all the empires of the world

K Rowling is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever come across. Not only did she start with nothing and create and empire using her imagination and skill as a writer; but she uses her power, money and fame to support so many important causes. She’s donated so much to charity that she was kicked off the Forbes list of billionaires. Despite all the truly vicious hate she gets, she refuses to back down about what she believes in. I admire her more than anyone else in the world.

The Curtain, part 4

Steve Rogers x Reader

Summary: You had been Steve Rogers’ best girl for many years, until he took down SHIELD and proclaimed his allegiance to Hydra. And that was when your world came tumbling down. Now you were part of the Underground - a group of rogue heroes and civilians that wanted nothing to do with Hydra. The Mount was the secret headquarters where you lived now, as you all try to find a way to get the world back. And where you try your hardest to forget Steve Rogers or at least the man he is now, but could you ever?

Characters: Hydra! Steve Rogers, Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Miles Morales/Spider-Man, Amadeus Cho/Hulk, Viv Vision.

Warning: If you don’t like the Hydra Steve currently in the Marvel comics, don’t read. Won’t be tagging anyone unless they asked to be tagged. Spoilers for Secret Empire.

A/N: This is mostly based on the comic Secret Empire and most of the characterization is based on comic book counterparts - or at least a mix of the two for those also in the MCU. Also, this is just a mini-series - not sure how many parts.

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

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Sometimes i think about the idea of Common as a language in fantasy settings.

On the one hand, it’s a nice convenient narrative device that doesn’t necessarily need to be explored, but if you do take a moment to think about where it came from or what it might look like, you find that there’s really only 2 possible origins.

In settings where humans speak common and only Common, while every other race has its own language and also speaks Common, the implication is rather clear: at some point in the setting’s history, humans did the imperialism thing, and while their empire has crumbled, the only reason everyone speaks Human is that way back when, they had to, and since everyone speaks it, the humans rebranded their language as Common and painted themselves as the default race in a not-so-subtle parallel of real-world whiteness.

In settings where Human and Common are separate languages, though (and I haven’t seen nearly as many of these as I’d like), Common would have developed communally between at least three or four races who needed to communicate all together. With only two races trying to communicate, no one would need to learn more than one new language, but if, say, a marketplace became a trading hub for humans, dwarves, orcs, and elves, then either any given trader would need to learn three new languages to be sure that they could talk to every potential customer, OR a pidgin could spring up around that marketplace that eventually spreads as the traders travel the world.

Drop your concept of Common meaning “english, but in middle earth” for a moment and imagine a language where everyone uses human words for produce, farming, and carpentry; dwarven words for gemstones, masonry, and construction; elven words for textiles, magic, and music; and orcish words for smithing weaponry/armor, and livestock. Imagine that it’s all tied together with a mishmash of grammatical structures where some words conjugate and others don’t, some adjectives go before the noun and some go after, and plurals and tenses vary wildly based on what you’re talking about.

Now try to tell me that’s not infinitely more interesting.

(More a Thing my DM said. As it stands the best opening to any games I have ever played)

“You see the wide expanse of Creation before you. To the South is the endless deserts and volcanoes, where the most exotic spices and gems can be found. Opposite of it the snow covered North, home to ancient temples and hidden secrets. The West holds the shimmering seas and sings of pirates and adventure. The forests of the East are dark and mysterious, holding countless secrets in it’s depths. And in the center of it all, the Blessed Isle, once home to the gods, and now the hub of the vast Empire that spans all of Creation.”

“It’s an amazing sight, one that truly puts into perspective the wonder of the world as well as how important it is to protect it, But you can’t enjoy the view, because you’re five miles up and free falling, with no means of stopping your descent. Also you’re being attacked by savage bird men. Roll for Initiative.”

Sad Rock Songs

here are the songs that I listen to when I’m sad they’re ranging from alt to post hardcore so a little bit for everyone
Listen here (https://open.spotify.com/user/1178564415/playlist/68q6lTQWt6yQD907WcXAcD) on Spotify thanks to @chrondodite “Ten”- Yellowcard
“Sing For Me”- Yellowcard
“What a Catch, Donnie”- Fall Out Boy
“The End of All Things”- P!ATD
“The Light Behind Your Eyes”- MCR
“Fake Your Death”- MCR
“If It Means A Lot To You”- ADTR
“Stone Walls”- We The Kings
“Just Keep Breathing”- We The Kings
“I’ve Given Up On You”- Real Friends
“The Messenger”- Linkin Park
“Coffee Break”- Forever The Sickest Kids
“The Kids Aren’t Alright”- Fall Out Boy
“MSK”- Yellowcard
“Missing You”- All Time Low
“Future”- Paramore
“Last Hope”- Paramore
“The Only Exception”- Paramore
“Demon Limbs”- PVRIS
“King Of Anything”- Beartooth
“Mt. St. Joseph”- A Loss For Words
“Hate To See Your Heart Break”- Paramore
“Legendary”- The Summer Set
“Better Off Dead”- Sleeping With Sirens
“Lead Me Out Of The Dark”- Crown The Empire
“Call Me”- Shinedown
“Therapy”- All Time Low
“Pieces”- Sum 41
“Snuff”- Slipknot
“How to Save a Life”- The Fray
“Remembering Sunday”- All Time Low
“Monster”- Paramore
“Hated”- Beartooth
“Disenchanted”- MCR
“Bullet”- Hollywood Undead
“Hate Me”- Blue October
“Hold On Till May”- Pierce The Veil
“The World Is Ugly”- MCR
“This Is Gospel”- P!ATD
“Crash”- Sum 41
“Believe”- Mumford and Sons
“Demons”- Imagine Dragons
“Only One”- Yellowcard
“California”- Yellowcard
“Lift A Sail”- Yellowcard
“This Song Saved My Life”- Simple Plan
“Golden”- Fall Out Boy
“Human Interaction”- Tonight Alive
“Amelia”- Tonight Alive
“Only Love”- PVRIS
“Empty”- PVRIS
“Clairvoyant”- The Story So Far
“Dark On You”- Starset
“Jenny”- Nothing More
“Take On The World”- You Me At Six
“Placeholder”- The Story So Far
“Sleeping At The Wheel”- Matchbox Twenty
“Beacon Hill”- Damien Jurado
“I Of The Storm”- Of Monsters and Men
“Paper Walls”- Yellowcard
“COMA”- Issues
“The Lines”- Beartooth
“Save You”- Simple Plan
“Terrible Things”- Mayday Parade
“Stay”- Mayday Parade
“Miserable At Best”- Mayday Parade
“Roses”- Against The Current
“Paralyzed”- Against The Current
“Monster”- Starset
“You Found Me”- The Fray
“Where The Story Ends”- The Fray
“Third Eye”- Florence + The Machine
“I’ll Be OK”- Nothing More
“Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes”- Fall Out Boy
“Hear Me”- Imagine Dragons
“Lonely Girl”- Tonight Alive
“Let It Die”- Starset
“End Of Me”- A Day To Remember
“Reassemble”- A Day To Remember
“Crash”- You Me At Six
“Little House”- The Fray
“For You”- All That Remains
“Never Too Late”- Three Days Grace
“God Went North”- Nothing More
“Heaven”- PVRIS
“If You Wanted A Song Written About You, All You Had To Do Was Ask”- Mayday Parade

Imagine a D&D game that all happens in the starting town… Like everything that happens the DM is trying to use to get the players to leave but they never do.

DM: “Oh there’s werewolves a town over killing everyone!”
Players: “Well democratic governments evolve and we can negotiate services from them. Maybe shepherding? I imagine they are great at that.”

DM: “War has started between the kingdom and a neighboring empire. You are called to fight!”
Players: “Well we will fight by organizing the township into a strong industrial complex to produce supplies and weapons. We will end up rich!”
DM: “Please… I built a world…”
Players: “We will build a strong economy!”

... Somehow, Still Talking About This Captain America Shit (Now With Bonus Spider-Man and Agents of SHIELD)

So now Secret Empire has revealed its Shyamalan Twist and given the readers a Good Guy Steve Rogers as well as Hydra Cap, and the kinds of dickbags who, when this whole bullshit began were dismissing people’s complaints with “oh come on, don’t you know how comics works, it’s all going to be put back at the end, blah blah blah…” are crowing I-Told-You-So’s.

But here’s the thing:

Yeah, fucknuts.  We always knew this.

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THE SIGNS AS ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, I GUESS
  • Aries: "let's overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!" said robespierre, cutting everybody's heads off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off.
  • you could make a rel— no, don't.
  • Taurus: now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let's go on land! "nope, can't walk yet. and there's no food yet, so I don't care"
  • Gemini: tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing: bronze. made from special ingredient tin from the far lands of Tin Land. i dunno, my dealer won't tell me where he gets it.
  • Cancer: get the hell out of here. will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? okay, thanks, bye
  • Leo: ♫the sun is a deadly laser♫
  • Virgo: some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and ♫the ocean is full of plastic!♫
  • Libra: hi, i'm a member of the roman empire, and i was wondering ♫is loving jesus legal yet?♫
  • Scorpio: "Wait!" said christopher columbus, probably smoking crack. "if the world is round, let's go this way to india"
  • Sagittarius: who's the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we're all dying. you could make a religion out of this.
  • Capricorn: oh, fuck, now everything's dead
  • Aquarius: some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit. ♫space dust!♫ which allows for newer and more interesting stars to be made, and then die and explode into ♫even crazier space dust!♫
  • Pisces: hi, you're on a rock floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it's water. fuck it. actually, most of it's water. i can't even get from here to there without buying a boat. it's sad. i'm sad. i miss you.

do you ever just think about how wild star wars are politically.

  • like, there is the neoliberalism of the old republic, with the textbook neo-marxist core-periphery model of the greater galaxy. 
  • then there are the jedi, which are an enormously ancient and powerful institution that benefits from and enables the republican-corporate structure, but refuses to take direct involvement in its policy, 
  • this leaves an enormous power vacuum which is happily filled by the super secret red glowstick cult of the sith. 
  • and then dooku drags the jedi from his weird neoreactionary hereditary aristocracy ground, which is still somehow more refreshing. 
  • same thing goes for the separatist confederacy, which is mostly a network of megacorporations and planets dependent upon them, which are somehow a less stiffening alternative for many.
  • and then there is grievous, ventress and others from worlds existing outside the dominant framework of republican politics, but ravaged by capitalism and conflict and stripped of an identity beyond their utility, becoming the eventual wildcards. 
  • the entire worlds like mandalore, powerful and prominent enough to be of weight on the galactic scene, but ultimately uninterested in the galactic politics as framed by the republic, because their domestic problems are more pressing. 
  • what ever the hell is going on in the hutt space and underworld, raw capitalism functioning outside the state system
  • then there is the extremely militarized administrative structure of the empire, which drives itself to autocanibalistic destruction trying to keep all of the above under control.
  • pockets of limited autonomy exist under the empire, mostly in places whose established hierarchical administrative system allows for easier management.
  • the super secret red glowstick cult of the sith becomes even more secret, as things do within the mechanism of authoritarian states, which creates another vacuum, as their power is not backed up by ideological representation.
  • our beloved farmboy goes to pick up some power converters from the toshi station, and stumbles upon the said ideological vacuum with a blue glowstick in his hand. 
  • the rebel alliance, which is the oddest mix of generational royalty unhappy with the empire taking over the power they have over their individual planets, and straight up space anarchists from the worlds previously disfranchised by the republic and bombed by the empire.
  • the rebels politicize the jedi teaching as the core of old republican values, going off them as their platform (may the force be with you), even as the old jedi order pointedly stayed away from policymaking. 
  • the sequel trilogy, which refuses to address any of this. 
history of the entire world, i guess; a transcript

hi. you’re on a rock, floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it’s water. fuck it, actually most of it’s water. i can’t even get from here to there without buying a boat. it’s sad. i’m sad. i miss you. how did this happen? a long time ago, actually never, and also now, nothing is nowhere. when? never. makes sense, right? like i said, it didn’t happen. nothing was never anywhere. that’s why its been everywhere. it’s been so everywhere, you don’t need a “where”. you don’t even need a “when”. that’s how “every” it gets. (pause). forget this. i wanna be something, go somewhere, do something. i want things to change. i want to invent time and space. and i know it’s possible because everything is here and it probably already happened. i just don’t know when to start. and that’s exactly where it started. (background noise) woah. i… paused it. i think there’s a universe now. what’s it made of? quarks and stuff. ah, that’s a thing, in a place. don’t like it? try a new place, at a different Time™. try to stick together because the world is gonna get bigger and emptier. but it’s not empty yet. it’s still very full, and about a kjghpillion degrees. (about no seconds later). great news! the quarks are now happily married in groups of three called a “proton” or a “neutron”. and there’s something else flying around too that wants to join in but can’t cause it’s still to (HOT). (about ten minutes later). great news! the protons and the neutrons are now happily married to each other (some of them even doubled up). (about 380,000 years later). great news, the electrons have now joined in. congratulations, the world is now a bunch of gas in space. but it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together. it’s a staaaar. new shit just got made. some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit. space dust! which allows newer, more interesting stars to be made, and then die, and explode into even crazier space dust. so now stars have cool stuff around them, like rocks, ice, and funny clouds, which can make some very interesting things. like this ball of flaming rocks, for example. holy shit, we just got hit with another ball of flaming rocks, and it kinda made a mess. which is now the moon. weather update: it’s raining rocks from outer space. weather update: those rocks might’ve had water inside them and now there’s Hot Steam in the sky. weather update: cooler temperatures today, and the floor is no longer lava. weather update: its raining. severe flooding alert: the entire world is now an ocean. volcano alert: that’s land. there’slifeintheocean. what? something’s alive in the ocean. oh cool, like a plant or an animal? no. a microscopic speck! it lives at the bottom of the ocean and eats chemical soup which is being served hot and fresh made from gnarly space ingredients leftover from when it was raining rocks or whatever. oh yeah, and it can do that. it has secret instructions written inside itself telling it how to build another one of itself. so that’s pretty nifty, i would say. tired of living at the bottom of the ocean? now you can eat sunlight. using a revolutionary technique you can convert sunlight into food. taste the sun. side effect: now there’s oxygen everywhere and the sky’s blue. then the earth might’ve been a snowball for a while, maybe even a coupla times. it’s a sponge, it’s a plant, it’s a worm and some other types of weird strange water bugs and strange fish. it’s the Cambrian explosion. “wow, that’s animals and stuff.” but we’re still in the ocean. hey, can we go on land? NoO. why? the sun is a deadly lazer. oh okay. not anymore there’s a blanket. now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let’s go on land! “nope, can’t walk yet. and there’s no food yet so i don’t care.” (100 million years later) ok, will you learn to walk if there’s plants up here? “maybe,” said some bugs, and fish. “uh. uh. uh.” (five million years later) “ok so i can go on land but i have to go back in the water to have babies.” (idea) learn to use an egg. “i was already doing that.” use a stronger egg, and put water in it, have a baby, on land, in an egg. water is in the egg, baby, in the water, in the egg. works for me. bye bye ocean. aaand now everything is huge. including bugs. wanna see a map of the land? sure. ah fuck, now everything’s dead. just kidding here are the survivors. keep your eye on this one because its about to become the dinosaurs. here’s another map of the land. yeah, it broke apart, don’t worry about it, it does that all the time. here comes a meteor. and the dinosaurs are gone. its mammal time! here come the mammals. look at those breasts. now they’re gonna dominate the world, and one of them just learned how to grab stuff. and walk. no, like, walk like ‘that’. and grab stuff at the same time. and bang rocks together to make… pointed rocks. “ouch.” and set things on fire. “yeouch.” and make crazy sounds with their voice (“gneurshk.”) which can mean different things. that’s a human person. and now they’re everywhere, almost. ice age. what? you can walk over here? cool. not anymore. i guess we’re stuck here now.

let’s review. there’s people on the planet. and they’re chasing their food. fuck it, time to plant some grass. look at this, i control the food now. now everyone will want to be my friend and live near me. let’s all build houses except mine is bigger because i own the food. this is great, i wonder if anyone else is doing this. tired of using rocks for everything? use metal. it’s underground. better farming was just invented in a sweet dank valley right in between these two rivers, and the animals are helping. guess what happens next. more food, and more people who came to buy the food. now you need people to help make the food and keep track of the sales. and now you need houses for people to live in, and people to make the houses. and now there’s more people and they invent things, which makes things better and more people come. and there’s more farming and more people to make more things for more people. and now there’s business, money, writing, laws, power. sociiiety. coming soon to a dank river valley near you. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, the horse is probably being tamed. why is all my metal so lame and lumpy? tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing bronze, made with special ingredient tin from the far lands of tin land. i don’t know, my dealer won’t tell me where he gets it. also, guess what - egypt. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, they figured out how to put wheels on a horse. now we’re getting somewhere. also, china. and did i mention indusrivervalleycivilization. norte chico. the middle east is getting more complicated, maybe because it’s in the middle of the east. knock knock- er, clop clop, it’s the people with the horses? and they made an empire! and then everyone else copied their horses. greeks! ah look, it must be the greeks, or a beta version of the greeks. let’s check in with the indus river valley civilization. they’re gone. guess who’s not gone? china. new arrivals in india. maybe it’s thosehorsepeopleiwastalkingabout or theircousinsorsomething. and they wrote some hymns and mantras and stuff. you could make a religion out of this. there’s the bronze age collapse. now the phoenicians can get down to business. also, can we switch to a metal that’s a little easier to find? thanks. look who came back to israel, it’s the twelve tribes of israel. and they believe in god. just one though, he’s got like a ten step program. here’s some huge heads, must be the olmec. the phoenicians make some colonies. the greeks copy their idea and make some colonies. the phoenicians made a colony so big it makes colonies. here comes the assyrian empire. nevermind it’s the babylonian- median- it’s the persian empire. “wow, that’s big.” ah, the buddha was just enlightened! who’s the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we’re all dying. you could make a religion out of this. oops, china just broke, but while it was breaking confucius was figuring out how to have good morals. ah, the greeks just had the idea of thinking about stuff. and right over here, alexander just had the idea of conquering the entire persian empire. it’s a great idea, he was…great. and now he’s dead. hopefully, the rest of the gang will be able to share the empire evenly between them. knock knock, it’s chandragupta, he says, “get the hell out of here, will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? ok thanks bye; time to conquer all of india- or most of india”. but what about this part? that’s the tamil kings, no one conquers the tamil kings. who are the tamil kings? merchants, probably. and they’ve got spices. who would like to buy the spices? “me,” said the arabians, swiftly buying them and selling them to the rest of the world. hey, china put itself back together again with good morals as their main philosophy. actually they have three main philosophies. out here, the horse nomads run wild and free, and they would like to ransack your city. let’s check the greekification levels of the greekified kingdoms: greekification overload! “bye,” said the parthians, “bye,” said the jews. “hi,” said the parthians, taking over the entire place. “heyyyyyyyy,” said the romans, eating the entire mediterranean for breakfast. “thanks for invading our homeland,” said the jews, who were starting to get tired of people invading their homeland. “hi, everything’s great,” said some guy who seems to be getting very popular, and then gets arrested and killed for being too popular, which only makes him more popular. you could make a religion out of this. want silk? now you can buy it from china! they just made a brand new road to the world…or you can get there on water. “sick, new trade routes,” said india, accidentally spreading their religion to the entire southeast. hmm, that’s a good place for an epic trading kingdom. there goes buddhism, travelling up the silk road. i wonder if it’ll reach china before it collapses again. “remember the persian empire? yup,” said the persians, making a new one. axum is getting so powerful they would like to build a long stick. has anyone populated madagascar yet? let’s do it together. china is whole again…then it broke again. still can’t cross the sahara desert? try camels. “hell yeah, now we’ve got business,” said the ghana empire, selling lots of gold, and slaves. “hi i live in the roman empire and i was wondering, is loving jesus legal yet?” “no” “actually ok sure,” said constantine, moving the capitol way over here to be closer to his main rival. don’t worry about rome, it won’t fall. it’s the golden age of india. there’s the gupta empire. not chandragupta, just gupta, first name chandra, the first. guess who’s in rome? barbarians. what’s a barbarian? “non-romans,” said the romans, being invaded by non-romans. r.i.p. roman empire. or actually, just half is just fine. but it’s not in rome anymore so let’s give it a new name. the mayans have figured out the staaars. oh, and here’s a huge city, population everyone. the göktürks have taken over the entire eurasian steppe. great job, göktürks. how’s india? broken. how’s china? back together. how’s those trading kingdoms? bigger, and there’s more of them. korea has three kingdoms. japan has a kingdom, it’s the sunrise kingdom.

deep in the arabian desert, on the top of a mountain, the real god whispers in muhammad’s ear, so he goes down to the cube where everyone worships gods, and he tells them their gods are all fake. and everyone got so mad at him that he had to leave town and go to a different town. you could make a religion out of this. and maybe conquer the world as well. the roman empire is long gone, but somehow the pope is still the pope. plus there’s new kingdoms all over europe. i wonder if there’s room for moors. here’s all the wisdom, in a house. it’s the baghdad house of wisdom, just in time for the islamic golden age. “let’s bring stuff to the coast and sell it, and become the swahili on the swahili coast,” said the swahili on the swahili coast. remember this tiny space you have to go through to get from here to there? someone owns that now. wanna get enlightened in the middle of nowhere? the franks have the biggest kingdom in europe, and the pope is so proud that he invites the king over for christmas. “surprise, you’re the new roman emperor,” said the pope, pretending to still be part of the roman empire. then the franks broke their kingdom into what will later be called france and not france. the northerners, or just norse if you don’t have that much time, are exploring. they go north, from the north to the northern north, and they find some land. two types of land, and they name them accordingly. they also invade some other places and get called many names, such as vikings. there’s the rus, the kievan rus. are they vikings? “i don’t think so,” said the kievan rus. ok, fair enough. the pope is ready to make some more emperors of the roman empire, the holy roman empire. it’s actually germany but don’t worry about it. new kingdoms! christianizeallthekingdoms. which brand would you like? “mine’s better,” “mine’s better,” “mine’s better”. “time to conquer england,” said william. it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the seljuk turks. “ahh!” said the byzantine empire, who’s getting so small it almost doesn’t exist anymore, “we need help!” they need help, so they call the pope. “hey pope, can you help us get rid of the seljuks? maybe take back the holy land on the way? come on, i know you wanna take back the holy land.” “yes, i do actually want to do that. let’s do a crusade.” crusade. they did many crusades, some of which almost didn’t fail, but at least the italians got some sweet trade deals. goodbye mayans. hello toltecs, goodbye toltecs, hello mississippi. look at those mounds. there’s the pueblo. i always wondered how to build a town in a cliff. guess who’s here? khmer. where? here, and pagan is there, and vietnam unconquered itself, korea just became itself, and japan is so addicted to art that the military might have to take over the government. china just invented bombs, and typing. and the mongols just invaded most of the universe. nice going, genghis. i bet that will last a long time! some of the islamic turks were unaffected by the mongol invasions because they were busy invading india. is it tonga time? i think it’s tonga time. i just found out where the swahili gets all their gold. look at this chad (means lake), there’s an empire there, right in the middle of africa. the king of mali is so rich he’s going on tour to let everyone know. “wow, that guy’s rich,” everyone said. the christians are doing a great job of conquering iberia which will soon be called spain and not spain. please remain christian. we will check in later to see if you are still christian when you least expect. whoops, half of europe just died. ming. china’s back, yay. hey khmer, time to share, new kingdoms here and there. oh look who controls all the islands, its the mahajapit. majahapit, mapajahit, mahapajit, mapajahit, majapahit? oh, italy’s really rich, time for them to care a lot about art and the ancient classics. it’s kinda like a rebirth. here’s a printer, lets make books. so you think you can conquer the byzantine empire? “yep,” said the ottoman turks. nice job, ottoman turks. whoops, you missed a spot; don’t forget to ban europe from the indian spice trade. “what? that’s bullshit,” said portugal, spiceless. well i guess we’ll have to find another way to india. “wait,” said christopher colombus, probably smoking crack, “if the world is round, lets go this way to india!” “nah, don’t worry we already got this,” said portugal. so chris goes to spain. “hey spain, wanna hire me to go find india by going around back of the world?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.” “please?” “ok.” so he sails into the ocean, and discovers more ocean, and then discovers ‘the indies’ and ‘japan’. let’s draw a line to decide who gets which half of the world. the aztec and inca empires are off to a great start. i wonder if they know that europe just discovered their continent. the habsburgs are marrying into so many royal families they might have to start marrying each other. move over lithuania, here comes moscow. ivan wants to make russia great again. move over timurids, maybe go invade india or something. persia just made persia persian again. let’s make it the other kind of islam, the one where we thought the first guy should’ve been the other guy. hey christians, do you sin? now you can buy your way out of hell. “that’s bullshit, this whole thing is bullshit, that’s a scam, fuck the church, here’s 95 reasons why,” said martin luther, in his book which might have accidentally started the protestant reformation. “you know what would be magnificent?” said suleiman, wearing an onion hat, “what if the ottoman empire was really big, which it is now.”  “what if russia was big,” said ivan, trying not to be terrible. portugal had a dream that they controlled the entire indian ocean, including the spice trade, and then that dream was real. and spain realised that this is not india, but they pillaged it anyway. “damn,” said england and france, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” then the dutch revolt and all the hipsters move to amsterdam. “damn,” said amsterdam, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” question one: can you get to india through north america? no, but at least there’s beaver. question two: steal the spice trade. that’s not a question but the dutch did it anyway. sugar. guess where all the sugar’s made? in brazil. stolen! in the carribean, and it’s so goddamn profitable you might forget to not do slavery. the next thing on russia’s to-do list is to get bigger. britain and france are having a friendly discussion about who should control the entire world, more specifically, ohio. then it escalates into a seven year discussion, giving prussia a chance to show austria who’s boss. but what about britain and france, did they figure out who’s boss? yes they did, it’s britain. guess who’s broke? also britain. so they start taxing the hell out of america.

“fuck you,” says america, declaring their independence, and fighting for it. france helps them win, now france is broke. and britain will have to send their prisoners to a different continent. wait if france is broke, why do the king and queen still wear such fancy dresses? “let’s overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!” said robespierre, cutting everybody’s head off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off. you could make a reli- no don’t. haiti is starting to like the idea of a revolution, especially the slaves, who free themselves by killing their masters. “why didn’t we think of this before?” wait, who’s in charge of france now? “me,” said napoleon, trying to take over europe. luckily, they banished him to an island. but he came back. luckily, they banished him to another island. there goes latin america, becoming independent in the latin america wars of independence. britain just figured out how to turn steam into power, so now they can make many different types of machines and factories with machines in them so they can make a lot of products real fast. then they invent some trains, and conquer india and maybe put some trains there. “hey china,” said britain, “buy stuff from us.” “nah, dude we already got everything,” says china. so britain tried to get them addicted to opium, which worked actually, but then china made it illegal and dumped it all into the sea. so britain threw a hissy-fit and made them open up five cities and give them an island. britain and russia are playing a game where they try to stop each other from conquering afganistan. also the sultan of oman lives in zanzibar now, that’s just where he lives. india had a revolution, and they would like to govern themselves now. “nope,” said britain, governing them even harder than before. technology is about to go crazy. the united states finally figured out whether slavery is good or bad. “it’s bad,” they decided. and then they continued manifesting their destiny, which is to kill the rest of the natives and take their land, and maybe kick out the mexicans too. “i know, let’s rape africa,” said europe, scrambling to see who could rape it the fastest. they never got ethiopia.  britain and france are still hungry. they never got thailand. the united states ran out of destiny to manifest, so they’re looking for more. hawaii. cuba. wait spain controls cuba. “well, blame something on them and go to war! what should we blame on them? let’s blame the maine on spain!” so they blame the maine on spain. now we’re in business. to celebrate, they kick panama out of panama and make a canal, connecting the two oceans. britain just found oil in the middle east. it makes cars go. china is so tired of being bossed around that they delete their old government and make a new stronger government, which is accidentally weaker and controlled by a guy from the previous government. europe hasn’t had a war since the last war, so they start world war one. look at those guns. it’s gonna be a great war, so great we won’t need a second one. after it’s over, they blame germany. russia went on strike and the workers overthrew the government. now everyone’s paycheck is the same. communism, in the soviet union. the arabs revolt, and britain helps. now the ottoman empire is gone, so we can give the jewish people a place to live. hopefully the arabs won’t mind. “let’s cut the cake,” said sykes and picot, carving up the remains of the not-so-ottoman-anymore empire. except turkey, turkey makes a brand new turkey. and then the saudis conquer arabia. it just seemed like the right thing to do. hello? yes, it’s the 1920s calling. let’s get in a car and drive to a party and listen to the jazz on the radio and go to the movies. the economy’s great and it’ll probably be great forever. just kidding. germany’s back, featuring hitler, the angry mustache model. he’s mad at the jews for existing. japan is finally conquering the east, and they’re so excited they rape nanking way too hard. they should probably just deny it. hitler’s out of control, so the international community tackles him and tries to explain to him why killing all the jews is a bad idea, but he kills himself before they could explain it to him. that’s world war two. bonus round: pacific showdown, united states versus japan. fight! finish him. let’s unite all the nations and have some world peace. seems legit. “hi i’m gandhi and if britain doesn’t get the hell out of india i’m going to starve myself in public. wow, that worked?” bonus: now there’s pakistan. actually two pakistans. one of them can be bangladesh later. the jews and the arabs finally figured out which one of them should live in the holy land. “me”, they both said at the same time. “let’s divide up the land so everyone’s happy.” sike! they both get angrier. look out china, there’s a new china in china. what’s on the menu? communism! “no thanks,” said the other china, escaping to an island. i wonder which one is the real china. there’s the korean war, korea versus korea, nobody wins, then it’s on pause forever. let’s meet the sponsors. oh, it’s the two global superpowers. they’re having a friendly debate over which economic system is good and which is an evil virus of satan. and they both have atom bombs. fight! wait no that would be the end of the world. let’s just keep it cool and spy on each other instead. and make sure we have enough atom bombs. “i’ll race you to space. now let’s make some more countries fight themselves.” europe is tired of pillaging other continents, so the continents they were pillaging are tired of being pillaged. so here’s a new map, with new countries. now you can’t tell who they’re being pillaged by. the united states finally decided whether racism is good or bad. they decided it’s bad, and the world agrees. south africa might need another minute to think about it. let’s check the world population. woah. okay. technology’s better too, that might keep happening. the soviet union decides to relax a little and accidentally falls apart. europe makes a union, so now they can all use the same money; except britain because they don’t feel like it. let’s check the mail. surprise! it’s on the computer! whoops, someone just attacked america, i bet they’ll remember that. phone call, surprise, it’s in your pocket! wanna learn everything? surprise, it’s on the computer! now your phone’s a computer, which is in your pocket. whoops, the economy just crashed. don’t worry, the big banks won’t fail, because they’re not supposed to. surprise, flying robots! with bombs. wanna print a brain? some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and the ocean is full of plastic. “let’s save the planet,” said everybody, not knowing how. “let’s invent a thing inventor,” said the thing inventor inventor, after being invented by a thing inventor. that’s pretty cool. by the way, where the hell are we?

Angels walk among us. With crooked halos and shattered wings, they walk among us and try to remember what it felt like to be holy. Stretching out their arms and reminding themselves of what it felt like to soar.


Gods walk among us. Trapped inside too small bodies with nothing but the memories of when they were everything, and dream of the worlds and empires they helped forge. Their hands had once built galaxies, but now seemed so small.


Aliens walk among us. From far away worlds and twinkling stars, they carry on and wonder how they had gotten so far from home. One day they know they’ll traverse this galaxy once again, but until then they must make do with Earth.


Fae walk among us. Who try to remember their people, their customs, their dances, in a world that is convinced that they are children’s tales, and no more. Desperately trying to become themselves again, wondering if it was all simply a prank gone wrong, or something worse.


Forests walk among us. Those who remember their trees, their plants, the animals they kept safe under their canopy. Now they can only hope their small friends stay safe, until they can take care of them all again.


Animals walk among us. Wondering why they were stuck on two legs with none of their fur or feathers, scales or shells. Questioning why their voices suddenly are so wrong, so different from the cries they used to make. Surrounding themselves with whatever they can that reminds them of their home.


Ghosts walk among us. Clothed in flowing white and shadowy blues, wandering through areas that used to be solely theirs. They can no longer phase or float, but they make do. They have to.


Dragons walk among us. On feet without the claws they remember, and with heads held high despite the missing horns and fangs. They clamber forwards, rebuilding their hoard with every step of the way.


Dolls walk among us. Those with faded felt and chipped ceramics alike wondering why they were suddenly flesh. Looking over themselves and realizing their bodies were suddenly softer then they ever were, more sturdy then they ever were.


Galaxies walk among us. Made of star stuff and moonshine, infinitely growing forces trapped in too small bodies. Remembering what it felt like to span light years and wondering who had managed to trap supernovas into flesh and blood.


Monsters walk among us. In every shape and size; they walk; slither; crawl; and remember the days they were feared, and wonder if they really want that back. If they would want it back after finally being treated as a living creature with as much right to exist as anyone else.


Betrayers walk among us. With guilt-ridden hearts and regretful eyes. Who reassure themselves that it was the right thing to do, not quite sure if they believe themselves.


Saviors walk among us. With a shine in their eyes and smiles on their lips, reassuring all they come across that one day the sun will shine and all with be right once again.


Rebels walk among us. Causes long ago forgotten, but with fires still raging in their hearts. Challenging anything and everything. Unrest and revolutions follow them wherever they tread. Chaos and freedom, mixed together.


Survivors walk among us. Soldiers with nothing left to fear, who have instincts as their guide and luck on their side. Walking forward unafraid, because they’ve done this all before.


Immortals walk among us. Souls laden with sorrow, heartbreak slipping through their eyes. They know by now not to get close, but do so anyways because its the only thing that makes them feel anymore.


Soldiers walk among us. Hands itching for weapons they no longer have, tense with instincts they no longer need. Wondering why their body is so unmarred and unbroken. They had always done their best, but now they no longer knew if that was good enough. If it ever was good enough.


Children walk among us. Lost and afraid, they march forward, with the weights of a thousand impossibilities on their shoulders. These children are forgotten, and they would prefer to stay that way.


Cursed-folk walk among us. With cautious eyes and doubtful tones, who know that the world is against them now more than ever. Everything comes with a price, and they wonder if their price was truly worth it.


Mages walk among us. Hands of their magical tools of choice, ready to pull them out if necessary to defend or attack. Scared because this was the land their ancestors were killed in. Courageous because they continue forwards anyways.


Travelers walk among us. Those who took a wrong turn and found themselves in a world that isn’t theirs, hoping to one day find the way back. Strength rings through them, for they know they cannot- will not -stop until they reach their home.


Chosen Ones walk among us. Remembering what it felt like to be The One, The Savior, The Last Hope of their worlds- and wondering why that responsibility was ever thrust on them in the first place. Wondering why they had been abandoned back in their old world after fighting so hard for the one they had made their home.


Spirits walk among us. Spirits who see others like them in the corner of their eyes. Spirits who meet up in quiet secret places and remember, together, what it felt like to be themselves. Reassuring each other that one day they will all go Home.


Unicorns walk among us. Even with their horns no longer there, there is no doubt magic runs through them. They are blessed creatures, and they know it. Stars and sunlight glisten in their eyes, and every step plants flowers. 


Demons walk among us. Still feeling the darkness in their blood, and the calls of others like them. Hell fire and brimstone smells dance on the breeze, luring them away. Luring them back home.


Dire Wolves walk among us. Even without their pack, they are fierce. Every step a calculation, every move planned.The hunt is on, and it looks like you are the prey. Get ready to run.


Dinosaurs walk among us. Long gone though they are, the continue forward. With pasts surrounded by mystery and unknowing. They are a varied folk, from carnivores to herbivores and everything in between. Large and small alike they fight on.


Winged Ones walk among us. Backs aching from wings they don’t have- limbs they haven’t had in a long time. The sky calls to them, begging them to come home, but they cannot reply. Stuck on the ground, staring hopefully up at the sky- one day they might go home, but not yet, not today.


Glitches walk among us. Scratches on the disk of reality, blips in the world. Tilt your head, look at them from a wrong angle- they might just be lens flares, might just be tricks of the imagination. The world warps around a being that is not there, that shouldn’t be there.


Hellhounds walk among us. Hellfire sprouts from their paths, infernos blaze just under their skin. Embers burn their paws, soot stains their fur. Wildness stirs in their hearts, urges them forward. Feral creatures, born from fire and darkness.


Vampires walk among us. Fangs stained red with blood that is not theirs. Pale as untouched snow, with hearts as dark as the night they rule. Voids twist around them, cloaking them in their shadows. Look out for too sharp grins at midnight, watch your steps.


Elements walk among us. Raging winds, blazing flames, crushing earth, and surging waters rush together. Combining to make impossible possibilities, incredible worlds, exploding worlds. Elements that made up entire worlds now spinned into bones.


The Undead walk among us. Shuffling and stuttering, wondering if this makes them undead undead. Flesh now whole and bones unbroken, feeling their heartbeat course through their veins once again, feeling the air filling their lungs once again. 


Werefolk walk among us. Bodies no longer shifting as they once did, permanently stuck on their two legs, for better or for worse. From all walks of life, they shifted into anything and everything. They do what they can to remind themselves of what if had felt like to themselves again.


Starseeds walk among us. Those that have lived only a few lives and those that have lived hundreds walking together. Taking the same steps they’ve taken who knows how many times before. Memories trickle back to them, small ones and big ones alike replaying in their minds. Doing their best to remember their mission and goals.


Mermaids walk among us. Although, maybe walk would be the wrong word. Figuring out how to walk on separate limbs that used to be one. Feeling most at home when submerged in water, sometimes forgetting their new bodies need oxygen. Strong arms and new legs propelling them through water, making them relearn a skill that they’d known since birth.


Death Omens walk among us. Afraid if their mere presence curses everyone around them. Keeping to themselves, just in case. Wondering how much of their past life carries on to their new life. Afraid that their mere touch could end lives, wondering if its their fault every time catastrophe hits.


Psychopomps walk among us. Remembering their jobs, remembering their duty. Even when they hated it, they remember what that must do. Both an impartial guide and a guardian protector. It was not their job to judge, simply to provide a safe passage from here to whatever lies beyond. Smiling in the face of death, knowing that they are not here for them.


Shadows walk among us. Twisting and shifting, not solid forms but far from intangible. They are everywhere and nowhere all at once, watching on to every act, recording passively that actions of others, while also defending those in need, actively stepping out to protect. They are the night and the stars, and yet also the shifting woods and deadly blades that flash in the shade. They are, and they aren’t.


Prisoners walk among us. Remembering shackles and chains holding them back, holding them down. Forced in cages and cells, forced to repent. But now- now they are free. They are free to walk and speak and run. Every part of their soul sings. Shackles now rusted off, chains now broken- they have no intentions of ever putting them back on.


Robots walk among us. Rusty joints and electricity running through them. Mechanical men, made to work with no need for sustenance. Inorganic beings with artificial intelligence, making themselves better, making themselves evolve. Their jobs are not yet done.


Mountains walk among us. Their strength and fortitude transformed into movable flesh and feeble bones. Eons of near unending life taken away and replaced with a life of hardly a century. Where once they were feared and respected, they are now hardly ever seen.


Winter Sprites walk among us. Ice on their fingers, frost in their hair. Snow falls over their trail, painting the frozen landscape a chilling white. A shiver trails up your spine when they pass, followed by a freezing breeze- winter spirits in their element can freeze the world over, if one could be bothered to do so.


Seers walk among us. They watch, wide eyed and humbled, at the creatures who walk around them. Wings and horns and twisted bits, wandering through crowded streets. Their oddities, invisible to most, show bright and clear to the perceptive eyes of those who watch.



(want me to add one? Leave a reply and I’ll add it to the original)

2

There was a princess… Elisabeta. She was the most radiant woman in all the empires of the world. Man’s deceit took her from her ancient prince. She leapt to her death into the river that you spoke of. In my mother’s tongue, it is called “Artzeche”, River Princess.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) dir. Francis Ford Coppola

Sarah J Maas novel Calendar

May 2, 2017 - A Court of Wings and Ruin & Coloring book.

September 5, 2017 - Chaol Novella

2018 - Catwoman

May 1, 2018 - TOG #6 & The World of Throne of Glass

September 5, 2018 - ACOTAR #4 - spinoff

2019 - ACOTAR #5 - spinoff

2020 - ACOTAR #6 - spinoff

2021 - ACOTAR Novella

2022 - ACOTAR Novella


All these dates were taken from Goodreads and SJM’s newsletter about her new books from July 25, 2016.

SJM Baltimore Book Event

Some notes from the questions portion of tonight’s event!

She is a proud hufflepuff bc of the common room, husband is Gryffindor

She would be in the Night Court bc she hates the sun

Cassian is Gryffindor
Azriel is ravenclaw
Elain hufflepuff
Nesta syltherin
Amren slyth/claw
Mor is Gryffindor
Rhys is slytherin
Feyre is hufflepuff (she literally said slytherpuff)

Unsung hero of acotar is Suriel!!!

Favorite power is Helion’s libraries

Mates can be same gender, as we saw in ACOWAR

Inspiration for Rhys is not her husband!!! They are both tall and handsome with dark hair, but rhys and Feyre’s bond *is* inspired by their relationship. Rhys also walked into her head like aelin and became Sarah’s second husband.

Lorcan vs Cassian, we win and they draw. They would fight to a stalemate then go get a beer and bond over lady problems. Then likely go to the Spring Court and start trouble.

Rhys vs Fenrhys are equally attractive, depends on preference.

Jamie (from Outlander) and Rhys would be friends but would be constantly in silent competition with each other.

(Always imagines rain clouds and white tee shirt contests with her guy characters, and abs)

She is more like feyre on her quiet days, more like aelin on most days, but identifies most with Fleetfoot.

Her deadlines are plotted out for years, so she has no option but to sit and write. Writing is a muscle that needs to be used and built. Her advice to aspiring writers is to not listen to the people who tell you to write something “serious or a real book.” If someone says “you can’t” tell them “watch me,” at least in your head. Keep your goal as your focus. Find the time and write. Do it!!!! Treat it seriously.
She would sit down everyday and write, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. It’s the only way to get it done.

Quoted A League of Their Own, said that if it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. You have to hustle.

Each spinoff will be a stand alone novel and follow a different pairing in each. They will all eventually be connected in the end.
One might be a snow queen retelling. One might be a Russian/swan lake retelling but at this point she won’t give more details than that yet.

TOD runs parallel to EOS, it’s a “meanwhile on the southern continent.” Wrote 20,000 words in the first day and was chater 4. 193,000 words later and it’s the same length as EOS.
The timeline lines up perfectly. Nesryn, Chaol, and Irene plotlines and pov.
TOD never feels like work and is as close to her heart as HOF was. Is excited every time she reads it and edits. She was excited to expand on the TOG world. The southern continent is highly influenced by the Mongolian empire.
She is a huge G. Khan fangirl.

READ TOD BEFORE FINAL TOG. Major game changers and reveals, it all weaves together.

Editor who read TOD for review hated Chaol going into TOD, but she came out loving Chaol after.
SJM loves the journey and she cried a lot working on the book.

She reccomends Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Post ACOWAR read the Fever series (blonde southern girl tries to solve her sister’s murder). Star Touched Queen.

Her patronus (she wanted hers to be a velociraptor), she got an akami (sp?), the feathery-serpant creature from fantastic beasts.

Inexplicably dropped into this plane of existence with no memory of a past life, Agisgata has learned how to be the demon mankind wanted him to be.

His gluttony, lasciviousness and cruelty are feared and revered throughout the empire, with shrines and houses of worship erected in most major cities to appease him. Decadent feasts and pale maidens alike are brought across the lands and placed at his feet as sacrifice, and all are devoured.

But his formidable features are a facade. Though powerful and clever, Agisgata is immensely naive. His knowledge of the world and its inhabitants is minimal and warped, and the fearsome beast he’s become stems from a simple desire to be accepted by the people that surround him.

Man saw Agisgata as a creature of sin, and it became so.

Books you should read because I LOVE THEM

Dedication: For @kissmybruisedknuckles who told me to make this because she’s too lazy to make one lol

1. Strange The Dreamer - Laini Taylor

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

2. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

3. Unwind - Neil Shusterman

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

4. Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

5. This Savage Song - Victoria Schwab

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

6. The Darkest Part of The Forest - Holly Black

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

7. Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

9. Illuminae - Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more

10. Legend - Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

11. Angelfall (Penryn and the end of days) - Susan Ee

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

12. Caraval - Stephanie Garber

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

13. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

14. An Ember In The Ashes - Sabaa Tahir

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

15. The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.


16. The Wrath and The Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

We spend so much of our 20’s looking for the one. We are stuck at that age where half of our friends are engaged or married, some with children; the other half is drunk off their ass 90% of the time and never made it past their second semester of college. We find this compelling need to compare ourselves to everyone around us, “oh at least I’m doing better than her,” and “fuck. She’s about to be a doctor and I am not sure what I want to be.” We have to swipe left endlessly looking for what we want.

I’ll tell you what you want, it’s to be happy.

Happy is not the same for you as it is for the girl who sat next to you every day during 3rd period.

And for me? Happy is making sure I get to see the world while I’m young, experiencing different parts of our country before I pick and place and settle down. If I’m going to dig my roots so far into the nutrient rich ground I want to make DAMN sure it’s the right kinda soil to make me grow. At some point I woke up and realized I’m living life for myself and not others. I welcome their criticism but learned to filter out when it was helpful versus unnecessary. There’s nothing wrong with getting on a plane to anywhere or long road trips or moving around to figure yourself out. Cause let me tell you, I was looking for the one, and I found her. It’s me. I’m the one. But when I find someone else who can be my plus one to everything I’ve already given myself, I’ll be ready because I won’t expect them to give me all the love in the world. To always pick me up when I fall. I will not rely heavily on them because i know I’ve already done it for myself and deeply rooted myself in those capabilities. Whoever comes along will hopefully have done that for themselves and instead of 2 trees in a yard we can create a jungle that radiates so much life everything comes to live within us. You see I was born a queen with a throne, now I’m learning to make an empire.

And for you? I hope you find whatever your happiness is to be able to do the same. To be a source of life.

Japan is an island by the sea filled with volcanoes and it’s ♪♫ beautiful ♫♪.
In the year negative a billion, Japan might not have been here. In the year negative forty thousand, it was here, and you could walk to it, and some people walked to it. Then it got warmer, some icebergs melted, it became an island, and now there’s lots of ♫ trees ♫. Because it’s warmer.
So now there’s people on the island; they’re basically sort of hanging out in between the mountains eating nuts off trees and using the latest technology. Like stones, and bowls.
Ding dong, it’s the outside world, and they have technology from the future. Like really good metal, and ♪ crazy rice farms ♪. Now you can make a lot of rice really really quickly. That means if you own the farm, then you own a lot of food, which is something everybody needs to survvvvive. So that makes you king.
Rice farming and rice kingdoms spread all across the land, all the way to here. The most important kingdoms were here (Hi), here (Chikushi), here (Izumo), here (Kibi), here (Yamato), here (Koshi), and here (Kenu). But this one (Yamato) was the most most important, ruled by a heavenly superperson, or emperor for short.
Knock knock, get the door, it’s religion. The new prince wants everyone to try this hot new religion 🎺🎺🎺 (Buddhism) from Baekje.
“Please try this religion,” he said.
“No,” said everybody.
“Try iiiiit,” he said.
“no,” said everybody again, quieter this time.
And so the religion was put into place and all the rules that came with it.
Then, the government was taken over by another clique (Taika). And they made some reforms , like making the government govern more, and making the government more like China’s government, which is a government that governs more.
“Hi China,” they said.
“Hi dipshit (wa, dwarf),” said China.
“Can you call us something else, other than dipshit?” said Japan.
“Like what?” said China.
♫♪"How about sunrise laaand?“♪♫ said Japan.
And they stole China’s alphabet and wrote a book. About themselves! And then they made lots of poetry and art and another book about themselves.
Then they stopped moving the capital every time the emperor died and kept it in one place for a while, right here (Kyoto, Heian Palace). And they conquered the north finally, get that squared away.
A rich hipster named Kūkai is bored with modern Buddhism and visits China, learns a better version which is more ♫♪ spiritual ♪♫, comes back, reinvents the alphabet, and causes art and literature to be ♫♪ great ♪♫ for a long time. And the royal palace turned into such a dreamworld of art that they really didn’t give a shit about running the country.
So if you live outside the palace, how are you supposed to protect your shit, from criminals? ♫♪ Hire a samurai. ♪♫ Everyone started hiring samurai. Rich important people hired samurai. Poor people who could not afford to hire samurai did not hire samurai. The samurai became organized and powerful, more powerful than the government. So they made their own military government, right here. They let the emperor still be emperor, but the shogun was actually in control.
Breaking news, the Mongols have invaded China.
"W̛e҉’ve i͟nv̕aded ̵Chi͠na̸,” said the Mongols, “Pl͘e̶a̷se̵ ͝res͢p̛ȩc̷t u͢s҉,͜ or͜ el̕se w͞e ͟m̛igh͟t ͠i͝nvade͡ ̕y͜o̕u̕ ͡a͡s̕ ̡well̀.̢”
“Okay,” said Japan.
So the Mongols came over, ready for war, and died in a tornadotyphoon. But they tried again, and had a nice time fighting with the Japanese, but then died in a tornadotyphoon.
Then the emperor overthrows the shogunate, then the shogunate overthrows him back and moves to Kyoto, and makes a new shogunate. And the emperor can still dress like an emperor if he wants, that’s fine.
♫♪ Now there’s more art. ♪♫
Like painting with less colors, collaborative poetry, plays, monkey fun, tea parties, gardening, architecture, flowers.
It’s time for who’s going to be the next shogun. Usually it’s the shogun’s kid, but the shogun doesn’t have a kid. So he tries to get his brother to quit being a monk and be the next shogun. He says okay. But then the shogun has a kid. So now who’s it gonna be? Vote now on your phones. And everyone voted so hard that the palace caught on fire and burned down. The shogun actually didn’t care, he was off somewhere doing poetry. And the whole country broke into pieces. Everyone is fighting with each other for local power, and it’s anybody’s game.
Knock knock, it’s Europe. No, they’re not here to take over, they just wanna sell some shit. Like clocks, and guns, and ♫♪ Jesus ♪♫. So that’s cool. But everyone’s still fighting each other for control. Now with guns! And wouldn’t it be nice to control the capital, which right now is puppets, with no one controlling them? This clan (Imagawa) is ready to make a run for it, but first they have to trample this smaller clan (Oda) which is in the way. Surprise, smaller clan wins! And the leader of that clan (Oda Nobunaga) steals the idea of invading the capital, and invades the capital. And it goes very well.
He’s about halfway through conquering Japan when someone who works for him kills him, then someone else who works for him (Toyotomi Hideyoshi) kills them, and that guy finishes conquering Japan. And then he confiscated everybody’s swords. And he made some rules.
“Ąnd͟ n͟ow I'̛m̶ goińg̡ to ͘inva͞d̨e ͝Kor͟e͡a,̵ an͝d͢ ̶the̴n h͜op̷ef̕ull͏y ̵Chin͢a̛,” he said, and failed, and also died.
But before he died, he told these five guys to take care of his five year old son until he’s old enough to be the next ruler of Japan. And the five guys said yeah right, it’s not gonna be this kid, it’s gonna be one of us. ‘Cause we’re grownups. And it’s probably gonna be this guy (Tokugawa Ieyasu) who happens to be way more rich and powerful than the others.
A lot of people support him, but a lot of people (Ishida Mitsunari) support not supporting him. They have a fight, and he wins. And starts a new government, right here. ♫♪ Edo ♫♪ And he still lets the emperor dress like an emperor, and have very nice things. But don’t get confused, this (Tokugawa family) is the new government. And they are very strict, so strict they close the country. No one can leave, and no one can come in. Except for the Dutch, if they wanna buy and sell shit, but they have to do it right here (Dejima).
Now that the entire country was not at war with itself, the population increased a lot. Business increased, schools were built, roads were built, everyone learned to read, books were published. There was poetry (haiku), plays (kabuki), sexytimes, puppet shows (bunraku), and Dutch studies. People started to study European science from books they bought from the Dutch. We’re talking geography, skeletons, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and maybe even electricity.
Over time, the economic and cultural prosperity began to gradually slow do-
*impending doom music*
Knock knock. It’s the United States. With huge boats. With guns. Gunboats.
“O͜pe͡ņ,̨ t͡he͏ ͘c̷o̷ưntry. ͠S̛t͜o̡p̛,̵ ҉ha͠v̀in͜g̷ i͝t̀ ͝be̴ ́clo͞sed.̢” said the United States.
*music ends*
There was really nothing they could do, so they signed a contract that lets United States, Britain, and Russia visit Japan anytime they want.
Chōshu and Satsuma hated this. “That sucks!” they said. “This sucks!!!”
And with almost very little outside help, (from Britain) they overthrew the shogunate. And somehow made the emperor the emperor again, and moved him to Edo, which they renamed eastern capital (Tokyo). They made a new government, which was a lot more Western. And they made a new constitution, which was.. pretty Western. And a military that was… pretty Western (large).
And do you know what else is Western? That’s right, it’s conquering stuff. So what can we conquer? Korea! They conquer Korea, taking it from its previous owner, China, and then go a little bit further (Liaodong Peninsula).
And Russia rushes in out of nowhere and says, “Stop no you can’t do that we were gonna build a railroad through here to try to get some warm water.” And Russia builds their railroad, supervised by a shitton of soldiers. Then, when the railroad was done, they downgraded to a fuckton. Did I say downgrade? I meant upgrade.
And Japan says, “Can you maybe chill?”
And Russia says, “How 'bout maybe you chill?”
Japan is kind of scared of Russia. You’ll never guess who's alsokind of scared of Russia. Great Britain! So Japan and Great Britain make an alliance together so they can be a little less scared of Russia. Feeling confident, Japan goes to war against Russia, but just for a moment, and then they both get tired and stop.
♫♪ It’s time for World War I ♪♫
The world is about to have a war. Because it’s the 1900s, and weapons are getting crazy, and all these empires are excited to try them out on each other. Meanwhile, Japan has been enjoying conquering stuff and wants m̵͡͝͝o͏̨̨̢͢o͏͏̵̧̕ơ̢̢͜͜o͠͏͢ó͘o̶̢̧ó̷͝͠o͝͡o̧͘r̨̢̕ȩ̸ and the next thing on their list is this part of China (Qingdao) and lots of tiny islands.
All that stuff belongs to Germany, which just had war declared on by Britain, because Britain was friends with Belgium, who was being trespassed by Germany in order to get to France to kick France’s ass because France was friends with Russia who was getting ready to kick Austria’s ass because Austria was getting ready to kick Serbia’s ass because someone from Serbia shot the leader of Austria’s ass. Err, actually, he shot him in the head. And Britain is currently friends with Japan. So you know what that means, duhhh.
♫♪ Japan should take the islands. ♪♫ Which they wanted to do anyway. So they sort of called Britain on the tele(gram) to sort of let them know, and then they did it! And they also helped Britain here and there with some errands and stuff. *bell rings*
Now the war is over, and congratulations Japan, you technically fought in the war which means you get to sit at the negotiating table (Paris Peace Conference), with the big dudes, where they decided who owns what. And yes, Japan gets to keep all that shit they stole from Germany. And you also get to join the post-war mega alliance ♫♪ the League of Nations ♪♫ whose mission statement is to try not to take over the world.
The Great Depression is bad, and Japan’s economy is now crappy. But the military is doing just fine, and it invades Manchuria. And the League of Nations is like ♪"No don’t do that if you’re in the League of Nations you’re not supposed to try to take over the world.“♪
And Japan said, ♫♪ How bout I do, anyway? ♪♫ And Japan invaded more and more and more of China, and was planning to invade the entire East.
You’ve got mail.
It’s from Germany, the new leader of Germany, he has a cool mustache and is trying to take over the world and needs friends. This also got forwarded to Italy. They all decided to be friends because they had so much in common.
♫♪ It’s time for World War II ♪♫
Germany is invading the neighbors, then they invade the neighbors’ neighbors, then, the neighbor’s neighbors’ neighbors, who happen to be Britain, said "Holy shiiit” and the United States started helping Britain because they are ♫♪ good friends ♪♫ and started not helping Japan because ♫♪" Their friends and our friends are not friends. Plus they’re planning on invaaading the entire ocean.“♪♫
The United States is also working on a large, very huge bomb. Bigger than any other bomb, ever. Just in case (Germany). But they still haven’t joined the war, war looks bad on TV, and the United States is really starting to care about their image.
But then Japan spits on them, in Hawai'i, and challenges them to war. And they say yes! And then Germany, as a symbol of friendship, declares war on the United States also. And they help the gang chase Germany back into Germany. And they also chase Japan back into Japan. And they haven’t used the bomb yet, and are curious to see if it works, so they drop it on Japan.
They actually drop two.
(You win.)
The United States installed a new government, inspired by the United States government, with just the right ingredients for a ♫♪ post-war economic miracle ♪♫ and Japan starts making TVs, VCRs, automobiles, and camcorders as fast as they can. And also better than everybody else. They get rich, and the economy goes wild. But then the miracle wears off, but everything’s still pretty cool I guess. ♪♫ Bye. ♫♪

April 24th

Today is a day of mourning and remembrance that you might not be aware of. April 24th marks Yom Hashoah - a Jewish day of remembrance for the Holocaust - and it is also the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. In the 1910’s, almost 1.5 million Armenians (about 98% of them Christian) were rounded up and slaughtered by the hands of the Ottoman Empire in the name of Islam and for absolute control. Then, in the 1930’s-1940’s, the Nazi party (helmed by the infamous Adolf Hitler) in an attempt to exercise complete control over Germany and Europe through “National Socialism,” captured and imprisoned and murdered upwards of six million Jews.

Seven and a half million people, systematically killed at the hands of an oppressive government in the name of power, within the past 100 years.

Let us remember them all and never forget that evil truly does exist in the world, and that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” - Edmund Burke.

England: What exactly are you doing with all that power, America?

America:… my best.

England: Tsk. At least when I owned the world I handled it. 

America: By leaving all the problems you caused up to me?!

England: Well, let’s presume, in my world, that you weren’t in the plan-