The women of Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan have a lot to deal with. The central premise of the show is that dragons exist and have been camouflaged from the general public throughout history—in the modern day, this means disguising them as planes. Only a special few can form the kind of bond it takes to “pilot” these mythical beasties, however. Dragon pilots are always, and have always been, women only; and they have to be chosen by the dragon itself.
Lady pilot and dragon also have to be emotionally and mentally in sync, sort of like how you have to be “Drift Compatible” to co-pilot in Pacific Rim, except that the characters in Pacific Rim are not swallowed whole by their mech-partners at any point. To add to the physical strain, the rigorous training, and the daily ordeal of being eaten, these dragon-attuned women have one more vital code they must adhere to to retain their prestigious position: they cannot, under any circumstances, fall in love, because that will bust the entire system and they will no longer be able to fly. It’s just the way it is, and always has been.
So the dragon pilots are exclusively women, have a “warrior” status, a special connection to nature, and are forbidden from falling in love lest they lose their power. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Dragon Pilot is playing around with some very old ideas. Continue reading
The Greek myths are essentially one long soap opera about a big, rowdy family being terrible to each other and having lots of sex. Gods Behaving Badly knows this and takes it in stride, abandoning all pretence that The Classics are meant to be Deep and Serious and instead happily telling a flippant and flyaway story about the shenanigans that ensue when the Greek pantheon is forced to downgrade from Mount Olympus to a run-down townhouse in modern London (except for Poseidon, who lives in a seaside shack; and Persephone, who enjoys the Underworld a lot more than staying with her bickering mess of an incestuous supernatural family. Can you blame her?) It captures the delights of myth on both the epic, world-altering scale, and in its full beauty as just tangled, emotional tales of people being shitty to each other in the most theatrical way possible.
Spoilers for the end of the novel hereafter, and discussion of sexual assault (a warning that, unfortunately, should come clipped to every look at Greek mythology) Continue reading
Now, I’m not especially well-versed in Greek mythology, but I know enough to affirm that the gods were always screwing with people. A contemporary comedy novel about the interplay between ancient gods and the modern world looks like the perfect place to play with this, as well as of course the business of modern romance and the pursuit of happiness, but instead this book left me with the baffling conclusion that none of us have any autonomy and we are all playthings of the selfish divines. Continue reading