The jianghu is considered a lawless place, and I have to say that makes sense. Just think about the headaches of the poor magistrate trying to decide whether or not to let any of these wandering heroes loose on society again. Anqi (hidden/concealed weapons, usually projectiles) make a lot of these guys walking hazards. Sure, they saved the town from the bandits this time, but…. Continue reading
Yesterday was cold and exhausting, so… a couple stray thoughts.
Mary’s living in an isekai, a la Death March or any slice-of-life style. Bad Things may happen at the start of the story, but afterwards…. Continue reading
Eternal life in darkness is just not all it’s cracked up to be. You need to hide by day, you need to feed by night – and for both of those, it helps if you have a job. Oh, sure, if your last name is Addams, or you’re related to Barnabas Collins, you might have both the familial wealth and the luck to hang onto it through the centuries so you don’t need to be gainfully employed. Continue reading
The common housecat is one of the most heavily armed predators in the animal kingdom in relation to its size. Cats stick to prey in the mouse-to-rat size category due to physical limitations, not preference; and some cats have been known to try for much, much larger prey. As in whitetail deer size. With what proportion of success, unknown. But still, they try. Continue reading
The night was cool, the moon was a brass coin flung into the sky, and an anole’s tail whipped in the wind as it clung to my side-view mirror. Continue reading
Does your world have sticky notes?
Doesn’t have to be the bits of paper with extremely weak glue that we know and use. (Though that could be awesome.) Could be holographic computer icons, or color-coded feathers jammed into the rolled slats of an ancient bamboo scroll, or strands of beads bookmarking a roll of papyrus at certain layers. What matters is that someone doing creative or experimental work in your world has a way to do messy organization; to loosely tie together bits of info to look at later or compare, maybe when no one sane would ever mix those two or three (or more) sets of ideas. Maybe especially then. Continue reading
If we ever get actual Sword Art Online style VR up and running, I expect three things: First, a massive jump in the proportion of people who take historical martial arts very seriously indeed. Second, someone’s going to try to recreate the Battle of Sekigahara. Third, there will finally be a Pennsic War in which the archers have their day. Mwah-ha-hah…. Continue reading
Writing an isekai (or portal fantasy) based on an alternate version of history means digging into not just past events, but past beliefs. Otherwise the reactions of setting-native characters to your isekai’d guy just won’t ring right. It also means digging into your own culture, so you can accurately depict what happens when modern attitudes clash with something distinctly not. Continue reading
I have come to the (somewhat) sober conclusion that a lot of our problems could be solved if we had more guys hanging out in trees to sleep, ready to kick the butts of those who disturb them. Continue reading
Now I’m into the chapter on the not-so-United Kingdom. Say what you want about Cromwell – and if you’re Irish you can justifiably say a lot about Cromwell – but Charles I was asking for it. You want to unify a kingdom pieced together from inheriting England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales? Okay, fine, good luck, but…. Continue reading