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Gormenghast

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About Gormenghast

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  1. Gormenghast

    Board Issues 4

    Come on, this cannot be reasonable. "Removing all options, make everything bigger" can't be seen as an improvement. One needs to preview and edit a post. It's not possible under this new version. This can't be considered a minor issue. If this is the default of this engine gone nuts I'd advise using some forum engine that is not so broken. They are all better than THIS: XenForo, vBulletin, Simple Machines. If instead it's a configuration thing, PLEASE enable again options, ability to preview posts, and edit them properly.
  2. Gormenghast

    Board Issues 4

    So, is there no more any way to preview a post, or see and edit the code? This forum has become simply unusable. I tried to quote something and ended up with a bunch of blocks created automatically that couldn't be edited in any way. What a mess. Also, all forum layout options are removed.
  3. Gormenghast

    The Books That Have Just Come Out: New Release Thread

    Re: Jemisin I had the book on order since the week before release, but it will only be delivered tomorrow, because in Europe failed to arrive after the US/UK side of the market went out of print very soon. So, I haven't read it, but this is the one book coming out this year that is without a doubt MUST READ, my sixth sense says. Jemisin first trilogy as one omnibus was released a few months ago, and I had it on my wishlist for a while, mostly because I remembered some of Larry "Blog of the fallen" reviews. And I finally bought that a month of so ago. Only read 50 or so pages, but it's good. Good enough to see a writer that is on the right path with enough talent backing it up. I'm reading it with the awareness "it can only get better, and it will", as an appetizer, because I know of this new trilogy coming out. Then I read Neth review about this new trilogy, and especially Jemisin own words. There are a few things that can get my attention and make me click on "buy" button very quickly:   And then I read that a part of the book is written in 2nd person, and for a reason. So, the point is that a writer that was on my radar for a while kicked up the ambition another lever. I only wait for those kinds of things. Something that has ideas, has ambition, takes risks, goes off the beaten path, exploring. The general themes and scope of the book seem amazing, and the reviews I've read confirm it's successful. I could still read it and then be disappointed, but I doubt it.
  4. Gormenghast

    K.J. Parker (a.k.a.Tom Holt) - Part II

    Well, then it doesn't convince me as a storytelling medium. Reading something like 47 pages a month for an ongoing story isn't going to be so "satisfying". Could you imagine reading something like ASoIaF that way?
  5. Gormenghast

    K.J. Parker (a.k.a.Tom Holt) - Part II

    Not too convincing. A 150k book is roughly 400 pages, or slightly less. So when all 8 parts are published you have, like, a book of 375 pages with "many viewpoints". That's not enough space for a story where you really have a number of POVs. 300k would look more reasonable to me.
  6. Gormenghast

    K.J. Parker (a.k.a.Tom Holt) - Part II

    Yeah, it's likely a 300k thing, split in two. And then split in four each. So each of the eight is roughly 35k.
  7. Gormenghast

    K.J. Parker (a.k.a.Tom Holt) - Part II

    So that's the Orbit project: http://www.staffersbookreview.com/2014/05/kj-parker-a-glimpse-behind-the-curtain.html And now: How many of these "chunks", because if the whole thing is 8 parts then I doubt it's 150k each. That would be definitely "epic" sized. 1 million words is roughly equal to 2500 pages... Or it might mean that the 150k are split across 8 parts, and so that it goes on?
  8. Gormenghast

    Nobel Literature Prize Speculation 2018 Cancelled

    I tracked two interesting books: Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out The Republic of Wine The first is apparently his best work. 544 pages in English, written entirely in 43 days, by hand (for people who always think it's all about the "editing" and "drafting"). I already ordered that one. The second is coming out for cheap in a couple of weeks. Noteworthy points that drew my attention: "there are three major features in his works: extraordinary characters; language with absurd local flavor (or somewhat black humor of the absurd); and plots with symbolic meaning." "Whatever the subject matter is, a torrential flow of rich, unpredictable and often lacerating words remains his trademark." "Today's most revered, feared, and controversial Chinese novelist offers a tour de force in which the real, the absurd, the comical, and the tragic are blended into a fascinating read." "He flouts literary conformity, spiking his earthy realism with fantasy, hallucination and metafiction." "This "lumbering animal of a story," as he calls it, combines the appeal of a family saga set against tumultuous events with the technical bravura of innovative fiction. Catch a ride on this wheel of transmigration." "use of multiple narrators" "Much of the book is very funny, especially when the narrator is one of the animal reincarnations Of Ximen Nao (he returns as a donkey, an ox, a pig, and a dog) commenting on the foibles of humans and the many reforms of the Mao era." "This book is written masterfully and encompasses a half century with sorrow and wit." "Set in the fictional province of Liquorland, this tall tale begins with a rumor of cannibal feasts featuring children as the delectable main course. In response, Chinese officials send special investigator Ding Gou'er to look into the allegations. He arrives by coal truck at the Mount Lao Coal Mine, where he meets the legendary Diamond Jin, Vice-Minister of the Liquorland Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Bureau, a man known for an epic ability to hold his booze. Almost at once, Ding's worst fears seem to be realized when he is invited to a special dinner, given enough alcohol to stun an ox, and then served what appears to be "a golden, incredibly fragrant little boy." Despite his hosts' explanation that the boy's arms are made of lotus root, his legs of ham sausage, and his head from a silver melon, Ding remains suspicious--until he is rendered so addled by wine that he ends up eating half an arm all on his own." "A lesser novelist might be satisfied with just this one narrative thread; Mo Yan, however, has bigger ambitions. The correspondence between fictional character and author allows Mo Yan to wax satirical on the subject of art, politics, and the troubling point where the two intersect in a Socialist society: "One of the tenets of the communism envisioned by Marx," the hopeful Yidou writes, "was the integration of art with the working people and of the working people with art. So when communism has been realized, everyone will be a novelist."" "only a first-rate artist like Mo Yan could pull off such a subversive and darkly comic metafiction." "he waxes metafictional in this savage, hallucinatory farce." "The novel grows progressively more febrile in tone, with pervasive, striking imagery and wildly imaginative digressions that cumulatively reveal the tremendous scope of his vision."
  9. Gormenghast

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    I was thinking that reading Glen Cook after Erikson is like reading Pynchon after David Foster Wallace: you see everything everywhere.
  10. Gormenghast

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    Only 2 things I disagree with. The first is that it's not really in medias res. The history of the Company is, but the story offers a neat starting point: the first chapter describes the Company being hired by Soulcatcher. So it works as a good "beginning of story". It's a significant beginning that determines all that follows, while pretty much nothing that "precedes" it comes into play. Gardens of the Moon starts REALLY on the deep end, previous stuff comes into play all the time and the PoV switches all over the place. So it's much, much worse and better deserving the "medias res" flag. In The Black Company the medias res is merely a fabricated illusion. Even LotR beings in medias res if one considers Bilbo and the ring. But it's still a perfect starting point. The other thing is that the bad guys ARE bad. Glen Cook didn't anticipate the trend of grey characters with motivations. He didn't revolutionize the classic paradigm. What he did was using it in a interesting way: the good guys (Black Company) get stuck doing the dirty work for the bad guys. It's a very interesting PoV the one they get stuck in. They are trapped in a bad situation and having pressure on all sides. Much of the first and second book is about them coping with that situation and trying to come out alive. It's characterized by being with the wrong side AND being subordinate and lacking decision power. This is also the part Erikson tried to carry over: the Bridgeburners caught amidst crossfire and trying to get out alive. Which "works" because it comes out the Vietnam war. Soldiers stuck in a war they don't understand and only trying to survive another day. "Good" or "bad" aren't as relevant as what one can do that day. What IS new in this series and that appeals to a modern sensibility is the complete lack of wishful thinking and idealization that one often identifies with the fantasy genre. So the heroes are rather blunt and ugly, and the bad guys can be admirably efficient.
  11. Gormenghast

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    The chapter titled Raker (sp?) is one of the high points. But nope, Cook does almost zero "worldbuilding", and if there is it's usually quickly referenced. I also don't think The Black Company has a steep learning curve, quite the opposite (it's the story of the Company, there aren't PoV switches, no changes of scene or context etc..). It's The Tyranny of the Night where Cook goes overboard and makes even GotM a simple, straighforward read.
  12. Gormenghast

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    It's still "style". And it will be style as long it's DELIBERATE. He simply wants to give his prose a colloquial, straightforward and pragmatic tone. Add commas instead of full stops and you get your complete sentences. If there are full stops it's because he wanted to make the pauses longer, in a meaningful way. Implying that he does this because he doesn't know grammar is quite ridiculous.
  13. Gormenghast

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    Dry style sure, incomplete, huh, nope. The actual point is that Cook's stuff "works" because of his style, not in spite of it. That kind of pragmatic, no bullshit attitude makes him get away with the most fancy of magic and fantastical display of things. The characters are blunt and real, talk practical and you never see weird wonder in their eyes. In The White Rose suddenly there are walking trees and flying whales, characters don't give a shit and describe them as they would of rocks on the ground. It's essentially so completely anti-emphatic that makes everything work as real. Without his style none of this would work. That stuff couldn't be written better (or if you try you move toward Erikson, who has plenty of his own merits, but also loses behind some of Cook's qualities).
  14. Gormenghast

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    By the way, these days I'm reading The White Rose and while I thought Shadows Linger wasn't remotely on par with the first book, The White Rose is absolutely fantastic. Erikson may as well have brought more attention on The Black Company, but if it carried it it's simply because it lives up to expectations in a great way. Certain things are very good, but they need the word of mouth so that the public knows where to look, and The Black Company gets only better the more it ages.
  15. Gormenghast

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    You should read all three together, what a great experience. Glen Cook has just the style that makes it work perfectly. It's certainly Erikson's main inspiration but The Black Company is so focused and never derails. At some point I think Erikson surpassed Cook even in the things Cook does best, but The Black Company remains its own thing with its own flavor and awesome all the way through.
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