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Messages - Camlost

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Writing / Re: Story a Day (II)
« on: November 27, 2015, 03:08:40 pm »
I have no useful thoughts for you, but I like it a lot. I want to know more :)
That's plenty useful man. At least I know it's not an exercise in futility  ;)

Writing / Re: Story a Day (II)
« on: November 27, 2015, 06:43:22 am »
"Did you have time on the return flight in to sift the data cores Drone?"

Whether this was the twisted humour of a man who had lived to see his second century or Hurlodin's memory was finally beginning to betray him, I don't know; nevertheless I lied, "No".

It's not that there hadn't been time, it's just that I could no longer bring myself to pry into the final fleeting moments of another man's life, however valuable they might be.

He grumbled in response, thinly veiling his annoyance, and pointed to the wall of helmets, "Bring me the one on the bottom left then". Surely there was no mistaking his memory now..

"These are the Helms of the Fallen. This database was salvaged from the wreck of the Apollo many years after the catastrophic encounter with the Callidan empire. What was initially meant to be a repository of information from mankind's exploration of the cosmos quickly became a monument to the horrors of deep space."

All of us gathered stared in awe of the Greek model helmets that were mounted upon the wall of the derelict ship--one of the two remaining that belonged to the original Akkian fleet. It was an antiquated ship even when compared to the transport jalopy that had transferred us from Mars I Training Academy to Hestia's docking bay, but it was a legend and despite having been refurbished as stronghold of administrative power in more recent decades, it still managed to invoke awe among the anxious recruits fumbling through her halls. Myself included.

The ominous helmets seemed to issue their own silent command, for the crowd of recruits pressed forward in an anxious mass as if mere proximity could bring them closer to those destinies of which they dreamed, back to a golden age when men were heroes. I was no exception. Standing among my peers, feeling the inexorable surge of bodies, the CIO's saturnine voice fading until it was lost in the ambient sounds of the ship, I felt as if I stood upon the very fulcrum of history. I wasn't staring at a sprawling wall of circuitry and armour, ripped from the hull of a ruined ship. I was gazing upon a megalith of mankind, something forged in blood and steel and the endless void.

We had all been schooled in the history of those conflicts before being shipped to the Hestia: the unexpected encounter with another sentient race, one far more sophisticated than our own, and the cataclysmic conflicts that ensued, as well as the tragedies that were born from well over a century of interstellar war; but the ignorance of our youth blinded us to what we really gazed upon, and as I looked from the wall to Hurlodin, his grey eyes seemed to say as much.

Hurlodin had been Chief Information Officer of the Akkian fleet even when I first began my initiation aboard the Hestia. He unwillingly found himself the recommended candidate for promotion in the vacuum of command that followed what only those in positions of authority referred to as the “Callidan encounter”. While Hurlodin had been old even then, the geriatric medicines administered to space travelers had kept him youthful beyond his years.

Now however, leaning over the table in his baggy unwashed uniform, he looked veritably ancient, as if the sands of time had become a desert about him, leaving him wasted. His eyes were cloudy with age and long nights working by candle--an affectation he had stolen from the Greeks--his hands were gnarled from endless writing, and his back was hunched by hours of poring over data. He had let his hair and beard grow long and they were wild and unkempt. He had become thin and sickly looking, as if the exclusivity of his focus had drained something from him, leaving him hollow.

But for all the years accumulated about him, he looked like a monk illuminating a manuscript. His fingers were stiff and slow, but they moved with an artful assurance.

Just something I've had percolating for a while. Clearly not finished or coherent at this point, but this seems a decent place to leave this for the time being. It is meant to be disjointed (an idea that will get fleshed out as it grows). Thoughts?

General Earwa / Re: The Slog of Slogs: A TSA Reread
« on: November 22, 2015, 04:27:08 am »
I thought I'd make a post to summarize where we're at as far as comments put forth so far, and to perhaps offer a suggestion as to pacing and organization. Please feel free to comment. There will be a summary to the following in the penultimate paragraph for those that are daunted by the length of this post.

As far as pacing goes, I'm not going to suggest an obligatory amount of chapters per week. I think many of us could manage all but the most rigorous reading schedules, but I also feel that detracts from the enjoyment; while it is meant to be a slog, I don't suggest we set a pace that would leave someone feeling behind or even excluded from the conversation for maybe not meeting the page count for that week.

So, given that we have five relatively dense novels, no doubt piles of forum discussion ahead of us, and several brave souls imagining they'll make it, it seems appropriate to set a starting date. In an effort to keep everyone at relatively the same pace (by all means, read ahead), I'd like to suggest bumping our start date to the beginning of December. That gives us roughly thirty weeks before The Great Ordeal hits shelves. Five novels in thirty weeks breaks down to about six weeks a piece. Now I only have my novel editions to go off of (Canadian Penguin MMPB) but the way it breaks down for me is a little more than 600 pages for TDTCB, about 730 for TWP, and roughly 500 for TTT. My copies of TJE and WLW (also Canadian Penguin editions TB) come in at slightly more than 400 and near about 600, respectively. Setting aside that I rounded my numbers for the sake of ease, that works out to just about 100 pages a week. If you're anything like me, I need to finish a chapter, but I think that is a rather reasonable pace to aspire to without wearing oneself out.

Secondly, and the rather more cumbersome if not an out right arduous task, is establishing a coherent and ultimately simple organizational pattern to not only keep us all on the same track but also keep us from constantly thread jumping. As such, I'd like to suggest two different patterns.

TDTCB and TWP both lend themselves to easy delineation. The former breaks down into five parts (the Sorcerer, the Emperor, the Harlot, the Warrior, and the Holy War) while the latter is broken down into three major parts (the First, Second, and Third March). I had toyed with the idea of dividing things by viewpoint characters, but that gets muddy and often plot points overlap each other. However, TTT describes was is ostensibly identified as The Final March, and while I suspect with a little effort we might find several salient plot points by which we might divide the novel, in this instance I'm going to suggest we subdivide by region--not simply because it might be easily done, but also because it makes for an easy transition to the following novels which follow the same pattern. As such, I'd recommend we chunk the first four chapters: Caraskand and Enathpaneah together, the following six: Xerash and Joktha, chapters eleven and twelve: Holy Amoteu, and finally the culminating chapters: Shimeh. This works out to anywhere from 100-200 pages per subdivision, but I think it makes for the easiest means of organization.

This brings me to TAE series. Narratively speaking, neither of these two novels follow a pattern similar to any of those in the first series. As such, I'm suggesting an organizational pattern similar to both TDTCB and TTT. In each novel we have several viewpoints (more added in the second) by which we might subdivide our discussions; however, as I mentioned previously, I feel organizing by viewpoint might cause for too much overlap between threads, so in an effort to strike at the heart of simplicity, I'd like to champion an organizational pattern by geographical focalization. In each novel, we largely have three main plot progressions occuring: Slog, Ordeal, and Momemn. By organizing the second series by geography, this allows us to incorporate those additional viewpoints that come up in the second installment (ie. Malowebi, Proyas) without developing a new system or over straining the current one. Because of the chapter pacing/breakdown in the second series this makes for a slightly different discussion thread dynamic, but I think given that they alternate with each other fairly regularly that no one thread should get too tripped up by most recent events.

So to put it all succinctly, I reckon about 100 pages a week starting at the beginning of December. Book length will determine how long we actively discuss it (don't let the pace discourage you from continuing to post on previous threads, or reading ahead for that matter). As far as thread breakdown: TDTCB would follow the five part division it sets forth in the novel, the same to be said of TWP, a four part division based on geography for TTT, and a geographical focalization for TAE novels (Slog, Ordeal, Momemn).

Please, please comment. Not that I wish we get bogged down by the minutiae before we've even started, but having everyone one the same page will go along way to keeping this outfit together. As comprehensive, and long, as I tried to make that be, I'm certain there are things I've overlooked, so don't hesitate to speak up or make a suggestion as to tweaking or changing things. Everything I've included are merely suggestions striving at the simplest way to go about this

General Earwa / Re: The Slog of Slogs: A TSA Reread
« on: November 17, 2015, 08:48:42 pm »
My school break starts first week of December, so I'm game to begin then. I'm not sure how anyone else's reading habits go or when they're most liable to dig into it. It looks like we have a few folks interested, so maybe a more concrete plan will coalesce in coming days now that it has been broached.

Is there a TSACast component :)?
Following each book seem appropriate?

Literature / Re: Steven Erikson (The 3.5 million word journey?)
« on: November 11, 2015, 05:21:31 am »
Forgot to post that I finished Toll the Hounds. I think Camlost did a good job with this summary:

Quote from: Camlost on March 09, 2015, 03:25:59 pm

    And as some encouragement, the ending to Toll the Hounds more than makes up for the 9000 pages leading up to it

It certainly was. I have given up picking a favorite book in the series.

I'm glad to hear it man. It's an event you can't really say anything about because it has a lot of players involved and massive implications, but damn is it good though! You're right caught up with where I last burned out. I slogged through Dust of Dreams, but I don't know that I could recall any of it if asked. Not sure if you've done any of the Esslemont books, but Return of the Crimson Guard is a very narrow second to Toll the Hounds for me. There are more to read and I've been hoping to finally finish the series, so things may change :)

Literature / Re: Poetry, chaps.
« on: November 11, 2015, 04:49:57 am »
You end up studying a lot of poetry as an English major, sometimes more than you care to and some in styles that are unwieldy, but inevitably some stick. One that can't seem to shake is Ozymandias by Percy Shelley:
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm too near to being a hippie that I'd be remiss if I didn't throw out a little beat poetry. This is probably the most casual and comedic performance of America by Allen Ginsberg out there, and it is all the better for it in my opinion:

Writing / Re: Story a Day (II)
« on: November 10, 2015, 09:42:07 pm »
I've been studying the vampire mythos for a long time. It's rather easy when you predate most of them.

I've traced its growth from fireside tales told in hushed tones for fear of the dark to the mass consumption the pop culture machine produces, and all the wild permutations in between. I'll let you in on a secret though; Dracula was less fiction than Stoker would have you believe. I slipped up that time.

I've even started a few of those myths myself, one such being the need for blood; although, there is a sliver of truth to that one. You see, we don't need blood. It is not so much a necessity as it is an obsessive desire. An addiction. We long for blood.

General Earwa / The Slog of Slogs: A TSA Reread
« on: November 10, 2015, 09:32:56 pm »
Now I know we've tried in the past to do a forum-wide or group reread of The Second Apocalypse and it didn't meet with spectacular results; however, now we have The Great Ordeal looming on the horizon, and if that isn't impetus enough to brush up on that which has come before then I don't know what is.

So with that said, I'm going to be rereading both Prince of Nothing and The Aspect Emperor series in preparation for the upcoming release. I'm going to take it at a leisurely pace of one novel a month starting in January so that anyone else interested might join me(and so as not to interfere with my class readings..).

That also gives us ample time to discuss and speculate or resurrect any details that come up throughout the course of reading.

If anyone wants to join in reading along, I'm happy for the company. If anyone just wants to post while we go, that is more than welcome too.

Writing / Re: Two Sentence Scary Stories
« on: October 31, 2015, 05:41:44 pm »
No matter how many times you've done it before, it never gets easier burying yourself. The time traveler's manual conveniently overlooked that chapter..

Writing / Re: Two Sentence Scary Stories
« on: October 30, 2015, 03:55:51 pm »
I thought it peculiar that the scarecrow never seemed to ward of the birds. The growing stench as I approached eschewed all curiosity

The Darkness That Comes Before / Re: Mekeritrig
« on: October 29, 2015, 01:40:33 am »
(click to show/hide)

(click to show/hide)

Writing / Re: Two Sentence Scary Stories
« on: October 26, 2015, 09:25:22 pm »
As an undertaker, Matt Grissom will tell you that it is a myth that funeral home personnel have sex with the corpses in their care.  Really, the dead are almost never in the mood.

Lol, I was just rereading some of these and caught almost never. That's both terrifying and erotic. Necrophilia ftw :P

Writing / Re: Two Sentence Scary Stories
« on: October 26, 2015, 09:22:10 pm »
Thanks guys. I'm beginning to wonder if I lost my little archive when I switched over from desktop to laptop..

We met a man on our travels who swore to us that sometimes nowhere ain't make believe. When we finally ended up there it proved to be achingly familiar

Writing / Re: Two Sentence Scary Stories
« on: October 26, 2015, 04:50:24 am »
He tappex his foot rhythmically to the sultry crooning of a woman on the radio. It wasn't until after he turned it up that he remembered the power was out.

Writing / Re: Two Sentence Scary Stories
« on: October 26, 2015, 03:38:49 am »
Our first mistake was assuming that Darkness is the absence of Light. Our second was turning on the light.

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