The stories in my Hathor Legacy science-fiction romance series had a lot of inspiration from mythology. These themes have been told over the centuries in every culture, and can be applied to any genre.
In my series, Hathor is the planet of the Guardians and of the hero and heroine, Jonathan Keel and Nadira. The name of the planet is a perfect fit for the theme of the story. Hathor is an Egyptian goddess who symbolizes joy, love and motherhood.
Mothers play a key role in shaping the events in the books. Both Jonathan Keel and Nadira’s mothers rebelled against the established order of society, and their rebellion ultimately led to Jonathan and Nadira meeting up and falling in love.
Here are some ways I wove Hathor’s legend into the story. She’s known as the “cow goddess,” and her symbol is a sun disk sitting between the horns of a cow. Novacorp (the corporation that runs the planet) has a U-shaped corporate logo based on that symbol.
Hathor is also known as “Mistress of the West,” so I had Jonathan’s mother be from that part of the planet. In addition, Hathor is the patron goddess of miners–-and mining is at the core of the Novacorp economy.
The goddess Isis has a similar mythology to Hathor, and over time a lot of their characteristics were merged. But Isis has her own story, and it inspired me to name the twin moons of Hathor, Isis and Osiris. One of the stories of Isis is that she searched for her husband Osiris after his brother Set killed him to assume the throne.
There’s a lot more to Isis’ legend, but I used her search in Hathor Legacy: Outcast to symbolize the journey that Nadira and Jon take when they’re searching for Jon’s father who’s presumed dead.
Jonathan Keel is from the nearby planet, Astarte. Known to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, she was also associated with Aphrodite and Isis. Since Astarte was considered to be the goddess of love, it’s fitting that Jonathan and Nadira are in a romantic relationship at the end of book one.
One of the moons of Astarte is Demeter (where Jon’s father is CEO of the mine). In Greek mythology, Demeter went into mourning when her daughter Persephone was taken away by Hades. This is a reference back to Nadira being taken away from her mother so that she could be made into a Guardian.
There’s a wealth of stories to be pulled from mythology, and we don’t have to limit our influences to Egyptian, Greek or Roman gods and goddesses. For instance, Nadira’s mother is named after Minona, a West African deity who protects women and the home. And in the story, Nadira’s mother takes action to protect Nadira from the forces that want to use her for their own purposes.
For the beach scene in Hathor Legacy: Burn, I referenced the deity, Yemanja when Jonathan describes seeing Nadira at the water’s edge. Yemanja is an Orisha (a spirit reflecting a manifestation of God), originally of the Yoruba religion.
Like most deities, she’s known across cultures by various names. In Santería she’s Yemayá, and in Brazil, she’s “Queen of the Ocean,” the patron deity of the fishermen and the survivors of shipwrecks.
There are countless stories from cultures and belief systems around the world. When you’re looking for ideas, mythological characters and themes can provide a great deal of inspiration.
Deborah A. Bailey is the author of two SF romance novels: Hathor Legacy: Outcast and Hathor Legacy: Burn, and a short story collection, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales. In addition, she’s the author of three non-fiction books, and articles for various publications. Visit her site at:http://www.BrightStreetBooks.com/.