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Superhero X Comic Book Heroines: Feminist Film Mashup With The Mary Sue

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On Thursday, September 27th, Tor is sponsoring a playful and engaging feminist clip show/film analysis presented by Princess Weekes, Assistant Editor of The Mary Sue! We will be giving away free tote bags with a select #FearlessWoman book at the event.

Princess will take a Black Widow dive into the history of female comic-book/superhero movies and explore the common tropes in these films through a feminist, pop cultural lens as well as why it took so long to get these movies done and done right. She’ll also discuss representation issues.

The show is guaranteed to bring a fresh perspective and a few side splitting laughs while promoting a healthy camaraderie among attendees. To top it off, there will also be a special video message from beloved fantasy author, Victoria “V.E.” Schwab.

Get your tickets here!

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V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic Sweepstakes

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Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons: Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Sign up for the Tor Newsletter and to get updates about V. E. Schwab’s upcoming titles for a chance to win the Shades of Magic trilogy in matching trade paperback editions!

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OFFICIAL RULES

V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic Sweepstakes

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. OPEN ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES AND D.C. WHO ARE 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER AND OF THE LEGAL AGE OF MAJORITY AT THE TIME OF ENTRY. U.S. LAW GOVERNS THIS SWEEPSTAKES. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

  1. ELIGIBILITY: The V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes“) is open only to persons who as of the date of entry (and, if a winner, as of the date of prize fulfillment) are a legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia and who are 18 years of age or older and of the legal age of majority in the jurisdiction in which he or she resides. We are sorry for the geographic restrictions, unfortunately it is required for various legal reasons. Persons who as of the date of entry (and, if a winner, as of the date of prize fulfillment) are an employee of Tom Doherty Associates (“Sponsor“) or any of Sponsor’s Affiliates (as defined in Section 5), and members of the immediate family or household (whether or not related) of any such employee, are not eligible. Eligibility determinations will be made by Sponsor in its discretion and will be final and binding. U.S. law governs this Sweepstakes. Void where prohibited by law.
  2. HOW TO ENTER: The entry period for the Sweepstakes begins at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Monday, March 19, 2018 and continues through 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, March 23, 2018 (the “Entry Period“). No purchase is necessary. To enter the Sweepstakes, during the Entry Period, entrants must access, complete and submit the Sweepstakes entry form (which will require entrant to submit his or her e-mail address and such other information as Sponsor may require), found in entrant’s Facebook or Instagram newsfeed or alternatively by visiting Sponsor’s website located at https://www.torforgeblog.com/2018/03/19/v-e-schwabs-shades-of-magic-sweepstakes (the “Website”) and following the on screen entry instructions. The Facebook or Instagram entry forms may be pre-filled with information provided by the Facebook or Instagram platform. There is a limit of one entry per person and per email address. All entries must be completed and received by Sponsor prior to the conclusion of the Entry Period. Entry times will be determined using Sponsor’s computer, which will be the official clock for the Sweepstakes. Normal time rates, if any, charged by the entrant’s Internet or mobile service provider will apply. All entries are subject to verification at any time. Proof of submission does not constitute proof of entry. Sponsor will have the right, in its discretion, to require proof of identity and/or eligibility in a form acceptable to Sponsor (including, without limitation, government-issued photo identification). Failure to provide such proof to the satisfaction of Sponsor in a timely manner may result in disqualification.
  3. WINNER SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION: Following the conclusion of the Entry Period, ten potential Grand Prize winner(s) will be selected in a random drawing conducted by Sponsor or its agent from among all eligible entries received during the Entry Period. The odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received. The potential winner will be notified by e-mail (sent to the e-mail address provided by the entrant when entering), or using other contact information provided by the potential winner, in Sponsor’s discretion. If the initial notification requires a response, the potential winner must respond to Sponsor’s initial notification attempt within 72 hours. The potential winner is subject to verification of eligibility and may, in Sponsor’s discretion, be required to complete, sign and return to Sponsor an Affidavit of Eligibility/Release of Liability or an Affirmation of Eligibility/Release of Liability, as determined by Sponsor, and, if legally permissible, a Publicity Release, and any other documentation provided by Sponsor in connection with verification of the potential winner’s eligibility and confirmation of the releases and grant of rights set forth herein (as applicable, “Winner Verification Documents“), within seven days of attempted delivery of same. The potential winner may also in Sponsor’s discretion be required to complete and return to Sponsor an IRS Form W-9 within seven days of attempted delivery of same. If the potential winner cannot be reached or does not respond within 72 hours of the initial notification attempt or fails to complete, sign, and return any required Winner Verification Documents or IRS Form W-9 within seven days of attempted delivery of same, or if the potential winner does not otherwise comply with these Official Rules and/or cannot accept the prize as awarded for any reason, then the potential winner may be disqualified and an alternate winner may, at Sponsor’s discretion, be selected from among the remaining eligible entries as specified in these Official Rules (in which case the foregoing provisions will apply to such newly-selected entrant).
  4. PRIZE: Ten Grand Prize(s) will be offered. The Grand Prize consists of one trade paperback copy of A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab, one trade paperback copy of A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab and one trade paperback copy of A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. Schwab. The approximate retail value (“ARV“) of the Grand Prize is $48.97 USD. The aggregate ARV of all prizes is $489.70 USD. The exact value will depend on where the winner resides and market conditions at the time of prize fulfillment. All prize details that are not expressly specified in these Official Rules will be determined by Sponsor in its discretion. The prize will be awarded if properly claimed. No substitution, cash redemption or transfer of the right to receive the prize is permitted, except in the discretion of Sponsor, which has the right to substitute the prize or any component of the prize with a prize or prize component of equal or greater value selected by Sponsor in its discretion. The prize consists only of the item(s) expressly specified in these Official Rules. All expenses or costs associated with the acceptance or use of the prize or any component of the prize are the responsibility of the winner. If a prize component consists of digital content, entrant may need a compatible reading application to read the content. The prize is awarded “as is” and without any warranty, except as required by law. In no event will more than the number of prizes stated in these Official Rules be awarded. All federal, state and local taxes on the value of the prize are the responsibility of the winner. An IRS form 1099 will be issued if required by law.
  5. RELEASE AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: By entering the Sweepstakes, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and anyone who succeeds to entrant’s rights and responsibilities including without limitation entrant’s heirs, executors, administrators, personal representatives, successors, assigns, agents, and attorneys, and with respect to minors entrant’s parents and legal guardians (collectively the “Entrant Parties“) releases Sponsor, each of Sponsor’s Affiliates, the licensees and licensors other than Entrant Parties including authors of each of the foregoing, all other companies involved in the development or operation of the Sweepstakes, Facebook, Instagram, the successors and assigns of each of the foregoing and the directors, officers, employees and agents of each of the foregoing (collectively, the “Released Parties“) from and against any and all claims and causes of action of any kind that entrant and/or the Entrant Parties ever had, now have or might in the future have arising out of or relating to the Sweepstakes, participation in the Sweepstakes, the use of the Website, the provision, acceptance or use of any prize or any component thereof or any use of the entrant’s name as permitted pursuant to these Official Rules, including without limitation any and all claims and causes of action: (a) relating to any personal injury, death or property damage or loss sustained by any entrant or any other person, (b) based upon any allegation of violation of the right of privacy or publicity, misappropriation, defamation, or violation of any other personal or proprietary right, (c) based upon any allegation of infringement of copyright, trademark, trade dress, patent, trade secrets, moral rights or any intellectual property right, or (d) or based upon any allegation of a violation of the laws, rules or regulations relating to personal information and data security. Each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and the Entrant Parties agrees not to assert any such claim or cause of action against any of the Released Parties. Each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and the Entrant Parties assumes the risk of, and all liability for, any injury, loss or damage caused, or claimed to be caused, by participation in this Sweepstakes, the use of the Website, or the provision, acceptance or use of any prize or any component of any prize. The Released Parties are not responsible for, and will not have any liability in connection with, any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the Sweepstakes or in the announcement of the prize. The Released Parties are not responsible for, and will not have any liability in connection with, late, lost, delayed, illegible, damaged, corrupted or incomplete entries, incorrect or inaccurate capture of, damage to, or loss of entries or entry information, or any other human, mechanical or technical error of any kind relating to the operation of the Website, communications or attempted communications with any entrant or Entrant Parties, the submission, collection, storage and/or processing of entries or the administration of the Sweepstakes. The term “Affiliate” of Sponsor means any entity that directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with Sponsor. The term “control” means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of management and policies of an entity, or the ownership, directly or indirectly, of more than fifty percent (50%) of the equity interests of the entity.
  6. GENERAL RULES: Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to modify these Official Rules (including without limitation by adjusting any of the dates and/or timeframes stipulated in these Official Rules) and to cancel, modify or suspend this Sweepstakes at any time in its discretion, including without limitation if a virus, bug, technical problem, entrant fraud or misconduct, or other cause beyond the control of the Sponsor corrupts the administration, integrity, security or proper operation of the Sweepstakes or if for any other reason Sponsor is not able to conduct the Sweepstakes as planned (including without limitation in the event the Sweepstakes is interfered with by any fire, flood, epidemic, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or of public enemy, communications failure, riot or civil disturbance, war (declared or undeclared), terrorist threat or activity, federal, state or local law, order or regulation or court order) or in the event of any change to the terms governing the use of Facebook or Instagram or the application or interpretation of such terms. In the event of termination of the Sweepstakes, a notice will be posted on the Website or Sponsor’s Facebook and Instagram page and a random drawing will be conducted to award the prize from among all eligible entries received prior to the time of termination. Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify or prohibit from participating in the Sweepstakes any individual who, in Sponsor’s discretion, Sponsor determines or believes (i) has tampered with the entry process or has undermined the legitimate operation of the Website or the Sweepstakes by cheating, hacking, deception or other unfair practices, (ii) has engaged in conduct that annoys, abuses, threatens or harasses any other entrant or any representative of Sponsor or (iii) has attempted or intends to attempt any of the foregoing. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SWEEPSTAKES OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR HAS THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY PERSON INVOLVED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. The use of agents or automated devices, programs or methods to submit entries is prohibited and Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entry that it believes may have been submitted using such an agent or automated device, program or method. In the event of a dispute regarding who submitted an entry, the entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” means the person who is assigned an email address by an internet provider, online service provider or other organization (e.g., business, educational institute, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. An entrant may be required to provide proof (in a form acceptable to Sponsor, including, without limitation, government-issued photo identification) that he or she is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the entry in question. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be verified or returned. By participating in this Sweepstakes, entrants on behalf of themselves, and to the extent permitted by law on behalf of the Entrant Parties agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding in all respects. These Official Rules may not be reprinted or republished in any way without the prior written consent of Sponsor.
  7. DISPUTES: By entering the Sweepstakes, each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and the Entrant Parties agrees that, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, (a) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with the Sweepstakes, or the provision, acceptance and/or use of any prize or prize component, will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action (Note: Some jurisdictions do not allow restricting access to class actions. This provision will not apply to entrant if entrant lives in such a jurisdiction); (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (c) under no circumstances will any entrant or Entrant Party be permitted to obtain any award for, and each entrant and Entrant Party hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, special, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules or the rights and obligations of the entrants, Entrant Parties and Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York in the United States of America without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York. Any legal proceedings arising out of this Sweepstakes or relating to these Official Rules shall be instituted only in the federal or state courts located in New York County in the State of New York, waiving any right to trial by jury, and each entrant and Entrant Party consents to jurisdiction therein with respect to any legal proceedings or disputes of whatever nature arising under or relating to these rules or the Sweepstakes. In the event of any conflict between these Official Rules and any Sweepstakes information provided elsewhere (including but not limited in advertising or marketing materials), these Official Rules shall prevail.
  8. USE OF INFORMATION: Personal information supplied is subject to applicable data protection laws and Sponsor’s Privacy Notice at https://us.macmillan.com/privacy-notice. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants acknowledge that they have read Sponsor’s Privacy Notice and hereby agree to Sponsor’s collection and use of their personal information in accordance with such laws and Privacy Notice.

  9. WINNER NAME AND RULES REQUESTS: For the name(s) of the winner(s), which will be available two weeks after the conclusion of the Entry Period, or a copy of these Official Rules, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic Sweepstakes, Tom Doherty Associates, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. Winner name requests must be received by Sponsor within six months after the conclusion of the Entry Period.
  10. SPONSOR: Tom Doherty Associates, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. The Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Instagram.

    ©2018 Macmillan Publishers. All rights reserved.







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No Mother Tongue: Language in the World of Magic

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. SchwabWritten by V. E. Schwab

I am not a linguist—I barely speak French, and that’s after studying it for four years—but I knew from the outset that the Shades of Magic series would feature not only multiple Londons, but multiple languages.

As a writer who has to construct a world before she can fathom the people who live within it, it was only natural that, to understand the insiders of my myriad realities, I’d have to understand how they spoke. Were they the kind of people who had a dozen words for love? Or no word for God? How did they say hello? Farewell?

Words are, of course, the building blocks of stories. But they’re also a key facet of setting, of character, and, when it comes to fantasy, of world. Stories are populated with insiders and outsiders, and the existence of a language to which readers aren’t instantly privy emphasizes that they do not belong. It slows our introduction to the world, but does not prevent it. Instead, readers are forced to learn as they go, just as travelers would, when passing through a foreign land.

Languages don’t only serve as gatekeepers to readers; they play the same function within the narrative. They can make characters feel excluded. Lila Bard finds herself in a London where her own language is a mark of royalty and where she cannot grasp the common tongue. Kell is constantly frustrated by the fact people refer to him as aven—blessed—or vares—prince. And then, of course, there’s the language that only Kell speaks: a tongue that marks his gift as Antari, and isolates him further.

There are differences between the fictional languages within the book, each invariably invoking some real-world echo in our minds. The people of Red London speak a tongue that is sibilant and smooth, whereas in the harsh climate of White London, they speak a guttural one, and Grey London, our stand-in for the real world, becomes both familiar in its Englishness, and foreign as, over the course of the series, we spend more time with other tongues.

One of the most exciting things for me, as a writer, has been the eagerness with which readers have sought to learn certain phrases, to memorize the meaning of Kell’s spell words or the common greeting between princes, or even some of Calla’s more obscure expressions. While the majority of oft-quoted phrases are in Lila’s common English, it’s an extraordinary thing to see a fan sign off a letter with As Travars. Used poorly, fictional languages can feel like a wall, preventing all but the well-versed from feeling included in a world. But used well, they can invite the readers to become part of a world they love, transforming from a barricade into an open door.

Order Your Copy

ibooks2 5

Follow V. E. Schwab on Twitter at @veschwab, on Facebook, and on her website.

post-featured-image

No Mother Tongue: Language in the world of Magic

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Written by V. E. Schwab

I am not a linguist—I barely speak French, and that’s after studying it for four years—but I knew from the outset that the Shades of Magic series would feature not only multiple Londons, but multiple languages.

As a writer who has to construct a world before she can fathom the people who live within it, it was only natural that, to understand the insiders of my myriad realities, I’d have to understand how they spoke. Were they the kind of people who had a dozen words for love? Or no word for God? How did they say hello? Farewell?

Words are, of course, the building blocks of stories. But they’re also a key facet of setting, of character, and, when it comes to fantasy, of world. Stories are populated with insiders and outsiders, and the existence of a language to which readers aren’t instantly privy emphasizes that they do not belong. It slows our introduction to the world, but does not prevent it. Instead, readers are forced to learn as they go, just as travelers would, when passing through a foreign land.

Languages don’t only serve as gatekeepers to readers; they play the same function within the narrative. They can make characters feel excluded. Lila Bard finds herself in a London where her own language is a mark of royalty and where she cannot grasp the common tongue. Kell is constantly frustrated by the fact people refer to him as aven—blessed—or vares—prince. And then, of course, there’s the language that only Kell speaks: a tongue that marks his gift as Antari, and isolates him further.

There are differences between the fictional languages within the book, each invariably invoking some real-world echo in our minds. The people of Red London speak a tongue that is sibilant and smooth, whereas in the harsh climate of White London, they speak a guttural one, and Grey London, our stand-in for the real world, becomes both familiar in its Englishness, and foreign as, over the course of the series, we spend more time with other tongues.

One of the most exciting things for me, as a writer, has been the eagerness with which readers have sought to learn certain phrases, to memorize the meaning of Kell’s spell words or the common greeting between princes, or even some of Calla’s more obscure expressions. While the majority of oft-quoted phrases are in Lila’s common English, it’s an extraordinary thing to see a fan sign off a letter with As Travars. Used poorly, fictional languages can feel like a wall, preventing all but the well-versed from feeling included in a world. But used well, they can invite the readers to become part of a world they love, transforming from a barricade into an open door.

Preorder A Gathering of Shadows today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow V. E. Schwab on Twitter at @veschwab, on Facebook, and on her website.

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A Spectrum of Worlds

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Written by V. E. Schwab

Setting.

To most writers, it’s a backdrop, to some even an afterthought, but to me, it’s always been a character. Setting is one of the very first—if not THE first—thing that comes to me when I’m writing a book. It’s not that I don’t care about the other pieces—the people and the plot and what have you—it’s that for me, as a writer and a reader, setting IS one of the most important aspects, and it’s always integral to the plot.

Sometimes, its importance is obvious, as in Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, in which a second London lurks under the surface of the first, or Andy Weir’s The Martian, set entirely on the surface of Mars. It might be a time as well as a place, as in Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, in which Ursula is continuously reliving the years leading up to World War II. Other times, it’s built into the fabric of the story in other ways, like Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, set across a Canadian expanse after an apocalyptic disease. Or perhaps it creates a framework for the plot, as with Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train. Whatever the form it takes, and whatever the framework is fantasy, thriller, dystopian, historical, the fact remains that a good setting is a living, breathing element, a character all its own.

My newest book, A Darker Shade of Magic, houses not one but FOUR versions of London (Grey, Red, White, and Black), and each one takes a different shape: Grey the mundane world, Red the magical empire, White the wasteland, and Black the source of all power.

In essence, A Darker Shade of Magic—or ADSoM for short—gave me a chance to turn my setting into not only a character, but an entire supporting cast. Through the four iterations of London, bound together by only a name, I was able to explore not only time, but also space, and the ways that different actions shape the world in which they happen. The color terms and relative absence/presence of magic are not the only things that set the Londons apart. Though each ones occupies the same geographical footprint, with the Thames (or the Isle, or the Siljt) at its heart, each city was inspired by a different part of the world, a different aesthetic, a different breed of empire. The worlds sit, layered like pages of paper in a book.

Grey London, which you could call the template, is based on the world as we know it, modeled on early 19th century England, with its smoke-clogged streets and its ailing mad king. If there was magic once, it has been forgotten.

The crown jewel of the worlds, Red London, features a plush, eastern motif, full of spires and night markets, spices and luxury. Here magic thrives, woven into every part of life, respected by some, worshiped by others, and used by all.

Its neighbor, White London, a world once more powerful than Red, is now slowing dying, starved out by the magic it tries to control. It has the arctic air of the far north, ruled a pair of wolf-like twins, Astrid and Athos.

And Black London, well, no one knows. The site of a magical catastrophe, and sealed off from the other worlds, it’s the city known only through bedtime stories and nursery rhymes. Until now.

The characters are as much a product of their setting as anything else. The main characters, Kell and Lila, come from different Londons. Kell, a magician with the rare ability to move between worlds, belongs to the elite and fantastical Red London, while Lila has grown up as a street rat-turned thief in the magic-less Grey world. To them we add the Danes, the rulers of White London, desperate to hold on to power, and their servant, Holland, bound not by will, but by magic.

I’m a firm believer that when crafting a story, the world—or worlds—in which it’s set must come before the characters. It must shape them. For what are people, if not the product of their environments? A setting is wasted when it simply exists to fill the space behind the action. Similarly, when the characters and the world in which they live are bound by nothing more than convenience.

The characters of ADSoM are diverse, and so are the settings they occupy. When you step into the book, you step into several worlds, each one different, but all connected, as tangled with each other as the kings and queens, magicians, smugglers, and thieves who roam them. They are a strange cast, my Londons, but I can’t wait for you to meet them all.

Buy A Darker Shade of Magic today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow V. E. Schwab on Twitter at @veschwab, on Facebook, or visit the magical Londons online.

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