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Posts posted by shortstark

  1. If you could get any unpublished books for Christmas what would it be..

    And no... Not from GRRM.. 

    For me it would be another Goblin book from Katherine Addison and JV Jones next installment in the Sword of Shadows series..




  2. On 10/29/2022 at 6:54 PM, Underfoot said:

    Finished up the Jade trilogy by Fonda Lee, with Jade Legacy. What an ambitious series. I liked the first one the best, but I was incredibly impressed by the journey we were taken on in the last book, seeing jade and the culture around it change as the world became globalized. It was a really impressive bit of writing - the culture wars and culture shock amidst actual wars (hot and cold) were incredibly well realized. 

    I didn't really like most of the characters throughout the trilogy - I guess that's fine given it's a mix of feudal+gangster politics, but as the world got more and more modern it was harder to relate to any of the jade-wearing characters, or root for their continued existence. 

    I like the hints of lore and mysticism throughout, and would've liked the books to explore that more beyond the interlude snippets, but I'm not really partial to modern settings, so I was looking for more fantasy elements in general. 

    Good series! 

    Loved it.. thought it was very cinematic.. expect to see it on Netflix soon...

  3. On 7/17/2022 at 2:07 PM, polishgenius said:

    I read Miles Cameron's space opera, Artifact Space. We know by know what we're getting with Cameron- protagonists leaning towards the mary-sueish, but written with verve and character and with entertaining twisty plots combining mazes of intrigue with intricately-detailed battle/fight sequences. He transposes that formula from medieval fantasy to space well, and I gotta say I enjoyed this more than his last series. Bit less hurried. Looking forward to the next, although I see that it's not scheduled yet and in the interim he has published the first in a completely separate series (back to the fantasy). Will pick that up at some stage.

    Enjoyed this much more than Red Knight which was the only other  Cameron book that I read ...

  4. Been on a Tchaikovsky binge recently

    Read Elder Race Ogre and The Doors of Eden, Ogre was underwhelming but both Doors of Eden and Elder Race were well done, I have noticed a political slant to the writing though which is a bit heavy handed at times, but as it generally aligns with my leanings I don't mind it so much, others might find it jarring though..

  5. 7 hours ago, Kyll.Ing. said:

    I've given the idea some thought over the years. If I ever were to write a piece of fiction with a magical setting, it would work somewhat like this:

    Magic is the manifestation of willpower. It is a means to make something imagined happen. It can be done by conjuring objects, energy, or forces, or by teleportation or transformation or a few other basic mechanisms.

    However, the difficult part is to precisely define what you want to happen, and how. The way from willpower to reality is full of intricacies that must be taken care of, otherwise nothing happens or something will go spectacularly wrong. Say for instance that you want a piece of wood to levitate. You can't just cancel gravity's affection of the wood, then it would just remain on the floor until acted on by an external force. Invert gravity? Now it accelerates upwards instead. Lifting it in some way, then? By what force? Tension from above, compression from underneath? A single vector on the centre of gravity, or a uniform force spread across its entire volume? How to balance the force so the wood stops in mid-air, never mind so it stops spinning? Cancelling out velocity and rotation is tricky business. Now imagine it with a non-rigid object, like a cloak. Or a clot of cream. Tricky business.

    In short, doing magic would be very similar to programming. The magician works in a physics engine, and would have to define precisely what they want to happen, like a programmer coding a video game or setting up a multiphysics simulation. 

    Fortunately, programmers don't work with ones and zeroes. There are existing frameworks to work within on almost every level, from the basic machine code to operating systems, to programming languages, to code packages for each programming language. And even some visual code tools and libraries to assemble code out of pre-existing parts, rather than having to write everything from the ground up.

    Likewise with magic, there would be similar frameworks set up by arcane researchers of the past, ways to channel raw magic through words, and languages of those words that could be used to cast spells (that is, multiple languages could effectively work the same magic using entirely different words - like how Dutch and Chinese could both be used to make the exact same detailed descriptions of an object, even though they sound nothing alike). And then there could be further refinements of words and phrases into commands of stunning complexity despite the simple nature of the triggering word - for instance, like how a computer responds to the simple string "format C://". 

    In other words, an aspiring spellcaster would need to learn a language, with its list of commands and the structure of how to give them. Commands would have to be given in a set order depending on the language (just keep in mind how something as simple as an "if" loop looks very different depending on what program you use to define it). But with mastery of a language, pretty much everything is possible. Or, well, there are always limitations, and that would also be something a spellcaster would have to learn.

    Building up a magical system of one's own is like building software from the ground up - a challenge for the master of the arcane, but technically doable. Self-taught magicians would be very rare, however, and rarely able to do anything intricate unless they've really thought things through (as shown above, even the simplest task can be intricate if you break it down). Forget making skulls talk, conjuring an army of demons, or transforming ropes into snakes. A "raw" magician might just be able to create blasts of force or heat, with very little precision. 

    I've thought of a few other aspects of my magical system, but this is enough of a ramble already that I think I'll stop here for now.

    You are partially describing Bakkers magic system with the use of precise language both spoken and thought to conjure  a thing, with the gnosis going further by conjuring the essence of the thing itself.. classic example instead of a dragon breathing fire you get fire in it's pure form.. Bakkers calls it utteral and inutteral, with a more advanced form using a second inutteral to  teleport.. fascinating...

  6. Within the last two weeks I have read been reading Katherine Addison Goblin Emperor had been on my radar for a while but just got around to it and off i was on this ride, I really liked it, but that's a side issue.. 

    Both Witness for the Dead and Grief of Stones are dry methodical and absolutely cannot be put down, I can honestly say I don't know why I find both these books to be so fascinating but they are, I will think on it and come back to this post, all I can hope is that we have not seen the last of Thera Celehar..




  7. On 6/4/2022 at 12:41 PM, Iskaral Pust said:

    I think I may go back and reread this series now ahead of Endlords.  It’s really great to hear that JV Jones was finally able to return to writing.  I’ve avoided checking for updates over the past year, but it’s probably getting close now.  (GRRM taught me patience the long, hard way)

    Considering the quality of this series — and, yes, it showed incredible development over her prior series — it’s a bit crazy that she hasn’t spent the past decade having an experience similar to the top tier fantasy authors.

    This series could definitely be optioned for TV, although I doubt it has the embedded fan base or name recognition of WoT or the Witcher.

    edit: just purchased the series so far on Kindle, even though I have the original paperbacks up in the attic

    Yup, same here, I am patiently waiting on Endlords, whenever a publication date is announced I will commence a reread...

    These books has so many made for TV moments, should have gotten optioned years ago..

  8. On 5/10/2022 at 6:13 AM, Calibandar said:

    He's just published the second one in his Shards of the Earth series, one of his most interesting series so far for me.

    Also interested in Dogs of War and its sequel, and Cage of Souls.

    Just finished Eyes of the Void..book 2 of Tchaikovsky Architects series, it was originally promoted as a duology but is now a trilogy it seems.

    didn't enjoy it ..lots of bloat and exposition.. disappointed.. quite enjoyed Shards of the Earth..

  9. Re reading Strange Dogs and I have so many questions.. How did cara died and how long after the events surrounding Xan's death..were the dogs existing before the orbitals came online, doubt it else someone would have come across them prior to Cara, what are the dog's purpose...  

    I have read all these stories before, but reading them back to back only highlights the quality.. hard to pick a favorite , Auberon and Butcher weakest to me..the others really excellent...

  10. Read Fonda Lee's Jade Trilogy in a rush and enjoyed them greatly.. 

    For some reason I have had Lois McMaster Bujold on my mind,while I enjoy the Penric stories they are no substitute for old time Bujold, I reread Shards of Honor, which was ok but I had forgotten the Aftermath .. wow... That got me in the feels.... Next up is Barrayar.. 

    Cordelia ..then Miles..


  11. Jah, this might be sacrilege on this board, but Endlords is my most eagerly awaited book ... 

    Talking about scene in first book ,the one where Raif rescues Ash with just 6 arrows is amazing. 

    I am happy that JV seems to be back on track and an end is in sight..

    As for the difference in quality between Words and Sword, it's as if there is a different Author..

  12. The reappearance of felip would have raised interesting issues for the crew of the Roci, he is a war criminal, he was hands on in the attack on Earth, I can't see Holden and the rest of the Roci crew just turning a blind eye to that while he and his mom worked out their issues, don't think this could have been dealt with in the chapters allocated to Kit and would be a serious distraction at such a crucial juncture, authors should have re introduced him in TW imo, during the time when Naomi was by herself.. it doesn't weaken the book for me, just make for interesting speculation..


  13. It looks like we are kinda unanimous in our desire to see felip again, I wonder why they didn't go his route instead of Kit, there was a focus on Alex here that perhaps explain the Kit decision, but it was a minor bug in an excellent finale, that Amos is the figurative last man standing was a delight, burnished by the fact that cara and xan should be there also to keep him company. 

  14. On 9/27/2021 at 8:34 PM, ants said:

    His website doesn't have an update on the Craft Sequence in the last few years, and his blog seems to have stopped. I bought and read his latest book (Empress of forever, quite enjoyable but not as good), so maybe he isn't writing any more. Which is a damn shame. The Craft Sequence is amazing, and the last book was arguably the best of them. 

    Have been on a bender reading craft sequence this last couple weeks.. reading out of chronological and published order, thus I am now in the middle of Full Fathom Five with only the last book left.. these are well written books with great characters and plot, but full fathom five has pushed this series over the edge into exalted territory for me, funny though that I was aware of the books before now without any interest, Jah know.. shades of Long Price Quartet.. nothing happens before the time ..

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