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Gaston de Foix

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  1. 100%. Of course, every business would like to be able to price discriminate and many do (airlines and hotels for example). What makes books so interesting is we've undergone several revolutions in the last three decades: 1. There is a notorious website that allows individuals to illegally download recently published books for free; 2. Amazon, Bookfinder and other sellers have revolutionized the second-hand book market so that you usually can buy all but the most recently published books for a few dollars; 3. Libraries have started lending e-books and expanded their collections through ILL considerably; 4. The big money in writing highly-successful fantasy doesn't come from royalties but from licensing, merchandising and brand-recognition. 5. Fantasy has come out from the underground. It is in fact the dominant form of entertainment consumption if you define it generously and include video games, movies etc I personally don't care for collectible editions, didn't contribute to Sanderson's Kickstarter, and haven't read his most recent two books. But innovation in response to 1-5 is not just good, but necessary. Sanderson's not the first author to sell deluxe versions of his book for a premium.
  2. The operative theory here is that many natural Tory voters are disgusted at Tory economic incompetence, sleaze and factionalism. Starmer has a chance to win them as the milquetoast alternative. It's not that different from the Blair/Brown revolution in the Labour party in 1994-7. Of course, Blair wasn't just superb at dodging Tory attacks. He was also excellent at branding himself as delivering what the public wanted ("Ask me my three main priorities for Government, and I tell you: education, education and education.") ("tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime"). We are yet to see Starmer do that in any way that breaks through to the public consciousness.
  3. I think the best written Sanderson book is the first volume of the Stormlight Archive, the Way of Kings. That novel exhibits careful rewriting and editing. The next in terms of quality is the first Mistborn trilogy. I'd also put Arcanum Unbound in the list of well-written story collections, as well as the Emperor's Soul. Elantris is pretty standard Sanderson. I'd rate it higher than Warbreaker. By contrast the penultimate Mistborn novel published so far was almost unreadable. Here's my theory which grossly oversimplifies and over-generalizes. There's obviously a trade-off for any writer between quality and quantity. Most successfully-published writers tend to be obsessive, neurotic types who polish their prose to the point of diminishing returns and beyond. Sanderson is the complete opposite. He admits he hates rewriting. If he only wants to maximise output (and revenue) he should continue doing what he is doing. If he wants to produce the best novels, he needs to slow down and work with better editors/beta readers as well as do much more rewriting.
  4. https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250796189/the-doors-of-midnight Left here without comment.
  5. It reminds of that episode in Mad Men where they've started Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and journalists are bored until Don Draper finds "the hook" of walking into Lane Pryce's office and saying "fire me". Remember that? Shit journalists need their subject to give them the hook, but not make it too easy so that the journalist can come away claiming to have discovered fire. Brandon Sanderson didn't play that game.
  6. I have to say, I thought the piece was provocative, and the writer was being uncomfortably snobby and direct, but I didn't find it mean. But I have been told, in the past, that people have been mean (including to me) and I haven't noticed. Since this seems to be a commonly accepted view, I'm curious, what passages/claims did people find crossed the line? The one I thought was bad was making fun of Sanderson's son for salting his food. I mean the get the juxtaposition of this bitchy, acidic writer and Sanderson's Mormon-nice generosity and hospitality is uncomfortable and sometimes painful. But on one level what the author is trying to do is build credibility by dissing everything else to explain Sanderson's success and adulation. Because he's right. To write a successful fantasy novel, the story's the thing. And Sanderson proves that. Sanderson is capable of writing good, even great sentences that stick with you - "there's always another secret" comes to mind. But his prose is consistently mediocre. But at his best, he's capable of telling a ripping great yarn that subverts expectations, paints on a dramatic canvas, plays around with philosophically interesting concepts, and even writing a taut story (In his short stories/novellas, for example). It would be nice if the author actually made these points, or even drew out more carefully (and respectfully), the connections between Mormonism and fantasy rather than ending with those weird and ambiguous last couple of sentences. I think he was trying for literary panache. Addendum: I actually missed one page of posts - sorry, I see a number of people have identified what they thought was rude/inappropriate in the article.
  7. Great topic. I'm not really a serious student of history, but there's a great scene in Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell set in the Peninsula War...
  8. Congratulations! What's the title/subject?
  9. It seems like this is tongue-in-cheek but to be clear her fault was not acknowledging, as a journalist in the post Me-Too era, the testimony of an abuse victim as compared to a second-hand denial. Whatever the BBC guidelines, they should take second place to her journalistic ethics. Trying to both-sides this issue as opposed to just reporting his second-hand denial as context and in the interest of of fairness was her mistake. And she did that because Stanley Johnson is Boris' dad. What kind of son doesn't give a toss that his father beat his mother repeatedly and broke her nose? I find the English upper class so mystifying.
  10. Napoleon wasn't exactly known as an international man of peace. Gandhi he ain't.
  11. Just chiming in here to say that the torture scene was sufficiently off-putting for me to stop reading and I haven't picked it up again. Same for the Netflix show Troy which also had a torture scene. I stopped midway and now can't finish. Torture is just uniquely off-putting for me in a way that battle, gore etc are not.
  12. That's a hell of a point, thanks for raising it. Now that you mention it, I wonder whether there is a Lynton Crosby connection? He's had his finger in British politics for a while now...
  13. Fifty Shades of Frey (aka a true and accurate recounting of Lord Walder's love life by Maester Grossout).
  14. Oh man, I had White Flotus (One Woman's Journey overcoming Affluenza).
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