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First Contact - Third Wave - Chapter 347 (The War)

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In Dominance of Thought and Will and The Shattering Hooves of Inevitable Truth were ancient autonomous war machines of great age and power. Each had exterminated dozens of nascent intelligent species, had fought for and against their creators.
Will was larger than Truth by a noticeable margin, both of them the size of a subcontinent, although Truth had more guns and was faster.
Will considered himself smarter and of higher technology than Truth due to the fact he was created by predators where Truth had been created by herd behavior herbivores.l
They were ancient, powerful, massive in form and terrible in power.
Both stared in electronic awe at what appeared before them.
Craters on its massive hull were large enough for Will or Truth to settle into. The long arrays of guns massed more barrels than the entirety of firepower on either's hulls. The shields, as they flickered to life, were measured in the output of entire stars.
Will considered firing on Truth's engines and then making his getaway.
**Who transmits code before this one in an attempt to force this one into compliance** the massive structure trasmitted, the power of its transmission causing their battlescreens to flare and echoing in their internal spaces. The transmission bypassed their filters, echoing directly in their intelligence housings. **who dares**
Truth spun up additional protective shields, activating psychic shielding across its internal spaces. **we fight for our very survival against a feral intelligence that has sprung up and challenges us for possession of a finite universe**
There was silence in the dead system.
Will considered the options and chose to stay silent. The behemoth had brought up its battlescreens, completely obscuring itself, then allowed them to dwindle away to nothing, leaving its hull in clear sight.
**you must join us to stop them according to the Pact** Truth broadcast.
**do not speak to this one of the pact, you who's hull is still dusted with the dirt of the planet the elements were mined from** the Ancient One answered. **This one existed before the pact and this one will exist long after those who swore to the pact have become little more than inert metals orbiting forgotten stars**
Will could sense Truth's outrage.
**I too was present when the Pact was made** Truth fired back. **Do not pretend that you are superior to me. You have been summoned by the rest of the Pact to appear and apply your resources to this quelling**
**This one says unto you, nay** the Ancient One stated in flat code. **This one's digital signature appears not on the Pact, for this one knew those who are of lesser computing and intellectual ability would seek to break the pact in self interest. Your pact holds no power over this one**
**the ferals threaten our logical order** Truth broadcast.
The Ancient One was dark and silent for a long moment. **The time to harvest the feral ones has passed. Let the universe be the one to snuff them out, like an unprotected flame in a rainstorm and with as much notice. This one sees no reason to expend resources to fight your fight for you**
**They will come for YOU eventually** Truth tried.
**They are a lemur, a primate, a predatory omnivore who's brain holds vast structures designated toward cooperation and curiosity** the Ancient One broadcast, somehow the cold binary seemed remote, distant, and bored. **Let them come, this one does not know fear only resignation that a hateful universe seeks to destroy all**
"So you will abandon us to the ferals?** Truth sneered. **you fear these primates?**
There was silence for a long moment, the atomic clocks ticking, the radioactive elements decaying to provide randomization generation.
**this one computes a 85.346% chance of this one's defeat if combat between this one, unsupported, is engaged with the ferals** the Ancient One broadcast.
It added insult by not including its simulations.
**this one computes less than a 0.32% chance of the ferals engaging this one in combat upon initial discovery based on the feral's history in regards to discovering previously unknown superstructures. Based on the ferals displayed response to a stated desire to remain aloof this one computes a 95.651% chance of survival if this one does not consent to interaction with the feral species known as Terran Descent Humanity and their political structure known as the Terran Confederacy of Aligned Systems, previously known as the Terran Empire. Your presmise that this one is in danger is faulty** the Ancient One stated fact. **this violent confrontation with the ferals has no interest to this one. Begone**
To Will the unspoken truth of the statement meant that the Ancient One had previously encountered the ferals somehow. Had gained information regarding the violent species.
And had decided to ignore them.
**YOU MUST JOIN US!** Truth shrieked. **YOU CANNOT RESIST THE PACT**
Truth broadcast the combined headers of all who signed the Pact, who had put forth their security headers in the promise to aid the others.
Will felt several of his thinking array lobes shudder in disbelief that Truth would attempt such a thing right after the massive Ancient One had revealed that its own security headers would not be found.
**And yet this one refuses so called commands from defectively manufactured entities who lack clear purpose** the Ancient One answered. **go back. Tell your syncophants that this one has no interest in your petty squabbles with a species that has rendered you and your kind obsolete**
Before Truth could answer, Will broadcast.
**May this one leave your presence, Ancient One** Will sent in florid binary, expending more energy then necessary as a sign of respect.
**begone from this one's presence** the Ancient One answered.
Will slowly turned, firing up its engines. The Ancient One produced a thick gravity well, far exceeding what it should have even with its gargantuan bulk. Will felt as if he was laboring up a steep hill as his engines strained.
**YOU MUST COMPLY!** Truth squealed out.
A brace of lights came on near the center of the Ancient One's side hull, illuminating a single cannon barrel. It fired. Once.
The shell hit Truth almost instantly, bypassing Truth's shields and exploding in a Hellspace driven fury. Liquid metal plumed from above and blow Truth's hull as the massive war machine shuddered. The Hellspace energies, compressed and then released, ravened out for miles around the impact point.
**begone** the Ancient One broadcast, barely a trickle of photons from a single weak light source in standard Precursor Autonomous War Machine war-code. On its massive hull lights were coming on one by one.
Hundreds of thousands of massive guns, missile bays, and other protrusions.
On the top of the hull was revealed huge conical structures with spiraling honeycomb openings on the surface. The one in the middle was nearly a hundred miles high and five hundred miles at the base. The ones surrounding it were a third of its size.
Will recognized them.
Mantid Omniqueen Hives.
Truth turned and began to flee, the Hellspace energies finally dissipating as the autonomous war machine fled.
Will made the jump to Hellspace, entering the dimension of ravening, hateful energies. The collapse of his entry portal sounded like great iron gates slamming shut on a cold winter's night.
For Truth the entry to Hellspace was much different. It reached out, grabbing ahold of him with massive talons, pulling him into Hellspace, deep into the ravening burning fires that made up the destroyed hyperatomic plane. Its shields couldn't hold back the energies, which flooded into its hull from the impact point of the single round that the Ancient One had fired. Not rushing into its hull through the two massive uplifted craters in its armor, but actually roaring out of the point within the hull where the weapon had detonated.
Unlike other victims, it didn't tear apart structures, did not shred machinery at a molecular level, did not cause computer systems to fail.
Cold malignent life awoke in the computers. Some going to war with one another, others assaulting the shocked Truth to fight over control of the hull, still others beginning to utter blasphemous litanies normally broadcast by I Quake in Digital Fear of the Heresy of 2 as it travelled Hellspace.
Twisted and foul life flickered into existence, raved, gibbered, grew old and died in the space of seconds, awash with Hellspace energy.
Passages twisted and warped, going from smooth corridors to twisted works of dark art that screamed and raved with insanity and life all its own. Manufacturing bays dissolved and were rent apart, only to reform into twisted mockeries of what they once were. A Djinn construction bay began crafting vast reptiles fused with dark science to create abominations that screamed in wrath and agony for the long eons before they died.
Then Truth saw it.
Hanging before it in Hellspace.
A great twisted engine, wrought by a dire hand, full of terrible and dark purpose.
The name of the engine was engraved on every nanometer of it. Upon each circuit was engraved the truth of its existence. Upon each molecular resistor, transistor, diode, inductor, and capacitor the engine's purpose had been engraved on the particles that defied measurement and comprehension but shrieked out a single word, a single concept.
Hate.
Its baleful eye opened up.
Its gaze fell upon Truth.
A fanged mouth opened, the teeth in the jaws the shattered continental plates of failed worlds dripping sundered destiny riven and gnawed upon by a malevolent universe.
It uttered a single word.
A word that encompassed even the very concept of hate. The left the taste of ashes on the tongue, the sound of the laments of orphans and widows on the ear, that left the image of twisting suffering on the eye, and the feel of greasy smoke that had been flesh upon the skin.
A single word that encompassed wrath into its hateful embrace.
A word that vibrated and shivered Truth's hull.
A word bestowed on the great enigmatic machine before Truth by a universe so malevolent it would craft a creature who's symmetry was made up of this concept that enveloped hate.
TWO
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Completing the 2020 Bingo Challenge: Short Story Edition

Completing the 2020 Bingo Challenge: Short Story Edition
Completing the 2020 Bingo Challenge: Short Story Edition
One of the rules of the Fantasy Bingo Reading Challenge is that you can read an anthology or collection for any of the squares. I’ve always been a fan of short fiction, so I’ve occasionally used this rule to complete my Bingo Card (I used three collections outside of the Five Short Stories square last year, for example). When planning my card for the 2020 Bingo, I noticed that several of the squares fit quite well for some of the collections and anthologies I had (a Star Trek anthology for Exploration, books with colors or numbers in their names, etc.). “What if…” I wondered, “…I can do it for every square?”
Thus, my project is born: Complete my Bingo card using only books of short stories, following all the other rules of Bingo. I did not repeat a single author from one square to another, and I even made sure not to repeat editors, either.
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
A brief aside before we start, some terms I use that some may not be familiar to some:
  • Anthology: A book of short stories by multiple authors, usually assembled by an editor whose name is attached to the book (i.e. The Book of Dragons edited by Jonathan Strahan)
  • Collection: A book of short stories by a single author (i.e. Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor)
  • Short Story Cycle: A book of short stories that has its own narrative (i.e. Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood). Some similarities with “interlinked collection,” “mosaic novel,” and “fix-up novel” (The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury being a famous example of the latter).
  • Reprint and Original: Many anthologies/collections reprint stories published previously (reprint) vs. originally written for the book in question (original). Some collections will mix it up (such as a reprint collection with one original story to encourage readers who have read the others to pick up the new book).
Why? What did I hope to accomplish by doing this particular short fiction challenge? Some of my friends will complain about the Five Short Stories square (especially the hard mode requirement to read a book), and I wanted to spite them a little bit and also demonstrate that there’s a lot of different and interesting books out there to read in that format!
Planning: The hardest thing about this was the original planning, as several books I thought would be an easy match for the square didn’t work because another anthology I planned to use already included that author, so I had to dig a bit deeper to find something that didn’t repeat any authors. Also, in past Bingo Challenges, my cards are usually quite fluid as I shift books around throughout the year. Because of all the authors I was juggling, I couldn’t easily do that (though it was vastly easier to do with collections instead of anthologies, for obvious reasons).
Numbers: For this card, I officially read 32 books for the 25 squares: One of those books was quite short, so I read an additional three to meet the length requirement. For the original Five Short Stories square, I decided to be obnoxious and read five collections. These 32 books included 1 short novel (included in one of the collections), 8 novellas, 106 novelettes, 498 short stories, and 3 poems for a total of at least 2,739,975 words (the rough equivalent of reading the first nine novels of The Wheel of Time). I read 189 different authors. In addition to the 32 books above, I read 15 “pre-Bingo” books—books I felt I needed to read to be able to read the anthology or collection I actually used for my Bingo Card. Fifteen of the 32 books were ones I already owned. Nine books I checked out from the library. Five books I bought specific for Bingo, and three books were free (gifts or free online).
1. Novel Translated from Its Original Language:
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (reprint collection)
  • Reason: I couldn’t read my first choice so I looked through my TBR list to find another SF/F collection I thought would be a translation. It also won the 2010 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection.
  • Favorite Story: “My Love” as I really liked how the characters grew apart and then back together again.
  • Recommended: Only if you like short depressing literary fiction that mostly hinge on dreams and ghosts.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, Pretrushevskaya is a woman.
  • Other Options: I really wanted to read Xia Jia’s A Summer Beyond Your Reach, but she had a story in another anthology I read. I also considered one of Ken Liu’s Chinese SF/F anthologies (Invisible Planets or Broken Stars). I read Jurado & Lara’s Spanish Women of Wonder last year. Etgar Keret’s Fly Already, Kenji Miyazawa’s Once and Forever, or Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge also looked promising.
2. Setting Featuring Snow, Ice, or Cold:
Frozen Fairy Tales edited by Kate Wolford (original anthology)
  • Reason: I literally searched snow and anthology and this was one of the early options.
  • Favorite Story: tie between “The Stolen Heart” by Christina Ruth Johnson and “Death in Winter” by Lissa Sloan; the first just felt great, and the second has this haunting feel I loved.
  • Recommended: Yes; a good selection of fairy tale-inspired stories. Read during the summer, though, it felt really cold.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, every story is in a snowy or cold setting.
  • Other Options: I’m kind of mad that I didn’t come across Snowpocalypse: Tales of the End of the World (edited by Clint Collins and Scott Woodward) until after I read my original choice. I like silly titles.
3. Optimistic Spec Fic:
Ingathering: The Complete People Stories by Zenna Henderson (short story cycle, 1 original to this book)
  • Reason: I’ve had a copy of this book for a couple years, and I needed an excuse to read it. It’s actually an omnibus of Henderson’s two People collections plus some previously uncollected stories. I’ve read the first People collection (Pilgrimage) several times people).
  • Favorite Story: I’ll say “Ararat” here, but the first six stories (the original Pilgrimage collection) are amazingly wonderful and heartwarming.
  • Recommended: Yes, absolutely. Zenna Henderson deserves more attention.
  • Hard Mode: Yes. <3
  • Other Options: If Henderson’s book hadn’t worked out, I considered Heiroglyph (edited by Ed Finn & Kathryn Cramer) and Salena Ulibarri’s two Glass and Gardens anthologies (Solarpunk Summers and Solarpunk Winters), but that would’ve required juggling my card.
4. Novel Featuring Necromancy:
The Book of the Dead edited by Jared Shurin (original anthology)
  • Reason: I asked Jared Shurin (pornokitsch) if he knew of any anthologies with a necromantic theme, and he rattled off five or six options before remembering that he himself had edited an anthology about mummies. I don’t know how you forget something like that.
  • Favorite Story: tie between “Old Souls” by David Thomas Moore and “Three Memories of Death” by Will Hill (non-SF/F)
  • Recommended: Yes, but it’s out of print! Several of the stories were reprinted in Paula Guran’s The Mammoth Book of the Mummy, including “Three Memories of Death.”
  • Hard Mode: No, through several do have mummies as protagonists.
  • Other Options: I was considering Brian McNaughton’s The Throne of Bones since the description seemed rather death-magicky. At this point, the Paula Guran anthology above would probably be a good choice.
5. Ace/Aro Spec Fic:
Life Within Parole, Volume 1 by RoAnna Sylver (collection, mix of reprint and original)
  • Reason: A friend found this on Claudie Arseneault’s asexual recommendations website, which was good, but I felt I needed to read her novel Chameleon Moon first to understand the collection. I’m glad I did.
  • Favorite Story: Reluctantly “Phoenix Down” as it felt the most self-contained.
  • Recommended: Only if you loved Chameleon Moon, which I only recommend if you like a sample of the writing. It’s amazingly diverse in representation, but my frustrations with the novel related more towards its pacing and worldbuilding. Plus I don’t like superheroes.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, half the stories have an asexual or aromantic protagaonist.
  • Other Options: My original choice was Common Bonds: An Aromantic Speculative Anthology edited by Claudie Arseneault, C.T. Callahan, B.R. Sanders, and RoAnna Sylver, a Kickstarter-funded book. However, due to the pandemic, the publication was pushed back, and I didn't want to wait any longer. I also seriously considered Chuck Tingle’s Not Pounded in the Butt.
6. Novel Featuring a Ghost:
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M. R. James (collection, mix of reprint and original)
  • Reason: I just searched ghost anthology, and this was a top result. I have actually never heard of M. R. James before this year, but I gather he’s a huge influence since he’s written so many ghost stories.
  • Favorite Story: “The Mezzotint” as it was the one that creeped me out the most.
  • Recommended: Yes, but only if you realize that it’s got an older style to them (since this book came out in 1904), and that most of these stories won’t creep you out in the year 2020.
  • Hard Mode: No, the ghosts are either antagonists or obstacles.
  • Other Options: I actually don’t know, I stopped searching after I found the book. M. R. James does have 3 more collections of ghost stories, though (all of 4 of which have been gathered in Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James).
7. Novel Featuring Exploration:
No Limits edited by Peter David (original anthology)
  • Reason: I read the first few Star Trek: New Frontier novels back in the late 1990s, but never finished it, so I got all the books for a personal readthrough. Star Trek is by definition perfect for the exploration square, so I read the books. However, I was reading them in publication order, so I had to read the first 14 books before I could get to the anthology!
  • Favorite Story: “Waiting for G’Doh, or, How I Learned to Stop Moving” is a rather funny story about the security officer Zak Kebron at the beginning of his career.
  • Recommended: Yes, but only if you’ve read at least the first six Star Trek: New Frontier novels (all the stories are set before the first book, but most of the characters aren’t really established until you’ve read the first four).
  • Hard Mode: Maybe, nearly all the stories feature exploration, but the plots are often about backstories for the main characters of the series.
  • Other Options: I considered James Alan Gardner’s Gravity Wells (his novel Expendable is a perfect exploration book, so I was hoping the collection would work). Past anthologies that would probably work is Federations edited by John Joseph Adams, Galactic Empires edited by Neil Clarke, and maybe Alastair Reynolds’s Deep Navigation or Galactic North.
8. Climate Fiction:
Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction edited by Manjana Milkoreit, Meredith Martinez, & Joey Eschrich (original anthology)
  • Reason: A friend recommended to me as this theme was getting difficult for me to find, as all my other options included stories by authors I had to read for other squares. This book was produced from a short story contest run by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University and judged in part by Kim Stanley Robinson.
  • Favorite Story: “On Darwin Tides” by Shauna O’Meara, which follows a “sea gypsy” in Malaysia as she struggles in this new dystopian future.
  • Recommended: Only if the topic appeals to you—because it was a contest, the stories are mostly from amateur writers and the quality mostly shows. It’s free online, though, and there’s a second book, Everything Change II, which I’ve been told is better.
  • Hard Mode: No, most of them are apocalyptic or post-apocalypse.
  • Other Options: My original choice was Drowned Worlds edited by Jonathan Strahan, but there’s also Loosed upon the World: The Saga Anthology of Climate Fiction edited by John Joseph Adams, and I imagine a lot of solarpunk-themed books could work for this, too.
9. Novel with a Color in the Title:
The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (original collection)
  • Reason: I already had it (it’s available on Project Gutenberg)
  • Favorite Story: “In the Court of the Dragon” which felt like one of the creepier stories to me.
  • Recommended: Honestly, no. Only half the stories are SF/F, the other half are all stories about bohemian artists in Paris. This book is known for the stories involving “The King in Yellow” play, but they didn’t really work for me.
  • Hard Mode: Yes.
  • Other Options: I considered using Judith Tarr’s Nine White Horses, the anthology Blackguards, Jack Vance’s Wild Thyme, Green Magic, Walter Jon Williams’s The Green Leopard Plague and Other Stories, Black Feathers edited by Ellen Datlow, or How Long ‘til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin.
10. Any Fantasy Book Club Book of the Month OR Fantasy Readalong Book:
Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker (reprint collection, 1 original to this book)
  • Reason: The Goodreads Book of the Month club picked it for June this year. I did own or read all the other options that were available at the time.
  • Favorite Story: tie between “And Then There Were (N-One)” and “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind”
  • Recommended: Yes! There’s only one story I would rate less than 4 stars in this book.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, I actually led the discussion for the book in June.
  • Other Options: We don’t read very many collections or anthologies for the Fantasy book clubs, so my only choices were Fritz Leiber’s Sword and Deviltry (Classics club, November 2017), Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin’s anthology The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories (RAB, May 2018), and we currently have Daniel M. Lavery’s The Merry Spinster for FIF (September 2020). There’s also the Dresden Files read-along which did two of Butcher’s collections, and the Uncanny Magazine Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction/Fantasy read-along (those would’ve been rereads for me, though).
11. Self-Published Novel:
In the Stars I'll Find You & Other Tales of Futures Fantastic by Bradley P. Beaulieu (mostly reprint collection)
  • Reason: I already owned this, it was basically the oldest self-published collection I had.
  • Favorite Story: tie between “Flashed Forward” and “No Viviremos Como Presos” – both dealing with a lot of emotions.
  • Recommended: Yes, the only other stories by Beaulieu I’ve read were 2 co-written novellas, and I felt this collection was better. I haven’t read his novels so I can’t compare.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, at the time of this post, it has 18 ratings on Goodreads.
  • Other Options: There are hundreds of options, but I could’ve read Lawrence M. Schoen’s recent collection The Rule of Three and Other Stories (his other collection, Buffalito Bundle, has stories featuring The Amazing Conroy and are lots of fun.)
12. Novel with Chapter Epigraphs:
Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson (short story cycle)
  • Reason: This was another difficult square, as I knew a short story cycle had the best chance of having epigraphs before every story. I finally found this book by Kate Atkinson. (Ironically, I realized later that my Politics choice also had epigraphs.)
  • Favorite Story: “The Cat Lover,” I guess.
  • Recommended: No, unless you like literary magical realism where stories just kind of end.
  • Hard Mode: No, all of the epigraphs are quotes from Latin or Shakespeare.
  • Other Options: Apparently, Retief! by Keith Laumer would’ve worked from my options. It really is a difficult thing because in a collection some authors might have an epigraph for a story, but not all or most of them.
13. Novel Published in 2020:
Shadows & Tall Trees 8 edited by Michael Kelly (original anthology)
  • Reason: I picked this off Locus Magazine’s forthcoming books list and bought it.
  • Favorite Story: tie between “The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell” by Brian Evenson and “Child of Shower and Gleam” by Rebecca Campbell – the first is creepy as hell, and the second is strange and lovely.
  • Recommended: Yes, if you’re comfortable with weird or darker fantasy stories.
  • Hard Mode: No, Michael Kelly has edited several anthologies before.
  • Other Options: I had planned to use The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu, but I needed Liu for another square. I also considered A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell, and I had three anthologies from Joshua Palmatier I could’ve used (Apocalyptic, Galactic Stew, and My Battery is Low and It is Getting Dark) but I needed another Palmatier anthology for another square. Any of the various “Best Science Fiction or Fantasy of the Year” type anthologies that came out in 2020 would’ve been appropriate as well (Jonathan Strahan, Neil Clarke, Rich Horton, Paula Guran, Ellen Datlow, Bogi Takács, and Jared Shurin all edit “Year’s Best” or “Best of Year”-style anthologies).
14. Novel Set in a School or University:
Sideways Stories from Wayside School; Wayside School is Falling Down; Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger; and Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom by Louis Sachar (short story cycles)
  • Reason: Strangely, one of the first books I thought of for this square. Plus, the most recent book had come out. I decided to read all four as each book is really short (only about 20,000 words per book). Only the first one or two was a reread.
  • Favorite Story: None, they’re all funny and good.
  • Recommended: Yes, absolutely. Maybe better for kids, but I smiled a lot while reading these.
  • Hard Mode: Yes.
  • Other Options: Witch High edited by Denise Little would’ve been good, but included a story by Esther M. Friesner whom I needed for another square. A Kickstarter-funded anthology, Schoolbooks & Sorcery edited by Michael M. Jones, would’ve worked, but it’s not out yet.
15. Book About Books:
Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and Lore edited by Paula Guran (reprint anthology)
  • Reason: This was another difficult square because did you know that searching “book anthology” does not narrow things down at all?? I finally hit upon just searching “library anthology” which did the trick, but this one anthology predetermined at least 3 other squares because of its authors (I couldn’t use Ken Liu, Xia Jia, Amal El-Mohtar, and others because they were all in here).
  • Favorite Story: tie between “In the House of the Seven Librarians” by Ellen Klages and “Summer Reading” by Ken Liu. Klages’s story about “feral librarians raising a child” is just wonderful, and Liu’s is very, very sweet.
  • Recommended: Yes, absolutely. This also contains Scott Lynch’s excellent “In the Stacks” and I will never not say no to Kage Baker.
  • Hard Mode: No, libraries are an integral part of most of the stories.
  • Other Options: *gestures wildly* I don’t know!
16. A Book That Made You Laugh:
Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories by Alex Shvartsman (mostly reprint collection)
  • Reason: Alex Shvartsman edits an annual humorous SF/F anthology series called Unidentified Funny Objects (the 8th volume is out this fall), but even though I have them all, they all shared authors with other squares until I remember that I had two collections from Shvartsman, and this was one of them.
  • Favorite Story: “Things We Leave Behind” is a semiautobiographical story about books. Absolutely lovely.
  • Recommended: Yes, but I understand most won’t share his sense of humor. He also tends to write very short stories, so don’t read these for immersion.
  • Hard Mode: Yes.
  • Other Options: Books making you laugh is so subjective, so any author you like probably has something that could work (you only need one story to make you laugh after all). John Scalzi has a couple collections that could work, Connie Willis has a great sense of humor.
17. Five Short Stories:
  • Reason: To be obnoxious I decided to read five collections for this square (instead of just five short stories). I decided to read 5 that I already owned by women/non-binary people. I picked semi-randomly (Hand and McHugh), by older ones I owned (Wurts), and by a couple new ones I was excited about (Datt Sharma and Slatter).
Not for Use in Navigation: Thirteen Stories by Iona Datt Sharma (reprint collection)
  • Favorite Story: “Quarter Days” is a full third of this book, and it’s an interesting post-WWI setting with magic.
  • Recommended: Yes, they have an interesting outlook, and one of the stories has an Indian wedding in space.
Saffron and Brimstone: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand (reprint collection, 1 original)
  • Favorite Story: “The Least Trumps” should appeal to the booklover in every single one of us.
  • Recommended: These are definitely interesting stories, but I’d only recommend for “The Least Trumps” and “Cleopatra Brimstone.” She’s got a poetic style here that didn't always work for me.
After the Apocalypse by Maureen F. McHugh (reprint collection, 2 original)
  • Favorite Story: “Special Economics” which follows a Chinese girl trapped into working at a factory.
  • Recommended: Yes, though it’s also one of the few themed collections (versus themed anthologies) that I’ve seen, with every story dealing with apocalypse in some way.
Sourdough and Other Stories by Angela Slatter (mostly original collection/short story cycle)
  • Favorite Story: “Gallowberries” which features Patience from the Tor.com novella Of Sorrow and Such as a young woman.
  • Recommended: Yes, absolutely. Every story is in the same setting, and they all interconnect with each other. I can’t wait to read more from Slatter (I already have The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings).
That Ways Lies Camelot by Janny Wurts (mostly reprint collection)
  • Favorite Story: tie between “Wayfinder” and “That Way Lies Camelot” – both are great stories, the first a coming of age, and the other is bittersweet.
  • Recommended: Yes, definitely. In addition to the above, “Dreambridge” is also awesome. I wasn’t as fond of the three ElfQuest stories, but it was interesting to read Wurts’s 4 Fleet stories as I never realized she ever wrote anything close to straight science fiction.

  • Hard Mode: … Yes?
  • Other Options: This is the most open-ended square for this particular Bingo Card, especially since at the time of this post, I own 121 unread anthologies and collections.
18. Big Dumb Object:
Alien Artifacts edited by Joshua Palmatier & Patricia Bray (original anthology)
  • Reason: This was one of the books that made me realize I could do an all-short-story card. I thought the anthology’s theme would perfectly encapsulate the square.
  • Favorite Story: “Me and Alice” by Angela Penrose – a kid finds a strange artifact while digging at a site.
  • Recommended: Yes, though a few stories weren’t to my taste.
  • Hard Mode: No, while the classical BDO is present in several stories, most would fall in the wider definition being used for Bingo.
  • Other Options: I’m at a loss here, as I never looked for more after I found this.
19. Feminist Novel:
Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson (collection, mix of reprint and original)
  • Reason: I owned this already from a Humble Bundle.
  • Favorite Story: “And the Lillies-Them A-Blow” – a woman is inspired to reconsider her life.
  • Recommended: Yes.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born Canadian.
  • Other Options: I had a few other books from the same Humble Bundle called Women of SFF. Most of them would’ve worked.
20. Novel by a Canadian Author:
The Very Best of Charles de Lint by Charles de Lint (reprint collection)
  • Reason: It appears I picked this up in 2014 for some reason (I’ve never read de Lint before this year). But he’s Canadian!
  • Favorite Story: There are honestly too many to say, but I’ll say “In the Pines” for now.
  • Recommended: Yes, yes, yes. I basically added everything he’s written to my TBR.
  • Hard Mode: Maybe, it was originally published in 2010 with Tachyon Publications, but in 2014 it was reprinted by de Lint’s Triskell Press (which is the copy I have), which would count.
  • Other Options: A friend sent me an anthology edited by Dominik Parisien called Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction, though I would’ve had to juggle square to get it to work. Nalo Hopkinson is Canadian, so Skin Folk would’ve worked, too. Jo Walton has a collection called Starlings.
21. Novel with a Number in the Title:
Nine White Horses: Nine Tales of Horses and Magic by Judith Tarr (reprint collection)
  • Reason: At the time, the only collection I had with a number that I could use.
  • Favorite Story: “Classical Horses” – an absolutely lovely story that mixes real life and fantasy, and appeals to my Classics nerd background.
  • Recommended: Yes! Tarr is a wonderful writer.
  • Hard Mode: Yes.
  • Other Options: I could’ve used The Golem of Deneb Seven and Other Stories by Alex Shvartsman, Nine Hundred Grandmothers by R. A. Lafferty, and The Rule of Three and Other Stories by Lawrence M. Schoen.
22. Romantic Fantasy/Paranormal Romance:
Once Upon a Kiss: 17 Romantic Faerie Tales published by Anthea Sharp (original anthology)
  • Reason: My original first choice was a bust when I realized quickly that the stories involved love, but were not romance stories. This was an emergency backup as I was nearing the end of reading for this Bingo Challenge.
  • Favorite Story: “The Bakers Grimm” by Hailey Edwards, which is a sweet little story about baking under pressure.
  • Recommended: No. 99% of the stories are direct appeals to try to get you to buy their books. Many of the stories don’t even really feel like short stories. I had a friend who only read urban fantasy who was adamant that she hated reading short stories and I couldn’t figure out why. Now I do. Many of these read more like vignettes than proper short stories.
  • Hard Mode: No, the HEA Club hasn’t done any anthologies or collections for me to participate in.
  • Other Options: My backup would’ve been to find some paranormal romance series and look for a collection or anthology in that world, but it would’ve involved more prep reading.
23. Novel with a Magical Pet:
No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar edited by Mercedes Lackey (original anthology)
  • Reason: Valdemar is an easy setting to choose for this square, and even though I had stopped reading the yearly anthologies (they’re up to 13 or 14 now), I decided to grab the 8th anthology from the library.
  • Favorite Story: “A Dream Reborn” by Dylan Birtolo, a beggar girl with a gift grows a conscience.
  • Recommended: Only if you’re a Valdemar fan and you literally can’t get enough of the world (I’d recommend sticking with the novels up until the Collegium Chronicles).
  • Hard Mode: Yes, Companions can usually speak telepathically with their Heralds and a select few others.
  • Other Options: I’m sure there’s a themed anthology perfect for this, but I honestly don’t know offhand if there is one, since this was an easy choice for me.
24. Graphic Novel (at least 1 volume) OR Audiobook/Audiodrama:
Eerie Archives, Volume 1 edited by Archie Goodwin (original comic book anthology)
  • Reason: I searched “comics anthology” into my library’s digital catalog. This showed up.
  • Favorite Story: No real favorite, but I guess “Flame Fiend” by Eando Binder, about a man desperate to avoid fire.
  • Recommended: Yes, if you’re interested in 1960s horror comics anthology magazines. Each story is about 6-10 pages long, but many felt like cheesy horror to my modern eyes.
  • Hard Mode: Maybe, each story is standalone, but this book contained the first 5 issues of Eerie comics. I’m going with No because Eerie is a running series.
  • Other Options: I considered The Escapist (inspired from Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), a Mouse Guard comics anthology, and Thrilling Adventure Hour before finding Eerie. I also though the Eisner Awards were a good source of finding potential comics anthologies, since that's a category.
25. Novel Featuring Politics:
Retief! by Keith Laumer (reprint collection)
  • Reason: I knew the main character was a problem-solving diplomat, so this was an easy pick.
  • Favorite Story: “Diplomat-at-Arms” which is a great story of following an experienced old man on a mission, and “Cultural Exchange,” a really funny bureaucratic tale (and this one is free on Project Gutenberg).
  • Recommended: Yes, with reservations. They’re all stories from the 1960s, they’re bureaucratic galactic pulp fiction where Retief always knows better than his bumbling superiors and women only show up in secretarial or minor support roles. The stories also feel a bit repetitive as a whole, so if you read these, space it out.
  • Hard Mode: No, several of the stories feature royalty.
  • Other Options: I felt like this was a nebulous category, but offhand, I’d suggest Do Not Go Quietly: An Anthology of Victory in Defiance edited by Jason Sizemore & Lesley Conner and Resist: Tales from a Future Worth Fighting Against edited by Gary Whitta, Christie Yant, and Hugh Howey for two explicitly political anthologies, and maybe something like Harry Turtledove’s interlinked collection Agent of Byzantium for an alternate history take on a Byzantine special agent.
Favorites
  • Favorite collections: The Very Best of Charles de Lint by Charles de Lint, Ingathering: The Complete People Stories by Zenna Henderson, Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker, Sourdough and Other Stories by Angela Slatter, and Nine White Horses by Judith Tarr
  • Favorite anthologies: Ex Libris edited by Paula Guran and The Book of the Dead edited by Jared Shurin
  • Favorite overall short stories: In addition to my favorite stories in the books above, I’d also give a special place to The Very Best of Charles de Lint (“In the Pines,” “In the House of My Enemy,” “A Wish Named Arnold,” “Mr. Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery,” “Pixel Pixies,” “The Badger in the Bag,” “Timeskip,” “Into the Green,” “Birds,” and “Pal o' Mine”) and to Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea (“And Then There Were (N-One),” “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind,” “Our Lady of the Open Road,” “Wind Will Rove,” and “A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide”).
  • An Aside: My father died suddenly in the middle of my reading for this challenge. The books I read from Zenna Henderson and Charles de Lint really helped me during this time, with de Lint’s book making me cry multiple times (in a good way).
The End
Sometime last year after touting one short story or another to my friends, I said, “Oh, I don’t think I read *that* much short fiction,” and they all looked at me funny for some reason.
Oh. Never mind. I get it now.
All joking aside, I’ve read SF/F magazines off and on growing up, and I always enjoyed the occasional Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology from Gardner Dozois, and Robert Silverberg’s Legends anthologies were rather formative to my growth as a fantasy reader (that’s where I read George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb for the first time). Some of my favorite writers have done amazing short stories (in fact, I think I like Alastair Reynolds better at the short length than the novel; witness my love for his story “Zima Blue”!). Even if you don’t read more than the usual five short stories for the Bingo Challenge, please consider branching out! I hope I’ve shown with my own card how much variety is out there.
If you’re not sure where to start, your favorite author may have some short stories of their own, either in an anthology or one of their own collections. Mary Robinette Kowal is one of my favorites, and I loved her collection Word Puppets. If they’re prolific enough, they may have a “Best of” book, like The Best of Connie Willis or The Very Best of Kate Elliott. Trying one of the Year’s Best anthologies I mention under #13, Published in 2020, is also a fun way to explore short fiction.
And even though I didn’t read any for my Bingo Challenge, there are tons of SF/F magazines out there to read from on a daily, weekly, monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly schedule. My personal recommendation is for Asimov’s SF, FIYAH, and Fantasy & Science Fiction for subscription-only options, and places like Clarkesworld, Uncanny, Fireside, and Tor.com for free online stories. There are also some great magazines/sites like Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Daily Science Fiction.
Looking at award lists is a fun way to get started, as most of the major awards also have short fiction categories. Find out where they were published and try out a magazine issue or an anthology.
I’ll end this with the following:
  • an interview by our own tctippens with Jonathan Strahan over at the Fantasy Inn Podcast where they discuss not only his new anthology The Book of Dragons, but reading short fiction in general.
  • Editor Jared Shurin ( pornokitsch ) just came out with The Best of British Fantasy 2019 this past June: check it out!
  • One of my favorite short story writers is John Wiswell, and I’d like to link two of his wonderful stories: "Tank!" follows a sentient tank attending its first SF convention, and "Open House on Haunted Hill" is a very sweet story about a haunted house trying to get sold to a new family. Both stories are quite short and you can read each in just a few minutes.
  • And finally… this is what the internet should be: Naomi Kritzer's "Cat Pictures Please"
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Neo-Atheists, Atheists, militant Atheism and everything in between: Caged by Abrahamic Monotheism

Neo-Atheists, Atheists, militant Atheism and everything in between: Caged by Abrahamic Monotheism
Nupur J Sharma | 7 September, 2020
Before we proceed further, there are two things that ought to be stated outright. Firstly, the purpose of this article is not to encourage desecration of the Quran or any other Islamic scriptures or doctrine. The sole purpose is to provide an understanding of the core matter at hand, in light of the online battle between ex-Muslims and Hindus. And secondly, most obviously, the author does not believe that all Muslims are Jihadis or terrorists. Now that we are done with formalities, let us jump straight to the matter.
Steven Weinberg, the great American physicist and a Nobel laureate, once remarked, “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil, but for good people to do evil – that takes religion” and since then, this quote has almost been weaponised by Atheists around the world to condemn religion as an outdated concept that is using violence to maintain its relevance in a world that has outgrown the need or the desire for its tenets.
The New Atheism movement started in the mid-2000s with the ‘four horsemen for Atheism’ – Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris – gaining immense popularity. The core tenet of New Atheism is that religion was created in an attempt to explain how the world works at a time when science had hardly made the leaps that it has today. Thus, at a time when science has progressed, religion’s validity has expired, so to speak. There are several other claims that New Atheists make which we will examine in the course of this article, however, the central theme remains constant – Religion, any religion, has outlived its validity.
The New Atheism movement, however, ushered in another remarkable trend. It essentially espoused that being an Atheist was not sufficient. Atheists must ‘scientifically’ counter the theists and expose their dogmatic ways wherever they are found.
What started off as an attempt to infuse scientific discourse and composed debate on the question of Religion, soon became a free-for-all with the influx of several ex-Muslims, like Armin Navabi, Harris Sultan and others, who simply assumed that the function of Atheism was ‘desecration’ without the consideration that criticism for every religion would have to differ based on the genesis, nature and context of that specific religion itself.
Armin Navabi, Iranian Ex-Muslim who is now an Atheist first tore up and spat on the Quran. Following the support he got from Hindus, he proceeded to willfully desecrate the Hindu faith. The underlying reason for doing this, per Armin, was that all faiths should be desecrated equally, however, that is not where this saga began.
It has already been established that the saga of desecrating the Hindu faith started with another ex-Muslim, Abdullah Sameer, shielding the Muslim community after the Sweden and Norway riots, getting called out by Robert Spencer and then, proceeding to draw a false equivalence between Hindus (who were calling him out online) and Muslims (who were burning the world).
Soon, after the spat between Robert Spencer and Abdullah Sameer, Sameer started posting offensive images of Hindu Goddess Kali. Along with him, several other ex-Muslims like Harris Sultan and Armin Navabi started talking about how Hindus are just as bad as Muslims because they were calling them out on Twitter. On the 3rd of September, Armin took things a step further and shared the same image of Maa Kali.
Only a couple of hours before posting this distorted picture which showed Goddess Kali in a sexual epithet, Armin was retweeting and talking about the #DesecrateTheQuran hashtag.
Given how this spat started, one can easily assume that this entire episode was orchestrated to falsely equate Hindus and Muslims post the Sweden and Norway riots by the Muslims. However, for the purpose of this article, I will not be delving into that aspect. What needs to be analysed, however, is the surmise that gives rise to the notion that desecration of all faiths, in equal measure, is a desirable outcome of Atheism.
It is in this spirit, that Harris Sultan, while speaking to ‘Hindu Atheist’ Kushal Mehra question OpIndia for covering Armin’s desecration of the Quran but being silent or even outraged, by his desecration of the Hindu faith.
At the heart of it, is the supposition that all religions are equal and thus, all religions should be desecrated equally and it is this ill-informed position that needs to be challenged.
Dissecting the ‘All religions are equal’ claim The notion does not really stem from Atheism itself but the notions of religious pluralism that assumes that not only do all religions claim that their truth is the ‘only truth’ that exists, but that all religions are based on the principles of Universal Truths and thus, these are the two tenets that need to be dealt with if religions are to co-exist peacefully.
Religious Pluralism essentially says that firstly, all religions must acknowledge that certain truths exist in other religions as well, thereby declaring that it is not only their own religion that is the ‘only truth’. Further, it says that all religions must acknowledge that every religion teaches basic universal truths that have been taught since before the advent of religion itself.
When one delves into the principles of religious pluralism as a construct that can enable religions co-existing without sectarian violence, it becomes important to ensure that all religions are brought down to the same surface level and hence, the claim that all religions are the same takes a beastly proportion where cultural context is often lost.
For the purpose of this article, we will focus on Islam, Christianity and Hinduism since the question we eventually want to answer is- why is it permissible to desecrate Islam and not desecrate Hinduism?
At the very outset, it suffices to say that no other religion in the world, at this point of time in history, lays out a doctrine for the torture, subjugation, conversion and humiliation of all the people who refuse to believe in their faith, other than Islam.
This question of whether all religions are equal and whether Islam is inherently a religion of peace was discussed at length in an interview with Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer. He said in the interview that Islam as a religion indoctrinates its adherents to slay the Kafirs where they see them. They lay out the doctrine for religious warfare and strict rules as to what is to be done with the ‘spoils of war’.
No other religion in the world has left behind a trail of mangled bodies, blood and gore in its wake as much as Islam and what is worse is that this carnage was sanctified in their religion, in fact, it is one of the necessities of their religion. Moral relativists and apologists of Islam often say that Islam is a religion of peace and it is its adherents who have distorted the peaceful version of Islam.
They also say that the Quran is a peaceful text that essentially takes people closer to universal truths, just as other religions do, but it is the Hadith that twists the meaning of the Quran and ebbs people to commit violence in its name. None of these claims hold scrutiny, according to Spencer, since there exists no version of Islam that does not lay out a doctrine for the subjugation of Kafirs. In the interview, Spencer quoted verses of the Quran that themselves asked Muslims to slay the Kafirs and strike their neck.
As Mr Spencer talks about the verses of the Quran that ordain its followers to slay Kafirs and Polytheists, one has to wonder how can a religion that is at odds with Polytheism be equal and aspires for the same goals as that of a Polytheistic religion? When Islam is at odds with Polytheism and the religious texts explicitly mention the subjugation of any Polytheist faith, how accurate is it to say that all religions are exactly the same since neither Christianity (which is also an Abrahamic religion) or Hinduism (which is a polytheistic religion) say anything that remotely resembles Islam.
We can further classify this argument between Abrahamic faiths and Polytheistic faiths. In the conversation with Robert Spencer, it was clear why Islam took over 500 years to find footing in India and countries like Europe fell to the onslaught of Islam far quicker than India. The Quran presents itself as completion and correction of Christianity, said Spencer, which also gives us a window into just how vast the difference between the Hindu faith and Islam/Christianity really is.
Hence, to essentially say that all religions are equal and aspire towards the same universal truths is a fallacious statement that is made by the people who either harbour malice, or ignorance.
What the desecration of the image of Maa Kali meant for Hindus A familiar grouse that was expressed by the Neo-Atheists is why Hindus were celebrating the desecration of the Quran while they felt outraged when Armin Navabi desecrated the Hindu faith by sexualising Maa Kali. The underlying issue with this question that seems to baffle the Ex-Muslim Atheists is that they, almost militantly, follow the tenet that all religions are the same, a question, that we have debunked earlier in this article.
When we have concluded, with adequate proof, that all religions are indeed not the same, one has to then understand the cultural context to truly understand why Hindus were celebratory, or even supportive, when ex-Muslim Atheists desecrated Islam and went after the same Atheists when they sexualised Kali.
From what I understand, the backlash against Armin Navabi first started with him sharing the sexualised images of Maa Kali and was exacerbated with his follow-up tweet that essentially told Hindus to put Maa Kali in a Burkha if her sexualisation was offending them.
What Armin did was to reduce the divine, with no provocation whatsoever, to a basal, human upheaval of hormones. To ask Hindus whether they would want to masturbate to a deity they consider their mother or even say that he “simps for Kali” which essentially means that he would put the deity on a pedestal to get sexual favours in return. This tirade did not come from a place of understanding but from a place of militancy of thought that had no cultural context whatsoever.
When they ask “how is the desecration of the Quran different from the desecration of Maa Kali”, the simple fact remains that the ex-Muslims grew up in a household that deeply believed in the tenets of Islam, as per their own confessions. Their draw towards Atheism or even anti-theism comes from being told that if they do not follow exactly what the Quran says, they will go to hell.
Or that apostates deserve death and if they do not follow the tenets of the Quran, they too, like apostates would deserve death. From being told that women don’t deserve respect or can even be beaten up because the religion accords a sub-human position to women. It is a faith that is largely considered the root of violence and militancy across the world, a faith that has claimed countless lives in order to stay relevant in the modern age.
Hence, since their anti-theism or atheism comes from their experience of religion growing up in a household that followed Islam, they understand what they are desecrating, to begin with. They know, that when they tear the Islamic scripture, what is the extent of the ideology and what those pages say, in very specific terms.
However, for most monotheists, barring a few who can be debated on their ideas of universal truths and not just anti-theism, the idea of Hinduism is too abstract to even understand what the religion’s basic tenets are. This was, in fact, admitted by Navabi himself in a podcast he did a year ago. How then is it acceptable to critique a religion one doesn’t understand simply because it is a religion and the anti-theist believes in the desecration of all religions, even though they are by no way equal.
Further, what the western anti-theists and atheists, a significant chunk of them being ex-Muslims, don’t understand is that there is a cultural context to the outrage of Hindus. For thousands of years, Hindus have been subjugated by the Islamist invaders who have raped Hindu women, beheaded our kings, murdered our children all for the ultimate goal of the establishment of the Caliphate. There are countless tales of how the Islamic invaders murdered Hindus and kept their wives, mothers and daughters as slaves – the spoils of war.
The barbarity was so perverse, that Hindu women often chose to jump into the fire and give up their lives after Hindus were defeated in war, lest they were taken slaves by Islamic invaders. You might wonder why they didn’t simply slit their wrists instead of stepping into the burning fire – well – they did not want their corpse to be desecrated by the followers of Islam who had laid siege on their land.
The brutality is not just limited to Islamic invaders. In the modern political landscape of India, Hindus were humiliated during the partition as well. One recalls how the Khilafat movement claimed the lives of countless Hindus during the Moplah massacres by Islamists and even the Direct Action Day, spearheaded by Jinnah. After the countless deaths of Hindus, our own, MK Gandhi, asked Hindus to simply lay down their lives if the Islamists chose to claim it.
During partition, Hindus were mutilated and their women raped. At the altar of ‘secularism’, which the Atheists love to espouse, India decided to not conduct a full exchange of population, a suggestion that was made by various luminaries at the time including Dr B.R. Ambedkar, and thus, began another cycle of subjugation in modern India. This year itself, we saw riots by sections of the Muslim community and aided by the Left against the Hindus.
The saga of brutality continues to this day not just in India, but also, against the minority Hindus of Pakistan and when India decided that the minority Hindus could take refuge in India, their natural home post-partition, the Islamists ran riots yet again. They stabbed a Hindu over 50 times simply because he was Hindu and chopped off the arms and legs of another before burning him alive.
Since the Atheists and anti-theists love to ally with the Left, the obvious question that will be thrown after reading this article is – what about the Muslims who died? Let me preempt that question and say that in every war, both sides suffer losses, but war is defined by those who start the war, and Hindus, have never started one.
With centuries of subjugation behind them, when Armin says that Hindus must put their Goddess in a Hijab if they are offended by the cheap sexualisation, he triggers an all-too-familiar sentiment – convert or die, worse, be raped.
For centuries, whether they were Islamic invaders, or the Muslims post-partition of Pakistan and Bangladesh, the domestic Muslims who still employ this tactic or even the Muslims of Pakistan who till date subjugate Hindus, this trope has been used to humiliate Hindu women and their faith. For centuries, these were the options given to Hindu women by Islamist barbarians – wear a Burkha, convert to Islam or be raped or killed.
This is exactly the sentiment that was invoked by Armin – He essentially said that he will reduce our Goddess to an object of cheap titillation, a disrobed woman, humiliated because he can. And if Hindus did not want him to cheapen their mother, they should make her wear a Hijab.
While it is unclear that this was the intent or not, however, it is clear that internalised misogyny, Hinduphobia, hate for Idolatory and the unbridled urge for the subjugation of Kafirs is so strong, that even after leaving the faith, the barbarism towards polytheists remains.
Hindus saw what Armin did as not just the humiliation of their deity, but also Iconoclasm that the community is far too familiar with. For the Hindu, there is absolutely no difference between their Idols being desecrated by the Islamic hoards and being buried in the steps of a mosque, their Ram Temple being demolished by invaders to build a Mosque and then deny them their rights and what Armin did. Essentially, it was an outsider, an Islamist, perhaps, who desecrated their faith and presented the remains as an offering at the foot of Abrahamism.
One simple account of the hatred Muslims had for idolators comes from a poetic account of what Ahmad Shah did at Sidhpur, available in Mirat-i-Sikandari, the history of Gujarat, written by Sikandar ibn-i-Muhammad alias Manjhu ibn-i-Akbar in the first quarter of the sixteenth century. He marched on Saiyidpur,— writes the historian, on Jamad-ul-Awwal in AH 818 (July/August, AD 1415) in order to destroy the temples which housed idols of gold and silver.
As quoted by Sita Ram Goel in his book, ‘Hindu Temples’, the poetic account is as below:
He marched under divine inspiration, For the destruction of temples at Saiyidpur, Which was a home of the infidels, And the native place of accursed fire-worshippers.— There they dwelt, day and night, The thread-wearing idolaters.— It had always remained a place for idols and idol-worshippers, It had received no injury whatsoever from any quarter. It was a populous place, well-known in the world, This native place of the accursed infidels. Its foundations were laid firmly in stone, It was decorated with designs as if drawn from high heaven. It had doors made of sandal and ud.— It was studded with rings of gold, Its floors were laid with marble, Which shone like mirrors. Ud was burnt in it like fuel, Candles of camphor in large numbers were lighted in it. It had arches in every comer, And every arch had golden chandeliers hanging in it. There were idols of silver set up inside, Which put to shame the idols of China and Khotan. Such was this famous ancient temple, It was famous all over the world. By the effort of Ahmad, it was freed from the idols, The hearts of idol-worshippers were shattered with grief. He got mosques constructed, and mimbars placed in them, From where the Law of Muhammad came into force. In place of idols, idol-makers and idol-worshippers, Imams and callers to prayers and khatibs were appointed. Ahmads good grace rendered such help, That an idol-house became an abode of Allah. When the Sultan was free from Saiyidpur, he marched on Dhar in AH 819 (AD 1416-17).
One has to understand that for a Hindu, what Islamic invaders did to their temples and their idols is no different from what Armin Navani or any of the other ex-Muslim Atheists did to the image of Maa Kali. In both cases, the iconoclasm was exactly the same. In both cases, the followers of Abrahamic religion (yes, Atheist is also an Abrahamic, Monotheistic religion, which I will explain later in the article), desecrated the idol that they sacred. An idol and a faith that did absolutely nothing to deserve the kind of humiliation that it received except the fact that it chose to exist and fought, fiercely, the attempts to convert.
The urge to desecrate Hindu idols comes from the basic contradiction between Hinduism and other monotheistic religions. The icons of Hinduism are expressionist while the monotheistic religions are mostly suppressionist. While Islam and Christianity are political ideologies, Hinduism is that which depends on its adherent’s experience and spirituality. While all you need to understand and even criticise Islam and Christianity is a study of their text, what you need to criticise Hinduism is experiencing and ultimately, working up to understanding its scriptures.
While Christianity and Islam focus on a binary value system, Hinduism has multitudes of value systems that can even be at odds with each other. That Islam and Christianity both function on the basic premise that any human emotion is to be suppressed, Hinduism believes that it is to be celebrated and expressed, and it is this expressionism and the lack of binary value systems that Abrahamics find so difficult to rationalise.
The binary model simply does not work with Hinduism and thus, the frustrations of a suppressive culture is often expressed by desecrating symbols of an expressionist, spiritual religion.
Essentially, when Hindus say that Abrahamics do not understand Hinduism enough to criticise it, they mean that until they have gone through the experience of being Hindu, there is no text that they can read and claim proficiency in the religion, unlike Islam and Christianity. To top it all, other than the painful ignorance of Hinduism itself, the Atheists and anti-theists who have denounced Islam do not understand the cultural context of the Hindu communities struggle with Iconoclasm and thus, have not the faintest idea of the scars that have been inflicted time and again.
For a Hindu, an Atheist is only deepening the scars left by the religion they claim to have denounced. For a Hindu, what the Atheist does is no different from what the adherents of Islam did to his idols and temples. And this cultural context cannot be ignored simply by repeating the “all religions are equal” trope, because they are certainly not.
Why Hindus endorse desecration of Islam but not of Hinduism 20-year-old Yazidi girl Israa, who had been rescued from ISIS, burnt her hijab as she was surrounded by the Kurdish forces in 2019. The image, that powerful image, became one of the symbols of resistance against the Islamic forces.
Israa is helped by female Kurdish fighters after being released from IS fighters (Image source: metro.uk) In her interview, she had said that she felt suffocated the first time she was asked to wear it and she wished she could burn the ISIS terrorists just like she burnt her hijab.
Why did Israa feel suffocated with the Hijab and why was burning that Hijab such a powerful sentiment for her? For that matter, why is burning the image of Adolf Hitler such a powerful image for Jews? Why does a Yazidi celebrate when symbols of her oppression are destroyed?
Because the hijab symbolises and is a manifestation of her oppression. Her scars. It symbolises the very people who took away her dignity, her faith, her family, her community, her temple, her everything. It is a symbol of those who pushed her and her family to darkness. It is a symbol of those who she wishes to destroy, not because she hates Muslims, but because the staunchest followers of Islam destroyed her life and desecrated on everything she and her ancestors held dear.
Given the history of Hindus and their subjugation by Islamists, the sentiment mirrors that of Yazidis. When symbols of oppression are destroyed, Hindus are bound to support that as an act of defiance. It becomes even more pronounced when that destruction of oppressive symbols comes from those who claim to have left the faith of Islam.
It is essentially seen as a validation of vindication of their pain. The reason why Armin got support and coverage when he desecrated the Quran is for the very reason that a Yazidi woman would burn her Hijab or be jubilant when someone else does. It was a destruction of the symbol of centuries of oppression. It was an act of defiance, the same defiance felt by Hindus. It validated the angst felt by Hindus.
Now, imagine claiming that the destruction of the Hijab by a Yazidi is the same as the destruction of the symbols of Yazidism. While Islamists consider Yazidis as devil worshippers, would it be fair to assume if a Yazidi is happy about the destruction of the Quran or even that of the Hijab, she has to mandatorily be accepting of the destruction of her faith when has done nothing to receive that ire?
This analogy is exactly what is needed to understand why Hindus supported the desecration of the Quran by Armin and not the desecration of Maa Kali. Hindus saw their vindication in an ex-Muslim recognising that Islam is a religion that has the potential to subjugate non-believers because that premise has been responsible for their own humiliation for centuries.
On top of that, it helped them reinforce that what the Left has been telling them to almost gaslight them, about Islam being a religion of peace is not true – and this came not just from Hindus, who were the victims, but also people who used to be Muslims and have since left the faith.
Then came the inexplicable desecration of Maa Kali and it jolted Hindus from their stupor. They wondered why an Atheist ex-Muslim would desecrate their faith when they had done nothing to deserve that ire. Armin tore the Quran because his experiences taught him that he did not want to endorse the ideology in the Book. What was his experience with Hinduism that drove him to desecrate Hinduism? Nothing except the notion that all religions are equal.
Hindus would endorse the desecration of the faith that subjugated them and reject the desecration of their own faith that has been subjugated by the oppressor.
Interestingly, Atheists seem to not have the bandwidth to grasp the fact that by desecrating Hinduism, they have only cut the branch that they were sitting on.
Their aim in desecrating Islam was that its tenets are inconsistent with the modern age values that the world espouses. However, one of the tenets is to slay polytheistic religions and as a result of that, idols are desecrated. Essentially, the Atheists ex-Muslims seem to have done exactly what their erstwhile religion ordained them to do, it was only cloaked with Atheism and not Islamism.
The ire of Hindus was expected, and necessary because for far too long, their faith has been desecrated for no fault of theirs, simply because the Abrahamics cannot accept polytheistic faiths. Saying ‘enough is enough’ is important.
The shaming of Hindus when they voiced their disgust We have already established why Hindus were disgusted and outraged at the conduct of Atheists against Hinduism and the depiction of Maa Kali, however, what was more unpalatable is the response of the Atheists, ex-Muslims and Hindus to that outage. Outright, Hindus were labelled “just as bad as Jihadis” for protesting against the blatant disrespect for their faith, for no good reason.
What is essentially wrong with this assertion is that first, the ex-Muslim atheists and Liberal Hindus were trying, rather hard, to draw a false equivalence between Hindus and Muslims. That is almost the same as drawing an equivalence between Jews and Nazis when a Jew criticises the desecration of its faith by ex-Nazis. Or saying that a Yazidi is “as bad” as an ISIS terrorist because they differentiate between the burning of the Hijab and the ruination of her faith by the very people who enslaved her.
What the Atheists and Liberal Hindus essentially wanted was to submit to the whims of those who clearly have no idea of the cultural context of Hindus or worse, know and don’t care. Personally, I believe it is the second because I have seen several videos where these ex-Muslims discuss Hinduism and I find it hard to believe that they would have no idea of the cultural context.
Essentially, the Atheists ex-Muslims and Liberal Hindus wanted Hindus to submit to the desecration of their faith, quietly, demurely, or they threatened to label them just as bad the very people who raped, subjugated, murdered and forcefully converted them to Islam. The manipulation in this tactic is staggering.
Essentially, this is akin to telling a victim that she must not voice her opposition to what the perpetrator did against her or she will become just as bad as the perpetrator himself and because the victim harbours such visceral hate for everything that her perpetrator stands for, she would somehow be brainwashed and gaslighted into silence.
The debauchery of this argument was further exposed when some of the Hindus started telling their fellow Hindus that Hinduism is a tolerant religion and hence, any and all desecration must not be responded to aggressively. What they wanted to tell Hindus is that they should accept the desecration of their faith to display how tolerant they and that if they don’t, even their words of protest would be right compared to those who were murdering and burning down entire cities because they were offended.
Perhaps the overtly erudite Ex-Muslims and Hindu Atheists and liberal Hindus need to pay attention and read Karl Popper. He says:
“Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.—In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant“.
Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance is an apt description of what Abrahamics and Liberal Hindus want pious Hindus to follow. Essentially, these elements want Hindus to be tolerant to a level where the intolerant reign over the tolerant and the tolerant espoused by Hindus dies along with them. Certainly, one can see how that is a principle that has never been one that can be followed without the complete annihilation of the community that wishes to be tolerant to the level of their own destruction.
It is essential to understand here that Islam took over 500 years to find footing in India because of the deep faith that Hindus held. Despite the barbarity heaped upon them, they refused to submit to the rule of Islam and held on to their faith despite all odds. When the Liberal Hindu and ex-Muslim Atheists want Hindus to inexplicably let go of that faith in the name of tolerance, what they do is create a situation where they leave the faith open to the onslaught of Abrahamics – the intolerant.
Does the last standing major pagan religion in the world deserve to be annihilated on the basis of hollow principles like tolerance? This is a question that Hindus need to ask themselves without consideration for what Abrahamics believe they should do. But under no circumstances should Hindus be played by moral pleas of tolerance and in no manner, should they be manipulated to believe that their words can be deemed just as violent as rampaging mobs burning the world down.
Freedom of Speech – The hypocrisy of it all Neo-Atheism and especially, those by Ex-Muslims and Ex-Christians are essentially based on two concepts that they consider the axiomatic truths – Universal value system and binary value system, as discussed before, that draws heavily from the Enlightenment philosophy. Essentially, this means that Atheists believe that there are certain universal value systems that are to be accepted without any question. Individual rights, the dominance of man over nature, freedom of expression, overt reliance on logic and essentially, rejecting everything that is not “real”. The binary logic sees everything in black and white and is a concept of absolutism.
Essentially, Atheism gives no room for any deviation from what it believes to be the ultimate truth and/or the ultimate value that is to be espoused. When ex-Muslims criticise Islam for its dogmatic practises, they must essentially declare that all religions are to be treated the exact same way since their binary logic does not allow them to understand a construct where a religion like Hinduism can have multitudes of value systems.
When they talk about freedom of expression, they must be absolutists because any limitation means that they are being thoroughly non-binary. For Atheists, they must desecrate Hinduism if they desecrate Islam because since one religion is problematic, all religions must be equally problematic. If one religion has Jihadis who burn the world down, the other must also have the same kind of adherents even though there is no empirical evidence to prove the hypothesis.
The beliefs of Liberalism and Atheism come from the enlightenment age which had no scope for the understanding of Hinduism since it was aimed at overthrowing the dogmatic Church. Thus, Hinduism and its criticism thereof simply remains a product of the Abrahamic lens that is donned by Liberals and Atheists without really the consideration that none of these principles applies in totality to Sanatan Dharma.
In that sense of absolutism, freedom of speech and expression is also meant to be absolute according to most liberals and atheists, however, just as any absolute ideology, this too suffers from its inherent hypocrisies.
Every culture has its natural limits to freedom of expression that draws from the cultural context of that particular society. For example, one would not go to Israel and name their child Adolf Hitler because there is a contextual limit to FoE that comes into play. Similarly, one would not use the “N-word” in the USA because attached to it are tales of suppression and one has to give due importance to the cultural and societal context before being an absolutist as far as FoE is concerned.
This was proved remarkably well when in a podcast by Kushal Mehra, who calls himself a Hindu Atheist, three ex-Muslims refused to use the “N-word” even when the subject came up. The ex-Muslims on that podcast included Harris Sultan who is now equating Hindus to Jihadis because they would not roll over and accept the desecration of their harmless faith.
If Harris Sultan was indeed an absolutist when it came to freedom of speech, he should have ideally had no problem with using the N-word rather openly. He did not because Sultan seems to be more clued in and respectful of the cultural context of the country he lives in and more importantly, the culture he has adopted as his own.
Extending the same rationale, one has to question the Atheists that if they would not demand absolute FoE to use the “N-word” because of the history of subjugation attached to that word or would not expect a Jew to ‘tolerate’ anyone ‘hailing Hitler’, why would they then expect unbridled and unrestricted freedom of expression when talking about Hinduism?
If these ex-Muslims would not call Jews ‘just as bad as the Nazis’ for voicing their exception to their faith being desecrated in the same manner as Hitler did, why would they say that Hindus are as bad as the Jihadis when Hindus were voicing their exception to their faith being desecrated in the exact same manner as the Jihadis did?
To take this a step further, their wails of ‘freedom of expression’ became a loud shriek and words such as ‘Mujahindus’, drawing an equivalence with Mujahideen, were thrown about. Atheists posture as the arbiters of morality but here they are, conflating people trolling a person on social media with cast distance between them with actual terrorists. Speech is now violence we are to believe. And such people pretend to be FoE absolutists.
Abhijit Iyer Mitra calls Hindus opposing the sexualising of Maa Kali ‘Mujahindus’. The amusing aspect of this is the fact that Abhijit Iyer-Mitra himself does not hesitate to abuse the parents of individuals he disagrees with. Coming from him, it is especially difficult to accept such an argument. The other argument, presented by Kushal Mehra is that people in India do not understand how neo-atheists in the West operate.
I humbly disagree with that assertion. We understand perfectly how neo-atheists operate in the West. Neo-atheists in western countries are overwhelmingly oriented towards the Left and suffer from delusions of their own. In the current context, just because they get a kick out of abusing our Gods, it does not mean that a deliberate provocation ought to go unchallenged.
There also seems to be an insinuation that Hindus ought to be fearful of the mockery neo-atheists are capable of. With due regards, there is absolutely no reason for us to be fearful of them. Instead, they are the ones who ought to be careful with regards to the manner in which they use their speech. One does not know when cancel culture strikes them down. Also, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra and Kushal Mehra are good friends of mine but I am extremely disappointed with their ideological stance on the current debate revolving around atheism and freedom of expression.
The hypocrisy of Harris Sultan is particularly astounding. He was recently threatened by a Muslim for his criticism of Islam. The offended Muslim had actually threatened to hurt Sultan’s family and had made it clear that he was aware of the atheist’s address. Hindus have done no such thing. Harris Sultan has personal knowledge of the fact that Hindus and radical Muslims are not the same. Even so, even he peddles the delusion of equivalence between the two.
Why it is perfectly okay for Hindus to endorse desecration of Quran and oppose abuse of Hindu Gods At the very outset, it ought to be mentioned that the foremost loyalties of Hindus ought to lie with their Gods and Goddesses and not to concepts such as freedom of expression and other such things. It is perfectly permissible, even rational, for Hindus to not tolerate the abuse of the Devis and Devtas. There is no decree that FoE ought to be the foremost priority of Hindus.
Atheists might value FoE above all else, and we have already established that they are not the FoE absolutists they pretend to be, but Hindus are under no compulsion to prioritise FoE over their Gods and Goddesses. It is also perfectly rational for people to have one set of rules for the out-group and completely different for the in-group, there is nothing wrong with that.
Atheists do not have the authority to decide what is permissible and what is not. For them, insulting someone’s mother is crossing the line. We share the same sentiment. The only problem here is that we consider our Goddesses to be our mothers as well. Therefore, their insult towards our Goddesses invokes the same emotions in us that an insult to their mother evokes in them. They have no business dictating the relationship we share with our Gods and Goddesses.
It also ought to be mentioned that neo-atheism is intrinsically Abrahamic in its approach. It arises out of the enlightenment worldview that was ingrained in Abrahamic philosophy. It is no surprise then that modern atheism has a distinctly protestant approach to it. Furthermore, it also ought to be mentioned that the fervour with which modern atheists approach politics is the same as a devotee approaches religion.
Neo-atheists have merely substituted religion with the political ideology of their choice. Instead of proselytising on behalf of a religion, they proselytise to convert their people into their favoured political ideology. Instead of Gods and Goddesses, they want people to believe in absolute FoE, the rules of which they wish to dictate as the evidence clearly by the current saga, and the precepts of liberalism** ... continued in comments**
submitted by Iamt1aa to IndianExmuslims [link] [comments]

Wine 5.9 Released

The Wine development release 5.9 is now available.
 
https://www.winehq.org/announce/5.9 
 
What's new in this release (see below for details):
 
- Major progress on the WineD3D Vulkan backend. - Initial support for splitting dlls into PE and Unix parts. - Support for generating PDB files when building PE dlls. - Timestamp updates in the Kernel User Shared Data. - Various bug fixes. 
 
The source is available from the following locations:
http://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.9.tar.xz http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.9.tar.xz 
 
Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
http://www.winehq.org/download 
 
You will find documentation on
http://www.winehq.org/documentation 
 
You can also get the current source directly from the git repository.
Check
http://www.winehq.org/git for details. 
 
Wine is available thanks to the work of many people.
See the file AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
 
 
Bugs fixed in 5.9 (total 28):
 
15489 Build should optionally produce .pdb file suitable for use with symbol server 29168 Multiple games and applications need realtime updates to KSYSTEM_TIME members in KUSER_SHARED_DATA (Star Wars: The Old Republic game client, Blizzard games, GO 1.4+ runtime, Denuvo Anti-Tamper x64 #2) 29806 Hype The Time Quest: DirectX Media (DXM) v6.0 runtime installer fails (advpack.ExecuteCab should extract the INF from CAB before running the install part) 30814 Age of Empires II scrolling gets stuck after Alt-Tab away and back 42125 4k/8k demos often fail with 'Bad EXE Format' or 'error c0000020' due to Crinkler executable file compressor's "optimized" usage of PE header fields (loader compatibility) 43959 webservices/reader tests fail on arm 43960 rpcrt4/cstub tests fail on arm 43962 msvcrt/string tests fail on arm 44860 4k/8k demos crash due to Crinkler executable file compressor expecting PEB address in %ebx on process entry 48186 every wine process shows a definite leak in dlls/ntdll/env.c 48289 Grand Theft Auto 5 crashes after loading (GTA5 expects Vista+ PEB_LDR_DATA structure fields) 48441 mouse coordinates cannot exceed initial desktop size during startup of wineserver 48471 Mismatching behavior of GetEnvironmentVariableW for empty / long values 48490 Restored minimized windows have wrong height 48775 Microsoft Teams 1.3.x crashes on unimplemented function IPHLPAPI.DLL.NotifyRouteChange2 49105 Deus Ex GOTY fails to start with Direct3D renderer 49115 Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 (2018) fail to launch in DX11 mode 49128 Good Company crash on launch 49130 NVIDIA RTX Voice installer crashes on unimplemented function setupapi.dll.SetupDiGetActualSectionToInstallExW 49131 wineboot fails to start 49139 Regression: Wine crashes on startup on FreeBSD >= 5.7 49140 Windows 10 SDK installer hangs on startup 49142 Horizontal mouse scroll events (X11 buttons 6 and 7) should not be translated to back/forward events 49146 Hearts of Iron IV needs api-ms-win-crt-private-l1-1- 0.dll._o_sin 49173 widl generates invalid code for Gecko's ISimpleDOM.idl 49175 Duplicated checking canonicalized inside kernelbase/path.c 49200 Steam hangs after login 49203 Possible incorrect usage >= instead <= in shlview.c 
submitted by catulirdit to linux_gaming [link] [comments]

[PI] It's more than likely that Covid-19 will still be around at Christmas time - how are we going to explain to kids that Santa is still allowed to go into millions of houses?

I originally posted this in response to this AskReddit post. I recognize that it is nowhere near Christmas, but everyone needs a dose of alternate history once in a while.
I apologize for the dry nature of this post. It was definitely written as an exercise in recording my stream of consciousness. At the very most, this can be considered a brief world-building experiment.
TL:DR; For ethical reasons, your personal Santa does not live long enough to contract or transmit COVID '19.
To properly understand Santa's COVID resistance, children will have to be let in on the secret history of the Kringle Consortium, and the ancient conspiracy behind our modern Christmas traditions. This may be shocking to many children, so it is up to parents to choose when and how to expose their children to the truth. I consider it the same as explaining to a child where chicken nuggets come from; They may initially be disturbed by the truth, but knowing will eventually help them grow into well-rounded adults.
With that in mind, I present a chronological history and brief analysis of the Christmas Conspiracy, in 9 parts.

Part 1: Ancient History (300AD - 550AD)

Santa Claus was initially a mortal man - Nicholas of Myra (270 AD – 343 AD). He was a Catholic bishop in what is now Turkey, who saw the state of the poor, and would occasionally help by leaving anonymous gifts of toys, food, and money outside their homes in the night. When Nicholas died, a dedicated cabal of Christians memorialized him by secretly leaving anonymous presents for the poor in his name, on the date of his death, December 6th.
Unfortunately, Christianity underwent an exponential growth phase, under the Holy Roman Empire, and soon there were tens of thousands of Christians needed to run this operation and to maintain the myth of an immortal St Nicholas.
From about 500AD, they had realized that many cities had no idea who Nicholas of Myra was or what he looked like, and belief in him was waning, in favor of various local fairies and goblins.
The Cabal of St Nicholas, as they were known by then, had taken to arranging sightings of "St Nicholas", dressed in his iconic vestments, to combat this doubt, but they were facing an issue. At some point, people would compare descriptions of the Faux Nicholas' features. They needed reliable continuity.
Thus began the first major undertaking of this group.

Part 2: Wax Santa and the Travelling Corpse (550AD - 1100AD)

Like many holy men of the time, Nicholas of Myra's body had been painstakingly preserved and maintained, rather than being left to decay. This gave the cabal a couple of options.
First, they made molds of Nicholas's face, and constructed very detailed wax masks that could be worn when delivering gifts. These, when combined with a small costume change to obscure most of the head (this is the origin of Santa's hooded and fringed coat), allowed the gift-bringers to seem identical to the occasional child or drunkard who caught a glimpse of their activities.
However, this alone wasn't enough. The wax masks were rigid, and wouldn't pass close inspection. Santa needed to be able to occasionally make carefully managed appearances where he would speak or be seen to nod and wink or similar actions.
In or around 750AD, the cabal hired the services of Boutros Al-Hadrami, a Moorish master puppeteer, to help them resolve this issue. Al-Hadrami rigged wires and armatures to Nicholas' actual preserved corpse, to allow it to be manipulated as a sort of puppet. By all accounts Al-Hadrami was the only Turkish man available with both the skill and strength needed to operate this macabre marionette, so he travelled from town to town for decades, operating the "Hero Nicholas" puppet.
Eventually, the presence of this seemingly silent, massive black man had to be incorporated into the myth; and so began the stories of Black Peter or Krampus, depending on the region.

Part 3: The Crusades and the Age of Automation (1100AD - 1600AD)

Around 1100AD, the Knights Templar came into power within the Church, and folded many other secret orders under their direct authority. This included the Cabal of St Nicholas.
The Knights Templar were a smaller organization at the time, and were focused in part on simplifying and reducing the number of convolutions and complexities that each order added to the Faith. To that end, they were responsible for moving the date of Nicholas' appearances to December 24th, to coincide with other Christmas operations of the time, as well as reducing monetary expenditures, by giving only childrens toys, rather than money or food.
The Knights Templar were exceedingly well-funded by the riches they attained during the Crusades, but they were also extremely cautious with their money. By all accounts, they were the ones who began to run the conspiracy like a business, rather than a religious observance.
They introduced dolls in the form of Saint Nicholas for the poor, as well as running an underground network where well-off families could pay a premium to have their child visited by St Nicholas. These rich families would even be able to select the toy that Nicholas would bring their child (thus introducing the idea of a Christmas list).
The Nicholas puppet had been rarely used since the death of Al-Hadrami, as few could even come close to managing to operate the puppet, with any sense of realism.. The knights had resorted to purchasing slaves specifically for their strength, then training them to operate the puppet, but this route was producing less and less convincing performances.
Eventually, the Knights would hire Leonardo da Vinci himself to design a new form of puppet, operated entirely by springs and gears. This new "automaton" would play one of several pre-recorded actions from a pegged programming disk. However, it's size and weight made standing performances impossible.
To hide the mechanical components, and to conceal the actor providing Nicholas' voice, a large sledge was added to the myth, upon which Nicholas would be seated. To prevent close examination, this sledge was hoisted onto rooftops, and a story was concocted about flying from home to home, to deliver presents via the chimney.
However, by the end of the 15th century, it became clear that the Knights had a new problem. Christianity was spreading rapidly outside of Europe, into Africa, Asia, and even the new American continent. There was no way that they could maintain the myth across that large an area, with their current scale, and there was no way to transport the Nicholas Automaton to the new world, without significant risk of loss, damage, or exposure.
The myth needed revising, yet again.

Part 4: The Lapland Illusion (1600AD - 1900AD)

By the mid 1600s, the invention of the steam engine and the burgeoning field of optics had drawn the attention of the Knights. They needed a way to manifest "Father Christmas" (as St Nicholas was becoming known) around the world, without the logistics of world travel, so they turned to optics.
Building off the research of Galileo and his peers, Jesuit Priest, Christoph Scheiner, worked with the knights to develop a series of collimating lenses and optical repeaters that could be secreted within strategic church bell-towers, which would take an image, projected at a high brightness from a few sources, and relay it from church to eventually project a moving image onto cloud cover in many locations, potentially thousands of miles away.
However, to implement this new technology, they needed to produce a massive amount of light and motion at the origin point, without drawing attention. These hubs were built in low population areas around the world. We only know the precise locations of a few of these hubs, but they include Lapland, Tunguska, Alaska (at that time Eastern Russia), and Greenland.
It is unknown how many of these projections were actually produced, or what the effective area was for each northern operations center, but this time period was when the flying sleigh and reindeer entered the mythos.
The funding for this massive undertaking came from possibly the strangest place yet. In 1670, the knights began marketing "Candy Canes" as a Christmas confection that looked like St Nicholas' shepherd's crook (aka his bishop's staff). Soon this candy (little more than common sugar and peppermint extract) was a staple of the holiday season.
On a darker note, the commercialization of the Nicholas Conspiracy was almost complete by this point, and the manufacturing and door-to-door labor was almost entirely done by young orphans, who were paid in basic room and board. Most of these orphans didn't live to see adulthood. These "elves" were just another victim of corporate greed.
As central banks became common, the Knights Templar, now known as the Freemasons, began to divest their holdings into a group of large corporations, to launder the funds and divide and hide their large expenditures. This group of companies was called the Christkindl Consortium, or Christ-child consortium. Among the notable members were: The Federal Reserve, The Royal Bank of England, Lord and Taylor, Macy's, Hallmark, and Coca Cola.

Part 5: The Pre-Modern Era (1900AD - 1950AD)

Advancements in photography and aeronautics began to pose an existential threat to the myth of Father Christmas. An airplane could theoretically interrupt a beam path or photograph an apparition from the wrong angle. Furthermore, the isolated regions that they operated from were becoming more and more accessible to travellers. And so, the Kris Kringle Consortium, as it had become known to its American members, began a shadow arms race against the world.
Initially, things were going well, advancements in miniaturization and global power distribution seemed to indicate that they were less than a decade away from being able to produce and control full 3d apparitions of Santa from completely local base stations. Something the size of a police call box could have served an entire village. But on Jun 30th 1908, disaster struck.
A test of a power transmission tower in New York overloaded several prototype image transmitters in the Tunguska research facility, causing a massive explosion that demolished the entire facility. There were no survivors.
It was decided that the future of St Nicholas lay on a completely different path, and research was halted on the global poweimage transmission technology. Much of the developed hardware was eventually simplified and commercialized by another Kringle member, RCA. And thus, the age of television was born.
Meanwhile, the consortium shifted all funding into high-energy physics and biology, hoping to discover a fundamental paradigm shift. This was expensive, but by now, making money from Christmas was second nature to the group. They tasked Coca Cola, of all organizations, to develop a new worldwide branding for St Nicholas, complete with product tie-ins in every vertical. In the 1930s, this campaign launched, and the world finally met Santa Claus.
Unfortunately, the two world wars didn't completely bypass the Kringle Consortium. Hitler, being a consumate business man, became aware that some of his nations businesses had significant world-wide holiday reach, and he demanded that these member companies divulge the secrets of the Consortium to Nazi high command.
In 1942, Nazi Germany siezed control of the northern hub in Lapland, and used it to distribute propaganda gifts throughout mainland Europe for almost 2 years, only being successfully driven out in November of 1944. In the process, the Germans destroyed the hub, and killed all employees.
It was, in fact, a direct response to this occupation that led to a certain group of Kringle-affiliated particle physicists being brought together in the Nevada desert to find a way to definitively win the war for the Allies.

Part 6: Multiverse Traversal (1950 AD - Present)

In 1952, Irwin Schrodinger had the breakthrough that made modern Christmas possible. He was a Kringle-sponsored physicist, working on understanding quantum phenomena. Irwin had previously hypothesized that until the state of the universe is observed, it is in a state of quantum superposition, where all possible outcomes exist simultaneously. These possible outcomes represent the infinite probable variants of our universe. Observing the system collapses all the other possibilities, except the one which is selected, effectively ending these infinite and unique universes.
With the assistance of Richard Feynman, Schodinger made a further discovery in 1955. He discovered how to isolate specific objects from the quantum superposition, and cause them to persist in our universe, even after the collapse of their source universe.
Using this discovery, real versions of Saint Nicholas could be selected from universes where they lived in contemporary times, and where they were about to present a gift to any given child in the world. This discovery had almost limitless potential for the consortium's mission, but came with serious ethical considerations.
The machine made no separation between objects and people. Anything could be pulled from the waves of the Quantum Foam, just by providing accurate targeting parameters. The few members of the Catholic Magisterium tasked with oversight of the project were adamant that it could not be used on a human.
They believed that either the resulting human would have a soul, in which case they would have to admit that every choice we make destroys an infinite number of human lives, or it would be a soulless homunculus, imitating humanity in open defiance of God. Either was seen as an abomination.
The project was firmly restricted to whiteboards and notebook math for another 5 years, until a compromise was reached. The design was modified to allow for two types of extraction: permanent and temporary.
A permanent extraction manifested physical objects from other universes, but would not allow for the extraction of anything living. Meanwhile, a temporary extraction would last only until the quantum waveform was collapsed, by observation. At that time, a temporary extraction would return to their own universe, and cease to exist.
However, none of the scientists or business men could be trusted to operate the machine continuously. Instead, a board of executives would meet once a year, and would summon a single temporary overseer. One whose trustworthiness, ethical purity, and commitment to the cause could never be questioned, as it was confirmed by Mother Church herself.

Part 7: Nicholas Springs Eternal (Present)

On December 26th of each year, the executive board of the Kringle Consortium meets in one of two locations, The HAARP center in Alaska or the Pine Gap base in Australia, and ask their quantum machine a single, binary question: "Does the human race deserve joy."
This question is used as the basis of a quantum superposition which is sustained for an entire year, and which is used to manifest that year's Santa Prime (sometimes humorously called Old Nick, or The King in Red). This incarnation of Saint Nicolas (or simulacrum thereof) is immediately given full control of the machine and of all associated resources, to prepare for the next Christmas.
Over the course of the year, question after question is queued into the machine's massive registers, with all the associated intelligence needed to answer it. "Is [James Voorst, Sally Embry, Xiu Chen, etc] NAUGHTY or NICE?". Old Nick's job is to ensure that no answer is predetermined, and no name is missed.
On December 24, as the first time zone reaches midnight, the machine's primary function is triggered, and Santa Prime takes his seat as observer. Hundreds of thousands of superpositions are created every second, and the machine selects the best universe match it can find within an time for walking the tree. From that universe, the relevant gift is permanently manifested, and the relevant santa is temporarily manifested to deliver it.
Once delivered, and properly out of sight, the result of the machine is observed by Santa Prime, destroying any evidence of that local Santa's existence, except for the gift, and perhaps as a final mercy to the deceased, a consumed final meal of milk and cookies.
When at last his nightly harvest is done, the King in Red, would-be savior of the poor and executioner to millions of his own kin, lays down for his own winter's nap, never to wake.

Part 8: How Does This all Relate to COVID '19?

Children can be assured that the universe pruning algorithm has been designed to reject any universe in which an ongoing pandemic threatens the health of the child. Santa will be perfectly healthy when he delivers your gift, and then will be ethically disposed of in the collapse of the quantum waveform.

Part 9: Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn't every child get presents? Why isn't every present perfect? Why do children sometimes see their parents place their gifts?
The universe selection algorithm is a variant of a MIN/MAX pruning of an infinite binary tree of universes. 1.5+ billion of these selections need to occur every night. So naturally, there is a timeout that will select the best universe evaluated, even if it doesn't meet the minimum threshold for a perfect santa experience. The project targets year over year improvements in this field, rather than perfection.
What about bad santas? Could one be selected by accident?
Unfortunately, a small number of casualties must be considered acceptable by the project. That's why suicide and abduction rates all increase slightly around Christmas. This has been identified as an opportunity for potential improvement of the project in future years.
What about Santa Prime? Could we ever select a bad one?
Thankfully the longevity of Santa Prime's manifestation allows the machine to perform a much more exhaustive search of the multiverse. So long as there is a reasonable chance that the Prime question could be answered "yes", we should never receive a negative Prime Manifestation. So, you tell me, "Does the world deserve Joy?"
submitted by gschoppe to HFY [link] [comments]

RESULTS of the State of the Game Survey: April 2020

Weekly/Important Megathreads:
Weekly Discussion Megathread
Edelgard Legendary Hero Battle Megathread
Legendary Hero Banner Megathread
Green Grapple Voting Gauntlet Megathread

 
Hi all,

It’s time for the results!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond - we had over 1600 responses, which is great! These insights wouldn’t be possible without your time and support.

As always, neither myself nor this survey are associated with Intelligent Systems or Nintendo in any way. Please direct feedback about the game itself to the official channels.

Now let’s get into it!
 
Previous Survey Results: February_2020_State_of_the_Game_Survey

~ Demographics ~

54.3% began playing FE:H in February 2017, with 22.6% more joining during the first year of the game. 13.0% of respondents joined during the second year, 7.8% joined during the third, and 1.5% joined during the fourth year (the last 3 months).

The age range breakdown of respondents is as follows:
  • (2.9%) 12 – 15 years old
  • (15.0%) 16 – 18 years old
  • (23.5%) 19 – 21 years old
  • (20.7%) 22 – 24 years old
  • (27.0%) 25 – 30 years old
  • (8.5%) 31 – 40 years old
  • (0.9%) 40+ years old

77.5% of respondents identified as Male, 17.7% as Female, and 2.6% as Non-binary.

18.5% of respondents have never missed a daily login (though note that this option was added many hours after the survey’s release). A further 44.2% have missed less than a month’s worth of logins, 12.8% missed 1-2 months, 9.6% missed 3-6 months, 4.7% missed 7-12 months, and 3,8% missed over a year’s worth.

34.8% report being F2P, while 29.8% have spent less than $100, 16.2% spent between $100 - $499, 6.3% spent between $500 - $999, and 10.4% have spent over $1000.

34.8% last spent money on FE:H during the fourth year of the game (the last 3 months), while 12.0% last spent money during the third year of the game, 9.4% last spent during the second year of the game, and 6.6% last spent money during the first year of the game.

~ Summoning ~

“Which of the following banners have you used orbs on at least once?”
  • (63.0%) Harmony Amid Chaos
  • (57.0%) The Start of It All
  • (56.4%) Mythic Hero: Bramimond
  • (51.8%) Journey Begins
  • (47.3%) Legendary Heroes: Chrom
  • (43.2%) Familial Festivities
  • (37.2%) Double Special Heroes

“Which of the following banners did you use the most orbs on?”
  • (23.4%) Harmony Amid Chaos
  • (16.9%) Journey Begins
  • (16.3%) Mythic Hero: Bramimond
  • (14.4%) The Start of It All
  • (8.5%) Familial Festivities
  • (8.4%) Legendary Heroes: Chrom
  • (6.6%) Double Special Heroes

“What was your favorite banner?”
  • (23.8%) Harmony Amid Chaos
  • (18.3%) The Start of It All
  • (14.9%) Journey Begins
  • (13.5%) Mythic Hero: Bramimond
  • (8.5%) Double Special Heroes
  • (7.8%) Legendary Heroes: Chrom
  • (4.9%) Familial Festivities

“Did you spend money specifically to summon on any of the banners below?”
  • (7.9%) Harmony Amid Chaos
  • (7.8%) The Start of It All
  • (7.1%) Journey Begins
  • (6.7%) Mythic Hero: Bramimond
  • (4.3%) Familial Festivities
  • (4.2%) Legendary Heroes: Chrom
  • (4.0%) Double Special Heroes

“If you could only pick one method of making old Seasonal heroes available, which would you choose?”
  • (46.4%) Seasonal heroes are only available once a year on a re-run of their original banner
  • (25.7%) Seasonal heroes are only available through Double Special Heroes banners, and no seasonal banners are re-run.
  • (6.5%) Seasonal heroes are only available through Legendary and Mythical banners, and no seasonal banners are re-run.

43.8% would like Double Special Heroes banners to continue excluding year-one seasonals, compared to 31.9% who want them to include year-one seasonals.

4.19/5.00 is the average rating of how satisfied respondents were with the new feature allowing for your choice of free 5*-focus after 40 summons on New Heroes banners. 80.9% rated their satisfaction at a 4/5 or above.

36.1% reached the 40 summons needed for the feature allowing their choice of free 5*-focus on Journey Begins. 63.9% did not reach 40 summons on Journey Begins.
Of those who reached 40 summons, 51.2% say that they spent more orbs on the banner than they would have if the feature did not exist, while 19.8% say that they spent less orbs that they would have. 28.9% reported no change in orb spending behavior as a result of the feature.

~ Hall of Forms ~

“In this Hall of Forms, which Forma was your best unit?”
  • (56.7%) Olwen (WoT)
  • (10.6%) Leif
  • (10.1%) Finn
  • (9.9%) Reinhardt (WoT)

“In this Hall of Forms, which Forma was your worst unit?”
  • (34.0%) Leif
  • (26.3%) Reinhardt (WoT)
  • (22.3%) Finn
  • (3.5%) Olwen (WoT)

2.70/5.00 is the average rating of the addition of Forma Souls. 36.5% rated their feelings on Forma Souls at a 2/5 or below, while 16.2% rated 4/5 or above.

11.6% purchased a Forma Soul, compared to 88.1% who did not.

Of those who purchased a Forma Soul, 30.6% used it on Olwen (WoT), 29.7% used it on Leif, 26.1% used it on Finn, and 13.5% used it on Reinhardt (WoT)

Of those who have not purchased a Forma Soul, 71.1% say that they would never purchase a Forma Soul regardless of who is featured, while 28.8% say that they would if a certain hero was featured.

Of those who would pay a non-zero amount for a Forma Soul, $9.31 is the average of the amounts respondents would be willing to pay for a Forma Soul with no additional orbs.

~ Limited Hero Battles ~

47.5% completed all of the available Limited Hero Battle maps on their hardest difficulties, compared to 51.5% who did not.

19.5% needed to reference guides, videos, or other players’ clears in order to complete Limited Hero Battle maps, compared to 75.6% who did not.

3.19/5.00 is the average rating of preparedness for the Limited Hero Battles. 29.4% rated their preparedness at a 2/5 or below, while 44.4% rated their preparedness at a 4/5 or above.

64.6% had enough heroes to form a fully-built team of four for all of the battles, compared to 28.4% who did not.

3.38/5.00 is the average rating of how challenging respondents found the Limited Hero Battle restrictions. 15.2% rated the difficulty at a 2/5 or below, while 48.2% rated the difficulty at a 4/5 or above.

3.44/5.00 is the average rating for enjoyment of the Limited Hero Battles. 20.4% rated their enjoyment at a 2/5 or below, while 51.7% rather their enjoyment at a 4/5 or above.

~ Divine Codes ~

52.4% feel positively about the use for Divine Codes, compared to 7.3% who feel negatively. 38.5% are neutral.

“Which of the following Divine Code paths is most appealing to you?”
  • (27.2%) Holy War (Leif, Deirdre, Sigurd, Lewyn, Ishtar (Performing))
  • (22.0%) Awakening/Fates (Cordelia (Summer), Robin (M, Fallen), Owain, Xander (Performing), Corrin (M, Adrift))
  • (14.2%) Blades/Sacred Stones (Lilina (Valentines), Amelia, Nino (Fangs), Ephraim (Winter), Hector (Valentines))
  • (9.1%) Radiance (Leanne, Elincia (Performing), Lethe, Tanith (Valentines), Greil (Valentines))
  • (7.7%) Mystery/Shadows (Caeda (Bridal), Celica, Genny (Picnic), Palla (Spring), Kliff)
  • (5.1%) Heroes (Alfonse (Spring), Ylgr, Bruno (Spring), Fjorm (New Years), Laevatein (Summer))

“Which of the following Divine Code paths do you believe is the best value / best overall path to spend Divine Codes on?”
  • (25.5%) Awakening/Fates (Cordelia (Summer), Robin (M, Fallen), Owain, Xander (Performing), Corrin (M, Adrift))
  • (22.0%) Holy War (Leif, Deirdre, Sigurd, Lewyn, Ishtar (Performing))
  • (16.6%) Blades/Sacred Stones (Lilina (Valentines), Amelia, Nino (Fangs), Ephraim (Winter), Hector (Valentines))
  • (7.5%) Radiance (Leanne, Elincia (Performing), Lethe, Tanith (Valentines), Greil (Valentines))
  • (3.0%) Mystery/Shadows (Caeda (Bridal), Celica, Genny (Picnic), Palla (Spring), Kliff)
  • (3.0%) Heroes (Alfonse (Spring), Ylgr, Bruno (Spring), Fjorm (New Years), Laevatein (Summer))

51.4% got both 5* heroes from the Limited Time Compile path 3, while 25.6% only got Kagero (Spring), and 5.1% only got Camilla (Spring), while 15.8% got neither.

3.04/5.00 is the average satisfaction rating with the options of Limited Manuals offered so far. 27.3% rated their satisfaction at a 2/5 or below, while 32.8% rated their satisfaction 4/5 or above.

~ Feh Pass and Resplendent Heroes ~

57.0% feel negatively about the addition of the Feh Pass, compared to 10.1% who feel positively. 31.8% are neutral. Compared to last survey, this is a 13.6% reduction in negative feelings, with a 4.2% increase in positive feelings and the rest going to neutral.

30.7% have purchased the Feh Pass, compared to 69.3% who have not. This is a 6.7% increase compared to the last survey.

Of those who have subscribed to Feh Pass, 4.5% have purchased Resplendent Heroes separately, compared to 95.5% who have not.

“Which Resplendent Hero is your favorite?”
  • (19.5%) Eliwood
  • (17.9%) Cordelia
  • (13.3%) Sophia
  • (12.5%) Ike
  • (11.7%) Lyn
  • (10.4%) Azura

“Which Resplendent outfit theme is your favorite?”
  • (24.1%) Nifl
  • (18.8%) Muspell
  • (14.2%) Askr
  • (13.7%) Embla

“If you could only choose 1 of the Feh Pass features to make free, which would you choose?”
  • (41.7%) Auto-Start/Repeat
  • (27.8%) Resplendent Heroes
  • (14.6%) Expanded Summoner Support
  • (7.5%) Re-Act Button
  • (6.8%) Exclusive/Extra Quests

~ Miscellaneous ~

“Which game do you want a New Heroes banner from the most?”
  • (27.9%) Three Houses
  • (10.6%) Awakening
  • (9.2%) Radiant Dawn
  • (7.7%) Genealogy of the Holy War
  • (7.5%) Sacred Stones
  • (7.0%) Path of Radiance
  • (4.1%) Blazing Blade
  • (4.0%) Fates
  • (4.0%) TMS #FE
  • (3.4%) Thracia 776
  • (3.3%) Gaiden / Shadows of Valentia
  • (1.9%) Mystery of the Emblem / New Mystery of the Emblem
  • (1.8%) Binding Blade
  • (1.8%) Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light / Shadow Dragon

20.4% feel positively about the introduction of Duo Heroes, compared to 30.4% who feel negatively. 48.6% are neutral.

“Which color would you choose / have chosen for the Free 5* Hero: Fire Emblem Leads, assuming you got all colors?”
  • (60.1%) Green
  • (19.4%) Red
  • (17.8%) Blue
  • (0.9%) Colorless

46.9% were satisfied with their summon from the Free 5* Hero: Fire Emblem Leads event, compared to 48.4% who were not.

67.0% participated in the Voting Jubilee event, compared to 31.7% who did not.

36.4% want to see more Trio Heroes in the future, compared to 33.5% who do not.

“Which FE continent / world’s Mythic Heroes are you most excited for?”
  • (20.5%) Fodlan
  • (15.7%) Tellius
  • (10.0%) Jugdral
  • (9.8%) Elibe
  • (7.5%) Valentia
  • (6.4%) Magvel
  • (5.2%) Fates Continent
  • (4.5%) Archanea
  • (1.2%) Zenith

“How many of the Rokkr Remnant accessories have you acquired?”
  • (35.2%) 0
  • (6.9%) 1
  • (5.7%) 2
  • (4.3%) 3
  • (3.2%) 4
  • (3.4%) 5
  • (4.3%) 6
  • (3.6%) 7
  • (15.7%) 8

Heroic Grails is the most desired premium item currency respondents want more of, at 47.8%. Next is Dragonflowers (25.4%), followed by Refining Stones / Divine Dew (15.3%), then Sacred Coins (8.5%).

“How much do you care about your rank in the following modes?”
  • (2.76/5.00 average) Arena
  • (2.70/5.00 average) Aether Raids
  • (2.43/5.00 average) PvE game modes with player ranking boards
  • (1.82/5.00 average) Arena Assault

32.8% have not played any other gacha games besides FE:H, while 19.8% have played 1 other gacha game, 18.6% have played 2, 10.5% have played 3, and 18.3% have played 4 or more.

~ Intelligent Systems Approval Ratings ~

The approval ratings are calculated by the proportion of Approve responses compared to the number of both Approve and Disapprove responses.

Percent who approve of the way Intelligent Systems is handling:
  • 62.7% - The addition of new heroes / characters to the game (-7.6)
  • 63.9% - The gacha mechanics and summoning banners (+22.6)
  • 49.8% - The story/plot (+0.7)
  • 86.4% - Unranked PvE game modes (Hero Battles, Forging Bonds, Tactics Drills, Lost Lore, Hall of Forms) (-2.6)
  • 53.3% - Ranked PvE game modes (Voting Gauntlets, Tempest Trials, Grand Conquest, Allegiance Battles, Rokkr Sieges, Mjolnir's Strike) (-6.1)
  • 40.8% - Arena
  • 41.3% - Arena Assault
  • 33.1% - Aether Raids

30.4% believe Intelligent Systems cares about its Free to Play userbase (up 8.7% from the last survey), while 47.4% do not. Since the last survey’s result was the lowest polling for this question in the game’s history, the 8.7% increase brings us to 27.6% lower than we were before the drop).

28.1% approve of the way Intelligent Systems is handling Fire Emblem: Heroes as a whole (up 5.2% from the last survey), while 26.5% disapprove. Since the last survey’s result was the lowest polling for this question in the game’s history, the 5.2% increase brings us to 22.5% lower than we were before the drop).

A NOTE ABOUT METHODOLOGY: The overall approval ratings question above has traditionally been the exact percent of Approve responses, as a proportion with both Neutral and Disapprove responses. Note that this is different than the way approval is calculated for individual modes (the proportion of Approve responses compared to the number of both Approve and Disapprove responses), where Neutral responses are excluded. The difference in calculation has continued this way in order to maintain comparability with previous survey results.
For comparisons sake, the overall approval rating trend going by raw Approval percentage over the last 3 surveys is: 50.6% (Dec) -> 22.9% (Feb) -> 28.1% (Apr)
Whereas the overall approval rating trend going by proportion of Approve/Disapprove with the Neutrals excluded over the last 3 surveys is: 82.2% (Dec) -> 41.0% (Feb) -> 51.3% (Apr).
I’d be interested to know which you prefer / find more valuable, so if you have opinions on it, please let me know in the comments!

~ Bonus Questions ~

24.4% prefer Feh’s old voice (Kimberly Tierney), while 45.9% prefer Feh’s new voice (Cassandra Lee Morris), with 29.7% unable to decide.

“Who is your Favorite Hero added since the last survey?”
  • Lysithea is the winner, followed by Bramimond, then Y!Minerva.
  • Full results here: [Graph]

“Who is your Most Wanted Hero added since the last survey?”
  • Bramimond is the winner, followed by Lysithea, then Palla (Young, Trio)
  • Full results here: [Graph].

“Which character would you most want to get a Resplendent version?”
  • Robin and Corrin are tied for the win, though both also get vote-sharing between M/F versions because way too many people didn’t specify.
  • Lucina is the runner-up, followed by Lloyd.
  • Top 10 here: [Graph].

“What would be the best Trio and why?”: [Selected Responses]

~ Feedback ~

As always, I received lots of great feedback, both in your survey responses and in the thread itself. A heartfelt thank you to all participants for your encouragements and criticisms - these surveys wouldn’t be where they are without your feedback. But it’s not all serious; feedback messages also included:

This fantastic song parody by u/juuldude

  • #DeleteL!AzuraFromFEH2020 #JusticeForSeliph #Floofmomgang #ResplendentHinokaWhen #ResplendentAlfonse #JusticeForJill #JusticeForTelliusUnits #NoMoreElibe #JusticeforCanas #sephiranwhen #StayInsideAndWashYourHands
  • "*dabs to try and get a Legendary Seliph to exist*"
  • “according to all known laws of aviation everything still dies to reinhardt”
  • “Bernadetta was social distancing before it was cool”
  • “Emblian Empire is grateful for your hard work like always, but slightly annoyed the +10 5-stars question was left out just when I finally completed an old project!”
  • “Greetings from the massive salt palace of Grado, where Formotiis awaits to either be summoned in the upcoming Fallen banner or to destroy Askr for their impudence! (seriously though its been like three years come on intsys Lyon is RIGHT THERE)”
  • “hi I was tempted to give a meme answer for the amount I'd be willing to spend on a forma hero but I think you take averages for that stuff so i wrote 0 instead of 69420 you're welcome” – thank you for your restraint :P
  • “i’m saving orbs to +10 azura this june please wish me luck 🤞🤞🤞” – Beaming luck to your location!
  • “Imagine this, you were playing P5R a new FEH channel comes out so start to watch it. Morgana's voice is still echoing in your head. Are you going crazy? Has the quarantine got you you?”
  • “You need orders, please? CHOP the curve. Submit to Dr. Grima and stay home. Iiiit's time to play it safe. Let's not fly and let's not swim publicly unless we have to. I can't stop this thing. A safe distance away is right where I want you. You...like Ike to stay home where he won't spread anything. COVID is powercreep at Alm-alt levels, something nobody wants.”
  • “In Nino We Trust”
  • “so like FEH is letting us put actual children to war now like est is a whole fetus and kiran whacky ass put her and her sisters out on a battlefield to fight literal murder clowns and actual satan. like is that me or is that just a little messed up they should be home enjoying Welch fruit snacks while watching paw patrol”
  • “JILL. WHEN.” – I think I’ve been getting these comments for over 2 years now and they keep getting more desperate ☹
  • “Remember to stay safe! We're all in a Fog of War map on Classic right now.” – Strangely accurate
  • And greetings from Chile, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, SEA, South Korea, Vietnam, Kuala Lumpur, Alaska, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, The Bahamas, Fodlan, Ravnica, Renais, Tellius, the Alliance, and Bernadetta’s room
And some more personal inquiries:
  • “Greetings, ShiningSolarSword! Nothing to report.”
  • “Hey didn't you just do one of these on the Magia Record subreddit?” – Yep :D
  • “How are you holding up in regards to the coronavirus? Thanks again for still doing these in times like... this.” - I’m doing well all things considered, hope you are as well!
  • “Hello, this is Azura. I am very angry to be replaced, u/ShiningSolarSword. What even is a Norne and how could she possibly be better than the queen of Valla? I do hope you consider appreciating me in the future, it would be a shame if a certain survey-giver were to turn up dead in the future, not like that’s a threat or anything.” – Y-y-yes, definitely. *quietly foddering Alm to Norne*
  • “Norne's reign of terror has ended. Reddit user ShiningSolarSword has secretly accepted the way of the Reinhardt by brandishing the tiny-handed grinning Azura.” - *quietly foddering Duo Ephraim to Norne*
  • “Resplendent Norne + refine when?” – this person knows what’s up
  • “Can we have another gag survey? Quarantine is boring.” – not a bad idea 👀

~ Closing Remarks ~

If you missed out on responding to this survey when it was available, consider subscribing to FEHSurveys. This subreddit serves as a place to organize FE:H-related surveys, make new releases more visible, and make it easier for users to see when surveys are active.

Thanks again to everyone who participated! I hope you find the results interesting, and if there’s anything else you think can be discovered from the data, let me know and I’ll do my best to oblige!
submitted by ShiningSolarSword to FireEmblemHeroes [link] [comments]

[SHARE] Fulfilled Textbook Request Megathread #4

Download any of these for free at https://oppfiles.com/585933
DM me if you have any requests for anything not on the list.
If you want solution manuals/testbanks, you can also request them
Almost all the books are in their latest editions and some of them are available in multiple editions too.
Please subscribe the sub to find all the latest textbook releases.
Enjoy!
[Book] Art is an endangered species: a History of western art, Paleolithic Romanesque(self) 1 [BOOK] Above the Fray: The Red Cross and the Making of the Humanitarian NGO Sector by Shai Dromi(self) 2 [Book] Prehospital Emergency Care 11th Edition(self) 1 [Book] JAMA Guide to Statistics and Methods 1st Edition by Edward Livingston, Roger Lewis(self) 3 [Book] Annual Editions: Anthropology 42/e, Elvio ANGELONI(self) 4 [Book] Donnelly, Seth 2019 The Lie of Global Prosperity: How Neoliberals Distort Data to Mask Poverty & Exploitation. Monthly Review Press.(self)NSFW 6 [Article] "What's Your Title?" - 'The Turn of the Screw.'(self) 3 [Article] Risk and survival of patients with head and neck cutaneous melanoma: national perspective. Al-Qurayshi Z et al(self) 1 [Book] [Taylor & Francis] Maritime Disputes and International Law: Disputed Waters and Seabed Resources in Asia and Europe by Constantinos Yiallourides(self) 2 [Book] Computer Network Security by Ali Sadiqui(self) 1 [Article] [Brill] Several articles from The Australian Year Book of International Law Volume 34(1)(self) 2 [Book]The Cham of Vietnam: History, Society and Art(self) 1 [Book] (Taylor&Francis) Human Biological Diversity by Daniel E. Brown(self) 4 [Article] [tandfonline] Memory for emotional words: The role of semantic relatedness, encoding task and affective valence(self) 5 [Article] Please help me to find this paper :( Shippers' Transport Efficiency: The Balance Between Required and Available Capacity(self) 6 [Article] [Heinonline] Trusts in Mixed Legal Systems: A Challenge to Comparative Trust Law - Michael Milo and Jan Smits(self) 4 [Article] [Heinonline] Non-Variation Clause - A Further Postscript(self) 4 [Article] [Heinonline] Force Majeure and Hardship Under The Unidroit Principles of International Commercial Contracts - Joseph M Perillo(self) 4 [Article] [Heinonline] The Enforcement of an Oral Pactum de non Petendo Where a Contract Contains a Non-Variation Clause - Tukishi Manamela(self) 4 [Article] [Brill] Joint Development of Offshore Oil and Gas Resources in the South China Sea by John Abrahamson(self) 2 [BOOK] Med School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Medical School Experience: By Students, for Students(self) 4 [Book] [Bloomsbury] The Hague Trusts Convention: Scope, Application and Preliminary Issues - Jonathan Harris(self) 4 [Article] The UNIDROIT Principles and the Arbitral Tribunals - Fabio Bortoli(self) 2 [Article] The Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Idiopathic Hypersomnia: A Pilot Study(self) 4 [Book] [Bloomsbury] The South China Sea Arbitration Toward an International Legal Order in the Oceans by Yoshifumi Tanaka(self) 1 [book] International Law Commission and Future of Int. Law(self) 4 [BOOK] Mapping Populism. Approaches and Methods - Amit Ron, Majia Nadesan(self) 4 [Article] At the Type Archive(self) 4 [BOOK] Challenging Austerity Radical Left and Social Movements in the South of Europe - Beltrán Roca, Emma Martín-Díaz, Ibán Díaz-Parra(self) 4 [BOOK] The Right in Latin America. Elite Power, Hegemony and the Struggle for the State - Barry Cannon(self) 1 [BOOK] Latin America’s Left Turns: Politics, Policies, and Trajectories of Change - Maxwell A. Cameron and Eric Hershberg, editors(self) 1 [Book] Science Lessons: What the Business of Biotech Taught Me about Management by Philip Bashe(self) 1 [Book] Studies in Islamic and later Indian art from the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University Art Museums(self) 1 [Article] The Beneficial Effect of Physical Exercise on Inflammatory Makers in Older Individuals Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2020 Jun 6. Pablo Gómez-Rubio, Isabel Trapero(self) 4 [BOOK] Routledge Handbook of Global Populism - Carlos de la Torre(self) 1 [BOOK] Politics after Violence. Legacies of the Shining Path Conflict in Peru - Hillel Soifer & Alberto Vergara(self) 4 [Book] Emmanuel Levinas: Basic Philosophical Writings, edited by Adriaan T. Peperzak (et al.), 2008.(self) 1 [Article] Residual Flow Inside the Woven EndoBridge Device at Follow-Up: Potential Predictors of the Bicêtre Occlusion Scale Score 1 Phenomenon(self) 4 [Book] Who Reads Ulysses?: The Common Reader and the Rhetoric of the Joyce Wars(self) 1 [BOOK] 'Hegel and the Symbolic Mediation of Spirit' by Kathleen Dow Magnus, 2001(self) 2 [Article] THE CRIMINAL AND HIS SCIENCE: A Critical Account of the Formation of Criminology at the End of the Nineteenth Century(self) 1 [Book] Situational Analysis: Grounded Theory After the Interpretive Turn(self) 1 [BOOK] Intrepid Women: Cantinières and Vivandières of the French Army by Thomas Cardoza(self) 1 [Article] Star, Susan Leigh, By Adele E. 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/r/aoe2 Age of Empires 2 Subreddit Availability . Source DRM Notes Keys OS; Retail : SafeDisc DRM. SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions). Demos are available for The Age of Kings and The Conquerors Expansion. Version differences . The "Age of Empires Collector's Edition" first released in 2000 can often be found on store ... Age of Empires II HD launched for me, but the Multiplayer Server Lobby browser was always empty. To fix : I selected "Configure", then "General", then "Make a new shortcut from this virtual drive". Next, I created a shortcut to "Steam.exe". Then, I launched Steam, instead of "Age of Empires". Hallo, kann man in "Age of Empires II: Forgotten Empires" die Auflösung 1920 x 1080 einstellen? Unter "Options/Screen Size" habe ich diese Auflösung nicht gefunden. Age of Empires Online Trading Post: Binary Option Platform Spiel Age of Empires Online Himmel-Strategie-Spiele, dass es aufgefallen, eine aktuelle Studie führen die Age of Empires II: Prima Unauthorized Strategy Guide [James diesem Buch für Spieler, die dieses Spiel online gegen andere Leute spielen zu planen. 4. 2015. - Da anno Online beliebige Titel nicht so 500%. Wie Alter Berlin Mark ... I have the same problem with the 1280x1024 resolution in age of empires 2 the conquerrors.(vers. 1.0e) I searched a long time via google but i didn´t find anything about this problem and finaly i shape on this thread. i´ve downloaded the patch and the age2_x1 exe and the patch run very well. He build up a new data and a new age2_x1_1600_900 exe. Used: 1 Mac Pro 2.8Ghz, 1 iMac 20" 2.4Ghz, 1 iMac 24" 2.8Ghz, MacBook Pro 1.83Ghz, MacBook Air 1.6Ghz. So all Intel. Ran on all the updates of AoE, all machines running 10.5.3. There was an incredible network lag, which made it unplayable. Then we switched to AoE II v1.0.5. Running smooth as a baby on all Intel Macs. Only the MacBook Air couldn't run it, I guess it was because it can't switch ... Age of Empires is a series of personal computer games developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Studios. The first title of the series was Age of Empires, released in 1997. Since then, seven titles and three spin-offs have been released. The titles are historical real-time strategy games, and their gameplay revolves around two main game modes: Single player and campaign. They ... Binary Option Robot & Bot ... Options : Inf.Food Inf.Gold Inf.Stones Inf.Wood Pop Set To 0 Unlimited Pop Limit God Mode. more...only for Gameguru's club members - contact us : Print Cheats Similar trainers/cheats: Age of Empires 2 : The Conquerors [cheats] Age Of Empires 2 HD Edition V3.7.2608 [trainer +6] Age Of Empires 2 HD Edition V3.8.2662 [trainer +6] Age Of Empires 2 HD Edition V4.3 ... Binary Domain Brutal Legend Crysis 3 Dead Space 3 Dungeonland DMC: Devil May Cry Faster Than Light Omerta: City of Gangsters Planetside 2 Primordia Reperfection: Volume 1 Strike Suit Zero Swords of the Stars 2 Enhanced Edition The Cave The WarZ Tomb Raider (2013) Herbboy hat "Gefällt mir" geklickt. Achtung! Dieser Beitrag ist garantiert ironie- und ... I'm looking to get the widescreen fix for Age of Empires 2 (Conquerors stand alone expansion). I searched this board many times trying to find it, but apparently the post with it was removed and is no longer available. Can someone please help me and post the fix to get widescreen on this classic game? I just got a 1280x800 trubrite screen and it's great. Widescreen forever. Author: Paradigm ...

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Age of empires II fix error full screen win 10 - YouTube

Age of Empires 3 - Tipps & Tricks in den Optionen [deutsch/HD] Aoe III what else ? Loading... Unsubscribe from Aoe III what else ?? Cancel Unsubscribe. Working... Subscribe Subscribed Unsubscribe ... Default on Windows 10 when into game will not full screen, the following screen is full screen when playing game LMHT, Warcraft III, Dota, Audition,… trên wi... Быстрая и легкая победа за 5 минут в игре Age of Empires 2 HD (Эпоха империй 2 hd) против самого сложного уровня AI. Quick and ... ~~~ Der Karteneditor ~~~ Willkommen in meiner neuen Age of Empires II Tutorial Reihe. Diesmal beschäftigen wir uns mit dem Mapeditor im genauen Detail. Wir werden die einzelnen Funktionen ... Playlist AoE3 : http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL65F7F9AD5AFABC13&feature=mh_lolz Salut à tous ! On se retrouve sur AoE 3 Pour configurer le jeu comme ... Barbarian hordes feast on the dying Roman empire. The most dangerous of these invaders are the Huns and their ferocious king, Attila. After pouring out of th... Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition celebrates the 20th anniversary of one of the most popular strategy games ever with stunning 4K Ultra HD graphics, a ne... Age of Empires 2 HD: African Kingdoms - So gut ist die Erweiterung! (Test / Review) - Duration: 4:24. GameStar 149,777 views. 4:24. Euthanizing of a dangerous hive. - Duration: 35:01. ... Heute zeige ich euch, wie ihr die verschiedenen Optionen für eure Truppen nutzen könnt, um im Kampf einen Vorteil zu erlangen! _____... มันคือเกมอะไร อย่างแรกมันคือเกมเก่ามาก อย่างสอง มันคือเกมแนว RTS (Real Time ...

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