Letters Column for July

Thank you for your kind words,
Solarbird
Rene
Eric
Rana
Sparrowhawk
Tom
S
(unregistered) – “This is the best thing I’ve read all year.”
xx
BSD
BrandonQ
Requiem_17_23
November
BethL
incandescens
DrStalker
Dan

**

Is there anything else written in this world (horrors and variable-culture navies), or is this one of Rebecca’s one-shot creations?
— KarlBob

Nope! But this is a reflection of certain events broadcast on the news in the canonical universe.

**

I see no numerals in brackets… may we take this to mean that this is not a true history of the world? Because I’d be pretty disappointed if there WASN’T a giant lake of blood beneath Boston… how else could you explain why the Big Dig is taking so long?
— Pierre

The July 4th entry is in fact not canonical. I am sure that much of it is correct in the canon universe, but some things are off. It’s the price of looking at a world mostly through its fiction. :)

**

The last human was dead. The last human was already just a bodiless program.
— KarlBob

Why would you think that?

**

They may be rid of Satan, but the fact that they shot him tells me they haven’t eradicated evil.
— (unregistered)

Is shooting people evil?

**

Get this published somewhere, damn it, even if that means taking it down from here.
— S

I never can tell what people will like, I guess.

Sound off! Which kinds of entries would you rather I wrote more of?

**

“Mapping the empty regions.”

You know, empty regions are important too.
— pokeme

Indeed. :)

**

I’d bite them, but then I’d squawk a lot and try to bite them again! I think that’s better than just running away! ^_^
— Solarbird

Kids, can you see how Solarbird is deviating from the sanctioned McCarthy the Communism Dog Anti-Communism Safety Program?

**

It would actually be two thousand years between the Great Catastrophe and the time of Thundarr. Remember? “Two thousand years later, a strange new world rises from the old ? a world of savagery, super-science, and sorcery.”
— Tuxedo Slack

You’re forgetting that one thousand years have already passed since Thundarr first aired on the 1004 Saturday Morning Prophecy Hour.

Minor nitpick: it’s “Ariel! Ookla! *WE* RIDE!”
— S

Sure, that’s the usual translation, but the original Latin is ambiguous.

**

Can I check out the Throne of Skulls at one of Ikea’s stores(?)
— Sparrowhawk

Call ahead.

**

(Question about what it takes, besides “causing suffering deliberately,” to make a monster.)
— Pierre

I haven’t given a succinct definition yet. They suffer the burden of Amiel’s oath. They descend from the House of Atreus. If Mylitta and Nabodinus are correct, then monsters have chosen to inflict suffering on others.

**

Hmm. Is my theory valid, here? If it is, are other Ink legends connected to histories? Must reread Hitherby.
— Eric

:)

**

How do you go through a mirror without changing your handedness?
— GoldenH

Don’t reflect on it too much.

**

Why would schools for ragged things be allowed to exist, if they are so dangerous?
— Sparrowhawk

Well, they won’t get you, as long as there aren’t any mistakes and you aren’t in the wrong place at the wrong time. So they’re not that bad. :)

**

Jane forgot the toothpaste, didn’t she?
— Fodder Boy

:)

**

Although I would argue that a Buddha would be an answer to suffering in a sense, he would seemingly not be the type of answer that Maya wished to produce.
— Eric

The Buddha is in fact explicitly an answer to suffering. But you’re correct: he’s not the answer Maya wants.

I find your speculation on Jane, Martin, and Liril interesting, and invite you to continue, but will not comment at this time.

**

Silly question: does this make the Buddha a Demon in Hitherby cosmology?
— Sparrowhawk

Nope.

The “lesser vehicle” answers emptiness as it answers many other things—with the eightfold path. This is something that’s a lot more about right action and right mindfulness and right meditation and such than it is about acceptance. The greater vehicle is much harder to explain in a letters column, and I don’t know it as well. The Diamond Path . . . is a matter for another day.

**

I didn’t think HD was about historical events.
— Vaxalon

The shark king isn’t Bush.

The story acknowledged the ability to draw an analogy, but, really, it’s not an analogy I’d make. :)

**

ally plants?
— KarlBob

Plants that the shaman considers allies. Probably hallucinogenic or narcotic, but they could just be cute little herbs and ferns that squeaked, “Burn me! Burn me! I’ll give her the *best* vision!”

**
That’s it for now! Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting—even if you didn’t get thanked for a compliment or picked for a specific response—and see you again this coming month!

Rebecca

5 thoughts on “Letters Column for July

  1. Well, since you asked, despite my recent silences, I generally like two types of posts (Episodes? Installments? Issues?) the best:

    1. Those that are veiled (or not so veiled) references to pop culture (or the culture of my youth): Knight Rider, Sailor Moon, Thundarr, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.

    2. Those that are about who I generally think of as the “core cast” of Hitherby: Martin, Jane, Liril, Ink, etc.

    That said, I also prefer shorter posts to longer ones – I like to read Hitherby in my morning web-surfing at work, and longer posts prevent me from really doing that, forcing me to play catch-up on the weekends and making it tough for me to get my comments in when they’d be relevant. If Hitherby was in book form I wouldn’t have a problem with this (hint, hint!), but trying to read it daily I groan every time I see a long post (even though I generally end up enjoying said post anyway, eventually).

    – jason

  2. I don’t get much out of the more pop cultural entries, even though I did grow up vaguely in that period. Maybe I just had my head stuck in a book a lot of the time, but those shows never really became part of my own personal mythology (unlike, say, Buffy or the X-Men). I can’t loosen up enough to appreciate their incorporation, and I traded a bit of my apprecation of cosmic silliness for more of a sense of irony.

    I do like to read the more mytho-poetic entries and anything that seems set in your personal worlds that I can relate to. Some of them I can, some of them I can’t. A few are too far from my own head space. The entries where the language signifiers are more of a conglomerate sometimes cross too many genres, too many leaps for me, even though I like genre crossing.

    I don’t know. I think it has to do with the process of going through law school: I look for pattern and meaning, and an entry as being either part of the mythos as a whole (even if I don’t follow that the way some do, I appreciate that it’s there), or as a stand-alone meaning that I can unriddle. Generally I’m either very drawn-in to an entry, because it makes me dream or because I feel it’s part of a whole, or I bounce entirely. I follow characters and feelings, not the overall plot, though I can feel it’s there as a backbone.

    Hmm. I don’t think the above makes too much sense without me actually giving examples. Example: more individual entries that I can remember liking include “The Sea is Not Kind” (hauntingly Hemingway), the cosmic dancer vignette, and the Abu Ghraid monster reference. Longer pieces I love include anything with Ink (Narnia meets Sumeria; I’m fascinated by the lands of the dead, and Ink’s ability to explore the worlds). I’m also fascinated by the girl who went to the temple, waiting for men to choose her, and who has a very interesting connection with the monster-king. I can’t remember her name, I’m still groggy. But those two characters (Ink and the other woman) speak the most to me.

    On the other hand, “The Fortress of Christmas Future” struck me as vaguely off; I couldn’t connect. :) To sum it up, I don’t see the different types of entries as a flaw; they’re more like a required feature. You can’t please everyone.

    Mack

  3. I like Martin.
    I like Jane.
    I don’t like Liril.
    I like Mylitta and Nabodinus.
    I only like the pop culture references when I get them. :)
    I like juxtaposition of genre conventions. Particularly, the regency romance with mecha appealed.
    Mostly, though, I like Martin. He’s very comfortable.

    But it shouldn’t matter; just write what fits.

    P.S. I like woglies too!

  4. The last human was dead. The last human was already just a bodiless program.
    — KarlBob

    Why would you think that?

    Oops, my mistake. I assumed the flatlining monitor was attached to the machine that held his consciousness, and that the mention of his living very slowly meant that he was dilating his experience of time by running his program at a very slow cycle rate (or hers, of course). One assumption too many, I suppose.

    They may be rid of Satan, but the fact that they shot him tells me they haven’t eradicated evil.
    — (unregistered)

    Is shooting people evil?

    This one was me, too. Shooting people in itself may not be evil, but this shooting is questionable. Satan was giving a press conference surrounded by his friends, and fully expected to survive the day, based on his speech. The level of deceit involved in setting him up to be shot during that speech suggested evil to me, particularly if his friends were in on the plan (depends on who “they” refers to in the last sentence).

    I like the variety of entry styles. I enjoyed Rainbow Noir so much that I had to share it, so I printed it out and shoved it under people’s noses at work and at a book discussion group. The more “classical” myths are fun, too. Woglies and ragged things and other critters that straddle multiple worlds are fascinating.

    Overall, though, I think my favorites are the pop culture reference episodes.

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