It’s a book from 1666, by Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle. She was an aristocrat, philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright; the book is considered one of the earliest pieces of science fiction. I can’t say it’s the first because I’m pretty sure Johannes Kepler’s Somnium, which takes place on the Moon, takes precedence. Somnium was written in 1608 and published in 1634. But it’s up there.
The story starts with a merchant falling for a lady and kidnapping her to avoid the problem or her father’s objections. This does not go over well with God and Nature, and the boat full of kidnappers and the lady gets blown into the extreme northern ocean, where all the men on board die of the terrible bitter cold. The lady survives, and is rescued by creatures walking over the polar ice who are
in shape like Bears, only they went upright as men; those Creatures coming near the Boat, catched hold of it with their Paws, that served them instead of hands;
And then they realize that she’s not going to handle the cold of their island very well, so they take her
into another Island of a warmer temper; in which were men like Foxes, only walking in an upright shape, who received their neighbours the Bear-men with great civility and Courtship, very much admiring this beauteous Lady;
And shortly thereafter
they came into an Island where there were Men which had heads, beaks and feathers, like wild-Geese, onely they went in an upright shape, like the Bear-men and Fox-men: their rumps they carried between their legs, their wings were of the same length with their Bodies, and their tails of an indifferent size, trailing after them like a Ladie’s Garment;
And that is the moment at which I realized THEY HAD FURRIES IN 1666.
In that moment, Ronan looks like some kind of ferocious monument to a new found god; young, but infinite in power and a furious kind of sharp-edged beauty. Adam’s lungs feel a little short of air, but it’s probably just due the cold.
“I was freezing my fucking balls off out there.” Ronan complains and, just like like that, the illusion is shattered. He is a boy once more.
Cabeswater is trying to get Adam to realise something, but he’s struggling to understand what. When he and Ronan break down in the middle of nowhere, Adam finally finds himself with enough time on his hands to figure out some things about himself and his feelings.
Whatever response Ronan gives, it’ll be the truth, not just spilled platitudes; it makes Adam desperately want to win his approval. Ronan, this enigma of a boy with the ability to create anything from nothing, who has dreamed some of the most amazing, ridiculous creations. Adam chews on his bottom lip briefly, before forcing himself to stop. To be casual.
Ronan stops, stares at the gift sitting on his lap and then barks out the loudest laugh in delight. “Fuck, Parrish that is hideous!” His eyes are alight with a wild kind of joy.
(Or the one where a prompt generator gave me “Adam Parrish knits Ronan Lynch a hideous sweater” and I ran with it.)
The elk appeared out of the shadow of the forest canopy as if materializing in mid-air. He was as tall as the moa, but also had massive antlers that reached up and tangled with the branches on the trees. His coat was a dusty chestnut color with a white starburst over his chest and smattering of white across his cheeks and nose. The elk leaned over the fence and bent his massive head, as if showing Adam deference. To Adam’s right, Destroyer knelt down on her front knees and dipped her nose into the grass.
To Adam’s left, Ronan bent his head too, like he was about to say grace. When he spoke his voice was soft and low. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
(Or, the one where Adam is a veterinarian and Ronan has dreamt up a whole menagerie of extinct/magical creatures.)
Falling for Ronan had felt like going to speak at the same time as someone else after a long silence, two people bumbling over their words to say, no, sorry, go ahead about three times before one of them says what they were going to say.
“Alright Parrish, I yield. What is it, then? You miss the Daisy Dukes and shitkicker boots on those cowgirls back home?” “I’m from Virginia, not Texas. Not a lot of cow-anybodies.” “I refuse to believe you don’t know anyone who lives on a farm.” Parrish rolls his eyes hard enough to shake the earth. “Stewart, of course I know somebody who lives on a farm. Just no cow-people. There’s a difference.”
Adam is in college. He has a roommate. Adam’s Virginian accent has gotten him curious. Also, Ronan comes to visit.
“Yeah? Which was the big guy downstairs? Because my good Catholic upbringing didn’t make the distinction.”
Out of nervous habit, Ronan brings his wrist up to his mouth and chews on the leather bands there. He’s been wearing them and chewing on them since he was sixteen. It’s a wonder there’s anything left to them at all. He feels the same way about his good Catholic upbringing.
“I think,” Adam says, quiet now. “That he wasn’t very nice, but that he wasn’t ever given a reason to be. I think it was self-defense.” It’s an explanation that sounds both close to home and far away. He looks up and out the window. His gaze gets caught there, distracted for the first time since they started.
Ronan looks as well, but it’s dark out now and all he can see is the shadow box reflection of the room against the black behind. Set against the rest of it, Adam’s hunched over reflection looks small and dark. Ronan is little more than a few swaths of stark negative space cut against the white glow. Neither of them has a halo.
(Or, that one where Adam is an art major and Ronan agrees to model for a sculpture of Satan.)
Adam seldom dreamt of other people. His dreams were nebulous, winding, leaving him with abstract impressions. But there was Ronan, solid as flesh—and from there, the dream left Adam with the echo of a feeling.
Subtitle: The real ghosts are the friends we made along the way! The gang goes to a Halloween haunted house attraction, only to find that things are a bit more….realistic…than expected.
Ronan reminded himself, viciously, that he interacted with a real ghost every day of his life. But Noah’s moments of otherworldly strangeness had nothing on this specter’s air of sheer sinister deadness.
Adam took a step forward next to him, and Ronan’s hand shot out, fingers gripping Adam’s sleeve. Being cornered like this made Ronan feel the same way he’d felt trying to get out of the dank cellar – claustrophobic and scared and angry. “Parrish,” he hissed, trying to pull Adam back. The girl was a good 20 feet away, but it still felt too close, and being any closer seemed like a decidedly bad idea.
Blue has a favor to ask of Ronan while Gansey and Adam are away. She ends up receiving much more than she expected. (Or, that one where Ronan teaches Blue to drive stick and they have adventures.) Post-BLLB.
“As you keep pointing out, I’ve died twice,” said Gansey. He was so bright that Henry almost wanted to look away from him, and so compelling that he couldn’t. “I don’t care what I’m supposed to be doing.”
On why her albums sound so different from one another
“It’s natural for me, maybe more subconsciously than consciously, that whatever I do on one album, I tend to do the opposite of on the next. I did Homogenic and that was very big— big beam, touring, a billion gigs around the world, probably the most rock’n’roll I’ve ever been — and then I went home and did Vespertine, which was very petite and micro. I think that the same thing has happened here. Vulnicura was very, like, warts-and-all — you’re in the centre of something very personal. I think I needed to zoom out and ﬁnd a new manifesto.”
Based off this post & @captain-flint‘s tags about Flint & books. Although it ended up being from Flint’s pov and not Silver’s. Hope that’s okay! <3
His Love of Books
* * *
“What is this?” Flint frowns at the book
sitting on his desk. It wasn’t there before. He would have remembered.
“It’s a book.”
“I can see that.” Flint says. “What’s it doing on my
Silver shifts slightly. “Just something I saw
when we were ashore.” He edges a little more towards the door like he’d
rather be anywhere but right here.
Flint’s frown deepens. “When we were
ashore…you mean you brought this aboard the ship?” Why on earth would
Silver do such a thing?
Silver blinks. He looks at the books on the shelves
in the cabin where they’re currently standing and then back at Flint like he
shouldn’t have to explain this. “You…and books?”
“What about me and books?”
“Well, you like them.”
He does. Like. That word is an understatement as to
what Flint feels for literature, but it’s been a good while since he’s had cause
or excuse to truly dwell on the subject. And it doesn’t exactly explain why
Silver brought him one. Does it?
“Anyway.” Silver gestures.
He’s gone before Flint can say anything more.
Flint doesn’t know what to make of it. He examines
the book. It’s a well-preserved edition of Somnium that he’s read before
but has fond memories of nonetheless.
He keeps it on the desk, his fingers straying over
the cover from time to time as he works.
When he finally retires for the night he hesitates
and then takes the book with him. Dimming the lantern, he stretched out on the window
seat with a low burning candle and a small glass of brandy. He reads quickly,
unaware that a smile keeps gathering faintly at the corners of his mouth as he
reads, lost in the simple pleasure of words carrying him far away.