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The Unholy Consult post-release SPOILER thread III

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22 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Forgive the multiple posts, but, really, what do you guys want to actually talk about from the books? Cause I can't think of a single thing that hasn't been shot down as meaningless or "no that's dumb" by the author. And I'm really trying. Baby Kellus?

Some topics that I think might have meat:

  • Does Serwa survive, and if so, how? 
  • What is the remaining Ordeal's role to play (if they exist at all?)
  • Why would the Grandson of Kellhus - a 10 year old defective Dunyain with some skill at throwing stones - be particularly important in the face of the No-God?
  • What does Daimotic sorcery do when the No-God is active?
  • What does the Judging Eye see when the No-God is active?
  • What is the role of a newborn baby in saving the world, given that the next series apparently picks up just a couple weeks after the Resumption?
  • What is anarcane ground?

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, Latan said:

These Bakker threads have become unbearable, the same few people talking about how much they hate everything about the book and most especially the author.  It seems to have ran everybody else off, all discussion now seems pointless. 

I like the TUC, minus the rape-cannibalism section going on for too long.   And, I think, the majority of people think the book was alright (minus a few people very turned off by the lack of resolutions or answers).  It's the author and his AMA that have really rustled people's jimmies, so what do you expect the discussion to be about? 

 

4 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Some topics that I think might have meat:

  • Does Serwa survive, and if so, how? 
  • What is the remaining Ordeal's role to play (if they exist at all?)
  • Why would the Grandson of Kellhus - a 10 year old defective Dunyain with some skill at throwing stones - be particularly important in the face of the No-God?
  • What does Daimotic sorcery do when the No-God is active?
  • What does the Judging Eye see when the No-God is active?
  • What is the role of a newborn baby in saving the world, given that the next series apparently picks up just a couple weeks after the Resumption?
  • What is anarcane ground?

 

  • Bakker has said he meant Serwa's position to be ambiguous.  I wouldn't mind if she survives, especially if she takes to calling herself Varalt Serwa rather than Anasurimbor Serwa, even if it's just a political gesture.
  • I think the bulk of the Ordeal has been destroyed, I'm not sure the survivors could.. survive the trip back across the Istyuli Plain, meaning Akka & crew (presumably including Kayutas and Serwa) are going to have head to the sea and try to get back to civilization (or Zeum, even) by boat.
  • If the Second Apocalypse lasts as long as the first, Krabicus will grow up. As weapon he's useful given the Carapace doesn't have Chorae.
  • Dat's an interesting question.
  • I wouldn't be surprised if the facts of sins/deeds still are visible since God designates those.
  • I asked Bakker if Mimara's birth makes Golgotterath Jerusalem, and he replied "Or Bethlehem..." See, if I asked if the Baby was Jesus, he would've replied RAFO, but I out-smarted him.   So the baby is Jesus.  Clearly he will turn all the Sranc into fish.
  • Clearly Bakkerverse has a Demiurge figure that made most of Creation, but God wasn't involved.  Everything created by the Demiurge is inert, whereas Earwa was created by God (or of God) and it listens. Anarcane ground are meteor strikes or something from space, ground created by the Demiurge!
Edited by Ajûrbkli

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11 hours ago, Happy Ent said:

 But it’s what we have, I get it, and I get the point (deconstruction, frustration of tropes, yadayada) – I just find it childish. Postmodern literary criticism is something that should fascinate a precocious 14-year old (it did when I was one.) But today I find these games intellectually facile as well as annoying.

I’d rather have my elves and aliens served neat, as an adult.

So much this. I was introduced to post modernism in college. It took one class to master the field, my thought was, "you frenetically deploy this "new" vocabulary and then you hack write like an antagonistic troll while making sure you maintain an intense tone of smug superiority and vague disappointment in whatever you are writing about? Ok, that's easy. Done." Aced the class.

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12 minutes ago, Ajûrbkli said:

I like the TUC, minus the rape-cannibalism section going on for too long.   And, I think, the majority of people think the book was alright (minus a few people very turned off by the lack of resolutions or answers).  It's the author and his AMA that have really rustled people's jimmies, so what do you expect the discussion to be about? 

I'm trying to think of a clear analogy.

It's something akin to the next ASOIAF book coming out after GRRM says that we'll get an answer to Jon's parents in that book, and it comes out and there's nothing. Or maybe there's something that leads people to believe that it's something ,but it's not stated directly. That upsets people, but they're figuring it'll just be in the next book. And then GRRM comes out and says that he never intended there to be any clear answer on it ever, his goal was to be ambiguous, and that was the point of setting it up. Jon's mom isn't known and won't be known, and that's not the point anyway, and by going through this for 6 long books you've now experienced a narrative meaning in a new, special way, and if you feel angry it's not because the author did something bad, it's because the author deliberately subverted your expectations.

Or something. 

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It boggles my mind a bit that he thought the Baby Kellhus theory was so out there. I mean, all the stuff with Mimara and her unborn child, the detail about the tapestry someone caught, Kellhus salting but Ajokli being unable to find him moments after Mimara gives birth. Surely it's a sequence of logical conclusions more easily followed than whatever breadcrumbs Bakker thought he left that would have us realize Kellhus was Ajokli's meat puppet and had been flying by the seat of his pants the whole time.

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47 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Some topics that I think might have meat:

  • Does Serwa survive, and if so, how? 
  • What is the remaining Ordeal's role to play (if they exist at all?)
  • Why would the Grandson of Kellhus - a 10 year old defective Dunyain with some skill at throwing stones - be particularly important in the face of the No-God?
  • What does Daimotic sorcery do when the No-God is active?
  • What does the Judging Eye see when the No-God is active?
  • What is the role of a newborn baby in saving the world, given that the next series apparently picks up just a couple weeks after the Resumption?
  • What is anarcane ground?

What is up with Kellhus now that he's dead but Ajokli can't find him? Is he still a player?

And my fave: Is Meppa really Big Moe after all?

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As someone who just picked up the books ~6 months ago and basically read all 7, one right after another, I quite enjoyed this book.  I think it was a better story than what was presented in the previous two installments and hit all the right notes for me.  I think not having the opportunity to pour over every little thing actually benefitted my enjoyment.  I felt like there were enough things there that have been hinted at for a while to be satisfactory.  

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Given that he's apparently writing TNG as a series of shorter pieces, similar to the Atrocity Tales, the third series has the potential to extend across a much longer period of time than the other two. He may start with a couple weeks after the Ordeal's demise, then move years into the future, giving some characters time to grow (like Crabicus and M's baby). I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case, as its the primary advantage of splitting it into a series of smaller stories.

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I think the thing to talk about with the baby Kellhus thing is: Do you want Kellhus to be alive? Has Kellhus swayed the reader?

Not asked in order to dispell the theory. It's a matter of establishing passions.

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nd my fave: Is Meppa really Big Moe after all?

Been thinking about this lately, but I can't see it being true if Bakker really doesn't have a plan for the next series yet. Also, most of the points mentioned above are about trying to predict what happens next, in a series that Bakker hasn't planned yet. There is probably not much foreshadowing for events in the next series, besides the fact that Bakker has to work with that he's got right now. 

Remember when we tried to predict what role Achamian and Mimara would play in TUC? Right, we all know where that went... 

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I feel like Bakker's AMA revelations that Kellhus was never as in control as we thought also serve to retroactively stamp out the theories of Moenghus' survival. I think Cnauir simply destroyed him at the end of TTT.

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8 hours ago, Rhom said:

Similar to the comment above about how the gods were there hiding in plain sight in PoN but then it turns out that RSB just didn't put them in there.  It was better when you just didn't say anything!

 

Yoh know Rhom, that's bulllshit. It just goes to show you how Bakker is misleading at the least and straight up trolling us at the worst. The Gods were present in PiN, there are numerous example. Cnaüir being inhabited by Gilgoal, is the one that is most clear and confirms there existence. The Gods certainly weren't prominent in PoN, but they were there, part of the story. They just came to the fore in TAE. The whole AMA and Q&A is very confusing and I think intentionally.

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Posted (edited)

21 hours ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Yoh know Rhom, that's bulllshit. It just goes to show you how Bakker is misleading at the least and straight up trolling us at the worst. The Gods were present in PiN, there are numerous example. Cnaüir being inhabited by Gilgoal, is the one that is most clear and confirms there existence. The Gods certainly weren't prominent in PoN, but they were there, part of the story. They just came to the fore in TAE. The whole AMA and Q&A is very confusing and I think intentionally.

Yeah well that's my main point. Intentionally confusing/trolling your fans is, no pun intended, a DickMove.

Edited by Darth Richard II

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I'm not buying that. There is a clear change in the way the Hundred gods are depicted between the first trilogy and the second. So clear everyone who read both series in sequence noticed it, and lot found it a bit jarring. 
 
Sure, the gods are mentioned in PoN, and there is a couple of scenes where some character is so angry or violent that someone says 'Gilgaol is upon him' or something to that effect. But people reading that will see it the way I just described it: a sort of metaphor. Generally, you think of the gods the same way you think of them in ASOIAF, maybe they are real, but the story isn't directly about them. And all sorts of gods are mentioned in direct ways a lot of the time in our world anyway. 
 
The idea that some fans came up with was that Bakker did this trick on on purpose, he wanted you to use your 21st century biases to dismiss the Gods and then he 'hits you on the head' in the JE by showing you the gods manifesting and talking to people and plotting and even having POVs. It turned out that wasn't Bakker's intention at all, he just thought that the latter type of depiction would make PoN too complicated so he delayed it until the second trilogy. He didn't say that 'the Gods were not in PoN'. 
 
Besides, even if Bakker did intend all of this, I don't think it's very clever anyway, it's just natural that the reader will see the gods the way we think of them in most other fantasy series until Bakker revealed to us that there is more to them than that in a definitive way, which only happened in the second trilogy. And that's why I don't think Bakker is trolling when he says this... Why would he troll in something like this anyway? :dunno:

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13 hours ago, aceluby said:

As someone who just picked up the books ~6 months ago and basically read all 7, one right after another, I quite enjoyed this book.  I think it was a better story than what was presented in the previous two installments and hit all the right notes for me.  I think not having the opportunity to pour over every little thing actually benefitted my enjoyment.  I felt like there were enough things there that have been hinted at for a while to be satisfactory.  

I'm in the same boat, it seems.

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Posted (edited)

You can easily support either vision of PoN by reading the text so long as you take Bakker with a grain of salt. Somehow that preserves a lot of the series for me, maybe I just have an easy time applying Death of the Author to a series already so wrapped up in the death of meaning. Much more trollish than that, IMO, was that his answer to what was going on with Inrau ended up being "haha I don't remember"

Edited by odium

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Posted (edited)

The point is what did Bakker expect the reader to think reading PoN for the first time, not what you make of it in hindsight after the second trilogy. 

I actually didn't expect him to say anything interesting about Inrau. I never really liked the fact that Inrau was introduced as a seemingly important character only to die a couple of chapters later. He's just there to give some backstory to Achamian and develop him along the way. 

Edited by Hello World

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I think most of the structural weaknesses of the book are caused by the split from TGO.  Halve the cannibalism and postpone the appendix and there is room for everything. Some of the weaker story lines in this book had their climax in the last and wouldn't feel so pointless, mainly Mimara. The judging eye had its the climax with the witnessing of the Dunyani and then didn't arrive in time.  We also had a bit more view into Kel's mentality in the last book and maybe the final fuck up would have come less out of left field if it was in the same book as the chapter where he muses that he didn't suspect that it would break him. Or something of the sort. I honestly don't remember, it was one of the Proyas discussions. Still how are you supposed to notice someone going insane if you still try to figure out what constitutes "normal".  As to Kel's plan: I still think his big trick was the Daimos. Basically everything going down exactly like it did minus the part of him getting taken over.

17 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Some topics that I think might have meat:

  • Does Serwa survive, and if so, how? 
  • What is the remaining Ordeal's role to play (if they exist at all?)
  • Why would the Grandson of Kellhus - a 10 year old defective Dunyain with some skill at throwing stones - be particularly important in the face of the No-God?
  • What does Daimotic sorcery do when the No-God is active?
  • What does the Judging Eye see when the No-God is active?
  • What is the role of a newborn baby in saving the world, given that the next series apparently picks up just a couple weeks after the Resumption?
  • What is anarcane ground?
  • What's with the missing souls? In the Ciphrang viewpoint there was that one Erratic with the missing soul. With Kel that makes two. Something about loss of identity?
  • Why did Kel really go back to get Esmi? Why does turning into the god of hate make you miss your wife???

 

As to the AMA: I agree that it really made everything worse and a lot of his answers are disappointing. Though some of the interpretations in this thread sound borderline bad faith. Where does he say he has "no plan for the next series" and "intended to end it here"? As far as I know he always stated that this is the end of his vision from when he was 18 and before he started actually writing. And I don't find it particularly alarming that he has no complete outline of the final series like he had for the last.

His answer that the gods weren't in PON because it was already too complicated was what really had me lose it. Is he really telling me that that one neat trick I'd put as the number one reason why I have faith in the future of the series was entirely by accident? OK, I guess. I hear his agent tells him to have more of an online presence. I advice the opposite.

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18 minutes ago, generic said:
  • What's with the missing souls? In the Ciphrang viewpoint there was that one Erratic with the missing soul.

 

That Erratic found Oblivion (confirmed by Bakker). 

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He said there is no grand plan for the next series, only scenes and ideas. I take that to mean that he doesn't really know how the series will end. 

Quote

So for over 30 years now I've lived with the certainty that I would die before completing The Aspect-Emperor. For me, in a powerful sense, the story ends here with the death of Kellhus and the birth of the No-God. I've scribbled down countless ideas and scenes pertaining to The No-God in the interim, but I have nothing resembling the thousandfold thought born in that teenager's fantasy/philosophy besotted head all those years ago. No grand plan. For the first time in my life I find myself a 'discovery writer.'

And I'm excited to be alive!

 

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