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Shout Out / Emberverse

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  • In A Meeting at Corvallis, Arminger's Grand Constable, Conrad Renfrew, recalls a time five years ago (and five years post-Change) when PPA forces "were smoking a lunatic archer in green out of the ruins of Seattle." Guess what West Coast city DC Comics bowman Green Arrow has been known to operate out of.
  • In The Sunrise Lands, Rudi and his party return from a tiger hunt singing an old song, "a bouncy hunting tune." Appropriately enough, it's "Eye of the Tiger."
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  • Rudi and his fellow Changelings don't understand why older people laugh at the suggestion that superb fighter Tiphaine d'Ath (a lesbian in a homophobic society) has an "I won't tell, and I'll kill you if you ask" policy.
  • Ritva and Mary Havel buy supplies for Rudi's journey at "A.E. Isherman's Fine Arms and Armor." Science Fiction author A. E. van Vogt authored a famous story called, "The Weapons Shop of Isher." Stirling's shop and van Vogt's even have the same slogan: "The right to buy weapons is the right to be free." As van Vogt penned his story in the 1940s, it may well exist in the Emberverse, which would make Isherman's use of the slogan an in-universe Shout-Out.
  • The original members of Juniper's coven debate whether letting newcomers choose their sept by dreaming is appropriate. Juniper jokes that perhaps instead the coven should enchant a hat, place it on the head of each new candidate, and let the hat shout the name of the candidate's sept.
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  • The Protectorate's secret code book is a copy of Bored of the Rings by the Harvard Lampoon.
  • When he, Astrid, Eilir and Alleyne spring a surprise attack, John Hordle calmly informs their target, "Nobody expects the Elvish Inquisition."
  • While learning martial arts in The Scourge of God, some of the heroes unknowingly quote a couple of lines from The Frantics' audio-skit 'Ti Kwan Leep'.
  • In Dies the Fire, Juniper and several others of her group make a journey to discover the situation in the lands around them. On her return, she discovers that many in the group have adopted kilts and are halfway to becoming a full-fledged neo-Celtic clan. Her friend Dennis skips up to her with a cry of "'Tis Herself herself!" , and a sly "There can be only one." An annoyed Juniper immediately recognizes the source of the quotation.
  • At one point while the CUT is attempting to assassinate the main characters in the Republic of Iowa lines are almost directly lifted from the Conan story The Hour of the Dragon where Xaltotun convinces a man that his belt is a snake.
    • Conan the Barbarian gets another one in Tears of the Sun when a group of traveling performers is overheard delivering the opening narration ("Know, o prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities...")
    • And one more in The Desert and the Blade, in the name of Topangan Conan Tillman. He's even asked if he was named after the legendary king. He says no, he was named after his great-grandfather, but allows that perhaps Great-Granddad was named after the more famous Conan.
  • Several major characters have names taken directly from The White Company. And the similarities don't end with the names...
  • Hence, Conan Doyle is consistently referred to as Donan Coyle to avoid the Celebrity Paradox.
  • And Donan Coyle's books have titles such as "The Free Companions" and "Sir Guilliame".
  • Let's not forget the mere existance of the Dúnedain rangers and the fact that they have a quasi religious reverence for Tolkien's work.
  • The High King of Montival introduces several units of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are referred to colloquially as "the Force." When they join his troops, Rudi observes, gladly, "The Force is with us!" Being a Changeling, he has no idea why his older companions are snickering....
  • Earlier in the book, Ian Kovalesky is introduced as a Constable on "the Force" along with the rest of his squad led by a Corporal Dudley.
  • In Tears of the Sun, Lady Sandra indulges in a bit of Yoda-speak, even though her younger companion has no idea what her odd phraseology signifies.
  • The owner of Ford's Kyentse Cowboy Bar & Grill (The Scourge of God) resembles Harrison Ford. The eaterie is located in Wyoming, where Ford has a ranch, and it's rumored that the owner built the place with his own hands. Harrison Ford has worked as a professional carpenter. (Also, we get a fair amount of information on the character, for all that he appears in only one scene.) Given that Harrison Ford would be well into his eighties by the time that scene takes place, his mere survival in this setting would qualify him for badass status far above and beyond the characters he's played.
  • Another Ford shout-out: in A Meeting at Corvallis, we learn that one of the fief-holders of the PPA is "Lord Harrison Decard." Ford played Rick Deckard in Blade Runner.
  • In The Sword of the Lady some of the Bjornings listen to an ancestral tale. It's the first paragraph from The Long Ships by Frans G Bengtsson (originally written in Swedish and arguable one of the best Viking yarns to be found). Guess the Bjornings took that to heart a bit more than Tolkien.
  • The quote is actually from "The Broken Sword" by Poul Anderson, though "The Long Ships" is also excellent and they probably like that one, too.
  • In The Protector's War, one young Mackenzie is telling another a tale that ends with, "This is the most powerful war bow in the clan, and even I can't hold the draw forever. So tell me, punk, do you feel lucky?""
  • In The Scourge of God, Juniper sees in her vision something very like the witch hunt in King Solomon's Mines where Umbopa (a Noble Savage and associate of the heroes) is singled out by the chief witchfinder, Gagool, for political reasons.
  • In Tears of the Sun, Lady Sandra notes the goateed Baron de Mosier's resemblance to "Evil Spock from the Mirror Universe."
  • Tiphaine and Delia, along with their children are all named after characters in Leslie Barringer's The Neustrian Cycle.
  • Ingolf Vogeler and crew set sail for Nantucket from a cannibal-haunted ruined New England town named... Innsmouth.
  • Prince of Outcasts also offers a Shout-Out to H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, pitting John and his allies against the Carcosans and their lethal warship Hastur. The Carcosans actually use Lovecraft's "Yellow Sign" as their symbol, raising the possibility that, as when the Dunedain Rangers based themselves on what they thought of as the "revealed truth" of Tolkien's work, the Carcosans based themselves on what they thought of as the "revealed truth" of Lovecraft's. (Disturbingly, Orlaith's ally and lover Alan Thurston also uses the Yellow Sign, making him a prime contender for The Mole. The fact that his home is named "Hali" does not help!)
  • Word of God has it that Mary and Ritva were inspired by the old Zulu practice of using identical twins as this is a Shout-Out to Real Life.
  • The organizational structure of Corvallis—the entire city is run by the university's Faculty Senate—looks like a callback to Plato's Republic
  • The Arthurian legend gets almost as many callbacks as Tolkien; they get more numerous and obvious as the series moves on, with Rudi/Artos driving the Sword of the Lady into a stone at the edge of a lake in Lord of Mountains—after assembling the assorted nobles and other high officials of Montival at a round table to discuss business. Rudi himself is almost a direct Expy of King Arthur, right down to his conception by a powerful king (Uther/Havel) and queen (Igraine/Juniper)—although that encounter was a consensual one-night stand rather than magic-assisted rape.
  • At one point when reacting to politics at court, Tiphaine muses that she much prefers the game of swords to the game of thrones.
  • The story of Rudi first breaking Epona is very similar to the account in Plutarch's Lives of Alexander the Great breaking Bucephalus (although the notion, being Older Than Dirt, was copied in numerous Westerns). Like Bucephalus, Epona also bore her master through several battles and a transcontinental march. Rudi did not, however, found a city on the spot where Epona died, as Alexander did with Bucephalus.
  • Jack London's estate in Sonoma County, California features in The Given Sacrifice when it becomes the property of several viewpoint characters and is restored as a working ranch and winery, as well as serving as the southernmost outpost of Montival. Sadly, the characters have no idea who Jack London was, or why he was significant, despite being among the better-educated people in post-Change society.
  • Montival's southernmost province is called Westria, a shout out to the series by Diana Paxson
  • In Tears of the Sun: "If the enemy cuts off your arms and legs, your last words should be 'Come back, you coward! I'll bite you to death!'"
  • In The Sunrise Lands, a Boise soldier recounts the story of how General Thurston rescued his family, urging them out of their hiding place with the words, "Come with me if you want to live."
  • In The Protector's War Nigel Loring and company run across an abandoned freighter called the Kobayashi Maru while making their Atlantic passage.
  • In The Desert and the Blade, Orlaith and Heuradys reminisce about the time when they, as young girls, decided to travel north to the "Solitary Fortress of Ice where the Super Man lived." Edain also remembers it, as he had to bring them back to Todenangst. Creates a possible Celebrity Paradox if one assumes that the "lunatic archer in green" referenced in A Meeting at Corvallis (and noted in the first entry on this page) is indeed intended to be Green Arrow, as this would mean Oliver Queen is (was) a real person in the Emberverse, while his Justice League of America comrade Kal-El is presumably merely a legend.
  • H.G. Wells's Empire of the Ants and The Simpsons both get a Shout Out in The Desert and the Blade when Jared Tillman, contemplating Topanga's becoming a full member-state of the High Kingdom, says wryly, "I for one welcome our new Oregonian overlords."
  • In Prince of Outcasts, Pip's preferred combat garb is deliberately modeled after the clothes worn by Malcolm MacDowell's Alex in A Clockwork Orange. She even describes the attire as "droogish."
  • Pip's ship is named the Silver Surfer.
  • In Prince of Outcasts, Fiorbhinn Loring Mackenzie is clad in a fili, a bard's costume. She found her inspiration for the garb in a pre-Change sourcebook that sounds an awful lot like a Dungeons & Dragons manual.
    • Not the first Dungeons & Dragons reference in the series, either. Back in A Meeting at Corvallis, Mike Havel'a analysis of Norman Arminger's personality explicitly compares the latter to a D&D player who enjoys running evil characters.
  • Orlaith describes an excessively well-endowed noblewoman who favors deep cleavage as showing off her family's "great tracts of land."
  • The Golden Princess, The Desert and the Blade, and Prince of Outcasts all contain multiple references to Robert W. Chambers' The King in Yellow. The references become more explicit as the latest set of books moves forward, culminating in a Whole Plot Reference in The Sea Peoples which the author explicitly acknowledges in his credits.
  • In Stirling's short story "Hot Night at the Hopping Toad," the Corvallis police chief says he plans to retire to his farm, dubbed "Uncle Vanya 's Place."

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