Applied Mythology (2000) is an omnibus edition of the Mythology series, containing the first three volumes: Mythology 101, Mythology Abroad, and Higher Mythology. These stories are set in the current timeframe at Midwestern University in Illinois. Unknown to the university administration, Little People have been living in the library sub-basement for over forty years.
Mythology 101 (1990) is the first Fantasy novel in this series. The university administration proposes demolition of either the Gillington Library or the athletics center and replacing it with a more modern building. The librarians are contemplating more space for up-to-date multimedia and computer equipment. The athletic department is also considering expansion.
The Little People learn of the proposal and the Conservatives are shocked. There goes their neighborhood. Holl proposes that the Big Ones be asked for help in opposing this project, but the Conservative vote overwhelms the Progressive suggestion.
Meanwhile, the student government is given a voice in the renovation decision. Keith learns that Carl is supporting renovation of the athletic center, so he makes a great speech about replacing the old library. The Inter-Hall Council votes in favor of Keith's proposal.
Keith is having problems in his Sociology class. Marcy mentions her study group and Keith asks to join. Marcy tells him that she must clear his admittance with the group leader.
Keith soon becomes impatient and follows Marcy to her next study group meeting. This and the following surveillance efforts are unsuccessful. Finally, he sneaks down to the lowest floor and then falls through a door into the Master's class.
The Master tells him to seat himself, but Keith is too involved in observing the Little People to respond. Finally Keith joins the group and he fizzes with ecstasy in every class. He even learns a lot more about Sociology.
Carl tells the study group about Keith's speech and the Elves start shunning him. But Keith -- now knowing about the Elves -- reconsiders his thinking on the renovation issue. At the next Inter-Hall Council meeting, he asks for -- and gets -- another vote, but the majority still favor demolishing the library.
Keith soon learns that the Elves are impoverished and he starts planning ways to help them. He rounds up some surplus material for clothing, but finds the Master displeased with the charity. Yet the women in the class are very glad to take the material and soon produce some fantastic apparel.
The Master makes his viewpoint very clear: the Elves do not need nor want charity. Keith discusses his problem with Pat and is told the cliche about giving fish or teaching how to fish. So Keith looks for another way to help.
He starts selling items made by the Elves to craft and knickknack shops in the area. The response is very favorable and sales keep going up. Then Keith gets Holl to help with the paperwork and taxes.
At the same time, Keith and Marcy become friends, but he finally notices that she prefers Enoch. Keith decides that he would rather have Marcy as just a friend and helps bring Marcy and Enoch together.
Mythology Abroad (1991) is the second Fantasy novel in this series. Keith and Holl go to Scotland. Keith is joining an archaeological tour group and Holl is looking for bellflowers used for Elven marriages. Holl is hoping to marry Maura and finding a source for the flowers will convince the Master let him ask Maura for her hand in marriage.
Holl has never flown before, so the long flight across the Atlantic is a nerve wracking experience. Keith shuts the shade and puts Holl is the aisle seat. But Holl is still anxious.
When they arrive at Glasgow, Keith and Holl travel unnoticed through the custom lines and luggage area. But the security cameras catch their arrival. The operator notifies Michaels and he assumes that they are Danny O'Day and associate, smugglers of anything worth the trouble.
With Michaels following them, Keith and Holl meet their tour director and take a bus to the University. They get their first glimpse of the other tourists on the way. Miss Anderson gives a short lecture just to keep them awake until they reach the dormitory.
Their first site is southwest of Glasgow. It is supervised by Dr. Crutchley of London University. They are put to work removing soil from the site and the guy next to Keith finds a jar with an amber bead necklace inside. The archaeologists speculate that they were grave goods, so Keith starts looking for the rest of the grave.
Later, Keith and Holl slip out to look for white bellflowers. They find that the site is surrounded by restricted areas. Then Holl has a fainting spell on a supposed fairy ring. Keith pulls him off the mound and runs for help.
Michaels reports that the suspects have climbed on a disguised radar dome and then the small one collapsed. He watches as the digging crew takes Holl away to the doctor. His boss finds the circumstances to be very suspicious.
Higher Mythology (1993) is the third Fantasy novel in this series. Holl finally marries Maura. All eighty-odd Little people and a handful of Big People attend. Keith films the whole affair, particularly the goodies awaiting consumption. Everybody enjoys the wedding and Diane has a good cry. Then they start the feast.
One guest is an Old Country elf. Tiron had returned with the Master and is living at the farmhouse. He creates quite a stir among the young females.
At the buffet, Keith talks with Holl. The conversation turns to the contaminated water on the farm. Keith suggests that the elves write a few letters to the editor of the local papers.
Keith meets Frank at a talk on ballooning presented at Midwestern University. Keith perceives that a hot air balloon will be perfect for contacting air sprites. When he discusses the idea with Frank, the balloonist thinks he is nuts, but enjoys his company.
A year and a day after the wedding, Keith makes a short speech to bystanders at the university from the basket of Airship Iris. The speech is cut short when the basket shifts. Derived of entertainment, many of the spectators go elsewhere.
So Keith floats up in the Iris and finds that the winds are alive. He makes friends with some aerials, but he can only converse with them at higher altitudes. They normally cannot withstand the higher pressure near the surface.
These stories takes Keith into things about which he has only dreamed. He learns more about mythology than he has ever expected. And he uses his Irish blarney and his American education to help his Little People friends.
This omnibus is not the end of the series. The next installment is Advanced Mythology.
Highly recommended for Nye fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of mythological creatures, enthusiastic adolescents, and true romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin