[TGO SPOILERS] First complete chapter with Akka and Mimara

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Madness

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« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2016, 11:44:54 pm »
Missed these before:

This book is going to be something else. Madness wasn't joking when he said i'll need to read all of it in the bath.

Lol. Indeed.

Man, so much to process in so little words. First off, from these two excerpts it definitely seems as if Bakker has hit his stride as an author. Its just so Damn good, and he's able to pack so much meaning in every sentence. Its gonna be a great ride.

Yeah. As I mentioned, I think it's the insane time he's taken to create these associations in his readership, which allow every word now to be worth like... a paragraph in an earlier book.

It's a fucking doozy :).
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Walter

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« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2016, 05:32:42 pm »

I have to say though, I've seen a detail mentioned before that is becoming more and more salient to me: if there are so many Sranc in the North, so many that between the Dunyain, the scalpers, the Great Ordeal, there's still an incomprehensibly vast amount of them... By all rights the Sranc should have eradicated mankind a long, long time ago. If there's an entire subspecies of them dedicated to leading their roving bands, if the Erratics under the Consult have mustered a great many of them as an army, then even despite the No-God's absence I just can't think of why they've taken so long to reduce the population to 144k. The Consult have had this one in the bag for the last couple of centuries at least, why on Earwa have they been waiting for mankind to muster its forces and cut their way into Mordor?

I don't think the Consult are in command of the Sranc.  That's what they need the No-God for.  It possesses all the Sranc, and nowadays that would be automatic victory.  The Consult, unaided, can't herd enough Sranc together to defeat human armies with School support.

Wilshire

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« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2016, 07:11:37 pm »
Odium, it seems the Consult long ago abandoned that track. They did that against the Nonman, open warfare, and lost. They did it again with sranc, and lost, beaten back to Golgotterath. They did it a third time during the 1st apocalypse, even before they had the No-God. They released the No-God to have absolute control over the horde, and lost.

To many times they have thought they had insurmountable odds. How could they lose with all their might? The Tekne, their own magics, sranc/weapon-races, later the Quya on their side...

They probably think the God's against them, or at the very least they don't want to risk losing. They turned to skin-spies and slowly made Men forget. They have been subverting Earwa in a much different way this time around, until Kellhus came along and brought the war to them.
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Odium

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« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2016, 08:00:58 pm »

I don't think the Consult are in command of the Sranc.  That's what they need the No-God for.  It possesses all the Sranc, and nowadays that would be automatic victory.  The Consult, unaided, can't herd enough Sranc together to defeat human armies with School support.

Someone else said that on the last page. I agree they seem to be herding the Sranc more than commanding them thus far, but they've still managed to muster a swarm large enough to opaque the earth, dwarf the host of all the nations of Men, and wage war on the Dunyain to the point of driving them to extinction. They could have conquered any of the southern kingdoms before Kellhus organized them into the largest army of Men since the First Apocalypse, before the Swayali existed and other Schools were forced to cooperate as opposed to busying themselves with the squabbles of their internal factions etc.

It's just my opinion - if I were writing the series, it would be a particular detail that I couldn't just handwave away.

Odium, it seems the Consult long ago abandoned that track. They did that against the Nonman, open warfare, and lost. They did it again with sranc, and lost, beaten back to Golgotterath. They did it a third time during the 1st apocalypse, even before they had the No-God. They released the No-God to have absolute control over the horde, and lost.

To many times they have thought they had insurmountable odds. How could they lose with all their might? The Tekne, their own magics, sranc/weapon-races, later the Quya on their side...

They probably think the God's against them, or at the very least they don't want to risk losing. They turned to skin-spies and slowly made Men forget. They have been subverting Earwa in a much different way this time around, until Kellhus came along and brought the war to them.

I find your argument somewhat more convincing. Like I said above, I don't want to stray into the same territory I critique below (picking apart instead of giving in to my suspension of disbelief on a detail that's reasonable for the sake of the narrative), but I still think it's a bit... overblown in the text. The Sranc have had several thousand generations to breed without any kind of environmental pressure to limit their growing population. The Quya are pretty much under the Consult's thumb. The Mandate is crippled compared to the school it was during the First Apocalypse.

But after thinking about it more it doesn't really detract from the narrative. I just can't help but see it as an oversight in a series that has worked so exhaustively to make its world seem real and functioning within its own parameters. But I guess that's where fate comes in.

Re: whale-mothers and the silly controversy they've been provoking - I am certain I recall a quote about Nonmen who grew until death (unless we decided this was poetic license by Bakker). If the Dunyain possess at least some measure of ancient Nonmen blood, does it not make the exaggerated sexual dimorphism a little more credible in-universe? The fact that it's been brought under such scrutiny compared to other supernatural elements of the series is a little telling about how chafed the fandom's ass is about anything related to the whole feminism subplot.

Darzin

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« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2016, 01:44:01 am »
Well regarding the whale mothers I think some of it is our world doesn't have gods or sorcerers but it does have human genetics. So people can pick up on that as being unrealistic. Your right Bakker does have an out with nonmen genetics, but it didn't sit well with me regardless of that. For one it seems to be getting rid of realism in favor of horror the Dunyain are efficient and amoral, and if the women are Dunyain as well there is no reason to restrain them and furthermore knowing what we know of human biology keeping women in such conditions is not conducive to a healthy pregnancy and bringing a child to term.
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« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2016, 02:12:12 pm »
It's interesting how much fixation can come from a single excerpt - out of context, as I don't believe Pat verified which chapter his excerpt was just that it was the first Achamian and Mimara chapter (via his blog) and that that chapter doesn't appear until a couple hundred pages into the book rather than being chapter one as Bakker had said when he gave us the excerpt so long ago (as per Pat's reading reflections at Westeros, which I believe profgrape quoted here in their own thread).

Ultimately, I think TGO will shake Bakker's readership up in ways that previous volumes haven't - a lot of possibility for longtime fans to be renewed or dissuaded in their fervour and for new readers to deny that fervour or take it up as their own.
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Darzin

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« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2016, 02:23:50 pm »
Fair enough, for me I'm a little fixated just because this is the first thing in the second apocalypse that has really challenged my suspension of disbelief. I think you're right that part of it is just having this little bit to analyze leads to much greater focus on it then if we got the whole book.

I'm welcome to be shaken I still love Bakker but I admit that the first series will always be my favorite,mainly for personal reasons. I didn't believe the gods were real then and truthfully I prefer more of a focus on human affairs. The fact of how many people are damned just makes the rich and detailed cultures Bakker has created seem kind of pointless, which I get is the point. I'm not really criticizing him more sharing my preferences.   
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Madness

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« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2016, 02:31:28 pm »
Yeah, please don't take any of that as attack, Darzin.

I'm just teasing out the fabric of the happenings as they happen. I guess the wannabe scientist in me likes observing phenomenon and describing them rather than projecting onto them :).

I think you're right that part of it is just having this little bit to analyze leads to much greater focus on it then if we got the whole book.

Lol - I've maintained pretty much since day 1 of my 730ish between Past Madness getting the draft and Future Madness reading the canon artifact that I thought giving the fandom the rest of that chapter specifically was too much. This fixation on the 'Whale-Mothers' on the part of the Westerosi was to be expected whenever they read that portion. Since Bakker didn't seem to mind revealing the 'Whale-Mothers,' 'Seeing the Dunyain with the Eye,' or 'Koringhus,' there were definitely other portions of the books that he might have released in place of this one specifically.

You're totally right that no matter what portion we got, we'd be fixated on it.

I'm not really criticizing him more sharing my preferences.   

And I hope no behavior here has dissuaded you from continuing to do so in the future, criticism or preference :).
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Darzin

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« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2016, 02:45:18 pm »
No I don't feel attacked at all I just wanted to clarify my reasons for not liking the chapter, which aren't the same as some other people at Westros and seems to have got a bit personal. It's not about Bakker and women, it just didn't work for me.

Did you talk to Bakker personally about that chapter? Because given some of the criticism he's faced I feel that maybe this wasn't the best one to release given that it was going to be read and re-read and endlessly discussed. I'd be interested to know why he chose this part to release.
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« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2016, 02:55:49 pm »
Westerosi getting personal. Lol - maybe it's just the medium or atmosphere over there because I'm hardly guiltless of attacking people at Westeros in my previous frustrations (which Wilshire has possibly helped me manage forever ;)).

I did talk to Bakker about that chapter - not that I cared about the Westerosi response to the 'Whale-Mothers' because there are at least three or four other moments in the book that are going to have the average Westerosi typing out a thousand words in vehement condemnation. For me, I felt like those three narrative revelations I mentioned above were just too much for an excerpt.

Overlook picked the safe bet by releasing the prologue and the first chapter. But as I said, knowing Bakker was comfortable with releasing this excerpt to Pat, I tried to council other portions - pieces that showcase his writing generally (of which there are so many!) rather than specifically rewarding readers waiting on volume six of The Second Apocalypse, as any given portion of this volume is going to excite existing fans.

However, as I've repeated this enough for it to become catechism at this point: a good advisor advises and doesn't upbraid his liege when that liege doesn't act as the advisor advised ;).

Probably, Darzin, given that any piece of TGO is going to be relevatory, Bakker just decided to honour that Pat was going to get that specific excerpt promised so long ago in 2012.
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Darzin

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« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2016, 03:11:15 pm »
OK makes sense. Though I have to say if that level of revelation is in almost every chapter that really does set up TGO to be a truly epic book.
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« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2016, 05:24:26 pm »
For me the thing that stuck out is when Mimara suddenly seeing the Truth(well as much as the judging eye is truth) of Kellhus, and her first thought it to warn her mother. Really jarring and showing how deeply it affected her.

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Wilshire

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« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2016, 06:25:18 pm »
Well regarding the whale mothers I think some of it is our world doesn't have gods or sorcerers but it does have human genetics. So people can pick up on that as being unrealistic. Your right Bakker does have an out with nonmen genetics, but it didn't sit well with me regardless of that. For one it seems to be getting rid of realism in favor of horror the Dunyain are efficient and amoral, and if the women are Dunyain as well there is no reason to restrain them and furthermore knowing what we know of human biology keeping women in such conditions is not conducive to a healthy pregnancy and bringing a child to term.

Lots of assumptions there. At what point has the surface of what has been revealed remained clear throughout the series? Good/bad/damned/saved... Things don't ever seem to be what they are in TSA.
The women aren't necessarily prisoners, or unwilling participants. Other options exist.
Their sexual dimorphism is not ridiculous given IRL biology (See bakker's comments on the subject on TPB).
People  take their past experience and apply it to current situations, the problem is that, like here, if you have a deep understanding (say, of biology) you might see this as perfectly reasonable, but if all you've got is what you remember from  high school biology a decade ago, you might think its impossible. Sometimes it works vice versa though. 

Lots of TSA is about letting the story challenge you and your assumptions, science and religion included.

I'll admit I thought it seemed impossible as I read it, but I've found that it can pretty easily be explained away within the confines of Earwa Lore and/or IRL science. However, I didn't come upon the solution myself. I needed to discuss it with others.

Unfortunately, when you've got a small in-group and narrow conversation lines (ie a few active participants and one single forum thread...), the assumptions and conclusions of the few will seem to be the general consensus of the many, while simultaneously shutting down constructive conversations and abstract thinking.

Speaking broadly, for those that don't WANT there to be a possible explanation, then no amount of evidence will convince otherwise - even if an answers is served to them directly from the author. The need to be personally 'right' is more important than the story itself.
For those interested in maintaining suspension of disbelief so that they can continue to enjoy the series, suitable answers can be found. The latter being far more difficult than former.

Honestly though, for me, in the end its a fantasy series with magic and gods, space faring aliens and laser guns. Limiting what can happen in Earwa based on what's reality in present day Earth seems crazy. Why bother reading fantasy/sci-fi then? If you're interested enough, a suitable reason within the book, any book, should exist to explain whatever situation (if the book was written with care).
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« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2016, 06:48:29 pm »
For me the thing that stuck out is when Mimara suddenly seeing the Truth(well as much as the judging eye is truth) of Kellhus, and her first thought it to warn her mother. Really jarring and showing how deeply it affected her.

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« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2016, 08:03:48 pm »
Well regarding the whale mothers I think some of it is our world doesn't have gods or sorcerers but it does have human genetics. So people can pick up on that as being unrealistic. Your right Bakker does have an out with nonmen genetics, but it didn't sit well with me regardless of that. For one it seems to be getting rid of realism in favor of horror the Dunyain are efficient and amoral, and if the women are Dunyain as well there is no reason to restrain them and furthermore knowing what we know of human biology keeping women in such conditions is not conducive to a healthy pregnancy and bringing a child to term.

Lots of assumptions there. At what point has the surface of what has been revealed remained clear throughout the series? Good/bad/damned/saved... Things don't ever seem to be what they are in TSA.
The women aren't necessarily prisoners, or unwilling participants. Other options exist.
Their sexual dimorphism is not ridiculous given IRL biology (See bakker's comments on the subject on TPB).
People  take their past experience and apply it to current situations, the problem is that, like here, if you have a deep understanding (say, of biology) you might see this as perfectly reasonable, but if all you've got is what you remember from  high school biology a decade ago, you might think its impossible. Sometimes it works vice versa though. 

Lots of TSA is about letting the story challenge you and your assumptions, science and religion included.

I'll admit I thought it seemed impossible as I read it, but I've found that it can pretty easily be explained away within the confines of Earwa Lore and/or IRL science. However, I didn't come upon the solution myself. I needed to discuss it with others.

Unfortunately, when you've got a small in-group and narrow conversation lines (ie a few active participants and one single forum thread...), the assumptions and conclusions of the few will seem to be the general consensus of the many, while simultaneously shutting down constructive conversations and abstract thinking.

Speaking broadly, for those that don't WANT there to be a possible explanation, then no amount of evidence will convince otherwise - even if an answers is served to them directly from the author. The need to be personally 'right' is more important than the story itself.
For those interested in maintaining suspension of disbelief so that they can continue to enjoy the series, suitable answers can be found. The latter being far more difficult than former.

Honestly though, for me, in the end its a fantasy series with magic and gods, space faring aliens and laser guns. Limiting what can happen in Earwa based on what's reality in present day Earth seems crazy. Why bother reading fantasy/sci-fi then? If you're interested enough, a suitable reason within the book, any book, should exist to explain whatever situation (if the book was written with care).

Well said, Wilshire, we'll said. I agree with entirety of your post. Also, I think it all harkens back to the feminism and those that have a disdain for Bakker because of it. To me, it's fantasy, I don't need it to be realistic in a world with magic and such, as you just said. Just part of a great story to me.
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