A Trifold Spiral Knot

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Once upon a time the Jokka worshiped the three gods in their image: male, female, neuter. Years later, the worship of the trifold virtues--that all sexes have value and dignity--became the second-most dominant belief.

But all religions begin with an idea... and a prophet to speak them....

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Published: Oct. 19, 2010
Words: 5,080
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452370446
About M.C.A. Hogarth

Daughter of two Cuban political exiles, M.C.A. Hogarth was born a foreigner in the American melting pot and has had a fascination for the gaps in cultures and the bridges that span them ever since. She has been many things—-web database architect, product manager, technical writer and massage therapist—-but is currently a full-time parent, artist, writer and anthropologist to aliens, both human and otherwise.

Her fiction has variously been recommended for a Nebula, a finalist for the Spectrum, placed on the secondary Tiptree reading list and chosen for two best-of anthologies; her art has appeared in RPGs, magazines and on book covers.

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Reviews

Review by: Kate Jones on Jan. 17, 2011 : star star star star star
It's a tiny tidbit in a complex story -- but I love Hogarth's descriptions of colour as seen by the Jokka. Economical yet vivid, and she makes the point (without any need to state it explicitly) that these are aliens, not human at all, who quite literally do not see the world as we do.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: K. Starbuck on Nov. 24, 2010 : (no rating)
Having read other Jokka stories this one is a bit more abstract than some of the others. I would not recommend it for a casual reader as a first-time introduction into the world.

Rather in this short, we began to find an understanding of the Jokkad spirituality, and what sorts of things define the Void and World. The dual narrators in this tale are lovely, their voices clear and differentiated, given the part of their past that binds them together.

The descriptions of the sky alone makes this particular story worth a read. Some of the colors one could almost put into their mouth and savor. There is excellent world building accomplished in this tale and it is a necessity for any person seeking a deeper understanding of the setting and culture of the Jokka.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Elizabeth McCoy on Oct. 24, 2010 : star star star star
This has some truly excellent description, and a very... *mythic* feel to it. It winds up the plot arc, it does what it sets out to do. I am, however, left feeling just a little unsatisfied -- this is very much a tidbit for understanding the Jokka and their world. It's... an ingredient, not a whole dish, complete in itself. I think that it will take subsequent stories before the themes raised in this one are truly illuminated -- and before the banquet is complete.

It's a very nice ingredient, though -- one that may even be vital to the rest of the meal -- and the color imagery alone is worth the price of admission!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: JigokuInu on Oct. 20, 2010 : (no rating)
It's rare that an author is able to portray an entirely alien culture in such a strong way. Not only is the author able to handle the social and biological issues of the Jokka, she is able to show how those things change and become strange to the Jokka themselves.

This story also has some of the best descriptions of colors I've ever seen. The Jokka are a people with a great love of complex color (and better eyes to see it with), and the author's poetic writing compliments and delivers it perfectly.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: El Wes on Oct. 20, 2010 : star star star star star
Having read A Trifold Spiral Knot, I initially thought this would be a good story to read first or second out of the current selection of Jokka shorts. But on a re-read, I'd have to say my enjoyment was enhanced by having already read all Ms. Hogarth's other Jokka stories first.

I *love* circular/generational storytelling. New characters meeting or training under old characters, or the people of the setting following some precept or philosophy set by people from stories set hundreds of years earlier. That sort of thing. 'Knot' has that in at least a couple significant places, being tied to Hogarth's a Fire in the Void (or at least a piece of art she did for it) and another short published in a recent anthology by Ergofiction. So the reader recognizes names and figures/imagery from previous stories. Love it!

That huge bit of awesome aside though, this story really shows you the world through the eyes of the Jokka themselves. The visual descriptions of color and setting, among other things, are vivid, and rather stunning. And even as short as it is, you really come out of it feeling familiar with the two characters portrayed and, having read all the other Jokka material, like you've gained an intimate bit of arcane knowledge about the path they end up on.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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