Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Sixty-Five


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Greetings, fellow soldiers and scholars! This week our intrepid friend Alice is imprisoned in an icy cage of power outages and snowstorms and hence won’t be joining us, but Aubree and I are ready to don our colorful caps and journey through the Oathgate to Azimir with Dalinar. What will he find here? Edgedancers? Noodles? Pancakes? Maybe even… essays and agreements?! Come along and find out on this week’s edition of Politics Made (Not) Fun and (Never) Easy!

Reminder: We’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the entire novel in each reread. There are no greater Cosmere spoilers in this chapter’s reread, but if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Dalinar Kholin
WHERE: Azimir (L: For this map, I’ve included a simple color key and some approximate locations of armies mentioned in the chapter, as well as ...

Fast Times at Miskatonic High: Molly Tanzer’s “The Thing on the Cheerleading Squad”


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Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading Molly Tanzer’s “The Thing on the Cheerleading Squad,” first published in the 2015 anthology, She Walks in Shadows, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles. Spoilers ahead.

“There’s no heaven. There’s no hell. There’s only you, me and this.”

Summary

Veronica Waite, fresh from Bible Camp, is starting her junior year at Miskatonic High. She can’t understand why her friend Natalie’s in a bad mood. Just because Natalie had to work all vacation at the First Methodist day care and hasn’t made the varsity cheerleading squad (like Veronica) is no reason for her to get sore. Then Veronica’s cousin Asenath doesn’t get on the bus at her stop. Top student and ...

Introducing the Children of Blood and Bone Reread


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Children of Blood and Bone was a hit before it even made it out of edits. Tomi Adeyemi wrote the first draft in just a month. Less than a year later she sold her manuscript and earned one of the biggest advances in the history of young adult fiction. Not long after that, Fox 2000 picked up the film rights for development.

Publisher’s Weekly gave the novel a starred review, stating, “By making tangible the power that comes from embracing one’s heritage, Adeyemi conjures a story that resonates with magic both literal and figurative while condemning apathy in the face of injustice.” The Atlantic beamed with enthusiasm at the story’s Afrofuturist tendencies, noting that “reimagining oppressive pasts and envisioning far-off futures are closely linked revolutionary acts—meditations on the nature of power that can revive the creative potential of speculative fiction.”

Luckily, none of that is hype: the book ...

Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Sixty-Four


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Top of the morning to you, oh fine rereaders of the Oathbringer! Welcome back to the excruciatingly detailed investigation, as we sit in on a highly informative conversation between Dalinar and the Stormfather. Also, Bridge Four. Also also, team Sadeas fail.

Reminder: We’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the entire novel in each reread. This week, there’s no direct discussion of wider Cosmere issues. But if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Dalinar
WHERE: Urithiru, Azimir
WHEN: 1174.2.1.5 (11 days after his last appearance in Chapter 59; 8 days after Chapter 63)

Dalinar retrieves Jezrien’s Honorblade from its hiding place, and has a protracted discussion of Heralds and Bondsmiths on his way to deliver it to Bridge Four; he’s hoping they can use it to continue practicing their Windrunner powers in Kaladin’s absence. He ...

The Perils of Genealogical Research, Part 57: August Derleth’s “The Seal of R’lyeh”


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Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading August Derleth’s “The Seal of R’lyeh,” first published in 1962 in The Mask of Cthulhu. (Transcription at the link has difficulty with divisions between words, but appears mostly accurate and readable.) Spoilers ahead.

“Here and there, woven into rugs—beginning with that great round rug in the central room—into hangings, or plaques—was a design which seemed to be of a singularly perplexing seal, a round, disc-like pattern bearing on it a crude likeness of the astronomical symbol of Aquarius, the water-carrier—a likeness that might have been drawn remote ages ago, when the shape of Aquarius was not as it is today—surmounting a hauntingly indefinite suggestion of a buried city, against which, in ...

Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Sixty-Three


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Hello, there, friends of the Cosmere! Welcome back to the Oathbringer reread for this week’s installment, in which Shallan has some mighty sharp adventures. Also, many-layered disguises. Come on in, the shadows are fine everywhere, and really creepy. As are a lot of the people, come to think of it.

Reminder: We’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the entire novel in each reread. There are no spoilers in the post this week, though we make no promises about the comments. But if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Shallan/Veil
WHERE: Kholinar city streets and palace (Lyn: As before, the below map is my best guess as to a route, especially once they get into the palace. It seems logical that that long hallway is the one they carried Veil down, but I have no real idea ...

Oathbringer chapter 63

Sleep Deprivation of the Gods: Jeremiah Tolbert’s “The Dreamers of Alamoi”


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Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading Jeremiah Tolbert’s “The Dreamers of Alamoi,” first published in Jesse Bullington and Molly Tanzer’s Swords V. Cthulhu anthology in 2016. Spoilers ahead.

“The dream plagues are the dreams of Them—those titans and gods from before language and song, the horrors banished outside by the first fires and spears.”

Summary

The madman is called Garen the Undreaming, among other less flattering names. He “leaves stories in his wake like petals from a dying flower,” and by this trail those who need his services find him, whether in a brothel, a winery or a temple–the places where he seeks relief pleasure for his “fractured mind.”

Scholars Meldri and Besthamun root out Garen ...

Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Sixty-Two


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Greetings and hallucinations salutations, O Fair and Friendly Rereaders! (No greetings if you’re unfair or unfriendly? Hmmm… maybe I’d better rethink that greeting.) Welcome back to the Oathbringer Reread, where we’re about to watch Shallan get creative in her efforts to document what they’re seeing in Kholinar. Also, lots of information about what’s going on in the city. Information! Lots of information! Not, unfortunately, all the information, though; some, we’re still guessing.

Reminder: we’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the entire novel in each reread. This week, the post only includes a nod to the upcoming Worldhopper Revelation without really talking about it. But if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Shallan
WHERE: Kholinar, in the home of Adolin’s tailors (L: No map this week, as they don’t travel anywhere…) (AA: Yeah, we don’t ...

No Bargains at the Used Tome Store: Karl Edward Wagner’s “I’ve Come to Talk With You Again”


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Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading Karl Edward Wagner’s “I’ve Come to Talk With You Again.” You can find it most easily in Lovecraft’s Monsters; it first appeared in Stephen Jones’s 1995 anthology Dark Terrors: The Gollancz Book of Horror. Spoilers ahead.

“The music box was moaning something about ‘everybody hurts sometime’ or was it ‘everybody hurts something.’”

Summary

Jon Holsten is an American writer hailed as the “finest of the later generation of writers in the Lovecraftian school,” which earns him a modest living and an annual trip to London. He meets five of his old mates at a pub called the Swan, where the smell of mildew and tobacco irritate his nose, the racket of ...

Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Sixty-One


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Greetings, fair rereaders, and welcome back to Kholinar! It’s sneaky-time for our intrepid crew, as they take on some unexpected disguises and attempt to make their way into the city without being recognized by the locals or attacked by the Voidbringers. Wish them luck, because it’s weird in this man’s town.

Reminder: We’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the entire novel in each reread. There are very minor spoilers for Warbreaker under Cosmere Connections. Very minor. But if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Kaladin
WHERE: Kholinar environs, city. (Lyn: This route on the map is my best guess. I’m assuming they came in the southern gate since they’d have been approaching the city from the south to begin with, and they pass the market… Then, in a later chapter, it takes Veil several hours to ...

Bad Influences From Atlantis: H.P. Lovecraft and Adolphe de Castro’s “The Last Test”


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Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading H. P. Lovecraft and Adolphe de Castro’s “The Last Test,” a revision of de Castro’s original “A Sacrifice to Science,” first published in In the Confessional and the Following in 1893; the revised version first appeared in the November 1928 issue of Weird Tales. Spoilers ahead.

“Humanity! What the deuce is humanity? Science! Dolts! Just individuals over and over again!”

Summary

Few know the inside story of the Clarendon affair, which culminated in the death of genius bacteriologist Alfred Clarendon. His longtime friend and supporter, Governor James Dalton, and his sister Georgina, now Mrs. Dalton, know the truth, but they never speak of it.

Clarendon traveled the world seeking an antitoxin ...

Stolen Bodies, Warped Minds—Wild Cards IX: Jokertown Shuffle


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Hello again, and welcome back to the Wild Cards reread! Here we are with 1991’s Jokertown Shuffle (Book IX), the second installment of the jumper trilogy (falling between One-Eyed Jacks and Dealer’s Choice). In April of 2019, Tor will be republishing the book along with two new stories by Carrie Vaughn and Cherie Priest. This is my first time reading this one—it’s a bit infamous amongst Wild Card readers, though, so I’ve heard quite a bit about it in advance. Here we go!

Overview

This volume’s set in 1990; a group of jokers and jumpers maintain an uneasy truce on Ellis Island (aka “the Rox”), which is protected by an invisible wall. The jokers see the space as a safe haven in a city that treats them as subhuman. For the teenage jumpers, the Rox is their fortified retreat—a place to hide out when they get tired of causing ...

Fairness and Feathers: Reading Seanan McGuire’s In An Absent Dream


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Welcome back to the Wayward Children reread! Today, in our final installment, we head to the Goblin Market seeking fair value for our travails. Spoilers ahead for In An Absent Dream. It’s available now, and I encourage you to pick up a copy (on sale for six sharp pencils and a quince pie, if you can find the right market stall) and read along!

Jack Wolcott would tell you that lightning carries power—but thunder is how that power travels beyond the reach of vision. It wakes you in the middle of the night, turns your head, draws you to the window to find out what happened. Count the seconds of suspense between light and sound, and discover how close you stand to that flash of danger and possibility.

I’ll read about lightning all day, but there’s a special place in my heart reserved for stories of thunder. What happens after ...

Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Sixty


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After a long time away, we’re finally back with a Kaladin POV chapter! (It’s been so long. We missed you, you poor emo Windrunner, you.) He, Shallan, Adolin, and Elhokar are on their way to Kholinar to begin Mission: Open Oathgate (and Mission: Find Out What The Heck Is Going On In This City Anyway) and we’re along with them for the ride! So grab your glass face shields, pin up your skirts (if you’re wearing them) and prepare yourself for a ride on the highstorm for this week’s reread.

Originally, we’d planned on doing two chapters this week, but there was more we wanted to talk about than could comfortably fit, so we pared it down to one. If you read two chapters to prepare for this week, we apologize! Now you’re ahead of the game for next week, though…

Reminder: We’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the ...

Save the Whales, or Else: Nibedita Sen’s “Leviathan Sings to Me in the Deep”


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Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading Nibedita Sen’s “Leviathan Sings to Me in the Deep,” first published in the June 2018 issue of Nightmare. Spoilers ahead (but go ahead and read it first, because it’s both short and awesome).

“7 Rivers: Troubled night. Heard whalesong through the portholes before sleep and thereafter continued to hear it in my dreams. It is hardly unusual to hear whalesong in these waters, but this was of an uncanny and resonant nature; deep elongated beats that that seemed to vibrate in my marrow and bone.”

Summary

Being the journal of Captain James Bodkin, commander of the whaling vessel Herman. The Herman’s current voyage has been sponsored by the Guild of Natural ...

Oathbringer Reread: Chapters Fifty-Eight and Fifty-Nine


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Welcome back to the Oathbringer reread! We hope that you had an amazing holiday break. Alice and I are ready to start off the new year right as we delve into Part Three—Aubree will be back next week. In these chapters, Dalinar’s finally starting to make some inroads on unity, in more ways than he expected…

Reminder: We’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the ENTIRE NOVEL in each reread. There are brief and very limited mentions of Cosmere happenings, but if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best wait to join us until you’re done.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Dalinar
WHEN: 1174.1.9.4 (The day after Chapter 57’s Recreance & Odium vision)
WHERE: Urithiru to Thaylen City, via Oathgate

Kaladin and Shallan arrive back from Thaylen City after having opened the Oathgate on that side. Dalinar drops a heavy burden on Kaladin’s life—that of (more) responsibility. When the ...

Oathbringer Reread: Interlude Six—Venli


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Singers and Listeners and Rereaders unite! Or… something like that. Welcome back to the Oathbringer reread, as we finish the year with the final interlude before Part Three begins. We’ve got a lot of secrets to learn along with Venli, though she’s probably more upset by them than we are.

Reminder: We’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the ENTIRE NOVEL in each reread, and this week we have a bunch of them. There’s likely to be some Cosmere spoilage as well; possibly in the reread, and almost certainly in the comments. In any case, if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Venli
WHERE: Unknown; possibly near the Shattered Plains
WHEN: 1174.1.7.4 (about the time Moash was pulling the sledge and Shallan was working with her soldiers to train them as spies)

Venli and several ...

I Ain’t Got No Body: Amos Tutuola’s “The Complete Gentleman”


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Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading Amos Tutuola’s “The Complete Gentlemen,” first published as part of his novel The Palm-Wine Drinkard in 1952. Spoilers ahead. But this story is as much about voice as plot, and our summary can really only do justice to the latter. Go and read!

“I had told you not to follow me before we branched into this endless forest which belongs to only terrible and curious creatures, but when I became a half-bodied incomplete gentleman you wanted to go back, now that cannot be done, you have failed. Even you have never seen anything yet, just follow me.”

Summary

Our narrator calls himself the “Father of gods who can do anything in this world....

Oathbringer Reread: Chapter Fifty-Five


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Greetings fellow listeners and fused and welcome to another edition of the Oathbringer reread, featuring your hosts Alice, Aubree, and Lyn! In this week’s chapter we’ll be delving deep into Bridge Four’s loneliest member, Rlain. What’s it like to be the only remaining member of your entire race? Come along with us as we try to understand…

Reminder: we’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the ENTIRE NOVEL in each reread. There is a brief discussion of Mistborn’s Shards, and Shards in general, in the Epigraph comments this week, so beware of that. As always, if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done.

Chapter Recap

WHO: Rlain
WHERE: Narak
WHEN: 1174.1.9.1 (same day as Renarin’s opening the gemstone archive; one week after the previous Bridge Four chapter)

While Kaladin leads his squires in some training exercises, Rlain ...

Hope is a Thing With Scales: Samantha Henderson’s “Maybe the Stars”


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Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we’re reading Samantha Henderson’s “Maybe the Stars,” first published in the August 23rd 2012 episode of Drabblecast. Spoilers ahead—but it’s short and awesome and we highly recommend reading/listening to the original first. Follow those links!

“My people came from the stars in the beginning, and the older I get, the louder they call.”

Summary

Little Useless has worked so long for Dimar’s crew on Midnight’s Lady, she can’t be sure whether her memories of dry land and a full belly are real or dreams cobbled together from passenger conversations. Either way, she drives such thoughts away. Safer to go about her duties of cleaning up the nastiest messes humans at sea can ...