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Chimpy
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Reply #6335 on: November 21, 2017, 03:32:58 PM

No it is not a trilogy, it is slated to be I think 10 books.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Shannow
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Reply #6336 on: November 21, 2017, 03:37:53 PM

meh

Someone liked something? Who the fuzzy fuck was this heretic? You don't come to this website and enjoy something. Fuck that. ~ The Walrus
Ard
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Reply #6337 on: November 21, 2017, 06:25:54 PM

Hea the only author I trust to start writing a series this long and actually finish it.  Im not even sure Butcher is going to finish the dresen files anymore.  Sanderson at least is a massively prolific writer.
Morat20
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Reply #6338 on: November 22, 2017, 12:01:56 AM

I read the first Mistborn trilogy recently and can't remember how it ended. So went back and reread the Wikipedia page and went 'oh yeah that's right, it got silly and make little to no sense'
Did you try the second set (the Wax and Wayne stuff)? I found the writing a lot tighter, the world and plot far more intriguing (revolvers and new fangled electricity and the railroad isn't that old a thing), and the powers were considerably more varied and well rounded. No out and out Mistborn with all the powers, but a lot of people with one power and a few with two (one of the "burning metal" types and one of the "Storing/retrieving crap from metal" types.).

They're also a bit more stand alone. I think he wrote the first as a bridging book for some other idea, but clearly liked the setting and characters.
Khaldun
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Reply #6339 on: November 22, 2017, 05:18:31 PM

Is the Stormlight thing really supposed to be 10 books? Even given his efficient process, I'm not keen on that. There is just no fucking story in the history of the world that justifies that kind of serial bloat.

And yes to his pacing issues--it's what all these guys, good and not-good, do: endless fucking filler and then suddenly a bunch of shit at the end. Terrible.
Reg
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Reply #6340 on: November 23, 2017, 08:52:13 AM

I think that the Stormlight stuff is an indulgence. Ten enormous books that he can release three or four years apart will last him for his whole career and be the defining story of his Cosmere where most of his other books are set. I suspect the other, shorter books are what actually supports him. Not everyone is going to be willing to reading a 1500 page blockbuster every few years.
Chimpy
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Reply #6341 on: November 23, 2017, 09:18:14 AM

I think you are wrong on that, the giant brick serial fantasy genre has been selling books consistently for 30 years. If the books didn't sell, Jordan would not have been able to milk the WoT gravy train for 15 years releasing books that did nothing to forward the plot if people were not willing to read tons of pages every few years.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
NowhereMan
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Reply #6342 on: November 23, 2017, 09:43:52 AM

Is the Stormlight thing really supposed to be 10 books? Even given his efficient process, I'm not keen on that. There is just no fucking story in the history of the world that justifies that kind of serial bloat.

And yes to his pacing issues--it's what all these guys, good and not-good, do: endless fucking filler and then suddenly a bunch of shit at the end. Terrible.


He's gotten a lot better with that, comparing this latest WoK book to earlier stuff... well he's actually kept it feeling like things are happening throughout, plot points get brought up and resolved. Might be partly the longer size but even the recent Mistborn books have been much, much better on that front.

Also Mistborn is now suffering from series bloat, it was originally slated to be three trilogies: A medieval fantasy, an urban fantasy and a futuristic/sci-fi fantasy (same world in different eras). The second trilogy wasn't actually meant to be a trilogy, he got bored on a flight and knocked out a short story set between the first two which he enjoyed writing and got very positive fan reaction to. The first trilogy ended unsatisfyingly because he was setting up a whole series. It's a big ask though, the WoK is an indulgence in the sense of it's designed to be centrepiece and showcase for his Cosmere writing. Basically he's aiming to draw in figures from other books and explore the universe rather than individual worlds, I'm guessing something to do  even as prolific as Sanderson is though I can see later books being more than 3-4 years apart if it's as ambitious as he's hinted. There's a lot to keep track of beyond actually writing out 3,000 pages consistently. The side novels are more to keep him from getting overwhelmed and to keep him enjoying writing.

"Look at my car. Do you think that was bought with the earnest love of geeks?" - HaemishM
Reg
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Reply #6343 on: November 23, 2017, 05:12:13 PM

I think you are wrong on that, the giant brick serial fantasy genre has been selling books consistently for 30 years. If the books didn't sell, Jordan would not have been able to milk the WoT gravy train for 15 years releasing books that did nothing to forward the plot if people were not willing to read tons of pages every few years.

Oh I'm sure they make money. I just think the target audience is going to be smaller (although likely a lot more enthusiastic.) The difference between Sanderson and Jordan is that Sanderson writes plenty of more normal sized books and just pops out a two thousand page epic every two or three years.
Khaldun
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Reply #6344 on: March 12, 2018, 06:47:02 PM

Just finished the newest Expanse book. I will give those guys this much: they do not fuck around about changing the status quo. There aren't any Red Wedding scenes, etc.--they like the central characters too much to do that to them--but the overall situation of the human race has some dramatic and plausible changes in most books in the main series, except really the Ilus one (and even that is turning out to be more important than it seemed.)

No spoilers, but I will say the historian in me was pretty satisfied with some of the thinking in the latest one.

--------

I have kind of ground to a halt at 55% of the newest Sanderson. I will go back to it soon, but that series is feeling a bit bloated to me at this point.

--------

Finished Steven Pinker's Better Angels of Our Nature. He is such a prick, and the problem is most of his little army of devotees have no idea how manipulative he is with the data and evidence he's working with. Or stupid. I can't tell which it is sometimes--he might be lazy, he might be a liar, it's a bit hard to tell for sure. One thing I am sure is that he has an absolutely colossal ego problem.
ghost
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Reply #6345 on: March 15, 2018, 07:30:56 PM

Just read (well, listened to) Surface Matter for the first time.  Holy shit, last sentence makes the whole thing stand on end....
rattran
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Unreasonable


Reply #6346 on: March 15, 2018, 09:22:32 PM

Surface Detail?
WayAbvPar
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Reply #6347 on: March 18, 2018, 07:07:09 PM

Recently finished The Powder Mage Trilogy. I liked it. Interesting world, decent characters. Almost steampunk-ish in parts (which I normally hate)- the tech seems to be early Industrial Revolution, but there is also magic (of varied schools/practices).

Worth a look if you need something new to read in the fantasy genre.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

Who the hell taught you how to write? Fuck, that sentence is like internet transmitted face-attacking knives. Jesus. schild
ghost
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Reply #6348 on: March 20, 2018, 07:05:21 AM

Rendakor
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Reply #6349 on: March 30, 2018, 11:01:45 PM

After enjoying 1Q84 a lot, I've been reading all of Haruki Murakami's (English translated) works starting from the very beginning. Just finished Sputnik Sweetheart, which was good except for the vague ending. Norwegian Wood is probably my favorite, so far.

Check out my podcast: ADD&D, Attention Deficit Dungeons & Dragons!
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Soln
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the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #6350 on: March 31, 2018, 12:58:38 PM


Finished Steven Pinker's Better Angels of Our Nature. He is such a prick, and the problem is most of his little army of devotees have no idea how manipulative he is with the data and evidence he's working with. Or stupid. I can't tell which it is sometimes--he might be lazy, he might be a liar, it's a bit hard to tell for sure. One thing I am sure is that he has an absolutely colossal ego problem.


More please?  Id like to like this guy but know nothing usefully about his real views.  Seems like a pet intellectual for billionaires and the media.  Can you elaborate?
Ironwood
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Reply #6351 on: March 31, 2018, 01:44:31 PM

Name of the Wind totally grabbed me.  It's....really quite good.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Reg
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Reply #6352 on: March 31, 2018, 02:53:48 PM

The sequel is good too. Unfortunately he's pulling a Game of Thrones and hasn't written any more in years. I hear it's getting a TV series and I doubt that's going to go well.
Ironwood
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Reply #6353 on: April 01, 2018, 04:16:35 AM

....

I am unhappy.  You've made me unhappy.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
lamaros
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Reply #6354 on: April 01, 2018, 08:01:09 AM

Just finished the newest Expanse book. I will give those guys this much: they do not fuck around about changing the status quo. There aren't any Red Wedding scenes, etc.--they like the central characters too much to do that to them--but the overall situation of the human race has some dramatic and plausible changes in most books in the main series, except really the Ilus one (and even that is turning out to be more important than it seemed.)

I feel that they've not managed to capture the interest and energy of the detective start of series as they've gone on. I'm with on not being afraid to go off in different directions, but they seem to pad things out a lot in the last few. The most recent ended up with not a lot happening at all, which was.. underwhelming.


Expect poison from the standing water.
Chimpy
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Reply #6355 on: April 01, 2018, 11:16:37 AM

The sequel is good too. Unfortunately he's pulling a Game of Thrones and hasn't written any more in years. I hear it's getting a TV series and I doubt that's going to go well.

He is a worse I love all this attention I get from what I have already written, writing is hard, I am just going to be a fat man basking in the glow guy than Martin.

That shit isnt getting written.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Reg
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Reply #6356 on: April 01, 2018, 02:35:50 PM

Martin has at least written a half dozen books or so in his series. Rothfuss has only written two. He can't bask in that forever without writing more books. He did write a short story or novella in the series and I liked it. I think it gave me a clue as to the eventual cure for Kvothe's problems.
carnifex27
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Reply #6357 on: April 02, 2018, 06:18:42 AM

Have you guys read his "Reckoners" trilogy? It's a fun story about a world where superheroes are real and evil.
He's referring to Sanderson and he's absolutely right. It's a good fun romp that all ties together and has an ending.
Hea the only author I trust to start writing a series this long and actually finish it.  Im not even sure Butcher is going to finish the dresen files anymore.  Sanderson at least is a massively prolific writer.
I love me some Butcher and each of his books still feel like they're a self contained story, but less so in the last few books of the Dresden series. I almost feel like he has started viewing the Dresden series as an obligation. I'm a little worried that he wants to write his Cinder Spires series but feels like he has to write more Dresden. If you haven't read the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher....you should read that. Probably the best character growth of any series I can think of off the top of my head. It almost reminds me of Larry Correia, who everyone knows from the monster hunter series, even though his Grimnoir Chronicles is way, way better. I'd go so far as to say that the Codex Alera and the Grimnoir Chronicles are both better series but the Dresden Files and Monster Hunters Inc have more captivating settings.
rattran
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Unreasonable


Reply #6358 on: April 02, 2018, 09:36:37 AM

Last conversation I had with Butcher he seemed dismissive of the Dresden stuff, but recommended the Codex Alera and some of his new stuff. Plus he's getting married soon to a pretty girl, so is probably a bit distracted.

I had to explain to someone this weekend why Iain M Banks hadn't written anything new in 5 years. Made me sad.
Khaldun
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Reply #6359 on: April 02, 2018, 09:50:41 PM

On Pinker's Better Angels, the most efficient summary is:

a) he ignores tons of historical scholarship and anthropological scholarship if it's not convenient for him
b) he massively misstates the confidence underlying the conclusions he does reach--on a metric shit ton of things, we have no comprehensive data about incidence and scale of violence prior to 1500 CE
c) like a lot of evolutionary psychologists, he has absolutely no knowledge of anything outside of European history/American history and just handwaves it off unless he's read a physical anthropologist he likes in who works in a non-Western setting, in which case he writes them in--but you can't make good universal arguments without at least reckoning somewhat with the vast majority of human history
d) he ignores a lot of problems with defining "violence" in a consistent way, and ignores types of it that would really unsettle his arguments
e) he ignores tons of problems with the evidence on rates of violence in the modern world (for example, whether domestic violence is comprehensively underreported) and how that compares with premodernity (where the evidence is almost entirely lacking to make any strong arguments about incidence rates)
f) he's got this weird fucking thing going on where somehow it's less violent to kill millions of people in wars if you're having fewer wars in toto; but most premodern wars in most societies were not total wars waged with the intent to actually kill the maximum enemy combatants, and many other complications; this is also in some sense a philosophical, not empirical argument (e.g., is it 'better' if there are fewer wars in toto but if there is a war, there's a significant chance that many millions of people will die, which is per capita maybe less of the overall global population of humanity? This is like saying if you lived in a small town of 100, and someone murdered 2 people, that's a bigger deal than if you live in a town of 10,000 and someone kills 100 people. This is basically just not how people think about violence or anything else, and with some good reason.

Basically, he's a dude totally in love with straw men, with his own sense that he's a "scientist", and with delivering the good news to Davos and the World Bank that all is well with modernity because science says so. He's never met a difficult or complicated idea in his life: he's like a TED talk that's escaped from the laboratory.
Soln
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the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #6360 on: April 03, 2018, 06:30:37 PM

Thanks for the summary.  What I expected. TED Talks unchained the worst self promoters.
lamaros
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Reply #6361 on: April 03, 2018, 08:05:24 PM

On Pinker's Better Angels, the most efficient summary is:

a) he ignores tons of historical scholarship and anthropological scholarship if it's not convenient for him
b) he massively misstates the confidence underlying the conclusions he does reach--on a metric shit ton of things, we have no comprehensive data about incidence and scale of violence prior to 1500 CE
c) like a lot of evolutionary psychologists, he has absolutely no knowledge of anything outside of European history/American history and just handwaves it off unless he's read a physical anthropologist he likes in who works in a non-Western setting, in which case he writes them in--but you can't make good universal arguments without at least reckoning somewhat with the vast majority of human history
d) he ignores a lot of problems with defining "violence" in a consistent way, and ignores types of it that would really unsettle his arguments
e) he ignores tons of problems with the evidence on rates of violence in the modern world (for example, whether domestic violence is comprehensively underreported) and how that compares with premodernity (where the evidence is almost entirely lacking to make any strong arguments about incidence rates)
f) he's got this weird fucking thing going on where somehow it's less violent to kill millions of people in wars if you're having fewer wars in toto; but most premodern wars in most societies were not total wars waged with the intent to actually kill the maximum enemy combatants, and many other complications; this is also in some sense a philosophical, not empirical argument (e.g., is it 'better' if there are fewer wars in toto but if there is a war, there's a significant chance that many millions of people will die, which is per capita maybe less of the overall global population of humanity? This is like saying if you lived in a small town of 100, and someone murdered 2 people, that's a bigger deal than if you live in a town of 10,000 and someone kills 100 people. This is basically just not how people think about violence or anything else, and with some good reason.

Basically, he's a dude totally in love with straw men, with his own sense that he's a "scientist", and with delivering the good news to Davos and the World Bank that all is well with modernity because science says so. He's never met a difficult or complicated idea in his life: he's like a TED talk that's escaped from the laboratory.


Do you find his general view to be unsupported by his arguments, or flat out incorrect?

Expect poison from the standing water.
Khaldun
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Reply #6362 on: April 04, 2018, 11:35:13 AM

I think there's maybe an argument about the overall directionality of violence in human history to be made, but it has to be much more nuanced, much more willing to acknowledge exceptions, and much more self-conscious about the philosophical priors that such an argument requires. Pinker wants this to be "science"--an objective truth based on hard data, to not be an argument with an agenda. It has to be: the only reason to make the argument is to have something you're trying to argue for about the nature and future of violence or warfare. He wants it to be "science" so he can repeatedly press the I WIN button and class anyone who disagrees as a postmodernist hater, when in fact a lot of the disagreements are very like the disagreements scientists have or ought to have about the validity and strength of data or evidence, and about the limits a given hypothesis or claim has to observe.
justdave
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Reply #6363 on: April 04, 2018, 08:59:17 PM

Just read (well, listened to) Surface Matter for the first time.  Holy shit, last sentence makes the whole thing stand on end....

I remember reading that, it was a long-con 20-year troll by the author. Totally caught me by surprise and made me laugh.

"They started to resist with a crust that was welded with human brain and willpower."
Khaldun
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Reply #6364 on: April 04, 2018, 09:05:59 PM

I've been reading the new editions of the Witcher novels, and they're really very good.
Chimpy
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Reply #6365 on: April 04, 2018, 09:40:42 PM

I am putting The Black Company books through a read. Has anyone read them?  why so serious?

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #6366 on: April 07, 2018, 12:47:23 PM

I've been reading the new editions of the Witcher novels, and they're really very good.


I read a short story compilation that I liked quite a bit...is that one of the new ones? Made me almost want to play the series.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

Who the hell taught you how to write? Fuck, that sentence is like internet transmitted face-attacking knives. Jesus. schild
Polysorbate80
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Reply #6367 on: April 17, 2018, 10:47:30 AM

Doesn't really fit here or the comic thread but if you're a fan of Donald Duck at all, Fantagraphics has their Carl Barks Library up on Kindle.  I'm currently reliving a large chunk of my childhood, which was spent reading my father's old Dell/Gold Key Disney comics (and his pulp horror comics  Ohhhhh, I see.) until they literally fell to pieces.

The whole series (print or online) isn't complete, and they're printing out-of-order with the more popular/influential stuff first, so the Donald portion currently starts with Vol. 5, and I forget where the Scrooge portion starts.  I got the 14 available volumes on Kindle for I think $136.  Quite a bargain--my father has the older black & white hardbound set put out by a different publisher back in the 90s; I think they ran $50-60 a book.

They are trying to stay as faithful as possible to the original printed material.  They have done some recoloring, but only to restore the original appearance--no additional shading or other "enhancements". 

Note that that ALSO means they've retained the racist elements that appeared in the original publications that were censored out of subsequent reprints.  I'm only through volumes 5 & 6 so far; material in those was originally published in the late 40s.  The depictions of Aborigines in Australia and Africans in "Darkest Africa" are particularly bad examples of mid-century stereotyping.  So, ironically, I'd be careful about letting my own nine-year-old son read them without some parental guidance.

On a related note, has anyone read "How to Read Donald Duck"?  Supposed to be about cultural imperialism in Disney comics; it's out of print so I'm curious to see if it's an interesting read before I track down a used copy.
Khaldun
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Reply #6368 on: April 18, 2018, 09:53:52 AM

How to Read Donald Duck is by a Chilean leftist/novelist (Ariel Dorfman). It's a bit quaint and crude in how it reads Barks' comics (and other Disney materials) as conscious attempts to promote American capitalist perspectives in non-American audiences, but on the other hand, he's not actively wrong about a lot of what's going on in those comics and many others from the era that he's focused on (1950s-1970s) and especially right in the sense that the US was so aggressively meddling in Latin American politics from the 1960s-1980s in a Cold War context. The book was written in the aftermath of the CIA/Kissinger-sponsored Pinochet coup in Chile, which Dorfman narrowly escaped being killed or imprisoned in, so that context helps when you're reading it.
HaemishM
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Reply #6369 on: April 18, 2018, 10:56:33 AM

I've been trying to read Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End. I've never read Vinge before but he's I guess somewhat critically acclaimed and I think I bought the paperback at a garage sale somewhere. For anyone who has read his work before, is this a special snowflake novel or or all his works boring as watching grass grow in slow motion? I'm about 2/3rds of the way through and am struggling to give one solitary fuck about the story or all but one of the characters. It's only saving grace is a somewhat prescient take on the proliferation of networked Internet and wearable potential, but as a story instead of a "this world could happen" it's just so bland. The main antagonist has a motivation so flimsy and unbelievable, I keep expecting him to twirl a mustache. What seems like the main character is just a fucking unlikable douche, and no one else is remotely developed or interesting character save the 10-year old girl Miri. I hate to give up on a book that isn't objectively bad, but I'm reaching the point of "life's too short to be reading books that aren't good." Any one else know if I'm going to be rewarded for sticking with it?

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