cat63: (silence)
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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 08:41pm on 29/01/2015 under
Just finished reading a book by Mercedes Lackey. The protagonist needs to take part in a magical working which requires her to wear clothes "not of animal origin". So she wears an outfit entirely made of silk.....

Research fail....
There are 6 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
rpdom: (ook!)

posted by [personal profile] rpdom at 04:49am on 30/01/2015
Doh!

So many materials to choose from... major fail!
cat63: (Default)

posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 09:32am on 30/01/2015
In fairness the book is set at the time of the big San Francisco earthquake, so not as many artificial fabrics available then, but still there was cotton at the very least.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)

posted by [personal profile] darkemeralds at 02:59am on 31/01/2015
I suppose it would depend on whether the magic in question saw insects as animals, or whether the important thing was whether the animal lived or died (ruling out only fur and leather, I suppose)...but yeah. Linen and cotton would have been the right choices.

Did Mercedes Lackey really not know that silkworms are living critters?
cat63: (Default)

posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 09:08am on 31/01/2015
The important thing was the death part - the character had to abstain from eating meat for several days before the working too...

I don't know if she didn't know - I've just had to explain how the silkworms are killed to someone over on LJ, so there are definitely people who don't - but she's apparently a member of the SCA, so you'd hope she'd know about fabrics and such for costuming if nothing else...

I like her books, generally - they're a bit formulaic, but sometimes that's what I need - but things like this make me boggle!
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)

posted by [personal profile] darkemeralds at 07:32am on 01/02/2015
To be honest, I didn't know that silkworms are sacrificed. I'd like to think I'd have googled it if I was writing about the subject, but I'll admit that I pictured the little critters somehow...IDK, escaping into mothdom. Clearly, I hadn't thought it through!

So, in this scenario, wool would work, right? Not that it matters! I know what you mean about running into these sorts of mind-bogglers in otherwise pretty competent fiction.
cat63: (Default)

posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 08:40pm on 01/02/2015
I'd like to think I'd have googled it if I was writing about the subject,

Well exactly. If it had been just a passing mention, I might not have noticed, but she went on about it for several pages...

So, in this scenario, wool would work, right?

I think so, yes. Might have been better anyway, as the character was a bit chilly in the silk outfit....

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