of the book, these are the divisions:
1. Samarkand, including the city, a forest, and a large area
of countryside. Diana's division.
2. Byzantium, including the city, a small forest, and a large
area of plain inhabited by various barbarians. Neptune's
3. Arcadia: a mountainous area of satyrs, shepherds,
shepheresses, nymphs and dryads. Pan's division.
5. Saba: a desert city with a large area of desert around it.
Connected with this territory is also Deadwood, an old
west town with cowboys, and beyond them, Indians.
These latter areas are off limits to the rest of Mythospere.
6. Camelot: the king Arthur realm. Mars' division.
7. The island of Venus: a realm of sexual adventure. Venus'
8. The private villas: seaside villas for either rendezvous or
for family vacations. Jupiter's division.
9. The Land of Faerie: cutsie elves, faries, minature
humans and talking animals. Iris' division.
There is also a projected world of Classical Athens presided
over by Richard Jr., but it has remained in the development stage. Finally there are the Mountains of Olympus with its palace and meeting hall. This is controlled by Jupiter and Juno.
Below is a map of Mythosphere. The dark areas are still undeveloped. A level, black surface called the basalt layer has been laid down so that they will occupy space, and not distort dimensions and distances. In future stories the map will change somewhat, for Mythosphere is a work in progress.
The owners and operators have taken on the identities of the Greek/Roman gods. As they are, themselves, a family, they have their own personal eccentricities in the choice of identities. In the cases of Diana and Iris they pick divinities whose names they already possess. Thus, they have not so far used up all the significant names, and the ones they have chosen are not in all cases the most important divinities.
They also use the Roman names, which are the traditional ones in western culture. Most of the Greek names were not widely used until the twentieth century. Below are the Roman names with the Greek equivalent, and the family members who have taken them.
Jupiter (Zeus in Greek). Jupiter is king of the gods, a god of sky, rain,
thunder, lightening, law, and government. He is usually pictured
as a muscular, authoritative man in his mid-forties. Richard King,
the patriarch of the family.
Juno (Hera in Greek). Juno is wife of Jupiter. She is a goddess of
home, family, and motherhood. Also, to a degree, a goddess of
govenment. She is pictured as a full bodied, but well built woman
in her late twenties. She has large, dark eyes, probably dark
blue, since the Greek/Roman divinities were always imagined as
light complexioned and haired. She has a chariot pulled by
peacocks. Julia King, Matriarch of the King family.
Apollo (Apollo in Greek) Sun god. God of light, reason, rationality,
consciousness, self-consciousness, prophecy, and the more
orderly arts. Son of Jupiter. Pictured as very handsome, though
not especially happy in his relations with women. Richard King,
Richard and Julia's oldest child.
Diana (Artemis in Greek) Moon goddess. Goddess of night, the forest,
hunting. A virgin goddess, and somewhat prudish. Her one
relationship is with Endymion, who sleeps perpetually, so that
there can be no consummation. Diana King, R. and J.'s second
Mars (Ares in Greek) God of war. Unpopular god. Homer calls him
cowardly Ares. William (Marty) King, R. and J.'s third child.
Venus (Aphrodite in Greek) God of love, sex, passion, adultery. The only
goddess the Greeks ever pictured as nude. Doves and rabbits are
sacred to her. Violet King, R. and J.'s fourth child.
Nepture (Poseidon in Greek) God of the sea, of earthquakes, horses, and
bulls. Brother to Jupiter, and usually pictured as looking exactly
like him, though often nude, and holding a three-pronged fish
spear. George King, Richard's younger brother.
Mercury (Hermes in Greek) Trickster god. God of money, commerce,
travellers. Also leads the souls of the dead to the underworld.
Usually pictured wearing a winged hat and winged sandals, and
holding the caduceus, a serpent wound staff (the medical
symbol). Edward King, George King's oldest son.
Pan (Greek name) Rural fertility god, usually pictured with goat
legs, tail, and horns. Paul King, George King's second son.
Iris (this is the Greek name) Messenger goddess, and goddess of
the rainbow. A fairly minor divinity. Iris Andersen, Julia's half-
sister, younger by a generation.
The most important omission is Minerva (Athena), goddess of skills, handicrafts, war, wisdom, knowledge. A very intellectual goddess
who sprung fully grown and armed from Jupiter's head. She is usully pictured in a long robe with helmet and shield. Pluto or Hades (Dis), god of the underworld is also not represented. Bacchus (Dionysus), god of wine, drugs, inspiration, intoxication, and rebirth is also missing. Also, Vulcan (Haephestus), god of the forge, metalwork and craftsmen. There
are other significant divinities as well. Some may be picked up in later stories, but it is not an honor the family hands out lightly.