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Liesmith, chapter 14.

Alis’s Note
Did I mention yet that the main inspiration for the structure of this story was Audition? Because yeah it was…


The con call is long and difficult and not at all like the feel of Sigmund’s lips or the taste of his self-conscious lust, meaning that my mind’s not so much on the work as it is on him. On the coarse feel of his hair and sharp scent of his soap, on the softness of his flesh and the hesitance of his embrace.

He’s not a great kisser. Unpracticed. But that can be fixed, with time, and I’d be lying if I said the thought of plucking open his awkward virginity wasn’t something I was looking forward to, the very best kind of déjà vu.

By modern standards, Sigyn had been young when we’d married. Young and mortal, caught in the firestorm of the most capricious of the gods. But she’d devoured the apple and taken to her place in Ásgarðr with a ferocity unmatched across the heavens, and the whole Nine Realms had been the rubes and patsies for our mayhem.

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2020-07-30T18:25:30+10:0030th July, 2020|Tags: books, LIESMITH, wyrdverse|

Liesmith, chapter 13.

Alis’s Note
So yeah I totally meant to move this to a weekly posting schedule and then totally didn’t because… I have no excuse. What even is time anymore?


By Tuesday morning, Sigmund still hadn’t figured out what to tell Em. Mostly because if he was being honest, he’d been too busy daydreaming about Lain.

They hadn’t seen each other again that Monday. Lain sent an apologetic text around lunchtime mentioning he’d been waylaid by VPs wanting to discuss advertising campaigns for the next major PyreOS release. So Sigmund had played video games on the Inferno in Travis’s office for a while, until guilt had started to gnaw and he’d dragged himself back downstairs to do work.

It hadn’t been easy, and Sigmund was gaining a newfound appreciation for the Basement’s nickname when compared to the light and vistas of the CEO’s suite. He’d picked at the job queues, but it’d seemed so petty all of a sudden. Who the hell cared about a few lost emails when the gods themselves were sharpening knives and heading for war?

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2020-07-20T10:13:12+10:0020th July, 2020|Tags: books, LIESMITH, wyrdverse|

Liesmith, chapter 12.

Alis’s Note
… let’s speed this up a bit.


The world still hadn’t ended by Monday, which Sigmund decided to take as a good sign, even if it did mean that he had to get up for work. Sunday had been uneventful, minus a bit of ribbing from Em and Wayne about his date and the fact that their progression raid kept wiping on the last boss. But that was all regular, Really Real World stuff. No gods, no monsters—well, the ones on the computer, but pixels didn’t count—and, most important, no apocalypse. Sigmund had considered messaging Lain on Sunday evening, but had decided against it, and Lain, for his part, seemed to be respecting Sigmund’s tacit suggestion to leave him alone for the weekend. He did that a lot, Sigmund realized. Respected boundaries, at least when Sigmund set them. It was nice.

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2020-07-06T12:40:06+10:006th July, 2020|Tags: books, LIESMITH, wyrdverse|


What if books aren’t actually that special, and the reason we treat them as some kind of sacred object is actually a hundred-plus year-old marketing gimmick?

My one of these is I went through a phase as a kid where I used to very heavily write in and dog-ear paperbacks. When I tell people this they tend to be horrified, until I explain that, to me, it was a sign of how much I loved the interior text. I was also a big believer in (pencilled) marginalia in library books, because I loved finding other peoples’ pencilled marginalia in library books. It was like GoodReads before GoodReads!1

  1. Librarians don’t @ me. []
2020-03-17T08:58:53+11:004th July, 2020|Tags: books|

Liesmith, chapter 11.

Alis’s Note
… aaaand we start on Part Two (Baldr)! True story: the Völuspá excerpts were originally supposed to be from the original texts, but the publisher at the time made me translate them into English because Old Norse would “confuse” people. Publishing is great!

 [A]xe-age, sword-age,
shields cloven,
wind-age, wolf-age,
ere the world falls;
no man will
spare another.
—“Völuspá,” stanza 45


Considering Sigmund spent the night sleeping in a bathtub, Saturday morning wasn’t as horrible as it could have been.

Someone had brought him blankets.

Blankets and pillows, in fact. They looked stripped straight off the bed outside and were cocooned around him. It was comfortable, despite the porcelain beneath, and Sigmund didn’t want to get up.

He had a killer headache.

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2020-06-29T09:41:18+10:0029th June, 2020|Tags: books, LIESMITH, wyrdverse|

Police force.

The [Officer Down Memorial Page] estimates that 275 police officers have been shot to death by civilians from 2015 to the present. Over that same period, as noted above, police gunfire has killed 5,408 civilians, at least 352 of whom were unarmed. This means, for every four cops killed by gunfire over the past five years, police shot more than five unarmed civilians to death. Overall, for every officer downed by a perpetrator in the line of duty, cops shot down roughly twenty civilians. In 2015, for every instance an officer was assaulted by a civilian, cops carried out nineteen assaults against members of the public.

Musa al-Gharbi on excessive force.

Relatedly, the publisher is currently offering free ebook copies of The End of Policing and Policing the Planet for those interested in a further reading list.

Also, for the record, there are counter-arguments to some of the claims made by police abolitionists that I think are not… completely worth discounting.1 On the other hand, the current system is so fucked-up it’s hard to imagine almost anything could be worse, so…

  1. Although that article is also littered with some really obviously shit-tier takes, too… []
2020-06-19T08:08:19+10:0019th June, 2020|Tags: books, politics|

Liesmith, chapter 10.

Alis’s Note
The end of Part One, also known as  “who’s ready to get hit with the massive oncoming genre shift train?”


You have to understand that, up until about two seconds ago, I’d been having a really fantastic night.

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2020-06-14T10:39:14+10:0014th June, 2020|Tags: books, LIESMITH, wyrdverse|

Liesmith, chapter 9.

Alis’s Note
… we got there in the end!



Sigmund’s dad answered the door, which was about the worst possible way to start the evening. Sigmund could hear murmured introductions as he pulled on his shoes and hopped down the stairs half-in, half-out of his jacket, but by the time he reached the door he was pretty sure words like boyfriend and date hadn’t been uttered and—thank gods—Lain wasn’t carrying flowers or something equally humiliating.

(does that mean this isn’t a date?)

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2020-05-31T11:03:24+10:0031st May, 2020|Tags: books, LIESMITH, wyrdverse|

Liesmith, chapter 8.

Alis’s Note
… hahah yes I totally remembered to post this on time. Totally.


“Left! Roll left!”

“I’ve got it, I’ve got it!”

Five seconds later, staring up at the briar-and-circuitry-covered crotch of a Dark Faerunner, Wayne had to admit she did not got it.

It’d been a long, long day.

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2020-05-09T13:34:52+10:009th May, 2020|Tags: books, LIESMITH, wyrdverse|

Liesmith, chapter 7.

Alis’s Note
So, uh. Hope everyone is still keeping inside and washing their hands. Have some story updates?


The Hat People did find them on Sunday, stumbling out of the bush. Sigmund was feeling okay about it all, though. They’d eaten rabbit and Fantales and laughed around the fire. Then Sigmund had fallen asleep on the rocks, the day’s panic catching up to him. When he woke, he was sore from the ground but less so from his arm. Then Lain had asked if he felt like a badass yet, roughing it in the bush.

Most of the rest of Sunday was spent getting fussed over by doctors and pumped full of ibuprofen for his shoulder. As long as he didn’t try lifting anything heavy, or reaching upward, he was okay.

He did have to sign a lot of forms, though. Waivers saying he wouldn’t sue the company or speak to the press. Lain scowled at his paperwork for a long time before putting his own name down.

“Do you think there’d be money in it?” Sigmund asked, only half joking. “Suing, I mean.”

“No,” said Lain. “And I wouldn’t try. LB’s lawyers are notoriously vicious.”

Sigmund signed.

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2020-04-19T09:24:56+10:0019th April, 2020|Tags: books, LIESMITH, wyrdverse|
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