"Twitter, I have a weird favor to ask…"
March 26, 2019 10:43 PM   Subscribe

Cassandra Khaw asked her Twitter followers a question:
I have a college of resurrectionists to write, and I need departments and schools of thought. We have golemancers, necromancers, osteomancers, clockwork engineers who think the soul is best housed in brass. What else should I have?
The replies are delightful.
posted by Lexica (27 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
Artificers are definitely my favorite MtG characters, but in her case it's probably a broad definition. World of Warcraft does a really great job with soul management, too.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:54 PM on March 26


My contributions:

- a Comp Sci or IT department whose whole thing is about resurrecting dead tech or dead websites. They'd be especially useful for the historians trying to decipher a soul from a 5.25" floppy. Also bonus transferable & marketable skills!

- The fine arts people would be trying to draw out souls from paintings, songs, poetry, any artform really. The stereotype would be "how the hell did that Dorian Gray picture work" but they'd likely work on the subtleties too.

- The AdComms Dept would want to resurrect dead trends.
posted by divabat at 10:56 PM on March 26 [13 favorites]


a Comp Sci or IT department

"Have you tried turning him off and on again?"
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:08 PM on March 26 [30 favorites]


I love "Beautiful crystals in shades no moral eye can see". We all need moral eyes.
posted by monotreme at 11:19 PM on March 26 [4 favorites]


This is how we thought the internet would be used back in the 90s.
posted by Telf at 2:00 AM on March 27 [22 favorites]


Of course Ferrett Steinmetz is all over this thread. :)
posted by eirias at 4:02 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Golemancer is a nice portmanteau word.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:23 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


Of course Ferrett Steinmetz is all over this thread. :)

I was just thinking how perfect his ideas would be! I think he writes procedural magic better than anyone else right now. I'm including Lev Grossman and Rothfuss when I make that statement.
posted by Telf at 4:44 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


morel eyes
posted by sammyo at 7:53 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Golemancer is a nice portmanteau word.

I feel like most 'mancers are portmanteaus, except the original necros.
posted by Edgewise at 8:14 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


It's the fact that the M is shared between root and suffix that does it for me.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:20 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Golemancer is a nice portmanteau word.

With apologies to Tina Turner:

I'm your golemancer
Need golems for money?
They'll do what you want them to do
I'm your golemancer
Need golems for money?
Any old dirt or clay will do...
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:29 AM on March 27 [13 favorites]


Golemancer is, however, a portmanteau that crosses linguistic streams that should never be crossed: Hebrew/Yiddish and late Latin/greek?

Alas, my Hebrew is too vestigial to cough up a suffix/modifier indicative of divination (the source of '-mancy').
posted by cstross at 8:51 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


Maybe this was covered in the Twitter thread, but I like the idea of soul binding as a copyrighted process, like Monsanto seeds. So if a group of practicioners resurrect a soul, they technically own that soul and can profit from it. That could go in all sorts of directions.
posted by Telf at 9:02 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


a portmanteau that crosses linguistic streams that should never be crossed: Hebrew/Yiddish and late Latin/greek

Is this something I would need a telethéatro to understand?
posted by Dr. Curare at 9:05 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


@Telf So there would naturally be legal cases - and lawyers who specialize in them - focused on the rights of the dead with different jurisdictions recognizing different rights.
posted by ElKevbo at 9:42 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Ferrett Steinmetz on hold at my local library.
I'd also throw in Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence and of course MFo cstross' Laundry Files as fun explorations of "magical legalism."
Any other suggestions? I love this shit.
posted by bjrubble at 10:43 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I just want to see someone groaning as they explain the difference between pure necromancy and applied necromancy for the thousandth time.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:13 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


Necrosplaining
posted by my-username at 11:55 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]


I thought the "theoretical magicians" were, in terms of pure plausibility, some of the best parts of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:02 PM on March 27 [10 favorites]


I just want to see someone groaning as they explain the difference between pure necromancy and applied necromancy for the thousandth time.

There's also the battles over intellectual property rights because of university programs funded in part by Big Necromancy.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:48 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


A team in the finance office that resurrects alumni so they can finish paying off their student loans.
posted by PlusDistance at 3:24 PM on March 27 [9 favorites]


Cheesemancer?
posted by stet at 3:25 PM on March 27


A very interesting prompt! Here's a whole scenario that just popped into my head, mostly full-formed:

Since this college is all about bringing people (or animals or stuff or whatever) back from the dead, surely there will be a whole department concerned with, well, where did they go when they were dead? Maybe called the Department of Eschatology? Of course, there will be a whole host of theories about where those people went. And one of those theories -- perhaps a fringe theory -- is that the realm of the dead is simply another dimension of existence parallel to our own and that death/birth/resurrection are how people pass between these two parallel dimensions. Then, it stands to reason that there are also people in the parallel dimension who are also interested in resurrection. So, there's this fringe group of Eschatologists dedicated to figuring out who on this side is being summoned over to the other side and... helping them along. That's right. We've got a murder cult in our resurrectionist college.
posted by mhum at 3:54 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


If anyone else is getting a Corrupted Content Error from the Twitter link (on desktop Firefox here) then deleting the "mobile." part of the URL made it work for me.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 12:29 AM on March 28


- The fine arts people would be trying to draw out souls from paintings, songs, poetry, any artform really. The stereotype would be "how the hell did that Dorian Gray picture work" but they'd likely work on the subtleties too.

Alternatively, the ochremancers would be working to trap souls in paintings. Some specialize in trapping the souls of particularly nasty people into hideous or goofy-looking portraits.
posted by duffell at 5:43 AM on March 28


Of course, the Bastites study the nine lives of cats to try and unlock the secrets of their resurrection abilities.
posted by duffell at 5:55 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


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