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Errant Bard

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About Errant Bard

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    Insane precursor of bad business
  • Birthday 05/29/1977

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    South of London, north of Barcelona

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  1. Errant Bard

    is the WoT series worth reading

    Hah, power levels, how fun. I would like to read those authors take on sport stars: "But Ronaldo is clearly more powerful than Froome and Federer"
  2. Errant Bard

    The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

    There are hints that gods are not gods at all, but rather an innate character trait that you can choose to push to the extreme, and thus have some control over reality with magic, while you have less control of yourself. It's in a way a metaphor for drug use: you don't control the craving, in exchange you feel good, but it destroys you. I read it recently, and while I know it's a debut, I felt that some elements were still making it less enjoyable than it could have been: First, it's not surprising. Sure, asian inspired stories change from the Olde England setting, but if you compare this and the Black Tides of Heaven, the Poppy War will prove to have lifted most of its setting from history, with a few renaming. Mugen is basically a Japan/Taiwan mix, for example, and not to spoil, but the rape of Nanking was obviously an inspiration at one point. Secondly, the story structure is uneven. There is a Training Montage in the first part where two years can go by in one sentence, and you feel the story prepare for something epic and then... the scope shrinks. It becomes more a psychological Sub-Hunger Games study than anything. I felt like this book could have been flashbacks to explain where the characters were at the start of the story more than a part of the story itself, at one point. Thirdly, and the worst problem for me: a lot of events in the second part are contrived. You know it has to happen to offer a choice to the main character, but it feels more like a RPG where the only people you meet in Hamlet X are old friends then you click on the "travel to Mnt Doom" button and you're there in the next chapter. All this being said, it is a debut, and the saving grace is the direction chosen for the protagonist, well away from the usual good guy behaviour, though of course Abercrombie among others has been using this idea before. Still, I think I will check the sequel to see if we enter the epic story hinted at.
  3. What is a televison-esque feel? The Handmaid's Tale is a successful TV series, Altered Carbon is a sucky TV series, GoT is ok, The Sword of Truth is laughable... yet all their source books should have a TV-esque feel: please explain what it is, I don't get it.
  4. Errant Bard

    May - Reading 2018 - Have another?

    So, I finished The Poppy War by RF Kuang. I feel torn: I want to like it, the setting is clearly China, with some elements copy pasted from history almost as-is, it never bored me, the fantasy elements are intriguing, the pace is quick, yet, on the other end, it feels like this book is one giant flashback: what happens to the heroine before the important stuff begins. We go from training montage to meeting big players to trauma to choices to getting some power at high speed and it's... I don't know, maybe too cerebral, force fed, one note? It also feels like the scope shrinks in the second half. It's like a book with only Arya Stark from ASOIAF, before she finished her assassin's course. Good stuff still but I hope the sequel will have more voices or the promised epic scope in full.
  5. Errant Bard

    Arby's Twitter features "GrimDark" author

    I started the City Stained Red a while ago. I must confess that while what I read isn't bad, the DnD campaign chronicles feeling it gave never sparked my interest and so I left the book in the limbo of the tbr pile bottom. Now the guy's twitter is certainly more entertaining.
  6. Forgive me, but from the outside, it seemed to me the mere potential of a firearm was the reason black kids were shot on sight when they had a phone, a water gun or even nothing in their hands. That is at odds with the idea of deterrence, I would rather classify it as fuel for government violence/brutality/lack of restraint. Also in the abstract, I can see a case (if it wasn't contradicted by facts) where the possibility to be shot would prevent a local government agent to oppress the defenseless people, but I can't fathom how anyone would think the local government, as in the whole lot of them, if they wanted to oppress you, wouldn't deploy military grade stuff and mow you down, like in St Louis? (or was it Baltimore?)
  7. Errant Bard

    Prolonged Life.... Dragons

    renaming "general chatter" into "real life" or something like that is an idea, but considering misplaced posts do not happen that often and that even a cursory glance at threads titles or subforum description tells you asoiaf is not discussed around here, I am not sure it would matter...
  8. That idea of Maher bothers me, because it implies that he thinks that: 1) random joe with a handgun would be able to stand against the government's forces (hahahaha) 2) Liberals push against guns because they want a (liberal) totalitarian state, not because they want less death 3) The gun nuts reflex when they don't like the government is to go for their guns. distrust is everywhere, guns or no guns, though.
  9. Errant Bard

    Bonfire of the Vanities: Which Fantasies will Survive?

    Hmm, I think we only need to look at Blade Runner, 2001: Space Odyssey, fight club or Planet of the Apes to know that even though the story is the same, the difference in media make it an entirely different object in people's mind. The movies I mentioned are classics, but the books they are based on? Cult classics at best, they are actually already gone except for a handful of obsessive genre fans. I foresee the reverse of this for LOTR or Harry Potter, the movies were nice PR, but will be forgotten in time. For ASOIAF, I will reserve my judgment until the books are all written, for the moment I would bet on both books and series being forgotten in a few decades. I think our problem nowadays is not survival but remembrance, there is just too much stuff produced and hurled at the public, faster and faster. That's how we enter the new world, Orwell was wrong: not by erasing info but by producing more and confusing what's right, wrong, good, bad or worthy of staying in our mind. On the end nothing does except surprise smash hits
  10. Errant Bard

    is the WoT series worth reading

    If you say so. I was just disagreeing with the assertion that they weren't easy to forget, insofar as my own anecdotical experience went, because while I remembered their names and roles, I didn't remember any defining character trait that wasn't shared between all the women in the series (in my recollections.) But as I wrote it might be that I did not care enough in the first place, or did not read enough (though at least 5 books should be enough to build a character... actually even a third of a single book ought to be enough for any author with even mediocre skill) ETA: While you're at it (Moiraine being the best written character, you know...) could you refresh my memory: how would you describe those three characters without mentioning what they did (that would be spoilers anyway), or look like, only what kind of person they are, and how that makes them different from the two others?
  11. Apologies to you Yukle, Jacen and anyone else who felt wrongly targeted, I got stupidly carried away. I had family in Paris then and I recently stumbled upon that Trump speech before the NRA and, well, I feel some kind of judgment-clouding anger when I think about it. It'll fade with time, I suppose.
  12. I believe the (disgusting) narrative sold by your (disgusting) president is that if everyone had a gun then the terrorist would have been stopped immediatly. After the few dozen dead passerby since the terrorist would also have had a gun of course, but what can you do, heh?
  13. Errant Bard

    is the WoT series worth reading

    For the life of me I can't remember a single character trait of those three. Maybe I didn't read far enough, or I was not invested enough? (was it book 5 or 7? it was definitely after a circus thing where some girl kept saying clothes were fit for a slut while her mind very much wanted to dress her like a slut or something and some ridiculous scheme where the enemy wanted some protagonist so the protagonists decided to confront them alone. genius. ) I rember who they are (Gandalf, childhood friend, other continent princess, I think) but all that's left is that they have the power (not sure for siuan, was she part of the boat wind witch thing?) they stare down men and it works, and they sniff. and men are err, wooly heads or something like that?
  14. Errant Bard

    Bonfire of the Vanities: Which Fantasies will Survive?

    I don't think so. We consume visual media like consume cheap sandwiches, we may like the taste when we consume it, but we do not remember what we had the day before last, much less the cookbook that contained the recipe. If something stands the test of time in the literary field, it will be because of its impact on the literary field. If Harry Potter or LOTR or Batman endure, it will be because everyone read them, not because some movies were made when marketers noticed that everyone read them.
  15. Errant Bard


    @Kalbear You sold it to me. I just finished it. it's not like you said. It's short, overwrought, sometimes trying too hard and a bit sad under the fun varnish, but I cried a little in the end. 100 points, level up, thanks for the rec.