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Topics - Wilshire

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General Misc. / Malleus Maleficarum - Hammer of Witches,
« on: June 12, 2019, 07:47:23 pm »

Didn't know what to do with this, but found it interesting. Maybe FB or others would care to know the title.

General Misc. / Bakker's Ebay account
« on: April 15, 2019, 03:32:11 pm »
Bakker the Younger (R Scott Bakker's younger brother, Bryan) has an ebay account, Bakker3747.

As of this posting, the blurb says:
I plan to sell a variety of original items here over the coming years. Some on behalf of my brother and others for my own business. Thanks for taking the time to get to know me!

The account was opened in 2006 but had not ever listed anything for sale until today, May 15th, 2019.

Canvas Print of "Battle of Shimeh". 16''x36''
Description (from ebay):
Based on the landmark series of dark fantasy books by author R. Scott Bakker entitled, The Second Apocalypse (, this 'one in five' series is an absolute must for fans of the books and dark fantasy lovers alike. Dreamt into reality by Jason Deem, official artist for the series, each high quality canvas print (poly-cotton blend matte canvas, long-lasting epson archival inks, hand-stretched wrap over 1½” deep wood stretcher bars) depicts the "Battle of Shimeh" - the climatic final battle in book three of the opening trilogy. There will only ever be five of these prints in existence - one of them could be yours.

Opening bid is ~$1000 USD + $225 shipping.

FWIW, poly-cotten blend matte canvas is probably really nice from what I know of printing and paper. 1.5'' stretcher bars are typical.

Literature / Writing Prompt: The Overweight Elf
« on: March 27, 2019, 11:39:55 am »
Going to do some D&D, made an overweight elf named Crouton. Was wondering if anyone wanted to write a backstory. If it helps, he's a Battlemind, which I think is something of a melee class with magic to augment abilities. I dunno, pretty much rolled it all randomly (except the weight and the name, thought it'd be funny.)

If you want to write a backstory, please do :P .

Literature / Books for Sale
« on: March 18, 2019, 11:23:42 pm »
Books for Sale. Let me know if any of you fine folks are interested.

Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, Grim Oak Press #806 (leather, includes large foldout map)

Red Rising by Pierce Brown, Subterranean Press #104
Golden Sun by Pierce Brown, Subterranean Press #104
Morning Star by Pierce Brown, Subterranean Press #104

Against the Fall of Night by Arthur C Clarke, Centipede Press #133
The City and the Stars by Arthur C Clarke, Centipede Press #133

Abbadon’s Gate by James SA Corey, Subterranean Press #183
Cibola Burn by James SA Corey, Subterranean Press #183
Nemesis Game by James SA Corey, Subterranean Press #183
Babylon’s Ashes by James SA Corey, Subterranean Press #183

Reapers Gale by Steven Erikson, Subterranean Press #20
Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson, Subterranean Press #20

Rejoice A Knife To The Heart by Steven Erikson, Gollancz Signed

Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence, Grim Oak Press Omnibus Limited Edition

Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon, Subterranean Press (Slipcase) #158

Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock, Centipede Press #183
The Fortress of the Pearl by Michael Moorcock, Centipede Press #183
The Sailor on the Seas of Fate by Michael Moorcock, Centipede Press #183

Medusa’s Web by Tim Powers, Subterranean Press #464

Ilium by Dan Simmons, Subterranean Press #695
Olympus by Dan Simmons, Subterranean Press #259
Summer of Night by Dan Simmons, Subterranean Press #241

All Clear by Connie Willis, Subterranean Press #494

Philosophy & Science / Genetic Engineering the future
« on: August 07, 2018, 04:30:47 pm »

First couple paragraphs:
Long-term spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit and the Van Allen belts exceeds NASA’s current bounds of “acceptable risk.” Barring an unlikely series of technological tricks—including an expedited route, radiation shielding inside the spacecraft, subsurface quarters on the planet, and a hurried return—our biology is incompatible with a Mars mission. Permanent colonies there or farther out are unthinkable.

But serious biologists, including some who work with NASA, have begun to ask whether humans could be genetically altered for space travel. Their queries prompt more profound questions about our responsibilities and duties in the next phase of human evolution.

Their proposals are also richly ironic. A defining characteristic of our species is our mania for expansion. Other homins didn’t share it, so far as we know; our Neanderthal cousins, with whom we lived for 5,000 years, never left Eurasia. With us, exploration is a mad compulsion. Think of how many frail corracles and canoes set out with only the hope of land to populate all the islands of the seas!

Mars is next. But we may have to employ all our technology to create an inheritor species to satisfy our longings.

Interesting article. And I agree with the proposition that genetic engineering the the path we'll take to the future, out of both want and necessity. The proposition to do it for the good of humanity for astronaut-pioneers is as good a starting point as any.

Probably my favorite line, in response to the question " would it be ethical to call into existence a new people who had no say in their own design?"
none of us chooses our inheritance; we are all the products of our parents.

Literature / Book Recommendation compendium
« on: January 31, 2018, 04:54:00 pm »
A collections of a variety of threads regarding book recommendations of all kinds from members here on the forum or pointing to lists elsewhere.

Science fiction recommendations
SFF Rec by Academic Philosophers
Rec Thread
Sci Fi series as good as The Second Apocalypse?
Science Fiction - I need some recs
"To Read" - forum suggestions (and others)
New Titles?

Literature / Jay Kristoff Nevernight
« on: January 15, 2018, 02:49:02 pm »
Jay Kristoff's Nevernight (book 1) & Godsgrave (book 2)

Anyone read? I've seen it show up a couple of times recently and Goldsboro is having a sale for a matching numbered set of the first two, which brought it up again. I think I've heard good things about it generally, but not specifically by anyone whose opinion I weigh heavily in terms of reading choices. So I ask the good people here. Likey, no-likey, and why?

General Earwa / Newborn babies and mothers in TSA
« on: December 28, 2017, 03:19:06 pm »
100% of mothers and babies are holy.

100% of mothers that Mimara sees via TJE are holy, despite living egregiously 'sinful'  lives.
100% of babies, unborn/alive at least, that were seen via TJE were holy. Arguably, the most holy thing she ever saw was her child in the womb.

Further discussion:
Its long been speculated that Serwe the Innocent was holy. Guess what, she died a recent mother. Something about her angelic-ness and cruel death, coupled with her love for Kellhus, turned him into a real prophet.
Innocence has been discussed for a long time as the reason for holiness. The baby that TJE sees is born without sin, ie with a light so pure it nearly blinded Mimara.
So, I'll take bakker's "shocked" reaction at the baby-jesus-kellhus-reincarnation-'theory' (to him ridiculously and completely false) and the "obvious" thing he claims we missed as confirmation of this. Probably, imo, the reason for this reaction is that the baby itself isn't necerrily unique and special, but fits a rule. The rule being innocence is holy, and the newborn child has yet had a chance to damn itself, which is why it shone so bright under TJE's scrutiny.

Would also like to add that there is a dichotomy, that Esmi herself points out directly to us, regarding sorcery and childbirth. She specifically says that childbirth is like a Cant, except it creates rather than destroys. Not much of a leap to say that Sorcery itself is damnable because of how it destroys, and the inverse is that is creating life makes the caster holy.

Since using sorcery appears to leave an indelible mark, maybe childbirth leaves one similarly, but inversely, marked. Could be its a special mark for Yatwer and she has a nice slice of heaven for all those women to made life.

General Earwa / Narrative shifts in perspective
« on: October 27, 2017, 02:08:22 pm »
Nearly the entire novel is told in third person, but there are a small number of standouts that go against this for some unknown reason.

Present Tense
Mimara: Present tense - From her very first POV and throughout, she is notably the only major POV we get that is written like this.

Yatwer - She appears, very briefly, as an avatar in WLW, and she few lines are written the same way as Mimara.

Second Person
Moenghus The Younger: Second person present tense - His last scene in TUC is written in this bizarre style. "You see him walk down the mountain", etc. My own distaste aside, this is one of only two places this happens.

Koringhus: Same as above - I belive when he submits to Mimara he goes into this narrative style as well. Very strange.

Kellhus - same as above - when he's in the outside

We've been over it before elsewhere, but the conclusion then was that the WLW sections are written in third person past tense, not first person.

Has anyone else noticed this happening to other characters?
The real question though, is what does it mean.

General Earwa / Eschaton – The Beginning, Middle, and End of Time
« on: October 26, 2017, 05:21:10 pm »
I'm going to attempt to explain why the gods think they can see all of time, but are in fact just as deluded as everything else.

Think of eternity.
Imagine that you could represent all of time as the surface of a sphere of infinite size. The eternity-sphere.
Now, imagine the gods have a time-sphere of a certain size. They can hold that sphere in their hand, spin it around, and every point on that surface is a point in time. To them, all of time is the surface of this sphere, and its a static thing, meaning that it isn't growing in their hand. Since the sphere they see isn't growing, they assume they can see all of time - eternity - all at once.
The trouble is, in reality, the real 'real-time sphere' is an expanding thing, and the gods don't see it. So at Eschaton (or whatever time they can see up too), the surface of the real-time sphere, and the surface of the gods time-sphere are the same size. After that, the real-time sphere actually becomes larger - and continues to get larger - than the one that the gods are looking at. At that point, reality, real-time, exists outside of what the gods can see. What they see is really just a static snapshot of time.

It may be helpful, now, to instead think of the gods perception as a sphere that is juuuust slightly larger than the time sphere they are looking at - but they can only see what inside. (Like if you covered a ball in paint, they would be the paint on the surface. Slightly large in surface area, but not much).
Humans, temporal beings that exist only in the present, can only see the the exact time coordinate that they are on. Coordinate x,y,z is the present, and we can't see beyond that. The gods however can see every x,y,z coordinate inside their sphere, and they assume that this is 'all of time'.
But in reality, the real-time sphere that encompasses all of real-time is a growing thing. It expands forever and becomes this eternity-sphere of infinite size. Nothing is outside of it. Once the world shuts - once the real-time sphere becomes larger than the gods - they will no longer be outside of time, but just another mote within the ever expanding timeline of infinity.

Interesting thought - the gods might not notice that reality continues on after them. Before Eschaton, they exist outside real-time, and can see everything that ever happens within. But, since they can only see inside, once real-time encompasses them, they won't be able to tell. I see a couple options here.
They will continue to exist inside the expanding bubble of time, forever thinking themselves masters of reality.
They cease to exist all together
They get stuck on the surface of real-time with the rest of us, existing as we do as temporal being (maybe with a memory that's slightly better than us, but no longer able to see the future as we do).

Philosophy & Science / TED: The Golden Circle
« on: August 08, 2017, 02:32:47 pm »

Interesting take away from this: The parts of the brain that are responsible for decision making are not the same as the part of the brain that processes language.

Also, the law of diffusion of innovation.

The Unholy Consult / TUC - Moments that cut to the visceral quick
« on: July 27, 2017, 11:18:23 am »
AKA, favorite scenes/moments

TUC is filled with so many moments, standing on the shoulders of 6 books worth of history and revelations, for many of us over a decade of real time waiting. Moments that may appear to the laymen as just another line, but to you, they don't so much astound as cut to the core - the visceral quick.

What really hit you right in the feels?

Way at the start, there's a simple line that gave me chills:
Esmenet says this to Kelmomas. A moment, her world crashing around her, where she realizes the last safe harbor in her life has been an illusion. So much is packed into those three italicized letters that, frankly, where they layed out with more verbiage might have lost their impact. The reader is forced to feel what Esmi feels, think what she must think, to unpack the word.
So easy to miss moments like this if you read it too fast ;) .

Anyone else?

News/Announcements / Building Better Community
« on: July 26, 2017, 04:05:38 pm »
To maximize engagement and minimize the inevitable friction between individuals, I've created this thread to establish a place where we might discuss, at length, the interactions between us.

Your posts might be moved here, or quoted in part or in full, in order for us to further understand what broke down in our social discourse, and how we might fix it - or at least not make the same mistake next time. All this, without disrupting the normal flow of conversation in a topic.

Please, feel free to post here if you disagree with how things are being moderated, or if you'd like to otherwise talk about any specific instances related to this community at large that isn't being addressed.

The Unholy Consult / TUC - of heaven and hell
« on: July 25, 2017, 09:47:26 pm »
First thing I noticed in TUC, was the What Came Before section. Curiously, "the Outside" seems to have been replaced with the words Heaven and Hell.

I don't have the means to run the query wholesale, but I thought throughout the series so far we only ever get Outside, rather than heaven/hell, or at least seldom.

Literature / Matchy, non matchy (brent weeks)
« on: July 05, 2017, 07:12:40 pm »

You know how irritating it is when the publisher drops the ball and doesnt make a matching set of covers?

aka Look, over there, an author who cares about his fanbase ;)

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