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February 5, 2009

Trilchy wings
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 06:16 PM * 408 comments

You know, one of the things I’ve always assumed about these introspective threads is that everyone there is telling the truth, or some interesting variant of it. Of course I know that’s not necessarily the case; that, as I said once, lies between each of us and his or her conscience.

But now let’s play with it. Show us, please, a butterfly moment from a character out of fiction.

Usual rules, please; all answers should be ROT-13‘d. Feel free to add to the canon as you do so, inserting scenes the author inconveniently skipped, but make it plausible.

- o0o -

G always said he knew I’d accept, that I was somehow destined for it. But frankly, I wasn’t going to. I had other engagements that week, you know, and I really didn’t fancy the bother of it all. The last thing I wanted was to spend more time with that obnoxious, ill-mannered and greedy set of characters.

It was the map that changed it for me. I’ve always loved maps. My father never did, thinking them rather a waste of good paper. My mother was of a different mind, and she and I used to draw them together when I was a lad. We’d invent roads and villages where really there were only fields, and fall to describing the lives of the families who lived there. Our maps and stories were never that exciting, really—the places and the folk were merely echoes and mirrors of the ones that we saw every day. But, looking back, I saw a hunger in her to stretch the boundaries of our little world, though she hid it even from herself.

So when they brought the map out, I saw it not in T’s hands, or G’s, but in my mother’s, laid out on the same table where we had drawn our own imaginary places years before. When I decided to go, the choice was not so much mine as hers. And all of the time I was gone, every step I took, I did it as her son, walking the Road that she never took.


(Trilchies? Like space butterflies. Sort of.)
Comments on Trilchy wings :
#1 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 06:25 PM:

...Oh, a published fictional character. My first parse was that we were supposed to make them up for the purpose.

Where was that handy-dandy online rot-13 decoder ring, again?

#2 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 06:28 PM:

Jacque @1:

Post updated to clarify the language slightly, and add a link to rot13.com.

#3 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 06:29 PM:

Ovyob Onttvaf

This will be fun.

#4 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 06:31 PM:

Abi, was gur svany jbeq bs lbhe rknzcyr intentional?

#5 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 06:34 PM:

Sundre @3:
Yep.

Now do one yourself, I dare ya.

Tatterbots @4:
Yes, mostly because I couldn't get the tone at all right.

Consider it a baseline to exceed.

#6 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 06:40 PM:

Ovyob Onttvaf, bs pbhefr, naq T vf Tnaqnys, naq G vf Gubeva. Uvf zbgure jnf Gbbxvfu, jnfa'g fur?

#7 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 06:41 PM:

Abi @ 5: I'm not sure what you think I was criticising - I just thought it was clever if intentional and serendipitous if not.

#8 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 06:46 PM:

Rikibeth @6:
All correct.

Tatterbots @7:
It was about 50/50 between the two. I'm just not sure it's a very good attempt, and am being possibly excessively self-critical.

Everyone:
More! Better! Funnier! Stranger! Step right up, don't be shy!

#9 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 06:50 PM:

Because I've been in the midst of yet another re-reading:

Anne Davis turned as the pattern of one of the children vibrated behind her. "Yes, Val Con?"
"What are you playing?" he asked quietly, stepping into the room.
"These are called scales," she said, motioning him closer. "I use them to remind my fingers of where the keys lie."
"But you play every day!" he protested, coming closer to the omnichora.
She laughed. "And you have been in my house every day of the four standards of your life? Yes, I play most days, but not every day." She patted the bench beside her. "Would you like to sit with me while I practice?"

#10 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 06:54 PM:

I think I did it wrong...I should have changed the perspective.

#11 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 07:01 PM:

Sisuile (9 & 10): It's a good one, though! (Yvnqra Havirefr)

#12 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 07:01 PM:

abi @2: Wow, such soivice!! (I'd meant to bookmark that anyway but forgot. Thanks!)

#13 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 07:05 PM:

If I hadn't accepted her invitation for chocolate, and left him alone. If I'd only insisted he wait for me -- not as if he'd have listened, he always did as he pleased. If he hadn't sent that letter -- not that I knew about that until long afterwards. If I'd agreed to teach the young noble -- but that wouldn't have kept him from delivering the insult in the first place, so it wouldn't have helped.

And yet, if I'd been able to keep him safe from harm... would he have been able to protect me, when that intrigue came crashing down? Because he did.

No matter, any more. It was long ago, and the city where it happened is an ocean away, and no more concern to us now.

#14 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 07:14 PM:

I had been hopping slowly along the main road for what seemed like forever. My son was complaining about the heat, so when we saw trees off to the left, I decided to go rest in the shade for a while. As we sat cooling off, the owner of the wood happened by. I thought that surely he would run us off, but instead he offered us a place to stay. If it weren't for that chance meeting, we would never have come to live in the Hundred Acre Wood.

#15 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 07:23 PM:

Mary Aileen #14: Xnatn!

#16 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 08:16 PM:

abi @5 I accept your challenge!

It was a chance meeting. He was lost, lying down in the grass near my home, feeling sorry for himself and talking to the air. Perhaps I should have walked away, but I was bored with my routine and in need of a holiday. His face was sweet, and his hair was brighter than gold.

We were both lonely, and careless because of it. He wanted companionship, for a time. Having never loved before, I thought it a game, and was eager to play.

Our acquaintance grew in small, sacred increments. He kept every promise, and was never late enough to cause me despair. He once spoke of another who had tamed him. For a moment, I wished that I could have known him when he was wild. No one else has ever been as honest, as delightful, as obliging as he. I relished the small ceremonies of our intimacy.

He left when the birds did. The wind in the wheat fields still calls his name.

I don't regret one moment of the time we spent together; without it, he would have been nothing, but because of it he is everything. There is no one like him in all the world.

#17 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 08:33 PM:

Her eyes were bright with something he had not yet named. "Come on," she urged.

He shifted, uncomfortable. She looked strange, as if even standing before him she was still somehow hidden. He didn't understand. He didn't understand what her smile meant.

"Just one bite, and everything will become clear." She raised the red fruit enticingly. How did she know what he was thinking? Fear thrummed through his belly.

"It is forbidden," he said. Her lips curved again, and he felt a stab of anger. Who was she to look at him like that, like he was some poor injured beast? He snatched the fruit from her hand violently. For a moment he stood tense, ready to throw. Then he raised the fruit to his lips, and bit down.

Her finger caught the juice as it dripped down his chin. She brought it to her lips. "Yes," she said. "I know."

#18 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 08:48 PM:

Rikibeth (15): Yep.

#19 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 08:52 PM:

heresiarch (17): Nqnz naq Rir

#20 ::: turtle ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 09:00 PM:

I didn't know it at the time, but my life was saved because someone threw away a newspaper.

Some unknown person, to whom I suppose I must be eternally grateful (yes, another of those), sat on a bench, read the interesting parts of this fateful newspaper, then removed the sections they considered extraneous and wandered away.

The wind flipped a few pages back and forth, one of which caught the eye of a passerby, who leaned forward to read the headline more closely.

"Say, old boy!" he remarked to his companion. "This looks like another one for you..."

On occasion I wonder why all the important events in my life happen in a manner that, if I found myself writing such a scene, I would white it out and search for something a little less trite. But on reflection, it is probably another of the endless list of things I ought to be grateful for.

[I haven't written anything, much less fanfic, for years, so please excuse me for screwing up this character's voice... If you don't get it, here's a hint: rttf, obyfurivxf, pbyyrtr erhavbaf, bu zl!]

#21 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 09:11 PM:

It was all the fault of that video game. I was hungry, like always, and on the run, like I usually was back then. But that game, it was like nothing I'd ever imagined--time just stopped when I looked at it.

I watched the other kids play it. Chumps. How could they miss the obvious way things worked together in that game, so clear and perfect? Some of them seemed to have played the game for a long time without getting any of it--I don't know how.

I took out a bit of cash, stolen from my old boss, and started playing. I kept betting him, and winning. Somehow I got so caught up in the game that I didn't notice the cop.

And that led to my stabbing the cop, and getting shot, and arrested, and that weird kidnapping/adoption scam. And everything else.

#22 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 09:14 PM:

Addendum: Gur punenpgre'f ibvpr, juvpu V cebonoyl qvqa'g pncgher nyy gung jryy, jnf Jvyv Jnpuraqba, gur Tnhff-yriry zngurzngvpny travhf va Gur Crnpr Jne.

#23 ::: JanetM ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 09:15 PM:

#16 Gur Yvggyr Cevapr

#24 ::: JanetM ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 09:17 PM:

Actually, more precisely for #16, gur sbk sebz Gur Yvggyr Cevapr

#25 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 09:31 PM:

Janet @24

Exactly right.

#26 ::: Annie G. ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 09:32 PM:

#20 is Ybeq Crgre Jvzfrl naq Uneevrg Inar!

Here is my own poor offering:

He hadn't intended to leave town that month, and he certainly hadn't intended to go with B to the new house he, B, had taken. To be sure, B was a cheerful fellow, if perhaps a little too apt to follow along with whatever his sisters and their friends expected. Certainly, with Mr. H present, there would be shooting and cards in the offing, although not much else-- B's brother-in-law didn't really add much else to the party. Moreover, B's sister C was always very solicitous whenever he visited. Almost too solicitous, really; she was forever ordering what she took to be his favorite dishes for meals.

But, on the other hand, the workmen were still renovating the music room at P for his sister's new pianoforte, and after coming across into Mr. W at Lady J's rout, he couldn't bear to stay in town. So he might as well get some shooting in while the weather was still good.

#27 ::: turtle ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 09:41 PM:

Annie G. @ 26:

You got it! And now I am off to watch the BBC TV movies on Netflix... *gigantic grin*

And yours is Qnepl, isn't it? Last week's inexplicable fit of reading everything Wnar Nhfgra ever wrote seems to have paid off...

#28 ::: Annie G. ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 09:45 PM:

turtle @ 27: exactly! I was worried it was too cryptic with the initials, but any of the names would have been a dead giveaway.

#29 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 09:50 PM:

Annie G. @26
Pbyva Svegu! Er, I meant to say: Svgmjvyyvnz Qnepl. Definitely Qnepl.

Oh, I see someone else has got it already. Never mind. Ohg Svegu xabjf ubj gb ebpx gur jrg ybbx. V znl sbyybj ghegyr'f rknzcyr.

V'z abg fher vs C&C&M vf gur orfg guvat rire, be gur jbefg guvat rire. Creuncf abg rirelguvat vf vzcebirq ol gur nqqvgvba bs gur funzoyvat haqrnq. V'yy unir gb ernq vg naq frr.

#30 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 10:02 PM:

Trilchies are all wing. Half a mile across, but if you folded it up you could stick one in your pocket. A handful of cells thick. Radar goes right through them. Trilchies are hard to spot. It took us two decades to find 'em.

The first miners to reach the Oort found weird holes in their rocks. Only on carbonaceous ones, with a particular concentration of water ice. Exogeologists came up with all sorts of explanations, babbling on about thermal lensing, the manifold properties of carbon crystallization. Miners knew bullshit when they heard it though, and besides they knew more about those rocks than those damn Earth-siders. They knew enough to know what they didn't know. What no one knew, until Prof Jensen radioed into Pluto station screaming about something on his hull.

What were the chances? Billions of cubic kilometers of space, and trilchies black as Satan's asshole--you'd never know they were there unless you ran smack dab into it, but that's exactly what Prof Jensen did. 'Course, he wasn't Prof then. We just called him Ol' Bastard Jensen. He didn't get that fancy Pee Aitch Dee until Stanford sent out a speculative exobiologist to confirm his 'amateur' findings. By the time the poor tweedy fellow arrived, Jensen'd set up a star scanner and tracked down a couple of live samples. He'd watched them laying down alone on a rock, and then popping out two at a time. Sure enough, those rocks had those exact damn holes in them.

Lucky? Some say they are. Then again, things didn't work out so well for Prof Jensen. No one's quite explained the accident, but there were traces of trilchy cells in the wreckage. Could have gotten there any number of ways, though. It doesn't really prove anything.

Still, changed his life, didn't they?

#31 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 10:04 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 19: Yep!

Not really a butterfly moment, I guess, but the idea seized me.

#32 ::: lightning ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 10:09 PM:

This whole mess started because of one woman, and now we were in an even bigger mess because of another woman. Why A had to have *her*, out of all the women he could have had. It wasn't sexual -- he didn't swing that way. A challenge to M's authority?

Just a spoiled brat, most likely. M said he couldn't have her, so of course he had to have her *right now*. It didn't matter that she was a valuable negotiating piece. He doesn't care that we're getting our tails whipped because of his sulking.

A war is no place for spoiled brats.

#33 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 10:24 PM:

I knew I was taking a risk, going there. But I had very good intelligence that he wasn't coming back for another day. My aunt and uncle and I could slip in and out, unnoticed. And I admit, I couldn't help wondering what his house was like.

However, he wasn't supposed to find us there. That changed everything.

#34 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 10:33 PM:

Heresiarch #30: That was great!

#35 ::: Becca Stareyes ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 10:43 PM:

#32 Bqlffrhf, or someone else from Gur Vyvnq.

#36 ::: lightning ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 10:55 PM:

#35 -- Bullseye! Bqlffrhf was the only character in the whole sordid affair to use his brain.

#37 ::: B.Loppe ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 11:02 PM:

#32 is of course Ryvmnorgu Oraarg. Which is an awesome name in ROT-13.

#38 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 11:07 PM:

My friend's windows broke, and the glass was everywhere. I came over the day after, so happy that the house was still standing, that all our houses were still standing. My family had hidden in the dark, close together. We didn't lose anything that time. But the glass-- what good is a bomb shelter if flying glass comes in? I cut my hands trying to pick it up.

When I had to hide, later, I looked for something big enough to hold more than just me, and filled with softness.

#39 ::: Beth Friedman ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2009, 11:40 PM:

#32 is Bqlffrhf tehzcvat nobhg Ntnzzrzaba naq Zraryrhf, naq gurve ovpxrevat ng gur raq bs gur Gebwna Jne nobhg gur qvfcbfny bs (VVEP) Pnffnaqen.

#40 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:33 AM:

I have often wondered at the many turns and twists my life had to take in order that I might meet and befriend the man who became my constant companion for all those years, and who, aside from my dear wife, was the person whose life I shared most closely.

Had I not been ordered abroad for service just as the war broke out, had the bullet been just an inch or two over, and had I not been sick all those months following my hospitalisation for the wound, then I surely would have remained in the Army, and perhaps not returned home for many years.

Had I some family left so that I might not have lived the life of a single man in the great city, and then happened to meet an old school chum at a bar just at the moment of having to decide how best to modify my style of living, then I would never have taken lodging with my friend, and my life would have been far, far different.

I think I can truthfully say that I, my wife, my friend, and very likely the nation itself is the better for those accidents of fate.

#41 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:44 AM:

#40: Jngfba?

I say this having read... one story? I can remember one story, anyway, from the brown Appreciating Literature book. So I could be wildly off.

#42 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:46 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 40: Ryrzragnel, zl qrne Jngfba . . .
neatly done, sir!

#43 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:49 AM:

Mary Frances and Diatryma, you're both correct.

#44 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:53 AM:

Bruce @ #40, Fureybpx Ubyzrf'f Qe. Jngfba.

#45 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:54 AM:

Ha! Gotta type faster around here!

#46 ::: Bob the Mole ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:58 AM:

# 38: Yhpl Crirafvr from Gur Yvba, gur Jvgpu naq gur Jneqebor?

#47 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:01 AM:

Who knew a computer virus could do that kind of damage? The computer security, that was my mother's gig; she'd desperately wanted me to take on the family business, but she didn't live long enough to see it. When it finally came down to do or die, I wasn't given much choice in the matter. I'd never planned to do it, but I was in charge, and I would have to do whatever it took to get the job done, and take whatever help I could get, no matter what form it came in. I guess it was my fate all along.

#48 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:01 AM:

albatross @ 34: Thanks!

#49 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:04 AM:

Diatryma @ 38: Oh, I hope that's Gur Yvba, gur Jvgpu naq gur Jneqebor. It fits exactly right.

#50 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:07 AM:

He'd been around our camp forever, getting water when we needed it. We shouted at him all the time. Never gave him much thought otherwise. Then came that day when I was terribly hurt and desperately in need of water. He found me. Bound up my wound, he did, and gave me a drink. He saved my life that day, and gave his own in the doing. T'was then I realized he was a true man, a better one than I.

#51 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:17 AM:

#40 Jngfba. Nice duplication of the tone of the original, too.

#52 ::: Bob the Mole ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:17 AM:

For a while it seemed that all the cards were stacked in his favour, although he'd sneer at the suggestion that the Fates gave him anything more than cunning and a broken body. An entire dynasty fell before his silver tongue until he stood alone, his crown at the mercy of a missing horse.

#53 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:19 AM:

Rikibeth @ 13: Fjbeqfcbvag?

Bruce Cohen @ 40: Fureybpx Ubyzrf?

#54 ::: Bob the Mole ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:19 AM:

Linkmeister@ #50

Thatn Qva

#55 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:20 AM:

#52 Evpuneq gur Guveq (fcryyrq gung jnl gb xrrc gur EBG13 sebz orvat boivbhf)

#56 ::: Bob the Mole ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:23 AM:

#55

Got it!

#57 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:25 AM:

Bob @ #54, Right.

#58 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:30 AM:

I was standing there watching when he first saw her. It was like it was the first time he'd ever seen a beautiful woman. And of course he walked right up to her and started sweet-talking her. She was buying it, I could tell. We had to leave almost right away, but I already had a feeling it wouldn't end well.

And of course it didn't, not for them and not for me.

#59 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:42 AM:

#33 is Cevqr naq Cerwhqvpr: gur ivfvg gb Crzoreyl va Qreolfuver

If I ever have a palace, I will name it Crzoreyl...

#60 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:06 AM:

The nameless man sits on the couch, naked except for a tight pair of black briefs. Something in the way he rests his arms on his muscular thighs, elbows out, fingertips in, suggests a samurai warrior in meditation. But the look in his eyes is not of peace, or calm, or even anger. It is the hollow, exhausted, wide-eyed look of a war refugee or shipwreck survivor, someone who just watched his entire world vanish before his eyes. It is, to be precise, the look of someone who has just escaped the confines of Judge Judith's KwikKourts after being sued by his ex-employer for approximately two hundred and fifty seven times his net worth. It is the look of the man who has just made a deal with modern America's local devil franchise: the Mafia.

"Dude, you need to get out, have some fun." The roommate is making a bleary, stoned attempt to fulfill what he sees as his roommate-ly duties.

"I need to get a fucking job," the nameless man says.

"Nah," The roommate waves a hand vaguely in dismissal. "Nah, what you need," he pauses to relocate his train of thought. "What you need is something to eat." He rummages through the mess on the floor. He brandishes a wrinkled flyer triumphantly. "Pizza?" He waggles his eyebrows enticingly. "Thirty minutes, guaranteed."

#61 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:08 AM:

Xopher @ 58: Zrephgvb, sebz Ebzrb naq Whyvrg?

#62 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:14 AM:

Are published songs allowed?

Christmas; decorations and carols everywhere. I'm unhappy; gonna leave when I've made my pile. Told my man that; made him cry. Was selfish; drove him away. Wish I could skate away.

#63 ::: Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:27 AM:

#62 is Wbav Zvgpuryy; I can't remember the name of the song but it has gur cvnab vageb sebz Wvatyr oryyf. Evire?

#64 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:31 AM:

Well done, Andrew @ #63. I'm listening to her 2007 album Shine (excellent) and thought I'd give it a try with that.

#65 ::: Ian ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:57 AM:

heresiarch @ 60: Uveb Cebgntbavfg. Nicely done. It even sounds like Arny Fgrcurafba.

#66 ::: Steff Z ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:08 AM:

heresiarch's @ 60 is ng (be whfg orsber) gur ortvaavat bs Fabjpenfu. Uveb Cebgntbavfg gevrf gb qryvire gung cvmmn va gvzr gb cerirag n angvbany pbecbengr vapvqragt.

#67 ::: Steff Z ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:13 AM:

Darn it! too slow.
It does sound a lot like the original author.

#68 ::: Christian Severin ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:17 AM:

#60 is Uveb Cebgntbavfg from Fabj Penfu.

#69 ::: Andy Brazil ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 05:13 AM:

As he slid another custom cigarette from the battered Dunhill case, he paused to reflect. It had been sniper school that had changed him. Before the war he had faced a dismal future: the languages and the school would have got him a Foreign Office job for sure, but an endless round of cocktail parties and willing secretaries would have sapped the joy from him. It had been his war record that had led to the other job offer. He smiled, and called for another Martini.

#70 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 05:20 AM:

Wnzrf Obaq?

#71 ::: Nathaniel ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 05:47 AM:

Man, all I figured was that the kid deserved a treat. He's five, and at that age it's good to let 'em know when they've done something to be proud of, right? So he strapped on his rollerskates and we were off to Vlad's sandwich place. But when we arrived, this guy I know was already there with a gun, and my presence was suddenly required somewhere very far away. I got a room and figured I'd lie low for a while, but I would up at a party across the hall, drunk as a lord. Drunk enough to talk to her without feeling like a fool, in fact. We had dinner the following night, but I didn't see her for months after that, and then only for a little while. Eventually her place burned down, and she came to stay with me; we've had some ups and downs, but we were married last summer.

#72 ::: Nathaniel ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 05:50 AM:

The summer before last, actually. Always later than you think, isn't it?

#73 ::: Nathaniel ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 05:51 AM:

Oof. Got it right the first time. I need to go to bed.

#74 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 06:06 AM:

Ian @ 65, Steff Z @ 66, and Christian Severin @ 68: Bingo! I'm glad you think it sounds right; I had it on the shelf next to me and skimmed the first bit to get the feel right.

(Naq V zrnag sbe vg gb unccra evtug nsgre ur tbg sverq sebz uvf oheo pbc wbo naq evtug orsber ur tbg gur cvmmn qryvirel wbo.)

#75 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 07:02 AM:

If I ever have a palace, I will name it Crzoreyl

I think I've just worked out how Iain Banks invents all his character names. (wanders off to see what "Diziet Sma" ROT13s into)

#76 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 07:23 AM:

Brad: Got it!

Linkmeister #50: ol gur yvivat Tbq gung znqr lbh Lbh'er n orggre zna guna V nz....

#77 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 07:46 AM:

(Avoiding reading the thread just yet as I have to go to work shortly.)

abi, you made me cry before breakfast.

#78 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 08:04 AM:

Tim Walters @53 Yes! I was wondering if anyone would get it.

#79 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 08:46 AM:

Bob the Mole, heresiarch, regarding 38, yup! And thanks for the compliment. I really should reread those books sometime.

#80 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:11 AM:

It was the most beautiful time of the year when I met them both. He saw through my bluster and I thought he was going to toss me out, but then she came out. She was beautiful, and very smart, and somehow she saw the value in what I was proposing. There was a long, cold walk in the dark ahead for me and him, and a whole house full of kids ahead for me and her. If I'd arrived a week earlier or later, I suppose I'd have been tossed out, and it's hard to imagine the many ways things would have been different (and worse) for everyone.

Sometimes, it's the smallest coincidences that lead, ultimately, to victory.

#81 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:12 AM:

Andy Brazil #69: That sounds like Wnzrf Obaq va Pnfvab Eblnyr.

#82 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:20 AM:

He supposed that if his mother hadn't seen him as no more than an averagely lazy young man, with lots of energy, but no real motivation, he might not have been in the right place, with the ambassador's daughter, when the war began. Now he had no choice but to grow up into a hero. The future of his planet, and his alliance, depended on both his wit and his strength.

#83 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:23 AM:

Fragano: Hc sbe n yvggyr tbevyyn jnesner, ner jr?

#84 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:24 AM:

When I married Henry, I knew I was bound for a life of hard work, but I didn't mind. We were used to it, out here on the plains where on a good day you can see all kinds of far. He's a good man, and deserved to have sons joining him in the fields. I felt awful when it became clear that we would never have any children of our own.

And then my sister died, with her husband, in an accident. Charles always did like his new-fangled horseless carriage, but those things are dangerous!

Now we have our niece, Dorothy. She's a precious little baby, yes she is. Oh, she'll have plenty of room to run around out here!

#85 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:27 AM:

Albatross #83: Why, yes we are.

#86 ::: R.M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:31 AM:

Nhgvr Rz! Nicely done.

#87 ::: R.M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:32 AM:

I really like the hopefulness of the young woman you've portrayed in #84, Ginger.

#88 ::: Amanda ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:40 AM:

If she hadn't missed her train, she wouldn't have had to hang around for several hours waiting for the next one, and she would never have bumped into him in the station. And if she hadn't then accepted his offer of tea in his apartment, she wouldn't have been seen by the cleaning lady, or by R, on her way out.

#89 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:44 AM:

RM @ 87: Thanks! I'm in a good mood this morning.

#90 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:45 AM:

I stand here, facing him, listening to his harsh breathing. He threatens me, and I could laugh, it's so like him not to have learned. And I reply, but what I'm thinking is, what if we'd picked some other town to go to looking for repairs? Everything would be different--better or worse, I don't know, but different.

At least his children are better than he was. The Force moves in mysterious ways.

#91 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:52 AM:

#84 Ginger:
Nhagvr Rz sebz gur Jvmneq bs Bm?

#92 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 10:01 AM:

Pendrift @ 91: Yep!

#93 ::: Harriet has a word re: Whisperado tonite ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 10:20 AM:

Carrie S @90:


Bov Jna Xrabov, whfg orsber uvf svany onggyr jvgu Qvpx Purarl?

#94 ::: Harriet says O Bother! ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 10:23 AM:

Argh - no Whisperado tonight...I can't believe I didn't reset my name since the afternoon of W's last gig. (digs small hole, climbs in, zips it up after herself)

#95 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 10:35 AM:

26:

I don't think the identification of 20 can be right, because, IIRC -- I don't have Fgebat Cvbfba with me at present -- Jvzfrl was involved because the case involved was Cnexre'f.

#96 ::: R.M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 10:39 AM:

#94, Harriet -

What an excellent and entertaining depiction of embarrassed retreat. I'm grinning now (laughing with you, not at you, I hope.)

#97 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 10:46 AM:

They talk about that moment when, poised with his army at the point of no return, the great man was vouchsafed a vision that convinced him of the final victory ahead. Without that vision, he might not have moved forward, driving his enemies into exile, and taken up the ultimate power. And then, pursuing those enemies, made common cause with that queen who would later be so damaging to my own political ambitions. But for all his vices and the coldness of his heart when he saw something he wanted, I respected that man. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, when I stood in front of the crowd to trade justifications with that good friend of his, the leader of his murderers.

#98 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 10:47 AM:

Nathaniel@71: ubj Ebnfg Orrs zrg Zbyyl va Npurjbbq.

There's no point wasting any more time around here. I can't even IMAGINE being able to afford to hire one of these investigators. Time to head home, even if there's nothing there but debt and disease. Wait...

#99 ::: Annie G. ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 10:53 AM:

James @ 95

Actually, if I remember correctly (and I happened to re-read Fgebat Cbvfba just this weekend) Jvzfrl doesn't get involved in the case until after Uneevrg's first trial results in a hung jury. He is a spectator during the first trial, and actually remarks to Cnexre that the authorities have captured the wrong person. Then, of course, in the period before the second trial Jvzfrl and Cnexre frequently work together.

So I stand by my identification. But here's a quickie to stimulate discussion:

"Well?" he asked, "Are you going to take the command?"
Of course," she replied. After that debacle with her earlier lover-- and still no closer to a family to show for it-- she would be a fool to pass up the promotion this time. Even if the posting was on the very edge of the known regions.

#100 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 10:53 AM:

Bruce Cohen #97: That's Znex Nagubal va Funxrfcrner'f Whyvhf Pnrfne

#102 ::: MsAnon ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 11:08 AM:

@88 Gur Ubhfr bs Zvegu.

#103 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 11:10 AM:

re #97: Rg gh, Oehpr?

#104 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 11:30 AM:

103: Gura snyy, Pnrfne. Ab fnynq sbe lbh.

#105 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 11:40 AM:

heresiarch 61: Yep! "V arire fnj gehr ornhgl gvy guvf avtug."

Bruce 104: Pnrfne va gur snyy, Terra Tbqqrff va gur fcevat!

#106 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 11:53 AM:

Take it into my head to go fossicking about the Cascades in the middle of March, and I end up leader of the bloody Army. And here I swore I'd die a sergeant.

#107 ::: lightning ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:23 PM:

Eve@98:

Gur fvta bs n unys-pybfrq rlr ... Ahzore Gra Bk, va Oevqtr bs Oveqf.

#108 ::: Harriet, or Uneevrg ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:30 PM:

R. M. Koske @96

Thanks, though of course it's only a variant on the well-worn theme :-)

Uneevrg

#109 ::: Noelle ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:31 PM:

Carrie S. 106;

Fnz Nyjnelq (fcryyvat?) sebz Qvrf gur Sver?

#110 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:44 PM:

albatross @ #76, Yep. Hard to get that tone right without dialect.

#111 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:49 PM:

Harriet: Yes, it's old Ora.

Noelle: "Nlyjneq". I love the word "fossick". :)

#112 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 12:52 PM:

lightning@107: Yup!

#113 ::: Steff Z ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:08 PM:

Just to keep track of the upthread puzzles,
Diatryma's at #38 hasn't been solved yet.
Nor Burce Cohen's at #47.
Nor Nathaniel's at #71.

Farther down, nor #80 nor #82 nor #99.

And I have the impression that heresiarch's at #30 is bevtvany.

#114 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:20 PM:

Oh! I missed Annie G's contribution at #99! Pbeqryvn Anvfzvgu, of course.

#115 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:23 PM:

(My first one was kind of obvious, let me try again.)

If someone hadn't left that book in the barn-- The barn is a strange place to leave a book, unless you live there. Most of the inhabitants of the barn don't read much. I do, however, being a poet and newspaperman. While I was rooting around, I came across that copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Fascinating. If it weren't for that, I never would have become a detective. And a lot of mysteries here on the farm would have gone unsolved.

#116 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:43 PM:

If I hadn't been off chasing a runaway droid, I would have died with my aunt and uncle. And none of the rest would have happened.

#117 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:47 PM:

No. 15 is Serqql gur Qrgrpgvir, ol Jnygre E Oebbxf.

#118 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:50 PM:

Aaarrrggggh. (Not ROT-13'd.) I meant Mary Aileen's at no. 115, of course.

#119 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:57 PM:

She told me this much later, long after she'd finished hating me. If they'd gone themselves -- rather than telling Robert, who told Nancy, who passed it along -- she would have been a boy instead.

#120 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 01:57 PM:

Oh, you mean no one yet has the neat one by Albatross -- with that great last line -- at no. 80?

N Qrrcarff va gur Fxl, ol Ireabe Ivatr.

#121 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:01 PM:

I had a gift of speech; despite my low status that won me a scholarship to a university from the community leaders who also humiliated me. That should have meant that my life would go well, but I was asked to show a trustee of the school around, and I showed him the wrong part of town. I was kicked out of school and could not find work thereafter because the school had blackballed me. I found myself involved time after time in the struggles and oppressions of my community, until I finally realized that my own needs and my community's needs are equally important, and I am ready to again emerge into the world.

#122 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:06 PM:

Bob Devney (117/118): Right you are. (That book being his inspiration is straight from the source material.)

#123 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:22 PM:

Annie G. @ 99

Pbeqryvn? (er. "Funeqf bs Ubabe" rg frdhrynr.)

(I was toying with how to describe that one).

#124 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:23 PM:

We met by chance at the concert, and at first were not fond at all. But soon enough I was naming him "My dear." We set sail upon life's sea and long made beautiful music together.

#125 ::: Amanda ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:24 PM:

MsAnon @102: got it!

#126 ::: Becky ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:25 PM:

#116 is Yhxr Fxljnyxre va Fgne Jnef: N Arj Ubcr.

The feller had a girl that he liked well enough to dance with, but then he met her best friend. He never knew what true love was until he met the best friend, so his girl went her way and he went the best friend's way.

#127 ::: Amanda ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:27 PM:

@124: Nhoerl naq Zngheva va Znfgre naq Pbzznaqre (naq nyy gur bgure abiryf nsgre vg, bs pbhefr).

#128 ::: MsAnon ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:28 PM:

@121: Gur Vaivfvoyr Zna (ol Enycu Ryyvfba)

#129 ::: melissa ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:30 PM:

And @119 is Tvyoreg sebz Naar bs Terra Tnoyrf

#130 ::: Annie G. ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:31 PM:

Rikibeth #114/dcb #123: yes, exactly!

Bob Devney #124: Fgrcura Zngheva bs gur Nhoerl/Zngheva obbxf? (or alternately, "Yhpxl" Wnpx Nhoerl. But of the two I think Zngheva is more likely to use the term "my dear".)

#131 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:32 PM:

MsAnon @ 128: you're right. I was afraid that people might not think of that, fvapr jr'er pbapragengvat ba traer obbxf.

#132 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:33 PM:

Is @121 Gur Qvfcbffrffrq ?

#133 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:35 PM:

Steff @ 113:
I think you missed some of the answers?

Two people got Diatryma's #38, heresiarch & Bob the Mole, and Eve guessed Nathaniel's #71 (which I can't confirm because I never read that...)

I think that you're right, nobody has guessed Bruce's #47. I think it could be Pnfr from Arhebznapre, but I think it fits Wrsserl in N Sver ba gur Qrrc even better

#134 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:40 PM:

Amanda @ 127, and then Annie G @ 130: You have it! And Annie, yes, that's meant to be the viewpoint of Zngheva.

Never realized until I was writing that bit how easily that relationship can seem homoerotic, viewed from the masthead ...

#135 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:43 PM:

melissa @ 129 has it!

#136 ::: Steff Z ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:43 PM:

Clifton, right you are.
I was foolishly using the shortcut of searching for (e.g.) "#38" and of course many of the answers used the number, but not the hashmark. Sorry, intrepid solvers!

#137 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:52 PM:

So there I was, working at my desk in Ops. A nice, quiet, 8-to-5 boring job, which is just what I like. Not like my cousin, who goes out looking for trouble, finds it, brings it home, and shares it with me, dammit.

Then my boss told me to hand-deliver a package to a Count's residence. I didn't ask questions -- not my problem, didn't want to know, just nice to get out of the office once in a while, you know? When I got there, though, the Count was out of town, but his wife was there. Lovely woman, with these amazing eyes. And she practically dragged me inside. Into the house, I mean, but, well. And it turned out that the Count was away a lot of the time, and, well, it was an extremely educational and enlightening time for me. Changed my life in many ways, and saved my ass on more than one occasion, though I'd rather not go into the details.

#138 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:56 PM:

None of what mattered was an accident. Not Dad, nor mom, and not their meeting. And, given that, my four sisters and I were--had to be--inevitable.

Perhaps the only accident in the whole business was the collision of two galaxies.

#139 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 02:58 PM:

At last, at last, I have it! But sometimes I wonder, why did he have to go fishing right there?

#140 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:06 PM:

#137 is Vina Ibecngevy. And I think #138 is gur Yrafzra obbxf.

#141 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:07 PM:

If he hadn't defended himself so successfully when his brother attacked him. If, exiled, he hadn't taken the shelter she offered... Who knows what might have happened, whether he would have reached his mother's kin, found another place for himself. He would not have followed her, would never have seen gung fjbeq, Punatryvat.

(yes, the Rot-13 bit makes it clear).

#142 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:09 PM:

Joel @ 137, that's Vina Ibecngevy, and the Countess he's talking about has got to be Qbaan Ibeelhgre, right?

#143 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:09 PM:

So I make it this way for 137, 138, 139:

Vina Ibecngevy

Puevfgbcure Xvaavfba

Tbyyhz be Fzrntby

#144 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:11 PM:

I just now noticed an interesting thing: fjnc gur svefg gjb naq ynfg gjb yrggref bs gur ebg13 va gur anzr "Vina", naq lbh'ir tbg vgf ebg13. Neato.

#145 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:18 PM:

Carrie S. @ 140, Rikibeth @ 142, Bob Devney @ 143: yes.

#146 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:24 PM:

I was all but ready to give up on London, and then I met Scudder. Well, I'd told myself if I didn't find something interesting, it was back to Africa for me. And something interesting found me.

#147 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:28 PM:

If I hadn't been able to divest myself of the gag, they would have dumped my body and the boy's in the wasteland, food for worms.

#148 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:28 PM:

Carrie @ 144, I was noticing the same thing!

#149 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:30 PM:

Bob Devney @ 147

Qhar

#150 ::: melissa ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:34 PM:

I was also amused at what "terra" was a ROT-13 of....

#151 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:34 PM:

dcb @ 149

Yes indeed! Or, when I first read it, Qhar Jbeyq.

#152 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:35 PM:

Bob Devney: Yes. I was worried that just the second sentence was a trifle too obscure, but in this crowd maybe I should have risked it. :)

#147 is Qhar, yes? Specifically Wrffvpn.

If Ben hadn't decided to travel with us, would anybody know my name? As it is, most everybody knows several of them.

#153 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:38 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 116: Pithy, yet true! Yhxr Fxljnyxre sure did have a butterfly moment there.

#154 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:38 PM:

#141 - Pureelu'f Zbetnvar frevrf. Auv Inalr (V qvq unir gbybbx hc uvf anzr.)

#155 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:40 PM:

I never should have gone out to sit on that wall. It's hard to sit on a wall when you're well-rounded in shape. I think I can see what's about to happen now.

#156 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:42 PM:

Carrie @ 152,

This IS a sharpish bunch.

And ding, I think we have a winner. Wrffvpn may be the ugliest ROT-13 for the prettiest name yet.

#157 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:47 PM:

Eric @ 155,

Uhzcgl Qhzcgl.

Love the subtle comedy of your last sentence.

#158 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:50 PM:

The officials have been staying away from the aliens' ship, according to policy, but I decided to exercise my prerogatives as Quaternary Imperial Heir to go out and take a look by myself.

They're very odd creatures: upright, only two legs and two eyes, and they appear soft and fragile. All of them are old enough to have their arms, but I suppose that's not too surprising. Most of them have been staying very close to their ship, but one has come out farther, so I took the opportunity for a First Contact. It seems friendly enough, though of course I can't understand the growling it uses to communicate.

I think it wants me to board the ship, though it seems to be trying to keep me away from the other creatures of its kind. And I probably shouldn't go, not without letting my guardians know, but it has been kind enough to give me a few tidbits of very tasty metal. I'm sure there wouldn't be anything wrong with a brief visit, just to learn more about the aliens.

#159 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:54 PM:

#158 is Fgne Ornfg, from Yhzzbk's perspective.

#160 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 03:58 PM:

Henry Troup @ 132: No, sorry, that's not right.

Clifton @ 133: Both of those sort of fit, but aren't what I was thinking of.

#161 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 04:05 PM:

Nancy C. Mittens @ 154

Yes, that's right. I was worried it was too obscure without the last bit.

#162 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 04:20 PM:

Becky@126 and Ginger@153: Right.

#163 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 04:48 PM:

If hadn't been for laser-drilling accident, I wouldn't have studied for computer tech. Then some other cobber would have been in Authority's computer room, babysitting.

#164 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 04:50 PM:

Carrie S @90 I don't remember the repairs incident, but that does sound like Bov Jna Xrabov during the fight with Qnegu Inqre (Nanxva) in Fgne Jnef.

#165 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 04:54 PM:

OtterB @163:

Znaavr sebz Gur Zbba vf n Unefu Zvfgerff.

#166 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 04:58 PM:

If it hadn't been for the game, my friends and I wouldn't have been out of school when the explosions hit. Wouldn't have been grabbed and threatened by the security people. That changed everything.

#167 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 05:03 PM:

You know, if the last set of smugglers had taken better care of that ship, it would have been pricier. Those two—well, I'll just call 'em veterans, no sense blackening the good names of paying customers—they didn't have much money for anything in better shape.

Still, it was a bargain, even if the engine only about halfway ran and the life support leaked like a sieve. I told them when they bought it—you treat a ship like that right and she'll last you a lifetime.

I wonder how they fared, and where she is now. I ain't sold a sweeter ship in all my working days, no matter what I say in my patter. She was fit to be a home, and I don't feel that about much of the tin I push.

#168 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 05:30 PM:

First there was the job -- not the best fit, I had to stretch the truth about my credentials to get it. But it put me where they could observe me, and they decided I was worth trusting. Then there was the trip, and the intrigue, and a hard decision I had to make. But I came out of it with friends, and a future -- not the future I'd dreamed about, but one just as good. Because I decided I was smarter than a goddamned crab.

#169 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 05:37 PM:

Abi @ 167,

Gotte be Thl jub fbyq Sversyl gb Zny naq Mbr.

Thanks for keeping the signal going.

#170 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 05:43 PM:

Bob @169:

Got it in one. The rcvfbqr Bhg bs Tnf gave pretty much everyone else's butterfly moments, but not Freravgl'f. And I felt like that one wanted telling.

Thanks for keeping the signal going.
Can't stop it.

#171 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 05:46 PM:

166 is Yvggyr Oebgure.

#172 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 06:12 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 171

Yup.

Abi @ 170: yeah, a good one.

#173 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 06:34 PM:

abi @165, right

#174 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 06:40 PM:

It was incredibly good luck getting the gig with that band; they wanted me for my day job too, but there are an awful lot of country musicians at least as good as I am. The adventures that followed took some getting used to, but those guys and their fans are real heroes, and they think I can be too. Well, why not? We've saved the world twice over from good aliens and bad since I joined.

#175 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 06:47 PM:

Carrie S. @ 159: Yup. In retrospect, I should have omitted the two latter paragraphs in favour of something like "They're kind of cute, in a weird-looking awkward helpless way. I wonder if one of them would make a good pet?"

#176 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 06:54 PM:

Bob 120: Yep.

Lee 168: V'z abg fher nobhg gur peno ersrerapr, ohg guvf fbhaqf n ybg yvxr Urvayrva'f Qbhoyr Fgne.

#177 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 07:00 PM:

It all came down to chance. If he'd chosen another day to get whacked by the security goons, I'd never have been involved. If my old friend hadn't been run over to keep him quiet, or if that seedy professor hadn't led me to the lab, I'd still be back in Denver investigating tax collector dismemberments, if I was lucky.

#178 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 07:17 PM:

albatross, #176: No, although I can see where parts of it might fit. The crab reference is a Clue.

#179 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 07:49 PM:

If we'd only listened to Clyman the whole tragedy might have been avoided.

#180 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 08:43 PM:

albatross @ 177: My memory of the book is a little vague, but it sounds like Y. Arvy Fzvgu'f "Gur Cebonovyvgl Oebnpu".

#181 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:10 PM:

It occurs to me belatedly that I've got my pronoun wrong in #179.

If they'd only listened to Clyman the whole tragedy might have been avoided.

#182 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:24 PM:

Bruce #180: Yep.

#183 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 09:47 PM:

My chance as librarian came
to make for my own self a name.
But when worlds fell to blight,
It was time to take flight,
a pawn in a Power's last game

#184 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 11:02 PM:

"Whaddareya doing, brainiac?" I hastily brushed away the numbers in the dirt, but it was too late. He stumbled forward, reeking of jumpweed. I hated this stranger in my house even more than the last one. Across the yard my sib watched, eyes half-hidden under her hair.

"Yer doing math, aren'tcha?" He laughed. "Hell, you like math so much, why don't you go join one, huh?" He grabbed my arm, lifting me up. I looked back at my sib and cried out for help. She didn't move, though. She knew better.

That's how I went, but I can't say I'm sorry about it.

#185 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 11:08 PM:

If he had any sense he'd still be running, but I soon found him gawking at the fools in the parade. The boy wanted a hat just like the one in front: tall, and heavy with sequins. All the way home he was babbling about it. Not bloody likely.

#186 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2009, 11:36 PM:

183 is N Sver Hcba gur Qrrc, of course.

If only she had been reading a picture book, I should never have met the Queen. Or have had to recite any of that poetry... At least she didn't laugh when I told her about it.

#187 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 12:11 AM:

David Delaney @ 186: Nyvpr'f Nqiragherf va Jbaqreynaq?

#188 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 01:39 AM:

The scientist was crazy, and he did kidnap my boyfriend and me, but after all the cliffhangers the three of us have been through together, I have to say he's worth having around when you're in need of a superscientific weapon.

#189 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 02:34 AM:

Bruce @188

That's almost too cliched, but I shall plump for Synfu Tbeqba

#190 ::: Luthe ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 02:48 AM:

He didn't know that one day he would travel to countless worlds, or meet his mate, lose his voice, and teach all of his people to speak. He only knew that she was very tasty.

#191 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:28 AM:

Edit to mine @ 184:

That's how I went, but I can't say I'm sorry about it.

I didn't see her again for ten years.

#192 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 06:30 AM:

My first one was going to be the same book as Annie G. @ #26, but not the same moment. I thought of the book immediately because I re-read it last week and it contains an actual butterfly moment, no invention required, that's explicitly pointed out at the end.

If she had come to Lambton a day earlier, he wouldn't have been there. If she had come to Lambton a day later, she would have avoided the place where he was. And if her uncle had not had a sudden rush of business a few weeks earlier, she would never have come to Lambton at all.

#193 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 06:42 AM:

...and reading further, I see that albatross #33 did do exactly the same book and scene as I was planning to.

Great minds think alike?

#194 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:26 AM:

Epacris @ #164: I don't remember the repairs incident

That was the first time they met, in the prequel.

#195 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:28 AM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) @180: Arj Wrefrl (cynlrq ol Wrss Tbyqoyhz) va Gur Nqiragherf bs Ohpxnebb Onamnv Npebff gur 8gu Qvzrafvba?

#196 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:29 AM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) @ #174:

Nqiragherf bs Ohpxnebb Onamnv? (I haven't actually seen it, so I'm guessing, but the intersection of "band" and "saved the world from aliens" can't be very large.)

#197 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:30 AM:

Dave Bell @ 189: You've got the right cliche. The POV is, of course, Qnyr Neqrag.

#198 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:30 AM:

me @ #196:

It's just like buses -- you wait hours for one, and then two come along at once.

#199 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:35 AM:

Becky, is your #126 the same story as Xopher's #58?

#200 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:42 AM:

Dave Bell @ 189: You've got the right cliche. The POV is, of course, Qnyr Neqrag.

#201 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 08:02 AM:

Sorry for the double post; same problem as with the open thread.

Paul A. and Rob Rusick: you have both got it.

#202 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 08:28 AM:

Joel @187 - a hit, a most palpable hit.

Dave @189 - For a moment, I was actually thinking Nepbg, Jnqr, naq Zberl ...

--Dave

#203 ::: AlyxL ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 08:51 AM:

I'm very pleased to find I have a couple of suggestions for such high-powered company.

Is #185 Evaprjvaq from Greel Cengpurgg'f Qvfpjbeyq books?

And, um I haven't read the copy I got for Christmas yet, (trails toe through the dust), but is #184 from Arny Fgrcurafba'f Nangurz?

#204 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 09:01 AM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) @188 If Dave Bell has it with Synfu Tbeqba, then I'm off. It reminded me of Oynpxvr Qhdhrfar in Fxlynex bs Fcnpr but didn't quite fit.

#205 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 10:10 AM:

Luthe, #190: Gur Ubabe Uneevatgba frevrf, sebz Avzvgm' CBI.

(I can't believe no one else beat me to that!)

#206 ::: Harriet Culver ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 10:44 AM:

Lee@205, Luthe@190:

Oyrrx! :-)

#207 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 10:55 AM:

One kind word to that monstrous spinster who lurked around my father's court, and I was on the run for my very life and honour, wandering in disguise from village to village.

#208 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 11:21 AM:

Joel, #207: Gur Zvxnqb. Nice!

#209 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 11:29 AM:

OtterB @ 204:

It's not a bad fit, as I realized after I posted. Vg'f zvffvat nal zragvba bs gur fvqrxvpx Znegva Penar naq uvf tvey sevraq, ohg vg svgf gur yngre fgbel va Fxlynex QhDhrfar, jurer Evpuneq Frngba naq gur Fxlynex perj sbez na nyyvnapr jvgu QhDhrfar gb pbzzvg trabpvqr ba n gehyl nfgebabzvpny fpnyr.

#210 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 11:31 AM:

It's always the same. Months of being shut up inside, followed by days of drudgery, going after the stains in the grout, and the cobwebs in the dormers. The hell with it, and I'm going for a walk. If it doesn't get done... So what.

But even that's not really working. The green grass, and the clouds in a perfectly blue sky aren't doing a blessed thing to ease my mind. One ought not stomp into spring,

Oh, Drat! There's no way in the world I can cross the river here. Well, I'm not going back to the house just yet, I'll sit and watch the water, and see what comes along.

#211 ::: JCosby ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 11:41 AM:

[me] Often I read here, never have I written (I think). This literally jumped in my head. [/me]

"You can't have two younger siblings," she said, flipping her hair out of her eyes. He'd been watching her do that for years. It was like scratching an itch that never stopped itching, watching her hair flip away from her face like that, and then fall back to exactly the same position. He wondered how she knew when it was time to flip it again, since it never stayed away for longer than it took gravity to reassert itself. "It's wrong."

"It's not wrong," he whipped back, more defensively than he'd meant. Dammit, this wasn't going at all the way he'd planned. "It's wrong to keep people from having kids."

"Your parents can only have two. My parents only had two, me and my younger sister. That's all we'll ever have, they say. Marcie hates it. She doesn't want to be the youngest."

"Well, I've got two. I've got a baby brother, now."

"You're weird," she said. She flipped her hair again, and walked away. Well, that's it, he thought.

Almost as an afterthought, he sent a message to her mom, making it look like an accident. "Marcie--LOVED it last night. Don't tell your sister, though, okay?" If he knew families--and if anyone did, he did--there would be interesting times at her house.

#212 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 11:47 AM:

@210


Zbyr

#213 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 11:56 AM:

Dave Bell: Ohg bs Pbhefr, gubhtu V graq gb or zber snzvyvne jvgu uvz, naq greevoyl sbaq bs uvz, gubhtu V fhfcrpg V nz zber vapyvarq gb Enggl'f ghea bs zvaq.

V qb ybir zrffvat nobhg va obngf.

#214 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 12:11 PM:

Epacris: The repairs part is in Gur Cunagbz Zranpr, and is how they meet Nanxva.

Abi's #167 is gur thl jub fbyq Freravgl gb Zny naq Mbr.

And I think #211 is Raqre'f oebgure, jubfr anzr rfpncrf zr. Crgre?

#215 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 12:27 PM:

Lee @ 208: Yes.

Why did I go there? Because my father told me not to, of course, so of course I ended up pregnant, and all the rest of it.

#216 ::: Annie G. ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 12:41 PM:

Joel Polowin at #215: Wnarg sebz Gnz Yva?

#217 ::: JCosby ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 12:58 PM:

@215: That's it!

#218 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 01:00 PM:

AlyxL @ 203 Yes! V unq gebhoyr pubbfvat orgjrra gur ung naq gur cbgngbrf.

#219 ::: JCosby ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 01:01 PM:

I meant @214.

#220 ::: Becky ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 01:17 PM:

Paul @ 199:

No -- mine is a children's book, and I have nearly a direct quote from a character ("You'll go your way and I'll go mine") that pops up later in the book.

#221 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 01:38 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) @201: Paul A. and Rob Rusick: you have both got it.

I read your original post before I left for work; I only posted a reply after I had returned home (a shift later), read the accumulated responses and saw that no one had posted an answer. And then Paul posts his answer within a minute of mine.

He could not have read my reply, it would not have been posted while he was composing his own. Yet again, another careless telepath outs himself...

#222 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 02:35 PM:

215: Wnarg va Gnz Yva, of course!

#223 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 02:43 PM:

He said he was my uncle, and I knew better eventually, and that he had something miraculous to give me, and that part was true. But without that gift my life would have been like everyone else's, boring and linear. And I would never have learned how to throw a party so well!

#224 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 02:56 PM:

Bruce @ 223: The protagonist of Treebyq'f Gur Zna Jub Sbyqrq Uvzfrys?

#225 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:03 PM:

I had been getting over a cold and had made up my mind to stay home with a respectable book and some hot tea, but on an impulse I decided to go to that garden party; and then I saw that girl's lovely red braids. I've always had a passion for red hair, and so I couldn't help hearing what her brother had to say about poetry. Then, being still a little fuzzy from the cold I found myself defending my opinions with more than my usual fever, and that's how it all came about.

#226 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:06 PM:

P.S. I'm still trying to place Bruce's #47, and I don't think anybody else has yet?

#227 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:07 PM:

Clifton @ #225, I have no idea what that is, but it instantly reminded me of Charlie Brown and his little red-haired girl.

#228 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:27 PM:

When I was in 5th grade, I was bragging about how good my memory was. An older kid bet me a quarter that I couldn't memorize the log table from his math book and read it back to him, but when I did he didn't give me the quarter, he just shoved me down. I can't remember his name, so I guess he'll never know how many people owe him their lives.

#229 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:29 PM:

Linkmeister, no connection, but I like that association.

#230 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:36 PM:

Certainly the service expects every man to do his duty. I was young, but that principle at least I had taken well to heart. The week I had to prepare, while full of recurring anxiety, nevertheless afforded the time to steel myself to mine.

The greatest difficulty came not in any general agitation, but in that particular phobia I've long been at pains to conceal, though with mixed success. The captain knew, I think. He pitied me the more, perhaps, in prospect of the great exercise that fear would find in my new command.

When the moment came, though, my fear had absolutely no part to play, thank God! It all went wrong in quite a different way.

Quick as a striking snake, Chance spared me. And took all the life of my well-loved captain instead.

#231 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:38 PM:

Clifton Royston @ 228:

Naqerj Wnpxfba Yvool?

#232 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:45 PM:

Bob: Nope. I'll give you a hint, though, if you want one: V guvax lbh cvpxrq hc gur aneengvir gbar naq lbh'er ba gur evtug genpx jvgu gur nhgube.

#233 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:47 PM:

Annie G. @ 216, Clifton Royston @ 215: That's it.

A bat flew in the open window.

(Okay, that's an easy one; I'm wondering how compact these can get without explicitly identifying the source.)

#234 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 03:53 PM:

Clifton Royston @ 228: Fgnezna Wbarf

#235 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:02 PM:

JCosby @ 211
That's Crgre, uvf fvoyvatf orvat Inyragvar naq Naqerj (Raqre) Jvttvaf

#236 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:03 PM:

Bruce @223 -- Ylen va "Uvf Qnex Zngrevnyf"?

#237 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:05 PM:

Clifton Royston,

Thanks. I agree with Joel Polowin, but too slowly ...

And Joel @ 233:
Qenphyn. Specifically Zvan Unexre.


#238 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:10 PM:

Joel @ 233: Susan de G! (I kid, I kid!) I assume it's actually Qenphyn.

Joel @ 234, Bob @ 237: Yep, yep.

#239 ::: AlyxL ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:16 PM:

Clifton @ #225; is this Purfgregba'f Gur Zna Jub Jnf Guhefqnl?

#240 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:23 PM:

Bob Devney @ 230

Grzrenver, sebz gur CBI bs Zvqfuvczna Pneire

#241 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:24 PM:

Clifton Royston @ 226: yes, that's right.

#242 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:27 PM:

Debbie, I'm fascinated that Bruce's 223 could almost equally fit both your guess and mine, which are opposite poles in so many ways. I think that gur jbeq "yvarne" uvagf ng zl nafjre orvat gur vagraqrq, ubjrire.

#243 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:33 PM:

Oh, now that's interesting! I would never have thought that there would be two entirely distinct solutions for #233. (The other one, of course, is Oehpr Jnlar'f qrpvfvba gb orpbzr gur Ongzna.)

#244 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:38 PM:

AlyxL @ #239: Yes! When I was writing out Gur Zna Jub... for my answer to Bruce, it popped into my head.

#245 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:41 PM:

Clifton Royston @242:

Actually, apart from "naq V xarj orggre riraghnyyl", 223 could stretch to being Sebqb sebz gur Ybeq bs gur Evatf.

- o0o -

If I were to name a single moment when I understood the magnitude of my commitment to both mission and man, it would be the day I began my journey out of K. He was already months gone, exiled and disgraced, ostensibly for my sake.

F came to my lodgings to give me what money he had managed to save from the wreck of E's fortune. It was a bitter conversation. We both sought to hurt each other, and we both succeeded. In retrospect, I regret that I was so cold to him, for he taught me two things with his parting words.

First, he demonstrated that E had a context outside of the one I knew, one alien and impenetrable to me. It was a world abandoned forever for the sake of my mission, and I had never so much as considered its existence.

And F showed me something of myself, as in a mirror, though I did not recognize it at the time. I wrote later that he was one of those that were damned to love once. So, it turned out, was I.

#246 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:51 PM:

Lee @ 243

That's the one I thought of as well.

#247 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:51 PM:

Debbie @ 236: No, but it does mostly fit, except for the party, I think. I hadn't thought of that one at all.

#248 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 04:54 PM:

Clifton Royston @242 -- I haven't read Gur Zna Jub Sbyqrq Uvzfrys, but I had some doubts with my answer anyway, especially with the word 'cnegl'. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

#249 ::: Amanda ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 05:09 PM:

If he hadn't tried to recover his missing umbrella that evening, he wouldn't have died young.

#250 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 05:10 PM:

Lee, dcb: I think your answer is better. In context of that story, it really is a butterfly moment.

abi @ 245: Been a while since I read it, but that surely must be gur aneengbe bs Gur Yrsg Unaq bs Qnexarff, whose name I forget.

#251 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 05:11 PM:

dcb @ 240:

Right!

#252 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 05:17 PM:

Bob Devney @ 237, Clifton Royston @ 238, Lee @ 243, dcb @ 246 -- I was thinking of Oehpr Jnlar; the other didn't occur to me. "Short but uniquely identifying" is tricky.

#253 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 05:21 PM:

Clifton Royston @250:

Trayl Nv, yes.

#254 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 05:43 PM:

Debbie, Clifton, abi: Clifton's right, the word "linear" was intended to be a clue; and it's the part that doesn't fit abi's answer well. I knew I needed something more than the standard "not-an-uncle bearing gifts" or it would be much too generic, and it seemed that "linear" and the mention of the party out to disambiguate. Not well enough, I guess.

In fact, now I think about it, if you stretch it just a bit it could fit gur "Ohpx" nygre sebz gur GI fubj Havgrq Fgngrf bs Gnen.

#255 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 05:47 PM:

Bruce @254:

My comment was not intended as an answer, just as an amused observation.

#256 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 06:01 PM:

One drunk captain. One tide later. Without the storm, what would have become of me? Long did I ponder that. And had I not taken that walk on that day, I might have pondered my fate alone much longer.

#257 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:02 PM:

Debbie @256: Ebovafba Pehfbr?

#258 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:03 PM:

For those who care, the answer to #47 is Wbua Pbaare, bs gur Grezvangbe zbivrf.

#259 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:11 PM:

No one else has taken a stab at my #168, and on looking at it again, I think I put too much emphasis on the disambiguator and people are taking it for the butterfly. So, two Clues: (1) the butterfly moment is getting the job in the first place; (2) the author is no longer with us. Also, it's possible that They should be capitalized.

#260 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 07:41 PM:

Joel #233, Lee #243 - "Fur Pnzr va Guebhtu Gur Ongebbz Jvaqbj", ol gur Orngyrf ?

#261 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 09:08 PM:

It was just luck that I lived, and just luck that she died. It wasn't chance that her death was final, that I could look forward to an eternity without her--that was intentional. And the sublime mission I went on to get revenge, for her and my people, that wasn't chance, either. Indeed, there was a good bit less left to chance than I'd imagined.

#262 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 09:18 PM:

I suppose I would have met him sooner or later. He needed someone with my skills for his plans, and my hobby was almost as useful as my profession. But ending up on a date with him, and introducing his friend to his future wife, that probably decided everything else. I didn't really have much choice about helping him after that, but of course I found ways to enjoy myself along the way. The really strange thing is that I probably saved way more lives than I took, in the end.

#263 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 09:18 PM:

Nobody's taken a stab at my #179, corrected in #181. It's pretty vague, I admit. A hint: Clyman recommended not taking a specific route through the desert. His advice was not taken, and horror was the result.

#264 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2009, 09:33 PM:

AlyxL @ 184: "And, um I haven't read the copy I got for Christmas yet, (trails toe through the dust), but is #184 from Arny Fgrcurafba'f Nangurz?"

Ding! Prize: you can has a warm fuzzy feeling of success!

#265 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 05:20 AM:

Rob Rusick @ 257, yes. Amazing how many books start with a storm that Changes Everything. Three occurred immediately offhand, and I had to think to try and disambiguate. It was a dark and stormy night......

All right, here's another one:
One drunk captain. One tide later. Without the storm, what would have become of me? So many chance meetings that saved my life and others', in a land far, far away. I longed for home and tried to make the most of my opportunities. But the very skills that could have gotten me home made me too valuable and too dangerous. I lived on, an honored prisoner.

#266 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 05:46 AM:

Debbie, there are two books I can think of for that one. One is fiction. The other an account of the real person on whom the fiction was loosely based. But Will Adams isn't fictional, and so doesn't count.

#267 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 05:57 AM:

Dave Bell -- fiction counts. :)

#268 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 07:21 AM:

Debbie @265: I'll guess Fubtha (looks half rude in rot13).

#269 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 07:26 AM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) @ 258

I thought of that, but was too tired to think through and confirm. Oh well, should have put my guess on the table

#270 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 07:54 AM:

Rob Rusick @268 -- right you are, on both counts.

#271 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 10:43 AM:

Bob Devney @ #230:

I like that one - very clever.

#272 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 11:08 AM:

She wondered what was keeping her grandfather, and called out to him.

They agreed to pass on her farewell, and insisted on being let in to deliver it.

The journey home was close enough that he'd started worrying about the luggage limit.

Her aunt's spare tyre was also flat.

Fur ghearq yrsg.

#273 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 11:37 AM:

Debbie @ 265 -- Not Tvyyvtna, then.

#274 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 11:41 AM:

I only thought the butterfly moment was when I picked up the gold coin out of the mud. It actually had happened much earlier, but I didn't realize this until later. By then, it was too late.

#275 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 12:12 PM:

Ginger @ 274

Pnmnevy; Gur Phefr bs Punyvba.

#276 ::: Cass R ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 12:21 PM:

Butterfly moment - missing the last ferry on a Friday night.

Gateway book - Eddings' Queen of Sorcery, found on my grandfather's shelf and read despite, in spite, and because of the fact that I knew my mother would disapprove.

#277 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 12:58 PM:

Paul A., #272: Nyy ner ernfbaf inevbhf Qbpgbe Jub punenpgref raqrq hc geniryvat va gur GNEQVF: Vna naq Oneonen, Ora naq Cbyyl, X-9, Grtna, naq Qbaan.

Interestingly, #188 almost fits Vna naq Oneonen nf jryy--ercynpr "jrncba" jvgu "gvzr znpuvar," naq vg svgf cresrpgyl.

#279 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 01:15 PM:

Paul A. @ 271:

Thanks! It was fun.

That's what this show needs. More approbation.

I'm still really tickled by the one from albatross @ 80. And many more, looking back: lightning @ 32, diatryma @ 38, heresiarch @ 60, carrie s. @ 106, joel polowin @ 137, dave bell @ 138, abi @ 167, luthe @ 190, terry karney @ 210 all have the advantages of being both nicely done and about stories I knew quickly.

Thanks again, abi: this was a GOOD idea! (Anyone else going to Boskone? Maybe I can buy you a drink at the hotel's brand-new Irish pub and we can toast this shared delight.)

Does all this remind anyone else of a contest in one of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books? Googling hard, looks like it's BEFORE MIDNIGHT. Wherein (far as I can remember) there are these similar cryptic self-identifying squibs, clues for a contest. Though in that case they all identified notable women in history who had used perfume. Oh, and they were all in verse ...

#280 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 01:34 PM:

Bob @ #279, yes. The ad man who was the sole holder of the answers to the final five verses was murdered. The final contestants were suspects, obviously. One of them was memorable as an anti-beauty-industry advocate hoping to use the industry's money against it.

#281 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 03:35 PM:

My measurements and calculations so astonished me that I checked them twice, then presented them to my colleagues. They were skeptical at first, but when their own work confirmed my prediction, they agreed it would be wise to head out west, and try to be there when it happened.

#282 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 03:52 PM:

Xopher @ 281: Obin'f "N Fyvtug Zvfpnyphyngvba"? But a couple of the details are reversed from the story.

#283 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 04:11 PM:

Xopher: I was thinking more along the lines of "Jr Guerr Xvatf bs Bevrag Ner...."

#284 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 04:24 PM:

Xopher @281 and Joel Polowin -- I could swear I read a short story with that plot by Pyvssbeq Q. Fvznx, but my google-fu is failing me, and I can't confirm it or find the title.

#285 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 04:28 PM:

Abi's #245: Trayl Nv va Gur Yrsg Unaq bs Qnexarff

Ginger's #274: Pnmnevy va Gur Phefr bs Punyvba

No one's gone for my #152 yet, though I fear that may be because no one else read the book. :)

*

If the kid at the gas station hadn't taken her picture, would I have been born?

#286 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 04:54 PM:

They named me after the furniture, but of course I didn't make it; that job I gave to a couple of others. Furniture-making — I could hardly call it carpentry — isn't in the normal repertoire of your average aristocrat, not even the poor relations. My talents lie elsewhere. Yes, it was my idea, but I didn't kill her, or have her killed. You have to understand... the conditions of the seige, many people died, she was just one of them. And once she was dead, the logic of it all, the weapon, and the use I made of it, it was... inevitable.

The name? No, that was whimsy as much as anything; that I got a job out of it was an accident. But I'm not the first to have fudged their resumé, nor the last.

#287 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 05:32 PM:

Albatross 283: I'll give it to you, but of course gurl nera'g npghnyyl xvatf va gur tbfcry, bayl "jvfr zra." Npghnyyl gurl'er zntv, juvpu vf gb fnl nfgebybtref. Ohg V org lbh xarj gung, be lbh jbhyqa'g unir tbggra vs sebz gur pyhrf V tnir.

#288 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 05:45 PM:

Carrie S @ 285

Wbua Pbaabe, va Grezvangbe

and a pivotal point indeed!

#289 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 06:13 PM:

NelC #286: Your first is Hfr bs Jrncbaf, gur Punveznxre. (There were almost too many clues there.)

The second is ... wild guess: Wnpx gur Tvnagxvyyre?

#290 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 06:21 PM:

I read the second paragraph of #286 as a continuation of the first.

#291 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 06:31 PM:

Perhaps I shouldn't have picked up that dagger. But it was just sitting there. All that treasure and it was the only thing I took. How was I to know it would be so dangerous?

#292 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 06:35 PM:

I guess I was already screwed by that time, but still, who could have guessed that mentioning the flowers in my mother's garden could have put the whole world in danger?

#293 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 06:57 PM:

If I hadn't tasted that cookie ... would those memories have returned?

#294 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 07:19 PM:

dcb and Carrie S: Correct!

#295 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 07:23 PM:

Bob @ 293: Good one! You win gur Nyy-Ratynaq Fhzznevmr Cebhfg pbzcrgvgvba!

#296 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 07:29 PM:

Xopher @292, Aha, one I might know before others can get in!
Wbua Pevgpuba, va gur ?svany Snefpncr frevrf.

#297 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 07:32 PM:

Got it in one, Epacris!

#298 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 07:39 PM:

Should this thread be called 'Ohggresyl wings'?

Bob (#293), Clifton (#295), isn't it more a cake than a 'cookie'?

This is indeed a time-sink. Must go, much on.

#299 ::: B.Loppe ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 07:46 PM:

#291 ::: Michael I
Zng, sebz gur Jurry bs Gvzr, va gur Rlr bs gur Jbeyq.

#300 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 07:50 PM:

Mez, there's one of those, too.

#301 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 08:37 PM:

Clifton Royston @ 295: Thanks for awarding me the prize! And you're right, of course, about the attribution.

Mez @ 298: I was just WAITING for someone to bring up the pnxr/pbbxvr debate.

For me, fbzrguvat yvtug, fznyy, naq unaquryq gung'f qel rabhtu gb arrq qhaxvat vf ab pnxr.

Throroughly translated into American, vg'f n pbbxvr.

#302 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 10:03 PM:

NelC #286: Hfr bs Jrncbaf, nffhzvat obgu cnentencuf ner gnyxvat nobhg gur fnzr obbx, but a couple other people beat me to it, alas.

Michael I #291: Zngg va Rlr bs gur Jbeyq.

Xopher: Lrnu, V xabj gurl jbhyq unir orra nfgebybtref (sbyybjvat uvf fgne naq nyy), ohg gur fbat gung cbccrq vagb zl urnq jura V ernq lbhe ovg jnf "Jr Guerr Xvatf".


#303 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2009, 11:09 PM:

Wesley @ #277:

Yes.

#304 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 02:53 AM:

"The truth will speak for itself," they said. But how could they have known that she would point right at me, just as I tried to kill myself? Of course, by then there weren't that many of my squadron-mates left.

#305 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 03:30 AM:

Did anyone get mine @146? Doesn't look like it.

#306 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 05:13 AM:

Bob @301,

But znqryrvarf qba'g arrq qhaxvat, gurl'er zbvfg rabhtu - bar qhaxf sbe cyrnfher! Va ubg pubpbyngr, va zl pnfr.

Gurersber vg'f n pnxr. Of the weird-shaped-cup variety. I'd like a decent erpvcr (in case that's a giveaway) if anyone has one, too.

#307 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 07:51 AM:

B.Loppe@299, albatross@302

Yes.

#308 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 08:39 AM:

Dave Bell @ #305:

Not that I've seen. Myself, I keep thinking it's either 'N Fghql va Fpneyrg' or 'Nyyna Dhngreznva', but I don't think the relevant chap in either was named Scudder.

#309 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 09:47 AM:

Both wrong, Paul, but your second guess is the closer of the two.

#310 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 09:50 AM:

Clifton, Wesley, Albatross, yes, the two paragraphs were meant to be together. Sorry I didn't make that clear. It occured to me while I was writing the first paragraph that the furniture wasn't really the butterfly, it was the name. Without that choice of the protagonist the story would have ended on the iceberg, since with another alias his employer would have probably checked his background a little more thoroughly. Or he might have got the job anyway, but the story would have been a different one.

#311 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 10:40 AM:

NelC@310

Makes me wonder whether anyone can come up with one of these where:

1) There are two paragraphs.

2) Each paragraph taken separately is a separate "butterfly".

3) The two paragraphs taken together are a third "butterfly".

#312 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 10:43 AM:

David Goldfarb @ 304: "The truth points to itself"? Wrsserl Fvapynve va "Va Gur Ortvaavat".

#313 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 11:42 AM:

Bob Deveny @ 301

Or n fgnyr zvav-zhssva.

#314 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 01:30 PM:

I just noticed that the rules say the butterfly moment must be found in published fiction, so I'm withdrawing my #181.

#315 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 01:48 PM:

What I found when I opened the door to that outbuilding enabled me to take over absolute control of my family over the years that followed. (HINT: gur bhgohvyqvat jnf n furq sbe fgbevat jbbq.)

#316 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 01:52 PM:

If only I'd helped my son get his feet wet in the first place, his later enterprise might have been more successful. Others have said it WAS successful, but from my point of view it was a complete disaster.

#317 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 02:02 PM:

It was my decision to go to the theatre that night that led to the destruction of my marriage and family, but also, oddly, to my finding what I really wanted all along.

#318 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 02:36 PM:

Xopher @ 316, my first thought was Npuvyyrf, but I don't know it quite well enough to make real sense of your second sentence.

#319 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 02:45 PM:

Caroline 318: Close enough. Vg'f npghnyyl uvf zbgure Gurgvf, jub (va gur irefvba V xabj orfg) gevrq gb znxr uvz vzzbegny ol qvccvat uvz va gur qnex jngref bs gur Fglk, ohg sbetbg gb qvc uvf urry. Gur erfhyg jnf gung juvyr ur yrq gur Terrxf gb ivpgbel ng Gebl ("fhpprffshy"), ur jnf fubg va gur urry ol Cnevf naq qvrq ("n pbzcyrgr qvfnfgre," sebz n zbgure'f cbvag bs ivrj).

#320 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 03:28 PM:

Xopher @ 319, I had to google-cheat to ID who was talking, it's true. Your explanation makes sense.

#321 ::: AlyxL ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 03:47 PM:

I'm getting a taste for this!

Dave Bell @ #146 and #305 Is this Ohpuna'f Guvegl-Avar Fgrcf? (I can't remember the hero's name offhand, without cheating)

Xopher @ #315 Nhag Nqn Qbbz in Pbyq Pbzsbeg Snez - ("V fnj fbzrguvat anfgl va gur jbbqfurq")

#322 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 03:54 PM:

AlyxL 321: Correct! (I didn't even have to ROT13 your quote to check it.)

#323 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 03:54 PM:

AlyxL, you got it.

#324 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 04:23 PM:

Pendrift @ 306:

Cebhfg qhaxrq uvf, va gung snzbhf cnentencu. Naq ntnva, gurer'f abguvat bs gung fvmr naq pbafvfgrapl gung Nzrevpnaf jbhyq pnyy n pnxr. N phcpnxr vf abg n pnxr rvgure, vg'f vgf bja pngrtbel.

Abj yrg'f fgneg qrsvavat jung jr zrna ol fpvrapr svpgvba ...

Bruce Cohen @ 313:

Ohg anzr nabgure guvat jvgu gung funcr naq pbafvfgrapl gung Nzrevpnaf jbhyq pnyy n zvav-zhssva.

Zna, nz V trggvat uhatel abj!

Say, perhaps, finally, THIS is Vogon poetry!

#325 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 04:28 PM:

Xopher @ 315:

Ferqav Infugne, ol Fnxv, frrzf gb svg.

#326 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 06:32 PM:

1) One would think it would be disconcerting for me to be talking to the rightful monarch. Even though he told me he didn't really want the throne.

2) I didn't realize it would cause so much commotion. I was just trying to help that last egg hatch.

#327 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 06:45 PM:

Michael I @ 326: 2) is Wnkbz bs Ehngun Ubyq, I think?

#328 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 06:45 PM:

Bob Devney @ 324

Say, perhaps, finally, THIS is Vogon poetry!

I don't think so; my ears aren't bleeding.

#329 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 07:24 PM:

AlyxL @ #321:

Thank you! That one was really nagging at me - I knew it was familiar from somewhere!

#330 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 07:30 PM:

Linkmeister @ #314:

With that clue, the answer to #181 is Wnzrf Pylzna naq gur Qbaare Cnegl.

(Yes, I know you said that you'd withdrawn it; but surely you didn't think that would stop people wondering what the answer was?)

#331 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 07:48 PM:

Paul @ #330, absolutely right. I was thinking of Trbetr Fgrjneg'f "Beqrny ol Uhatre."

#332 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 12:46 AM:

The blonde was asleep when I first saw her, though her wake of destruction had preceded her.

History claims I was hardly more than a baby.

#333 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 01:30 AM:

Two vessels crossed paths in the night and his life, that might have ended there, went on to intersect mine in violence, then to help me meet my love, and then to allow me to help him out of the burning maze.

#334 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 03:55 AM:

Linkmeister (179, 181, 263, 314), thanks for your hint, though. I found Clyman's story at home.att.net/ ~mman/ Clyman.htm, quite interesting, and, late on in it, this: "In late June, along the North Platte, he spent an evening talking with na rzvtenag tebhc juvpu vapyhqrq zrzoref bs gur Qbaare Cnegl ... he strongly advised against following the Unfgvatf Phgbss".
Which I think is your real-life turning point.

Xopher (#315) I watched the 1995 film of Pbyq Pbzsbeg Snez only last night. I'd love to compare it to the BBC miniseries (1968! *creak*; feeling old — like the actor who was in both productions) if it's been released. The Hollywood version was good fun and enjoyable, but the BBC one, in my memory and with more time in hand, milked the weirdness and atmosphere more: "Fbzrguvat anfgl va gur jbbqfurq!". Colour TV only came to Australia ~1975 so, like an imdb commenter on it, I saw that version in B&W, which might've added to atmospherics.

#335 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 05:53 AM:

Joel Polowin@312: Correct.

Xopher@319: Actually the bit about the waters of the Styx is not Homeric. In the Iliad, Achilles does not have some magic invulnerability; he's just super-badass. In particular, in books 17 and 18 it's explicitly noted that Achilles cannot fight without armor -- when Achilles' regular armor is lost, Thetis has to go beg the forge-god for a new set.

I don't have proof, of course, but I'm convinced that somewhere along the way Achilles became conflated with the bronze robot that guarded Crete in the story of the Argonauts. It had blood of molten lead that was held in by a stopper in its heel.

#336 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 07:45 AM:

Joel Polowin@327

Right. And the specific book is Qentbadhrfg.

#337 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 07:54 AM:

Turns out there were three babies there instead of two. We didn't realize the importance of this until it was almost too late.

#338 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 09:17 AM:

Michael I @ #337:

The circumstances surrounding Nqnz's birth in Tbbq Bzraf.

#339 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 10:49 AM:

David, so I found out when I was looking up details about Thetis (I remembered her name, but wanted to be sure). I believed it was in Homer when I posted it, which is my excuse for violating in fact, though not in intention, the "published fiction" rule.

But some people try to solve these even after others have; could you ROT-13 puzzle answers (or, as in this case, spoilers) please? Especially since abi did ask us to.

No one has solved my 317, which surprises me. Hint: Va gur abg-dhvgr-bevtvany irefvba, vg tbrf yvxr guvf:

V fubhyq arire unir tbar gb gur gurnger;
Gura V'q arire unir pbzr gb gur pbhagel.
Vs V arire unq pbzr gb gur pbhagel,
Znggref zvtug unir fgnlrq nf gurl jrer.

#340 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 11:45 AM:

Paul A.@338

Yes.

#341 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 12:21 PM:

Nobody's gotten my 261 or 262 yet? I didn't realize they were that obscure....

Hint for #261: Gur fcrnxre vf onfvpnyyl n ivpgvz, uvf yvsr qrfgeblrq ol sbeprf sne ynetre guna uvz, naq zhpu bs gur fgbel vaibyirf uvf engure cnffvir npprcgnapr bs jung'f unccravat.

Hint for #262: Gur fcrnxre vf n trahvar ivyynva, creuncf nf rivy n punenpgre nf V'ir rire frra va svpgvba.

(Yes, mom and baby are sleeping, and the hospital does have wireless....)

#342 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 01:05 PM:

albatross 341: This thread is making me realize that I don't read nearly enough. Would you believe I've never read N Sver Hcba gur Qrrc, for example?

So I think maybe I just don't know the ones you're doing there, unless you've obfuscated* them more than you think you have. 262 sounds at first like gur napvrag tbq jub rngf Serq'f fbhy va Natry, ohg gur erfg qbrfa'g svg. Ubool? Cebsrffvba? Shgher jvsr?

Or maybe I'm just being thick, and I'll feel really stupid when the answer is revealed.

#343 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 01:22 PM:

Forgot the footnote again! It was supposed to be

*Yes, I do listen to "Car Talk." Why do you ask?

#344 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 01:42 PM:

Xopher @342: N Sver Hcba gur Qrrc erzvaqrq zr fyvtugyl bs Onolyba 5, jvgu gur gjvfg gung vg jnf gur vaabprag vaunovgnagf bs gur cynarg bs tvnag fcvqref gung jrer guerngrarq ol gur vagevthrf bs gur fvavfgre naq frpergvir uhznaf.

#345 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 02:11 PM:

Rob: You're thinking of N Qrrcarff va gur Fxl rather than N Sver ba gur Qrrc. Both utterly fantastic books, though I think I'm a little more fond of the latter orpnhfr bs gur Hfrarg-yvxr ovgf. (That last might be a giveaway for someone who's still trying to guess one of these.)

Hey, and Onolyba makes a cool rot13ed word!

#346 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 03:13 PM:

Clifton @ 345: as Jo Walton pointed out on tor.com, the two books together create a deeply moving tragedy that doesn't exist in either book separately, orpnhfr gur raq bs N Qrrcarff va gur Fxl gryyf hf gung Cunz Athlra vf cynaavat gb tb ybbxvat sbe nqinaprq pvivyvmngvbaf, va rknpgyl gur jebat qverpgvba, juvpu vf jul uvf pbecfr vf fnyintrq sebz gur rqtr bs gur Zvaqyrff Qrcguf va N Sver Hcba gur Qrrc.

#347 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 03:18 PM:

Clifton @ 345: Nccneragyl gurer'f n Gnzvy svyz npgerff jub tbrf ol gur anzr Onolybab.

#348 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 03:25 PM:

Bruce: Yes, I had made that same observation myself. (I had wanted to scream it at him when I hit the end of the book: "No, stop!")

I'd also noticed the essay. Actually, for anybody here who hasn't been following them - is there any such person? - I should give the series a plug:

Jo Walton has been writing an absolutely stunning series of essays on Tor.com since it opened last summer, about her re-readings of various science fiction and fantasy novels. They're wonderful essays, she finds thought-provoking things to pull out of each novel, and they are well worth treating as a guide to Best of the Genre. If you haven't been following along, it's worth going back and finding all of her re-read essays.

So far most of the books on her list which I hadn't read before or didn't own have gone on my Amazon wish list.

#349 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 03:28 PM:

Xopher #342: Nope, both are SFF sorts of books. But this thread is a constant reminder of how many books I haven't read....

#350 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 04:42 PM:

Clifton Royston @345: Exactly so (thanks).

I'm just back from the used books section of my local library, where a copy of N Sver ba gur Qrrc sparked a "Damn, I said..." thought-review.

Onolyba caught my eye too! And it's one letter shy of being an anagram of the original word.

#351 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 06:40 PM:

My library has no copies of Jo Walton's alternate history novels.

(Not quite "My hovercraft is full of eels," but nonetheless. . .)

#352 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 07:15 PM:

Xopher, #317 and 339: Either Fzvyrf bs n Fhzzre Avtug or N Yvggyr Avtug Zhfvp, depending on whether you prefer Oretzna or Fbaqurvz.

#353 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 07:31 PM:

Bruce @#345 Well, the error was mentioned (and described as common) in the first book.

Xopher @#342: Well worth remedying! I've been getting the "I don't read enough" feeling when the mainstream classics come up (except mythology), and the last few days I haven't been coming by here often enough to post any answers.

#354 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 08:48 PM:

Mez @ #344, yes. An "if only" moment. One of the amazing sights at the Qbaare Fgngr Cnex vf gur gerr fghzcf phg ng jung gurl gubhtug jnf tebhaq yriry; gubfr fghzcf ner 15 srrg gnyy.

#355 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 10:02 PM:

Wesley 352: Correct. The quote comes from the second one.

#356 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2009, 11:34 PM:

I saw an old doll lying on the sidewalk ahead of me, and took an extra moment to step over it carefully.

#357 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 07:28 AM:

Joel @356, is this a Urvayrva book where the protagonist is nppvqragnyyl fubg sbejneq va gvzr? Trying to remember its name.

#358 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 09:25 AM:

Epacris @ #357:

I think actually it's an Nfvzbi story where the protagonist is nppvqragnyyl fubg sbejneq va gvzr. If memory serves, the title is 'Crooyr va gur Fxl'.

#359 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 09:39 AM:

Clifton @348, This post on Jo Walton's LiveJournal may be a good jumping-off point to her tor.com book pieces.

Also a short-but-strong story in the Small Change (alt-20thC) world was just published there. In a very different style to the books. See ‘Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction’, from the Stories page.

#360 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 09:53 AM:

Paul A. @ 358: That's it.

#361 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 09:58 AM:

Paul A @358. Mmm, yes. Both the author and book name sound right. Apparently his first published full-length novel.

(It's already time for me to wish both Charlie & Abe a Happy 200th here. Hip, Hip, Hooray!)

#362 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 12:24 PM:

If someone else stepped in for this, I don't see it - 261 is Ybbx gb Jvaqjneq, of course.

#363 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 01:36 PM:

All I meant to do was write a love letter to my wife. How could I have guessed that it wasn't just a blank piece of paper?

#364 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 02:51 PM:

Joel, is your #363 Jub Senzrq Ebtre Enoovg?

#365 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 06:25 PM:

My enemies thought they were rid of me. Send me to rule a turbulent, war-torn, province. I'll show them: first, I shall win the war, and then I shall write the history.

Who cares if generations of schoolboys hate me for it?

#366 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 06:34 PM:

Carrie S. @ 364: That's it.

#367 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2009, 06:42 PM:

Dave Bell (365): Whyvhf Pnrfne?

#368 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2009, 05:32 AM:

I only wanted to be a peaceful scholar, maybe write a history of my family, but those bloody Germans...

#369 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2009, 09:15 AM:

I was arrested for open immorality and publicly inciting others to the same. But when the case came to trial, it turned out that the sitting magistrate was a fan of my work, so he dropped the charges.

#370 ::: Mara ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2009, 07:20 PM:

No matter what happened, do not think that I did not love my husband.

Why did he tarry in Wrehfnyrz?* Why did he walk on the roof? And why did my cycle end that day, so I would be taking my ritual bath and seen? Could it not have lasted past one more sunset?

When a king sees something he wants, he takes it, and no one can stop him. And he is God's annointed, and I was only a soldier's wife, and a woman. What could I do?

*The name of the city is a clue, if you need it.

#371 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2009, 07:35 PM:

Mara #370 Gung'f gur fgbel bs Ongufron, vs rire V fnj vg.

#372 ::: Mara ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2009, 07:41 PM:

You got it, Fragano.

#373 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2009, 11:42 PM:

Ongufuron.
"Lbhe snvgu jnf fgebat ohg lbh arrqrq cebbs,
Lbh fnj ure onguvat ba gur ebbs,
Ure ornhgl naq gur zbbayvtug bireguerj ln'"
- Yrbaneq Pbura

#374 ::: AlyxL ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 02:03 AM:

Dave Bell @ #368: Is this gur Rzcrebe Pynhqvhf, in Eboreg Tenir's version?

#375 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 06:56 AM:

Dave B (#365), Mary Aileen (#367) ... hmm ... Whyvhf Pnrfne was an actual person, but also used as a character in others' fiction. Many scholars concur his own works, e.g. Pbzzragnevv qr Oryyb Tnyyvpb, are fiction-ish.

I love Yrbaneq Pbura (#363) as a name! A charity is currently using the coital verse of his Unyyryhwnu in its Bushfire Appeal TV ads. An odd choice.

albatross (#261, 341) and Dan (#362) I confess to never hearing before of a work called Ybbx gb Jvaqjneq. Is it American? It looks like #262 is still a mystery, though your clue makes it sound intriguing. (And congratulations on the new little chickadee)

#376 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 08:44 AM:

A late entry:

He was the only visitor I ever got, and I hated him. He chatted to me because I was slightly more presentable than most of the others there, even though he must have thought that was the most frightening thing about me. The bleeding idiot never bothered to ask what I really was.

Anyway, that day he had a newspaper rolled up in the pocket of his cloak. It was freezing, and I kept thinking about the journey he'd have back to the mainland, not only with that cloak to keep him warm, but with something to read as well. So I asked for the paper, and the condescending git handed it over. He probably thought he was Father Christmas, except he never could manage to grow a decent beard.

Everything important that happened afterwards, happened because I read that paper.

#377 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 09:46 AM:

#376: Fvevhf Oynpx. I really like your take on his voice.

#378 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 10:03 AM:

Sigh. I rummaged around to check the spelling of Nmxnona, and Rymenhild got in first. But Fvevhf Oynpx in Uneel Cbggre naq gur Cevfbare bs Nmxnona was my thought for #376 too.

#379 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 10:27 AM:

Mez @ 375

Ybbx gb Jvaqjneq vf bar bs gur Phygher abiryf ol Vnva Z. Onaxf.

#380 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 11:52 AM:

Carol Kimball @332: sounds kind of like Gur Uvtu Cynpr ol Wnzrf Oenapu Pnoryy, gubhtu Sybevna vf nobhg gra jura ur svefg fnj Zryvbe -- be znlor nabgure ergryyvat bs "Fyrrcvat Ornhgl".

Bruce Cohen @333: Gur Fgnef zl Qrfgvangvba ol Nyserq Orfgre? Haven't read it recently, but what I remember of the plot seems to fit.

#381 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 12:14 PM:

#377 and #378: correct, and thank you.

Here's a harder one:

Of course it was an astonishing coincidence that he was so close by, but what was it about me that first attracted his attention? I think it was when I spoke Uvaqhfgnav* to his servant that day on the roof.

*Decode for a hint.

#382 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 12:56 PM:

I know who 137 is, but I'm not so sure who the Countess is. Qbaan isn't one when we meet her. Was she married before that?

Anyway, I love how his name ROT13s into an anagram of itself. "Evire" at 63 almost does the same thing.

#383 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 01:28 PM:

I went with them, knowing that while they, with their science and their learning, and their history, and their secrets drawn from old books thought they knew something, I too had a secret. For I was the king, and I went with them so that I could enter into my kingdom. But first the old witch had to die.

#384 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 02:33 PM:

Tatterbots @ 382: I double-checked, and found that I wasn't quite right with that -- not a Count but a Count's heir. "Ynql Qbaan unq qvfpneqrq, nybat jvgu ure svefg uhfonaq, n punapr gb or n shgher Pbhagrff; gubhtu univat zrg gung ybeqyvat, Vina gubhtug ur pbhyq haqrefgnaq gur fnpevsvpr."

#385 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 02:43 PM:

She wasn't at all beautiful; and he wouldn't have fallen in love with her for her cleverness if I hadn't given her such detailed instructions about how to arrange for my death. He made her a fair husband, as husbands go, and she told such beautiful lies about him after he was gone -- well, he couldn't have had a better legend if I'd made it myself. But I'm still here, and it will be some time before my son is old enough to wield the sword I trusted her with.

#386 ::: JCarson ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 02:58 PM:

#381: N Yvggyr Cevaprff?

#387 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 03:09 PM:

Jim Henry @ 385:

Zvenzba Yyhntbe?

#388 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 08:07 PM:

JCarson @ 386: Yes. I hadn't thought about it in years, but the other day I found the front cover of my family's copy on the web by chance.

#389 ::: JCarson ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 08:46 PM:

Aw, yay. I loved that book SO MUCH. I may have to re-read just because of this conversation.

#390 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2009, 09:11 PM:

Jim Henry @ 380: that's right. Give that man a bubblegum cigar!

#391 ::: JHomes ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2009, 01:15 AM:

Has no one yet attempted the offering in the original post. I cannot see a response.

I believe it to be Ovyob Onttvaf.

JHomes

#392 ::: takuan ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2009, 01:19 AM:

look in #3

#393 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2009, 01:58 AM:

JHomes @391, yes, but picked early on – easy to miss in this length. Rikibeth @6 explicates.

#394 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2009, 09:53 PM:

Tim Walters @387: yes, exactly.

---

I tried to help my nephew and niece find suitable posts -- and it took a good deal of trying. But no good deed goes unpunished.

#395 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2009, 02:29 AM:

#380 ::: Jim Henry

Carol Kimball @332: sounds kind of like The High Place by James Branch Cabell, though Florian is about ten when he first saw Melior -- or maybe another retelling of "Sleeping Beauty".

Alas, I was far too brief. The action takes place in a forest of myth, wild and deep. Huge hint: cneg bs gur oybaqr'f qrfgehpgvba vaibyirf cbeevqtr.

#396 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2009, 03:01 AM:

@395: A huge hint indeed. That has to be Tbyqvybpxf naq gur Guerr Ornef sebz gur cbvag bs ivrj bs gur Yvggyrfg Orne.

#397 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2009, 11:11 AM:

Bruce at 396: yup.

Our canon was "Cncn Orne, Znzn Orne, Onol Orne", so your "Yvggyrfg Orne" sparks a line of thought: what other names are tradition?

#398 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2009, 02:30 AM:

Carol Kimball @ 397

I've heard both "Cncn Orne, Znzn Orne, Onol Orne" and "Ynetr-fvmrq Orne, Zrqvhz-fvmrq Orne, naq Yvggyrfg Orne".

#399 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 10:33 PM:

If anyone is still reading: Fragano, is 383 by Unttneq; znlor Hzobcn va Xvat Fbybzba'f Zvarf? (V qba'g erpnyy n freinag gheavat bhg gb or n xvat va Fur.)

The rest of the unidentified -- olly olly oxen free! (Seeing as it's been most of a week....)

#400 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2009, 09:50 AM:

CHip, I believe you're right about #383 being Hzobcn.


That leaves eight with no answers:

#126 (with further information at #220)
#152
#168 (with further information at #259)
#249
#262 (with further information at #341)
#326 (part 1)
#369
#394

#401 ::: Tuxedo Slack ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 10:21 PM:

All I can think is, for #369, Wnzrf Oenapu Pnoryy'f Whetra (as in Whetra: n pbzrql bs whfgvpr). My own small contribution is from a medium I hadn't previously noticed MLers were into, but in fact I find this specific series mentioned in at least one post, so here goes:

* * *

If I.'d followed his first impulse and become a mortician rather than a doctor, he might never have met M. They certainly wouldn't have fallen in love; she was too full of life, and just that little bit too traditional, to love a man who worked with the dead.

She gave him a reason to stay in Japan, a life where his former employers would never think to look for him, and a son and two daughters. How much of that was in the shopkeeper's plan all along, he's never known for sure.

#402 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2009, 03:03 AM:

CHip, #399: Okay. My #168/259 is Catseye by Andre Norton.

#403 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: February 25, 2009, 07:43 AM:

My 326, part 1 is Havelock Vetinari in Men at Arms (by Terry Pratchett).

#404 ::: Tuxedo Slack ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2009, 02:48 PM:

A hint: #401 is based on something the original author said was his plan for I.'s occupation, of which the character's love of black suits survives into canon. And, speaking of such behind the scenes stuff, Wikipedia quotes one of the creators of Qrngu Abgr nf fnlvat gung, vs Elhx unqa'g qebccrq gur Abgr naq/be Yvtug Lntnzv unqa'g orra gur bar gb cvpx vg hc, Yvtug jbhyq'ir sbyybjrq uvf sngure vagb cbyvpr-jbex jvgubhg nal uvqqra ntraqn, riraghnyyl sbyybjvat fb sne va uvf sbbgfgrcf nf gb orpbzr urnq bs gur ACN. (Bar jbaqref vs ur jbhyq'ir qbar fb va gur lrnef ur riraghnyyl ybfg jura Elhx jebgr uvf anzr va gur ercynprzrag Abgr...)

#405 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2009, 10:37 AM:

I don't think that helps me figure out what the story is - I'm pretty sure I've never read it - but it does resolve my puzzlement about why the description apparently began in first-person and then changed to third, for which I thank you.

#406 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2009, 11:29 AM:

My 369 is "Patricia the Stripper" by Chris de Burgh.

#407 ::: Amanda ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2009, 09:15 AM:

My #249 is Yrbaneq Onfg va R.Z. Sbefgre'f Ubjneqf Raq.

#408 ::: Tuxedo Slack ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2009, 10:53 AM:

I don't think that helps me figure out what the story is - I'm pretty sure I've never read it

Probably not. The series is OYRNPU, ol Abevnxv "Gnvgb" Xhob (nxn XHOB Gvgr), naq gur punenpgre vf Vffuva Xhebfnxv, sngure bs frevrf znva punenpgre Vpuvtb.

- but it does resolve my puzzlement about why the description apparently began in first-person and then changed to third, for which I thank you.

Yeah, I was wondering if anyone would have that problem. S'why I-the-poster put a dot after I.'s personal-name initial.

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