Jewelry: Tales of the Raksura

The author Martha Wells has risen to fame during the last years for her Murderbot novels, but actually I discovered her long before when stumbling upon the Books of the Raksura, which have the richest worldbuilding I ever saw. It never feels like The Other Mother’s house in Coraline, just enough for a superficial layer, but you always get the impression that you could go deeper and deeper and find more.

For those of you who have not read the books (mild spoilers ahead), the Raksura are dragonish shapeshifters that live in courts, ruled by the reigning Queen, who has one or more male consorts. The books revolve around Moon, a very unusual consort and the adventures of him and his court. The courts are always named after a queen and a consort, often the founding couple of a court.

I’ve always admired fan art, but I’m useless with a pen, so I decided to put my other talents to use and make some earrings. Malicious rumours claim that I have a pair for every day of the year, but those are absolutely not true. I counted them and I will have to repeat them after June 20th. Though, seriously, if any of you fancies a pair, just let me know. Unless it’s my favourite pair, I’m happy to send it to you, since polymer clay always yields several pairs for one design. Anyway, let’s get started.

First, Indigo Cloud, the primary court in the novels

Blue and white marbled earrings

©Giliell, all rights reserved

blue and white marbled earrings

©Giliell, all rights reserved

I did a classic swirl here to get the idea of clouds in a blue summer sky. Look at that blue… [Read more…]

TERFs Failing to Posthumously Claim Pratchett as Their Own

If I were on Twitter (which I am not) and if I were keeping up with what flavor of nonsense TERFs are currently peddling (which I am not) I would probably notice that they are trying to claim late Terry Pratchett as a transphobe.

And if I were making YouTube videos (which I am not) I would make one just like Shaun did (and I did not).

Whenever I think about trans issues and Terry Pratchett, the Monstrous Regiment immediately springs to mind. I did not like that book after the first reading, which was rare for Discworld books – I liked most of them straightaway. But it grew on me with subsequent reading and like most Discworld books I ended up reading it multiple times and I probably will read it some more before I finally die.

We cannot know what a dead person would say about some issue. Even a word from their living friends and relatives might not be entirely reliable, since friends and family could tend to be overly favorable when judging their loved ones who passed on (although when multiple people say the same, it does bear significant weight). Throughout the books, many things about Pratchett become apparent, among them his deep humanism and knowledge of the intricacies and complications of the human condition. There is absolutely no doubt that he would reject any notion of trying to shoehorn people into neat little boxes with simple definitions. All of his books stay and fall on the only “simple” fact about humans – that each is their own person and categories and words are mere imperfect crutches that we use for communication, always imperfectly.

The Art of Book Design: The Last Leaf

Oliver Wendall Holmes. Illustrated by George Wharton Edwards and F. Hopkinson Smith. The Last Leaf. Cambridge, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1895.

This book contains a single poem – Holmes’ The Last Leaf’.  This edition also includes a series of moody sketches that add to the sentimentality and poignancy. It’s a lovely old book. If you’re interested, I’ve included a few illustrations below the fold.

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