It takes a certain type to crew a ship that drops you seven years at a time into the Deep. The Gliese-D run isn’t the end of the line, but it’s getting there. No cachet, no rewards, no future. A year into the Deep, Amadis Reyes wakes up. Menkalinan’s sounding the alarm; something’s wrong. The crew are dead. (That’s not even what’s wrong.)
New York City, 1927. Twelve girls appear at the Kingfisher Club s if by magic; they hit the floor like it’s the last night on earth, and vanish before dawn. They never give names. For some, it’s a way of life. For the oldest, who remember what it’s like to be trapped, it’s still a dream just to buckle their shoes for the Charleston. It’s taken them years to make the place their home. But the Kingfisher Club is about to get them in trouble.
Suyana Sapaki’s a failure in the International Assembly. She’s not charming on camera, which is crucial for a Face: public image is 90% of diplomacy, they tell you right from the beginning. The United Amazonian Rainforest Confederation has been the site of scandal, so she’s short on allies. It’s a system designed to make you useless, but she’s fighting. People are trusting her, and she has a country to save, one way or the other.
Come inside and take a seat; the show is about to begin…Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic. And that magic is no accident…
The Penguin Book of Witches, NPR.org
"And Was Obliged to Go On Dancing": The Red Shoes and the Chastised Woman, Strange Horizons, September 2014
I loved the Met’s Death Becomes Her exhibition of mourning clothes. The rules of mourning are fascinating and infuriating in equal measure, and the exhibit does a great job of presenting the benefits of mourning (publicly noting grief explains much to others that one then doesn’t have to explain oneself), the business of mourning (fashion crept into mourning left right and center), and the politics of mourning (sexually-experienced ladies who might have money and be in the market for a new husband? Lock up your sons).
[Top photo: Metropolitan Museum. Other photos mine.]
"The Scots shut themselves up in total darkness,wear veils, i know not how many folds, but so black that sitting beside them you could not tell whether it is a broomstick dressed up or what it is." - Elizabeth Emma Stuart, 1856
"Black is becoming; and young widows, fair, plump, and smiling, with their roguish eyes sparkling under their black veils are very seducing." - Robert De Valcourt, The Illustrated Manners Book, 1855
"I remember a remark a very superficial minded young lady made to me the other day: ‘I think a long black dress and a long black veil look so nice.’ Poor creature let her think on. She was in mourning once for her father." Nannie Haskins Williams, 1863
"Have been all this week in a sad task making up my mourning for my dear Papa & today for the first time put it on. The sight of this black dress brings the cause why I wear it more fully to my mind, if possible brings him more vividly before me." Catherine Anne Edmonston, 1861
"Black is more than ever the favorite color of fashion. there was a time—our mothers will remember it—when the sole fact of wearing a black dress when one was not in mourning was sufficient to call forth a kind of reprobation, and to cause the wearer to be classed among the dangerously eccentric women." Harper’s Bazaar, 1879