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Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The fortune from the fortune cookie comes from “The White Devil”. A horror play from 1612.

    http://www.thecabinet.com/plays/play.php?sub_id=classic_horror_plays&play_id=the_white_devil

    Act V, Scene VI.

    (Flipping through it, it’s not… well, it’s not bad…)Report

  2. Avatar Jason Tank says:

    Mysterious Helena… there’s a theory that she’s actually Uryran Xbfzngbf, gur bevtvany Shel, zbgure bs Ylgn. Vg znxrf frafr gung fur jbhyq xabj nyy nobhg gur fnperqarff bs eriratr, nf fur jnf tenagrq ure cbjref ol gur Shevrf gurzfryirf. (Fur unq gur Uhyx-yvxr dhnyvgl bs trggvat cbffrffrq ol bar jura fur jnf natel.)

    I love the talk with Odin, with the smoke or mist echoing their conversation.

    Finally, the reintroduction of Thessaly reminds me of something else I’ve read recently: the three main loves of Dream in the series were also mother, maiden and crone: Calliope, Nada and Thessaly. They’re everywhere in this story!Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Jason Tank says:

      the three main loves of Dream in the series were also mother, maiden and crone

      This is awesome.

      Also, Thessaly prizing vengeance as the highest good – almost as a religious obligation – fits quite well with what we’ve seen of her in the past.

      I actually haven’t had a chance to re-read these issues yet, will hopefully do so today, but it’s explicit that Paul McGuire is “Paul”, Alex Burgess’ lover, right? It’s nice to see that he loyally stuck around all these years with his man essentially in a coma. The Order of Ancient Mysteries might have been an evil coven bent on capturing Death and disrupting the fabric of the universe for their own gain, but they had family values.Report

      • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Glyph says:

        Yes, Paul’s relationship is made explicit. He is trapped by his love for Alex.

        I agree that Thessaly is acting out of obligation, but not an obligation to her ideal of vengeance. She owes the Ladies after her trick with the moon.Report

  3. Avatar North says:

    Goodness I loved this one. The furies were great and Thessaly! I love that snippy snappy old witch.
    I do wish, though, that Gaiman hadn’t included the element of the Furies resentment at Orpheus’s making them weep. It made their whole agenda seem so pettily motivated.Report

    • Avatar Richards in reply to North says:

      It’s not surprising that the Furies/Kindly Ones, coming as they do from Greek mythology, would be petty… after all, most of the greek pantheon are as willful, petty and fallible asthe humans they preside over.

      Also, isn’t one of the differences between revenge and justice pettiness itself??Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

      I do wish, though, that Gaiman hadn’t included the element of the Furies resentment at Orpheus’s making them weep.

      Is this a reference back all the way to Sandman Special? I think remembering back to Pluto/Hades saying “they’re never going to forgive you for that” provides a nice little “goose walked over my grave” moment for us…Report

  4. Avatar Reformed Republican says:

    I mentioned last week the first panel of every issue having the thread motif. The first of this weeks issues does not have the panel, and now I figured out why. It comes from a Vertigo anthology, which also explains the single POV and different artist. My mind is now at rest.

    Of course, the Morrigan is yet another example of three ladies, so likely another aspect of the Fates/Furies/Kindly Ones/etc. in this story.

    I am pretty sure Dream knew it was in Loki’s nature to betray those to whom he owes a favor, which is why he was the right god for the job. The gods are stories, and they are part of Dream’s domain.

    The exchange with Gilbert was a good one. Dream hates being imprisoned, but he does not seem to realize that Gilbert sees himself as being a prisoner. It is not really accurate to say he came back of his own free will if the alternative was uncreation.

    That leads me to another thought. After being a prisoner for so long, Dream came to despise being a prisoner. After escaping, he realized he was a prisoner of his own responsibilities. Before, he seemed to derive satisfaction from fulfilling those duties, but now they are just another cage. Throwing off responsibilities (and the consequences of doing so) is a repeated theme of this series. Lucifer abandons his, making them Dream’s problem. Destruction walked away from his, though he did not hand them off to another.

    Being freed from prison is another repeated theme. The Cuckoo was a prisoner on the island who wanted to be free to fly. Calliope was a prisoner of the writer, and she was freed. Orpheus was a prisoner inside his head. Johanna Constantine was a prisoner. Nada in hell. Rose’s brother. John Dee. Cluracan in his story from World’s End. I am sure there are some I am forgetting, but I do not think there was a single major arc that did feature a prisoner as a significant plot point.Report

    • Avatar Richards in reply to Reformed Republican says:

      That’s an awesome insight.Report

    • Being a prisoner by virtue of having responsibilities, particularly to other people, is a core point of exploration for the Existentialists. The horror of war and the despair of prison drove Camus’ writing as well, for example. I think of Dream as a prisoner of war, who, being trapped in torment for 70 years, realizes that the life he loved before being a prisoner has ended. That Dream is already dead. He has to find some way of loving life again, or die trying.Report

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