Archive for September, 2007

What I Do In My Free Time

September 29, 2007

I’m in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, right now, and my son Sean is posting an item I wrote before I left.

What shall I see and what shall I learn while I’m away? I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to finding out. In the meantime, here’s a brief, ten-photo essay which I provided for a display at the conference. The organizers asked for ten pictures of each participants engaged in his or her hobbies. Which presented a problem for me because writing is my hobby. When I’m not writing to earn a living, I like to relax by writing something whimsical and unprofitable, like my biographical essay on Hope Mirrlees or “Fool Moon,” a love letter to Marianne which I wrote as a story on the cover of a moon-shaped lamp I bought at IKEA.

Nevertheless, I do get away from my desk occasionally, so I chose ten photos that give some idea of the range of things I most enjoy and sent them to Science Fiction World (the sponsor of the conference, as well as being a major SF magazine and the publisher of the Chinese translation of my Bones of the Earth), along with the following captions. I have no idea if they’re going to use the captions or not. Personally, I think they should. But that might not fit in with their display.

1. I Get Involved With Public Art. (This is in Stamford, Connecticut.)

2. I Write About Neglected Fantasy Writers. (Here I am, laying a rose on Hope Mirrlees’ family memorial in Glasgow, Scotland.).

3. I Waste Hours with Friends in a Sidewalk Cafe in Croatia.

4. I Spend Time With My Beautiful Wife, Marianne Porter.

5. I Interview Vladimir Mikhailov. (l-r: Mikhailov, me, Alexei Bezouglyi, translating)

6. I Speak With a Human Eyeball at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

7. I Have Dinner With My Friends, Russian Writer Andrew Matveev and His Wife Natalya Matveeva in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

8. I Hang Out With My Imagination.

9. I Study the History of Rocketry. (Inside the house of Sergei Korolev, “the Great Designer,” in Moscow.)

10. I Dance With Turtles.

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Diagramming Babel (Part 2)

September 28, 2007

I’m either in China right now, or on the plane to Chengu. But that doesn’t matter, because I arranged for my son Sean to post this, the second in a series of diagrams I used to help plot out The Dragons of Babel.

(Er, actually, he’s in Chicago. Apparently his flight was canceled because shrimp ate the wiring in the engines, or something, so his entire trip to China is pushed back twenty-four hours. Viva airtravel! –Sean)

Diagram 2. There are actually two diagrams here. Both are simpler than the first one was, and the larger of the two is almost a doodle, but I’ve introduced characters and that’s a step forward. The spiral in the big diagram represents the protagonist’s voyage through the novel from beginning (the base) to end (the peak). The metaphor of rising through the Tower of Babel to its very tip will later become literal.

The smaller diagram tracks three characters through a section of the novel. Each line represents one character. The line that goes straight, top to bottom, is Will le Fey, the protagonist. When lines of other characters travel alongside his both characters are in the plot. When lines diverge, one goes away. A slanting line suggests a character off on a plot of his or her own who only intersects with the protagonist’s plot for one event or scene.

The W stands for Will, the protagonist. The S is for a sister who never materialized. And of course the D is for the dragon. And the circle? That’s the moon. It represents all that is unobtainable, everything that can never be known or achieved or realized. Which is a lot of what this novel is secretly about.

I never said I wasn’t pretentious.

The text reads:

Does Will have a sister? A family?

A Journey on the “Left-Hand Path”

Definitely Klee’s “Limits of Understanding”

Annotations:
As it turns out, Will has no sister. The question of family is a lot more complicated than it looks.

Note that for the “left-hand path,” I carefully made the spiral counter-clockwise.

“Limits of Understanding” is a wonderful drawing by one of my favorite authors, which I’ve only seen reproduced in a mass-market paperback on Karl Jung. I spent months trying to find a better copy of it in art books and the Web. To no avail.

What Can Be Saved from the Wreckage?

September 27, 2007

The single coolest and most collectable book to be published this coming November has got to be What Can Be Saved From the Wreckage? James Branch Cabell in the Twentieth Century. It won’t be the most popular or profitable volume or the book of widest interest. But it will definitely be the coolest. And I wrote it!

Here’s the story. I started reading Cabell as a teenager, decades ago, when several of his fantasies were published in Lin Carter’s Adult Fantasy series. Early on, I conceived the ambition to read Cabell’s entire oeuvre and began collecting his works (most of which could and still can be bought quite cheaply in used book stores) as I encountered them. A couple of years ago, I got serious about the project, and with the aid of the rare book room in the University of Pennsylvania Library, managed to complete reading everything the man had ever published, with the exception of his family genealogies. Which, however, I did glance at, to make sure there wasn’t anything clever going on there. I also read a lot of criticism and all I could find out about the man’s life. Then I wrote an 18,500-word essay (counting my extravagant footnotes) summarizing Cabell’s life and carefully weighing the value of his works.

It begins:

There are, alas, an infinite number of ways for a writer to destroy himself. James Branch Cabell chose one of the more interesting. Standing at the helm of the single most successful literary career of any fantasist of the twentieth century, he drove the great ship of his reputation straight and unerringly onto the rocks.

It is hard to imagine today the magnitude of James Branch Cabell’s fame in the early part of the last century. Cabell’s books were Mark Twain’s chief reading in the great humorist’s declining years. Theodore Roosevelt received him at the White House. The occultist Aleister Crowley harried him with fan letters. H. L. Mencken was his advocate. A symphonic tone poem based on Cabell’s Jurgen debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1925. Sinclair Lewis, accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930, mentioned him as one of a number of writers who might reasonably have won it.

Yet he died as good as forgotten. A 1958 memorial by Edmund Wilson, a late convert to his work, began, “I do not know how many people will feel a special sense of loss at the death of James Branch Cabell.” Today there is little left to remind people of what he once was. Jurgen is still read in the Dover paperback edition, and hard-core fantasy fans seek out the Ballantine reprints of his other fantasies in used bookstores. But that’s pretty much it. The other day I received in the mail a copy of Jurgen, personally inscribed To Anita “Star of my Life” and signed “Jimmy” Cabell. It cost me twenty dollars, including postage. A comparable book by William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, or F. Scott Fitzgerald – to name two writers he could not abide and a third who once humbly begged a blurb from him for The Beautiful and the Damned – would have set me back a bundle.

This remarkable feat of self-obliteration was accomplished through diligence, hard work, and a perverse brilliance of timing on Cabell’s part. His chief tool was a uniform edition of his works.

I happen to think this is a good essay, but that’s not what makes its book publication extraordinary. The coolness factor derives directly from Henry Wessells, the publisher. Henry is a serious rare book man (he works for James Cummins, Bookseller in New York City, which is one of the very first places you’ll want to go shopping after winning big in the lottery), and his imprint, Temporary Culture, is issuing the book in two states. One is a trade paperback (6 x 9 inches, 64 pp.) edition of 200, very reasonably priced at fifteen dollars. It’s the limited edition hardcover that jacks up the cool quotient to eleven.

But before I should explain why, let me briefly mention the introduction and the man who wrote it. “Jurgen Down Under,” is a very graceful piece of writing by the estimable Barry Humphries, reflecting on his first encountering the then-scandalous Jurgen in the 1950s Australia of his youth. Barry Humphries is best known to the world as Dame Edna, but you don’t have to know anything of his comedic brilliance to appreciate the essay he wrote.

Now, as to the hardcover . . . It will be printed in an edition of 17 numbered copies, each one signed by me, Barry Humphries, and James Branch Cabell. This last is a bit of a trick, given that Cabell died almost fifty years ago, but Henry Wessells achieved it by sacrificing an incomplete set of the Storisende Edition of Cabell’s works (originally 18 volumes) and harvesting the signed leaves. Neat, huh? Most of those copies are already spoken for, so if you desperately need one, you’d better move fast. Serious collectors can inquire for a subscription price, which (the press release says), “includes shipping within the USA and a copy of the trade issue.” So you can read the essay and still keep the pages of the limited edition pristine and uncut, you see.

Order and inquiries should go not to me but to:

Henry Wessells
P.O. Box 43072, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043-0072 USA
Electronym : wessells(at)aol(dot)com

The Single Best Thing Anybody Ever Said to Me About Awards

September 26, 2007

I’ve just learned that “Lord Weary’s Empire,” an excerpt from The Dragons of Babel that was rewritten and published as an independent story, came in third for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. The award itself went to Robert Charles Wilson for “The Cartesian Theater,” and second place went to Robert Reed for “A Billion Eves.”

There’s something particularly pleasurable about placing close to an award but not getting it. You don’t have to be graciously modest about it, for one thing. Nor are you required to board an airplane and fly to a distant awards ceremony. You get all the satisfaction of knowing that other people think well of your work without any of the obligations attendant upon winning.

Di I hear somebody say “sour grapes?” Well, I understand your skepticism. But I mean it. It would have been pleasant to win – it’s always pleasant to win – but it wasn’t necessary. Back a decade-and-a-half ago, when Stations of the Tide won the Hugo for Best Novel, William Gibson called me long-distance from Vancouver to congratulate me at rather expensive-to-him length. Which shows you the kind of Mensch that Bill is. I mean, I considered him a friend but not so close a friend that I would have noticed if he hadn’t called. And in the course of the phone conversation, he said the single best thing anybody ever said to me about awards.

“Now that you’ve got a Nebula,” Gibson said, “you need never want one again. That ‘Nebula-Award winner’ tag will follow you around for the rest of your life like a little puppy. They can’t take it away from you for bad behavior. Winning twenty more won’t make it any larger.”

Have you guessed by now that I already have a Sturgeon? It was for “The Edge of the World,” back in 1990.

So thanks, Bill! Thanks for freeing from Nebula Fever. Congratulations to Robert Charles Wilson for winning the award! Best of luck in the future to Robert Reed, whose work has been regularly placing on the short list in recent years and whose “Mere” came in third in 2005.

You see how pleasant that is? I get to be a good sport and simultaneously brag about having already won the Sturgeon. Not to mention the Nebula. And, what the heck, five Hugos.

Diagramming Babel (Part 1)

September 25, 2007

Greg Frost and I were having dinner with Janis Ian once when something one of us said made her exclaim, “Writers have even bigger egos than musicians!”

We both nodded complacently. “Of course,” Greg said.

“Musicians have to be able to play well with others,” I explained.

So, as a typical writer, I confidently expect that whatever civilization comes after ours will revere me as a saint. And when they place my statue in their cathedrals, they’ll have no trouble assigning a symbol to it (like Saint Agatha’s bells or Peter’s keys) so people will know who it’s supposed to represent. My statue will be holding a notebook, because that’s what’s almost always in my hands. There are people who have known me over a quarter of a century and never once seen me without one.

Three of my notebooks (the Scribbledehobbledehoydenii as they’re collectively monickered) were dedicated to The Dragons of Babel, so I went through them to see what I might post. Among the scribbles and sketches and coffee stains, I found plot diagrams. Lots and lots of plot diagrams.

This probably leads you to imagine me as being terribly organized in a crisp and Teutonic way, projecting laser plotlines across the vast emptiness of prosespace. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I was doing was not so much plotting the way forward, as trying to figure out what the heck was going on. I invented my own diagram structure with lines representing each character so I could plot their comings and goings. Sometimes the diagrams helped keep track of who was in play and who wasn’t. Sometimes they helped make clear exactly why a section wasn’t working. Other times, the novel was going fine, and I simply didn’t bother with them.
Marianne (my wife, the love of my life, and the “M. C. Porter Endowment for the Arts” mentioned in all of my book acknowledgments) finds these things fascinating and baffling all at once. “Do they really mean anything?” she’ll ask me occasionally. Oh, yes, I assure her. I couldn’t write the novel was going without them. She trusts me, and so she takes my word on this.

Marianne also thinks that other people will be interested in seeing the diagrams and thus getting a glimpse into what we ink-stained wretches call, with varying degrees of bitterness and bemusement , “the creative process.” I have faith in her judgment. So that’s what I’ll do.

I’ll post the second one next Wednesday, a week from today, and keep on doing so until I’ve run through them all or else my readers’ patience, whichever comes first.

Reproduced above is the first diagram. Now for my explanation of what it says.

Diagram 1. This is as crude and inchoate as they get. The diagram was made in 2002, three years and something like six notebook pages after I decided to write the novel in 1999. This is a gestation period that even an elephant might feel horrified pity for. I was trying to figure out what the novel would look like, feel like, be about . . . So it turns out that The Dragons of Babel, like Ymer arising out of the primal chaos of Ginugagap, began as almost pure abstraction.

From top to bottom, it says:

returning from Burning Man, Dave Brown found Las Vegas overwhelming.

No Control

A human construct must be imperfect

NO UNITY
NO AGREEMENT
NO SINGLE THOUGHT
NO SHARED CULTURE!

people pray

Not all of Man’s works are good

people pray

The Problem of Authenticity
A City is Built on Restraint as Much as Ambition
A sonic tower, moving within time
In such an environment, how can you pray?

people pray

Wilson Goode baffled by Marianne
RANDOM MOTIONS
Social Structure Reflected in the Physical
conflicting impressions

people pray

Drunkard’s Walk “I thought yr old man was God.”
The city as sorting mechanism
sustaining music
* TENSION & RESTRAINT
The foundation of this city is an unacknowledged courage
“If you don’t work, why are you here?”

people pray

BLIND STRUCTURE:
How many?
“A billion windows and not one eye”
This is Davy Crockett’s Buffalo: Too Big For Any Man to See

annotations:


“I thought your old man was God.” At my Aunt Helen’s funeral, one of my relatives reminisced to another about another his father, a fireman, dropping by for a cup of coffee after a big fire, streaked with soot and smelling of smoke.

Wilson Goode is a former mayor of Philadelphia, and it was on his watch that the confrontation with MOVE occurred and we became the only American city ever to bomb itself. Marianne and I met him at a church breakfast at Roxborough Baptist Church. Funny story. Remind me to tell you it sometime.

The Dragons of Babel

September 24, 2007

The funny thing about making a living as a writer is how eventless it seems as you’re doing it, and how varied when you sit back and take stock. When Marianne comes home after a long day protecting the health of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and asks how my day went, I’ll hold up my hands and wiggle my fingers: “Like that.” Because, really, that’s all I do. Writing as a spectator sport ranks right up there with World Federation Napping.

But take a glim at the picture above. That’s Stephan Martiniere’s original artwork for The Dragons of Babel, my new fantasy novel, coming out in December, 2007. Pretty nifty, eh? Martiniere is a jack-of-all-trades artist. He was the visual art director for games (like Uru: Ages Beyond Myst) that even I’ve heard of, was nominated for an Emmy for an animated film he directed, won an award for his work on a theme park, and on and on and on. And, of course, he does book covers.

So, yeah, that day wasn’t entirely eventless.

The scan was sent to me by David Hartwell, my editor at Tor, who also said I should start a blog for the express purpose of promoting the book. “But make it interesting,” he said. “There are a thousand sites out there with the first chapter of a novel and a scan of the cover. Nobody cares for that anymore. They want to see something different. The more different interesting things, the better.”

Okay, I said. That’s what I’ll do.

And here I am.

Reflecting on what I might possibly include or talk about as incentives for people to drop by regularly, I off the top of my head came up with the following short list:

bottled stories
the odd piece of art or three by the inimitable Jason Van Hollander
the single most collectable book to be published this coming November
electric pickles
photos from my research trip to Moscow this March
my many collaborations with Eileen Gunn
my noble and probably quixotic crusade to destroy a literary term
and (probably) more photos and stories from my upcoming trip to Chengdu, China.

Which, again, suggests that my life is not nearly so eventless as it seems to me.

But, of course, if I’m going to be flogging The Dragons of Babel, I’d better come up with interesting things to post that relate directly to it. Such as the list of Entities, Places, Things (below), which I created to speed the copy editing along. I learned long ago that if you’re going to fill a novel with strange words and Odd Capitalizations, a list like this can spare the copy editor worlds of trouble and thus make him or her more kindly disposed toward the author, and more likely to assume that I might have some rough idea of what I’m doing in the novel. Still, when I assembled this list, I was astonished how many different fairy types and characters there actually were in the novel. It’s as thronged with ‘em as Richard Dadd’s The Fairy Feller’s Masterstroke.

The list is slightly altered to avoid spoiling plot surprises. No “Norman Bates’s mother (actually Bates himself) here. Though such entries are indeed useful to the copy editor.

Another thing David Hartwell said was that the blog would have to be updated two or three times a week, “without fail.” So, all right. I will commit here and now to updating the blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mondays and Wednesdays absolutely and positively, and Fridays if at all possible. (I threw that last bit in just to give myself a little wriggle room, but I don’t expect to need it.)

If there’s anybody out there who doesn’t find this more than enough already, you can also check out my Web page, www.michaelswanwick.com, which is chock-a-block with fiction, essays, a writing column that does its best to cut off all new talent at the knees, and I forget exactly what else. There’s a lot of it, though.

See you on Wednesday!

Entities, Places, Things:

This list is for the assistance of the proofreader. It is not intended to go into the book.

A

abatwa (singular and plural)
the Aelfwine
Aesop
Ethan Allen
the Alphabet of Trees
alphonse (slang for a kept man)
Amnye Machen (not Amne Machin)
Annapurna
Anastasia, Aunt Anastasia, Auntie
Antiope
Ariel
the Armies of the Mighty
the Armies of Twilight
the Armory
the Army of Night
Alberecht
Alberecht & Ting, Gastrolitheurs
albino giants
Alcyone L’Inconnu, Alcyone, Allie
Muhammad Ali
an apple imp
Bessie Applemere, Hag Applemere
Ararat (both mountain and skyscraper)
the Assay
ATF (Alchemy, Tobacco, and Firearms)
Atlantean
Auld Black Agnes
Auntie Fox
Avalon, the Isles of Avalon
the awen

B

Baal-Peor
Babel, the Tower of Babel, the Tower, the Dread Tower, the Tower of Whores
Babylonia, Babylon, Babylonians
Captain Bagabyxas
The Ballad of Oberon’s Arse
banshees
barnacle geese
basilisk
Bast
Battery Park, the Battery
the battle-light
the Bay of Demons
Behemoth
Beluthahatchie
Puck Berrysnatcher
bindlestiffs
bird maidens
a BlackBerry
William Blake
the Blessed Isles
Block A
Block G
Fata Bloduewedd
bluebell sprites
Blue Mountain coffee
Bobby Buggane
bodhran
boggart
Sergeant Bombast
Bonecrusher, ‘Crusher
les bonnes meres
Boodles
Bowie knife
the Bowery
Bowling Green Station
Bowie knife
the Breakneck Boys, the Breaknecks
the Brig o’ Doom, the Brig-O
Brigadoon
Broadway
Brocielande
Brocielande Station
brown men
Bruegel
bucentaurs
the burning man, the Burning Man (first usage is l.c.; thereafter, a proper name), the lancer
Burroughs

C

cacodemons
Cadillac
Fata Caldogatto
Master Cambion
Campaspe
Camp Oberon, Oberon Displaced Persons Camp, Oberon DPC
Candlemas eve
capricorn (lower case)
the Cauldron Boy
centaurs
the center square (later known as Tyrant Square)
the Century of the Turbine
Ceridwen
Cernunnos
chalkies
the Chansons Amoreuses de Merlin Sylvanus
Charlemagne
chimney-bounder
chimneysweeper (dandelion)
Chippendale
Chittiface
the City Garda
City Council
City Hall
City Services
clabbersnappers
Le Club Frottage
Cluricauns, cluricauns (capitalized when short for the Society of Cluricauns; lower case
otherwise)
the Society of Cluricauns
a cobber
cobbley, cobblies
Coleman lantern
the Commandant
the Lord High Comptroller
Conestoga wagon
the Contingent Territories
Coronata
Corpsecandle Green
the Council of Magi, the Council
crones
crystal goon, goon
the Criminal Vengeance Division
the Cult of Profane Love
Cuvier
cyclops
cynocephali

D

Daiera, Damia, Danae (names that are not Deianira’s)
Daisy Jenny
daliphants
the Darul as-Salam Arcades
the Daughters of the West
the dawn-times
day of the Kraken
day of the Labrys
day of the Toad
the Debatable Hills
Deianira, Deianira the Diener (a diener)
Jack Dempsey
Fata d’Etoile
devil
Diddy-Wah-Diddy
dinters
dire wolf, dire wolves
Division of Signs and Omens
djinni
the Dockalfar
Dockweed
Donkey Ears
downs trolls
Downtown
House sayn-Draco
a dragon (also known as the old war-drake, the Worm, Father of Lies, Lord Dragon, etc., etc.)
dragon-mouth
dragons, war-dragons, war-drakes
Dragon Stout
Pippin Droit-de-Seigneur (old Stinky)
drows,
Drumbelo
the Duchess
The Duchess’s Hole
Duesenbergs
Dullahan the Deathless (Bobby Buggane)
Dunbar
duppy, duppies, duppy-man
dwarf, dwarves, dwarven, dwarvenkind.
Dwarvenhelm
dwarves, black (black hair, pale skin)
dwarves, red (ginger hair, swarthy skin)
the dwellers-in-the-depths

E

the East
Eitri
Duke Ellington
elf-brat, elf-girl, elf-lady, elf-lord, elf-pack
elle-mays
Fata Elspeth (‘Speth)
elven, high-elven (not elfin)
Embarr
the Empire of Night, Lord Weary’s Empire
Blind Enna
Enoycla
Epona, the queen-mare
Ereshkigal (one of the Seven)
Esme

F

Fabergé
Fäerie
Fäerie Minor
Fäerie Major
Falstaff
the Fane of Darkness
Faulkner
fauns
Fennbennech Ai
Eilrik von Fenris
fetches
feys
feyling
the Fifth Amazons
Fifth Avenue.
Daddy Fingerbones
fire-hopper
fire-mites
the First Age
the Fisher King
the Fisher King’s disease
Gustave Flaubert
the flesh folk
Florian of House L’Inconnu, Florian L’Inconnu
fluffer
follet
the Fôret de Verges
the forges of the sunset
fossegrim
Kim Freydisdottir
Fuji

G

Galadriel, Gal, Laddie-girl
Fata Gardsvord
gargoyles
the Gates of Dawn
geas
Generalissimo Lizardo
ghast
Ghostface
the Gihon
Ginarr Gnomesbastard
Ginny Gall
Givenchy
Glaistig
glamour (delusory magic) is given the British spelling to distinguish it from glamor
glamour-wallahs
gnomes
goat-girl
goblin market
the Goddess
godemiché
Gog, Magog, and Gogmagog
the Gorge
Grammarie Fields
Grand Central Station
Grandfather Domovoy
Grangousier
Grannystone Hill
the great forges of the East
the Great River
great-great-great-grandmother (Will’s stone-mother)
Green Knight
the greenshirties
‘griffer
griffins
grig
grimhounds
grimpkin
the Guardians of the Four Quarters
gutter-haints

H

Captain Hackem
Hagmere Pond.
hags
haints
the halls of granite
the hammermen
Handel’s Water Music
the Hanging Gardens, the Gardens, the Hanging Gardens of Babel
Hard Rock Cafe
Hardy
Harlem
Harleys
harpy
the healing-women
Hell
hell-hounds
Hell’s Kitchen
Hengroen
Hermes
Herodotus
the hero-light
hippogriffs
His Absent Majesty
His Absent Majesty’s Air Force, the Air Force
His Absent Majesty’s governance
thane-lady Hjördis
hobs
hobthrushes
Hodge
Holvarpnia
the Holy City
the holmgangulog
Annie Hop-the-Frog
horned-god’s paintbrush
the horse-folk
Fata von und zu Horselberg.
Hotspur
Hound of Hoolan
houris
Fata L’Inconnu
House L’Inconnu
huaca
hudkin
hulders
Lord Humbaba
humble-bees (not bumble-bees), p. 188
hummingirls
Hy-Brasil
hytersprites

I

Ice
the Ice Tongs Man
Ichabod the Fool
ichthyocentaur
igoshas
Imate li što za prijaviti?” (Croatian)
Immigration Control
imps
Inanna
incubae
the Inner World
Iria
Irn Bru
itchikitchies
the Ivory Gate

J

Lord Jaegerwulf
Jasconius
Fata Jayne
Jenny Jumpup, Jenny, Jen
Jeyes Fluid
Jimi Begood
johatsu (both singular and plural)
John-a-dreams
John the Conqueror root
Joyeuse (Charlemagne’s sword)
Jumping Joan
the Just and Honorable Guild of Rogues, Swindlers, Cozeners, and Knaves

K

the ka
Fata Kahindo
Kashan
Kawasaki
the Khazar Dynasty
Kilimanjaro
kinderofenfrauen
the King’s Master of Revels
kitty-witches
klude
kobolds
Koboldtown
Kokudza
korigan
kraken
K-Y Jelly

L

Lady Favor-Me-Not
Lady Nightlady
the lancers
the Land of Fire
the Land of Youth
Lapland
Lord Lascaux,
the Legless One
lemans (lovers)
Lemuria
lex mundi
lex talionis
Liane the Wanderer
lidocaine
the lighthouse of Rhodes
Queen Lilith
lily-maid
Lily St. Dionysée
Fata L’Inconnu
House L’Inconnu
the Lion Guard
the Liosalfar
Little Thule
Little Tommy Redcap
Litvak night-hags
Lords of Babel
Lords of the Governance
Lords of the Mayoralty
the Lower East Side
lubberkins
lubin
Sergeant Lucasta
luck-eater
lunars
lux aeterna

M

Queen Mab’s lace
the Mad Dog
mages
Magh Mell
magicks
Maglites
mahoff
St. John Malice
manticore, manticore cub
Marduk, Marduk XVII, Marduk XXIII, Marduk XXIV
Big Red Margotty
Little Red Margotty
Mariachi pants
Marlboros
Martin Pecker
Masamune
mawkies
Maxwell’s imp of the perverse
the Mayoralty
Mary McCarthy
the Master of the Tests
McDonald’s
McKinley
Meadows Trail
the Meatpacking District
mermaids
Meru
Midtown
milchdicks
Milton
the mirror-boy
Fata Misericordia
Molotov cocktails
Mom-Mom
Hornbori Monadnock
monoceros
moonsilver
mosstroopers
the Mother of Beasts
the Mother of Darkness
Mother Griet, Mom-Mom, Grietchen
Mother Night (one of the Seven)
the Motsognirsaga
Mozart
the Mountains of the Moon [see Ptolemy]
Mud Street
muera
Mumpoker

N

the Nameless Ones
Nanshe (El Sonámbula, der Träumengeist, L’Oneiroi des Reves)
Mullah Nasreddin
Nat Whilk
neuromancers
Niflheim, Niflheim Station, Niflheimers
night-gaunts
Night Striders
King Nimrod
Nineveh Station
night-gaunts
nissen
nixies
Nixon
nkisi nkonde
nocnictas
North Sea
nymphs

O

the Obsidian Throne (the Unmoving Pivot of the World, the Perilous Siege)
Oceanus
ogres
ogress
Old City Hall
the Old Forest
oliphaunt
Olympus
onis
Oracle
oroborus (not ouroboros)
the Outer World

P

the Palace of Leaves
Papa
Phidias
Phobetor
phoenix
Phragmites
Dan Picaro
pie-powders court
Pierrot, Monsieur Pierrot, Lord Pierrot
Little Pikku
pillywiggins
pixie dust
poldies
the polis
the polits
the political police
Political Security
Popocatépetl
Pop-Pop
Porte Molitor Station, Porte Molitor
the potter and her ‘prentices
les poulettes, une poulette (the political police)
a Power
Prester John
the Pretender
the prisoner of Elfland
the Public Library

R

Radegonde de la Cockaigne
Ralph the Ferrier
the Rat’s Nose
Raven
Red Stripe
Rembrandt
Jack Riddle, Captain Jack Riddle, Captain Riddle, Captain Jack, Jack the Lucky
the River Road
the rock people
rock troll
the Roxy Movie Theater
russalka
Ruthenians

S

sackbut
saddle-owl
salamander
Salem Toussaint, Alderman Toussaint, the Big Guy, the Boss
Saligos de Gralloch
Salinger
Fata Melusine Sansculotte
satyrs
Schuyler
the Scissors-Grinder (old Tanarahumra)
Scorpion
scorpion-men
the Scrannel Dogge
the Scythe
Scythian lamb
the sea-elves
selkies
Selene (the moon)
Dame Serena
the Seven
Seville
the Shadowlands
Shelley
shellycoats
Sherlock Holmes Junior
Shorty (Hrothgar Thalwegsson)
Detective Shulpae
sibyls
the Sigil of Inspiration
Siktir git! (Turkish)
simurgh
Sinai
Sirrush
Sixth Avenue
Slovaks
Christopher Sly
snake’s-head
soleils
Solomon
the Sons of the Blest
the Sons of Corrin (crows)
The Sons of Fire
sorcerer-elves
Sousa
the Southern Seas
Soyez
Spadefoot
Sparrowgrass
Spillikin
spook (racist slang for haint)
Jack and Nora Sprat
sprets
sprites
spunks
Stardust, stardust (the song is capitalized, the substance not)
the Starveling
Sterno
stickfellas
the Straits of Hyperborea
straw man
the Sucker Punch A.C.
the Sullen Man
swamp-gaunt
Swiss Army knife
the swordsfey St Vier (no period after St)
sylphs

T

Tabriz
T’ai Shan (not to be confused with Tai-hang Shan)
Tartarus Station
Tatterwag
tatzlwurms
Teggish (informal adj. for the Tylwyth Teg)
the teind
Tenali Raman
Thai shit demons
Hrothgar Thalwegsson (Shorty)
Third Street Station
the Thousand Races
three card Monte
the tidewater
the tinker
Tir na bOg (not a typo for Tir na nOg)
Titans
tokoloshe
Tomba
Tom Nobody
the Tower of Whores, the Dread Tower, the Tower of Kings, the Tower (Babel)
the transit police
trolls, trollish, trollweight
trooping fairies
truth-tellers
tusse
Tylwyth Teg (golden-skinned, leaf-eared)

U

Unca Will
Uluru
undine
ungodsly (not ungodly)
unicorn
the Unmoving Pivot of the World (the Obsidian Throne)
the Upper West Side
Uptown, uptown (capitalized when a place or adjective, but not when a direction)
Ur
the Urals
Urdumheim
urchins

V

“Vašu putovnicu, molim!” (Croatian)
Vendemiaire
Lord Venganza
Vespa
Vickie, Victoria il Volpone Sheherazade Jones, Contessa Victoria il Volpone
vila
the village
the village elders
the village moot
the vixen
vodniks

W

the War
water dragons
Lord Weary
Wedgwood
the West (a region)
the West (a Titan)
the West Side
the Western Paradise
Nat Whilk
Whinny Moor Landfill
the whisperer, the Whisperer (first three times lower case, upper case thereafter), Whisperer
Whistler
the White Ladies
whitesmiths, the whitesmith
wild man of the forest, wild man, wild men
Will le Fey, Will, Master Le Fey, Unca Will
[Winds]: the Anemoi, Boreas, Zephyros, Notos, Euros, Tramontana, Ponente, Ostro Levante,
Maestro, Libeccio, Siroco, Greco
Le Wine Bar
winged bulls, bulls, man-bulls, bull-man
witch-women
witches
witchwart
wizards
wodewose
woods-elf
Woolf
wraith
Frank Lloyd Wright
Wyrm
wyverns

X

Detective Xisuthros
Xylia of Arcadia

Y

the yage-witch
yakshis
yarbles (balls)
the Year Eater (one of the Seven)
the year of the Grasshopper
year of the Monolith
yellow-jackets (soldiers)
Yggdrasil, the world tree
Yoshi
Ys

Z

Zorya Vechernayaya.

Hello China!

September 23, 2007

This is a mirror-site blog, of sorts. I’m starting it because many of my friends in China want to know why they can’t read my regular blog, Flogging Babel. Well . . . as it turns out, the Chinese government blocks access to Blogspot, the hosting entity altogether. So my blog, which contains nothing objectionable to the PRC, is simply caught up with everything else.

So what I’m going to do is this: Starting tomorrow, I’ll post a new entry every day, starting from the beginning of my original blog. Since I’ve been posting three or four times a week, it’ll take less than a month to catch up. After which, I’ll post new blog entries to both sites simultaneously.

And that’s all. My first post touching upon my recent visit to Chengdu should go up in about a week.