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The Almanac: PON Edition / ARC: TDTCB Chapter 16
« Last post by TheCulminatingApe on July 22, 2018, 05:42:21 pm »
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Those of us who survived will always be bewildered when we recall is arrival.  And not just because he was so different then.  In a strange sense he never changed.  We changed.  If he seems so different to us know, it is because he was the figure that transformed the ground.
- DRUASA ACHAMIAM, COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR
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It seems like the answer must be yes. Rather I should say that the Consult believes it can be. If they did not believe it could be, they would probably be working on eternal or as-long-as-possible life extension technologies and not bothering with Earwa.

This also means that Kellhus' beliefs about his fate in the outside, as observed in the Inverse Fire, might be inaccurate. It's not clear what determines whether one descends as a hunger. But I'd guess the accumulation of power and possibly arcane might are involved. Did he accumulate enough before Kelmomas, invisibly to the gods, caused his demise?
Not per se, but Eternity itself can be changed, i.e. Kellhus spoke true at least at the instant of him uttering those words, but later events caused by the No-God might've changed it I think. It's hard to say.
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General Misc. / Re: BFK's Music Corner
« Last post by NutFlinging-Lorax on July 20, 2018, 03:25:09 am »
First gig with my new band in 2 days. It's been about 8 years since I've been in a band....never thought that I'd saddle up again. Good friends, good times. Cheers!
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Literature / Re: Yearly Targets 2018
« Last post by MSJ on July 19, 2018, 10:36:30 pm »
Quote from:  Wilshire
MSJ, just thought you might find this amusing regarding Codex Alera (from wikipedia):
The inspiration for the series came from a bet Butcher was challenged to by a member of the Del Rey Online Writer's Workshop. The challenger bet that Butcher could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and he countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger's choosing. The "lame" ideas given were "Lost Roman Legion", and "Pokémon".

That's very interesting. I thought it was a great series nonetheless. Awesome that he could come up with such a great story off of two lame ideas though.
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I'm not quite sure what you are proposing?

That sins committed out of the view of the gods don't damn one's soul?

I don't think this is true.  Once the No-God is active, we are told that the gods can still see, they are simply cut off from the harvesting of souls.  Ergo, it would seem to stand to reason that you soul is still damned, it just never gets reaped by a god, if the No-God intercedes.  This also explains the still-births, being that the Great Cycle of Souls does indeed cease to function while the No-God is active.
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It seems like the answer must be yes. Rather I should say that the Consult believes it can be. If they did not believe it could be, they would probably be working on eternal or as-long-as-possible life extension technologies and not bothering with Earwa.

This also means that Kellhus' beliefs about his fate in the outside, as observed in the Inverse Fire, might be inaccurate. It's not clear what determines whether one descends as a hunger. But I'd guess the accumulation of power and possibly arcane might are involved. Did he accumulate enough before Kelmomas, invisibly to the gods, caused his demise?
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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB Chapter 15
« Last post by TheCulminatingApe on July 18, 2018, 07:52:22 pm »
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"...Zealous men often confuse purity with intolerance, particularly when they're young"
Though Achamian suspected matters were a great deal more complicated, he said only, "You've been reading again, haven't you?"
;D

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...It's a possibility that saves me, that drives me to continue.  What if? I ask myself.  What if this Holy War is in fact divine, a good in and of itself?

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This is what you bring to me?  One of your spies is executed - for spying! - and you suspect that Maithanet - the greatest Shriah in generations! - conspires with the Consult? ...

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"and this brings us to the rub, doesn't it Achamian?"
Achamian could only stare in bewilderment.  There was something more, something he was forgetting... When did he become such an old fool?
"Rub?" he managed to ask.  "What rub?"
"The difference between knowing and feeling.  Between knowledge and faith."  Proyas caught his bowl and downed it as though punishing the wine.  "You know, I remember asking you about the God once, many years ago.  Do you remember what you said?"
Achamian shook his head.
"'I've heard many rumours,' you said, 'but I've never met the man.'"
...
"Anyway," Proyas continued hesitantly, " my point is this: What you said of my God, you must say of your Consult as well.  All you have are rumours, Achamian.  Faith.  You know nothing of what you speak."
"What are you saying?"
His voice hardened. "Faith is the truth of passion, Achamian, and no passion is more true than another.  And that means there's no possibility you could speak that I could consider, no fear you could summon that could be more true than my adoration.  There can be no discourse between us."

Akka is out-argued and out-reasoned by his pupil, his 'boy', who then utterly rejects him.
The whole rationale behind Akka's life is what he dreams every night - he 'knows' they are true because of what they make him feel, but the truth of the dreams cannot be proven to others.  Only those who touch Seswatha's heart can share them - esoteric or secret knowledge - Gnostic.
The conflict between faith and intellect cuts to the heart of what this series is all about.  As is suggested in earlier Chapters and as we are about to see demonstrated by Kellhus, faith can be manipulated by the clever.

We get the dream with 'an Anasurimbor will return at the ending of the world'.  And lo and behold...

A section with Esmenet.
The beautiful blond man seems to be possessed. After they have sex, he comes across as a completely different person.  Yet he spills black seed.  Is he the same being as the one that spilt the black seed in the previous Chapter?  'Sarcellus' does not have black seed, or Esmi would surely flee.  Therefore what are the 'black seed' things?  I think it is later confirmed that they are one of the Inchoroi - although we have learnt anything up to this point that would confirm that.
Are the Consult trying to manipulate Esmi to such a point that she will betray Akka to them - I think this is intimated as such in an earlier chapter?  Or is this just foreshadowing her betrayal of Akka with Kellhus?

Proyas comes across as rather hypocritical.  In a previous Chapter he won't see Akka, but then does.  Then he doesn't ever want to see Akka again, but asks him back within a week.

More on faith, as a follow up to the previous dialogue
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"There's faith that knows itself as faith, Proyas, and there's faith that that confuses itself for knowledge.  The first embraces uncertainty, acknowledges the mysteriousness of the God.  It begets compassion and tolerance.  Who can entirely condemn when they're not entirely certain they're in the right?  But the second, Proyas, the second embraces certainty and pays lip service to the God's mystery.  It begets intolerance, hatred, violence..."
Proyas can only respond be quoting scripture, but really he has no answer, and he knows it.

Do the Dunyain embrace uncertainty and mysteriousness?  Pretty sure their whole purpose is to eliminate such things.  Faith is not relevant to them, and hence they have become spiritually weak. 
I'd suggest faith requires hope (or belief), not cold rationality. 

Akka notes that thousands and thousands will die in the Holy War,  maybe Xinemus, his only friend.  A quite tragic piece of foreshadowing.

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... Achamian heard Iryssas chiding the Norsirai about his appearance, as though the man were a bond brother rather than a foreigner about to meet his prince...
Kellhus already up to his tricks.

Cnaiur tries to sell Proyas a story that his 'land has repudiated him' he has 'renounced his land' and he has come to sell his expertise to the Holy War.  It is never made clear whether Proyas actually believes this, but irrespective Proyas needs the Scylvendi as a 'surrogate for Conphas'.

Akka shares a look with Kellhus and
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... Unaccountably, he thought: Him... The answer lies with him
.  Kellhus can manipulate even by expression.

Akka suggests Cnaiur's real reason for coming south is to get revenge on Conphas.

Proyas asks
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..., but why would you come here?  Why would a Scylvendi cross the Empire of all places?  Why would a heathen join a Holy War?"

Then... 'a resonant voice',
a man whose 'bearing was imperious despite the rags clothing him'
'one steeped in a life of absolute authority'
'moderated somehow by hardship and sorrow'
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"I am Anasurimbor Kellhus, son of Moenghus,"  the man said in heavily accented Sheyic.  "A prince of the north.  Of Atrithau."

The penny drops.
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"A powerful name."
"I cannot speak for my blood."
I do wonder why the name Anasurimbor seems to have little impact on anyone other than Achamian.  I'm pretty sure the tales of the Apocalypse are well known, certainly amongst the nobility.  The arrival of a man with the same family name of the high kings of Kuniuri, should raise eyebrows at the very least.

Akka gets the flash backs to the dream earlier in the Chapter.  Here maybe is the proof that Proyas thought he lacked.

Why is Kellhus here?
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"... How could you have known of the Holy War?
Hesitation, as though he were both frightened and unconvinced by what he was about to say.  "Dreams.  Someone sent me dreams"
This cannot be!
"Someone?  Who?"
The man could not answer.
The implication from the final silence is that Kellhus' dreams are of divine origin.  He is manipulating Proyas' faith.  The actual source of the dreams are of course Moenghus - i.e. intellect.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Targets 2018
« Last post by Wilshire on July 18, 2018, 12:26:09 pm »
Ilium by Dan Simmons (23)
Well, finished this as quickly as I could stand. It was just nowhere near as good as Hyperion. The writing was bland - I suspect in a style somewhat similar to the Iliad itself, but it was uninteresting. Too much time spent on actions, not enough on setting, plot, characters, etc. At least for me. I think I'll hold off on another Simmons book for some time.

The Time Machine by H G Wells (24)
More of a short story really, but better done than Ilium lol. This is a fun read, anyone interested in scifi should check this out - its a classic.

These are some of the books I'd like to read the rest of the year. At my current pace, I should get through all of them.

I'd like to get to these few first before the others:
Red Rising (Red Rising 1) by Pierce Brown
The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan
The Emperor's Blades by Brian Stavely
Black Company by Glen Cook
Lord Foul's Bane (Thomas Covenant 1) by Stephen Donaldson
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Then these, in no particular order
Shards of Honor (vorkosigan saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
Viriconium by M. John Harrison
Dreamsnake by Vonda Mcintyre
Starburst by Fredrik Pohl
The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski
A Canticle of Lebowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
The Broken God (A requiem for Homo Sapiens) by David Zindell
Furies of Calderon(Codex Alera 1) by Jim Butcher
Hidden Empire (Saga of Seven Suns) by Kevin J Anderson
Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy) by Robin Hobb
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower) by Stephen King



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Literature / Re: Yearly Targets 2018
« Last post by NutFlinging-Lorax on July 18, 2018, 04:10:33 am »
I've got quite a bit of Simmons' recent fiction on my shelf. None of it gets much rereading action, but that doesn't signify a lack of cogency. Perhaps I need to revisit the novels. "The Fifth Heart", his most recent, I think, is a historical fiction that pairs Sherlock Holmes and Henry James (!). "Drood", another HF, featured Wilkie Collins (author of "The Moonstone") as the laudanum-addled protagonist. A meditation on drug-fueled insanity. Recommended.
Almost done with Illium and I'm really disappointed. The Hyperion Cantos was such a masterpiece for me, maybe I had too high expectations.

I, too, think that the Hyperion books are a cut above most of Dan Simmons' fiction. Both "Drood" and "The Fifth Heart" are historical thrillers, maybe better than most, maybe not. I can't recommend them to Hyperion devotees.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Targets 2018
« Last post by Wilshire on July 17, 2018, 06:48:12 pm »
Finished First Lord's Fury(6) by Jim Butcher, The Codex Alera series. Wonderful finish to a great series. Predictable in a sense, and in other ways not so much. I would recommend to anyone. 4 out of 5 stars.

MSJ, just thought you might find this amusing regarding Codex Alera (from wikipedia):
The inspiration for the series came from a bet Butcher was challenged to by a member of the Del Rey Online Writer's Workshop. The challenger bet that Butcher could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and he countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger's choosing. The "lame" ideas given were "Lost Roman Legion", and "Pokémon".[1]

Fairly said, H.

I've got quite a bit of Simmons' recent fiction on my shelf. None of it gets much rereading action, but that doesn't signify a lack of cogency. Perhaps I need to revisit the novels. "The Fifth Heart", his most recent, I think, is a historical fiction that pairs Sherlock Holmes and Henry James (!). "Drood", another HF, featured Wilkie Collins (author of "The Moonstone") as the laudanum-addled protagonist. A meditation on drug-fueled insanity. Recommended.
Almost done with Illium and I'm really disappointed. The Hyperion Cantos was such a masterpiece for me, maybe I had too high expectations.
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