Don’t Look Into the Death Star, or You Will Die


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – I finally got around to watching this. I was going to go last week, but I wasn’t in the mood. The last movie I saw at the theater was Hidden Figures, and while I’m probably not the first person to mention this, they’re both about the work behind a space mission we already knew about. Not that they were at all similar in how they played out, but I still found that interesting. It DID give us a fairly diverse cast, with Mexican, Asian, and Pakistani actors playing members of the team. Our main protagonist is Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones), the daughter of a scientist forced by the Empire to work on the Death Star.

The scientist, Galen, is played by Mads Mikkelsen, in a role that surprisingly DOESN’T make him a pretentious psychopath. Jyn is rescued by Saw Gerrera, a resistance fighter whose methods are too extreme for the Rebel Alliance. Several years later, she’s rescued from an Imperial labor camp by Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor and reprogrammed Imperial security droid K-2SO, voiced by Alan Tudyk, who’s become a mainstay in Disney animated movies. K-2SO is a comic relief character who’s similar to C-3PO in some respects, but more sarcastic and with a bad-ass side. They team up with an Imperial pilot who defected, a mercenary, and a blind warrior who constantly recites a mantra about the Force. They find out that Galen purposely built a weakness into the Death Star’s reactor, which explains why one shot could destroy the whole thing. Didn’t the Rebels blow up the second Death Star pretty much the same way, though? Regardless, the rebels are able to transmit the plans for the station, and the movie ends right before A New Hope begins. It’s a shame all the new characters have to die, but I guess that’s why no one talks about them in the original trilogy. C-3PO, R2-D2, and Princess Leia have cameo roles, with Carrie Fisher being digitally inserted for the latter. Also added in that way is Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin, who was actually played by Guy Henry. I don’t think there was any particular need to edit in Cushing’s face, but I also have no idea how Cushing would have felt about it.

Darth Vader makes an appearance, as formidable as ever, but this time making a wisecrack. I didn’t know he did that. The idea of a film to fill in a gap in the series was interesting, and I feel they made it fit quite well. Despite the fact that being an immediate prequel forced some constraints on the film, I think it was probably a more original story than The Force Awakens. One thing I do wonder is that, if the Empire started building the Death Star at the end of Revenge of the Sith, doesn’t it seem like more people would have heard of it by the time of Rogue One? I guess they do have a whole galaxy where they can hide it, though.

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Jumping Jack Flash


I’d heard the name of Spring-Heeled Jack before. He was a character in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and someone put the Morrissey song “Spring-Heeled Jim” on a mix tape for me back when I was in college. I didn’t know much else about the character, though, so I recently looked him up. He’s basically an urban legend from Victorian London, a devilish man who can leap to incredible distances and heights, and frequently harassed people. Although one page dates the name and certain aspects of the figure back as far as 1808, it’s in 1837 that the monster really entered the public consciousness. In October of that year, a woman named Mary Stevens was walking from Battersea to Lavender Hill across Clapham Common when a strange man jumped toward her, kissed her, tore her clothes, and scratched her with cold, clammy claws. When she screamed, he jumped back away. At least, that’s what she told people. The next night, a similar figure is said to have jumped in front of a carriage, causing injury to the driver, then leaped over a nine-foot fence to escape.

In February 1838, a woman named Jane Alsop answered the door to find a man dressed as a policeman, who told her to bring a candle so he could apprehend Jack. It turned out that the man was really Jack himself, who attacked her with his claws and breathed fire.

Her account also reported that he had flaming red eyes. The police arrested a carpenter named Thomas Millbank for the crime, but there wasn’t enough evidence for a conviction. Allegedly Alsop herself said Millbank couldn’t have been the attacker because he couldn’t breathe fire. Descriptions of the attacker varied, but he was frequently said to wear a black cloak with an oilskin or similar garment underneath, and could appear in the shape of a bull or a bear. He was also sometimes said to look like a tall, thin gentleman, leading to the suggestion that the whole thing amounted to a group of nobles terrorizing peasants on a bet. A popular rumor held that Henry Beresford, the third Marquess of Waterford, was the culprit; and he was certainly known for his misogyny and tendency to pull often violent pranks. Spring-Heeled Jack sightings continued after Beresford’s death in 1859, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have been at least one of the people involved. It seems likely that the power of suggestion was at work here, that when reports of an assailant jumping around London and breathing fire became popular, other people who were molested attached some of these traits to the actual attackers.

Regardless, the legend quickly became a part of popular culture, appearing in plays and penny dreadful serials.

A fictional tale of the character from 1867 had him eventually revealed as a guy wearing boots with strings, not that that isn’t far-fetched in and of itself considering the leaps Jack is said to have made.

Maybe he had access to Chozo technology.
He also became a bogeyman figure, with parents apparently telling their kids that he would jump up to children’s windows to make sure they were in bed; and sometimes “Spring-Heeled Jack” became a nickname for Satan himself. Reports of Jack largely died out around the turn of the twentieth century, although they never ended completely.

Posted in British, Mythology, Urban Legends | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Can’t Pretend to Be Someone Who Pretends to Be Someone Else

Here are some thoughts on the four albums I received for Christmas:


The Rutles, Archaeology – Shortly after the release of the Beatles’ Anthology project, Neil Innes reunited with John Halsey and Ricky Fataar to record a new album of Rutles songs. Some of them were unused compositions from earlier, and others songs Innes wrote for other projects to which he gave Beatles-style makeovers. “Joe Public,” for instance, was from a stage show Innes wrote, turned into a pastiche of the Fab Four’s psychedelic numbers. The humor is somewhat broader than it was on the earlier songs as well. “Rendezvous,” a parody of “With a Little Help from My Friends,” has the lead singer arguing with the other band members, in a manner somewhat reminiscent of Stan Freberg. “Unfinished Words,” with its nonsensical words about anchovies on top of strawberries and cream plays on the placeholder “Scrambled Eggs” lyrics for “Yesterday.” “The Knicker Elastic King,” the story of the rise and fall of a guy who sold elastic for underwear, has a Beatles song but is more distinctly Innes in its subject matter. “Shangri-La,” not to be confused with the Kinks song of the same name, has backing vocals containing a lot of inside jokes and other ridiculousness, as well as direct and indirect references to numerous Beatles songs. The horn riff comes directly from “For No One,” and the bridge combines “Magical Mystery Tour” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.” I believe this was the only single released from this album. “Back in ’64” is sort of a nostalgic follow-up to “When I’m Sixty-Four,” which includes the clever spoonerism, “People had no time for pouring scorn (and scoring porn).” The German versions of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” are parodied in “Baby Si’l Vous Plais,” a version of the earlier “Baby Let Me Be” in terrible French. “My Little Ukulele” is a George Formby pastiche with a bit more of a rock sound. George Harrison was known to be a big Formby fan. The Wikipedia entry explains a lot of the references, and the lyrics are up at Montypython.net.


Shonen Knife, Fun! Fun! Fun! – I have a few Shonen Knife albums, but I’m slowly attempting to collect their back catalog. This one was released in 2007, the band’s twenty-fifth anniversary, although the English-language version didn’t come out until 2009. It’s pretty typical for their sound, pop music with punk elements and simple, cute lyrics. Subjects covered here include barnacles, cookies, popcorn, and the band’s fondness for the Ramones. The title is definitely appropriate.


The Minus 5, Dungeon Golds – The songs on this release are from an earlier limited edition vinyl collection called Scott the Hoople in the Dungeon of Horror, which I don’t remember hearing about, but probably couldn’t have gotten anyway. I believe the title is a reference to the fact that it was mostly recorded in Scott McCaughey’s basement, but it makes me think of the fantasy role-playing cliché of dungeons always being full of treasure. Most of McCaughey’s work consists of instantly catchy rock numbers, and the songs here are no exception. While there isn’t a whole lot of variety in style, there’s some great instrument work and forays into a few different sub-genres. “My Generation” and “Zero Clowns” feature crunchy, distorted guitar. “Adios Half Soldier” appears to be about a guy who lost his legs in battle. “It’s Magenta, Man” is rather psychedelic. There’s a nice organ part on “Hold Down the Fort,” while “The Unforeseen” has more of a country sound.


Marcella Puppini, Everything Is Beautiful – The first solo album by the lead singer of the Puppini Sisters, and the only member of that group actually named Puppini. It apparently hasn’t received an American release, and the liner notes are in Italian, but the lyrics are still mostly in English. It’s very jazzy and mostly cheerful, but obviously there’s less focus on harmony than with the Sisters. Marcella is credited as writer or co-writer on all the tracks, which I assume means there aren’t any covers. There’s pretty heavy synthesizer use throughout, with most if not all of the percussion programmed. As such, it sounds more modern, or perhaps sort of nineties-ish. Rapper R.A. the Rugged Man does a duet with Marcella on “The Greatest.” “Let’s Stay in Bed” has a samba rhythm. I’m not sure what style I’d consider “I Know You Lie,” but it’s not really jazz. I think I could sort of imagine it as a Blondie song from the seventies. Overall, it’s a very enjoyable listen.

Posted in Albums, Beatles, Humor, Minus 5, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wacky Worlds


The original Super Mario Bros. provided several different environments through which Mario (and sometimes Luigi) had to travel: largely flat worlds with trees and bushes in the background, underground caverns, water, cliffs with tops bigger than their bases, and castles full of fire and magma.

I believe sky levels were originally planned but scrapped, but the idea sort of remains in bonus levels where you can walk on solid clouds and gather coins.

One of the worlds is dark, but I don’t know whether it’s always that way or just an indication that you’re there at night. Super Mario Bros. 2 expands the idea to entire worlds, with Worlds 2 and 6 being desert, 4 being icy, and 5 being dark. There aren’t any underwater levels, although there are waterfalls and whales.

Several stages do take you into the clouds, and there are enemies there this time.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show cartoon introduced many different locations, mostly with pretty lousy names. The general pattern was simply to follow the theme with “Land” or “World.” There was the Desert World, the Ocean World, and the Land of Ice; but also such bizarre places as Crime Land, Car Land, and Sockhop Land.

Super Mario Bros. 3 continued with this basic idea, giving us grass, desert, water, sky, ice, and dark worlds. There were two others as well, World 7 based on pipes and Piranha Plants, and World 4 featuring giant-sized landscapes and enemies, although not every stage in this latter world even fit the theme.

The English instruction book and at least some releases of the game simply refer to every world as “[Something] Land,” but other translations vary the names a little more, and the Nintendo Power strategy guide had other names for some of them. World 2 is referred to as Desert Land, Desert Hill, and the Koopahari Desert. World 3 is Water Land, Sea Side, or Island World; and World 6 Ice Land, Iced Land, or Winter Wonderland. Oddly, World 8 is called “Castle of Koopa” except in the one translation where it’s Dark Land, even though only the last level is in the castle. The rest of it is a world of fire and magma, as well as various military vehicles. This is the first Mario game with a map screen, and each world has its own theme music.

Picture by Joshua Boruch
Actually, World 5 has two themes, although the second one is just the Coin Heaven music. World 8’s theme is based on Mars from Holst’s The Planets, as is the airship tune. I keep considering doing a post on Mario music, but there’s such a lot of it to examine, and I’m not at all knowledgeable about music theory. Still, I’ll probably write one sometime soon.


I find it interesting that, while Super Mario World is a bigger game than SMB3, it seems to cover less territory. The map is all connected, and it’s set entirely on a few islands, while there really isn’t any indication as to how far apart the SMB3 worlds are.

There’s no real sense of scale on this map from Super Mario Advance 4.
There are also only seven worlds instead of eight (not counting the Star and Special Worlds), and the boundaries between them aren’t always as clearly defined. The connected map is pretty cool, but three out of the seven worlds have the same map music. Of course, “world” means several different things in the Mario universe. Not all the worlds have themes quite as discernible as in its predecessor, but there are icy and dark worlds, as well as a forest, which we didn’t see in SMB3. This one also uses food in much of its naming scheme: Donut Plains, Vanilla Dome, Butter and Cheese Bridges, Soda Lake, Cookie Mountain, and Chocolate Island.

Landscapes made of food are quite common in fairy tales, as well as in some other games, but here they don’t really affect the gameplay. Culinary names also appear in Wario Land and New Super Mario Bros. U. It kind of seems like there are two types of themed worlds in Mario games, environment-based and gimmick-based, although there’s certainly some overlap. Giant Land in SMB3 is more of a gimmick, as are many of the levels in Super Mario Land 2, which was also the first game to bring Mario into space (although he’d been there a few times in the Super Show).

This sort of thing is also common in Super Mario 64 and the Super Mario Galaxy games, which don’t utilize the world-level system. The original Super Mario Land has worlds based on real and/or mythical places: the Egyptian desert of Birabuto, the watery Muda that’s sort of a cross between Bermuda and the lost island of Mu, the Easter Island equivalent Easton, and the Chinese-themed Chai.

I’m not really that familiar with the New Super Mario Bros. series, but I’ve looked at the world themes, and it kind of seems like they aren’t really adding much that’s new. There’s a video I saw recently complaining that the worlds tend to fit into the same few basic themes: grass, desert, beach, forest, snow, mountain, sky, and lava.

Sure, there are some variations, like whether the forest is deciduous or tropical, but I do think they could vary the environments a bit more. Is it just laziness, or do they think people will bitch that there’s no desert world in a game? I get that they’re throwbacks in a way, but that doesn’t mean they can’t bring in new settings. Three out of four of them use the Koopalings as bosses, and some of them seem to gravitate toward specific types of worlds. Lemmy is in charge of a wintry world in SMB3, SMW, and NSMB; and a manual or something from Mario Is Missing claimed that he wasn’t participating in Bowser’s plan because he preferred to play in the snow in Antarctica.

Picture by Lucario Sensei
Wendy often appears on islands, and her taking over Chocolate Island could related to her fondness for candy. Those are supposedly candy rings she’s firing in SMB3, even if my wife insists they’re inner tubes.

Not all of the games in which the Koopalings appear fit this pattern, however.
Also, as someone who likes to imagine the Mushroom World as a whole, are all of these deserts and snowscapes the same places or different ones?

Posted in Cartoons, Fairy Tales, Food, Maps, Mario, Names, Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Television, Video Games | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fairy Families


Although I can’t actually find a post where I do so, I believe I’ve written before about how The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus mentions near the beginning that “[a]ll the immortals are full-grown; there are no children among them.” Then, later in the same book, we’re told that “the Gnome King had children of his own,” that the Frost King is Jack Frost‘s father, and that the King of the Light Elves is accompanied by “his two Princes, Flash and Twilight.” As J.L. Bell has pointed out before, the former need not necessarily be gnome children, and L. Frank Baum’s Nomes (regardless of how they’re spelled) have a habit of keeping human prisoners. And while I always interpreted “his Princes” as meaning the King’s sons, this isn’t directly stated. The Oz books later give hints of immortals being related to one another, most notably with Polychrome, who calls herself the Daughter of the Rainbow. John R. Neill draws other Daughters dancing on the Rainbow in The Road to Oz, and Baum works them into the text starting with Polly’s second appearance in Sky Island.

And according to Tik-Tok of Oz, the Rain King is Polly’s uncle.

This tends to be taken as meaning that he’s the Rainbow’s brother, although again that’s not specifically stated. At least once, in Grampa, Polychrome is referred to as the Rain King’s daughter, but I assume that’s a simple error. We’re never really told how the Rainbow is capable of reproducing, nor does Baum ever give Polly and her sisters a mother. Post-canonical stories by Marcus Mebes and Jeff Rester have given her one: Iris from Greek mythology.

As I’ve indicated before, my fondness for mythology makes me appreciate nods to it in Oz stories, but the Baumian immortals have a lot of the same duties the Olympians do, which would create redundancies.

Hugh Pendexter’s The Crocheted Cat of Oz gives a possible out in that the Greek gods have largely retired to another world after their worship fell out of favor.

In general, Baum’s immortals don’t desire worship, and don’t interact a whole lot with mortals. While I don’t know that Baum’s introduction of what could be considered much less competitive gods was intentional, it does seem to fit with the philosophy espoused in his fiction. In the Oz books and related fantasy stories, we see a mix of immortals from classical mythology (nymphs, elves), later folklore (gnomes, goblins), and newly invented ones (Ryls, Knooks). What we don’t really see in canon are family relations among the immortals the way there are among the members of many classical pantheons, but later authors have made some attempts at creating some. In one story I just read, the Snow Queen is identified as Polychrome’s aunt. I wonder what relation she is to the Frost King, or to the Ice King from Eric Shanower’s graphic novel. Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen seems to be at least partially inspired by the Norse goddess Skadi. Margaret Berg’s story “Santa’s Surprise” introduces a chilly cousin of Polychrome named Frostoria, and I think an earlier draft of it might have specified that she’s Jack Frost’s sister.

So maybe the Frost King and Snow Queen are married, and Jack and Frostoria their children? In Wendy Roth’s “Northeast Wind,” Polly’s cousin Ventilation is the titular wind, and he has a nasty brother named Typhonic.

Camilla Townsend’s “Blue Raindrops” features the Rain King’s daughter Sapphrisse.

Laura Jane Musser’s “The Romance of the Silver Shoes” gives us Queen Turbulenta, Ruler of the Kingdom of Storms, and her siblings Princess Zephyra (who presides over spring and summer breezes) and Prince Torno (who controls cyclones).

It also mentions the Olympian god Mercury. Interestingly, in Greek mythology, the rainbow goddess Iris was married to the West Wind Zephyrus.

Princess Melody of the Winkie River and her three sisters are also cousins of Polly’s.

And in Royal Explorers, the sea serpents Anko, Unko, and Inko (said here to be short for Ankorgemir, Unkorgemir, and Inkorgemir) are brothers of the Rainbow and Rain King.

Anko is also married to Queen Aquareine, ruler of the mermaids, who according to Philip John Lewin’s Witch Queen considers Lurline‘s sister Enilrul to be her “fairy-aunt.” So does Ozma, for that matter. Pendexter’s Wooglet identifies Aquareine’s father as Aquarus. The more fish-like merfolk, including Arko, Orpa, and the elder Orpah from Giant Horse, are descendants of Inko. As per Paul Dana’s Law, Tititi-Hoochoo is Lurline’s brother, and hence presumably Enilrul’s as well.

There’s probably enough here to devise some sort of family tree. Other connections are certainly possible as well. Is Queen Erma the consort of the King of the the Light Elves? Is Electra related to the Demon of Electricity? There are a lot of possibilities with the mythology Baum introduced.

Posted in Camilla Townsend, Characters, Dick Martin, Eric Shanower, Fairy Tales, Families, Greek Mythology, Hugh Pendexter, Jared Davis, Jeff Rester, John R. Neill, L. Frank Baum, Magic, Marcus Mebes, Mythology, Norse, Oz, Oz Authors, Phil Lewin, Ruth Plumly Thompson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Math Behind the Mission


Hidden Figures – I didn’t know a whole lot about this movie prior to seeing it, but I enjoyed it. It’s the story of three black female mathematicians who worked for NASA during the early days of the space program, sort of an unsung heroes kind of thing. They not only were significant to the first manned space flights by the United States, but also in how they broke both gender and racial barriers. The main focus is on Katherine Johnson (nee Goble), played by Taraji P. Henson, who worked on the calculations necessary for John Glenn’s flight. Still, she really didn’t overshadow the other two, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Vaughan, played in the film by Octavia Spencer, was the unofficial supervisor of the West Area Computing Unit, and later learned FORTRAN programming. Jackson worked at the Compressibility Research Division, and eventually became an aerospace engineer. She was played in the film by Janelle Monàe, whom I already liked as a musician. She might actually have looked the least like the person she played, but I’m not sure the photographs they show at the end of the movie were taken when these mathematicians were the same ages they were when the film took place.

The characters played by Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, and Kirsten Dunst were not actual people, although I understand Costner’s director was sort of a composite of a few different directors. Parsons played a nerdy guy who was kind of a thoughtless ass, which must have been a real stretch for him. :P As for as accuracy goes, I did notice that Wikipedia reports the segregated West Unit to have closed in 1958, while I believe the movie showed it as still operational in 1962. As it was a movie, the three protagonists were usually able to get ahead through snappy comebacks and doing noticeable work in the right place at the right time. I don’t know how true that actually was, it made it easy to root for them. Assuming this comparison of the movie to reality is itself accurate, Glenn really did personally request that Johnson check the figures calculated by the IBM machine. I remember reading not long ago that “computer” was used to refer to a human making calculations before it switched to being a machine that did the same, something this film makes obvious. I don’t think it was intentional that this film was released only a few weeks after Glenn’s death, so that’s kind of a weird coincidence. Johnson is still alive at ninety-eight, and apparently really liked the movie.

Posted in Cold War, Gender, History, Mathematics, Prejudice, Science, Space Program, VoVat Goes to the Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Frosty Reception


Since our President-Elect is in love with Vladimir Putin and insists that everyone should constantly say “Merry Christmas,” I guess we’d better learn about Christmas in Russia, right? It might seem a little late for this, but Orthodox Christmas is today. And I didn’t get anything for anyone! The difference is due to that in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, with the Orthodox Church still using the former. It appears that the sixth of January was a popular date for the celebration of Christmas even before that, however. There were some arguments that Jesus’ birth, the visit from the Three Wise Men, his baptism, and the wedding at Cana when he turned water into wine all happened on that same date. When 25 December became the official date for the celebration of Jesus’ birth in most of Christendom, the twelve days sort of bridged the gap between the two, although they’ve largely fallen out of favor nowadays. It’s increasingly common for sales and countdowns to claim the twelve days happen BEFORE the twenty-fifth rather than after. Anyway, the traditional way to wish someone a happy Christmas in Russian is “S rozhdyestvom Hristovym,” literally “Congratulations on the Birth of Christ.” (You really should be saying that to Mary, shouldn’t you?) I believe the more popular expression these days is “Schastlivogo Rozhdestva,” or “Happy Christmas.” From what I understand, it was traditional in Russia to have a twelve-course meal in honor of the twelve apostles on Christmas Eve (i.e., the night of 6 January). The celebration of Christmas was frowned upon in the Soviet years, but a 1936 argument that many of the traditions were authentically Russian and weren’t really religious led to some of them being transferred to New Year’s.


Russia has its own version of Santa Claus in Ded Moroz, a much older figure than Father Christmas, yet with traits that weren’t adapted until fairly recently. The name looks like “Dead Morose” in English, and the literal translation isn’t that much cheerier: “Old Man Frost.”

Presumably originally a winter demon or sorcerer, there were tails of his killing people, kidnapping children, and demanding tribute. The fairy tale “Morozko,” or “Father Frost,” fits him into the archetype of supernatural beings who reward or punish based on how people treat him. Around the nineteenth century, he was softened to become a gift-giver equivalent to Santa, perhaps because there wasn’t much future in orphaning peasant children.

Depictions tend to show him in a full-body blue coat, felt boots, and a roundish hat, carrying a staff.

The coat can actually be in one of several different colors, including the more Santa-like red, but it’s when he’s wearing blue that you can be Ded certain who he is. As an article I came across a month or so ago indicates, he’s more bad-ass than Santa.

He tends to knock on doors instead of going down chimneys, and he rides in a sleigh pulled by three horses.

Contrary to this picture, I don’t believe the three are usually melded together into one super-horse.
As of 1998, his official home is Veliky Ustyug in Volgogda Oblast, at least according to the Mayor of Moscow. Ded Moroz is often accompanied by a young woman called Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), most commonly identified as his granddaughter, although I’ve seen a few sources referring to her as his daughter or goddaughter.

The character seems to have her origins, or at least her modern interpretation, in a tale about the daughter of the personifications of winter and spring (Ded Moroz being the former) who melts when she falls in love.

The story became a popular play and an opera by Rimsky-Korsakov. I have to wonder if the Rankin-Bass Jack Frost, in which the titular character is a winter spirit who falls in love with a mortal but she marries someone else instead, is an Americanized take on this tale. Terry Pratchett’s Wintersmith also has similarities in its plot. Snegurochka’s role as Ded Moroz’ companion dates to Soviet times.

I understand some modern celebrations also have Ded Moroz and Snegurochka battle Baba Yaga, who wants to steal all the presents.

Posted in Art, Authors, Christianity, Christmas, Discworld, Eastern Orthodox, Fairy Tales, History, Holidays, Mythology, New Year's Day, Religion, Russian, Terry Pratchett | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment