Thursday, 15 January 2015


Happy Mutant and accomplished author in his own right Cory Doctorow extolls the latest fantasy novel from Jo Walton. Not only does this plot in which a time-traveling Athena, goddess of Wisdom, assembles all the faithful from all ages who yearned to live in the Utopia of Philosopher Kings sound really intriguing, her other works, which include award-winning alternate histories, expositions on ancient lore and future-oriented works of science fiction, are appealing to my curiosity already.

I think I’ll have to check these out. In the Platonic dialogue Protagoras—between Socrates and the famous eponymous sophist, who’s profession is to make the weaker argument the stronger, we are told that the second-generation twin titans were charged with endowing all of creation with their individual excellences, like slyness for the fox, courage for the lion, wisdom for the owl and so on. Thoughtful and generous but of course lacking foresight, however, when Epimetheus (whose name means backward-looking or hindsight) came to endow man with positive attribute, he realised that his bag of gifts was empty. This oversight was what prompted his brother, Prometheus, to steal fire and the civilising arts from the Olympian gods in order to give mankind some redeeming qualities and a skill-set for survival.