This week, Dracula.
Dracula: Ah! I long to see this London! To walk its streets, to haunts its silent places, to prey where I will! Unfortunately, since joining my new club -- Monsters Against England -- I've been reading up on the accounts from my peers, occasions in which mummies, sorcerers, invisible murderers, and death-ray-wielding African goddesses tried the same thing. Apparently it's a troublesome process. Most of all, the accounts advise against inviting one scrappy Englishman into a position to witness your identity and weaknesses.
Well, off to kill Harker, then. Thank you, M.A.E!
Alix: This week, I wound my way through Catherynne Valente’s Silently and Very Fastat a leisurely pace, and enjoyed it immensely. It... Read More
This week, Dracula.
Today, Denna (or whatever her name actually is) from the Kingkiller Chronicles. Credit to Alix, whose Thoughtful Thursday contribution suggested this to me.
Denna/Diane/Misc. "D" Name: This week I read The Stalker's Guide to Stalking. Very helpful. The real trick is to keep up an air of mad whimsy at all times, so the prey -- uh, that is, the object of your affection -- will buy into the possibility that he could actually keep just happening to run into you everywhere he goes, even if he ends up in a different country or a random tavern. Or a random tavern in a different country. The drawback is that you can never stop being mysterious and ethereal, otherwise he might start thinking of you as a flesh-and-blood human being rather than a zephyr of romance and start considering the improbabilities involved. Delicacy, delicacy... Read More
We haven't heard from Drizzt in a while, so this week he returns.
Drizzt: It has been a delightful few weeks, until this very day. First I called upon the Lady Alustriel of that most lovely city Silverymoon (some philistine had the temerity to suggest it should be renamed on the grounds of "intolerable silliness" -- I say that man -- or dwarf, or elf -- has no soul). The Lady Alustriel received me quite kindly, seated me at her right hand at the feasting table, and showered me with presents so that I was much embarrassed and knew not what to say in the face of such friendly generosity. Alas, I was forced to decline a moonlit stroll through the gardens with her ladyship on grounds of being much wearied. The next day I slipped away -- a Ranger is ever in and out. Next I came to that delightful Mithral Hall, home of my good friend Bruenor Battlehammer and his daughter Catti-Brie. She and I spent... Read More
This week, Supergirl Returns. I tried to get hold of Quick Ben, but he sent my muse back in tatters, so I fell back on a known quantity.
Supergirl: You know why I hate Flash? He's a justice hog. Can't count the number of times I hear about an invasion of mole people or something, only to arrive and find that the damned Flash has already taken care of everything. Then I have to just sort of keep flying and pretend I was going to some other catastrophe. I swear I'm going to grease his front steps some time. Thanks to Flash, I had to fall back on a tip I got from Robin that some second-stringer might be planning some kind of recruitment drive in a castle, so I'm staked out above it. All alone, at night in an Estonian February, wearing a miniskirt. Journaling on my phone and questioning my life choices.
Brad: Other than continui... Read More
This week, something a little out of the usual -- a video game character. Specifically, Hadvar, the protagonist's first contact in Bethesda's Skyrim, and now victim of a bit of an existential crisis.
Hadvar: Think I'm going insane. Was organizing some routine paperwork on condemned prisoners. It's my job. I take down names and compare them to a list, just to ensure there are no mistakes. Suddenly, up steps this... fellow. Or was he a fellow? Dear gods, I don't know anymore. Right before my eyes, his race, gender, skin and eye color started shifting back and forth. Even his facial structure warped. Before my very eyes! He must have gone through two dozen hairstyles, and he kept going back and forth between two of them, as if some invisible demon couldn't decide which one it liked better. I could barely hold myself together. Now I find that no one else saw it. Not my c... Read More
Siege of Darkness by R.A. Salvatore
The major problem with Siege of Darkness is not, hopefully, R.A. Salvatore’s fault. The issue is that this is the point in THE LEGEND OF DRIZZT saga when a particularly noxious example of the “Shared Universe Event” decided to rear its ugly head, getting in everyone’s way and disrupting the meta-narrative. Its long-dreaded appearance does absolutely nothing aside from ticking a box on a checklist, so much so that I’m giving Salvatore the benefit of the doubt here and imagining that the material “had” to be there on the word of the mighty Wizards of the Coast, despotic lords of all Dungeons and Dragons tie-in novels. If that was indeed the case,... Read More
This week, Granuaile from the Iron Druid chronicles.
Granuaile: I didn't read any books this week. Or last week. Or the week prior, for that matter. Armageddon is nigh, we're constantly on the run, and transforming into animals on a regular basis doesn't make keeping a book very easy. It's hard to rig a tote bag so that it fits falcon, seal, horse, jaguar, and human. I haven't read a newspaper, either. I haven't spent much time in an internet cafe. I'm thoroughly cut off from the world.
So how the heck does Atticus somehow keep dropping jokes that people around react to as pop culture references?
Kat: Due to some extra duties at work, the normal beginning of the semester rush, and my father’s poor health, I’ve managed to read only five books so far this year. That is unusual... Read More
This week, thanks go out to Marion for obtaining this journal entry from Gregor Samsa, a young man... er... insect... uh... well... what is he, actually.... ?
Gregor: (From the journal of Gregor Samsa, translated from cockroach by Franz Kafka.) I do not consider my visit to the group my sister recommended, Metamorphs Anonymous, a success. I traveled in a coffin-like box loaded on a cart to the meeting, which was held in the cold basement of a church. The others in the group seemed to ignore me, except for shooing me away from the sugar lumps. There was a group of men who said they change into wolves; they quite preferred the lupine state and wished to have their humanity removed. The group leader, a stern woman wearing an expressionless ceramic mask, with a coiffure of hissing snakes, was unsympathetic to them. She suggested they find another group. Later, when the rest were huddled around the asth... Read More
This week, Sir Bors from the Arthurian Legends.
Bors: This week I struggled right manfully to read The Iliad. Yet 'twas not to be, for scarce had I set eyes to it when there came before me that noble knight hight Sir Gawain with tidings of Lancelot my cousin. Lancelot, it seems, was tricked into paying court to the Lady Elaine of Carbonek (and thank Jesu 'twas not like unto that matter of Elaine of Astolat -- the family had the very devil of a time hushing that one up). He responded, as only Lancelot might, by casting himself from a window and rushing into the forest stark naked to live as a raving madman. Which means that, yet again, the entire court must make great dole and quit all other pursuits to search for him, or be deemed false and recreant curs.
No doubt Lancelot noticed something not being about him and acted accordingly. What an ass.
Happy Holidays, everyone! My lazy joke of a muse is on holiday this week, but the character update will return next week at the regular time.
Alix: For me and my family, Christmas is a fairly all-consuming event. My entire family is on an academic schedule, so our holiday starts around mid-December and ends in January. Which basically means my last week has been spent lolling on couches, gaining weight, and re-reading old fantasy favorites in between bad Christmas movies. So, my reading has consisted of a return to The Curse of Chalion, because Cazaril is the man, a quick flirtation with the always-makes-me-cry Raise High the Roof Beams Carpenter, and then a steep dive back to one or two volum... Read More
This week, a letter from the trenches... er, the Yuletide celebrations of Hogwarts, as witnessed by one Mr. Filch.
Argus: This week, the war goes on. It's getting harsher, but oh, they'll learn I can be harsher too. Christmas. Bah! Fewer of the little sprats now, but the situation hasn't improved. They've boiled out all their dozy, all their lazy and their one or two rule-abiding. All that remain are the dedicated fiends. Noisemakers, all hours. Evergreen needles everywhere. Snowballs flying, window panes breaking. Funny-smelling purple stuff all over the floor in the girls' room, and someone shut up Mrs. Norris inside a Christmas parcel. Damn them. Damn them all.
And bah, humbug.
Alix: This week, I compulsively ordered the next book in Elizabeth Bear’s ETERNAL SKY series, and did an irri... Read More
In honor of the second Hobbit film's release this week, Bilbo ponders his job.
Bilbo: This was the plan? Really? Gandalf and thirteen dwarves thought from the beginning that they'd just steal a treasure big enough to fill the inside of a mountain, and they'd do it with the smallest possible thief they could find? What? But... I don't... look here, there's desperation and then there's just silliness. If you can't kill the dragon, don't cross half the world to get here unless you've come up with some alternate method of getting what you want. But of course not. Just steal whatever we can lay hands on and hope it's something profitable (all the while under the nose of. A. Dragon!). Perhaps I can fathom that Thorin might just be too officious to notice a weak point in the plan if it dared occur to him, but Gandalf surely should have... drat Gandalf! Bet he's laughing at me somewher... Read More
This week, Supergirl again.
Supergirl: I've been a journey through human philosophy lately, mostly to get back into Superman's good books after the Halloween thing (though I'm still not sure how I was supposed to know there's one day set aside where I'm not supposed to punch General Zod when I spot him in the act of strolling down Main Street). First I read Zeno. He said that people should keep control over their emotions, so I settled the disputes in North Dakota. Like, all of them, and I didn't punch anybody. And Superman was really pleased and said I was learning restraint. Next I read Confucius, and he said that it's not enough to be nice, you have to do nice things too. So I mended 100 miles of fence, delivered 482 birthday presents that wouldn't have gotten there on time, and rescued 83 cats from trees. Superman got me cake.
Then I tried to read Ayn Rand ... Read More
This week, Corum Jhaelen Irsei gives us an account of a most troubling nature (honestly, Mr. Moorcock... this plot was just silly).
Corum: It has been a most eventful fortnight. I learnt, to my grief, that my entire race has been slain. I alone stand between the ancient kindred called Vadhagh and extinction, and I... what exemplar am I? There is naught left to see of my departed people but a maimed and forlorn wanderer, bereft of home and succour, adrift on the vagaries of Fate. Yesterday, those vagaries bore me to a fortress of men, Moidel's Castle. Its ruler is Margravine Rhalina, a kindly woman of the younger race and now my sole friend in all the world. It gives me hope to think that disinterested compassion may spring from the hearts of these humans. Perhaps I am not so alone.
Later -- I was drugged at dinner and passed out. I awoke in my hostess'... Read More
This week, a big thanks goes out to Marion, for finding this truly spine-chilling tale from Mina Murray...
Mina: From the Journal of Mina Murray:
I grow worried about my dear friend Lucy. Late the other night I heard a door slam. I went to my window and beheld Lucy in the moonlight, clutching a paper-wrapped package to her bosom. In the light of the nearly full moon I could clearly see that the package held three books. For my friend to read one book would be a marvel; to read three would be a seven-days’ wonder. When I went to her room the next morning, I could find no sign of the tomes. At breakfast, Lucy munched on a kipper and asked, in a dreamy way, if Count Dracula “sparkled in the sunlight.” I reminded her that sunlight was anathema to that fiend. Later, she wondered aloud if Dracula could be persuaded to vegetarianism, a word I had never heard before. But this is not the most s... Read More