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This is the first of the Emanations, Light and Darkness.

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-07

Breakable of course into Light:

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And Darkness:

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So. A few notes. Like a lot of commonly-used iconic symbols, these are subject to elaboration as well as super-simplification. So I’m sure that EtrepaBo can as easily be recognizable by a half-light, half-dark triangle, for instance. Or with lots more fiddly stuff around the edges, or whatever. This will be the case with all the Emanations, so if you’re feeling your crafting or art skills aren’t up to the full thing, there are definitely ways to make them simpler but still the same thing. I’m betting a ship’s Etrepas wear something very simple, for instance–a light triangle in a dark circle, maybe, while the Bos would wear, oh, a dark triangle.

You can use these basically any way you like. Here are some specific techniques/ideas:


That blue and orange one is a sample of my brand-new and not-very-polished embroidery skillz. Regular embroidery floss, cheapie craft store felt. Stitch another piece of felt onto the back to hide your stitches, add a pinback (you can do that before you stitch on the second piece of felt, and cut a hole in the felt for the hardware to stick through for maximum neatness if you like). It’s a pin! Or sew it onto a thing, or add a jump ring and wear it as a necklace (though I find fabric jewelry like this a bit too lightweight to sit right, still, it’s a thing you could do.) You could do bead embroidery too, though that would be time-consuming. I am now imagining (and will likely never make) a wide bead embroidery collar of all four Emanations…

That black triangle? It’s a peyote-stitch triangle. Or, rather, two peyote stitch triangles zipped together back-to-back. The little black sparkly in the center is glued on, and circled with a strand of seed beads that’s tacked down onto the triangle in a technique that’s basically couching, but the couching stitches don’t show because they’re between the beads. It’s a nifty “false bezel” trick I learned from Diane Fitzgerald. Whose Shaped Beadwork I highly recommend.

If you want that flat circle to go with your triangle, I’ve found that flat circular square stitch gets you the best flat circles. You could do up a triangle and a circle and tack the triangle to the circle, pretty easily.

There are lots of instructions available online for basic peyote stitch, as well as peyote stitch triangles. You don’t have to use cylinder beads, cheapie seed beads are inconsistent in size but come in lots of bright colors and work just fine. Give it a go, if you haven’t! I’ve put together a youtube playlist of some basic beading info and tecnhiques, including peyote triangles and square stitch:

But there’s a lot more out there. Do some searches & dig around a bit.

Heading towards the much, much simpler, I printed out an EtrepaBo and decoupaged it to a little wooden circle I had around. All you need for this is paper, an object to stick your picture on, some glue–Modge Podge if you’re going high end, plain white glue (like Elmers) works just fine. A small paintbrush. Glue your pic to the surface, let it dry a bit. Use the paintbrush to brush a layer of glue over the surface, let it dry. Do this a few more times.

You could easily glue a bail to this, or drill a small hole and add a jump ring, for a necklace. Or earrings, ooh. And, of course, some E6000 and a pinback and you’ve got yourself a handsome pin. For this shape and size, I like the tie-tack kind of pinbacks, with the clutch thingies on the back, but you can use whatever works for you.

Last, but surely not least, get yourself some self-adhesive laminating sheets (basically clear sticker sheets) and sandwich a piece of paper between them. Trim as you like. Use a needle or awl to poke a hole for a jump ring (or ear wires!), or glue a clutch-back pin finding onto it. You can even poke holes in the clear border and attach beads or dangles or whatever seems good to you. And slapping sticker on two sides of paper, cutting to size, and gluing a pin finding? Super easy and requires pretty much no crafty skill at all.

Oh, and you could also do these out of polymer clay. For instance, there’s a fairly simple (if a bit labor intensive) technique for transferring laser-printed images onto unbaked polymer clay. (You’d then bake the clay and varnish it). The simple, clear lines and high contrast of the Emanations designs means they transfer really nicely:


(Yes, that’s more than EtrepaBo there.) I’ve glued pinbacks to these, but honestly you could add a bail and use them as a pendant, or make small ones for earrings, or whatever you’d like. If you don’t have a laser printer, you could use something like Gimp to make up a sheet of whatever you want to use, fill it right up, and take it somewhere like Kinkos.

Here’s a very short Polymer Clay playlist I made on YouTube. The transfer technique is included:

Beyond that, well, the sky’s the limit really. Make some awesome stuff!

Here’s an SVG file for you to play with:


This is an SVG file with layers. Gimp will open it but it won’t see the layers. I’m told the file (and the corresponding ones for the other Emanations) was made in Adobe Illustrator and will open in that application.

Here’s a PSD file with layers:


This uses the CMYK color scheme. I have no idea what that means, besides the fact that Gimp won’t open it. Presumably Photoshop will. Nicole has said she’ll convert these over to RGB when she gets a chance, at which point I’ll upload those and link them.

Nicole tells me she’s tried very hard to make these layers clear and easy for folks to work with, so y’all can manipulate these and play with them to your heart’s content. And I want to thank her again for doing such awesome work!

Emanations Art!

So, a while back I commissioned the awesome Nicole Thayer to do me up some Emanations.

You know the Emanations?

Amaat conceived of light, and conceiving of light also necessarily conceived of not-light, and light and darkness sprang forth. This was the first Emanation, EtrepaBo; Light/Darkness. The other three, implied and necessitated by that first, are EskVar (Beginning/Ending), IssaInu (Movement/Stillness), and VahnItr (Existence/Nonexistence). These four emanations variously split and recombined, to create the universe. Everything that is emanates from Amaat.

And when I went to make my tea blends I wished I had some artwork to put on them. And occasionally a reader would ask me what the Emanations looked like, since people wear them, or they’re featured in artwork in the books.

And the trilogy is finishing up this year, so I thought it would be fun to give out some presents. So! I will be linking to the Emanations that Nikki made for me. They will be free for you to use–to make things out of, or put on things, or to play with, whatever you would like. These images are being released with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial ShareAlike licence. This means you are free to copy and distribute them in any medium or format, and you are also free to adapt them–to remix, transform, and build upon them. You can’t use them for commercial purposes, and you should credit Nicole Thayer whenever that’s possible.

So, with that said. EtrepaBo, the Emanation of light and darkness, coming up soon!

Beyond Cool 2: More Fan Art

I’ve got loads of things I should be doing, so of course it’s time for an Imperial Radch Fanart Roundup!

These are in no particular order, and I’m pretty sure I’ve missed something awesome.

Check out Isozyme’s awesome pic of Breq and Seivarden.

Tristanbewell also did a great Seivarden. Oh, and Breq too!

Rose-n-crantz did Anaander Mianaai. I love the hair and the jewelry!

They also did Breq!

Pilot-Star’s Breq. Did I already link to that one? I don’t know. Well, no harm linking again! And I totally dig the makeup and the earrings on this Anaander Mianaai.

Moomieswan gives us a lovely Breq and Seivarden, and a cool Anaander.

Lyricalt has done a few. Check them out, I love Translator Dlique.

Maelrok has done several pics–I admit a perverse fondness for the “college AU Breq carrying Seivarden high out of a shitty frat party” one. I know there are more, poke around in the tags.


So, yesterday I posted about the update to the Ancillary Sword pre-order thing now including access to the first three chapters. Except, I was in a hurry and wrote “Pre Order” instead of “Pre-order” and then this happened:

To which, of course, I replied,

And the general consensus was that, yes, I was now legally and morally obligated to do so.

The following is not intended to be that pie recipe. It is mostly for my own reference, and hopefully for your amusement. I take no responsibility for the results if you decide to make any of these yourself.

It turns out that if you plug “tea pie recipe” into Google you get…well, first you get a page and a half of links to various versions of something called “Sweet Tea Pie.” Which apparently involves not only tea and a couple of truckloads of sugar, but also eleven egg yolks and a double boiler. Eleven egg yolks. I’ll just let that sink in a bit.

No, there is no meringue on this pie. What the heck are you supposed to do with eleven egg whites if there’s no meringue on your pie? Huh? And I’ve got to admit, this is kind of an intimidating recipe. (I did once make a lemon meringue pie entirely from scratch just because I wanted to know if I could. Once was enough.)

Hannah Bowman suggested adapting a whiskey pie recipe. Wait, whiskey pie? Yeah, turns out that’s a thing. Oh, and there’s a recipe for Chess Pie with whiskey whipped cream.

Here’s a chocolate tea pie recipe, from Lipton. I also ran across an earl grey french silk pie recipe. Hey, I didn’t realize french silk was just chocolate mousse! I am still thinking about how I feel about raw eggs. Even chocolatey ones.

Then there’s this Earl Grey Cream Pie in a Sugar Cookie Crust. I know, right?

But this one pretty much takes the, uh, cake. Bubble Tea Pie with a Fortune Cookie Crust. And for one brief, shining moment it looked like Wes Chu was going to step up and make it and tell us all about it, but his wife vetoed the project. I find this fundamentally unfair. I do not promise to make it myself, even though I do in fact have easy access to the ingredients, but I must confess myself intrigued.

Of course, one might also adapt pie recipes that call for some strongly flavored liquid–like the whiskey pie recipe above–to use tea instead. So, apparently Rum Cream Pie used to be kind of a thing. I am eyeing that recipe with a great deal of interest.

Also, it has just this morning occurred to me that any Ancillary themed pie actually should be a bunch of very small tarts in those adorable tiny fluted tart pans. I do not know if I am quite up for that, but it would be awesome.

So, this is beyond cool

So, yeah, sometimes I google my book. And I ran across this thing called “Tumblr”? I don’t know, maybe you’ve heard of it? I actually have an account but I have done nothing with it because I don’t quite understand the logic of Tumblr, how the conversations work there. It took me a while to get Twitter, too, though, and I eventually did. I’ll probably figure Tumblr out just before everyone leaves it for the next big thing.

But meantime. I was googling, like you do, and I ran across some fanart. Which I gather is kind of a thing on Tumblr? I don’t know, I just think this fanart is awesome, and I thought I would link to it and share the awesome.

So check out Raemanzu’s picture of Breq/One Esk Nineteen and Seivarden and another one on Deviant Art, both of which made me smile so much when I saw them. And this one just of Breq.

Then there’s Marrowskies’ drawing of Lieutenant Awn, and one of Breq/One Esk Nineteen and Seivarden. Those just made me happy.

How fabulous are those? No, don’t answer that, because I already know. Pretty darn fabulous! One of the things I love about all these (definitely not the only thing, but) is the way that each artist has their own vision of the characters, and their work is very different, and of course neither of them has drawn the characters exactly the way I think of them–and yet they work, they seem right. At least, to me they do!