Letters Column for September 2005

Posted on October 4, 2005 by Jenna

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The real reason that I do not write as well when sick and out of it is that I spend less time talking with my friends. I just don’t think as much like me if I’m not talking to someone; it’s not just “fewer ideas” but also “longer ideas.”

September was a bad month, and accordingly I have a small backlog of longer pieces—partly finished, partly unfinished. I’ll try to intermix them with short snappy stuff. ^_^

On other news, September brought in $220 of donations, and each and every donation arrived at pretty much exactly the right time to reduce financial stress. Thank you very much. ^_^

As soon as I’m in top form again, I’ll be fixing up the Eleusinian pieces and moving the forward fill forward in the archives. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to do the juggling—I know a lot of you read Hitherby in your daily webcomics run, rather than during a “settle in with a book” type timeslot, so I can’t put up too much on any single day.

Thank you for your kind words:

Michael Vassar
Metal Fatigue
Screwy Anathema
David Goldfarb
Ford Dent


And you don’t want to have to suffer from my abysmal baking skills.
— Eronarn

Abysmal battle!

“Kwee-san! The challenger is extracting an abhorrent beast from the third level of Hell!”

“Some kind of … pasta?”

“No! The challenger is making a damnation napoleon!”

“Mm! It looks so good! And so evil!”


Interesting, I have never heard this word used outside of Scotland before. Perhaps, like James Bond, Martin has northern blood in him?
— Taliskar

He actually found a whisht that was wandering around lost. That can happen if nobody’s responsible and calls Phoneme Control!


Cynicism shades, now?
— mineownaardvarks

Feel the cyberpunk, baby.


Of course, he should be glad that the phonewasps weren’t there.
— Eronarn

The ichneumon phonewasps are one of the biggest naturalist arguments against a benevolent Alexander Graham Bell. Curse you, theologically irresponsible phonewasps!


Also, considerate of Jesus to wait until after Peter died to build the Church on him. Not all religious founders would have such patience.
— mineownaardvarks

It’s because Jesus is a creature outside of time. From his citadel beyond the most distant reaches of the cosmos, he can exert his divine grace and build a church at any time or place—past, present, or future! There he dwells, neither present nor presentless in this mortal time, ready to leap into action and respond to mortal prayers—determined to right every wrong, redress every injustice, and bring the light of goodness to every corner of the galaxy!

Go Jesus!


I actually found “kyrievo” at the Perseus site — the transliteration I used was “kyrieuw”, that is kappa-upsilon-rho-iota-epsilon-upsilon-omega. It’s the dictionary form (first person singular present active indicative) of a verb meaning “to be lord or master; to have power over”.
— David Goldfarb

Thank you!


Wow, just wow. Excellently done. Did you mean this to be a commentary on the death of space exploration?
— todfox

The entry in question is Sellurt and Morgan: Bumping the Dinosaurs.

It’s actually meant to be Golden Age science fiction characters doing Bible storytime. I like to take Creationist doctrine seriously when I’m writing fiction, since, well, laughing at people does not a story make.

The sequel, of course, is horror. I mean, it’s pretty horrible, isn’t it? The ark. I mean, if it had really happened, just like the Creationists say. Wouldn’t that be straight from a Ligotti story? God laughing at natural law to keep the blubberous walrus and the stalking panther alive while he drowns the world with an endless killing rain? Doesn’t it make Jason and his hockey mask look small and still and meek in the face of the greater scope of the killing God?

But the first part’s just wide-eyed sci-fi.


A cerycur would certainly have troubled Leto… but kept her from bearing a son?
— S

As it happens, yes, it would have. ^_^

Thank you for posting in the Audience thread, melsner, mcclintock, rpuchalsky, cariset, ADamiani!

‘Then you are useless,’ says melsner. ‘You have the ability to understand everything I say to you, and yet, embodied in software, you don’t produce the output I want. Why can’t you work the miracles I require?’
— melsner

Interestingly, I suspect that a computer’s inability to do what you want it to instead of what you ask it to is at the root of a lot of ideas in Hitherby. ^_^

The brothel is magic, for every two rabbits thrown in, you get 4 rabbits out!
— mcclintock

Man! They’ve really updated heap technology since I last looked at data structures.

It’s a strict simulation. No rules lawyering once you start play.”
— rpuchalsky

Point of order! You can’t have a game with rules and no rules lawyering. You’ll get a wogly!

Incidentally, have you ever read the estimable Ms. Duane’s The Wounded Sky?

He tried and he tried, but he couldn’t change his own nature from within… Except that he did.
— cariset

Hm! What made that iteration different?(1)

There was a general commotion and reading of text, at the end of which, a consensus was reached that Rebecca had, indeed, prophesied the coming of the rabbit, the club, all of it.
— ADamiani

Ha! That’s what they think. Actually, I just edit things after the fact to make it look like I’m on top of things. That’s why the Hitherby future is so uncannily accurate, even though this whole story was written in the early days of the 21st century—before NDTTP, before genetic journaling, in the savage days when Bush was in power and bloggers wore pants!


Especially the now-canonical fact that dogs in the Hitherbyverse have lasers.
— Metal Fatigue

Dude, how else are they going to catch squirrels?


However, if God’s will includes a self-obfuscation mechanism that clouds any observations that might lead to discovery of its pattern, then it could be observably-random, while maintaining actual consistency.
— Mithrandir


Strictly speaking, it does no good to think about the God that can’t be thought about. It’s like that guy, what’s his name, you know, the guy who can’t be successfully referred to with words. Him.


Hitherby may or may not have been touched by His Noodly Appendage, we may never know, since it’s invisible!
— insanitykun

Oh, Hitherby is so a la brigantino. There’s no question.


Well, that’s certainly an unconventional take on the Aristocrats joke.
— Luc

It’s funny because it’s true!


*tunes jeweled treasure wheel in an attempt to pick up KHBD*
— cariset

Sorry! It’s still offline for the 18th. Perhaps if you could step outside of time—


P.S. Not just tired but “tired-sock”?
— ADamiani

Some entries I type, using my brain and fingers. Others, my zang-fu organs and feet! That’s the key difference.

That’s all for this month! Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, thanks for donating, and see you again next month!


(1) *giggle* Okay, I know that’s in the top thousand unfairest questions ever asked. ^_^