Jul. 6th, 2017

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Ken Leung being handsome as fuck as Admiral Statura in SW: TFA
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I!!! ALSO!!! HAVE!! SO!!! MANY !!! FEELS!!!

and I’m sort of with you on warrior genders– like, I’m definitely feeling like since “female” and “male” already clearly do not mean anything like the same things they do to humans, it would almost be better to just use entirely other words?? But I know she already was having trouble selling this story, I think doing yet another invented language concept would push it over the line. So it’s probably just easier to use The Gender Binary and then hammer it at every turn to remind the reader that it’s Inverted. In basically every other species you run into in the stories, either there’s no difference, the gender system is complicated enough that it’s just shrugged at, or the males are subservient. 

So it’s probably just easier that she uses “male” and “female” and then reminds the reader pretty much constantly that “female” indicates larger, stronger, and more respected– and what’s more, often shows in character interactions that this is true [watch the character arcs of Song, a subordinate young female warrior, and Root, a subordinate young male warrior, through the entire series].

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gosh i have many more lines i want to go back and screencap, but for now i’m just. REELING. WHAT A GOOD BOOK.

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I wasn’t thinking of doing embroidery like straight-up narration but actually a bayeux-tapestry-style Accounting of Adventures would be pretty damn awesome, and if I did it bayeux-tapestry-style it would totally make up for the fact that I can’t draw for shit, so if I make it like, I did it shitty on purpose, then it’ll be okay. That’s my art style, Shitty On Purpose. Let’s get this travesty started.

Honestly I should just do a text-only embroidery of Let’s Get This Travesty Started as a warmup, you’re right. I just sat down here to brainstorm an embroidery pattern and was actually about to use this computer as a solid surface to put a piece of paper on to draw, and then was like, I haven’t even checked my email in like two days, I should do that… So. Maybe I’ll do that. ANYWAY.

I’m torn on wanting Moon to get to be a line-grandfather. I don’t know; as Stone kind of illustrates in this one, that’s a kind of solitude too, and Moon’s had a lot of solitude in his life. 

Side note: I maybe could have laughed forever about Moon’s observations about having sex with groundlings/sealings etc, and how Jade clearly Did Not Know What To Think About That. (It wasn’t like she was offended. I wonder if she kind of thought it was hot. Think about it, clearly she thinks Moon’s a pretty hot little piece, and imagining him all young and cute and awkward figuring out how to get it on with something, idk, exotic… maybe there’s Three Worlds porn about that, or maybe that’s just so normal it’s not even worth fetishizing…)

(Semi-relatedly: I am definitely not the person to write the explicit erotica exploring the fact that clearly, Raksura do not have anything like human genitalia, and so what do they have??? I want to read that but I am definitely not the person to write it. I just don’t have that kind of imagination. But clearly they’ve got something… interesting. Whatever it was must be largely internal, at least in their shifted forms, and can’t be that different between the two forms– but what the hell is it, that it’s still identifiable as “male” and “female” even in infertile Raksura??)

Biological determinism: The first book, which I’ve just now reread, had a lot of talk about how whether they mean to or not, Fell destroy everything they touch, and how they’re empty and the only kind of relationship they can have is to draw others in to fill that emptiness, and it was very certain about how Fell are Just Evil And Can’t Be Redeemed– and it wasn’t just Moon’s POV, it was the default assumption of the whole book. So it’s really fascinating to go back and see that now, and understand that you were viewing it through the filter of Moon’s POV the whole time, even when it was from other people’s perspectives– the overall theme was through Moon’s world understanding, more or less. Even things like– Ranea’s scent was viscerally repulsive to Moon, so much so that he would physically recoil from it, but there’s no mention at all really of Consolation having anything more than a Fell-like odor. And the mentor-dakti was so fascinated with Indigo Cloud to the point that he wouldn’t let the Fell eat the dead, and clearly loved them, but not in a healthy way, because he and his kin were raised by Fell and didn’t have any Raksura perspective on how love ought to work. 

 And so having a more mature, less trauma-filtered understanding of the world in this book allowed for the perspective of the Fell being not-fundamentally-destructive-as-an-innate-biological-trait. Consolation’s sire, whoever he was, being allowed to teach her how love is meant to work, how even if you have the telepathic capacity to take over someone’s mind, you mustn’t because that’s not love– it’s clear, I think, that a Raksuran queen could do pretty much exactly what Fell rulers do, taking over bodies and speaking through them, and it’s just the enormous prevailing weight of Raksuran culture that keeps them from doing that. 

A lot of Raksuran culture is built around the fact that they are enormously powerful creatures and have to control themselves. It was fascinating to see them interact with mature political entities of other cultures– like the Kishan Empire– from that perspective. I suppose that a main overarching problem with a world like the Three Worlds is determining who is “people” and who is not-people, and thus who you make promises to and who you use. The Fell are what happens when you decide that no one but your ruling class are “people”. Maybe that’s some kind of metaphor… 

I want to read a million stories about Follow, too! And the others. I’m almost more fascinated by the non-crossbreed Fell who are still Raksura-like. … 

Maybe my weirdest final note, which mentions incest so if that’s gross don’t read: it had been observed in previous books that Balm was both Jade’s full sibling (I get that “clutchmate” means “from same parents” and not necessarily “born at the same time”, but it was explicitly noted at one point that Balm was born in the same clutch as Jade, so effectively, her littermate, even if that’s not a term the Raksura use) and her favorite, but Harbors features a scene where it’s pretty obvious that Jade and Balm are both present while Moon is having sex with Chime and then with Jade (or has just done so with Jade? I forget), and the implication is that Jade has also had sex with Balm at some point in this session. That’s what “favorite” usually means in other contexts, as well– lover. So, clearly, there’s no incest taboo if one of the parties present is an individual from a sterile caste. And that’s fascinating, but also, very much not my bailiwick– I just thought it was interesting that it was finally pretty much made clear, when up to now it’s been sort of… indirect.

I do feel like the commercial market has put some constraints on the worldbuilding, there… 
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Re-blogging some of my favorite fan art for the Books of the Raksura today. These three are by Jessica Peffer, of Neon Dragon Art, and her tumblr is neondragonart.

The one of Moon at the top is the first piece of fan art I saw for these books, and it was awesome. One of the absolutely coolest things about being a writer for me is when people do fan works based on my books. It’s just a wonderful thing. :)
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csevet reblogged your post and said “I’M DONE LET’S YELL…”

I had kind of devoured the book so rapidly I had not picked up on what a great line this was so I just went back and looked and screenshotted it and yes, you are absolutely correct, this right here is the best line of the story. 

I’m currently practicing my tambour embroidery, which isn’t going well but I suspect it’s because I’m fucking terrible at anything involving genuine coordination, but once I’ve mastered it enough to like, get through a line without fucking up and destroying everything, I’m totally going to do “Let’s get this travesty started” on some dark fabric in rainbow metallic floss.

Maybe if it weren’t 86 and I weren’t fucking Suffering I’d be better at this. 



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