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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on June 18, 2021, 03:45:26 pm »
Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold (21)
I'd have to say I was impressed by this one, though admittedly because it was written in '86 which makes it stand out against its peers. Bujold actually wrote and published some scifi in the 80's that wasn't strictly a futurist vision with characters built to explore the setting, though the 80's aren't quite as egregious as earlier decades... There was actual characterization, good prose, amusing dialogue.

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold (22)
This one was less impressive from a prose standpoint. It was the first book published in the series (Falling Free is first chronological but was written a few years later), and imo it shows.

Overall I was mostly underwhelmed. Bujold is a good writer, and I can see why the Vorkosigan saga was popular at the time and decades later. But today I'd say it falls more toward good than great. I don't see myself reading the other 20ish books in the series - there's just better alternatives now. I got these two for free from audible so no harm done, though I am glad I didn't have to pay for them.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: The Relation of Ishterebinth, Sranc and Dagliash
« Last post by Wilshire on June 18, 2021, 03:30:37 pm »
As I'm not sure the Heron Spear actually did anything last time, I do think its possible some kind of magic laser ballista scenario this time around with Akka pulling the trigger.
Well, there is that dream where Akka sees Anaxophus failing to "take up the Spear" and just parroting the No-God's words.  But it is totally unclear if that is a clear vision of the past, or a paranoids corruption of the true.  I guess one thing is that it leaves the Herron Spear well and open to be anything the narrative ends up wanting it to be though.
Yeah at this point in time, we know that Bakker is not entirely sure of all the exact details of TNG even as he finished TUC. This could be something he left open to decide later if he needed/wanted to use it.

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The Unholy Consult / Re: The Relation of Ishterebinth, Sranc and Dagliash
« Last post by H on June 18, 2021, 11:22:09 am »
As I'm not sure the Heron Spear actually did anything last time, I do think its possible some kind of magic laser ballista scenario this time around with Akka pulling the trigger.

Well, there is that dream where Akka sees Anaxophus failing to "take up the Spear" and just parroting the No-God's words.  But it is totally unclear if that is a clear vision of the past, or a paranoids corruption of the true.  I guess one thing is that it leaves the Herron Spear well and open to be anything the narrative ends up wanting it to be though.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: The Relation of Ishterebinth, Sranc and Dagliash
« Last post by SmilerLoki on June 17, 2021, 07:41:07 pm »
It is possible that the No-God stopped functioning entirely by itself last time, enacting some time shenanigans of the kind that bridges the two iterations of the Apocalypse. Which would certainly explain the fact that the Second Apocalypse at least in some large scale respects closely mirrors the First (so far).
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The Unholy Consult / Re: The Relation of Ishterebinth, Sranc and Dagliash
« Last post by Wilshire on June 17, 2021, 01:35:20 pm »
Still not convinced.  I will try to put out my thoughts.  I'm erratic and in sore need of a reread.  If the Celmomian Prophesy is the basis for their "knowledge" of needing Kellhus as an insertant, they are making some intense cognitive leaps (which I guess maybe I can't be expected to understand, them being Dunyain and all).  All the prophesy says is an Anasurimbor will return at the end of the world.  I don't think there's any more to it, since we are shown the scene where Celmomas says it to Seswatha.  That's so vague, it could mean any of the many Anasurimbors running around, why decide on the most difficult to grab?

I would just like to say, yes 1000%.

So much weight is put onto the prophecy, both in the books and in discussion here/elsewhere. But the prophesy itself sucks. In all the iteration we get, it boils down to the section I bolded above. "An Anasurimbor" is the Harbinger of the end, the warning sign that the end is nigh.

If you allow for Kellhus being that Anasurimbor, which I think we aught, the prophecy is fulfilled once Kellhus shows up in the Three Seas halfway into TDTCB.

It most emphatically does not say that an Anasurimbor causes the end of the world.

Physics?  This is Eärwa!

I mean, I am thinking this lack of Chorae is going to matter, but it definitely is unclear how or why.  Especially since I am holding fast to my "Mimara answers the No-God" prediction, of course.
I agree that its more Gun than Herring. It seems a rather unnecessary red herring, and too strange a detail to just throw out there.

That said, they thought it was going to be Kellhus in there. Maybe hoping they could use some metagnosis translocation or something. Now that its Kelmomas who doesn't know any neat spells, it could be for naught and provide an avenue for defeat that wasn't available last time.

As I'm not sure the Heron Spear actually did anything last time, I do think its possible some kind of magic laser ballista scenario this time around with Akka pulling the trigger.
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Is it possible the nonmen leading the sranc army are from ishteribinth? the delegation that shows up to the ordeal says theyre surprised they survived. maybe they were in on it.

Also I never put this together, but it can't be a coincidence that they wanted kelhus to go to dagliash and there happened to be a crazy trap there, all while depriving him of his most trusted sorceress + 2. A very tidy trap now that I think on it.

The glossary states that the delegation was a "false emissary." Not that anyone needed proof that this was part of the trap, but that seems definitive.
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General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« Last post by TaoHorror on June 12, 2021, 01:09:11 pm »
Bloodlands

Huh, might have to check this out.

If you weren't watching Mare of Easttown though, I think it is another good option.  Nothing revolutionary, but the show (to me) is very well written and well acted, even if it is a bit formulaic.  But it doesn't pull any punches really.  The show is complete as on Sunday, 7 episodes.

The kids depart to their mother's tomorrow, so I'll start this show this weekend. It looks like my kinda thing.

I started this, H - I dig it, I like it a lot so far, some nice humor strewed about.

I watched City on a Hill ( 2 seasons out so far ). Bit over done in parts, if you can forgive it for that, there is some great dark comedy. Pay attention to episode 5 in season 1 - don't consider this a spoiler really since it's an ancillary part of the story, so I'll spill it: the (sorta) corrupt Boston FBI agent ( Jackie Rohr - Kevin Bacon ) and this NYC cop hate each other and the cop is dying in an ambulance from gun fire and the agent torments him while he's dying, LOL! Some funny stuff. Anyways, not the greatest thing you'll ever watch, but it's pretty good.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Madness on June 11, 2021, 01:31:19 am »
A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay (20)

Now there's a great book. GGK did something amazing with A Brightness Long Ago. The first book I read by him was Tigana, and while quite good,  it doesn't hold a candle to A Brightness Long ago. The pacing is wonderful, actions and consequences piled up without feeling rushed. The way he tells the story through a series of flashbacks and mixed POVs is crisp, unique, and refreshingly. The whole book feels like a brilliantly connected series of short stories, just long enough to make you feel something profound but not so long as to get mired in the telling. You skip lightly across the surface of the world, catches glimpses of the depths beneath.

The way the story is told, maybe even more so than the story being told, is what turns this book into something magnificent.

And who doesn't love a quote about books inside a book:
Quote
So many stories can be told, in and around and braided through the one we are being given. Don’t we all know that stories can be sparks leaping from the bonfire of an offered tale to become their own fire, if they land on the right ground, if kindling is there and a light breeze but not a hard wind?

Someone is deciding what to tell us. What to add, what not to share at all or when (and how) to reveal a thing. We know this, even as we picture in our minds another young man, a tailor’s son from Seressa, remembering a spring ride, how we used to like to sing…

We want to sink into the tale, leave our own lives behind, find lives to encounter even to enter for a time. We can resist being reminded of an artificer, the craft. We want to be immersed, lost, not remember what it is we are doing, having done to us, as we turn pages, look at a painting, hear a song, watch a dance.

Still, that is what is being done to us. It is.

Loved it.

Damn. I suppose I know what I'm reading after Leadership, Strategy, and Tactics.
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Literature / Re: YOU MUST TELL ME ... What else are you reading?
« Last post by Wilshire on June 10, 2021, 04:51:54 pm »
Gardens of the Moon ( Malazan )

Took me 3 years to read it, just couldn't get into it. Getting it on Audible allowed me to finish it. I'm glad I did, the second half of the book gets much better. I enjoyed it, some very cool characters, some nice twists and turns in the end that I liked.

I'm glad you liked it!

Yeah... So that's pretty much the Malazan/Erickson pattern. Every book is about 500 pages of buildup and 500 pages of crazy action. If they were normal length books closer to 200-500 pages total this wouldn't seem so strange, but since most of the books are 1000 pages it makes for a really long intro.

Also Erikson likes to introduce new characters ever few pages, and this continues throughout the series, which magnifies this effect.

Not sure I'll read the 2nd book unless someone can tell me if it takes up where the last one ends or if it's a time jump into the future and essentially a different story.

Book 2, Deadhouse Gates, could very nearly be a different series entirely. Its obviously not in the sense that Erikson is still writing it, its still within the Malazan universe, and IIRC its still on the same timeline. That said, its a whole new book. New characters, different military campaign entirely, and in fact the writing is much improved  as well. Deadhouse Gates is an incredible book.

Not that I wouldn't still read it, just too much on my reading list to commit to more at this time.

Even though I loved DG, every book is a major time commitment. Its not a series that is worth "pushing through to the end". If you dont have the time, or dont enjoy it enough to spend the time on it, there is absolutely no reason to continue. The payoff at the end of book 10 is in no way "worth it", considering you have to read nearly 10,000 pages to get there. Yes, nearly every book is great in its own right, and yes there is a lot of lore and story that you may want to see through... But at what cost? There are just way to many words to read if you aren't enjoying it.

I recommend you read it only as long as you are enjoying it. If you find yourself bored, its probably time to just put it down and move on - even if that's in the middle of a book.

It took me nearly 2 years to read Malazan, since it takes so long to read each on individually, plus I read at least 1 or 2 books (by other authors) in between each book of Malazan.

Anyways, I like R and Abercrombie more, but I would still give it an A, well written and it got fun to read. I'll steal a few ideas for my D&D campaign ( loved the Jaghut Tyrant - I want to be him and using him in my campaign kinda would make me, hee hee! - not sure if I spelled the correctly as I was listening to the book ).

In case you haven't started it yet, I'd have to say I'm mildly disappointed with Abercrombie's most recent series. I had high hopes after First Law, so its a shame. Still worth a go though, probably.

Also, if you stop reading it at some point, it is worth reading through the Malazan wiki. There's a lot of good idea fodder in there, especially for the Jaghut if you liked them in GOTM.

As for your spoilers... Its mostly explained later. Either read and find out, or search for it on the wiki.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on June 08, 2021, 11:06:25 pm »
A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay (20)

Now there's a great book. GGK did something amazing with A Brightness Long Ago. The first book I read by him was Tigana, and while quite good,  it doesn't hold a candle to A Brightness Long ago. The pacing is wonderful, actions and consequences piled up without feeling rushed. The way he tells the story through a series of flashbacks and mixed POVs is crisp, unique, and refreshingly. The whole book feels like a brilliantly connected series of short stories, just long enough to make you feel something profound but not so long as to get mired in the telling. You skip lightly across the surface of the world, catching glimpses of the depths beneath.

The way the story is told, maybe even more so than the story being told, is what turns this book into something magnificent.

And who doesn't love a quote about books inside a book:
Quote
So many stories can be told, in and around and braided through the one we are being given. Don’t we all know that stories can be sparks leaping from the bonfire of an offered tale to become their own fire, if they land on the right ground, if kindling is there and a light breeze but not a hard wind?

Someone is deciding what to tell us. What to add, what not to share at all or when (and how) to reveal a thing. We know this, even as we picture in our minds another young man, a tailor’s son from Seressa, remembering a spring ride, how we used to like to sing…

We want to sink into the tale, leave our own lives behind, find lives to encounter even to enter for a time. We can resist being reminded of an artificer, the craft. We want to be immersed, lost, not remember what it is we are doing, having done to us, as we turn pages, look at a painting, hear a song, watch a dance.

Still, that is what is being done to us. It is.

Loved it.
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