Jólakötturinn: The Yule Cat and other tales
The Lampworks Lamplighter SF & Fantasy News & Reviews
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The Yule Cat
I recently ran across the name of Jólakötturinn, the Yule Cat of Iceland. Legend says that the monstrous cat emerges to eat those poor souls who don’t wear new clothes on Christmas Eve. What is this, some kind of feline fashion police?
The origin of legend is unknown, but it’s speculated that it was a threat in days gone by to spur family members on the farms to finish their spinning and weaving after the fall sheep shearing. Wool exports were important to the economy of Iceland in times past, and everyone had to do their part. Anyone who didn’t finish their weaving didn’t have new clothes to wear for Christmas, marking them as victims of Jólakötturinn.
Now it’s got me thinking. What if that legend were transported onto the icy moons of Saturn? If you don’t get your space suit patched in time for Christmas, Jólakötturinn might just get you in the dark!
Have a happy holiday with your friends and family. I’ll be back next year with more stories.
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I’m talking about a hat. A warm, cozy, hat. My daughter makes these and sells them through her store on Etsy. Each one is personally knitted, packaged, and mailed to you. Parental bias aside, I haven’t seen such a nice hat in a long time. Visit AskaGifts on Etsy for 15% off, or use coupon code SAVE15.
A short story for the holidays in the world of Knots. Escher and Emeline have brought a tree into the house to decorate, and Trefoil the cat must investigate, of course. There’s something not quite right about this tree – they’ve brought trouble into the house along with it. It’s up to Trefoil to guard the house against the mayhem that ensues. If he doesn’t get put outside first.
Free download from StoryOrigin
What We‘re Reading
Visit our archive of reviews and recommendations on the Books We Like page of our website. You‘ll find over one hundred recommendations in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Non Fiction.
Judgment at Proteus
Just last month I reviewed the first book in the series. Now I’m featuring the last book? Well, I got drawn in and binged the entire series all at once. The series is just fun. It’s tense enough that you just want to know what’s coming next, and the characters are engaging enough that you start to care about making it through the gantlet. (Yes, gantlet. Running the “gauntlet” is a misquote. Look it up.)
To recap: there is a galaxy-spanning railroad run by a race named the Spiders. You can take a train to any of thousands of worlds belonging to the twelve known intelligent races.
- Night Train to Rigel Earth agent Frank Compton teams up with the Spider’s agent Bayta to investigate a galactic threat from a group mind called the Mohdri.
- The Third Lynx Compton and Bayta investigate art thefts that have had deadly consequences. The art pieces just might be artifacts of a long-dead warrior race that had formerly enslaved the galaxy, the Shonkla-raa. They may not be much to look at as art, but they may be much more. And the Mohdri wants them.
- Odd Girl Out Compton comes to the aid of a girl after her sister was murdered on Earth. The Mohdri wants her dead, and Compton and Bayta race to find out why she’s so important.
- The Domino Pattern In a change of pace, this book takes on the air of murder mystery on a sealed train between stations. People are dying. Bayton and Compton work to find out why. Even more puzzling, the Mohdri wants to help them.
- Judgment at Proteus Compton and Bayta travel six weeks across the galaxy to the home of the Shonkla-raa. Both their enemies and their allies follow, but with former enemies aiding them and former allies hindering them, the power dynamic is shifting. Compton must figure who are the Shonkla-raa and how can they be stopped?
Overall, this is a fast-paced series of galactic intrigue, espionage, and tactics that rivals anything else out there.
Buy on amazon
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