The Second Apocalypse

Earwa => General Earwa => Topic started by: Wilshire on October 03, 2013, 01:13:49 pm

Title: TSTSNBN
Post by: Wilshire on October 03, 2013, 01:13:49 pm
TSTSNBN

For those of you that don't know, it is an acronym that Bakker uses to describe the series that will come after The Unholy Consult. It stands for "The Series That Shall Not Be Named".

I guess this is a speculative topic about what might it contain, and why even naming it would spoil the books before it.


I had a thought last night after reading Bakker's most recent blog post (http://rsbakker.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/the-four-goads-at-the-crossroads/) discussing TUC, probably sparked by his answer to some of the comments. Specifically:
Quote
Thanks, litg. The end of TAE is the end of the tale as I originally conceived it decades ago. All the plot threads from the two trilogies are cinched into a kind of Gordian knot (I fear you’ll have to wait to see what I mean). Fate had forbidden any mention of the two books I have planned after this.
.... so then what would be left for the books afterwards? (btw see wiki about Gordian Knot: It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem (disentangling an "impossible" knot) solved easily by cheating or "thinking outside the box" ("cutting the Gordian knot"):"

I thought that maybe the final books could be something like companion novels. Maybe they would follow the same story from a different perspective. Then I though, well who could that possibly be? I could think of the following: Moenghus, Kellhus, the Nonmen, the Inchoroi, the other Consult member(s), or the Gods themselves. Once we find out who/what is the master manipulator, the ultimate conditioner (I don't mean Herbal Essence), which I now thing is likely to happen by the end of TUC, I think that we will get a book with a master POV. Someone or something that has been pulling the strings for decades, centuries, or millennium.

That of course assumes that TUC does come to some kind of conclusion, though given the statement that sparked these thoughts I would not consider that a given.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Madness on October 03, 2013, 01:45:03 pm
I'll say the same thing I said on Westeros.

I think it's a complete tale as I know exactly how concerned Bakker is about endings.

Firstly, the evidence.  Bakker had the 'seed idea' for TSA as a teenager some 25ish years ago. TSA was conceived as a trilogy at some point when the conception of actually writing it occured and then it became the behemoth masterwork it is becoming as it was written. TDTCB is published a decade ago next year, leaving almost two decades in the interim between 'seed idea' and publication of TDTCB, which had that point was decided to begin a trilogy of it's own.

My guess is that the story grew beyond the 'seed idea' in the interim years.

TUC is where all our disparate ambiguity is bound by the Gordian Knot. It's also ironic that the Gordian Knot is a metaphor including Alexander as its master, which would seem to signify Kellhus. TUC ties all our ragged speculations, our blind analogies, together into the Knot... TSTSNBN will cut it.

Also, I asked Bakker whether he thought that the spoiler title wouldn't ruin it for newcomers to the series later. Though, we most certainly get the best ride.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Wilshire on October 03, 2013, 02:39:21 pm
Though, we most certainly get the best ride.

Yeah, I mean we had to wait in the interminably long line to sit in the front car of this roller coaster, but I submit that it will be well worth it.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Somnambulist on October 03, 2013, 03:13:26 pm
Though, we most certainly get the best ride.

Yeah, I mean we had to wait in the interminably long line to sit in the front car of this roller coaster, but I submit that it will be well worth it.

Agreed.  I want it now, but I will wait for it (however tooth-grindingly frustrating that may be) because it's the only series I actually relish.  Nothing else I've read has ever inspired or challenged me to the same degree.  Bakker has pretty much ruined me on other authors, the bastard.

As to the point of your post, I'm not qualified in disentangling the literary/philosophical depths of the story, but speculating is my forte.   :)  So, what about the title of the third series is so spoilerific that we can't know what it is?  Following on from the current naming conventions (The Prince of Nothing, The Aspect-Emperor), one has to assume it is titled after Kellhus' next incarnation, whatever that may be.  I'm sure when we finally learn what it is, it'll be a forehead slapping moment of 'It was so obvious! Why didn't I see that?', but then again may be not.  That being said, I have a couple of guesses for the record:

1) The Absolute
2) The God-Sorcerer (which I might be leaning toward)
3) The Dancer-in-the-Dark (wherein Kellhus is revealed to be Onkhis, who comes before everyone; I know that Onkhis is supposed to be female-aspected, but I'm going with it anyway)

I hope this post isn't outside of your intent.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Wilshire on October 03, 2013, 03:43:28 pm
I guess this is a speculative topic about what might it contain, and why even naming it would spoil the books before it.

So you're good.

I never thought the titles that way. Already at forehead slap moment.
I could see this potentially going either way: Another step up the ladder of power, or falling off completely.

It could be something regarding Kellhus dominating over the outside, since we whet from king of nothing, to king of all humanity, then to king of everything... or whatever remained. That would make the title something like The Ruler of Darkness, signifying that he now comes before everything. Or maybe if there is some kind of successful sealing of the outside, he could simply become the only god within the borders of Earwa

Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Somnambulist on October 03, 2013, 07:45:54 pm
How about The God of Darkness?  It would go along with Bakker's systematic destruction of tropes in that you would inherently believe that a god of darkness would be evil, but taken within the context of the story, it just means that he is the one who comes before everything else.  This is all assuming Kel, in fact, becomes a god, and that he isn't inherently evil.  He might not, and he may be.  Thematically, I like that since Kel metaphorically came from darkness, then would end up the ultimate darkness, preceding everything.

I kinda go on little trips in my head with assumptions.  Sometimes they're interstellar.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Wilshire on October 03, 2013, 08:00:28 pm
Kellhus went from Prince to Emperor... is there another step up from there that would fit into the title somewhere? Though if you consider something like the Divine Right of Kings, then really God is the logical next step.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Francis Buck on October 03, 2013, 09:16:38 pm
Assuming the duology is indeed a direct extension of the last two trilogies, then I feel pretty confident it will be named after whatever god-like form Kellhus takes, with the knee-jerk reaction (for me anyway) being the No-God. Though I'm not particularly enamoured with this idea, it does fit. Obviously it would be a twist, but there would also be some poetic symmetry with the Prince of Nothing becoming, essentially, the God of Nothing (I'm personally of the mind that, absurd as it might seem, the No-God is at least partially intended to be an "anthropomorphization of nothingness", as others have speculated).

That being said, The Awoken God or The World Soul, or some similar riff on those ideas, seem like a distinct possibility as well.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Wilshire on October 03, 2013, 10:32:15 pm
My largest issue with that whole idea is that... well... it makes sense. It is too faintly hidden. People have said that kellhus is the no-god since the very beginning, or at least have claimed too. It would be almost an anti-climax if this is how it turned out. Maybe "anti-climax" is too strong, but I would be marginally disappointed.


I now believe that the final series will indeed be named after whatever happens to Kellhus, this seems logical. It does fill the criteria of spoiler.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Borque on October 04, 2013, 11:23:39 am
My theory is that it's going to be named "The Glory of the Victorious Consult", which is kind of a spoiler.

Scott is going to shift genres a bit on us, and give us 1,000+ pages of highly detailed rape alien erotica. Quite possibly there isn't going to be any plot at all to distract the reader, since TUC is going to tie everything up so nicely.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Wilshire on October 04, 2013, 12:32:47 pm
Its possible, but since he did use Gordian Knot to describe how he's going to finish things up, I imagine that everything won't be as clear as you'd think. But hey if he really wants to break genres, there arn't a ton of SFF-erotica novels out there, or at least not ones that are 1000+ pages. Maybe that will be his big break?
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Madness on October 04, 2013, 01:20:16 pm
Lol, Borque.

We'll see what TUC brings. I actually think my head may explode while I read this book.

But if I'm to survive and speculate, the only contention I have now is that I don't think we'll see the aftermath of the Ordeal losing.

/Nerdanel

Kellhus, and possibly others, will go and have another plot-crushing conversation in Golgotterath while the Ordeal and the Consult minions do battle.

Kellhus decides whether or not to help resurrect the No-God, either before or after looking at the Inverse Fire - and my guess is that his ambiguity will be pushed to monumental heights because we'll have a piece of his perspective again but only the decision and none of the underlying rationale.

No-God walks. Weapon Races are of One Will. Cut-scene.

TSTSNBN will start with Achamian having fought in the wars of the Second Apocalypse for whatever number of years (Ancient North and Kyraneas hold out much longer than Three-Seas can after their Great Ordeal - Zuem X-Factor, obviously - so I can't see that being longer than a decade or so).

Kellhus is presumed dead after Dagliash. Kayutas, Zsoronga, and Sorweel fight the Consult in the North, roaming with the Zombie Great Ordeal.

Esmenet sits on the throne as Empress, having defeated Fanayal and sued for peace with Zuem before all sense the No-God's dread presence across the horizon.

/End Nerdanel
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: locke on October 06, 2013, 07:05:48 am
nah, Esme will pour poison in Kellhus ear after Kelmomas convinces her that Kellhus only ever loved Serwe.  the poison will not quite kill him and he'll be delivered to the Consult.  But Esme will die at the end of TUC, as well as Achamian, neither will survive to the final duology becuase their story will be finished.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Madness on October 06, 2013, 05:06:22 pm
Nerdanel, I know, but if she survives Kelmomas, Esmenet is never going to love again - unless Bakker can sell us on "true love" with Achamian and Esmenet. But I somehow really can't see them doing the slow-motion running reunion.

Obviously, she is still making very poor, love-motivated decisions regarding Kelmomas.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Callan S. on October 08, 2013, 12:57:45 am
Saying Kellhus is the no-god is like saying the butler did it, without reading the book on why or how he did it, or even if he did it.

Scott refers to it as a cosmological who dunnit? Do you just skip to the last page of a whodunnit?
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Wilshire on October 08, 2013, 02:46:28 am
Saying Kellhus is the no-god is like saying the butler did it, without reading the book on why or how he did it, or even if he did it.

Scott refers to it as a cosmological who dunnit? Do you just skip to the last page of a whodunnit?

I don't think what was said was that out of line...  Francis Buck just said it was a knee-jerk reaction...
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Kellais on October 08, 2013, 10:46:39 am
Well, i was also convinced that the last series will be called The No God for a loong time now....and that Kellhus will most probably be the No God by then. Lets face it, he isn't human for half of the Prince of Nothing...we do not see that much of him in TAE...but i don't think he has become a nice fellow since PON so... .

Oh and un-knoting knots is not that difficult if you can shift dimensions...which Kellhus will be able to after TUC....  ;)

As to the anti-climax if big K. will be No-God...well...i'm not sure. Because we think-in-circles like this "Scott has so clearly set this up this way that it cannnot be...or wait, did he know that we would think that and therefore it will be like this....or...." [add-nauseum] ... i could totally see Scott doing exactly that and laughing his ass off  ;D

Anyway, i hope we will see TUC asap and then we can start to speculate for real what the last series will be about.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Royce on October 08, 2013, 11:25:59 am
Quote
We'll see what TUC brings. I actually think my head may explode while I read this book.

Lol,I think this forum will blow up the internet when TUC arrives :)
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Garet Jax on October 08, 2013, 02:29:10 pm
Quote
We'll see what TUC brings. I actually think my head may explode while I read this book.

Lol,I think this forum will blow up the internet when TUC arrives :)

That is my hope Royce.  This forum is showing up more and more in my internet searches for all things Bakker.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Madness on October 08, 2013, 05:20:11 pm
Big +1 for sentiment.

I think we all have this general feeling that Bakker is going to be a huge success one-day. It'd be nice to be here for the Cultic Awakening ;).
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: locke on October 08, 2013, 05:37:19 pm
Saying Kellhus is the no-god is like saying the butler did it, without reading the book on why or how he did it, or even if he did it.

Scott refers to it as a cosmological who dunnit? Do you just skip to the last page of a whodunnit?
Well the title of the first series is "The No Prince" so I dunno if you even need to skip to the last page of the whodunnit, just read the cover and it gives away the ending.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Francis Buck on October 08, 2013, 05:43:09 pm
Saying Kellhus is the no-god is like saying the butler did it, without reading the book on why or how he did it, or even if he did it.

Scott refers to it as a cosmological who dunnit? Do you just skip to the last page of a whodunnit?

I don't think what was said was that out of line...  Francis Buck just said it was a knee-jerk reaction...

The other thing to consider is that we don't really know what the hell the No-God is at this point. Kellhus becoming the No-God could be one small part of a larger sequence of events (or even transformations on his part). But yeah, like I said, it's the knee-jerk reaction, and not one I particularly even like. I want Bakker to surprise me with a crazy twist as much as anyone, but even so it can still at least be considered for a moment.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Kellais on October 08, 2013, 07:13:59 pm
I want Bakker to surprise me with a crazy twist as much as anyone, but even so it can still at least be considered for a moment.

IMNSHO you do not have to be that defensive. Especially not just because one other random dude on the I-net disagrees with you or calls your idea too obvious. In the end, it wouldn't surprise me if Bakker surprises us in the way nobody thought...namely in not surprising us (ok, i know, that is too much circling thought for some...sue me ;) ).

As you said, it must not be the end-surprise at all...maybe Kellhus becomes the No God (kind-of-a-No-Surprise) but we are all surprised what this means and what we discover through the PoV of the newly awakened Dunyain-No-God. Who knows.

A "BIG surprise" (TM) just for the sake of a suprise/super-twist at the end is even more boring as a more predictable but more sensible solution, at least imo.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Francis Buck on October 08, 2013, 09:23:41 pm
I...didn't really think I was being defensive? If I came off that way then I apologize, I wasn't like, super-offended by Callan's post or anything, just kinda clarifying a point from my own earlier post and then adding another to the discussion.

ETA: Actually, something else I just thought of in the process; if we assume for the sake of discussion that the Solitary God is indeed the "sum of all souls", and that this is also the same as the Dunyain's Absolute (riffing off the real-world Gnostic concepts of the Monad as I have in other threads, which is also sometimes called The Absolute), then perhaps Kellhus intends to become and/or wield the No-God as a method of condensing all souls? What if the whole "144,000 souls left on Earwa" is sort of like a critical mass, and that once that's reached the No-God becomes a sort of "black hole for souls", one which does not stop growing/consuming until it has drawn every soul into itself, thus becoming the Solitary God? Don't know, lot of hand-wavery going on there, but it came to me in thinking of the topic at-hand.

Then again it would bring into question whether or not the Consult totally understood what they were doing with the No-God in the first place, or if they were wielding something beyond their comprehension (like using a nuke to kill an ant-colony).
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Callan S. on October 09, 2013, 07:07:46 pm
Saying Kellhus is the no-god is like saying the butler did it, without reading the book on why or how he did it, or even if he did it.

Scott refers to it as a cosmological who dunnit? Do you just skip to the last page of a whodunnit?

I don't think what was said was that out of line...  Francis Buck just said it was a knee-jerk reaction...
What do you mean by out of line? I'm trying to outline it's rather like skipping foreplay and trying to jump straight to the orgasm - when it's the journey that's really the bulk of the content, even if you can predict the ending.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Wilshire on October 09, 2013, 10:52:59 pm
Saying Kellhus is the no-god is like saying the butler did it, without reading the book on why or how he did it, or even if he did it.

Scott refers to it as a cosmological who dunnit? Do you just skip to the last page of a whodunnit?

I don't think what was said was that out of line...  Francis Buck just said it was a knee-jerk reaction...
What do you mean by out of line? I'm trying to outline it's rather like skipping foreplay and trying to jump straight to the orgasm - when it's the journey that's really the bulk of the content, even if you can predict the ending.

Just seemed a bit abrasive.  An uninformed guess and a well thought out hypothesis can come to the same conclusion, unilaterally condemning the answer feels insulting. Thats all.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Madness on October 10, 2013, 03:08:08 pm
Lol - what is even happening in this communication breakdown? Everyone feeling extra-slighted in their lives?

For what it's worth, many people over the years have concluded Kellhus is the No-God and weren't particularly upset by that seemingly inevitable conclusion. And if that turned out to be true and we all agree on it beforehand, well... we'd be about 10 goddamn people on the internet who saw it first, leaving Bakker's several thousand other ones who might not be so clever ;)?

But certainly, dismissal isn't evidence.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Wilshire on October 10, 2013, 09:35:57 pm
Maybe I'm just upset because I didn't see it originally :P
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Callan S. on October 11, 2013, 12:10:17 am
I didn't actually dismiss anything (except to raise the question of accuracy, briefly!), I'm just talking about how one enjoys things even when (one thinks) one knows the ending. I think a rereading of my post will show I'm really just giving a boring old 'it's about the journey, man!' homily. I will plead guilty to the charge of repeating a boring cliche!
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Garet Jax on November 01, 2013, 06:04:32 pm
The Solitary God/The No God

I have been of the mindset that the "gods" rise and fall in dominance/power based on their following.  I am basically going along the lines that all of the gods are Ciphrang of different power levels.

I think that since Fane had a whole nation supporting just one "god" it was making him more powerful than any single one of “the Hundred’ while the rest of the world either worshiped any of “the hundred”, the spaces in between like the Nonmen, or nothing at all.

Since the Dunyain could now have their hands in The Thousand Temples, Fanim Religion (I think Moe conditioned them to Kellhus' ultimate end), most of The Schools, The Dunyain (however many are left), The Great Ordeal… the list is pretty extensive at this point. Could it be possible that Kellhus has set himself up to be the next Solitary God with almost all of Earwa following him?  Which, if true, would make him pretty much eclipse all of the other Ciphrang in the outside?

The only difference between him becoming the No God and the Solitary God, is that he doesn't need to “shut out the world”, he would just create his own outside and dominate all others in the outside in the process. 

Side Tangent: IMO The No God is similar in definition.  They could have been trapping souls which would lead to an increase of power for the no god.  They were just stealing still born children and committing mass genocide to get their followers (in hopes to create their own "outside" in Earwa) while the Dunyain/Kellhus are doing it old school.



Feel free to swiss cheese me, it will only help.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Triskele on November 16, 2013, 05:13:39 am
Big +1 for sentiment.

I think we all have this general feeling that Bakker is going to be a huge success one-day. It'd be nice to be here for the Cultic Awakening ;).

You say these words, "cultic", and "awakening."  Why do you use them when you know that they are only meanings of description and promotion?
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Madness on November 16, 2013, 06:09:38 pm
I am becoming Madness.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Kellais on November 17, 2013, 02:19:09 pm
Quote
I think we all have this general feeling that Bakker is going to be a huge success one-day.

Hmm...interesting.
I have to be honest, i don't think he will. Or let me put it another way: define huge success?
I am not convinced he will ever be as successfull as Martin or Jordan. His books are just too...intense. I made the experience on many fantasy forums that most of the fantasy readers come to this genre seeking relaxing reading hours, something where they do not have to think too much. If you will, they want Brain-Popcorn from fantasy. Bakker (and other authors such as Erikson) are not that...they are the 7 course de-luxe menu that will need to be digested for hours, if you excuse the heavy-handed metaphor. And therefore it will be too complex and in need of too much work for many a reader, i'm afraid.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Madness on November 17, 2013, 02:23:11 pm
I have hope for the world, Kellais.

Curethan summed it up nicely in another thread. I can easily envision a world where Bakker becomes like Tolkien - but that might be after he's been done and dead, neh?
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: Kellais on November 17, 2013, 02:45:34 pm
Than you have a more positive picture of humankind than i do  ;)

Readers who are willing to heavily invest in reading (does that sentence make sense?) are dwindling, not growing, imo (i blame it on all the electronic medias).
Will he be recognized as an influence on our loved genre of fantasy...i think he will be (or maybe he already is?)...will he ever be as widely read as Tolkien or even Martin? I doubt it. And just to be clear: i think that is a shame. He is a very talented storyteller and he'd deserve much more readers.

But maybe that's going too much off-topic in this thread.
Title: Re: TSTSNBN
Post by: MG on April 01, 2014, 10:52:39 am
Imagine TSTSNBN set years after TUC with a dunyain/half-dunyain running a breeding program for the Few.  The Later Great Ordeal is just 300,000 sorcerers.

If Earwa's current timeline mirrors the First Apocalypse, then I guess we see the third books set in the south as the No-God destroys everything.  Esmi and whoever are left combine their forces with Zeum (who was curiously absent the first time--didn't they get the email?).  Search for the Heron Spear flounders or the weapon is destroyed in an act of betrayal right before Esmi fires it.

EDIT: If the series is set after AE, I want Kelmomas to be an insane Cishaurim.  Perhaps with the water, he'll finally feel like confronting his dad.