Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
1
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« Last post by Wilshire on August 04, 2020, 06:01:13 pm »
The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan, including Promise of Blood (23), The Crimson Campaign(24), and The Autumn Republic(25).

I am am heartbroken I didnt enjoy this series more. Promise of Blood was a brilliant book the first time around, and I reread it before going into the next two. On the second read, it felt a bit more shallow, though still a great book. Unfortunately, the sequels didn't hold up. Its still a good story, but the main characters are simply too powerful. They are given special powers, with no explanation, and to such a degree that other character comment on it. At first I though this was some kind of meta-commentary by the author, but since it never leads anywhere it leaves me feeling a bit confused.

Again, the first book is good, maybe even great. However it is actually cheapened by the sequels. They seem to rehash the same old ground every time, feeling very redundant. The books all open in very similar ways, the characters encounter functionally identical  threats that all end in the same way. In works very well in book 1, but rehashing it twice more is just disappointing.

Before I picked these up, I thought there were only 3 books, but there are actually something like 6 now, all various forms of prequels set before and during the three main books. I'm actually still tempted to read them, with the hope that McClellan covers some new ground and actually goes deeper into worldbuilding.

And maybe that's the rub. There's this big world out there. He's got religion, politics, wars, gods, armies, command structures, gangs, police forces, worker's unions, monarchies, savages, a handful of different kids of diametrically opposed magics... There's just so much there to explore. So many ways the story could have been fleshed out. Instead, what you get is a couple of quick army campaigns with some flavor thrown in for interest, but I'm left wanting more.

Such potential left untapped, Brian McClellan has the potential of a great writer. I do encourage everyone to read Promise of Blood, despite the sequels, as it is by itself quite a fun read.
2
General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« Last post by TaoHorror on August 04, 2020, 03:50:24 pm »
True Crime

So, while not "into" true crime, I have dabbled and it's been descent. I've seen Forensic Files and the like when I was out of town in a hotel - while not great, I've enjoyed much of it. I've seen 2 True Crime "documentaries" lately and will give my thoughts. Guess I'll put in Spoiler, but not really needed since this is "factual".

I'll Be Gone In The Dark

(click to show/hide)

Don't Fuck With Cats

(click to show/hide)
3
General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« Last post by TaoHorror on August 04, 2020, 03:25:15 pm »
I've been meaning to look again at Avenue 5...your review seems mixed...would it make sense to start in the middle of it?

I blew through the John Wick movies and have come away convinced they are a prequel or sequel to the Matrix. They seem to purposely go out of their way to suggest video games, some of which I admit can be accidental or just thematic but other things - like passerbys being so NPC-ish they don't care about the bodies - seem deliberate....

Sorry I missed your post, Sci. I would recommend seeing all of Avenue 5 if you can. Not that you wouldn't catch on quick, it's a simple plot - but it's a vehicle for jokes and bits and some of it is really fricken funny ( so you would be missing some of the funny stuff if you started in the middle ).

Interesting take on John Wick - hmmm
4
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« Last post by Wilshire on July 29, 2020, 11:20:25 am »
TTH is definitely Erikson in top form. 12 years seems about right for rereading a Malazan book - though its one of my favorite series its not something I see myself picking up anytime soon. And yeah, I agree with Donaldson. My personal guess is that back in the 70/80's (which is a time period that I dislike most of the books anyway) he stood out as unique, but his stuff really has not aged well (like most of those books).
5
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« Last post by The P on July 28, 2020, 02:27:25 am »
Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson

After spending over a month slogging through Illearth War, I wanted to read something undeniably enjoyable.  I hadn't read this one since it came out 12(?!) years ago.  Strangely, it has a cover blurb by Donaldson.  Erikson has named Donaldson as one of his major influences in the genre.  I guess I can see that in the subversion of epic fantasy....  But man, I just don't get the Donaldson love.  Maybe reading him for the first time in 2020 is just too far removed from its initial publication.
Erikson has a unique ability to wrench emotions (particularly grief and compassion in this book) out of the reader.  Even minor characters (like the unnamed guard following up murders in the slums) get a moment.  Maybe by then my emotions were already under duress.  I was blitzing through the last third.
I will say, it is certainly helpful having the internet around after so many years to quickly recall the originating threads of some of the minor characters.

Up next, some historical novelization.  Hopefully it's tolerable.  Outside my wheelhouse, but it is my trade for a friend of mine diving in to Bakker.
6
News/Announcements / Re: Scheduled Downtime
« Last post by Madness on July 27, 2020, 06:40:44 pm »
Note: all the diacritics seem completely fucked.
7
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« Last post by sciborg2 on July 26, 2020, 10:33:14 pm »
Were an Asiatic to ask me for a definition of Europe, I should be forced to answer him: It is that part of the world which is haunted by the incredible delusion that man was created out of nothing, and that his present birth is his first entrance into life.

-Arthur Schopenhauer
8
General Earwa / Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
« Last post by The Spaces Between on July 24, 2020, 11:53:40 pm »
Well, in my current Hegelian paradigm, I tend to think of this mainly in terms of the sort of "reconciliation" the seems to run all through TAE.  Namely the notion of how the Eternal (the unchanging in Hegelian terms) could or would intersect with the temporal (the individual).

I don't know that there is a resolution to that paradox though, really.  The fact seemingly just is, more so, something self-consciousness has to sublate (overcome) and possibly that is part of the Dasein spirit (in essence, what it means to have a soul).  Or maybe that is the whole thing really.

To quote Titirga, you swim deep and i can only watch from the shallows lol

Putting it in more straightforward (albeit simplified), plot-related terms, the Judging Eye is an atemporal phenomenon. If it exists at one point in time, it exists always. Since Mimara will have it in the future, she does have it for all her life.


Yes that does seem the prevailing theory. Similar to kel being the no-god always, or the ark being invisible to the gods in the present because one day they win.

9
General Earwa / Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
« Last post by SmilerLoki on July 24, 2020, 01:28:58 pm »
This makes Mim a bit of an inversion of the JE and its criteria. Where pregnant women get the JE and have stillbirths, Mim is an intended abortion that possesses the JE. Or at least that was my impression when i read the above statement and tried to resolve the paradox of Mim possessing the JE all her life.

Well, in my current Hegelian paradigm, I tend to think of this mainly in terms of the sort of "reconciliation" the seems to run all through TAE.  Namely the notion of how the Eternal (the unchanging in Hegelian terms) could or would intersect with the temporal (the individual).

I don't know that there is a resolution to that paradox though, really.  The fact seemingly just is, more so, something self-consciousness has to sublate (overcome) and possibly that is part of the Dasein spirit (in essence, what it means to have a soul).  Or maybe that is the whole thing really.
Putting it in more straightforward (albeit simplified), plot-related terms, the Judging Eye is an atemporal phenomenon. If it exists at one point in time, it exists always. Since Mimara will have it in the future, she does have it for all her life.
10
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« Last post by Wilshire on July 23, 2020, 07:04:37 pm »
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (22)

I read this one because I got it as a gift due to a mixup from a kickstarter.  pretty good book, though honestly nothing to write home about. The magic is fun and very "real" feeling. Maybe 'natural' is a better term - forest magic. Anyway, its fun, if a pretty standard story about an evil wood, an old wizard, and his young apprentice. A fine YA book, if that's what its labeled as. Recommended, though not if you're looking for something dark and gritty.
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10