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Literature: Tinker

Tinker (or Elfhome) is a fantasy series with some science-fictional elements by Wen Spencer about Wrench Wench Tinker in a Pittsburgh that flips every so often from Earth to Elfhome and back.

Thus far consisting of
  • Tinker
  • The Wolf Who Rules
  • Elfhome

A fourth book with a working title of "Wood Sprites" is currently in the works for a 2014 release.


Tropes featured in this work

  • Accidental Marriage: Owing to human/elf customs differing.
  • Always Someone Better: Younger elves have to deal with this constantly. Not only is anything they do likely to be compared against the work of some master in their craft who was born thousands of years before, there's a good chance that said master is still alive and still producing, making it virtually impossible for new blood to get out of their shadow. One subplot in "Elfhome" was a group of doubles (Elves with double-digit ages) who moved to Pittsburg so that they would have a chance to make their mark in their chosen crafts.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Tinker and Windwolf don't appear in "Wood Sprites" at all. The focus characters are two of Tinker's sisters on Earth who she's never even heard of, much less met (They, like Tinker herself, were born from embryos implanted into foster mothers), and their struggles against their biological mother's evil relatives, who were briefly mentioned in "Wolf Who Rules" but had not appeared before.
  • Anxiety Dreams: Tinker has them.
  • Background Magic Field
  • Bad Dreams: Tinker has them after her kidnapping.
  • Baleful Polymorph: By magic, of course.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Sekasha are expected to put down their domana overlords if they go off the reservation. This actually happens in The Wolf Who Rules.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Elves consider it to be socially acceptable for domana caste nobles to take lovers from their sekasha caste bodyguards—even if the domana in question is already married.
    • When Oilcan is turned into a domana-caste elf, he hires his sekasha caste lover to be his First—as he knew she would reject a marriage proposal and this was a socially acceptable alternative to allow them to be together.
  • The Cavalry: Elves save Oilcan and Tinker from imposters at a Road Block.
  • Close-Knit Community: In Elfhome, especially, what they are aiming for for Pittsburgh
  • Curse: A plague of bad luck is supposed to be impossible.
  • Damsel in Distress: Tinker contemplates this trope in the opening of Tinker.
  • Dirty Business: Windwolf really hopes that there are no oni children to be massacred with the rest.
  • Distressed Dude: Windwolf in the opening of Tinker.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Lain thinks she does. Tinker's dreams also show signs of this. Esme's prophetic dreams led to her changing her major to astrophysics and becoming one of the captains in the colonization effort, all to protect Lain. Since this particular talent is supposed to be passed from mother to daughter, it's not surprising that Tinker has the gift too.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Tinker.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Tinker's birth name is Alexander Graham Bell Dufae. This causes a great deal of confusion among those people who only know her name when they're looking for her, since they think they're looking for a man.
  • Genocide Dilemma: What to do with the oni.
  • Hard Light: The Tengu's wings.
  • Honorary Aunt: Who turns out to be Tinker's real aunt.
  • Honor Before Reason: Windwolf.
  • I Gave My Word: Tinker admits to herself she would have followed through.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: The hyperphase gate (unintentionally?) functions as this.
    • The Skin Clan succeeded in breeding a caste of elves to function as this.
  • It Was a Gift
  • Lack of Empathy: A dominant trait of the oni.
  • Magic A Is Magic A
  • Magitek: Melding magic with modern technology is one of Tinker's hobbies. Her hoverbike invention in particular has paid off exceptionally well.
  • The Magocracy: Elven society.
  • The Maze: In her dreams.
  • Mysterious Parent: Esme.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Tinker's grandfather loved to do this, naming his children and grandchildren Leonardo Da Vinci Dufae, Ada Lovelace Dufae, Alexander Graham Bell, and Orville John Wright.
  • Our Elves Are Better: And don't they know it.
  • Road Block: Tinker and Oilcan are stopped by a roadblock and asked for papers. When the men see Windwolf inside, they are ordered to kill them all.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum
  • Secret Legacy: Tinker and her cousin Oilcan.
  • Spell Book: The Dufae Codex.
  • Tactful Translation: Elvish being what it was, to English translations often invert this.
  • Talk About the Weather: On a first date.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Tinker at one point contemplates how wives do laundry.
  • Teen Genius: Tinker. Windwolf is also implied to be this in elven terms (he's over 200 years old, but in terms of maturity that's equivalent to about 20 years old in human parlance)
  • Tengu: Lain has as dream where Tinker brings her a Tengu, which she describes as a Japanese elf that is sometimes looks like a crow.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: The elves.
  • Wrench Wench