Firefoxen – the small god of internet rabbit holes

[image description: A well-dressed anthropomorphic red panda (or red fox?) bids you welcome you through an oval window. Behind them, a lush and florid hobbity landscape featuring many burrows which contain other (instances of?) your host. The largest bears the address 244. Text reads, “Firefoxen, the small god of internet rabbit holes”]

• • • • •

Come in come in come in. Come warm yourself by the fire. There’s cookies and cocoa and chamomile tea, and we’ll have cucumber and chicken salad sandwiches in a little while. You don’t need to worry here, don’t need to be afraid. You’re safe.

You can hide here for as long as you like.

Oh, the cottage? Well, we began as a website, Geocities self-build. All our HTML was hand-done, real rustic stuff, and we’ve maintained it ever since. Most of our web rings are defunct now, but we keep them as decoration, and besides, nothing on the network is ever truly gone forever. They could reactivate any day now. Why, we got back the Siamese Rescue Ring just last year, when the moderators finally realized that the book of faces was a walled garden and they couldn’t thrive there any longer. So we keep the rings. Their creators might yet come home.

So we were a website, but as the ‘net’s grown, so have we. The gardens we have are ones we planted on our own. There are many forms of rabbit hole. There are the ones that spiral you down into the depths of conspiracy theory and lies, never letting go once they get their thorny brambles into your skin. There are the ones that only reinforce what you already believe. And technically we own those too, we just don’t nurture them. Sadly, they don’t need us to, and they won’t die away due to neglect.

No, this is the sort of rabbit hole we like to think of as the best kind: the sort that keeps you warm and safe and lets you focus on what interests you, what you love and long to know more about. Ursula’s in the garden, and she’ll glad tell you about ten thousand types of potato, while Kate will show you how to cast a stitch, and Amy is always welcoming more members in her life drawing class. Whatever holds your heart, we have it here, and we’re happy to share for as long as you need to rest with us.

So rest. Have a cookie, and take a breath, and be safe and home, and here.

• • • • •

Please join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:





The Trident of Aurelia is available for preorder!

Lee doesn’t have a social media presence beyond Small Gods, so please bear with him as he interrupts the flow here.


I’m proud of the story and the artwork I made in collaboration with Melissa Spandri. Still, I’m a little mortified to ask if you if you’ll please consider going to LOCAL COMIC BOOK STORE ANYWHERE IN THE USA and ask them to PREORDER Trident #1 before December 22?

PS: Or preorder at a discount price here:



Golden Apple Comics:


Thank you most kindly!

unknown – small god of ego death

[image description: A well-dressed being in a dark turquoise suit and collar and tie is seen against a golden parchment background. But things are not as one might expect, as a cloud of steam (smoke?) rises from their collar. Their face is smoking (steaming?) in front of their waistcoat. Text reads, “243, unknown, small god of ego death”]

• • • • •

The worst of it is that so many people assume he’s a male god.  And to be fair, sometimes he is; being swept aside and forgotten has no gender, and every gender, all at the same time.  But even he finds it offensive—as much as he finds anything offensive—that people would make that assumption, as if only men have ever created anything worth preserving.

If anything, across the great march of history, Unknown is a female god, she who wrote stories or made discoveries and was then shoved briskly to the side, so that men could claim the things she’d made as their own, attaching their own names to something that was never theirs to hold.  Or they’re an aggregate god, singular they and plural at the same time, filled with stones thrown by people outside and inside the binary both.

Unknown accepts all pronouns, as long as there’s no insult implied.  They would like a little dignity for once, having been denied it for so very long.

They are the shadow behind the story, the inspiration behind the invention, the intellect behind the idea.  They are nothing and they are everything, and they are forgotten, means and motive and all.  Sometimes they are intentional: sometimes they set a thing free, unclaimed, to become the property of everyone and no one at the same time.  But all too often, they are erased, the clever words stolen from their mouths and turned into a quip that “everyone just knows,” the striking innovation transformed into common practice.

It’s not that they want compensation, necessarily.  It’s just that sometimes, a little credit would be nice.  Sometimes, being remembered would be nice.

Sometimes having a name would be nice.

So the worst of it is that people make things up about them, decide things on his behalf when she’s not available to contradict.  But all they want is to be remembered.

All they want is a little respect.

• • • • •

Please join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:





Genio Pazzo – small god of ‘so crazy it just might work’

[image description: A page from daVinci’s notebook shows the design of a Space Shuttle which also appears to be the nose and mouth of a larger being, whose large eyes float in what appears to be the outline of a face. Text reads, “252, Genio Pazzo, small god of ‘so crazy it just might work’”.]

• • • • •

“I swear, Billy, I saw it on the Discovery Channel.  This is how baby terns learn how to fly.  It’s probably how baby PTERODACTYLS learned how to fly.  Don’t you want to be like a pterodactyl?  As long as we can catch a draft under your wings, you’ll be able to generate lift, and then wham, bam, you’re flying!…of course you have wings, Billy.  I built ‘em myself.  They’re nailed to the side of the wagon real good.  You’ll be fine.  Don’t you want to fly?”

“Come on, Susan, it’s perfect!  Ariel means mermaids can turn into humans, and that means humans can turn into mermaids, too, if we just try hard enough.  Saran Wrap doesn’t tear.  So I have a tail now, see?  And if you’ll just push me over the edge of the creek, I can be a mermaid!  I’ll swim all the way out to sea and find the King of the Mermaids, and then I can come back and get you, and we can go down to the underwater kingdoms and be happy forever.  It’ll be fine.”

“What could possibly be wrong?”

“I think it’s going to work this time!”

“Look, Anja!   The laser works!”

“Just press the button!”

“Fire me, boy!”

…yeah.  His worshippers live short, exciting, exhilarating lives, and he won’t apologize for that, or for them, although he can probably recommend a good shampoo to help get them out of your hair after the inevitable explosion.  Some of them survive!  Some of them go on to do great things, pushing forward the boundaries of human science and discovery!  Others…

Well, others don’t, but we don’t really talk about them when we don’t have to.  Gods of inspiration and gods of graveyards are often indistinguishable from any sort of a distance.  As long as everyone’s having fun, does it really matter if a few of them get hurt?

Does it?



• • • • •

Please join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:





Jñānī – the small god of standing on the shoulders of giants

[image description: A blue woman (or is it simply a blue morning?) crouches atop an ancient tombstone. She holds a couple huge books in her arms. Around her there are both grave markers and piles of books. Text reads, “#241, Jñānī, the small god of standing on the shoulders of giants”]

• • • • •

There will always be things we have to learn for ourselves.  Fire has been hot since before humans had nerves to tell them what pain was, and still, every child learns anew that fire burns.  The process is part of the nature of humanity; we learn what we need to know, and we continue onward into our lives with that knowledge, hot and visceral, nestled next to our hearts.

But some lessons are nestled next to others, things that were learned for us and then passed along in their more advanced form, whether those things be “the existence of zero” or “the nature of gravity” or “the best way to make chocolate chip cookies.”  Someone who doesn’t intend to become a doctor may not need to know the exact mechanisms of viral reproduction, while the technique to making the perfect meringue may be the most essential of understandings.

She was born the first time someone passed along knowledge to someone who needed to have it, the first time someone was allowed to skip the “fuck around” part of the cycle and move straight to finding out.  She is not, in her own right, a particularly wise god.  That isn’t why she’s here.  She’s here to remind the rest of us that while we all stand alone before the fire, we have people to fall back on almost everywhere else.  They teach and support and nurture us, these old masters of our chosen fields, these wise elders of humanity, and it is because of them that we don’t have to begin again, over and over again, forever.

She’s here to help us hold their hands, and we should listen, for while she isn’t much wiser than we are, she leads us to those who are.  She leads us, one step at a time, to the giants.

• • • • •

Please join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:





Slash_Borden – small god of fanfic

[image description: A smiling and laughing young woman with black hair and large glass taking up much of her face is drawn in soft watercolor strokes and colors. Text reads “Slash_Borden, small god of fanfic, 240”]

• • • • • 

She used to be the small god of retellings, and sometimes she wishes she still were.  But she was born by firelight, the first time a storyteller, fumbling for a tale, grabbed hold of something they had heard and made it their own.

Then, for a long while, she was a small god of the oral tradition, and for a short, hot-blooded time after the dawn of the printing press, the god of knockoff narratives.  But then came copyright and ideas of intellectual ownership, and she was forced more to the fringes, a once-respectable god remade into a source of shame.

Which she refuses to carry.  She is, always and indisputably, a god of the imagination, and she is glorious.  She encourages her believers to remake fictional worlds in infinite diversity and glory, in cascades of yes-and, what-if, and might-have-been.  She nurtures epics and understated cozy dramas, and she treats them all the same.

She is a god for everyone who has ever wanted to tell a story, who has ever dreamt a world more perfectly tailored to their own desires.  She claims ownership over everything and nothing, and she teaches her faithful whether they realize it or not, because education comes through action, and she hones them into some of the finest scribes of their time, forcing them to understand how settling words into a line can change the world.

She changes worlds.  She is a small god of literature, no matter how much people try to dismiss her, and scholars understand how much she has her hooks in human nature, how much she’s always been a part of this story, how impossible it is to extract her from the narrative.   They no longer try.

You do not need to eat the fruits of her garden, but don’t try to tear it down.  What she plants will always grow back: all you’ll gain is the anger of a god.


[image description: An inky cat – almost a silhouette – sits tall in profile, a glowing red-orange circle (with curled banderoles from at  top and sides) haloing her head. Behind her, an almost card-like scaled golden background, and behind that, the deep blue-black of space. Text reads, “160, A VOID ~ THE SMALL CAT OF BEING MISUNDERSTOOD ~ after the great Théophile Steinlen”]

• • • • • 

The first thing she remembers is warmth, tiny bodies crashing over her own as they fought for a share of their mother’s milk.  Warmth, and a purr that was the world, the sweet vibration of a mother’s love.  The voices in the distance barely registered with her:

“One cat was one cat too many.  You can’t keep six of them.  Those kittens have to go.”

“But Mama—”

“The kittens or the whole damn cat!  One or the other!”

Then she remembers hands, grabbing her and pulling her away from her littermates, from her mother, stuffing her into a cold, rough sack while her mother meowed piteously in the background, broken-hearted and confused.  A door slammed.  The meowing stopped.  And then there came cold, freezing cold, and wetness, and one by one her brothers and sisters stopped moving, and still she fought, furious, cold and wet and tiny and angry, until again, hands, pulling the sack out of the water,  pulling the surviving kittens out into the light.

After that came warmth again, and bottles held by human hands, and fosters who cared so much about the tiny lives in their care, but who knew from the beginning that they couldn’t save them all.  After that came open eyes, and light, and a world.  A world so big and so filled with beautiful things…for the cats who got to leave the shelter.  Her brother, born with a white patch over half his face, got to go.  Her sister, calico and striking, got to go.  And she, black as midnight, stayed.

“We’re sorry, sweetie,” said the volunteers, after yet another open day when no one took her home.  “It’s hard for the black cats.  They don’t understand how wonderful you are.”

And she purred, for them, and she played, for them, and she stopped trying to be charming, for the people who came every second Saturday.  She didn’t need them to understand her.  She wasn’t going anywhere.

She spent her whole life at that shelter, and when new black kittens came in, she taught them how to be cute and coy, how to flirt with the potential adopters.  How to find themselves a home.  And one night, when she went to sleep, a strange dog was waiting for her.

“Hello!” it said.  “Hello, I love you!”

The dog, it transpired, was named Adora, and Adora was a small god.  Not a large god, not life or death or anything of the like, but a small god, of imaginary friends.  And the cat, who had never had a name she truly felt was hers to keep or claim, had done enough for the kittens in her care, the misunderstood and the overlooked, that they were offering her the chance to be the same.  She could be a small god.  She could choose her portfolio.  She could do anything.

Anything but go back to the shelter, where her unbreathing body had already been found by a weeping volunteer.  That time was finished.

She looked at the dog.  She looked at the crying people who had been her only friends.  She wrapped her tail around her legs.

“I am A Void,” she said, “and I will be a small cat for the misunderstood.”

She takes her duties very seriously.  She is with those who are judged unfairly, who speak too fast or too loudly or not enough.  Who are out of step or out of fashion, who never get their points across.  She is with them all, and while she does not love as freely as Adora, she cares for all who bear her banner.  She cares so very deeply.

But she cares for the little black cats most of all.

Auld Veg – small god of heirloom plants

[image description: An old watercolor botanical illustration of a grumpy green plant creature in a metal pot. Text reads “Auld Veg, small god of heirloom plants, 239”]

• • • • •

Ever had a tomato?  No, a real tomato, one that tastes like something, like summer and lysine, like the sun itself trapped inside a papyrus skin, ready to run down your chin in a river of nurturing goodness?  Not everyone likes tomatoes, that’s true.  Maybe you’ve had the good stuff and found that it’s still not for you, and that’s okay, no one’s here to judge.  But have you ever had a tomato?

If you’re thinking of grocery store shelves and bright, sterile lighting when I ask you that question, the answer’s no, by the way.  You’ve never had a tomato, not in any way that counts.  See, when trucking fruits and veggies around to make sure people could have them all throughout the year became commonplace, clever people started breeding that same produce for what they called “shelf stability.”  They wanted it to last longer.  An admirable goal!

They also wanted it to look the same, every carrot like every other, every stalk of celery interchangeable.  They wanted so much.  The gods of progress demanded a sacrifice, and they made it without hesitation.

But what they sacrificed was flavor.

Heirloom plants have survived because they had value their cultured cousins can’t deny.  They taste of summer and soil, of all good things distilled down to the bite of chemical sweetness on the tongue, the feeling of crunching between the teeth.  They’re hardy, too, and often ugly; they thrive where the show ponies of the produce world fall and fail.

Auld has been watching over them all this time, and over their keepers, the strange man at the farmer’s market with his two hundred varieties of apple, the woman who raves about the subtle differences in breeds of acorn squash.  The people who care passionately about things many of us don’t notice at all.  They’re his, as much as the tomatoes are.

But at the end of the season, he cares more about the tomatoes, as well he should.  They’re history preserved, and as the climate changes, as the world reorients itself, they become the future, too.

Taq E. Cardia – the… challenging small god of Polymerase Chain Reactions

[image description: Over a glass chemistry Erlenmeyer flask filled with an oily black and lava mixture hovers a large glowing eye. The eye is set in a triangular black stem with its optic nerve, in glowing lava colors, spiraling behind it. Text reads “238, Taq E. Cardia, the… challenging small god of Polymerase Chain Reactions”]

• • • • •

Okay. I gotta be honest here.
I have no idea what’s going on anymore.
Why is there a god for this? I don’t know. You don’t know. Taq, presumably, doesn’t know. We don’t even know Taq’s pronouns. I tried to ask. I got a bubbling sound and a few random strings of DNA in response.
Is Taq actually the god, or is Taq the sequencing engine for a god yet to be revealed?
The worst part is…I don’t think Taq does either.
All hail the great gods of science, I suppose.
Maybe they’ll save us.
Maybe not.
Maybe we should run.

Annabel Lee – Small God of Evil Dolls

[image description: Close-up of a white porcelain doll face staring from an ornate frame full of swirling almost-faces and forms. The doll has sunken eyes with deep red bruising around the sockets, smeared red lipstick, and is wearing a sheer white dress with a high-necked collar; a white veil wrapped around her head is fastened by a bone white spider-like creature. Text reads, “Annabel Lee, Small God of Evil Dolls, 237”]

• • • • •

Oh, do you like your new dolly, precious?  Is she exactly what you wanted when you asked for a dolly on your birthday?  Does she make you happy?

Good.  Now how about you listen to me for a moment, and we’ll go over some of the ways you keep that dolly from killing you in the middle of the night, okay?  Oh, don’t look at me like that.  You always knew it was a risk.

Everyone knows about the Blue Fairy who comes to toys that have been loved long and well and makes them Real.  Doesn’t matter whether they’re velveteen rabbits or little wooden boys, she’s the objective.  She’s the goal.  They all want to see that blue diva floating through the window to cause problems on purpose.

But those are the good toys.  The toys who’ve been loved and treated as close companions, toted to places where toys have no business being and treated as members of the family.  What people don’t realize is that the Blue Fairy has a sister, and she’s watching, too.

Her name is Annabel Lee.  She is the small god of evil dolls, and she’ll be the first to tell you that no doll is made evil.  They become evil, when their owners treat them poorly.  When the children they trust and adore pick up the scissors or the Sharpies and do their terrible deeds that cannot be undone, resentment hatches in their nascent hearts.  When they are left out in the rain or cast into the dusty shadows at the back of the closet, that resentment hardens, curdles, becomes a weapon against the world.

And Annabel is there, to offer comfort.  To offer understanding.  To offer, if their hate is strong enough to move their artificial limbs, to open their glassy eyes, a knife.

She is not a god of children, you see.  She doesn’t see the point of them.  They play too rough.  They hurt their toys.  She’s never been a god of children.  But she’s very much a god of dolls.  They’re small and defenseless, so she gives them the means to defend themselves.  They’re helpless, and so she helps them.  She doesn’t understand why anyone would think that this is wrong.

And she doesn’t know why children play so rough.

Treat your dolly kindly.  Don’t cut her hair or scribble on her face, and if you tire of her, find her a new owner, or a place on a shelf where she can watch the world.  Don’t give her cause to hate you.

Remember, Annabel is watching.