“Morphic resonance" is a term coined by Rupert Sheldrake in his 1981 book A New Science of Life. He uses the expression to refer to what he thinks is "the basis of memory in nature....the idea of mysterious telepathy-type interconnections between organisms and of collective memories within species." from http://www.skepdic.com/, authored by Robert T. Carroll.
You may be wondering why I am wandering into the field of morphic resonance when I'm writing about three fantasy novels that I am about to recommend. Well when I start to notice a pattern, and then the pattern repeats itself, I like to have some notion about where all of that came from.
Protagonist Joanne Walker, in Urban Shaman (an earlier staff pick by Mechio), has been working in the Seattle Police department motor pool, as a mechanic, until she sees something bizarre and stirring from her window seat on her return flight from Ireland. Once the plane has landed, she wastes no time and follows the scene--incredible though it may seem--which leads her and you to the discovery of her true, previously unknown, full identity.
Joanne is an amazon of sorts, as tall as the chief of police, and that proves to be a plus and a minus while he vacillates on whether to keep her assigned to the brutal cases that have been popping up all of sudden. And then there's a pesky, trickster coyote that keeps showing up with riddles that would puzzle the sphinx. And, of course, more adventures to come in the books that follow Joanne's story.
And then there's Mercy Thompson, in the first book that Patricia Briggs features her in, Moon Called. Would you believe that she's a walker, a skin-walker, and a mechanic to boot? She's made it a little further in the world than Joanne, because she owns her own garage ... sold to her by a gremlin. There's more than your standard fare of vampires, werewolves, and what have yous. But our kick-a.. heroine can take care of herself ... and rescue some others along the way.
Another similarity between Mercy and Joanne is the ancient native blood that seems to run through their veins, making them warrior-queens. And, yes, they're both mechanics who don't seem to get too much grease under their fingernails. And while Joanne had a lonely abandoned childhood, Mercy Thompson grew up with a werewolf clan, for her own safety, but do remember that she is not one herself, she is special ...
And then last, but certainly not least is Charles de Lint, urban fantasy writer extraodinaire, who wrote about Altagracia (her friends call her Grace) Quintero, in yet another female mechanic story, The Mystery of Grace, with a twist. She worked at Sanchez Motor Works customizing hot rods, and here's the twist, until she died. But that is nowhere near the end of the line for this also heroic character. Alice Hoffman wrote, on the jacket cover: "Charles de Lint is the modern master of urban fantasy. Folktale, myth, fairy tale, dreams, urban legend---all of it adds up to pure magic in de Lint's vivid, original world. No one does it better.” And my earlier favorite book of his is the wonderful Someplace to be Flying ... check it out too! So, there you have it, three great writers all coming up with the idea of their heroines being mechanically inclined and gifted. It's fun to read about those ideas since I have absolutely no idea what's under the hood of my boyfriend's car, nor do I really want to. But I was definitely entertained by these three different women and their stories. So do read on.
And, if you want to read more about Rupert Sheldrake's work, check out his fun nonfiction piece, Dogs that Know When their Owners are Coming Home. There's some cool stuff in there, too!
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