Posted: May 28th, 2014 under Uncategorized.

A reminder for those interested that I’ll be doing the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer Chat with Bryan Thomas Schmidt this evening.    On Twitter, follow the hashtag #sffwrtcht  starting at 9 pm Eastern Time (US), 8 pm Central, 7 pm Mountain, 6 pm Pacific,  and for all others, 0100 UTC and you can do the calculations.   If it IS starting at  0100 where you are, I hope you’re not following, unless you’re usually up in the middle of your night.

I hope it will be fun for all.  Bryan sent me a bunch of questions to have answers ready for,  so I could fit them into 140 characters.    I think he understands long-form writers.


  • Comment by Richard — May 29, 2014 @ 3:02 am

    1 (just about readable despite poor color contrast). Some spoilers/not-spoilers? (no names attached).

    Interesting question, begging a longer answer: where did “Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter” come from (as a name, with all the cultural clues built into it)?

    Life Stuff is calling – I could be going offline for a few days.

  • Comment by elizabeth — May 29, 2014 @ 10:10 am


    Richard: The name is from Paks herself. In the very days of writing the story, a part that’s not there anymore had Paks walking into a tavern and someone asking “Hey, what’s your name, Yellowhair?” And she said “Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter.” I was typing on my step-grandmother’s old half-electric typewriter, and hearing that in my head and trying to type it, jammed the keys together. Picked them apart, tried again, decided to spell it with a ks, not an x because it “looked right”. The cultural clues were thought about and put in later. But it’s her name; she said it herself, and I don’t know where in my backbrain it came from.

  • Comment by Jeff — May 31, 2014 @ 6:06 pm


    I enjoyed the twitter “tweet-a-nar”

    You gave a brief description of Tsia, Pargun and Lyonya, I wondered about the basics of Fintha.

  • Comment by elizabeth — May 31, 2014 @ 9:42 pm


    Jeff: Fintha–the westernmost of the 8 kingdoms of the north. Originally inhabited by Old Humans and gnomes for the most part, conquered by magelords from the south at almost the same time as Tsaia. Gird’s rebellion began in Fintha and later spread to Tsaia. The deciding battle was fought at Greenfields; that whole story is told in Surrender None (or in the omnibus Legacy of Gird.) Fintha is now a theocracy governed by the Fellowship of Gird by way of the Marshal-General and those under her. Law is the Code of Gird; the Marshalate (council of Marshals) and the judicars (justices) are all Girdish. Every settlement is part of the grange-and-barton system Gird set up; larger towns and cities have multiple granges. The Marshal of a grange has authority over the area of that grange, and though every market has a judicar, the Marshal is the ultimate authority. Fintha is largely agricultural; the large estates the magelords established were disestablished by Gird, and land returned to those who farmed it. However, in the sheep-raising parts of the country, more land is needed, particularly north of the Honnorgat–land is higher, rougher, and–the more westerly you go–dryer. Grazing land is generally held in common, technically, but tradition (and the behavior of sheep) means that Paks’s family, out of Three Firs, had run sheep on the same land for generations. Agriculture follows the land itself–some areas are cattle country, some sheep country, some arable primarily.

    The population now is well over 95% Girdish, the laws are Girdish, the enforcers are Girdish–they tolerate Falkians, and of course the gnomes (for historical reasons) but they’re bitterly opposed to magery and only reluctantly tolerant of wizards, who must register and follow stringent rules of reporting to the local Marshal. The Fellowship has, as any large denomination has, fissures in its apparent unanimity. It has had them from the beginning–there were always those who wanted to kill all the magelords and eliminate the problem. There were always those who thought the problem was not magery, but how it had been used. Then there’s the split between those who genuinely believe Gird was right to make no legal difference between men and women–and to allow women to enter all occupations (including soldier and Marshal) and those who felt (on the basis of the ancient worship of Alyanya, Lady of Peace) that women should not shed any blood but their own.

    Arianya, the present Marshal-General, is one of the few female Marshal-Generals in Girdish history and this angers some of those who think a woman is not fit for that position–and thus gives force to those who don’t like her decisions.

  • Comment by Richard — June 5, 2014 @ 12:06 pm


    I think we saw both in Luap’s book, and in the example of Paks herself, that the sheep farmers on Fintha’s northern margins weren’t that interested in becoming Girdish. But is there a deeper fissure between urban and rural Girdsmen? I see signs of such in the Gird and Luap books.

    When the magelords invaded, wouldn’t they have brought soldiers and servants with them, and been followed by merchants, scribes and craft workers from Aarenis? To whom Tir or Simyits, for example, were more important than Alyanya. People who settled in towns and formed guilds.

    (And even in the country, might not people such as the old steward over Gird’s village, and the guard sergeant who trained Gird, have had more in common with the townsfolk than with the peasants they lived among?)

    So there on the one hand were the peasants rebelling against intolerable ill-treatment from and the gross unfairness of their wealthy and privileged (mage)lords; and there on the other hand were the merchants and guild-masters brought into Gird’s system after he’d won, who had the most wealth and privilege of those remaining after the lords had been eliminated. People who’d naturally want to tell both themselves and the country peasants that it was magery, not attachment to wealth and privilege, that had made the lords evil.

  • Comment by Jeff — June 5, 2014 @ 7:50 pm


    Thank you

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