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Kyll.Ing.

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  1. Or that ... other point in the book. It got my eyes wet, at least. But I agree that The Shepherd's Crown is a great Tiffany book. As I've said in here before, the other of her books have a tendency to follow roughly the same plot: Something unknown is stalking Tiffany Aching, and she needs to confront it before it destroys her and/or those she loves. That plot is fortunately absent from this book, and it also gives a very nice wrap-up of the Witches series. Although I will agree that it felt a little patchy in places. A few of its plotlines kind of petered out without paying off. The book was written in a race against time (and dementia!), after all, and it showed a bit. Still, I found the result satistfying enough. I've read far, far worse books in my time. Oh, and I didn't have as much of a problem with Raising Steam, which I read last month. It was a little rough in places, and it had a bit of what TVtropes calls "anvilliciousness" at points, but I think it gave a satisfying feeling of the end of an era for the Disc - that is, the beginning of a new era, because a lot of new opportunities open up without the old really being lost. It also revisited a ton of old side characters, showing how life went on for them all. Well, minus a few, unfortunately. But then again, it gave a feeling that the tales will continue for the various characters, even if we don't get to participate in them anymore. The Turtle Moves, and all that.
  2. Discworld Yeah, all of it, but admittedly, not at once. After reading the first one almost four years ago, I found out there were approximately as many Discworld books as there were months left of my PhD work. So I did the sensible thing and bought a Discworld book every month after payday for as long as I've been working. I finished The Shepherd's Crown the other day, and my thesis deadline is in late March - my counting was a little off when I did the original estimate. What can I say? I've thoroughly enjoyed every book. Terry Pratchett really was taken away too early. It's a really well crafted setting, with really well crafted characters. The wordplay is excellent, from the music shop being plundered by luters to Nanny Ogg going to bed early on account of being an old lady - as early as 6 AM or so. It's a world that went through real change as the series went on, but it still remained the same old world. So, not sure what I'll do next month. OK, next month will be stressful as hell trying to finish my PhD, but after that ... I'll have to come up with something. As I couldn't find a good way to fit Raising Steam into my old bookshelf, even sideways, I've had to buy a new one, and now it stands there mostly empty. I'll continue working as a post-doc. in our research project for another couple of years, and knowing myself, that bookshelf too will be filled before I'm finished. It'll be interesting to see what with.
  3. Honestly, the events I'm anticipating the most are the ones we don't know about yet. Given the amount of threads in these forums, I'm pretty sure that every reasonable outcome of every unresolved situation/question/mystery in the five books has been postulated here several times over. Somebody out there will have guessed the correct sequence of events following every cliffhanger. For some questions - such as the identity of Jon's parents or Aegon's - the possible outcomes have long since been boiled down to either/or situations, with almost every forum regular being familiar with the implications of the various possibilities. To use a metaphor, the dice have been in the air for so long that we've observed every side of them, now we're only waiting to see which sides will face up when they land. Or to use another metaphor, reading this thread is like seeing bets on football matches. You don't know the exact outcomes (that's the point of betting), but you know who will play against whom and when, what the possible outcomes will be, and what the implications of the various outcomes will be. It will be refreshing to see something happen that hasn't been telegraphed by the previous books, or predicted by fan theories. It's like seeing a match outside the regular schedule, featuring a team you didn't know about, but which can influence the teams you follow. That's the sort of stuff I'm most eager to see. We need some new theories to discuss.
  4. I'm aware of that. My point, although poorly worded, was that the whole phase of the pre-release period when we got new sample chapters to discuss, was all before the halfway mark between ADWD and today. Or put another way, unless the book somehow makes it to the shelves within a month from now, all of the sample characters will have been released closer to ADWD than to TWoW. Or yet another way: all we know for certain about TWoW, we learned inside a five-year period that itself ended nearly five years ago. It's all different ways of saying how I keep being amazed by how drawn-out my anticipation for the book has become. It's been so long, yet I keep checking regularly for news, despite the fact that the period without news will soon have become longer than the period when there were news.
  5. It just occurred to me: It's been a while since we saw a TWoW sample chapter. If I'm reading the Wiki correctly, the last one to be revealed was "The Forsaken", or Aeron I, on May 29, 2016. By then, it had been a little over 4 years 10 months since ADwD was released (or 58 months). May 2016 is already 4 years 9 months ago (57 months). On a timeline between ADwD and the current, only one of the sample chapter releases would be after the halfway point, and then only barely.
  6. A quiet, resigned sense of apathy slowly fading over to indifference?
  7. I've always thought it'd be fun if he just cut some of the knots entirely. Have Cersei stumble drunkenly down a stair, thinking "wait, wasn't there a prophec-" before hitting her head on the floor. Let Jon stay dead. Reveal that the Others were actually just a myth, a figment of imagination, mass hallucinations, or just overall totally disinterested in Westeros now that the humans are all south of the Wall again. Make Arya succumb to one of the many occupational hazards of being an assassin (slipping off a loose roof tile during a night sneak across the rooftops of Bravoos or something like that) Pretend Dorne never existed. Make Daenerys decide to stay in Essos (where she's revered as a saviour and great leader) instead of going to Westeros (where she's never set foot). Have Tommen give up the throne voluntarily. Have Euron drown when his ship sinks during a storm or something. Spend remaining energy and interest on whatever plotlines are left to untangle.
  8. Wait, huh? Spoilers for the first two books:
  9. My one-Discworld-book-a-month quest is nearing its conclusion, taking me to The Science of Discworld in October as the store was temporarily sold out of I Shall Wear Midnight, which I picked up in November and am reading now. Anyway, to take the former first: It's a neat summary of science and the history of the universe, I guess, but there's not much story to it. It's a long science textbook interluded with some Discworld characters being their usual selves between the chapters. Well-written, but not a page turner. Still unsure if I will bother with its three sequels. The latter book is the second-to-last in the Tiffany Aching series, if I've understood it correctly. I really like it so far (around halfway in), but if I have one gripe with it is that it follows the exact same story premise as the former two books in the series: "Something supernatural stalks Tiffany Aching". Again. This was also a big plot point in the first of the Aching books, so by now I'd really have liked to see something else done with the character. Maybe if Pratchett hadn't got the condition he had, he would have had time to take her on some different adventures. But either way the story is well written and develops its characters nicely, so it's not like it's a bad book by any means.
  10. Time is an aspect of physics, not math, as far as I understand, so there isn't a mathematical symbol specifically for "never". But there's always the mathematical "Error 404" symbol, the Empty Set. The symbol is ∅. An empty set is a set of data that contains no elements and has no size. An example is "numbers larger than eight but smaller than three" or "triangles with four or more sides" or "legal opening moves in chess that involve a king". You can define the set's parameters, but its contents are impossible. It is also sometimes used as a symbol of atheism: "The god you are looking for does not exist".
  11. We're still coming back to that New Year's post of 2016, and I feel that we will do so many more times. How strange that he thought in mid-2015 he could have it finished by Halloween that year. By then, it had been four years since the release of ADwD. Those days are now more than five years ago. He has had more time to write TWoW after that blog post than he had before it. Assuming (probably erroneously) a constant writing speed, he could have started completely from scratch after that blog post and been further along now than he was back then. I'm not wondering what happened as much as I wonder why he felt the goal was so close, so long ago. Even if the book were finished tomorrow, the blog post would stand earlier than the half-way post in the writing process. What obstacle could have seemed so easy, yet taken so many years to resolve?
  12. They're trying to set a precedent, I think. If you multiply the royalties owed to one author by the number of authors and creators under the Disney umbrella, you get really big bucks. Speaking of ... in the event that they do manage to set precedent, how far could they draw it? For instance, could they negotiate a contract with some person or studio, then as soon as the goods were delivered, so to speak, sell the contract to a shell company and argue that they no longer have any liabilities? Could they hire workers through shell companies, transfer the contracts at an opportune moment, then refuse to pay them for their work, under the justification that the company that signed the labour contract is now defunct? I mean, any company's dream situation is receiving labour without owing any compensation whatsoever. Disney would love to keep the intellectual property created by all its wonderful and talented contractors, while the contractors themselves should preferably make do with the gratitude of being allowed to work for Disney. They've screwed over legends such as Carl Barks and Don Rosa before, whose work they continue to profit greatly off of to this day. At some point, the government should step in and do something. Resetting the expiry date of copyright to the death of the author + ten years would be a great start.
  13. Another thing I disliked about it was ... I haven't read To Be Taught, If Fortunate yet. Waiting on reviews of the fourth book to see whether the series finds its way back to form or if it chooses to amplify its least good characteristics again.
  14. I found that one to be a little different from the first, but not sure if I'd call it weaker. More focused, perhaps? It certainly has a more straightforward plot (well, two straightforward plots), and that's a major strength. The third one was well-written page by page, but it has no plot whatsoever. I also think it lacked a few of the aspects that made the first two so good, but your opinions may differ. I've heard others like that one the best.
  15. Funny you should say that, because I just finished Parker's How to Rule an Empire (and Get Away With It), the sequel to Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City. I found it an interesting read overall, if a little less tense than the first book. That one ended rather abruptly just as the titular city was being stormed. Cue the sequel seven years later, where the siege is still going on. Our new main character doesn't have a military background, and his problems aren't directly related to the defense of the city ... at first, at least. The book got a bit more exciting when he got involved in that, but I couldn't help but notice how he essentially turned into an expy of the main character of the first book towards the end. I mean, suddenly he's a grand strategist despite only having experience from the theater stage? As for characters being likable ... yeah, that's absolutely a valid concern. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that the main leads are total bungholes. It's an interesting read, though, and I wonder if there are any plans for a second sequel. The way this one ended, I wouldn't consider it likely, but I'd read it if it arrived one day.
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