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Found this amusing bit of complaining, which I'd forgotten I wrote, in this old entry. May all we writers who dabble in the paranormal take it to heart.

...please tell me, where is it written that when the magical people get together in their parallel universe, they need to be wearing long flowing robes sashed at the waist, with capes and hoods, and have long flowing hair of some vivid color, and violet eyes, and gather in palace-like buildings made of gold and white marble with delicate high arched ceilings and idyllic courtyards where they sit on thrones in a circle and have sober conferences? Can we blame the Council of Elrond for this? Well, Tolkien made it work, but the rest of us need to find some new fantasy-world outfits and building materials. That's why Neil Gaiman, say, is so good: he makes his fantasy worlds truly weird and often unpleasant, and doesn't require them to resemble an unusually clean medieval Florence.

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