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Literature / Applied Mythology

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A four book Urban Fantasy series by Jody Lynn Nye, consisting of Mythology 101, Mythology Abroad, Higher Mythology, and Advanced Mythology. The first three books are reprinted in the omnibus Applied Mythology

Keith Doyle is a business major at Midwestern University, who leads a totally ordinary life. He fervently believes in the tales of his Irish ancestors, and tangentially everyone else's fairy tales as well, but he's never found anything to back his belief up, and his friends think he's crazy. Keith is active in student government, and to frustrate a rival he has taken the position that the Gillington Library should be torn down and modernized.

Keith's crush, Marcy, reveals to him that she is part of a very exclusive study group that meets in the library basement, and when he joins he finds that half the class, and the teacher, are Little People straight out of his favorite legends. They've lived for decades in a hidden village in a forgotten library subbasement, but now their home is in danger, primarily from the machinations of one Keith Doyle. Worse, articles about them have been appearing in local tabloids, and there's evidence that someone has been trying to get through their hidden entrance.


Keith has to scramble to make amends for the harm he's done, prove his innocence on the harm he hasn't, and help his new friends find a new home, somewhere safe.

This series provides examples of:

  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In Higher Mythology, Mona Galbreth dumps waste illegally (into the Little Folk's groundwater, among others), while simultaneously running for office on an environmental ticket. She is also willing to hold hostages to get her way.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Keith uses a 'magic lantern' (a magical video camera, essentially) to record a corrupt union thug, then replays it on all the TVs in a (union) department store. Keith leaves him to the mercies of the local foreman.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: When people notice Holl's pointed ears, he gives a Vulcan salute and says "Live Long and Prosper", and is taken for a Trekkie.
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  • Insistent Terminology: The Little Folk don't like being called elves or leprechauns, and insist that what they do isn't magic, merely a skill.
  • Masquerade: The Little Folk keep themselves hidden, using illusions, aversion spells, and pretending to be human children with hats over their ears.
  • Mistaken for Spies: In Mythology Abroad, Keith is followed by a British intelligence agent who believes him to be smuggler and freelance spy Danny O'Day
  • Our Elves Are Different: The Little Folk are small, long-lived, and have large pointed ears. They perform minor magics involving illusion and crafting.
  • We Need to Get Proof: Inverted; Carl is trying to get proof of the Little Folk's existence so he can gain fame and fortune by exposing them. Keith and Holl set up a scheme to fool the reporter he brought in and denigrate his evidence.