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Messages - Wilshire

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1
Philosophy & Science / Re: Why Hasn't Evolution Invented the Wheel?
« on: July 05, 2020, 04:40:36 pm »
I mean, I feel like the reason is because wheels kinda suck as a form of locomotion? When would wheels be better than multiple, articulated, terrain-adaptable limbs (which usually double as a gripping mechanism, self-defense, interacting with the environment, climbing, masturbation, etcetera). Long story short, wheels are overrated.
I like that lol.

2
News/Announcements / Re: Scheduled Downtime
« on: July 03, 2020, 07:05:48 pm »
Can anybody go through the available admin panels and look for the settings that control all that? It's likely that they are there, it sounds like something that should be customizable.

I'm working on combing the html, or whatever it is, to see if I can find something about character limits for posts/messages/etc. No luck so far.

3
General Misc. / Re: Board Games and Miniatures
« on: June 16, 2020, 12:40:15 pm »
Sounds awesome. I'd probably be up for a round! Would be fun to try it out.

TH: That's a sweet set of games. Gloomhaven is something I wish I could play but dont have the friends to play it. Terraforming Mars is amazing, Sythe is a ton of fun, and I've won my fair share of Viticulture games.

4
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: June 12, 2020, 07:14:45 pm »
Orconomics by J. Zachary Pike (12)
Kind of a silly book, but its a satire so I guess its fine. Not my first choice, but filled with allusions to other works which makes it pretty amusing if you're familiar. Also some basic exploration of economics in a fantasy setting, which is unique, and a nice take on some aliments that might affect heroes. Altogether it was a fine book if your looking for something short and simple with a lot of humor.

The Raven's Tower by Ann Leckie (13)
This was a great book. Split into two timelines which might be described as 'current' and 'past'. The Current timeline is a retelling of Hamlet, apparently, and done quite well. Very enjoyable. The Past is a story giving the history of the world and the life of a god. I enjoyed the prose and the setting, and the perspective of the God telling the story. Both parts of the story were interesting, and told woven together, painting a nice picture of everything as the story progressed. I recommend this one from Leckie, probably enjoyed it more than her scifi.


This is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (blue/red respectively)  (14)
A scifi epistolary novel. How about that. Unique, and a fantastic read, written as letter correspondence between two agents on opposing sides of a war fought through time and space. A unique premise, well executed, and full of references/allusions to everything from art to shakespear, scifi and opera. Another one I heartily recommend if you're looking for a quick read.


An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard  (15)
This has been on my shelf since it came out a few years ago (received for free via Subterranean Press' email for being the first to respond). I'd have to say, it deserves the accolades it got and the advertisement that SP was doing for it. Kat Howard built a tidy little novel here. Urban fantasy, hidden wizard world (modern times), going through some kind of magical tournament to decide the ruler of the hidden world. While fairly generic sounding, the magic is done and described beautifully, and the novel is as long as it needs to be. It does drag on unnecessarily, it doesn't have sequels, and it ends before it gets stale. Everything is balanced nicely from prose to worldbuilding and characterization. Another good one to recommend.


To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers  (16)
Another amazing book. This is a hard scifi, ie no magic masquerading as technology (beyond a machine that can induce a coma and a spaceship engine that can travel between stars slowly), it details the journey of 4 scientists exploring exoplanets around other stars. Its a beautiful exposition of prose and description. Alien worlds being gently explored by very realistic feeling characters. Highly recommended.

5
Introduce Yourself / Re: Greetings!
« on: May 26, 2020, 12:33:51 pm »
Awesome! Welcome to the forum. You're definitely in the right place.

FWIW, I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and must unfortunately say that TAE (or at least TUC) are pretty poorly done. I can't bring myself to listen to them, so its been a while since I've done a series reread.


6
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: May 26, 2020, 12:29:48 pm »
Blade of Tyshalle by Matthew Stover (11)

This was a really good book. A bit strange right now to be reading a book set (partially) in Earth future where a pandemic directed the course of human history. Stover explores a lot of the same themes as Bakker throughout his books, and does a good job all around. The two worlds he has built (Future Earth and Overworld) are both well imagined. The intertwined histories are explored more in this sequel, and the woldbuilding for both is interesting. His writing is compelling, though I think  at this point in my reading career a lot of the "horror" elements kind of just pass by. Theres only so many times you can read descriptions of rotting corpses and dying men before they all kind of run together. The writing seemed to improve between the books, not that the first one was bad, so I'm definitely going to keep Stover near the top of my list. I'm looking forward to continuing this series and his other books, and highly recommend him to anyone looking for a good fantasy to read.

7
The Unholy Consult / Re: Why would the Inchoroi fear damnation?
« on: May 16, 2020, 10:10:25 pm »
FWIW, I think that's a pretty great interpretation of things so far Cyx. It accounts for and/or explaines a lot of things while still reamining within the bounds of the story (from a meta/themantic perspective). It does put Kellhus at the top of the pile, which I dislike, put you've managed to do so without making it seem cheap (like the theories about Moenghus Sr. still being around abd doing everything from behind the scenes). Nice catch with Angeshrael/Kellhus btw - this sounds like something that has been pointed out before but its so easy to forget.

Aurang is still dead though ;). Call it his Moenghus Moment - Bakker just loves his anti-climaxes. If you're going to consider Kellhus alive and "winning", then you gotta at least let the Old Consult (Inchoroi and Shae) be dead.

Yes, Kellhus knew Kelmomas was hearing voices. I kind of suspect this is something to do with the Dunyain, as wrestling with the darkness/voices/hunger is a key part of the training we see. Its definitely presented as metaphorical, a way to anthropomorphize our hungers etc., but it could also be taken quite literally given the events of TAE.

I too wish we got more from proginators/IF/etc. in TUC. Really thought there was going to be some more exposition on metaphyics and backgrounds of our mysterious antagonists. Alas, at least there are supposed to be more books.

8
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: May 12, 2020, 08:23:38 pm »
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames (10)

Much humor, a standard fantasy book in the theme of "old guys get the band back together and save the world". It doesn't stray very far from well worn fantasy tropes, but the writing is good and the humor is spot on - I found myself actually laughing out loud from time to time. The world is well imagined, with some classic heroes and monsters as well as some well-imagined new comers.

I'll probably skip the sequel(s), but I wouldn't turn them down if I happened upon one by chance.

9
The Unholy Consult / Re: Why would the Inchoroi fear damnation?
« on: May 08, 2020, 10:11:54 pm »
From a narative perspective it makes sense to me, which is why I mentioned. Kind of a poetic justice thing - Inchoroi giving endless lives to nonmen but killing all the women, nonmen's magic grafted giving inchoroi endless power but killing most of them.

10
General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« on: May 07, 2020, 01:47:53 pm »
Killing eve.

Wow, that was a great show. Jodie Comer does a fantastic job acting. She plays a psychopathic killer and does an amazing job being cold/uncaring psycopath, but she also jumps back and forth between that and and a persona of caring/loving/human emotions. The range it great to watch, she makes the show.

Finished season 2 and thought it was the end (I think that's all that's on hulu). Great ending, though its up to season 4 now... I thought ending at 2 made a lot of sense, so I'm a bit skeptical of the other seasons.

11
The Unholy Consult / Re: [TUC Spoilers] Ajokli, Gods, and Chorae
« on: May 05, 2020, 03:15:15 pm »
I'm assuming the two are linked, and using Mimara's usurpation of the Chorae as a premise for how Thaumaturgy might affect the Aporetics... Very speculative territory here of course, since we know little about any of those things.

12
The Unholy Consult / Re: [TUC Spoilers] Ajokli, Gods, and Chorae
« on: May 05, 2020, 01:50:00 pm »
I just assume Kellhus' (or Ajokli's, whichever, it doesnt matter) God magic works on chorae just fine, similar to Mimara and the Wight.

So presumably Ajoklhus casts Giga-Gravity on the room and everyone drops to the floor... Or he casts it on the chorae since they are all gripping them tightly for protection.

13
The Unholy Consult / Re: Why would the Inchoroi fear damnation?
« on: May 05, 2020, 01:45:57 pm »
It crosses my mind that the Ark is simply a vessel, controlled by an advanced AI, which requires a guidance system/OS (Sarcophagus with an Insertant), and every Inchoroi etc. is actually a biomech machine, soulless from the beginning. The Progenitors deceived the Inchoroi with the Inverse Fire as a goad to carry out their orders, by showing the truth of damnation - however this damnation was only applicable to the Progenitors, NOT the Inchoroi, that are like upgraded Sranc and subject to the NG themselves upon Initiation/Resumption.

Under this scenario the 'truth' of damnation is not the Inchies' truth, but they are driven to act upon it. There is no soul to damn. Perhaps this is where Kellhus' mistake originates.

The biggest issue with this idea, to me, is that the Inchoroi can use magic in Earwa. As far as we know, you must have a soul to use magic. Now, it could very well be that the vast majority of the Inchoroi didn't have souls. Recalling that the Onta graft had an extreme culling affect, we might assume that all those who died simply didn't have souls and so the procedure killed them off.

There are relatively few Skin-spies compared to the original number of Inchoroi. Even is it was a 1/1000, or 1/1,000,000 chance, its possible that a few hundred, or a few dozen, Inchoroi have souls.

But, unfortunately, by the time we enter the story, its a pretty moot point... Since all (both) living Inchoroi survived the Onta graft, we must assume they have souls, and therefore the IF is probably legit for them.

14
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: April 14, 2020, 02:13:11 pm »
I like Leckie. Well, kind of lol. I read Ancillary Justice and thought it was pretty good. Ideas were interesting, the prose was pretty unique, and the execution of al it fit nicely together. Shes an interesting author, but not someone I can read a lot of. I think Raven Tower will make it onto my list though - it should be interesting to see what she does with a fantasy setting.

15
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« on: April 07, 2020, 12:28:06 pm »
I think i can quote myself in this instance, from 2018 when I read Lord Foul's Bane. It is, I have to say, one of the worst fantasy books I've ever read.

To me, what Donaldson appears to have done is taken wholesale some (now) worn out Tolkien tropes. He doesn't so much re-purpose them as recycle. From the Ring, to the names, quasi sentient horses... the entire thing reads like all the fantasy I've read from that era - unimaginative derivations of Tolkien.

You can follow the link to the rest of the discussion. BFK does quite like it, and I tried to figure out why... But I don't recall ever coming to an understanding.

I really liked Donaldson's Gap Into Conflict, but read the second book and it seemed to somehow be following the same path as Lord Foul's Bane. He's just not the author for me.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (9)

This was a pretty fun book. The magic was interesting and used well, the characters a bit tropy but still entertaining. It definitely felt like it was setting itself up for some sequels, and I'll probably check them out. Worth the read if you're looking for some quick and fun English/London Magic type books with a darker shade to it.


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