"The bones shift under the skin and after that step a clear and hot fluid comes out of the body and the person is transformed. The body of the person is always dry and clean afterwards, however objects and other people will not be if they are in close proximity. And if not an alpha then s/he will be tired afterward."
...and he said to me "I finally get it. It's a sex metaphor."
MYSTERY SOLVED although now I kinda wish we'd never figured it out.
If the embed doesn't work, the link is HERE. For those who don't want to sit through 90mins of LKH talking or have issues with the audio, mod has done a thorough transcription: DOC and RTF format. It's too long to post to the comm in its entirety but we wanted it to be available.
( Highlights in brief. )
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Some AB witches are Wiccan. They're mostly the "good" ones, like Marianne and Phoebe Billings. Bad ones tend to be Voodoo practitioners like Dominga and John Burke, and then there are more bad ones shown to just practice non-religious systems such as demonic sorcery, pre-Islamic Persian magic, or just an unspecified type of witchcraft such as Elvira Drew, Linus Bech, and Todd Bering
Let's start with how Wicca, Voodoo, and other real-world faiths probably differ in the Anitaverse from their real-world counterparts, because they pretty much have to, the way it's set up. In Anita's world, magic and witches are objectively real. They are facts, they are not beliefs, and everyone knows this. Whether someone is or isn't a witch is something that can be easily determined, something that can be proved or disproved. It's not a debatable thing. So the number of people practicing this version of Wicca is likely to be much fewer than it is in our world, because people couldn't just decide 'oh, I really like the Morrigan/Baron Samedi/etc, s/he's cool, I think I wanna embrace the Goddess/Loa' and sign up with a coven/hounfour/etc. and be accepted. That's pretty clearly not how it works in the Anitaverse. Wiccan covens are made up of indisputable witches in this universe, and I expect that Voodoo hounfour are as well, so you'd have to be real witch to get in.
Or do you? Maybe the idea is you go in as a mundane, but, if you train and are lucky, come out as a witch.
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Also, I've been sporking Skin Trade for some friends...if I were to get a public blog of some type for said sporkings, would anyone here be interested in following?
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- Belle Morte uses glamor so that no matter what the current time is, she appears to the eyes of others as being the epitome of the current beauty standards. And the reason that Anita sees her as looking notably like Anita is because to Anita, for all her whining about oh noes tall skinny blondes, does indeed consider herself to be the height of female beauty.
- Raina is still around in Anita's head as a munin, and it is her slow, subtle corruption that has made Anita into what she now is
- Or this all just Anita's most ID-level fantasies that she believes are really happening, but actually aren't. It's just Jean-Claude manipulating her mind so he can use her as a pawn.
-Or it's an ongoing delusion due to Anita having contracted some supernatural STD (hey, even just regular syphilis can make you crazy!) and JC is still manipulating it to his ends, in any case, if she isn't in a mental hospital.
- Anne Rice books and the Twilight series and other supernatural-themed books either were never written in the ABverse, or, if they were, do not enjoy at all the same popularity because of the existence of real vampires cutting into the fantasy on a number of levels.
-MELANIE IS STILL FUCKING WAITING AND PLANNING AND GOING TO GET YOU, ANITA. She swore, and immortals probably don't feel a need to get their vengeance fast.
- There is another group of werehyenas in St. Louis, made up of all the females that Narcissus wouldn't let join. Except that's not actually how it happened. He didn't kick them out, they kicked HIM out because he kept stealing their shampoo and high heels.
- While both the tigers and the hyenas are matriarchies, they are matriarchies in very different ways. My headcanon for why tigers are female-ruled is that since they are so rare and so focused on preserving their species, their women became regarded nigh-sacred for their ability to give birth and carry on the bloodlines. And of course that is ultimately sexist against women because it's basing their value on their reproductive ability, but I think that it makes sense for weretigers in this universe, and I think that instead of settling for being exploited as brood mares, the tiger ladies instead decided to grab hold of this idea and use it to their advantage, ultimately resulting in a society where "well, us women are responsible for continuing the species, so it makes sense to have us responsible for the species as a whole, which meanings ruling and making decisions and Mother Knows Best" and probably a lot of emphasis on fertility and creation as power, as women as a life-source, women as the only sex strong enough to have a baby, etc.
But in the case of hyenas, I think it's more instinctual. In the wild, hyenas (as in the actual animal) are female-dominated naturally. Even a male who is larger than a female will usually submit to her without a fight. Since hyenas don't have one mass culture with a history of traditions like tigers do, nor a problem with rareness, I think that every time a new hyena group organizes they just naturally find themselves with the dominant women being in charge by what seems by chance but is in fact their inner instincts, whether they realize it or not, manipulating things in that way. I think that some groups would have no particular views on matriarchy and would instead just accept it, while others would instead take a more Amazonian point of view, emphasizing the strength and power of female hyenas in combat as why they are suited to be in charge of the group, protecting them from threats and leading them in battles, with probably nothing much to say (unlike the tigers) about birth-giving, since it's not going to be an important deal to them as it is with the tigers.
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I really think lycanthropy would be viewed a lot like tattoos: everyone would want it because it would make them individuals, but suddenly everyone and their brother's been under the needle, and no one's really all that unique. I think that, as usual, Hamilton is missing out on a really great plot opportunity.
Think about it- teenagers find ways to get into all sorts of shenanigans. Instead of parties where kids are passing around booze and drugs, there would be gatherings of kids passing around contaminated needles and trying to get infected with lycanthropy because they want to feel powerful and special. Pretty soon, you've got an overabundance of teenage lycanthropes who are ruled by not only teenage hormones, but also the epic, bloodthirsty crazy that drives newly-changed furrballs.
If this is something that had started, say, five years ago, you've now got a very large group of 20-somethings with lycanthropy and no ties to any specific group. They would be the next generation, so to speak, who realize that banding together in clans and pretending you have loyalty to some pack leader makes no sense. They're not animals, dammit. They're smarter than their animal counterparts. They don't need to practice ridiculous rituals and they aren't like vampires, who can be tied to and controlled by a master.
Vampires in the Anitaverse, I think, are the lesser of two evils. Sure, they live forever, but they have some really major weaknesses that can really only be filled by humans and other lycanthropes. Lycanthropes don't roast in the sun, they don't need protection during the day and, by the way it's described, they need a lot less time and effort to reproduce. If a huge group of determined lycanthropes were to come after nests of vampires, there wouldn't really be much that could be done about it. They have the benefit of looking human. They could get into the circus, for instance, during the day just by pretending to be Avon and then killing all the humans around, staking the vampires, or dragging them out into the sun and taking care of them that way.
Sure, they would have to fight other lycanthropes that may be tied to the vampires, but picture a group of lycanthropes that have come together like The Initiative in Buffy. They do their reconnaissance, come into group pretending to follow the rituals. Then, when they know patterns, names and outside occupations, they take them down one by one.
Suddenly the vampires have no protection. They're sitting ducks and, when they go to sleep that day, the new lycanthrope Initiative can bust in and had a bonfire.
I'd really like to see Anita wake up one day to a smoldering pile of ashes in bed next to her, with six toothy lycanthropes standing around her, grinning.
"What are you? You don't smell exactly human!"
With Richard, Micah, Nathanial, Jason, the werepartridge in a pear tree and whoever the hell else she's sleeping with all shot from range by high-powered rifles and silver bullets, and JC, Asher and all the other vampires burnt to a crisp, it would just be Anita and these well-organized, young, strong lycanthropes. The marks would be gone, and her local support would be out. They'd not undead, so she has no power over them. Suddenly Anita is forced to play by their rules or pack up her sex toys and go home.
It's just another sad example of LKH squandering her opportunities.
I am quite tired of this plot device of using a vampire and a werewolf competing for a Mary Sue. Does anybody notice the girl will always pick the vampire over the werewolf in these situations??? Anybody got any clues for that? Cos i know if it were me I'd be going for the werewolf! In the days when i could stomach these types of books I did push for the girl to go for the werewolf - i just like werewolves and would go for the live guy over the dead one. I mean i was going for Richard from the start as well before he went an batshit crazy! :(. But does anybody find that this is just everywhere now and like me blame Laurell for setting this trend into action? I do like vampires and werewolves and even a triangle if done properlly but now im just so burned out on all 3 things I'm past it now.
Back in the Dark Ages of the Anita books - did anybody start reading the books and keep going because of the shapeshifters? I am aware of the theme going in posts so thought I'd add my own ideas here. I am and have always been a huge shapeshifter fan, in particular werewolves so i once read the books for her weres. In particular her wererats were unique, I don't know about anybody else here but I hadn't seen and still haven't seen to this day an author do wererats. Rafael was my fave character and how his pack operated. Did anybody else enjoy the wererats? But like so many of Laurell's good ideas it went down the toilet! :(
Another thing i liked was the characters of Raina and Marcus the original pack alphas (Lunatic Cafe was the best book to me). They were assholes sure and they were nasty but their pack functioned and was semi-healthy. To me werewolves are not meant to be fluffy bunnies so their violence and nastiness was cool to me (although the sex I could have done without - should have been a warning of what was coming!). The pack we now have under Richard is totally useless and redundant. To borrow a quote from Remember the Titans: Attitude reflects leadership. Would anybody else agree to this since the old alphas were scrapped and they got a useless alpha in Richard? I mean has anybody heard of another werewolf besides Jason and Richard lately?
Another thing as I'm in the process of writing my first novel - about werewolves by chance - I am taking note of what other authors do with their shapeshifters. What to you makes a good shapeshifter? What do you think makes a shoddy shapeshifter? What is irritating about the current take on shapeshifters? One thing I find that urban fantasy has done (and i hope to change with my book) is taken the werewolf and other shifters far away from their roots. I miss having bad guy nasties! Does anybody know of good werewolf novels were the werewolf is still nasty and a bad buy and still wins the day?
Get this-it turns out that "lupanar" in Latin translates to brothel.
Now, is this another lack of research on LKH's part?
Maybe she picked it because it sounded cool and wolfish.
I wonder if she knows that the wolves actually gather at a "brothel" every month?
Thought this was hilarious and that I would post it here. ;)
Just something that I remembered.
A friend of mine reviewed Micah in class the other day. "This book is... um... it's porn. Just porn. I took notes. Seriously, I did not know you could do some of this stuff..."
And then we got into a discussion on what the hell is a were-leopard anyway. Which led into a discussion of the various were-flavors in this book. Were-swans were by far the most amusing. And I got to thinking...
Is anyone else just waiting for the were-penguins to show up? You know Anita will be their Empress Royal Goddess-Incarnate. You know it.
Were-swans and were-penguins are now a running theme among my friends and I'm just wondering when the idea will occur to our Mad Mrs Hamilton.
Oh, and is it just me or is Anita Blake (and to a newer-series-and-therefore-slightly-
"I kill you with my laser spell of doom!" "Nuh-uh, cause I have my Shield of Mega Power!" "Well my Mega Doom Blaster goes through EVERY shield!" "But you can't hit me cause I am lightning-fast-person and I can dodge your blaster thing!" "NUH-UH!" "YES-HUH!" "Nuh-uh! Cause now I have my Ultra Poison Dart and it kills anything and I'm shooting you with my ubergun and it was enchanted by a voodoo priestess." "But it won't pierce my Supermegaultra Armor cause it was made by Merlin!" "Will so! My dart's made up superultrahyperiron and the gun was made by the Dragon King...." etc.
Okay, and since I've never posted here and I probably should do some form of introduction: I'm a Merry Gentry fan. I'd be a bigger MG fan if Laurell wasn't so afraid of teh lesbianism, but that's never gonna happen. I like the Unseelie Court and the world and such she made up for Faery. I don't think she's using it as well as she could, but hey, it gives someone else room to improve.
However, I loathe Anita Blake. Go figure. Not the series, I mean the character. Anita gives me a headache. Oddly, I like some of the other characters but not the main one. Merry is also beginning to wear thin as she's starting to become more of an AB v2.0.
Anyone else for banning Laurell from writing more series? She's allowed 2-4 books in each world and that is it. No more.