Letters Column for March

Posted on April 1, 2004 by Jenna

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As I write furiously and scurry around preparing for being a guest at ConBust from 4/2 to 4/4, I pause to say:

Thank you for your kind words,
Alexander Williams
Magnus W
Le Squide
Eric Minton
Mark Argent
Fodder Boy
Tim Gray


I want more Hopping Vampire stories!
— Brad

Don’t worry. Many Hopping Vampires get their heads eaten by cloud crabs. It’s basically an Xtreme Sport—taking the hard-bitten edge of survival to the max! As he’d mumble from the depths of the cloud crab’s stomach, “no pain, no gain!” That’s the estimable social philosophy that makes him Hopping Vampire.


You know, that is kind of a stupid curse, but clearly God hasn’t exactly been playing with a full deck for a very long time.
— Alexander Williams


People have always ascribed to God that terrible and ineffable power that orders the heavens and the earth. They have credited him with that storm wind of fate that brings fear, sorrow, and pain. It’s not clear that that’s what God is like in the Hitherby continuity. And it’s definitely not my personal perspective on the divine. But when the town Thessel, in “Four Horsemen,” refers to that power, what else can I call it but “God”? Even the most positive interpretations of the numinous are not tame lions.


I can’t help but wonder what would happen if they met Teletubbies.
— Beth

Now you know! Well, sort of. Kind of!


So we’re probably going to be in for a rude awakening when these two run into someone like Martin?
— Pierre

That depends entirely on what outcome you expect. :)


Did you invent (imagine?, envisage?) Liril and Micah simultaneously, or one some time after the other?
— Senji

I created Liril and Micah as such simultaneously. But each of them draws heavily on stuff that was already in my head. Mostly unrelated stuff. So their influences almost certainly evolved at different times. I’d guess that my initial conception of Liril was in 1982 or so, and the original version of Micah late 2001.

Or, in short, “yes.” :)


Are we to think that since Parvati was, based on to the King’s decree, to marry Mr. Schiff, that she’s the Mrs. Schiff of the headless goats story?
— Eric

It seems fair to assume that Mr. Schiff and Mrs. Schiff are a married couple, at the very least!


And, see, now I understand why the idea of Jesus as an AWA disturbs you so much. After all, it would be heresy to say that Jesus didn’t suffer on the cross (actually was one at some point, I’m sure someone died over it) — and if Jesus suffered for you and took all of your suffering upon himself, you should be able to bear a little suffering too without crying out, you little whelp .. wait, what?
— sandjack


Organized religion tends to use the same logic as a monster. But I’ve never actually met someone who was a really nasty religious person.

It’s strange. I have friends who have been badly hurt by “Christians.” I have plenty of second-hand examples of how easily the faith gets twisted. But I haven’t had the personal experience necessary to turn that into resentment. So you probably shouldn’t look for a condemnation of Christianity here. My work has angels and God and sometimes Christian themes because I … well, because I like them! And when I write Hitherby posts involving Jesus—and the same for Kwan-Yin, Buddha, and all the rest of that numinous lot—I try to be a bit open to the world, so that if they’re out there and want to shape what I’m doing with them as characters, they can.

That said, there are times when people get too gung ho about “suffering for others’ sake is good” and “suffering is a necessary part of existence.”


See, there are people who study Canada. In a University.
— Jason

I felt that all of you should get to read this again.


There are people.
Who study Canada.
In a University.

It’s true.

I followed the link.


That’s one way to make an Italian red sauce…
— Solarbird

The secret ingredient is INTESTINE.


So is this a result of Micah/Michael, or a prelude to it, or an alternate, or fnord?
— S.D.

Tantalus (I/IV) occurs roughly 3320 years before Micah (2/2).


woglies are, after all, empty.
— silversmoke

Yes. They are.

Filial piety…?
— silversmoke

That is in fact how Jenna put it!


I want a set of Idealism Goggles.
— S

Take pictures of a bunch of things you love. Keep the negatives.
Draw some other wonderful things on tracing paper.
Print some pictures of incredibly cool stuff on really thin paper.

Cut up the negatives, drawings, and print-outs.

Glue the pieces onto the inside of a pair of goggles. Now you have Idealism Goggles! It’s easy, safe, and fun for the whole family.

That’s it for now! Thanks for reading, thanks for posting on maps.hitherby.com, and thanks for commenting—even if you didn’t get thanked for a compliment or picked for a specific response. See you again this coming month!