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Topics - Bolivar

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The Unholy Consult / The Cover
« on: October 06, 2017, 04:09:33 am »
Not sure if anyone's brought this up yet:

The Unholy Consult / The next time you come before me
« on: August 15, 2017, 05:02:29 pm »
  Drusas Achamian *fell to his knees* [emphasis original] upon wicked Shigogli, old and wrecked and more confounded than he had ever been. He opened his arms, tears spilling hot, beseeching …
  The Holy Aspect-Emperor paused to regard him, an inked apparition, wrenching for the carrion profundity of his Mark. For the first time Achamian noticed all the faces peering from the shadowy slots about them, men squinting at the dark, wondering at the truth beneath the ancient tongue Kellhus had used to conceal their exchange.
  “This one thing …” Achamian cried. “Please … Kellhus … I beg.” Sobs shook him. Tears spilled. “This one thing …”   
  A single heartbeat. Piteous. Impotent.
  “Tend to your women, Akka.”
  The old Wizard flinched, coughed for the pang in his breast, flew to his feet upon bursting rage. “Murderer!”
  Never had a word seemed so small.

I always expected a moment of reconciliation, where they would reunite and put aside their differences to defeat the Consult together.

It's more a warning that when Achamian next saw him, and witnessed the full extent of what Kellhus had to do to defeat the Consult, Achamian's own weakness would overwhelm him with anguish at the enormity of what needed to be done, and his own inability to accept it.

The Great Ordeal / [TGO Spoilers] Why did he return?
« on: September 08, 2016, 02:23:16 am »
In WLW, Esmenet and Maithanet reason that Kellhus took the Ordeal to Golgotterath, knowing the New Empire would collapse in his absence. In The Great Ordeal, Kellhus' POV confirms that this was his mindstate and he willingly sacrificed his family anyway.

So why did he come back? He claims he came to save Esmenet and "salvage" what he could. Some reason Kellhus genuinely has small vestiges of human passion and does care for Esmenet on some level. As a skeptical reader, I can't accept this reasoning just yet. Did something change to prompt his return? Possibly the Nuke? And is there an ulterior motive (as is always the case with Kellhus)?

I'm inclined to believe he came for Kelmomas and has been conditioning him this entire time.

The Great Ordeal / [TGO Spoilers] Threads of White
« on: July 15, 2016, 08:31:51 pm »
Anasûrimbor Serwa was no more than three when she realized that it all gave way, the World. She would find her eye drawn to the threads of white knotted across all things illuminated, and she would know, This is not real. And since her memories began at three, it had always been thus. The Unreality, as she called it, had forever sapped her surroundings. “See, Mama?” she would cry, “Look-look! None of it is real!” Sometimes she would even dance and traipse, singing, “Everything is False! Everything! Only! Seems!”

[...] It had been unfathomable then, The Unreality, more an ethereal assemblage of inkling and intuition than anything explicable. A certainty of breakneck plummets across flat ground. An intimation of perspectives hidden in the creases of what could be perceived. A profound incompleteness in the warp and weft of whatness, making smoke of the ground, paper of the sky, lazy scarves of whole horizons. It would strike her in the gleam of things in particular, the wires of white that looped about everything illuminated: the pools of shining marble beneath the sun wells, the afternoon radiance that dazzled their dinners on the Postern Terrace throughout the summer. The glint of reflections while bathing.

I've heard posters vaguely reference "The Simulation Theory" numerous times but I've never heard the theory in detail. After my last re-read on the Slog, I've noticed small fragments here and there that might have suggested it's true, that Earwa and its universe exists inside of a computer simulation. But the opening passage of Chapter Seven quoted above made me feel like it's all but been confirmed.

Her description of their being threads of white behind everything reminded me of portrayals of VR simulations in other media, such as Neo seeing green computer characters as code behind objects/people in the Matrix. The wording specifically recalled the Animus from Assassin's Creed, a device that uses your genetic memory to place you in a simulation of the past:

Her mother, young Serwa had realized, was not real. She acted for reasons she knew not, spoke words she did not understand, pursuing ends that she could neither fathom nor bear. The mother she had loved (as far as she could love) quite simply did not exist. That mother, Serwa realized, was a puppet of something larger, darker, something that merely manufactured scruple to prosecute its base demands.

The Empress did not change because she could not change: she had borne too many injuries to learn from any one of them. She chided and struck her children the way she always had. But never again would Serwa—or her siblings (for they shared everything)—suffer her affliction. They knew her the way an old miller might know an even older mill: as a mechanism grinding the same grains in the same ways. Understanding her particular Unreality had allowed them to rule her as profoundly as Father had ruled her—even more!

The way she describes her mother sounds like the the darkness that comes before but it also sounds like something carrying out the functions of a computer program. The fact that she was just describing objects in a similar way, not just people, suggests that this is all a part of one larger recognition about the whole of the Ground.

There's obviously a bigger thread about the rest of the series but generally Sorcerers are known as those who recall the truth, who can see the impetus behind things, or the onta. It's put in metaphysical terms of meaning and purpose because those are the concepts by which they can define it but it sounds like the world exists because it was intentionally built to carry out a simulation.

From the metaphysics discussion between Kellhus and Achamian in the Thousandfold Thought:

Achamian swallowed, tried to recover himself in his knowledge. “The Nonmen once believed it was the language that made sorcery possible. But when Men began reproducing their Cants in bastard tongues, it became clear this wasn’t so …”

To me, the Anagogic sorcerers are using a graphical user interface or something simple to use sorcery. They are limited to using analogies because they can only create something based on what is already there and it's nowhere near as powerful as the Gnosis. Gnostic sorcerers are true computer programmers themselves, writing their own algorithms and geometry to cut and tear through the world. They use their programming language to create shapes like a graphics artist rendering 3D objects.

The Inchoroi maybe just stumbled on a function wherein if the population drops below 144,000 conscious/sentient beings, the simulation ends.

General Earwa / The Great Ordeal available for pre-order on Kindle
« on: May 02, 2016, 08:46:44 pm »

I know some folks were asking about an e-reader version so there it is. I heard it took a while for previous installments to go up digitally, so this is good news, especially for those of us who don't want to worry about waiting on delivery. Just don't count on a midnight unlock as I've had to wait a couple hours for some releases.

I'm definitely double dipping for the Kindle version so I'm willing to time it together on the Great Digital Distribution Ordeal if there's enough people interested.

General Earwa / r/Fantasy gauging interest for Bakker AMA
« on: May 02, 2016, 03:31:24 pm »

Reddit slow right now, link might not work.

Someone at the Fantasy subreddit has been in contact with Bakker about doing an AMA and he's apparently expressed some interest. They want to make sure there's enough subscribers ready to ask questions, so let them know you're down. "Ask Me Anything" can be a great promotional tool and would definitely open the series up to a larger swath of fantasy readers.

The Almanac: TAE Edition / The Slog TJE - Chapters 15 & 16 [Spoilers]
« on: March 28, 2016, 03:49:50 pm »
As The Judging Eye comes to an end, The Aspect Emperor calls a gathering of potentates in the Umbilicus, and the horrors of Cil-Aujas come to the fore.

Chapter 15:

He sat on one of the lower tiers, and rather than descend, the Aspect-Emperor simply tilted in his floating posture to study him. The rings of light about his head and hands gilded the man’s face and shoulders with a patina of gold. The caste-noble’s dark eyes glittered with tears.

Do Kellhus' halos now cast light? Are they no longer the light of delusion?

When I first read TAE, I thought the irony of this series is a man who comes to deceive everyone and actually becomes a messiah. After our first stretch of the slog, I now agree with Achamian that all of it is a lie. To me Kellhus is now enhancing his deception with sorcery and the Men of the Circumfix simply don't stand a chance. That could explain why his halos now cast light, as we see sorcery do the same for the Skin Eaters  in Cil-Aujas.

Chapter 16:

She has read enough to know these are not just any Men. They are the original Men of Eärwa, the Emwama, the slaves exterminated by her ancestors in the earliest days of the Tusk.

Along with the previous discussion about their guttural language, I think the Emwama might have been another species of hominids and not actually Men. Anthropology teaches us that the primitive cavemen like the neanderthaals were not our evolutionary forefathers but actually contemporaries of early homo sapiens. And the reason humans are the only hominids remaining is because we wiped all the others off the face of the planet.

Short Stories & Others / The Dime Spared
« on: March 22, 2016, 05:18:17 pm »

Short story/dialogue that illustrates some of the principles of the Blind Brain Theory in literary form. Some discussion about what the darkness that comes before means in terms of our world.

General Earwa / Recorded Books confirms narrator for The Great Ordeal
« on: March 02, 2016, 05:29:00 pm »
Recorded Books just tweeted to the fan account that Kevin Orton will be narrating The Aspect Emperor #3.

Maybe the July 5 date really is solid if this is underway. I made sure we liked/retweeted and did the same on my personal.

We're coming up in the world boys, got publishers tweeting at us now!

Figured a lot of people would be done with the book by now, and it's time for this thread anyhow  :)

What stood out to me was the extent to which the Holy War really was doomed at Caraskand - Kellhus' own internal dialogue sealed it for me. He truly couldn't figure his way out of that one and surrendered himself as a last resort "leap of faith," as TTT's What Came Before called it, knowing he'd be dead anyway even if it failed. Without that incredibly unlikely success, the Holy War was assuredly destroyed.

Cards on the table - this reread made me question if Moenghus was doing everything he could to destroy the Holy War before Shimeh. First the deal with the Ikurei, which the skin spies did everything possible to talk Xerius out of. It completely uprooted Maithanet's ploy to play the Nansur, by keeping them in the dark about the Scarlet Spires treaty. And calling in Kellhus was a destructive move on so many levels. First, he knew a Dunyain would divide the Holy War into internecine conflict between Orthodox and Zaudunyani. Second, the return of an Anasurimbor by asking specifically for his son also subverted the Consult, who were very much one of the Great Factions seeking to destroy the Cishaurim. If nothing else, Kellhus would be able to outsmart Maithanet as a true Dunyain. I've always asked myself why Moenghus asked for his son instead of the most capable Dunyain. My crackpot is that this war was between Moenghus and Maithanet, the latter of whom had made a pact with the Consult, which Inrau's final scene strongly suggested.

As far as the Circumfixion, it still remains one of the biggest mysteries of the series for me. I think it intentionally mirrors the beginning of the book, where Kellhus prophesies Saubon's victory, the impossibility of which he decides to try again at the end of the book.

General Earwa / V for Victory
« on: July 24, 2015, 05:50:30 pm »
So Bakker just clarified the situation a bit on his blog:

I’ve finally spoken to my Overlook editor: apparently they’ve been deluged with emails and even phone calls! It has him excited about the book at least. We still have a couple more details to hammer out, and things need to be squared away with Orbit, but hopefully I should be able to make an announcement soon.

I tweeted about it on the fan account, the credentials of which MG has shared with us:

The Warrior-Prophet / Aurang or Aurax?
« on: July 17, 2015, 05:45:57 pm »
Minor spoilers for The White Luck Warrior and The False Sun!

I've heard different takes on this from the community and wanted to see some discussion on it here. Bakker finally reveals the Inchoroi in The Warrior Prophet, with probably the most mind-scarring scene in the series. Yet the text does not spell out which of the last remaining Inchoroi it is.

My take is that it is Aurang. It's my assumption that nearly every Inchoroi is modified in different ways. This same description has been used every time and when identified, it's always Aurang. When Achamian dreams as Nau Cayuti and sees the Inchoroi, he immediately recognizes him as Aurang. If the brothers looked the same, he wouldn't have only pegged it as the one. It's also my hope that Aurax intentionally has not been revealed yet and has an even more repulsive form than his bro

At the same time, I can see why many think it's Aurax. it speaks through telepathy, whereas as Aurang always uses his Nonman or Synthese head to physically speak. It also uses the royal 'we' in its speech, something Aurang has never done either to my knowledge.

What do you guys think and are there any other clues which settle the matter?

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk

General Earwa / Emailing Overlook/Orbit on a publication date
« on: June 22, 2015, 12:04:28 am »
I figured this subforum would be the place where this would get the most visibility.

So we all know Bakker has had publisher issues, from getting dropped or switched, to generally not being a priority author. Bakker writes on the latest TPB post that the book has been handed in for 6 months, with no updates from the publisher. He suggests that emailing them about why the series has potential might help the process.

I realize this will probably have little impact but if we don't take any proactive steps on TSA, why should anyone else? Calibandar on Westeros suggested I just emailed them a short message about this a little while ago.

If anyone can think of more productive efforts we can make, feel free to voice them here. Bakker mentioned other publishers are willing to take on the series, so maybe that would be our best bet.

Light, Time, and Gravity / Sociopathy in Light, Time, & Gravity [SPOILERS]?
« on: February 20, 2015, 03:36:18 am »
[EDIT Madness: Title changed]

Obviously, major spoilers.

The twist ending of Light, Time, and Gravity completely changes the reader's perception of everything Dylan had to say up to that point. One thread that I became skeptical about is his depiction of Cutter. Almost from the beginning, Dylan explicitly paints him as a sociopath and I initially expected this to manifest in some dramatic, violent way, after the intro vaguely references that he is connected with a crime. Time and again, the narrator returns to this characterization, both when Cutter is in a scene (by highlighting his behavior) and even when he is off-screen (via analogies, such as the Canadian elections passage). It occurred to me that this might just have been Dylan's way of rationalizing the fact that he ultimately murdered Cutter on a whim.

While he's no doubt a scumbag, it's hard to say whether Cutter actually ever crosses the line of typical alpha-male nonsense and steps into sociopath territory. He didn't react at all in the way Dylan was certain he would when Dylan beat him at arm-wrestling. His eventual decision to tell Jerry about the affair is something I think a lot of us would do in his position, and he indeed says he told Jerry because of their friendship. He tells this to Dylan like it was something that should be obvious but Dylan immediately disbelieves him, attributing it instead to Cutter's need to create drama.

Does Dylan's constant cynicism regarding human connections suggest that Dylan is actually the sociopath? This kinda ties into the BBT-esque cognitive science rants, where the protagonist aggressively challenges belief in meaning, despite desperately longing for it in other passages. I wonder if this book was in part Bakker poking fun at and taking himself less seriously, as he often emphasizes on his blog that he knows he is not above his observations on human shortcomings. In Light, Time, and Gravity, we have a protagonist who embodies just how true that is.

Introduce Yourself / Hi Guys!
« on: July 23, 2014, 02:59:06 am »
Hey, been lurking for a while but just joined. I'm Bolivar from the Westeros forums and have interacted with the Bakker fans twitter a bit (Bolivar687).

Glad to be here!

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