Awesomeness in the Old West

If nineteenth-century America is something you know something about, this post is aimed at you.

For the second time in my life, I’m gearing up to run a game. The first one was Changeling (and resulted in the Onyx Court series); this one is Scion (and god help me if it tries to turn into a novel). For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Scion is a role-playing game where the characters are the half-mortal children of gods. Think Hercules, or Cú Chulainn, or the Pandavas, running around in the modern world. Except that my game will be set, not in the modern world, but in the nineteenth-century American frontier.

Larger-than-life personalities doing over-the-top deeds? Nah, there was nobody like that in the Old West. πŸ™‚

I’ve already got a nascent list of people I can reinterpret as half-divine, but I’d like more. This is where you, O internets, come in: who really seems like they might have been the child of a god? Who excelled in their chosen field? Whose deeds acquired legendary status?

The game will likely take place in the mid-1870s, so while people who predate that point are okay (they might fit into the backstory — or not be so dead after all), anybody born later is out. Mostly I’m looking at the frontier, but will also entertain suggestions from back east; the game may wander there at some point. I am especially interested in people from the groups more often overlooked by history: blacks, Mexicans, Native Americans, Chinese, etc. One of the things I want to look at in this game is the way in which a wide variety of cultures collided in the space of the frontier. (Adding a mythological layer should make that extra interesting.)

Bonus points if you can suggest a possible divine parent along with the Scion. Whose kid is Doc Holliday? How about Marie Laveau? Pretty much any god is up for grabs; the books provide rules for handling nine different pantheons, and I’ve found decent-looking player-created material for three more, so I can field most things.

Suggest away. The more names, the merrier.

0 Responses to “Awesomeness in the Old West”

  1. stormsdotter

    I am drawing a blank on this, but you might be entertained by the comic Crowfeathers: http://www.crowfeathers.net/

  2. kendokamel

    Well, depending on the ages of the characters in question, I could probably toss in some “first person experience”. Even though I’ve not really been messing with the time-space continuum (yet), I did spend some time working as an historical interpretor at a living history museum… so I spent several months where I woke up each morning and then went to work in 1848.

    We talked a lot about westward expansion, since our location was right near Akron, Ohio, which during the 19th century was quite a bustling city – first from the canals and then from the rubber barons (from which we eventually got BF Goodrich, Firestone, and Goodyear brands of tires). Let me know if you’re looking for any odd little tidbits to add to any of your characters.

    One interesting point that might be helpful in certain conversations is that a receipt was a set of ingredients and instructions for cooking something, and a recipe was what you got from the doctor for medicine.

    • celestineangel

      I did spend some time working as an historical interpretor at a living history museum… so I spent several months where I woke up each morning and then went to work in 1848.

      This sounds like probably the coolest job ever.

      • lady_puck9999

        As an on and off historical reenactor, I can vouch that it pretty much is.

        • unforth

          I’m really hoping to get into some re-enacting, though I was told on Sunday that girls can’t dress as Civil War officers, and it was suggested that since I like to sew, I could make a very lovely dress and do that instead. Jerks, but I gather the attitude there represented is pretty common. πŸ™

          • talkstowolves

            Does the local group not allow cross-dressing if you can pull it off? My husband does Civil War reenacting and they have at least one woman in his unit as a mounted private. She looks appropriate from a short distance, so it’s all good. (He just told me they actually have a second woman who cross-dresses and participates as well.)

            I also resent the fact that I, for example, couldn’t play soldier if I wanted to. My breasts are too large for me to strap down and make a convincing man, for one thing. But it’s not, at its core, a misogynist request – they’re trying to recreate an actual situation and women who couldn’t hide as men didn’t serve as soldiers in the Civil War.

            My husband adds that hardcore units aren’t going to let women in, period. And also that the idea that women can’t participate is not pervasive, as evidenced by his regiment. He says you just have to find the right regiment but adds that, unfortunately, the northeastern reenacting communities tend to be very hardcore.

            Sorry to ramble!

          • unforth

            Don’t apologize for rambling, I really appreciate the info. I can kind of pass (the outfit I want to wear was my Halloween costume, there are pictures here, though not from up close, I’m not terribly curvy as women go.

            The folks I talked to were volunteering outside the New York Historical Society, and seemed to be from two or three different units, but all agreed that they didn’t think there were any units in NYC that would take a girl in uniform (except maybe one, which I have to look in to). The thing is, while I’m WILLING to try to pass if that’s what it takes, from my point of view, I actually don’t necessarily want to try to be “that girl who snuck in to the army.” I just want to be a girl, who happens to prefer the male role, and only that because I think battles and generals and such are interesting. As a historian, I DEFINITELY understand the historical perspective and needs of accuracy, but I work with teachers, and I feel that from an educational stand point – and I’m most interested in it as an educational tool, and maybe a bit of the getting to camp in a tent and eat lousy food and talk about something I love point of view πŸ˜‰ – I feel like if you start by stating, “you know girls couldn’t actually do this, but…” …as in, I’m not looking to join a hard core, ultra-realism group. I’m looking to join a “we want to teach people about the Civil War” group.

            As in…I don’t want to try to muscle my way in to a group where the main thing they want is accuracy …but then, if it was only about accuracy, all of the folks giving me a hard time where in their late 40s and all but one were rather overweight….but that’s an aside (sorry, I’m rambling too πŸ˜‰ ). The key is, I just want to be able to share and impart information about a topic I love, without having to study the part of the topic that I don’t love (I find the home front boring and don’t want to have to study it and then play a girl so I can talk about the parts I don’t care about…and anyway, I’m a damn historically inaccurate girl, too, my hair is like two inches long.

            Poor , we’re so off topic. πŸ˜‰ Sorry!!

          • akashiver

            The Booth family would make interesting additions: they were easily the most famous theatrical family in North America prior to the unfortunate incident in Ford’s Theater. John Wilkes Booth cast a long shadow over the famous Shakespeareans and it was years before any of them could even try to live the assassination down. Edwin Booth (formerly famous for being “America’s Hamlet”) went on a worldwide tour in the 1870s. He recovered his brother’s body from its secret burial ground in 1869, I believe, but you could always tweak history a little.

          • Marie Brennan

            Huh — I never knew about the rest of the family.

          • lady_puck9999

            Actually, there’s at least one woman at my reenactment who does a day on the battlefield firing the cannon and marching around in formation. She had us babysit her goose once while she was off pretend fighting.

            I think she’s just a militiaman, though. Not an officer.

          • lady_puck9999

            Another idea, if they still won’t let you be an officer/soldier, is to dress as a tart. We have two lovely tarts at our reenactment, and next year I’m joining up as a Tart In Training. You get to talk to EVERYONE and people want to take pictures with you and ask about your clothes and make up. There are lots of dirty jokes and lots of fun.

      • kendokamel

        Yeah, I pretty much saw it as GETTING PAID TO LARP!!!

        What was even cooler was that I was able to surreptitiously work James Garfield as an interesting youth whom I (a young, unmarried lady) got into trouble for talking to on the canal boat.

        This would always lead to schoolkids saying, “He was PRESident!”

        To which I would reply, “A canal boy, the President of the United States? You have quite an imagination!”

  3. hakamadare

    mid-1870’s puts you in the reign of Emperor Norton 1; not sure whose scion he might be, but i think i recall the Native Americans in the southwest having some trickster deities.

    -steve

  4. unforth

    I know loads about 19th century history, though of course my primary interest is the Civil War. Thus, my knowledge is about 10 years too early, and generally not oriented towards the wild, wild west. That said, I’ve been thinking about this since I read it this morning, and I’ll toss some ideas out – and I’ll flip through some books, once I’ve moved the ones that might help. πŸ˜‰

    I’ll give descriptions only if it’s someone I find it possible that you don’t know about – and I’ll link to wiki articles for everyone, just to cover the bases.

    The first name that popped in to my head, before I’d even finished reading this post, is Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was a self-made millionare railroad tycoon before the war, who became a self-made master of cavalry maneuvers for the Confederacy. After the war, he ended up a founding member of the organization that eventually became the KKK, and later left when they became too radical. You might have to get a little creative to pull him in – as he never was in the territories, really – but then, in a world where people are the kids of god, some historical inaccuracy is reasonable.

    While I’m sure Jesse James and his crew are already on any list you’ve made, I’m gonna toss out there “Bloody” Bill Anderson. Anderson was in charge of the guerrilla band that the James’ were in during the Civil War, and was killed in 1864. His pro-Confederacy guerrilla bands in Missouri ended up spawning a number of men who later formed the more lawless elements of the West – I don’t have time to read the whole wiki post, but I’d be shocked if it didn’t name a bunch of them.

    George Armstrong Custer, and more or less anyone associated with him.

    Obviously, Ulysses Grant is president at this time (1868 – 1876). William T. Sherman is the general-in-chief for the United States army. Most of the government types of importance are mentioned on Grant’s page, and I know little about most of them unfortunately, but I did want to draw particular attention to Ely S. Parker. I don’t know much about him, but he was a Native American who served on Grant’s staff during the war, and during Grant’s presidency played some kind of an important role in the government, until (this is only based on my scanty knowledge, the wiki article will certainly elaborate and might correct) something happened and he had to leave his post.

    Well, that’s all I’ve got so far. Of all of those mentioned, I’m most rooting for Forrest, the man is unbelievable. Anyway, I’ll keep thinking, and if I have the time I’ll do some research. Certainly, if you need back story type information, I’m your woman, but once 1866 ends, my knowledge level falls off a cliff. I’m most versed on roughly 1850 – 1865, and have never taken a particular interest in the west, but I know the rough outline of how the Civil War outlines there, and certainly could point towards appropriate resources to learn more. πŸ™‚

    I don’t know much of anything about gods or mythology. Me and folklore, not so much.

    Aw man, this sounds like fun!

    • unforth

      Oh, and I’m gunning for Sherman, too – he is my personal hero, after all, but he’s a little busy and a little old at this time – but in the late 60’s he spent a bit of time out on the frontier monitoring the construction of the trans-continental rail road.

      But yeah, I’m gonna look into the fates of some of the more interesting folks from the war I can think of – though right now, having blown my load on the above, I’m drawing a blank. πŸ™‚

      • unforth

        Okay, more!

        First, I second the below suggestion of Horace Greeley. Also, seeing the other suggestions of got my brain chugging again.

        Newspaper editors, like Greeley, were incredibly important figures in this time period.

        So, more names!
        George Washington Carver – born in 1864

        Louis Agassiz, ardent Lamarkian (anti-Darwinian) biologist professor at Harvard, d. 1873

        Oliver Hazard Perry Morton, former Governor of Indiana. He’s a senator in the 70s, until his death in 1877. During the war, when the legislature of Indiana started favoring peace, he disbanded them and ruled the state as a dictator for about 2 years.

        I bet you could find some interesting Native Americans by looking at the history of Oklahoma.

        And of course, don’t forget the Mormons

        I’ve found some interesting artist and such types going through some of my pics of art from that time period.

        Thomas Moran – a painter who specialized in scenes of the western mountains. He did this mission called the Hayden Geological Survey (1871) which sounds interesting.

        Winslow Homer – one of the best known American painters of the time period.

        Jacob Riis would have just arrived in this country in the 70s.

        H.H. Holmes would have been going through the formative years that eventually made him the first high-profile serial killer in American history. (b. 1861)

        Mathew Brady, early and very famous American photographer, was going bankrupt.

        Charles Wilkes, who apparently historians speculate might have been the inspiration for Captain Ahab.

        Speaking of which, Herman Melville.

        (I know I’m getting a little off topic, having gotten distracted from the theme of old west and folks who did truly ridiculous unbelievable stuff, but I figure you’ll ignore the ones that don’t help. πŸ˜‰ )

        Phil Sheridan was an important general who, after the war, was put in charge of US military forces in the West. He was an excellent general, having developed Union cavalry forces into something that didn’t suck. He was the ranking general in charge of the suppression of the plains Native Americans. Can’t believe I didn’t think of him sooner.

        Finally remembered another name that was eluding me: George Catlin. An American painter, he got it in his head to catalog the Native American tribes of the country in paintings. To do so, he traveled all over the west and painted hundreds of canvases, all of which he carefully labeled so that he’d know which culture and – as often as possible – person they depicted. Researching Catlin would be a really good way to learn more Native Americans of interest. Here’s an interactive online exhibit about the 400 of his paintings that are at the Smithsonian.

        (more…)

      • unforth

        I’m glad I thought to look through the art – between the folks it reminds me of, and the people actually depicted, I’m definitely thinking of a lot.

        John S. Mosby was a guerrilla leader in the Shenandoah Valley during the war, and he proved to be rather brilliant at it. He was not in the “randomly massacreing innocents” category like Bloody Bill Anderson was. (it did include murdering couriers, wagon drivers, and stragglers, though) – apparently, after the war he became a Republican. Weird.

        William Rosecrans was a fairly important Civil War general who, after the war, wandered a bit and ended up buying and living on a ranch in California.

        Crap, I thought of someone else, and then it puffed! Stupid brain…

        George McClellan was always a general pain in the ass, and got himself elected Governor of New Jersey late in the 70s.

        P.G.T. Beauregard was a flamboyant Confederate general who was always was coming up with crazy last ditch master plans. After the war, he created New Orleans’ street car system, so was probably an important person out in those parts.

        Clara Barton and Dorothea Dix

        Oh! I remembered what had slipped my mind! There are, of course, the “great” industrialists: Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, those are the first three that pop in to my mind, but there were many others. Most of them were self-made men.

        Though long dead at this point, I feel strongly that John Brown is definitely a figure from the past that fits in somewhere. πŸ™‚

        While I’m not thinking of more than what I’ve already mentioned, I bet there are loads of people who became famous later who were young and possibly interesting at this point in time. πŸ™‚

        I hope I’m not being annoying, by the way, I’m having a lot of fun with this. πŸ˜‰ I just wish that my knowledge was less “East Coast” oriented.

        Harriet Beecher Stowe
        Harriet Tubman

        This is the time period where the New York political machine was just cranking up – Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed.

        God damn it…I was specifically NOT looking up John C. Fremont cause, well, he was kind of an ass, but it turns out he was the governor of Arizona territory, so he might actually be worthwhile.

        (more – again, I’m having way too much fun…)

      • unforth

        Found this one looking through my art photos – Bayard Taylor sounds like he had a fascinating life, traveling all over the world.

        Walt Whitman
        Ralph Waldo Emerson
        Henry Longfellow
        William Cullen Bryant
        Edgar Allen Poe is another person I can easily see ghosting around your back story.

        Oh, Alexander Graham Bell! Somehow, it was in my head that the telephone was a little later, but I guess not. πŸ™‚ And of course, Thomas Edison.

        Louis Comfort Tiffany

        Hey, if I do this long enough, maybe I will come up with one that’s actually pretty close to what I think you have in mind – this fellow, John Wesley Powell, looks like he did a lot of really interesting and awesome exploration of the Rockies and Colorado and such. πŸ™‚

        George Dewey had a pretty crazy life mostly in the navy, though he apparently spent most of the 70s exploring the Pacific ocean.

        Okay, now that I’ve randomly named a whole lot of famous, and some not so famous, people from this time period, very few of whom are actually all that helpful, I think I oughta stop. πŸ™‚ I will look through some of my reference stuff to see if I can think of other apropos types, but unless you mention that any of this other random info was helpful, I promise I’ll cease and desist on the less related info – prepping a game is hard enough without overload. πŸ™‚

        • unforth

          I know I said no more, but this one might actually be of some use: The Cardiff Giant, which was a hoax perpetrated in New York.

          Which reminds me, P.T. Barnum.

          • Marie Brennan

            Hee! Lots of useful stuff there. It’s especially good to get folks who are other than outlaws or other warlike figures — there should be artistic and political Scions, too.

  5. beccastareyes

    I don’t know much, besides what I remember from my Nebraskan history classes. I did read Black Elk Speaks for college, a book that was the transcribed and translated account from Black Elk, an Oglala Lakota medicine man who did a lot to try to keep his people together in the latter part of the 19th century. The book also described some of his visions. I don’t know if you want to go the scion angle or just give a more mundane connection to the gods. (It also could work as a source for Lakota spiritual beliefs.)

    Wikipedia says that Black Elk was born in 1863, though, so he’d be a child at the time — he was involved as a teen in Little Big Horn.

    • diatryma

      I read Black Elk in an anthropology class. The professor, after a day of discussion, pointed out all the liberties taken– if you compare the published work with the actual notes taken during the sessions, some bits are quite different. I wish I remembered more of what exactly was iffy, though.

      • beccastareyes

        Huh. That’s interesting. I’d love to know, myself, since I can imagine how much you could put in just by making calls about translating things for a non-technical audience who might not know much about the culture.

        • diatryma

          As I remember it, some parts were just plain added– “people’s dream died in bloody snow” near the beginning wasn’t Black Elk, I don’t think. The interviewer was a poet and may have gotten a little more into it than was proper.

          I can’t find the book my professor mentioned about it, though.

        • diatryma

          From the professor: “the author of the main source was Raymond DeMallie, whose book, The Sixth Grandfather, printed the transcript of the interviews. He indicated that the interviewer/poet John Neihardt edited the more ordinary parts of Nick Black Elk’s comments, changed some to make it sound more ‘Indian’, and added the beginning and ending to make his life quite a bit more dramatic.”

    • Marie Brennan

      The players may well encounter some juvenile Scions. It varies from character to character, when their divine parent first shows up and “activates” their powers.

  6. mrissa

    John Manjiro is in some ways so classic with having survived being a castaway and wandering from Japan to Hawaii to New England and back again. I found out about him in The Great Wave: Gilded Age Misfits, Japanese Eccentrics, and the Opening of Old Japan, and I think he’d be fairly cool and could be plausibly placed more or less wherever you wanted him in that era.

    • Marie Brennan

      Oooh! I’d never heard of him before. He sounds awesome. Especially since opportunities for Japanese characters in the U.S. are still pretty limited in this period; there’s more Chinese by far.

  7. talkstowolves

    I want to suggest Annie Oakley, but I’m not sure she’d be old enough in your time period (she was born in 1860). As for a divine parentage? I want to say Artemis, but that rather undoes the whole “virgin goddess” thing, doesn’t it?

    • beccastareyes

      If I recall the rules of Scion, gods that can’t or don’t have sex with mortals can adopt half-gods if the kid’s divine parent agrees to turn him/her loose. So someone could play as a Scion of Artemis, but she wouldn’t be Artemis’s biological child, just her protege.

    • diatryma

      I also thought Annie Oakley, mostly because Dad used her for bedtime stories.

    • celestineangel

      I suggest the context of “virgin” as in a young woman who belongs to no man and makes her own choices rather than a sexually untouched woman.

    • Marie Brennan

      She’s on the young side, yes — but that doesn’t rule her out, even if it’s just a cameo for the players to grin at.

  8. kizmet_42

    There is a belief out there that Sacagawea was still alive in the 1870s. Would that be useful?

    • kizmet_42

      Ok, I’ll try to give you all my suggestions in one post.

      Sojourner Truth, black woman known for her “Ain’t I a Woman?” given in Akron, Ohio. She lived in Michigan until 1883. Wiki doesn’t talk about her travels so I have no idea if she ever crossed the Mississippi River. Harriet Tubman was also alive during the 1870s.

      Frederick Douglass was a freed slave who was running for Vice President with Victoria Woodhull, whom you should also consider.

      In fact, most of the suffragettes, such as Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt (at least she lived west of the Mississippi and there’s some evidence that she may have lived in California for a time), Lucretia Mott, Josephine Brawley Hughes (lived in Arizona) might be worth checking into. Many of them rose from the abolitionists. Susan B. Anthony’s brother, Daniel Read Anthony, owned newspapers in Kansas. The wiki article is confusing – if he really held all these beliefs, he was one interesting guy.

      The temperance movement was in full swing then: Carrie Nation is your woman.

      Significant female artists of the time might include Louisa May Alcott, Julia Ward Howe, Jenny Lind (residing in Europe in the 1870s), Mary Cassatt (also in Europe), Kate Greenaway and Harriet Beecher Stowe. You’ll also have L. Frank Baum, Mark Twain, Alexandre Dumas fils, and Victor Hugo. Arthur Conan Doyle was neither a sir nor had Holmes arrived on the scene in the 1870s, but he had published a few short stories.

      Horace Greeley, publisher, died in 1872, but perhaps for you he did not?

      Geronimo and Custer.

      Ok, no more stalling. NaNo awaits.

    • Marie Brennan

      Oooh — where’d you hear that one?

      Edited: Never mind. Wikipedia has told me what I need to know. πŸ™‚

  9. tchernabyelo

    Shame Sequoyah died before your planned period. Although, of course, rumours of his death could have been exaggerated…

  10. c0untmystars

    Despite the fact that she’s from the east, Victoria Woodhull was the first person I thought of. She started a newspaper in 1870 and ran for President in 1872 and was the first woman to run a brokerage… I believe she was also a medium.

    From the Los Angeles area, Eulalia Perez de Guillen Marine, who supposedly lived to be 140… Tiburcio Vasquez, a bandit so notorious his hideouts are still named for him (Vasquez Rocks, Robbers Roost)… “Greek George” Yiorgos Caralambo, a camel driver hired by the USMC… Romualdo Pacheco, Mexican-American politician with 30-year career, first Hispanic US Congressman.

  11. mastergode

    So, I’m sure you already know this, but I feel the need to bring it up anyway, since it doesn’t seem that anyone else has, yet.

    The Wild West, as we know it, never really existed. It was created somewhere between the government trying to convince people to move out west and the entertainment industry making some money.

    As such, pretty much every “western” is in large part fantasy. But as I said, I’m sure you already know that.

    So my question is, will this game be set in the real American West, or the fake one? Will it include real Native Americans, or “injuns”? If it were anyone else, I wouldn’t ask, but since your campaigns have the tendency to turn into novels, I figure it’s worth thinking about. πŸ˜‰

    • Marie Brennan

      Do you really think I would run, write, or even read anything that had “Injuns” instead of Native Americans?

      I can’t promise that I will “get it right” (for whatever values of “right” are in a given beholder’s eye), but no, this is not going to be a rehash of John Wayne movies. I can barely even stand to watch the damn things.

      As for real vs. fake — neither, really, since this will be the American West with a very distinct mythological layer. But it’s going to be a mythological layer with an awareness that what’s going on at the time is, in part, the creation of the Myth of the West.

  12. Anonymous

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joaquin_Murrieta

    This fellow is also believed to be one of the inspirations for Zorro; enough so that he was written into the recent movie series reboot/sequel as the older brother of the man chosen by the aging Zorro to become his apprentice and heir. “M! For Murrieta!”

    I thought Bryn would appreciate that, remembering that she’s a huge enough fan of _The Mask of Zorro_ to point out that it can be described the way Peter Falk describes the plot of _The Princess Bride_. {g!}

  13. Anonymous

    Oh, his right-hand man (sorry for the pun) “Three-Fingered Jack” and his nemesis former Calvary officer Harry Love, were written into the movie, too; as was his hand and head being beheaded by the rangers and kept preserved in a jar (though that was in order to prove he was dead).

    I seriously cannot imagine him _not_ showing up in B’s game now. (Son of a fox-trickster god, naturally.)

  14. Marie Brennan

    I knew about Murrieta, but not Vasquez. Thanks!

  15. unforth

    Hey, I thought of another bit that is possibly interesting enough (actually thought of it a few days ago, then forgot).

    Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge started in 1870, and given just how many people died building the bridge, I think a good case could be made for some deity being involved. Also, the Roeblings were pretty awesome – Washington Roebling and his father were the original engineers. Dad got badly injured in the early building stages and died of a later infection; Washington then nearly died from the bends and was handicapped for life, and couldn’t really leave his home for the entire rest of the construction. He wasn’t removed as head engineer, though. His wife, Emily Warren Roebling, served as a go between for her husband and the construction crews, and dealt directly with politicians and such, gaining a lot of respect. There’s a plaque to her memory on the bridge that’s one of the first of it’s kind dedicated to a woman. Washington was also a Civil War vet, and played an important role in the Battle of Gettysburg. All in all, an awesome couple, and the building of the bridge itself is a saga (or, what happens when one tries to build a bridge in an undredged river without wet suits when you’ve never heard of the bends).

  16. Anonymous

    I haven’t read any of them since the last book came out in hardcover. I remember that I always thought that Thom and Moiraine had a history. Their responses to each other, especially Thom’s to her, seem much stronger than “they’ve seen each other around, and also Thom has strong feelings about the Aes Sedai.” My guess has generally been that Thom was close to a guy who was gentled and killed himself (that part I’m pretty sure I didn’t make up), and Moiraine was somehow involved in that event. Something happened that she thinks shouldn’t have happened, and she didn’t stop it–tried but couldn’t, or wanted to but didn’t try. I’m assuming that Tower politics were involved.

  17. Anonymous

    About half of Snyder’s books have that feel. There’s no actual magic but it just feels fantastical. I have been assuming that she reads a lot of fantasy, but who knows. She is one of those writers I wish I had been able to read as a child.

  18. Anonymous

    Oo, nice.

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