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Provided there is more story coming, do you think there is a time skip forward of a few years, or do you think the story continues from the end of TUC

Story jumps forward a significant period of time
7 (46.7%)
Story continues from basically the end of TUC
8 (53.3%)

Total Members Voted: 15

[TUC SPOILERS] After this...

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Cuttlefish

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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2017, 01:00:19 pm »
Well, when you think about it, pretty much every storyline except Kellhus's own have led to a dead end.
Agreed. But TSA would be a trash story if we just followed Kellhus as the main character from TDTCB through TUC. All the other stories have a point, not that I understand them, but I do know they add a lot to the story.  Without them the entire thing might as well be a Glossary with pages of text defining each thing - which isn't a story at all.


But I expect these storylines, as ineffectual as they were to the finale of TUC, to have impacts for the next series. Mimara's something of a prophet that may influence the world; she and Achamian have discovered what appears to be the last remaining full blooded Dunyain who hasn't gone over to the Consult (that one is, I think, one of the most obvious plot points to be followed), Esmenet storyline has left off Three Seas in a state of civil war, definitely unready for an invasion, while the death of the Great Ordeal wipes out the greatest army men were capable of producing. Sadly, I can't see my favourite storyline, Ishterebinth, having any influence. Maybe the death of the Nonmen will mean something.
That's really the hope, but imo a terrible choice by Bakker. A lot of the interest of TSA hangs on future books and future explanations, and people will get tired of it. I've been saying it for some time now, but I think Bakker will be more popular once everything is released. This waiting years between books isn't doing anything good for his sales, and unfortunately he might never get that chance as once these things are gathering dust on ethereal cloud servers, no one will see them anyway ;) .

I agree; for example, I have no plans to re-read the last book until the next one is out, because I'm not certain if it's worth it (you can say that I was disappointed a bit, with this one). It might read perfectly as a part of a chain, but on its own, it yields no conclusion whatsoever and pretty much wipes out the characters I like. I did come into this series pretty late (The Great Ordeal was being written, by then), so perhaps the older books had the same problem and I never noticed it, as I read them back to back.

H

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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2017, 01:02:42 pm »
Well, when you think about it, pretty much every storyline except Kellhus's own have led to a dead end.

Well, Oinaral warns that the No-God is the eschaton...he wasn't joking.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

Heavenfall

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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2017, 01:16:33 pm »
I loved the world-building and the individual journeys that everyone other-than-Kellhus were on, but at the same time it still annoys me that they were not important at all. The Prince of Nothing series at least had an incredible solution where all strands of story were collected and unified to form a truly awesome moment. As much as insignificant main characters can have their own pivotal moments I still expect them to matter to the larger story.

In a way I'm reminded of the movie "No country for old men" where the story arcs are purposefully disjointed at the end (the veteran cop never finds the bad guy). But there we have an almost fourth-wall-breaking moment where one character grudgingly admits to just being confused and feeling disconnected from the world at large. It becomes a commentary on how the world doesn't necessarily adapt to the evolution of the story. I didn't get that feeling here.

Walter

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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2017, 01:19:44 pm »
@Cuttlefish:

I don't...uh, share your idea of how *meaning* works.  It's like saying that Moria has no meaning, because the party gets through it.  Why not just have Gandalf wander away?  It all is leading up to a plan that Frodo abandons anyway! 

Like, WLW is the title character of a book.  He kills Maithanet.  His existence lets the reader get the POV of a destined character, foreshadows Sorweel's transformation, etc.  Definitely a big deal.  But I can use the same logic you use on a bunch of other arcs to argue that he doesn't 'matter' either.

After all, everything he did was in a city that got hit with an earthquake.  Womp womp.

Captain doesn't matter, because Galian killed him. Galian doesn't matter, because Mimara killed him.  Mimara doesn't matter because she didn't, I guess, kill Kellhus?

The point I'm trying to make is that the way you use whether or not characters 'dead end/serve any purpose' feels super reductive.  Like, does Proyas 'matter'?  On the one hand, obviously yes.  His loss of faith, struggles, victimization, betrayal, rescue, execution...are given dozens of pages.  On the other, lol nope!  His life's work was delivering an army that was defeated.

Wilshire

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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2017, 01:27:39 pm »
I loved the world-building and the individual journeys that everyone other-than-Kellhus were on, but at the same time it still annoys me that they were not important at all. The Prince of Nothing series at least had an incredible solution where all strands of story were collected and unified to form a truly awesome moment. As much as insignificant main characters can have their own pivotal moments I still expect them to matter to the larger story.

In a way I'm reminded of the movie "No country for old men" where the story arcs are purposefully disjointed at the end (the veteran cop never finds the bad guy). But there we have an almost fourth-wall-breaking moment where one character grudgingly admits to just being confused and feeling disconnected from the world at large. It becomes a commentary on how the world doesn't necessarily adapt to the evolution of the story. I didn't get that feeling here.

We're on the same page. PoN seemed to make better use of its narrative arcs with an explosion of convergence both in each book and through to the end and final scene. TUC suffers from not having that same kind of coherence - little is done to make it all fit together in a satisfying way - at least compared to TTT.
I still loved TUC and I think it ended exactly as the story demanded, but there could have been better execution. Besides, I'm bias as well, been playing in this game too long to make objective judgments.
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Cuttlefish

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« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2017, 01:32:59 pm »
@Cuttlefish:

I don't...uh, share your idea of how *meaning* works.  It's like saying that Moria has no meaning, because the party gets through it.  Why not just have Gandalf wander away?  It all is leading up to a plan that Frodo abandons anyway!

That's a poor example, though. Moria and the loss of Gandalf triggers the beginning of the Fellowship's division, and all said and done, the whole thing escalates into a point where all the storylines converge on the same point, which is, as I recall, the Black Gates and Mordor.

They could've always just used the eagles, though...

Like, WLW is the title character of a book.  He kills Maithanet.  His existence lets the reader get the POV of a destined character, foreshadows Sorweel's transformation, etc.

Neither of those things actually have any consequence for this book's conclusion, though.

Captain doesn't matter, because Galian killed him. Galian doesn't matter, because Mimara killed him.  Mimara doesn't matter because she didn't, I guess, kill Kellhus?

Well, Mimara might have mattered, but that's another thing - she doesn't matter because of her personal journey, the ways in which her character grew and changed. She matters because she has the Judging Eye, something she had from the very beginning (at least I think so? Definitely after she seduced Achamian). Do you think anything about TUC's conclusion would have changed, had Mimara just straight went to Kellhus from after meeting Achamian for the first time, and did what she did at the end of the book? Again, I do hope that her storyline will yield consequences for the next series, but so far, the Judging Eye has been a gimmick (that I am not fond of) and she hasn't been influential at all.

The point I'm trying to make is that the way you use whether or not characters 'dead end/serve any purpose' feels super reductive.  Like, does Proyas 'matter'?  On the one hand, obviously yes.  His loss of faith, struggles, victimization, betrayal, rescue, execution...are given dozens of pages.  On the other, lol nope!  His life's work was delivering an army that was defeated.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying putting up this whole consequence debate as a means to discredit the storylines, some have been really worth the read for the journey alone (as I said, the Ishterebinth storyline, arguably the least effective one, was my favourite), but when you put it down to its bare... yeah, that's pretty much it. Proyas hasn't influenced the ending, and what little influence the Great Ordeal had was either negligible or understated.

Think of it in Star Wars terms; the last movie - the confrontation Luke has with his father and the Emperor has virtually no consequence for the victory over the Empire. That doesn't make it any less enjoyable, but in my opinion, that is a narrative weakness.

Somnambulist

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« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2017, 03:25:40 pm »
I loved the world-building and the individual journeys that everyone other-than-Kellhus were on, but at the same time it still annoys me that they were not important at all. The Prince of Nothing series at least had an incredible solution where all strands of story were collected and unified to form a truly awesome moment. As much as insignificant main characters can have their own pivotal moments I still expect them to matter to the larger story.

In a way I'm reminded of the movie "No country for old men" where the story arcs are purposefully disjointed at the end (the veteran cop never finds the bad guy). But there we have an almost fourth-wall-breaking moment where one character grudgingly admits to just being confused and feeling disconnected from the world at large. It becomes a commentary on how the world doesn't necessarily adapt to the evolution of the story. I didn't get that feeling here.

We're on the same page. PoN seemed to make better use of its narrative arcs with an explosion of convergence both in each book and through to the end and final scene. TUC suffers from not having that same kind of coherence - little is done to make it all fit together in a satisfying way - at least compared to TTT.
I still loved TUC and I think it ended exactly as the story demanded, but there could have been better execution. Besides, I'm bias as well, been playing in this game too long to make objective judgments.

Wasn't that Bakker's point from the beginning?  The anti-trope fantasy epic?  There is no satisfying end.  Nothing is wrapped up neatly.  It's the anti-LotR.  Everything just falls apart.
No whistling on the slog!

Hiro

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« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2017, 03:39:12 pm »
I loved the world-building and the individual journeys that everyone other-than-Kellhus were on, but at the same time it still annoys me that they were not important at all. The Prince of Nothing series at least had an incredible solution where all strands of story were collected and unified to form a truly awesome moment. As much as insignificant main characters can have their own pivotal moments I still expect them to matter to the larger story.

In a way I'm reminded of the movie "No country for old men" where the story arcs are purposefully disjointed at the end (the veteran cop never finds the bad guy). But there we have an almost fourth-wall-breaking moment where one character grudgingly admits to just being confused and feeling disconnected from the world at large. It becomes a commentary on how the world doesn't necessarily adapt to the evolution of the story. I didn't get that feeling here.

We're on the same page. PoN seemed to make better use of its narrative arcs with an explosion of convergence both in each book and through to the end and final scene. TUC suffers from not having that same kind of coherence - little is done to make it all fit together in a satisfying way - at least compared to TTT.
I still loved TUC and I think it ended exactly as the story demanded, but there could have been better execution. Besides, I'm bias as well, been playing in this game too long to make objective judgments.

Wasn't that Bakker's point from the beginning?  The anti-trope fantasy epic?  There is no satisfying end.  Nothing is wrapped up neatly.  It's the anti-LotR.  Everything just falls apart.

That certainly seems to be the case.
Mystery denotes darkness

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« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2017, 03:54:01 pm »
Wasn't that Bakker's point from the beginning?  The anti-trope fantasy epic?  There is no satisfying end.  Nothing is wrapped up neatly.  It's the anti-LotR.  Everything just falls apart.

That certainly seems to be the case.

Cormac McCarthy brand fantasy.

Damn, makes me wish I had some sort of writing talent...
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

Wilshire

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« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2017, 03:57:15 pm »
I loved the world-building and the individual journeys that everyone other-than-Kellhus were on, but at the same time it still annoys me that they were not important at all. The Prince of Nothing series at least had an incredible solution where all strands of story were collected and unified to form a truly awesome moment. As much as insignificant main characters can have their own pivotal moments I still expect them to matter to the larger story.

In a way I'm reminded of the movie "No country for old men" where the story arcs are purposefully disjointed at the end (the veteran cop never finds the bad guy). But there we have an almost fourth-wall-breaking moment where one character grudgingly admits to just being confused and feeling disconnected from the world at large. It becomes a commentary on how the world doesn't necessarily adapt to the evolution of the story. I didn't get that feeling here.

We're on the same page. PoN seemed to make better use of its narrative arcs with an explosion of convergence both in each book and through to the end and final scene. TUC suffers from not having that same kind of coherence - little is done to make it all fit together in a satisfying way - at least compared to TTT.
I still loved TUC and I think it ended exactly as the story demanded, but there could have been better execution. Besides, I'm bias as well, been playing in this game too long to make objective judgments.

Wasn't that Bakker's point from the beginning?  The anti-trope fantasy epic?  There is no satisfying end.  Nothing is wrapped up neatly.  It's the anti-LotR.  Everything just falls apart.

That certainly seems to be the case.

That sounds like more of an excuse than anything else.
Yes, that is the point, but telling a story poorly was not.  That was still the point in PoN right? And if you ask me, that story ended up better than TAE.

Also, how deep do you want to go with that? Lets start down at the bottom of the rabbit hole instead of taking each step: Why write a story at all? The most anti-story would be no story at all.
If you're going to tell a story, tell it well.
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H

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« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2017, 04:02:49 pm »
That sounds like more of an excuse than anything else.
Yes, that is the point, but telling a story poorly was not.  That was still the point in PoN right? And if you ask me, that story ended up better than TAE.

Also, how deep do you want to go with that? Lets start down at the bottom of the rabbit hole instead of taking each step: Why write a story at all? The most anti-story would be no story at all.
If you're going to tell a story, tell it well.

Well, taken as a whole, I think the story of TAE is that perceptual (and possibly conceptual) horizons, and therefor blind-spots, will get you killed, regardless of your "power-level."
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

Anwurat

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« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2017, 04:03:50 pm »
Wasn't that Bakker's point from the beginning?  The anti-trope fantasy epic?  There is no satisfying end.  Nothing is wrapped up neatly.  It's the anti-LotR.  Everything just falls apart.

Ah... So it's bad on purpose? :P

Just kidding. I think the story picks up some decades after the end of TUC. Remember that Bakker said a long time ago that TUC is the book that ends the arcs of all characters introduced in PoN. That means that, presumably, Achamian should have died of old age after preparing people for the No-God somehow, Esmenet dies of old age too, Mimara is either dead or a very old woman. The main characters are Mimara's son, Moënghus, Crabhand, etc who have all grown up.

Walter

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« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2017, 04:06:36 pm »
"That sounds like more of an excuse than anything else."

I don't know what to say about this.  Like, what excuse?  When the author make it?  What would be the truth that he was trying to excuse?

Hiro

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« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2017, 04:11:54 pm »
I loved the world-building and the individual journeys that everyone other-than-Kellhus were on, but at the same time it still annoys me that they were not important at all. The Prince of Nothing series at least had an incredible solution where all strands of story were collected and unified to form a truly awesome moment. As much as insignificant main characters can have their own pivotal moments I still expect them to matter to the larger story.

In a way I'm reminded of the movie "No country for old men" where the story arcs are purposefully disjointed at the end (the veteran cop never finds the bad guy). But there we have an almost fourth-wall-breaking moment where one character grudgingly admits to just being confused and feeling disconnected from the world at large. It becomes a commentary on how the world doesn't necessarily adapt to the evolution of the story. I didn't get that feeling here.

We're on the same page. PoN seemed to make better use of its narrative arcs with an explosion of convergence both in each book and through to the end and final scene. TUC suffers from not having that same kind of coherence - little is done to make it all fit together in a satisfying way - at least compared to TTT.
I still loved TUC and I think it ended exactly as the story demanded, but there could have been better execution. Besides, I'm bias as well, been playing in this game too long to make objective judgments.

Wasn't that Bakker's point from the beginning?  The anti-trope fantasy epic?  There is no satisfying end.  Nothing is wrapped up neatly.  It's the anti-LotR.  Everything just falls apart.

That certainly seems to be the case.

That sounds like more of an excuse than anything else.
Yes, that is the point, but telling a story poorly was not.  That was still the point in PoN right? And if you ask me, that story ended up better than TAE.

Also, how deep do you want to go with that? Lets start down at the bottom of the rabbit hole instead of taking each step: Why write a story at all? The most anti-story would be no story at all.
If you're going to tell a story, tell it well.

Fair enough Wilshire. I think the point of an anti-story is not so much in ultimately not writing it, but rather reacting to said fantasy tropes.

While I sympathize with the worries that TUC wrought, I can also say that I felt the power of fiction, of storytelling coming through loud and clear. Thinking and feeling while reading it: 'wow, that language can *do* this...' I'd rather read something like this, with a ton of ambition, while not perfect, than standard rehearsals of tropes or timid ones.

Besides the execution, there is something here, I mean the unnamed 3rd series. I can imagine that this anti-story or anti-trope did bring Bakker to a place where a vital question arose:

Whither humanity?

Which could mean an exploration of the search for meaning in a seemingly hostile universe, an 'enhanced' version of our own predicament. That's my wish for the continuation of this saga.
Mystery denotes darkness

Wilshire

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« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2017, 04:34:58 pm »
If you read bakker's other stuff, admittedly I can't handle his nonfiction, he seems to be always pressing upon the same points. I think that his fiction is mostly used as and exposé for his philosophy, and I think it does a marvelous job making clear what TPB makes entirely unapproachable. I'm hoping for a short afterward essay when TDTSNBN concludes, explaining how it all ties together (much like at the end of his short story Crash Space).

Fair enough Wilshire. I think the point of an anti-story is not so much in ultimately not writing it, but rather reacting to said fantasy tropes.

While I sympathize with the worries that TUC wrought, I can also say that I felt the power of fiction, of storytelling coming through loud and clear. Thinking and feeling while reading it: 'wow, that language can *do* this...' I'd rather read something like this, with a ton of ambition, while not perfect, than standard rehearsals of tropes or timid ones.

Besides the execution, there is something here, I mean the unnamed 3rd series. I can imagine that this anti-story or anti-trope did bring Bakker to a place where a vital question arose:

Whither humanity?

Which could mean an exploration of the search for meaning in a seemingly hostile universe, an 'enhanced' version of our own predicament. That's my wish for the continuation of this saga.

Don't get me wrong, something about TSA and the story we've got is compelling and glorious. TUC was a great book by itself as-is.
Many of these complaints, I think, stem from Bakker's own idiosyncrasies - like spending 20 years implying TUC was the end when really its at best 2/3s of the way there. His unwillingness to interact with his readers in a way that the modern world simply demands. Etc. etc.

The greater exploration of the mind, the self, the universe, religion, society, etc., is somewhere at the heart of the story and I think that's where its greater importance lies. Taking a step closer though, its still a unique story, thats done extremely well (if you're asking me ;) ).
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