By William Leisner
In the ReDeus universe, New York City has been established as the center of the action. This is where no one god or pantheon holds dominion, and where all the newly-returned deities are able to freely interact with each other. But “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” my story for Divine Tales (available now from Crazy 8 Press!) wasn’t a New York story, though; my account of David Anderson, an Everyman caught in the middle of the Olympian gods’ war to claim and seize American territory properly belonged in Middle America. I did have David, at the story’s end, send his teenage daughter Abby to safety in New York, and in the back of my mind, I hoped she might have been picked up for a future ReDeus tale in a cameo role. But as for David’s story, I figured it was just a one-off, and he and his little Olympian ministry on the prairie were too far separated from the heart of the action to be touched on again.
Flash forward a few months. Divine Tales was released to positive response, and Bob and Aaron invited me to contribute to the next two ReDeus projects — one a collection of stories with an international focus, and the other set in the U.S. Shortly after completing “Sestercentennial Day” for ReDeus: Beyond Borders (also available now from Crazy 8 Press!), I pitched an idea featuring an adult Abby Anderson, living in 2032 Manhattan. Bob responded to my email with the clarification that the stories in Native Lands were to be set in and around North America… exclusive of New York City.
At Bob’s suggestion, I tried to rework my story so that Abby would have reason to leave New York and have her adventures beyond the city. But after a number of false starts, I decided that, rather than trying to force this story to fit the anthology, I’d be better off starting from scratch.
Though not entirely from scratch. In “Revival,” I indeed return to Minnesota, to find David Anderson still growing into his role as a High Priest of Zeus on American soil, navigating the landscape left in the aftermath of the Divinity War, seeking out new adherents for the Olympians, and facing off against the gods of the Ojibwe, who still hold sway over much of the upper midwest.
Hopefully the ReDeus audience will enjoy this follow-up. And if so, who knows? We may not have seen the last of the Andersons of Minneapolis, after all…
ReDeus: Native Lands will be available in print and digital editions in August.