Greg R. Fishbone
The Early Years
As a child of the 80's, I grew up watching Star Wars, reading about Hobbits, and playing Dungeons & Dragons. Only later did I realize that I was soaking in mythology all along.
In developing Star Wars, George Lucas relied heavily on the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell, who studied world cultures to derive a prototypical "hero's journey" from ancient times that is still being used in movies, tv, RPGs, and video games today.
In developing Middle Earth, J.R.R. Tolkein used Germanic, Celtic, Finnish, Slavic, and Greek mythology and literature as a base for the places, people, and events of his fantasy world. Tolkein's work then inspired generations of authors and an entire genre of epic fantasy that I devoured.
In developing Dungeons & Dragons, Gary Gygax turned the epic fantasy genre into an immersive, player-controlled environment with proudly displayed mythological roots. Deities and Demigods, a gaming manual from AD&D First Edition, still sits on my shelf today. My halfling was a cleric of Athena.
The Event Horizon Era
During college, I wrote for and edited Event Horizon, the University of Pennsylvania’s speculative fiction magazine. My writing improved as I worked with talented staff members to review and edit student submissions and exclusive works by the likes of Buzz Aldrin and Isaac Asimov.
During my tenure, we released a shared-world anthology called Starship Alethea, about a gigantic spaceship that was one part scientific research vessel, one part military flagship, and one part luxury cruise ship. My characters included an Amazon warrior from a Bronze Age planet, so even at that time I was thinking about recontextualizing mythological elements and making them my own.
The Age of Heroes
During law school and afterward, I participated in the legendary superhero parody project, Superguy. Among my stories was one that revolved around Sal the Garbageman, the absolute and uncontested ruler of the world and all-around nice guy. That story formed the basis of my debut novel, The Penguins of Doom.
I also led a number of Superguy writers to publish an internationally-distributed print magazine called “Mythic Heroes,” which explored the superhero genre in contemporary and historic contexts. My thesis was that superhero stories are the myths of our time, providing commentary on modern culture and society. The subsequent development of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has only made that case stronger.
Writing as a Community
I have been active in the children’s literature community, serving from 2001 to 2018 as Webmaster and Assistant Regional Coordinator for the New England regions of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I served as co-director for the 2010 New England SCBWI regional conference, “Moments of Change,” and the 2011 conference, “Celebrating Milestones.” I have presented workshops at a number of conferences on a variety of craft and career development topics.
In 2006, I founded the Class of 2k7 group of debut children’s and young adult authors and served as mentor for follow-up groups in several following years. I have long been a critique group advocate, and have been running my own in-person (and in 2020, on-Zoom) critique group since 2012.
A lawyer by day and author/web-technician by night, I fight a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and fun. My wife and I live in the Boston area with our two daughters and cats of varying temperaments.