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Messages - Cū'jara-Cinmoi

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16
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 07:42:38 pm »
Shrewd observation regarding Kelmomas (I wasn't sure anyone would pick up on the conversation in the tent), though it isn't bicameralism so much as the absence of identity that's the crux.
Does that means he is in some sense like a Sranc? Is that why the Gods can't see him?

Also, can you expand a bit on what is meant by "You realized the Mission was not to master Cause via Logos, but to master Cause via Cause, to endlessly refashion the Near to consume and incorporate the Far." ? Does it mean that more and more elaborated machinery will converge to a self-moving soul?

Bicameralism applies more to the structure of the World and Outside than Kel. I see him as lacking any stable identity, personhood, as opposed to being soulless.

More like converge with a self-moving universe.

17
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 07:31:50 pm »

1. I should not expect Earwa to be perfectly thought out in every respect, since no writer is God, but there seem to be actualized philosophical principles in the world of the Second Apocalypse. Some of them are created by the Tekne (the Inverse Fire and the No-God), some have unknown origin (the Outside, possibly the Judging Eye), and some are sorcerous (Chorae, though I feel only to an extent). This troubles me since there are no real world alternatives to such things, and so I can't relate. Which means any kind of logical reasoning about the nature of the world of Earwa is fundamentally flawed (more than usual), because those are things in themselves, working as you want them to or as needed for the narrative. Could you comment on this issue?

2. In my opinion, there is (after the end of "The Unholy Consult") one and only one undoubtedly heroic character in the Second Apocalypse and that character is Anasurimbor Serwa. She was, of course, by no means perfect, but her intentions and actions (as I see them, and my sight is also by no means perfect) speak for themselves. She followed her father, because she wanted to save the world. She battled the Horde and suffered hardships of the Great Ordeal. She lived through Ishterebinth. She saved Moenghus. She was capable of love, and loved Sorweel. She mourned him when he died. She saved Mimara, Achamian, and Esmenet before attending to her mission, which makes her human as opposed to Kellhus. Oh, and she also killed a dragon with all its retinue. A dragon that kept the entirety of the Great Ordeal at bay. Some people argue that your books are misogynistic. And yet the most heroic character in them is a woman. Are you laughing now? I know I would be, quite evilly so!

1) The incompatibility between meaning (intentionality, in philosopher jargon) and mechanism is the crux from which the whole book hangs: the books simply inherit this incompatibility, exacerbate it with an eye for exploring its texture and implication.

2) A couple evil cackles, here and there. In terms of the extra-textual arguments I made criticizing feminist piety back when, I feel vindicated in a number of different respects. Not only has serious discussion allowed biological differences back to the table, there seems to a growing recognition that the movement needs to fundamentally retool its messaging mechanisms: I've had the strange experience of watching feminists interviewed arguing that the shame tactics so effective in the twentieth century now simply aggravate the problem. That's all for the good, though I fear that progressivism faces almost insurmountable headwinds given the way connectivity empowers extremisms of all stripes. The turn of political events in the US haunts me... to the point of developing a Cassandra complex.

As for the story, Serwa and Mimara were always in the cards, as was the democratization of sexual violence. Since the point was to cue outrage, to trick readers into making the same kinds of snap moral judgments and rationalizations that appall them in the text, I don't look at coming to the conclusion as any kind of moral vindication or ingroup credentializing. The point all along was that rationality flies out the window once our outrage buttons have been pushed, and that this applies universally, which is to say, as readily to liberals as to conservatives.

18
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 04:35:34 pm »
Is there any hopes for a further edited Glossary in future printings? While I loved reading it, all the character entries from TTT are lifted with no death dates added and there are loads of things I looked forward to looking up in the Glossary but alas, were nowhere to be found. Some I had hoped for, an entry on the Tall, the Cinderswords.

And is Glimir and Alamir the same sword? It's described as the High-King's sword, spelt as Kelmomas, and matches Glimir's description from TGO.

There's an entry on the finger locking handshake of Boonsmen...but not one on Boonsmen.


I'm sure The No-God will include an updated glossary, but until then, what you see is what you get, I fear. But one thing you will not get is a perfectly edited, entirely consistent encyclopedic version, simply because, for one, some of the inconsistencies are intentional, and secondly, because error/omission free encyclopedia are the product of the Enlightenment. Pre-Enlightenment compendiums are gloriously messy things, and now that we're staring down the barrel of AI editing, the messiness of these books will telegraph their humanity all the more.

That said, Glimir/Alamir is likely a continuity error.

19
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 04:25:35 pm »
Interpretative indeterminacy, or what I call 'Crash Space' in my philosophical work, is what this series is ALL about, so if you were expecting a traditional discharging of narrative mysteries, you were bound to be disappointed: the idea is to cue our meaning-making instincts in the absence of any definitive interpretation.

What questions can we ask which wouldn't invalidate to various degrees this goal, Scott?

Edit: Also while I'm sure getting back into raw writing rather than redrafting must be exhilarating, might you continue at TPB in future?

I'm sure those on the short end, dismayed by the indeterminacy, would be inclined to smell a postmodern rat, a way for an author to immunize him or herself from making any sort of 'errors.' But what can I do aside from shrug, reaffirm that I did work tremendously hard on this final book, and reassert that frustrating our meaning-making reflexes was paramount among my goals? Those things I am asked that belong to the signal I hoped would transmit will get a direct answer, as in the case of the hologram for instance. If that minimal signal doesn't come through for certain readers, then I failed those readers. But I thought, and still think, the exercise was well-worth risking such failures. If it proves that these individual failures aggregate into the commercial failure of the series of the whole, then so much the worse for me. But I will still insist that those who do feel betrayed by the ending actually 'get' the book in a way more profound than they know.

It's crash space. A place where every judgment of error doubles as an affirmation of success. You know more intimately than most, I'm sure, how this stuff has genuinely animated my thought.

Speaking of TPB, I find out today how much of the data from my old harddrive they were able to salvage, as well as how much it's going to cost.

20
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 03:49:50 pm »
Do you have any predictions of when can we expect book 1 of THE NO-GOD series ?
2- still 2 books or a trilogy now?
3- what can you say about Kellhus' role in TSTSNBN?  still a major player?
4- How much metaphysical questions can we expect to be answered in TNG ( feels good saying that)  ?
6-  What is the deal of the Anasūrimbor prophesy?  Didn't Akka's changed dreams hint at Nau-Cayuti being Seswatha's son, how was he the NG 1.0 then?  or did the Mutilated misunderstood it?

I'm averaging about a book every two years, it seems. The No-God at the moment looks like two or three books, but maybe more. I see it more as a set of interrelated atrocity tales, a new set of Sagas, than a single, linear narrative. Otherwise, Kellhus is dead, and I think the best way to kill the metaphysical realism of the series is to provide a canonical version. Even I were to provide such a version, it would be fraught with ambiguity by virtue of being metaphysical. Lastly, confusion regarding paternity was but one of many hobgoblins of the ancient world.

21
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 03:35:03 pm »
How should we take the Mutilated's statement that the No-God is the Absolute?   Is it just rhetoric on their part or is the No-God a mechanical device that somehow uses God?  I have thought that the No-God being a device that interacts or uses God in a mechanical manner would be an easy way to explain both how it controls the weapon races (beings without "Free Will") and the Bode (everything with "Free Will" can feel the emanation of Divine Will but aren't suborned to it).

In TTT, Kellhus says the Mangaecca squat, chanting about Aurang's real body to relay him to the Synthese.  But, the Consult's Brain Trust seems to be restricted to just Mek, Shauriatus, Aurang and Aurax (and then the Mutilated).  Were there any other Minds among the Consult for the past 2 millenia or has it just been those four?  If so, given their .. dilapidated status how did Consult programs like breeding the Inversi actually function?  How did they manage it with so little sane manpower? 

How much of the Tekne do the Mutilated understand?  They've attached batteries to a lasergun and fixed a nuke, but is it limited to electrical engineering (which they could understand just by taking things apart and using their big brains) or have they learned any of the fundamentals of physics, chemistry, or biology?

Edit: Is the Chair of Hooks meant to be a device we should recognize and go "Ha! The Inchoroi used a [insert] as a chair!"?  Because I can't figure out what its original purpose was based on its description. 

Edit 2: Kakaliol kills an Erratic and can't find its soul.  Did this poor Erratic actually manage to find Oblivion?

There's no real world sense to be made of this: the Absolute, the unconditioned condition, is chimerical, a kind of cognitive perpetual motion machine. So fictionally speaking, the question is what kind of plausibility tales can you cook up. The Mutilated go pure objectivity, sapience absent sentience, while Kellhus goes pure subjectivity, sentience absent sapience. Press in either direction, and you trip into conceptual crash space, which is why all philosophical investigation of the theme remains mired in endless disputation.

Your second question leads me to believe that pretty much everyone has missed a certain boat, in which case, I can only say, RAFO!

The Mutilated have at best an operational knowledge of the Tekne devices they have happened upon - a Dunyain operational knowledge.

As for the Chair of Hooks, no, I had nothing devious in mind - I'm not even sure what you have in mind Jurble! As for the scene with the Erratic, yes, this is the implication.


22
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 02:59:48 pm »

In Prince of Nothing, there is a scene where Conphas describes war as intellect, and then later on, another scene where Cnaiur describes war as conviction.  Given this, should we see one of the key themes of the entire Second Apocalypse as a contrast and/or conflict between rationality and faith, and/or their implications?

Many of the words used to describe the in-story concepts have more than one meaning in English. With that in mind, how important to the overall story arc is the spiritual/religious meaning of gnosis?

Should we read anything into the use of the word jihad for the Fanim holy wars?

Are the head-fucking scenes a direct message from the author to the reader? ;)

How much is the Earwa No-God influenced by Karl Barth's concept of the No-God?

A large part of the project deals with problematizing both rationality and faith in light of their mandatory nature, the fact that we have no bloody choice but to live life through them--as well as how both are bound to ultimately let us down, despite their proximal power.

Both gnosis and jihad plug into the conceptual imaginary of the series in largely retail ways.

As a rewriting writer, you hover over the text too long not to become wicked in some small way.

I've never read a lick of Barths.


23
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 02:40:13 pm »

Can you tell us what was up with the Old Father ordering the skin spy to preserve Mimara?  Even once we know the 'false prophecy' refers to the misunderstanding about the Anasurimbor returning at the end of the world I'm still not sure why they thought Mimara could prove beneficial to their cause.

So if you look at prophecy in superpositional terms, then any given prophecy will only be true of one set of forking paths. If you believe that a meta-prophecy lies buried among those prophecies, then you will be circumspect about the ways you wage war against destiny. There's no end to the potential counterfactuals when it comes to the Judging Eye, given the apparent randomness of its opening and closing. If the Consult has any inkling of Mimara's importance, they will be circumspect.

24
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 02:31:52 pm »
I've been reading the books and 3 pound brain for quite some time, and thank you Richard for answering what you can.

My question is more about message: Is it my understanding that the progenitors is something you see as something humanity is going towards, and ultimately, in your books so far is the implied message that too much knowledge and power, as demonstrated by both the progenitors (via tekne) and the non-men (via gnosis) - ultimately leads to damnation? Both of them stepping too close to the absolute, to bringing light to where ignorance should always rule. The only thing that will always win is absence - ignorance, the unknown. That is why the no-god was always inevitable, as it is the unknown. This is the same of the God of Gods, in a way. (I won't ask here because obviously you're saving that).

I guess what I'm asking is whether this is one of the messages you intend here, and that the moral we should see in it is the importance of leaving a bubble of ignorance, to respect the unknown's place and importance as defining us within what we do see. Since we cannot see ourselves we are both the ignorant and the ignorance. The importance of admitting ignorance, respecting it and take into consideration that not all pursuits should be taken, not all tracks should be explored.

No. The ignorance stuff is more retail than that, part of my attempt to write an inverse scripture, one preaching suspicion as opposed to belief. My 'message' is that we, as a species, now find ourselves standing beneath Golgotterath, the crash site of meaning and morality. Check out: https://rsbakker.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/what-is-the-semantic-apocalypse/


25
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 02:20:54 pm »
Is Mimara giving birth in Golgotterath meant to be a little meta-joke - that Golgotterath, the most wicked place in all of Creation, is now Earwa's actual Jerusalem?

Or Bethlehem. I'm not sure the inversion counts as 'joke' though - at least not of the ha-ha variety!

26
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 02:18:24 pm »
I don't have a question prepared on short notice, so the first thing that comes to mind is to ask about Ark.  It was my presumption that the No-God apparatus (the sarcophagus) functioned differently before Ark-fall.  My supposition would be then that while Ark was fully functional, the souls of the Progenitors would have been contained therein, meaning that on other worlds, it would have been unnecessary to find a suitable surrogate.  Of course, the presumption then would be that what makes a soul a suitable alternative is not specifically Anisūrimbor blood, but rather similarity to the Progenitors.  Could this be an accurate summation?


Plug and play, basically. Having lost the original store of circuits, the Consult had no choice but to keep rummaging through the heap the World provided. The Anasurimbor, for whatever reason, have proven apt historically.

27
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 02:08:00 pm »

A lot of the questions have been put forward and even answered already. Something I was wondering about, what was the ultimate point of the Serwa vs the Dragon scene? The Ordeal's fight to enter the Ark seemed futile, considering the context of the Golden Room, and I don't quite see what the Serwa scene does for the narrative. Serwa's feats had been legendary already, I did not feel or understand the necessity of this setpiece.


I'm not sure I get the question, even if it were the case that the battle lacked downstream consequences. To the extent that war is generally pointless, all war stories are mountains of futility with peaks of 'closure' here and there. I can't tell a realistic story without including dead ends. The Glossary is literally packed with them!

28
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 01:54:51 pm »
"...but hindsight is a motherfucker when it comes to threading those kinds of needles."  Perfect answer! 

Can you please clarify the meaning or symbolism of the "head on the pole behind you" imagery?

How did Serwa overcome the effects of the Agonic collar that she had on in Ishterebinth?

As I said, I have a million of them!  ;^)

The image itself comes from a curious optical illusion I continually experienced while writing in this particular coffee shop. Whenever I sat in this one chair, I saw the silhouette of a severed head on a pole over my shoulder - and it just so happened that I was writing the first draft of these Kellhus sections at the time. It creeped me out, and given my old Derridean obsession with the paradoxes of the time of telling versus the time told, I thought it a cool way to evoke the omnipresence of the infernal eternal, as well as to provide yet another clue regarding the unclean entity residing within.

Serwa had been prepared by her father... it was another Metagnostic tool.

29
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 01:40:45 pm »
I just wanted to say thank you all once again. I appreciate all kind words - if I don't quote or respond to them directly it's simply for the sake of getting to as many questions as I can.


I wish I had a meaningful question, but beyond the title, I don't want to spoil the story for myself, so I will only ask that perpetually annoying reader question... how long?  Have you inked a deal yet?  Will it grow from 2 to 3 books, or are you set on 2?
Also, you mentioned on TPB that the film/TV rights were optioned. Have you heard of any movement on that project?  And if it moves forward, how much creative control will you retain?


Amazon welched on the TV deal. In fact, they sacked everyone involved in it and several other deals with several other authors. Typically, a letter of agreement is as good as a contract in the biz. Once again they have proven themselves innovators.

A deal for the next books is in the works, but quite a bit depends on how well things go with TUC and the degree to which it bootstraps the backlist. Even if that happens, I'll keep on writing. The innovative folks over at Amazon have developed a great platform for authors to go it alone.

And yes, the world really is that crazy.

30
Author Q&A / Re: Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*
« on: July 31, 2017, 01:27:01 pm »
Is Meppa going to show up in the next series or is his story over?

Also, can you confirm that Kellhus actually failed in the end and didn't pull off some trick to fool Ajokli and the Consult?

Sorry to be cryptic, but I can say Meppa is not dead, but Kellhus is.

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