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Messages - Wilshire

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1
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: January 16, 2020, 01:09:36 pm »
Six Sacred Swords by Andrew Rowe (3)
Not his best book, but largely because its not a true sequel. It tells the story of one of the side characters, but it felt too inconsequential to be engaging. True to form though, its funny and a fun quick read, but skip-able in the grand scheme of the series.

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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: January 14, 2020, 01:35:32 pm »
The Gap into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge by Stephen Donaldson (2)

Ugh. I want to like this book/series. There's a lot of narrative progression and worldbuilding potential, cool aliens and deep state politics, cyborgs, etc. All the trappings of entertaining scifi... But for fuck's sake does every POV character need to spend the majority of the book being raped repeatedly? If you took out all that in the first two books you'd probably not have enough narrative left to publish a book. There are only 2 POV characters, and both spend the vast majority of the time being treated violently - physically, emotionally, and sexually - both in "present time" of the book and in "the past".

Its exhausting to read, and I'm probably going to abandon it at this point. Its not a bad book if you can get past all the needless assault, the writing is pretty good and there's enough of everything else to make it worth reading. So I'm not going to say its not worth people reading, but I think I'm going to tap out.

3
The Unholy Consult / Re: Why would the Inchoroi fear damnation?
« on: January 13, 2020, 08:45:10 pm »
The non-men who were exposed believe oblivion is a lie, but we have seen that even erratic can attain it.
Since that's the only one we've ever seen manage it, for all we know only an erratic could attain it.

I honestly don't think we have enough information here to answer why the Inchoroi aren't ciphrang.
You are missing the point. The mechanics of avoiding damnation are not important.

We know the Inverse Fire is a tool of control. It's a compelling truth, but not the whole truth. Any Dunyain knows the value of partial truths in conditioning via deception.

The Inchoroi are conditioned to believe there is only one way to save their souls because of that. Extermination.

We know that Oblivion is an option. They deny that.

We know that Redemption can come from the one God or the Hundred. They say EVERYONE is damned forever.

We know you can level up your soul. They aren't interested.

Logical induction dictates being careful with immortality means not dying means no damnation. They would rather render themselves extinct trying to shut the world.

Maybe exterminating everyone and erasing history will work to save their souls, maybe they are doing it to free the progenitors from Hell, or maybe the progenitors just want to terraform planets.

Point is, their mission is focused to one goal only, the Inverse Fire is there to keep them on track.

Happily for them, the Dunyain want to do the same thing in pursuit of a Self Moving Soul. The Inverse Fire is barely required to get them to join according to Kellhus PoV in TTT.

This is pretty much the narrative I've settled on at this point. The IF is a whetstone to sharpen the tool that is the Inchoroi. Happens to work on other conscious beings as well.

Its too bad TJE never gazed upon it. I wonder what it'd see. Its also too bad that this seems to be the only tool the readers are given to determine what is 'real' in Earwa.

What is or isn't reality (withing a book) is ever the perennial problem of too many unreliable narrators :P .

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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: January 09, 2020, 03:37:43 pm »
Congrats on reading a phone-book ;).

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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: January 06, 2020, 09:16:11 pm »
Well I'm only on book 2 of Gap, which I'll finish but I may stop here. There's only so many pages I care to read about various kinds rape and their myriad impacts. There's gotta be a plot in here somewhere, right? ...

6
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: January 06, 2020, 05:53:43 pm »
Interesting. Well glad that its good. I remember enjoying Heroes Die but didn't feel extremely compelled to finish the rest right away.

I got Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, and Dragon's Legacy by Deborah Wolf for christmas. The former two not by request but I'll probably read those sooner rather than later to be polite. Hopefully they're good.

First though is another Gap Cycle book. Forbidden Knowledge: Gap Into Vision by Stephen R Donaldson. It seems to be following the dark trend of the first book... Might be tough to read the whole series if it is unrelenting.

7
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: January 06, 2020, 02:12:44 pm »
Hey that's one I plan to read. Hope its good... Whats this about Bakker/Stover disagreement?

Skullsworn by Brian Staveley (1)

As a standalone, it suffers without the context of the larger series. As a quasi-prequel exploring the origins of a mysterious character who plays a big role in the trilogy, its pretty good. But even "pretty good" is a disappointment by Staveley. I really enjoyed Unhewn Throne, one of my top 10 series of all time, and this doesn't hold up. Its a fun romp, but I can't recommend it to anyone who isn't craving more Annur.

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Literature / Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: January 02, 2020, 02:03:26 pm »
Another year, another book topic.

I think I'm going to try and finish the series I didn't get to last year, and sprinkle in some new stuff. Maybe even a reread or two if there's time. 30 was pretty easy last year, and since the outlook for this year seems similar, I'll try for 40 to make it a bit of a stretch.

Happy reading.

Some books I'd like to get too this year:
Ninth House by Leigh Borough (christmas gift, thus required reading)
Enchantment of Ravens (christmas)
Legacy of Dragons (christmas)
Labyrinth of Flames by Courtney Schaffer
Rejoice: A Knife to the Heart by Steven Erikson
An Unkindness of Ghosts
Powder Mage by Brian McClellan
Acts of Cain by Matthew Stover
A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie


January 1
1) Skullsworn by Brian Staveley


9
Literature / Re: Yearly Targets 2019
« on: December 18, 2019, 07:03:07 pm »
The Burning White by Brent Weeks (Lightbringer #5) (31)

A brilliant end to a great series. It ends up being somewhat predictable and tropey, but there is sufficient foreshadowing throughout to make it not feel contrived. Look, I really, really enjoyed this series, and Burning White is the conclusion that it needed. Weeks did something really amazing with this series. The prose isn't complex, but the characters are. The plots are hyper intriguing, but watching the characters navigate it is very fun. The magic is outstanding throughout, though the worldbuilding gets shoved mostly into this last book which does dampen its reception. A bit too little too late - history is more interesting when you can watch it influence the characters, much less so when the book is largely over.

If you're ever looking for a fast, action-y book with heavy focus on magic and characters, absolutely pick this one up!


The Magician's Land (The Magicians #3) by Lev Grossman (32)

Hmm. As a whole this series was great, but I think it suffers from being 3 books when it could have been 2. The first book is where the majority of the worth is. Lev Grossman had a great idea, and really ran with it. The story is hilarious for those raised on Narnia and Harry Potter, its irreverent but with plenty of nods to where it came from, steeped in fantasy/scifi culture yet not afraid to poke fun.

But where book 1 was great all the way through, book 2 has a concurrent timeline to book 1 for most of the book (or at least half). I think this part of book 2 could have been sliced up and interspersed with book 1, creating a nice juxtaposition of the journey of the two heroes. Then, book 2 divulges into a mop up tying together some strangling, which may have been necessary for a standalone book 2, but could have largely been done without.

Book 3 similarly felt like it could have been reduced. Maybe second half of book 2 could have been added together with book 3, allowing for some of the fat to be trimmed and leaving us with a more satisfying finale... But this is not the case. The book does end the series nicely, and it felt shorter than the rest. The adventure not as grand, the stakes not as high, it follows the hero(es) through to the end of their stories, and leaves off like a movie does when it is wishing for a sequel but not really expecting to get it.

Its still a fun book, and a great series, but its a shame that most of the greatness is packed into the first 50% of the text (book 1 and half of book 2). This makes it difficult to recommend as a whole, even though I very much want to. Definitely anyone interested should check out the first book, without feeling hugely obligated to read book 2 (though its very worth it), but book 3 is largely miss-able unless you desperately need loose ends tied up.

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The Unholy Consult / Re: [TUC Spoilers] Esmenet the Angelic Ciphrang
« on: December 16, 2019, 04:19:42 pm »
I honestly thought of "someone's mind" when I read that and I hope that it's not. St. Elsewhere already did that and welp...it wasn't appreciated. "It was all a dream" is usually seen as a negative.

This quote/info, from Bakker, was described in more detail in that Stuff To Blow Your Mind podcast. Having listened to it, I did not get the feeling that "it was all a dream" is anywhere near what he was going for.

More like, as H said, the metaphysical structure of Earwa and the gods are like how the mind / conscious  / subconscious interact IRL (or some version of IRL insofar as Bakker thinks it works). Similar to how the Word of Earwa functions like our IRL biblical/holy-texts show the world - full of magic and vengeful gods.

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The Unholy Consult / Re: [TUC Spoilers] Esmenet the Angelic Ciphrang
« on: December 06, 2019, 08:25:14 pm »
Buzz-skill.

...
Am I helping?

12
Philosophy & Science / Re: Multiverse Theories Are Bad for Science
« on: December 05, 2019, 04:06:53 pm »
All these theories and no experiments, science is about falsifiable results if you can't even experiment on your theories it's philosophy not science. All imo of course.

Just for clarity, people agree on this, yeah? One isn't "doing science" if all they are doing is proposing un-falsifiable claims, right? There is some division between theoretical vs. experimental of course, but is there a point where theory is so far from being verifiable that it ceases to be scientific?

13
Literature / Re: Yearly Targets 2019
« on: November 26, 2019, 06:18:46 pm »
The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks (Lightbringer #4) (30)

Hey, I made it to 30, which was my goal for the year, only a month ahead of schedule. Pretty good.

As for the book, it was good. There's actually quite a bit of emotional depth in this one, clearly written by a man who thinks about relationships, especially marriage, a great deal. Rather refreshing for a series, and a genre, geared more towards other things.

I'm going to jump straight to book 5 from here and finish off the series before the year is out. Its a rather big book and I expect it will take a few weeks to finish. Very excited to see where this fantastic series ends.

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The Unholy Consult / Re: [TUC Spoilers] Esmenet the Angelic Ciphrang
« on: November 26, 2019, 12:52:21 pm »
That's definitely something that has been proposed in some form or another.

The nature of the gods being 'outside time' yet seeing events within it, leads to some interesting, yet endlessly regressive, thinking.

On top of the time strangeness, there's also the fact that the events in the books tend to repeat themselves, though in most cases on a larger scale. The First Apocalypse, the first Ordeal, even writ small as the Vulgar Holy War and the Holy War, not to mention all the parallels between the various Anasurimbor men.

Its a very reciprocal system, and Bakker seems very fond of characters creating their own demise. So while I'm not sure its the way the story is going necessarily, I think it would fit within the bounds of what has been set up so far - that the events in the story created the gods which in turn retroactively create the events that lead to their creation.

15
Literature / Re: Yearly Targets 2019
« on: November 05, 2019, 02:32:57 pm »
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (The Locked Tomb 1)  (29)

This was a fun book. The main character is a jaunty 19 year old swordsman and she follows about a slightly younger necromancer as a body guard. The story prose begins a bit purple, which after finishing the story I'm happy to write off as 'first novel nerves'. Tamysn Muir does a good job throughout making the characters feel real, and the plot unfolds nicely. There's a lot of humor, which livens up a story that could be rather dark considering it follows around a group of Necromancers.

Maybe not as strong a showing as other recent new authors, like Pierce Brown with Red Rising, or Poppy War by RF Kuang, but its a solid read, and I'll absolutely be looking forward to her finishing this series. Plenty of world building, plot, and characters, to keep me interested.

If you're looking to read something published in 2019, or for new authors, this is a good choice.

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