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The D&D [Book] Thread

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Posts

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    Oh and while we're on Stephenson

    He should never ever write another sex scene.

    Never ever.

    The one from Snow Crash was fun!

  • SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment Today we will paint a mountain that owes us nothing. Registered User regular
    Iolo wrote: »
    Did Diamond Age not end well? It's been a while, but I seem to recall being pretty satisfied with how it all wrapped up.

    From memory: The barbarian princess walked down the street, book and sword in hand.

    "Will you keep working on it?" asked Man.

    The Cosmic AC said, "I WILL."

    Man said, "We shall wait."
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    Oh and while we're on Stephenson

    He should never ever write another sex scene.

    Never ever.

    The one from Snow Crash was fun!

    Reporting this post to the FBI.

    Fuck Firearm Fetishism
    86 45
    Apothe0sis
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Iolo wrote: »
    Did Diamond Age not end well? It's been a while, but I seem to recall being pretty satisfied with how it all wrapped up.

    From memory: The barbarian princess walked down the street, book and sword in hand.

    There are like ten more pages after that!
    Basically a brief bit where they lay out that Nell and the Mouse Army is actually recognized by other sovereign powers from Carl's perspective and then Nell's little jaunt into the drummer tubes to rescue her mother.

    There are a shitload of unanswered questions after it wraps up but the main story, Nell's coming of age, is basically wrapped up with the recognition and rescue. It's just all the other super interesting stuff that surrounded that story that is left unresolved.

    IoloEcho
  • evilbobevilbob Registered User regular
    This is the price of being a nice person
    rr95twyvcxjx.jpg

    DDLLLLDL - Bottom in November
    WWDWDWWWWDWWWWLDWWW - Premiers in April
    WW - Champions in May

  • evilbobevilbob Registered User regular
    That says $165 if it's too blurt.

    Granted it's less in USD.

    So I only spent 150 in American money getting someone else's friend home after he'd been a massive cunt to her and a major factor in her decision to get get blackout drunk.

    DDLLLLDL - Bottom in November
    WWDWDWWWWDWWWWLDWWW - Premiers in April
    WW - Champions in May

  • PailryderPailryder Registered User regular
    i don't know what's going on but i want more details!

    CroakerBC
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    http://io9.com/take-a-first-look-at-ernest-clines-armada-and-win-a-1708228944

    First Chapter of Armada, Cline's follow up to Ready Player One.

    Been a while since I read it, but it don't remember Cline's writing being so..simplistic?

  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    By the by, Adrian Tchaikovsky's sci-fi standalone, The Children of Time, is out..soon. The fourth maybe? And it's really, really good. I foamed about it and its excellence elsewhere so I'll spare you. But I just realised that he's released some free shorts, set in the same universe, but earlier in the timeline here. Well worth the read, and who can argue free?

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Had a me day today, waked down to the deli and bought 3 jars of the extra good anchovies they sell that are expenisve and also super nice, then I bought Rivers of London and ordered the lunchtime meze deal at the Lebanese resteraunt. And then I ate that and drank chilled white wine while I sat in a comfy chair and read that book from cover to cover.

    That is the correct way to read a new book.

    DoodmannCroakerBCKyouguIoloShadowhopeRchanen
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Finished "The Human Division" by John Scalzi. It takes place in the old mans war universe. I actually like it better than the main trilogy. The main trilogy is fun and epic in scope at the end, but the problems in the human division are smaller in scope and thus easier to relate to. Looking forward to the second half of the series that starts coming out in serial format next week.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    Halfway through Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife, and it's really good. Gives me gritty cyberpunky vibes, except it's a near-future where America is fucked by lack of water and one of the POV characters is a titular "water knife", the mercenaries that secure water supplies for their masters.

    His previous, The Windup Girl, got called "biopunk". This is just plain punk.
    In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel "cuts" water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents. With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
    Harry Dresden
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Echo wrote: »
    Halfway through Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife, and it's really good. Gives me gritty cyberpunky vibes, except it's a near-future where America is fucked by lack of water and one of the POV characters is a titular "water knife", the mercenaries that secure water supplies for their masters.

    His previous, The Windup Girl, got called "biopunk". This is just plain punk.
    In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel "cuts" water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents. With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

    He's a busy guy.

  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    Echo wrote: »
    Halfway through Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife, and it's really good. Gives me gritty cyberpunky vibes, except it's a near-future where America is fucked by lack of water and one of the POV characters is a titular "water knife", the mercenaries that secure water supplies for their masters.

    His previous, The Windup Girl, got called "biopunk". This is just plain punk.
    In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel "cuts" water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents. With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

    Not for nothing, but I'd say it gets better in the back half. It has a lot of heart to it - it's just that heart is mostly black, and pulsing with the venom of corporate masters. Felt a bit like Richard Morgan's earlier stuff to me, for some reason. Really fun read, which also made an effort to make you think and feel between explosions.

  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    CroakerBC wrote: »
    Not for nothing, but I'd say it gets better in the back half. It has a lot of heart to it - it's just that heart is mostly black, and pulsing with the venom of corporate masters. Felt a bit like Richard Morgan's earlier stuff to me, for some reason. Really fun read, which also made an effort to make you think and feel between explosions.

    Yeah, I thought about that comparison too. Definitely a lot of the same casual brutality Morgan throws around.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • GrudgeGrudge Far Beyond DrivenRegistered User regular
    Recently finished Promise of Blood (Powder Mage #1) by Brian McClellan. I might as well just copy/paste my Goodreads review here...
    Brian McClellan has written a competent introduction to a new fantasy series, which has potential, but for me it does not quite reach the level of becoming a must-read.

    The world building is good, and the setting may be compared to an early 1800's level of technology, featuring gunpowder and steam engines. This is combined with politics also of the time - nationalism and colonialism and a rising republican movement. Magic comes in two flavors; a gunpowder-fueled trick-shooting kind, and the more traditional fantasy hand-waving sort - and these two are naturally in conflict, each connected to opposing political factions.

    So far so good, the setting is interesting, but I find it slightly inconsistant. At first there was this eastern european vibe to the city of of Adopest where the majority of the story takes place, reminiscent of the Austrian Empire of the early 1800's, but later this is mixed with English and more clichéed fantasy elements and it loses a lot of its charm.

    The same goes with the characters - the premise is promising, but you never really get under their skin. There is not much internal monologue, and while there are a few attempts to communicate their motivations, I can't help but feel that they are all kind of shallow and simple. I can't bring myself to symphatize much with any of the characters, they all come off a bit whiny, to be frank.

    McClellands use of language is ok, but a bit rough in places. Maybe it is the editing that is lacking, as some formulations are outright strange and feel out of place, but in general it is ok but nothing special. This seems to be his first novel, so hopefully the language will develop as he continues writing.

    All in all, a promising start that doesn't quite go all the way. I give it 3 stars due to the potential of the continuation of the series, however on its own it actually would be closer to 2.

    Now I'm back on my re-read of everything by Joe Abercombie, currently on The Heroes. Man, what a difference it makes with a writer who can paint a vivid picture and shape an interesting character, with wit to boot!

  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User regular
    Finished A Crown for Cold Silver (Alex Marshall). Highly, highly recommended. I'm impressed on so many levels. The prose is punchy. The world is interesting and cleverly exposed, including the extensive history many of the main characters already possess. Marshall manages his ensemble cast with so much aplomb, managing to keep them all on track in service of the story without either playing puppet master or suffering GRRM derailment. All the POV characters are not just consistent in their motives, but also colorful and interesting; there is no Brandon Stark here. But most of all, despite the grimdark setting, the story is told with such infectious humor and sheer joy that it's irresistible. If you like epic fantasy at all, especially fantasy that's smart, self-aware, unpredictable, character-driven, and fun, you should absolutely read it.

    Account not recoverable. So long.
  • HandgimpHandgimp R+L=J Family PhotoRegistered User regular
    Echo wrote: »
    Halfway through Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife, and it's really good. Gives me gritty cyberpunky vibes, except it's a near-future where America is fucked by lack of water and one of the POV characters is a titular "water knife", the mercenaries that secure water supplies for their masters.

    His previous, The Windup Girl, got called "biopunk". This is just plain punk.
    In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel "cuts" water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents. With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

    Just bought it; I LOVED The Windup Girl.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    IoloV1m
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    Grudge wrote: »
    Recently finished Promise of Blood (Powder Mage #1) by Brian McClellan. I might as well just copy/paste my Goodreads review here...
    Brian McClellan has written a competent introduction to a new fantasy series, which has potential, but for me it does not quite reach the level of becoming a must-read.

    The world building is good, and the setting may be compared to an early 1800's level of technology, featuring gunpowder and steam engines. This is combined with politics also of the time - nationalism and colonialism and a rising republican movement. Magic comes in two flavors; a gunpowder-fueled trick-shooting kind, and the more traditional fantasy hand-waving sort - and these two are naturally in conflict, each connected to opposing political factions.

    So far so good, the setting is interesting, but I find it slightly inconsistant. At first there was this eastern european vibe to the city of of Adopest where the majority of the story takes place, reminiscent of the Austrian Empire of the early 1800's, but later this is mixed with English and more clichéed fantasy elements and it loses a lot of its charm.

    The same goes with the characters - the premise is promising, but you never really get under their skin. There is not much internal monologue, and while there are a few attempts to communicate their motivations, I can't help but feel that they are all kind of shallow and simple. I can't bring myself to symphatize much with any of the characters, they all come off a bit whiny, to be frank.

    McClellands use of language is ok, but a bit rough in places. Maybe it is the editing that is lacking, as some formulations are outright strange and feel out of place, but in general it is ok but nothing special. This seems to be his first novel, so hopefully the language will develop as he continues writing.

    All in all, a promising start that doesn't quite go all the way. I give it 3 stars due to the potential of the continuation of the series, however on its own it actually would be closer to 2.

    Now I'm back on my re-read of everything by Joe Abercombie, currently on The Heroes. Man, what a difference it makes with a writer who can paint a vivid picture and shape an interesting character, with wit to boot!

    I don't disagree at all about the Powder Mage book. It felt to me like a really weak Sanderson book.

    But I disagree entirely about Joe Abercrombie. His First Law trilogy was an exercise in saying "hey, here's a trope, and here I am subverting or inverting the trope! Look at this trope playing against expectations in in a grimdark way! Now I'll be funny in a dark and edgy way!" The First Law trilogy came across as trying to ape George R.R. Martin's way of taking genre tropes and riffing on non-standard, grim variations of standard tropes, but not quite understanding how and why Martin was doing it.


    zakkiel wrote: »
    Finished A Crown for Cold Silver (Alex Marshall). Highly, highly recommended. I'm impressed on so many levels. The prose is punchy. The world is interesting and cleverly exposed, including the extensive history many of the main characters already possess. Marshall manages his ensemble cast with so much aplomb, managing to keep them all on track in service of the story without either playing puppet master or suffering GRRM derailment. All the POV characters are not just consistent in their motives, but also colorful and interesting; there is no Brandon Stark here. But most of all, despite the grimdark setting, the story is told with such infectious humor and sheer joy that it's irresistible. If you like epic fantasy at all, especially fantasy that's smart, self-aware, unpredictable, character-driven, and fun, you should absolutely read it.

    I'm stalled about 70% of the way through. I love the Five Villains and Zosia herself, as well as Choplicker. The writing is fine. The overall plot is good enough - especially now that I know why Zosia's husband was killed. The book reminds me a bit of Kameron Hurley's stuff in terms of how it tackles gender roles, in a good way. But on some level it's just not clicking for me. I hope to finish it before my vacation ends, and I might revise my opinion.




    I just finished Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It was an enjoyable enough read, though it's sense of pacing often left something to be desired. However, the pacing may have been deliberate - page upon page of excellent but slow character development and growth, followed by action scenes that felt rough and disjointed. If it was a stylistic choice, it's one that I understand, even if it didn't work for me. The main character was fine, as well as her best friend, but I found the main character's relationship with her mentor wizard rather creepy and gross. Still, it was grim fantasy storytelling in a way that worked for me.

    I'm most of the way through Vermillion by Molly Tanzer. It's a supernatural western about an eighteen year old half Chinese, half English woman named Lou who is a ghostbuster by trade, who prefers passing for a man, and who comes across as being probably bisexual. I think that she's a great main character and narrator but I feel like the secondary characters are much more thinly sketched, and often exist just to move Lou and the reader onto more of the plot and the themes that Tanzer wants to highlight. Still, the main character is interesting and believably flawed enough that unless the last thirty percent of the book totally blows it, I'll probably be looking forward to reading more books about Lou.

    Dinosaurs were made up by the CIA to discourage time travel.
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    I don't disagree at all about the Powder Mage book. It felt to me like a really weak Sanderson book.

    But I disagree entirely about Joe Abercrombie. His First Law trilogy was an exercise in saying "hey, here's a trope, and here I am subverting or inverting the trope! Look at this trope playing against expectations in in a grimdark way! Now I'll be funny in a dark and edgy way!" The First Law trilogy came across as trying to ape George R.R. Martin's way of taking genre tropes and riffing on non-standard, grim variations of standard tropes, but not quite understanding how and why Martin was doing it.

    It's crazy how much Abercrombie has improved since The First Law Trilogy. Those books are okay, but his follow-ups are masterpieces of character and action. When you hear people raving about his work, they aren't talking about that trilogy.

    Phillishere on
  • IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    I really enjoyed The First Law Trilogy...?

    shrykeA Dabble Of TheloniusCroakerBCMaguanoHawalee
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Iolo wrote: »
    I really enjoyed The First Law Trilogy...?

    I liked them well enough, but I didn't think they were anything special. Every book since, however, has blown me away.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo But do you really believe him? Registered User regular
    His books aside from the First Law Trilogy are really hamstrung by the boilerplate "MY SETTING HAS A METAPLOT" section he sticks somewhere towards the end of every fucking one that advances nothing at all. It sort of put me off reading any more of his stuff in that setting.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • GrudgeGrudge Far Beyond DrivenRegistered User regular
    Huh, I find the metaplot adds a lot of flavor to the story of each individual book. You get little hints of what's happening in other parts of the world, and how the bigger conflict is slowy developing. And the metaplot isn't only there at the end. In The Heroes there's a big helping right around the 20% mark, and Best Served Cold had it spread out more or less everywhere where Valint & Balk or the Cripple is mentioned.

    A Dabble Of Thelonius
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Also Red Country is a brilliant climax to the series and if anyone disagrees I will fight them.






    Providing they have 10 fingers.

    EchoA Dabble Of TheloniusFrozenzen
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    I don't disagree at all about the Powder Mage book. It felt to me like a really weak Sanderson book.

    But I disagree entirely about Joe Abercrombie. His First Law trilogy was an exercise in saying "hey, here's a trope, and here I am subverting or inverting the trope! Look at this trope playing against expectations in in a grimdark way! Now I'll be funny in a dark and edgy way!" The First Law trilogy came across as trying to ape George R.R. Martin's way of taking genre tropes and riffing on non-standard, grim variations of standard tropes, but not quite understanding how and why Martin was doing it.

    It's crazy how much Abercrombie has improved since The First Law Trilogy. Those books are okay, but his follow-ups are masterpieces of character and action. When you hear people raving about his work, they aren't talking about that trilogy.

    Yeah it is. People were raving about TFL long before any of the standalones came out. LAOK especially is a great book and what really cemented Abercrombie as a rising star for alot of people.

    And TFL is far more then just an exercise in subverting tropes. And bears little to no resemblance to GRRM's work. Saying he's trying to ape ASOIAF just seems like saying you missed the whole point of everything in the series.

    I mean, that comparison doesn't even really make sense. For all it's twists and it's willingness to be brutal or realistic, ASOIAF is still a heroic fantasy story. TFL is explicitly not. It begins disguised as one but the whole story basically tears this down beginning from the very start to reveal what it's really about. It's more like Cold War story.


    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    His books aside from the First Law Trilogy are really hamstrung by the boilerplate "MY SETTING HAS A METAPLOT" section he sticks somewhere towards the end of every fucking one that advances nothing at all. It sort of put me off reading any more of his stuff in that setting.

    ???
    There is not "my setting has a metaplot" section in every book. The later standalones are sprinkled liberally with information about how the world is progressing but there's no section in any of those books that is only about the larger movement of the world at large. That information always comes in the context of scenes that exist to forward the story of the novel itself.

    Maguano
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    nvm

    Phillishere on
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Look, no one is disputing that Abercrombie visibly progresses as a writer throughout the First Law series. The tell:show ratio starts off pretty bad, and improves from a very low starting point almost linearly to the end.

    On the other hand, there is a damb good story in there right from the start, and if all of the characters are unlikeable (each in their own uniquely adorable way) they're all human, clearly depicted, with a good insight into who they actually are as real people, not just Eddings-style ciphers. I particularly liked Caul Shivers' arc, started with the First Law, through Best served Cold, and finally in Red Country. His final scene absolutely reminded me of Roy Batty's in Bladerunner in it's power and eloquence, save that Caul chosing life meant that he actually got to live.

    As a human, not a psychopath.

    V1m on
    shrykeFrozenzenHawalee
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    V1m wrote: »
    Look, no one is disputing that Abercrombie visibly progresses as a writer throughout the First Law series. The tell:show ratio starts off pretty bad, and improves from a very low starting point almost linearly to the end.

    On the other hand, there is a damb good story in there right from the start, and if all of the characters are unlikeable (each in their own uniquely adorable way) they're all human, clearly depicted, with a good insight into who they actually are as real people, not just Eddings-style ciphers. I particularly liked Caul Shivers' arc, started with the First Law, through Best served Cold, and finally in Red Country. His final scene absolutely reminded me of Roy Batty's in Bladerunner in it's power and eloquence, save that Caul chosing life meant that he actually got to live.

    As a human, not a psychopath.

    Oh yeah, Abercrombie improves hugely across his work. The Blade Itself is actually a difficult book to recommend in some ways because it's not that great overall and the writing is a bit ropey sometimes. And because the plotting feels so generic, which along with the writing makes the whole thing feel like a standard shitty fantasy debut even though the plotting is built that way deliberately.

    But by LAOK Abercrombie has really hit his stride and Best Served Cold and The Heroes are even better.

    shryke on
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    edited June 2015

    shryke wrote: »

    Yeah it is. People were raving about TFL long before any of the standalones came out. LAOK especially is a great book and what really cemented Abercrombie as a rising star for alot of people.

    And TFL is far more then just an exercise in subverting tropes. And bears little to no resemblance to GRRM's work. Saying he's trying to ape ASOIAF just seems like saying you missed the whole point of everything in the series.

    I mean, that comparison doesn't even really make sense. For all it's twists and it's willingness to be brutal or realistic, ASOIAF is still a heroic fantasy story. TFL is explicitly not. It begins disguised as one but the whole story basically tears this down beginning from the very start to reveal what it's really about. It's more like Cold War story.

    I'm not talking about the story when I'm comparing it to Martin, I'm looking at the characters. I'm a pretty firm believer that what makes ASOIAF work isn't the setting or the plot so much as how Martin deconstructs and reconstructs stock characters. Arya, Sansa and Daenerys as various types of princess archtypes, Jon and Robb as standard hero types, Jaime as a heroic knight, Cersei as a wicked queen, Brienne as a warrior woman, etc. Martin presented them as a kind of character, put them in his world, let them break down, and then put them back together. Martin loves his character tropes, and there's a degree in subtly to how he's using them.

    With Abercrombie, I feel like he's not subtle at all. It's "This character is Gandalf, but grimdark and kind of villainous. And this character is a standard hero, except he's not very bright or heroic. And this character is a barbarian, but he's smarter than he looks. Lets have some characters go on an epic quest, but instead of being the standard substitute family of heroes that the stereotypical quest party becomes, these people all hate each other and aren't heroic!" Etc. I don't feel like there's any sublty to Abercrombie's writing, and it's grimdark for the sake of grimdark.

    Also, some of the ways that he writes some things really leave a bad taste in my mouth. Most memorably, the bit with Glokta and Terez at the end of Last Argument of Kings was pretty much the thing that made me say fuck this, I'm done. Not just what happened, but that the way that the outcome of the Glokta/Terez interaction was written came across to me as being played for laughs was enough for me.

    Shadowhope on
    Dinosaurs were made up by the CIA to discourage time travel.
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Well look, he aint no Gene Wolfe, I grant you.

    But who is?

    So It Goeshtm
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    Iolo wrote: »
    I really enjoyed The First Law Trilogy...?

    I liked them well enough, but I didn't think they were anything special. Every book since, however, has blown me away.

    I didn't like TFL the first time I read it, because I felt so let down by the ending.

    The second time I read it knowing what Abercrombie was doing and enjoyed it a lot more.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »

    Yeah it is. People were raving about TFL long before any of the standalones came out. LAOK especially is a great book and what really cemented Abercrombie as a rising star for alot of people.

    And TFL is far more then just an exercise in subverting tropes. And bears little to no resemblance to GRRM's work. Saying he's trying to ape ASOIAF just seems like saying you missed the whole point of everything in the series.

    I mean, that comparison doesn't even really make sense. For all it's twists and it's willingness to be brutal or realistic, ASOIAF is still a heroic fantasy story. TFL is explicitly not. It begins disguised as one but the whole story basically tears this down beginning from the very start to reveal what it's really about. It's more like Cold War story.

    I'm not talking about the story when I'm comparing it to Martin, I'm looking at the characters. I'm a pretty firm believer that what makes ASOIAF work isn't the setting or the plot so much as how Martin deconstructs and reconstructs stock characters. Arya, Sansa and Daenerys as various types of princess archtypes, Jon and Robb as standard hero types, Jaime as a heroic knight, Cersei as a wicked queen, Brienne as a warrior woman, etc. Martin presented them as a kind of character, put them in his world, let them break down, and then put them back together. Martin loves his character tropes, and there's a degree in subtly to how he's using them.

    With Abercrombie, I feel like he's not subtle at all. It's "This character is Gandalf, but grimdark and kind of villainous. And this character is a standard hero, except he's not very bright or heroic. And this character is a barbarian, but he's smarter than he looks. Lets have some characters go on an epic quest, but instead of being the standard substitute family of heroes that the stereotypical quest party becomes, these people all hate each other and aren't heroic!" Etc. I don't feel like there's any sublty to Abercrombie's writing, and it's grimdark for the sake of grimdark.

    Also, some of the ways that he writes some things really leave a bad taste in my mouth. Most memorably, the bit with Glokta and Terez at the end of Last Argument of Kings was pretty much the thing that made me say fuck this, I'm done. Not just what happened, but that the way that the outcome of the Glokta/Terez interaction was written came across to me as being played for laughs was enough for me.

    It's not grimdark for the sake of grimdark at all though.

    Like, the difference when you look at the characters is that Martin is reconstructing these tropes. He is still telling a fantasy epic with the same pieces, he's just handling them in a much better written and more naturalistic fashion.

    Abercrombie is not interested in this at all. It's not about a lack of subtlety, it's about completely different goals. Like, where does Glokta fit in this? What trope is he? And the characters don't really get along at the start but they do at the end, which is a trope that's played completely straight since that's one of the most common ways to tell that kind of quest story. And the ending itself, of both the stories and the characters, is not grimdark. After all, the good guys win, don't they?

    Viewing TFL as "grimdark trope subversion" doesn't work because it requires skipping over all the many bits of the story that don't fit into that mould and missing the point of what Abercrombie is doing. He's not subverting tropes so much as hiding a much more ambiguous story about power and agency and personal growth beneath the guise of a fantasy epic.
    Is Bayaz evil Gandalf? Maybe a bit. But he's more a fantasy version of the US/NATO during the Cold War. And what in the end does he say real power is? Not magic, but money.
    Is Logan a smart barbarian? I guess. But so is every Northmen. None are simplistic caricatures. What the series is really more interested in is the question of whether Logan is a good man.
    And so on.
    The way LAOK plays out is very much meant to underline that this is not a fantasy epic, grimdark, subversive or otherwise.


    And the ending with Terez is most certainly not meant to be played for laughs. Even Glokta comments on the horribleness of it all. But it's what he's signed up for, in so much as he even had a choice.

    htm
  • GrudgeGrudge Far Beyond DrivenRegistered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Well look, he aint no Gene Wolfe, I grant you.

    But who is?

    Indeed.
    Echo wrote: »
    Iolo wrote: »
    I really enjoyed The First Law Trilogy...?

    I liked them well enough, but I didn't think they were anything special. Every book since, however, has blown me away.

    I didn't like TFL the first time I read it, because I felt so let down by the ending.

    The second time I read it knowing what Abercrombie was doing and enjoyed it a lot more.

    This. The first time I wasn't overly impressed with TFL, although I thought it was definitely ok. The second time I found much more subtlety, and the characters actualy grew on me a bit more. It's a well crafted tale, and Abercombie has a knack for making you actually like characters that you really should dislike because of their actions. Bayaz was, and still is, a fucking asshole though.

  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular

    I'm an ocean away from my copies of books that I read over half a decade ago, so I'll drop this argument for the most part.

    However, regarding Terez, my recollection was that in the Jezal chapter after Glokta's conversation with Terez, the Terez/Jezal interaction was played for black humour.

    Dinosaurs were made up by the CIA to discourage time travel.
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    Listneed to Oryx and Crake on cd recently. I found it very interesting. What did people think of that one? I have not really read any other Atwood stuff.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    I'm an ocean away from my copies of books that I read over half a decade ago, so I'll drop this argument for the most part.

    However, regarding Terez, my recollection was that in the Jezal chapter after Glokta's conversation with Terez, the Terez/Jezal interaction was played for black humour.

    It's played for humour I guess at Jezal's obliviousness. (there's certainly a bit of Jezal's character arc being a flat circle)

    I know the author has said it has rubbed people the wrong way and he feels like he missed the mark there because of that.

    shryke on
  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Finished King of Thorns. This is just a crazy fucking series. I love it though. It is post apocalyptic fantasy pulp. I might also be a bit worked up from seeing the newest road warrior as well.

    It's grim, but very good. I like that the Tall Castle is
    an office building

    also I am never reading The Wheel of Time now, thank you. It sounds like Gor.

    ISIS delenda est
  • OrphaneOrphane Dazzling radiance washes your engine in a gleaming tide. Glory, glory, glory. Registered User regular
    The Broken Empire series was fantastic and had me excited all the way to the end. I need to take a look at Lawrence's next couple of books, which are apparently another character's story in Jorg's world, set at the same time.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo But do you really believe him? Registered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »
    Listneed to Oryx and Crake on cd recently. I found it very interesting. What did people think of that one? I have not really read any other Atwood stuff.

    One of the best things I've ever read. The other books in the same setting are much weaker

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
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