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About Migey

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    Forever chasing that slice of pie.

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    The ass end of nowhere.
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    Books, games, films, narrative art, hedonism, and fetishism.

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  • Name
    Benjamin Schwartz
  1. If you take it in terms of the overarching narrative some stuff could've been cut, but I feel that everything was in some way related to the main narrative, and if you take it in terms of the narrative of the book itself then no time is wasted. There's almost no fluff, no time spent with characters more than is necessary to show us something happening or some important character development.   [spoiler]In terms of how the book related to the main series narrative I think it was all quite important. The events in Harndon are all obviously relevant, with the stories relating to Pye's workshop, Jarsay, De Vraillys influence, the war of slander on the Queen, etc, all being done relatively succintly but setting up major narratives for the next book. Everything the Red Knight did was directly related to his efforts in Morea, which in turn are important as, at the end of the book, he is now the Duke of Thrake with control over the armies of a unified Morea, with the gratitude of the emperor and leverage over the princess, which will be of great help if he wishes to try and claim Alba and bring it into the empire which he has a massive amount of power and respect in, and these events also led to Harmodius obtaining a new body, and he will obviously end up being a major player on one side or the other. The Morean storyline also served to introduce and show us the relatively quick progression of Mortirmir, who will likely become an even more important character related to Gabriels story. Same with Kronmir; relevant first to the immediate story of the conflict between Gabriel and Andronicus, and perhaps will stay around as a character to assist him later. The events in the northwest with the Wild were all relevant, with various powers realigning in preparation for the coming war, with the stories of Bill, Nita, Ota, Tapio, and Thorn all being important to this narrative. De Marche and Hartmut in the north were important insofar as setting up the Gallish aggression in Nova Terra and the conflict that will arise there, and the very small amount of stuff in the Gallish court was important in setting up tensions within Galle and the possibility of civil war, or at the very least, incredibly strained relationships between the king and some of his more powerful subjects.    I really can't think of anything in this book which didn't achieve something important or wasted time, to be honest. In fact, in retrospect I feel it tried to be a little too concise where it could easily have used another 50-100 pages or so, to flesh out one or two characters and to show us the aftermath of the story. For example, I would have very much liked to know the specific directions that Kronmir and Mortirmir are going in, as well as what happens with the Emperor restored to power and between Gabriel and the Princess (considering the fact that he knows that she was one of the original betrayers), and exactly what status Gabriel has with being both the Megas Ducas, and also heading off to Alba with his own private company.   Edit: Talking of conciseness, there were a few things that stood out to me that made me realise how short this book was compared to what it could've been, or would've been in the hands of a worse author. For one, the incredible brevity of some of the small chapters relating to minor characters: when dealing with Clarissa, Kronmir, Andronicus/Aeskepiles, or that Morean riding officer in the wild, the sections would often barely be 2 or 3 pages, sometimes less than a page, just enough to tell us what we need to be told and no more. The second thing was noticing storylines and subplots that other authors probably would've spent so much more time fleshing out and wasting time on when no time needed to be wasted: Mortirmirs aethereal progression, minor romances between various characters, the personalities/development of some of the more minor characters who were only there for the window they provided us into events (ie, Clarissa), and so on. Sure, if I went through it I could find some more bits that we didn't need and that could've been cut by a page or two, but the amount of stuff that happens in this book would likely have taken at least several hundred more pages in the hands of many other authors.   [/spoiler]
  2. Just finished The Fell Sword.   I really, really liked it, having already been very enamoured with The Red Knight. I found myself amazed and continously impressed at how damn efficient Miles Cameron's writing is while still being fun to read: barely a page of the book was wasted, absolutely everything was there that needed to be with no wasted time. In the hands of lesser authors this book could've been well over twice the length, or else not been able to fit so much in. While it was perhaps easier in TRK, due to all of the characters being in roughly the same place and all their actions relatively directly effecting each other, it must have been harder to sufficiently deal with all the characters he'd set up (as well as many new ones) so concisely. Great book, really looking forward to the rest of the series.
  3. I still feel like Warbreaker is his most underrated work. Has less of a lot of what makes his other works annoying to some (or at the least it feels like it's more self-aware), and is no less imaginative and interesting than his best.   I may be remembering it as being better than it is but I never see anyone really talk about it in Sanderson discussions, which dissapoints me.
  4. So I finally got around to reading Heroes Die, and just finished it. I don't know how much I liked it. I feel it didn't quite live up to the hype from this thread. The story is based on a really amazing premise, which is really all that carries it for the first third of the book until things started get interesting, which they did. However, what gets me is the disgusting abuse of cliches and stereotypes. It's strange, because this is a mostly well written book and the author obviously has experience and talent, yet he somehow manages to use about every single narrative cliche I can imagine, and just about every character feels like he stepped out of a handbook on stereotypes. He's paradoxically good enough to keep the characters at least semi-interesting, barely. Enough that I was able to keep reading, but only just. A lot of things do get really wearying, such as the fact characters who are supposedly invincible due to their insane martial prowess are practically crawling out of the fucking woodwork. A lot of things are really not well explained either (including the total wtf borderline deus ex machina with Pallas and the totally random, unpredictable river god thing), such as Berne and Caine. Yes, we do get some small justification of why they're such intense enemies, but it isn't enough for just how insanely passionately the two hate each other. Given no information you'd assume that one raped and murdered the others mother and entire family in front of their eyes, or something. It ultimately feels like they only hate each other so that Caine can have an insanely omgwtfsoamazinglytalentedfighter rival, who of course has to be an absolute asshole and oh god, it's too much. I feel like I could comfortably familiarize myself with the entire cast by finding a list of stock fantasy archetypes and reading through it. What baffles me is how unoriginal Stover so often is after the truly fascinating and awesome premise. It gives you a lot to think on and adds some really cool and interesting dynamics to the whole standard fantasy story which make the thing worth it, but the actual standard fantasy story really did dissapoint at times. I kept expecting curveballs to come and things to play out unexpectedly, like Berne maybe being killed by a lesser character in any of the fifteen or so chances he has to do so, but they rarely do. Also, what is with Caine? I find this guy hard to get invested in. He's obviously a despicable human being and all round asshole (despite some very sympathetic circumstances, admittedly) but the author never seems to use or realise that, except with Pallas who has to hate him so that they can have broken up. Somehow we're still supposed to root for him though, because he defies the dystopian world back on Earth (one of the most interesting aspects of the story). But he's also a complete Mary Sue, blessed with standard protagonist invulnerability and ability to overcome and ignore crippling wounds and injuries, insane skill and ability, yet also amazing intelligence and charisma. But of course Pallas, who is actually a good person (although even more boring as a character) who has had a long time to get over him obviously falls for him again because omghesjustsoawesomeandhandsome and he sacrificed himself to save her (despite killing enough people to repopulate a country after a bout of plague). So yeah, a potentially interesting character who despite a lot of development manages only to not be the least interesting thing in his own story simply due to the characters around him being even more dull. Yet for some reason, I still actually came away having enjoyed the book, or at least not regretting the experience. I place this mostly in the hands of the whole Earth/Overworld dynamic, and the mixture of dystopian sci-fi and fantasy is the most interesting thing to come out of the whole endeavour. The fantasy story too is at least somewhat interesting, despite aforementioned issues. I was hooked enough (especially at the end by the potentially interesting dynamics of Ma'elkoth being on Earth now... that could be used in some cool ways) to maybe read the sequel someday, but I doubt I will unless I can find a used copy under 10 pounds which doesnt seem likely, and I doubt I'd ever recommend this book to anyone.
  5. Yeah; if I saw this in a bookstore I'd not even give it a second glance (except maybe to appreciate how impressively awful that cover is...) I tend to find that when browsing for books I'm attracted to the least elaborate covers first, and automatically look away from the artistically cluttered or overdone ones. Some exceptions, of course.
  6. On amazon, the 'covers' for the ebook versions look great. My kind of style - simple and good-looking. None of this overdone bullshit that seems so common in USA covers. But I don't do E-books, so my physical copy ended up looking like... this. I cannot honestly imagine a more hideous looking cover. I'm glad that I live in the UK where most of my books look respectable on my shelf.
  7. So why would this book have gone out of print?
  8. Additionally, within acceptable limits, I think nitpicking on names when you know nothing else about the book is a little unfair. Most names in fantasy sound like names a teenager could make up, but if we judged books just on things like that, we'd deprive ourselves of plenty of good literature. If I turned down AGoT as soon as I found out the continent was named 'Westeros' (which at the time I thought was ridiculous), I'd have missed out on something quite special.
  9. I didn't think that the boots let the Augmentor run fast, just allowed him to almost teleport short distances, or somehow magically propel himself to a nearby spot.
  10. Finished the free sample. Thoroughly engrossed and eagerly waiting for the book to arrive in the post! I've been slacking on my reading quite a bit lately and this was a refreshing and encouraging way to dive back into it. It's not perfect, by any means, but it's really quite good and thoroughly enjoyable as well as eminently readable.
  11. Edit : Managed the get the free sample working. Ignore this post.
  12. You have a point, but I still think that stories/worlds should be made for games, rather then the other way round. I can however understand the potential you see in a Malazan game, even if I don't think it would work. If there is one series which I think would be perfect for game adaption, which is actually happening as far as I'm aware, would be the Mistborn series, and perhaps one or two of Sanderson's other works. Irrelevant of their merits as books (I personally like them, but I know many on this board dislike them), the uniqueness and clearly defined rules of his magic systems seem to lend themselves to a game adaption. I can easily see the Mistborn game going wrong though, as while the idea has a lot of potential, I can imagine how difficult it may be to make Allomancy work in a game. And who cares about derailing threads! These boards wouldn't be a fraction of the fun they are if threads didn't sometimes get a little derailed, or upon occasion, flung off the rails with such force that they they land in an adjacent meadow.
  13. Oh god. A Malazan game? Please, no. Just no. Some things should just be kept to books. Some can work as films or shows, but there are not very many books I can think of that are worth turning into a game. A book is a narrative experience. A game is, by nature, an interactive experience in which while narrative can and should be a key and important feature, shoehorning a book into game format just doesn't seem much like a good idea unless you remove the plot of the game enough from the source material that there's not much point in adapting the book into a game in the first place. And particularly Malazan which was the literary equivalent of a total clusterfuck in book format from the start (occasionally surfacing to coherency for a few chapters or occasionally even an entire book or so, just enough to keep the damn thing readable). Adapting that stuff into a game just doesn't seem like it would work. And how the sweet fuck would one adapt the magic system into that book into something remotely playable? Fantasy games should be original. We've done pretty well with that so far.
  14. Edit : Stupid question - sorry.