What are you reading at the moment?

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Andrew

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Andrew » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:35 am

Bloodsquirrel wrote:Well, I finished Hero of Ages, and ho-boy- I'm seriously impressed with Sanderson's ability to stuff that many twists and Chekhov's guns into a book and have each and every one of them feel natural, logical, and well-earned. I don't think the book dragged as much as it made me impatient to see how it was going to all tie together, and I wasn't disappointed. It's also great to see characters doing active, logical things to try to solve their problems, and to see that when they've been manipulated or made a bad call it's set up well enough that the characters don't come off as stupid for it.

I say we bump off GRRM right now and let Sanderson finish ASoIaF.

Glad you liked it! Absolutely agree that Sanderson is an exceptional writer. I would love for him to finish off A Song of Ice and Fire. It may happen yet, too, as I highly doubt GRRM will finish the series before he drops off.

If you would like to continue with the Mistborn story then I'd highly recommend The Alloy of Law. It's the first in a series of 4 Mistborn novels set in a Victorian-esque period set approximately 350 years after Hero of Ages. It is followed by Shadows of Self and then Bands of Mourning with the final novel unwritten at this stage. The novels are a lot shorter than the original Mistborn series too and you could conceivably get through all 3 of them in less than a week.

Highly recommend from my end. I think overall the story written is better than the original Mistborn series although there is no character that Sanderson has ever written who I love more than Vin.

Aside from that, I can't recommend Sanderson's current mega series enough (The Stormlight Archive). It is an epic series and one that has already overtaken the Wheel of Time and the Sword of Truth series' for me (as far as mega series go). The only downside is that only 2 novels have been written so far with another 8 still to come.

Yes, I am a complete, unabashed and unashamed, Sanderson apologist.
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4th Dimension

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby 4th Dimension » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:55 am

I'm down on the plan let's have Sander-tron W2000BR (We all know he is a robod in disguise) finish all the long running series from the 90s, that still aren't over. The tone of the resulting books might be off and the final battle against the white walkers will be a sass off between Ayra and the big bad White Walker guy, but the books would have been completed not in a year but like yesterday. "Oh hi guys, Brandon here, I had some free time on my hands (how?!?) and I wrote 3 more books of the ASOIAF on a bet. Heh Heh. PS. I am totally not a writer bot lol"
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Retsam

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Retsam » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:06 pm

I love Sanderson, but he'd be a hilariously wrong pick to finish Song of Ice and Fire, I can't think of two author's whose styles are more diametrically opposed than Sanderson and Martin.

They've got very styles of prose - Sanderson's prose is very straightforward and utilitarian, while Martin's prose is more flowery and artful - very different approaches to violent and sexual content in their books, and seemingly very different perspectives - Sanderon's perspective largely views most people as fundamentally good - even villains often have sympathetic, if perhaps misguided, motives - while GRRM really doesn't, as far as I can tell.

Sanderson's a good enough writer, and self-aware enough that I'm sure he could do it, but I'm sure he wouldn't want to.

---

Speaking of artful prose, I'm reading Tigana from Guy Gavriel Kay, I'm about 2/3rds of the way through it. I'm really enjoying it so far, even though "artful prose" isn't a generally a huge selling point to me. GGK's thing is to set his stories in fantasy versions of various historical periods: Tigana is set in a fantasy equivalent of medieval Italy, and I've also got another of his books (which I haven't read yet, either) which is set in a fantasy version of China.

It feels a lot like Name of the Wind to me, in various ways, but so far without the parts of Kingkiller Chronicles that annoyed me.
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Andrew

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Andrew » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:10 am

Sanderson and Jordan aren't exactly similar either but he did a pretty good job cleaning up WOT! Jordan's "why use 5 words when 50,000 will do" method of story telling turned me off the series at least once per novel (and two or three times in that horrible book 5-8 portion of the series). Now, granted, GRRM is a 'better' writer than Jordan is but I would not put it past Sanderson to be able to satisfactorily end A Song of Ice and Fire.

Retsam wrote:It feels a lot like Name of the Wind to me, in various ways, but so far without the parts of Kingkiller Chronicles that annoyed me.

So I'm going to take a stab here and say that Kvothe was the main source of your annoyance at the Kingkiller Chronicles.

I really enjoyed Name of the Wind and The Wise Ma's Fear (although it has been more than 5 years since I read either) but Kvothe is easily my least favourite protagonist since Richard Rahl!
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Supahewok

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Supahewok » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:24 am

Andrew wrote:The Wise Ma's Fear

Damn, might be my southerner side talking but I really want to read a book named that now.
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Andrew

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Andrew » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:40 am

Supahewok wrote:
Andrew wrote:The Wise Ma's Fear

Damn, might be my southerner side talking but I really want to read a book named that now.

Heh, beware the wise Ma!!

She knows everythinks!!!
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Retsam

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Retsam » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:56 am

Andrew wrote:Sanderson and Jordan aren't exactly similar either but he did a pretty good job cleaning up WOT! Jordan's "why use 5 words when 50,000 will do" method of story telling turned me off the series at least once per novel (and two or three times in that horrible book 5-8 portion of the series). Now, granted, GRRM is a 'better' writer than Jordan is but I would not put it past Sanderson to be able to satisfactorily end A Song of Ice and Fire.

Sanderson and Jordan aren't all that different, actually. Yeah, they've got somewhat different styles of prose, but Jordan was one of Sanderson's greatest influences, after all.

I looked it up after I made my last comment, this came up in a reddit post, and Sanderson has actually said that he wouldn't finish A Song of Ice and Fire if he were asked. And he cites the biggest reason as just fundamental philosophical differences: he doesn't want to write anything as "pessimistic" as a Song of Ice and Fire. (Plus the sexual content, and he also mentions that they have fundamentally different approaches to magic)

Retsam wrote:It feels a lot like Name of the Wind to me, in various ways, but so far without the parts of Kingkiller Chronicles that annoyed me.

So I'm going to take a stab here and say that Kvothe was the main source of your annoyance at the Kingkiller Chronicles.

I really enjoyed Name of the Wind and The Wise Ma's Fear (although it has been more than 5 years since I read either) but Kvothe is easily my least favourite protagonist since Richard Rahl!


Yeah, Kvothe was definitely a part of it; I don't know if I'd say I hated Kvothe: I know a lot of people think he's too good at everything, and I sort of agree with that, but you can have a talented character and still have a good story where the character's talents drive the conflict. And Kingkiller Chronicles does that. Sometimes. But other times, it just feels like someone dropped their epic fantasy "Chosen One" into a story with a setting and a tone that really shouldn't have a "Chosen One". (And the Felurian sequence, followed by Kvothe deciding that he was a sex god, on top of his already numerous list of talents was definitely a bridge too far for me).

And more generally, I just felt like the books meandered a bit more than I'd like. Two long books but it doesn't really feel like it's going anywhere. After Kvothe gets into the school, I don't think I could summarize the plot of either book except that "Kvothe goes some places and some things happen".

I guess I'd say I liked the books overall, but I don't know that I loved them, though they had some really good parts. There's some really good world-building and some clever foreshadowing, and some pretty funny bits (Elodin is great), and a ton of interesting (and well evidenced) theories about what's going to happen in Book 3... but I just don't find myself anxiously awaiting the third book, or even particularly excited for it.

(Also, Kote is supposedly telling this story to a chronicler, one day per book, but each book's audiobook is 40 hours. Literally unplayable.)
Steve C

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Steve C » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:26 am

I liked Kvothe. He was definitely too good at everything. That didn't really change my opinion of him. The parts of Kingkiller Chronicles that I did not like were parts when he screwed up. I found those unbelievable because he was so good at everything. Kvothe's mistakes felt hamfisted in a "plot demands it" kind of way. In the same vein as Homer Simpson has to go back to work at the plant so let's do something to wrap this up. Oh Kvothe made an obvious mistake that set himself back... "So the children learned how to function as a society, and eventually they were rescued by, oh, let's say... Moe"

As for Book 3, I don't think there is ever going to be a Book 3. The 2nd book has a giant section that is skipped over. It described a story that I believe had been written but not published. I'm guessing it wasn't very good and had to be cut entirely. Events that were intended to be in the 3rd book were brought forward and threw the author off his stride. With that plus it's been such a long time since the 2nd book, I think the author has lost his voice for the story and gave up.
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Sudanna

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Sudanna » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:52 am

the second book definitely lost a lot of coherence and structure and focus compared to the first. it's not a good sign.
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Andrew

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Andrew » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:57 am

Steve C wrote:As for Book 3, I don't think there is ever going to be a Book 3. The 2nd book has a giant section that is skipped over. It described a story that I believe had been written but not published. I'm guessing it wasn't very good and had to be cut entirely. Events that were intended to be in the 3rd book were brought forward and threw the author off his stride. With that plus it's been such a long time since the 2nd book, I think the author has lost his voice for the story and gave up.

This is interesting. I had to check and A Wise Man's Fear was released in March 2011.

That's just 3 months shy of A Dance with Dragons.

In GRRM's case I would fully expect an announcement one day where he says he simply hasn't got the time to finish the series, especially now that the TV series has overtaken it and has/will give away the ending in a few short months (not that I would know as I don't watch it). GRRM has so many balls in the air that is totally conceivable, especially with his advanced aged and (apparent) poor'ish health.

My question would be, what has Rothfuss got going for him that is keeping him so busy?

You're right in saying that A Wise Man's Fear was completely disjointed in several sections and I would believe that he didn't like that part of the book and cut it out (although it's also possible that he was saving those stories for short stories a la The Slow Regard of silent Things). But then I also remember an interview with Rothfuss an age ago where he said that the Kingkiller Chronicle was going to be a stand alone trilogy and he had ideas and drafts of future novels set in the same world but telling a completely different story.

I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make anymore. I am just rambling so I'll finish with saying that I've never believed that Rothfuss is actually a good author. He knows how to paint a pretty picture and his descriptive writing is as good as anyone's I've ever read. But when it comes to plot, character development, logic and basically telling a coherent story... well, I've never seen that ability in him. This 'chosen one, god-like' personality that he has given Kvothe is juvenile at best and I think the Kvothe character is the very pinnacle of his ability to tell a good story.

Basically, I think he got extremely lucky that The Name of the Wind turned out as well as it did and he has been riding off its coattails ever since.
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Retsam

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Retsam » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:40 pm

Andrew wrote:
Steve C wrote:As for Book 3, I don't think there is ever going to be a Book 3. The 2nd book has a giant section that is skipped over. It described a story that I believe had been written but not published. I'm guessing it wasn't very good and had to be cut entirely. Events that were intended to be in the 3rd book were brought forward and threw the author off his stride. With that plus it's been such a long time since the 2nd book, I think the author has lost his voice for the story and gave up.

This is interesting. I had to check and A Wise Man's Fear was released in March 2011.

That's just 3 months shy of A Dance with Dragons.

In GRRM's case I would fully expect an announcement one day where he says he simply hasn't got the time to finish the series, especially now that the TV series has overtaken it and has/will give away the ending in a few short months (not that I would know as I don't watch it). GRRM has so many balls in the air that is totally conceivable, especially with his advanced aged and (apparent) poor'ish health.

My question would be, what has Rothfuss got going for him that is keeping him so busy?

You're right in saying that A Wise Man's Fear was completely disjointed in several sections and I would believe that he didn't like that part of the book and cut it out (although it's also possible that he was saving those stories for short stories a la The Slow Regard of silent Things). But then I also remember an interview with Rothfuss an age ago where he said that the Kingkiller Chronicle was going to be a stand alone trilogy and he had ideas and drafts of future novels set in the same world but telling a completely different story.

I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make anymore. I am just rambling so I'll finish with saying that I've never believed that Rothfuss is actually a good author. He knows how to paint a pretty picture and his descriptive writing is as good as anyone's I've ever read. But when it comes to plot, character development, logic and basically telling a coherent story... well, I've never seen that ability in him. This 'chosen one, god-like' personality that he has given Kvothe is juvenile at best and I think the Kvothe character is the very pinnacle of his ability to tell a good story.

Basically, I think he got extremely lucky that The Name of the Wind turned out as well as it did and he has been riding off its coattails ever since.



I've got a bit of insight into the Rothfuss thing: I've read a fair bit of his blog, and also because Rothfuss comes to GenCon every year and has an "evening with Rothfuss" event, where he basically just answers questions, talks about whatever, or does readings from various things like "The Princess and Mr. Whiffle", (his "children's book" which comes with a "This Shit Is Not For Kids" sticker) or the humor "advice" column he wrote in college. (If you've got time, this one is hilarious, IMO) and also occasionally talks about his writing process.

Book 2 had a bit of a rough process: Rothfuss had a ton of anxiety with the book, with suddenly being famous, and his meticulous writing style just doesn't lend itself well to deadlines. He tried to rush out the book, anyway, and his editor had to step in. (He relates that story here, after the first section break).

But, I don't actually think that "big section" that Steve C mentions was actually a cut, though, assuming you're talking about the bit where he goes "on the trip I was shipwrecked, attacked by pirates, hit by a storm, and left penniless in a distant country, but that's not important right now". And that part I think was always meant to be skipped.

I think the point of saying "hey really interesting stuff happened, but I'm not going to tell you about it", is that he's trying to show that Kote is only telling the parts of the story that are somehow important to the overall story: that bit of the story is making the argument that all the rest of the story is important, even if it just feels like a random collection of events. If it were really a cut, he could have just written "and then I sailed to Severen and it was an uneventful trip".

And maybe there'll be a payout to the seemingly meandering events of Book 2. Rothfuss does seem to have a knack for small details of past events calling forward to later events, but we'll have to wait for Book 3 to see, I guess.

Plus, there's definitely an "unreliable narration" aspect to the series, and I'm hoping that Book 3 will have some revelation that makes it a lot more obvious what parts of the story are just Kote embellishing things.

---

And I actually do think Rothfuss is a talented author. There's a lot of cleverness to his writing, both in Kingkiller Chronicles and outside of it. And I don't just mean his prose (which I could take or leave, honestly: artful prose isn't my thing). There's a ton of little details and nuance throughout the stories: there seems to be as much hidden in two books of Rothfuss as there is hidden in a half-dozen books of Sanderson. (And I say that as a huge Sanderfan)

But he's someone who's good at writing, and not someone who's good at writing on a deadline. He's got too much anxiety, too much of a perfectionist, and apparently he tends toward depression. It's a vicious cycle where his writing takes awhile, so fans get angry and start sending toxic stuff at him, and so he gets more depressed and toxic himself, and that delays the writing more. He had a blog entry back when book 2 was being delayed, and I imagine all of that is true, even more so, for book 3.

Also, sometimes he gets angry and becomes a bit of a toxic asshole himself. As much as I respect him as a writer, can sympathize with his struggles, and can enjoy listening to him talk, apparently, Rothfuss can really be an asshole at times. Both when dealing with fans (he's basically started treating anyone who as much as mentions Book 3 like they're one of the toxic assholes), and he's not always great with people who have different opinions than him. But that's a whole other rant.

And, he's got other stuff on his plate, other than writing Book 3, too. Other than just "having a life", he's pretty heavily involved in charity work, he's got other bits of writing on his plate, and I know there's something of a TV deal in the works for his books, too. He's definitely working on Book 3 (there was even a leaked page, though his reaction to that is part of my above linked rant), but it's probably best if he continues to work on "Valve-time", "it'll be out when it's done".

---

Same for GRRM, for that matter. It's not that he doesn't care, it's not that he's sick and old, it's not even that he's so distracted by the TV show that he doesn't write anymore (though the television series can't be helping). It's mostly that GRRM's writing style just doesn't lend itself to quick work. He's never been a fast writer, even before there was a television show.
Steve C

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Steve C » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:10 pm

I've never understood the hate towards authors because of delays getting the next part out. Even if that delay becomes "never". Like if GRRM never finishes GoT. Is that so awful? Does that wreck what came before? Sure, everyone wants more of a good thing. But if the guy responsible knows it is going to be crap, I'd rather he stop before that point. There's nothing to be gained by running it into the ground. There is certainly something to be lost. Crap that comes later can absolutely destroy what came before. I'm ok with it if an artist runs out of ideas and quietly gives up.

assuming you're talking about the bit where he goes "on the trip I was shipwrecked, attacked by pirates, hit by a storm, and left penniless in a distant country, but that's not important right now".
Yeah that's the bit I was referring to.

There's a ton of little details and nuance throughout the stories: there seems to be as much hidden in two books of Rothfuss as there is hidden in a half-dozen books of Sanderson. (And I say that as a huge Sanderfan)

Really?? I did not get that impression in Kingkiller Chronicles at all. Quite the opposite. I didn't see much in the way of foreshadowing nor nuance. What little I did notice felt a little disingenuous. For the same reason I can forgive how mary-sue Kvothe is because he is an unreliable narrator, I get irritated when I notice elements that are purposely obfuscated. For example Kvothe clearly met his aunt which is never labeled nor drawn attention to as part of the story. How it is handled in the story Kote is telling is highly suspect as it's obviously being saved for a "reveal".

Do you have any examples of nuance, hidden elements and foreshadowing that worked for you?
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Retsam

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Retsam » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:15 pm

Steve C wrote:
There's a ton of little details and nuance throughout the stories: there seems to be as much hidden in two books of Rothfuss as there is hidden in a half-dozen books of Sanderson. (And I say that as a huge Sanderfan)

Really?? I did not get that impression in Kingkiller Chronicles at all. Quite the opposite. I didn't see much in the way of foreshadowing nor nuance. What little I did notice felt a little disingenuous. For the same reason I can forgive how mary-sue Kvothe is because he is an unreliable narrator, I get irritated when I notice elements that are purposely obfuscated. For example Kvothe clearly met his aunt which is never labeled nor drawn attention to as part of the story. How it is handled in the story Kote is telling is highly suspect as it's obviously being saved for a "reveal".

Do you have any examples of nuance, hidden elements and foreshadowing that worked for you?


I'll point out that most people don't consider the "Laurian = Natalia Lockless" thing to be all that obvious. A ton of people, myself included, (and apparently Kvothe) miss it, at least on the first read. (Admittedly, it had been years since I had read the first book) And even if you find it obvious, it's still a good example of foreshadowing, as it's foreshadowed by a song about Lady Lackless in the first book, where Kvothe's mother rebukes him saying "Lady Lackless is a real person with feelings to be hurt".

One insignificant but clever bits of nuance is that, during his testing to get into the Academy, Elodin asks Kvothe if he knows the "seven words that will make a woman love you", and Kvothe and Denna's conversations are filled with seven word sentences. (Here's a list of most the examples from Name of the Wind) Elodin also mentions the "10 words that can break a strong man's will", and while there are a few contenders, (I'm a fan of "The whole story falls apart if Lanre isn't the hero,") I'd be shocked if there aren't some pretty significant 10-word sentences in Book 3, when we actually see Kvothe break.

Another little clever bit, albeit not from the text itself, is that it's said in Wise Man's Fear that the Cthaeh Tree is used as a symbol of a story that will end in tragedy, and there just so happens to be a tree prominently displayed on the front cover of the US Edition of Name of the Wind.

--

But, admittedly, the biggest category of stuff that I find interesting is all the speculation for Book 3. And, yes, it's just speculation, and a lot of it could turn out to be wrong, and all of the perceived foreshadowing for Book 3 could just be red herrings, but I doubt it, personally, and the fact that the book provides so much raw material for speculation in the form of all of its legends and mysteries I think is a point in its favor, regardless. So some prominent (and, IMO, interesting) speculation:

I suspect Ambrose is the king that gets killed: from a story perspective, it'd make the most sense, since he's been a lot more persistent antagonist than I'd expect from The Malfoy, (and it'd be a good case of Kvothe getting bit by a problem he created: he had plenty of opportunities to just leave Ambrose alone or at least to stop escalating). Plus, his sword is known as the "poet-killer", and Ambrose is the character best known for committing poetry.

There's the "A = C" and the "A = B" theories concerning the relation of Master Ash (Denna's secretive patron), Brendon (the Tak player Kvothe meets in Severen) and Cinder, the Chandrian. There's a lot of good evidence that Master Ash might be Cinder, or Bredon. (But it's hard to reconcile "A=B=C", since Felurian implies that Kvothe has met Cinder twice, but he met Bredon many times). There's too many points of evidence to list here, but there's a good listing on this page, though I guess I'll cherrypick a particular example:

Kvothe's knack at guessing true names is another clue. His first attempts at giving [Denna's patron] a nickname include Feran, Forue, and Fordale, which are both arguably similar to Cinder's true name Ferula/Ferule and, if broken into syllables and taken in order, spell Ferule (Feran, Forue, and Fordale). He eventually decides on Master Ash and although he intends the name to refer to the tree, the alternate meaning relates to Cinder.


It's suggested that the librarian at the Academy may be a secret member of the Amyr, for various reasons.

There's also explicitly labeled hints like:

"The Maer has already come close to the Amyr, though he doesn't realize it. Stick by the Maer and he will lead you to their door." The Cthaeh gave a thin, dry chuckle. "Whatever else you might forget, remember what I just said. Eventually you'll get the joke. I guarantee you'll laugh when the time comes."


And this is largely just the stuff that I think has a really strong basis, there's a ton of interesting speculation based on some of the backstory and myths, that I frankly just don't remember well enough to bring up, even cheating with Google as I am.
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dudecon
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Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby dudecon » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:21 pm

Steve C wrote:I've never understood the hate towards authors because of delays getting the next part out. Even if that delay becomes "never"... I'm ok with it if an artist runs out of ideas and quietly gives up.
I don't agree with the hate (having myself started a great many projects that I never finish) but it seems pretty understandable.

Imagine you sit down in a nice restaurant on a Friday night, place your order, eat the appetizer, and then just wait. After three hours the waiter apologetically tells you that dinner will not be arriving because the power went out and all their ingredients went bad, and will you please pay for the appetizer and the wine? I mean, it could have been worse. They could have made you food with tainted ingredients and ruined your whole weekend. But even so, it seems like they might have mentioned it before you waited so long.

When an author is writing a series, there is an explicit promise that there is a plan in place to finish the series. It seems like failing this justifies disappointment at the very least. And sure, there are worse things than not finishing, but I would say failing to communicate in a timely manner is one of them.
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Retsam

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Retsam » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:09 pm

Oh, right. I meant to comment on that bit, too, but got distracted in Kingkiller theories. I find my view largely aligns with an opinion piece by Brent Weeks, which largely agrees with dudecon's post above.

GRRM isn't your bitch, but starting a series is an implicit agreement between author and reader that they'll finish the series.
Steve C

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Steve C » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:14 am

A ton of people, myself included, (and apparently Kvothe) miss it, at least on the first read.
In my opinion, Kvothe cannot miss it unless he never realizes it until after meeting Chronicler. It is the double edged sword of telling an autobiography inside a story. I can forgive all the "I'm super awesome" because the narrator is unreliable. The narrator has to be reliable on facts and discoveries though. The aunt thing is something Kote knows while talking to Chronicler. So not divulging it then and there is akin to lying.

A good example of doing it right is when Kote first introduces Denna to the story. He talks about Denna being very important to the story but how and why will come out in the telling. That's good! That's exactly what he should have done with his aunt. Because Kote didn't, it felt like Rothfuss was pulling a fast one with the audience. Kote is the author. *Or* Rothfuss is. Can't have it both ways.
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Retsam

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Retsam » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:02 am

Steve C wrote:
A ton of people, myself included, (and apparently Kvothe) miss it, at least on the first read.
In my opinion, Kvothe cannot miss it unless he never realizes it until after meeting Chronicler. It is the double edged sword of telling an autobiography inside a story. I can forgive all the "I'm super awesome" because the narrator is unreliable. The narrator has to be reliable on facts and discoveries though. The aunt thing is something Kote knows while talking to Chronicler. So not divulging it then and there is akin to lying.

A good example of doing it right is when Kote first introduces Denna to the story. He talks about Denna being very important to the story but how and why will come out in the telling. That's good! That's exactly what he should have done with his aunt. Because Kote didn't, it felt like Rothfuss was pulling a fast one with the audience. Kote is the author. *Or* Rothfuss is. Can't have it both ways.


Yeah, I guess I disagree. It's okay to jump ahead in the chronology of a story, if there's a benefit to it: jumping ahead in the chronology to tell the audience that Denna is important is fine, but it's not a necessary thing to do. It's not deceptive to relate events in the order that they happened, without providing the reader outside knowledge.

I just don't see anything deceptive about saying "I met a woman, she seemed familiar, but I figure out why", that's just a literal description of what happened. He could have broken chronology to reveal the later knowledge that she's his aunt, but I don't see why you feel like he was obligated to. Inevitably there's tons of details that Kote hasn't included in the story, simply because we haven't hit that part of the story, chronologically. Are there rules for which details you think must be divulged early and which he's allowed to keep in his hat? I'm legitimately unsure of why you find this unreveal to be "akin to lying".

It's fine to leave hints to something that will be revealed later and let the more attentive readers piece it together early, if they want. That's an entirely normal thing to do in storytelling, and I think that's true regardless of whether we're talking about Rothfuss or Kote doing the storytelling.
Bloodsquirrel

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Bloodsquirrel » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:50 pm

Steve C wrote:I've never understood the hate towards authors because of delays getting the next part out. Even if that delay becomes "never". Like if GRRM never finishes GoT. Is that so awful? Does that wreck what came before? Sure, everyone wants more of a good thing. But if the guy responsible knows it is going to be crap, I'd rather he stop before that point. There's nothing to be gained by running it into the ground. There is certainly something to be lost. Crap that comes later can absolutely destroy what came before. I'm ok with it if an artist runs out of ideas and quietly gives up.


An ending is a pretty core part of a story, and, yes, not having one makes everything before it feel like a complete waste. ASoIaF isn't a series that has run out of ideas- it's yet to resolve the plots that have already been set up. I'm all for letting things end when the creators have nothing more to say with them, but there's a big difference between that and just cutting off a story in the middle. Supernatural should have ended after season 5. Dragonball Super has no good reason to exist beyond making more money. If GRRM comes out tomorrow and says "Okay, I'm wrapping things up in Winds of Winter, and that'll be the end", I'll be happy. But, as it stands, ASoIaF is an incomplete work and it definitely makes me think less of GRRM that he lacks the professionalism to see things through, especially after all of the years of support people have given him.
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Sudanna

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Sudanna » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:59 am

Read Surface Detail, which is one of Iain M. Banks' Culture novels and, yep, it's another Culture novel. Nice easy read, bit of SF, bit of adventure, bit of fully automated gay liberal space communism, always a pleasure, rarely a purpose. About as good - so, mildly good - as the other that aren't the big few people hold up as exemplary (Player of Games, Use of Weapons).

Now onto Schismatrix Plus, which is already much more interesting. A quarter or so into the novel (there are several short stories as well) and it's great. The author, Bruce Sterling, calls it cyberpunk, and I wouldn't quite say it is - it's farther-future and entirely set in space, and deals with a lot more than cyber per se -, but it definitely comes from a cyberpunk author, a foundational one too. Hard-assed and wretched.

It's the 2200s or so, and humanity is flung throughout the solar system in a constellation of fragile orbital or asteroidal space habitats. Earth is still there, but nobody talks to them. There are uncountable different tiny authorities and independent legalities and self-governing stations, but there are two particular superpowers seeking hegemony that influence other and broadly factionalize the entire solar system, both inter- and intra-entity. The Shapers, biotechnologists led by the Shaper Ring Council in the rings of Saturn, and the Mechanists, cybertechnologists arranged into loosely allied cartels led by ancient cyborgs, The Radical Old. Both modify the human form significantly.

The conflict is not so much about what cool flavor we want our technology to have, so much as it is about the different social structures and values and methods of governance that the different branches of technology lend themselves to. The Shapers, for example, are aristocratic and collectivist - they place high value on effective genelines but can grow any kind of person they want, so any individual person is replacable. The Mechanists are "individualist", but actually gerontocratic/oligarchic(very unlike real individualism, i'm sure). Decrepit, bedbound cyborgs sustained by indefinite life support wield their accumulated resources and descendants for their own gain and power struggles. While it's cheap to grow new Shapers, it's less cheap to build new cyborgs, so they guard their property a little more carefully. Both, of course, are horrible amoral freaks whose mutual conflict is rapidly distancing themselves from any shred of humanity.

The protagonist is a half-Shaper, half-unaffiliated political exile fleeing into the dingy, irrelevant, and criminal sections of the solar system. Things have proceeded from there.
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Wide And Nerdy

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Wide And Nerdy » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:04 pm

I'm reading Superior Spiderman at the moment.

If you're unfamiliar, Doctor Octopus switches bodies with Spiderman and Spidey dies in Ock's body. Doc is stuck in Peter's body with both Peter's memories as well as his own and feels motivated to be a better Spiderman than Peter ever was.

Its a study in extreme utilitarianism. Doctor Octopus calculates maximized goods and utilities in his efforts and mathematically, he does seem to be a more efficient Spiderman so far. While the story shows that Doc has some conscience its clear he's often more motivated by achievement than conscience. It raises an interesting question about what makes a better superhero.

I have to give the artist credit too. You can tell just by looking at Peter that its Peter but not Peter and the writing is a match. Its clearly a supervillain trying to be a superhero. He doesn't loose his penchant for sesquipedalian locquaciousness for example just because he's a good guy now.
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Sudanna

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Sudanna » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:58 am

Finished Schismatrix Plus, and turns out it's beautiful and perfect and a lot larger in scope than my earlier post could know. Really happy about it, it's going on the special shelf right next to China Mountain Zhang.
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4th Dimension

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby 4th Dimension » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:44 pm

Sanderson fans might find it interesting that Tor will be running weekly free chapters (first 32) of Oathbringer all the way until the release.
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Andrew

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Andrew » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:00 am

4th Dimension wrote:Sanderson fans might find it interesting that Tor will be running weekly free chapters (first 32) of Oathbringer all the way until the release.

Oooh that's really tempting.

They did the same thing for WOR but I found that reading the first part of the novel in piecemeal fashion was very... unsatisfying. Every time a new chapter was released I just wanted to keep going.

I'm still going to read them as soon as they're out each week though... >.>
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4th Dimension

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby 4th Dimension » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:12 am

I'm kinda used to that model, since that's what was done for a lot of Bean and Weber novels. A SIGNIFICANT chunk of them would get published over on ericflint.net. In a way I like it since it allows you to demo the book you are interested in. :D
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Andrew

Re: What are you reading at the moment?

Postby Andrew » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:27 am

The Prologue is up - https://www.tor.com/series/oathbringer/

3 chapters a week. Until November.

Well... it's still torture.

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