[image description: A tiny spaceship is caught like a firefly in an airless canning jar. Its golden exhaust providing the only light in the scene. Text (molded into the glass of the jar) reads, “204, Fox Mason, the small god of ACTUAL Cancellation”]
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Gods are made of belief. Humans believe. Humans, small and weak as they are individually, must therefore be said to make gods. Gods can do epic, amazing things that humans could never accomplish, but which humans are capable of dreaming of, for a human couldn’t imagine it, a god couldn’t do it. That is the one true limitation of the divine: it is bounded by the limits of human imagination. But here is the secret: human imagination has no limits, and thus the only limitation of the divine is no limitation at all.
Humans believe. Humans secrete story, making pearls out of every scrap of sand that works its way into their psyches, and they spread those stories around, making a cultural moment out of believing the same pretty lies. Stories are incubators for gods, warm, safe places where belief can take root and grow. More than a few gods have begun from such seeds. The others do not shame them for such beginnings, for they are not chosen, but granted.
As time has passed, the shapes of those stories have changed, and the methods by which they may be shared have changed along with them. No longer is it single storytellers around fires at night: it is entire productions, attractive people in shining costumes, industries built on dreams.
But a dream is a fragile scaffold unless it attracts belief to itself with speed. Far too many dreams, built too high too fast, find themselves collapsing under the weight of their own industry. That’s where Fox comes in.
Fox is where dreams go to die. Fox lures them in with pretty words and shiny trinkets, promises them a pantheon, and then, when they fail to bring the believers in quickly enough, or when those believers belong to the wrong demographic, they pull the scaffolding away and leave the dream to collapse.
What Fox cancels does not return. What Fox jars does not rise again.
And yet dreamers keep following their light, believing that this time, it will be different. And it is, just often enough to make their beliefs understandable: sometimes, Fox takes mercy.
Not often, though.
In Fox’s den, dreams die.
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Join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many small deities who manage our modern world: