More Strange, Less Familiar

“One of the dualities that has fascinated me all my life is how the past can be both utterly strange and startlingly familiar. I like to try to work with both of these in the novels, and to carry themes from one setting to another. So, for example, in “Children [of Earth and Sky”], the motif of how society curtails the scope for women to shape or control their own lives is present (as it was present) in both medieval China and Renaissance Europe…"

I love Guy Gavriel Kay, and this piece is a really nice interview. But I swear to freaking god, I am so tired of this “Well, gosh, the world was sexist in them old days, so I’m just striving for accuracy” apologist bullshit from way too many fantasy authors. You’re spending a year doing research to reinvent an entire historical period as the basis for your novel? Then shunt some of that imaginative process into coming up with ways to make that world more strange and less familiar by leaving the bullshit cultural baggage behind.



Exciting finale of campaign complete! Three and a half years (though that includes interruptions for other campaigns). An even fifty sessions (though there’ll likely be another final session of mop-up in a couple of weeks). 160-odd hours of play. Three PCs killed in action at various points.

Climactic encounter: A flying mind flayer sorcerer with no spells left and a stunned PC mage in its arms. It calls for the adventurers’ submission or the mage dies. Instead, it’s lassoed from the ground, lightning bolted, dragged down to earth, flank attacked, then death-touched.

This is a party that does things in style.