For research, I’m looking for a few book recommendations.
1) I am shamefully ignorant of all things African mythology/folklore (except, stereotypically, Egypt). I want to fix this. I’m interested more in fleshed out retellings than dry notes about details. Something like what this book did for Norse Mythology, where you get a nice prose retelling with academic/anthropological notes about context, culture etc., in footnotes and the appendix, would be great. Honestly, I won’t care about the academic details until after I care about the story, and most of what I’m finding on my own does a general, “In Western Africa you get myths about these characters who do these things. In Central Africa, it’s similar, except more root vegetables.” Nobody actually tells stories this way – some anthropologist committed murder in collecting those summaries. A fabricated retelling (with good research and notes) is much, much more desirable than re-polished notes collected by a dead white guy.
2) Has anybody run across a book that rendered either telepathy or computers talking to each other across a network, while verbal communication is happening in the same scene, particularly well? I am failing to create a satisfactory technique for this on my own and would like very much some sources for theft. I want something more than weird punctuation – I’m looking for somebody who captured how the non-verbal, non-written communication would actually work.
3) It’s been a while since I’ve had my mind blown. I’m starting to feel jaded. Anybody got anything mind-blowing to recommend? I read all fiction, so do not feel constrained by genre.