Urban Fantasy

The Great Lover by Michael Cisco

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By Michael Cisco

He lives within the sewers... and within the black global among stations... the trains shrilly name to each other blind and large at the hours of darkness - black dashing silence, hire by way of screaming trains ... just like the hideous angler fish of the ocean's private areas, he's an otherworldly scavenger drifting in currents heavier than avalanches, sluggish as glaciers, a sea wasp with a bridal teach of tingling nerves that waft within the sewage many times tangling in women's desires. From Michael Cisco, writer of The Divinity scholar, comes a visionary novel of eros and thanatos. the good Lover, the sewerman, is the undead hero who still contains the torch of libido and lifestyles. Mischievous Frankenstein, uproarious sketch demon, mascot of the subway cult, witch-doctor of feculent appeal and weary veteran of folies d'amour, he stands, or shambles, as our final champion opposed to the monochrome, white-noise forces of Vampirism.

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Nat pwes (various through the year) At gatherings such as the Brother Lords Festival in Taungbyon, music, dance, inebriation, and gambling are part of the day’s events as the 37 nat spirits are invoked, worshipped, and petitioned (see pp136–7). Taunggyi Balloon Festival (November) Balloons of all shapes and sizes are exhibited and flown during the day, while ear-splitting explosions rent the night sky over Taunggyi when elaborately decorated giant paper balloons packed with fireworks are let loose over the heads of cheering crowds (see p172).

Shortly after their coronation, to eliminate any potential threat to their rule, the couple oversaw the killing of scores of young royals in a massacre that outraged world opinion. The British called for regime change, but finally it was a dispute over timber taxes on Scottish teak importers that ignited the third, and decisive, Anglo-Burmese war of 1885. This time, the Konbaung king offered no more British soldiers at the Shwedagon Pagoda, First Anglo-Burmese War 1800 1825 1862 Exiled Bahadur Shah Zafar, India’s last Mughal emperor emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar dies in Rangoon 1850 1824 First Anglo- 1826 Treaty of Yandabo 1852 Second 1859 Mindon Burmese War between the British East India Company and the King of Inwa (Ava) Anglo-Burmese War; British seize and expand Rangoon moves capital to Mandalay T H E H I S T O R Y O F M YA N M A R than token resistance to the army that steamed up the Ayeyarwady.

Applying gold leaf Gold leaf is among the favorite donations of Burmese Buddhists. In some famous shrines, it is applied directly by pilgrims. However, only men are allowed to do this. Vipassana Literally “seeing through the veil of ignorance,” Vipassana is a form of meditation aimed at promoting insight and concentration. It had a great revival in Burma in the early 20th century. Merit making Merit (punya in Sanskrit) derives from all good thoughts and actions, and contributes towards a person’s spiritual liberation.

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