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Kyll.Ing.

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  1. Kyll.Ing.

    First Quarter 2019 Reading

    Finally got around to read all of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, plus the sixth-of-three book by Eoin Colfer. I had read it all many years ago, and didn't remember much beyond the first book and the Colfer add-on (those were the only ones I had read multiple times). To be honest, it didn't exactly blow my mind. Not sure what it was about it. I presume the unique presentation style is what made it a classic, since few of the characters are that intriguing (Marvin the robot is a classic, of course, but the traits of all other characters aren't much to write home about), the series jump locations all the time and none of them are dwelled on for long, and the books hardly have a story either beyond book 1. The narration remained delightfully quirky throughout, but the action kind of comes from nowhere and goes nowhere, and the end (before Colfer's sixth book) is sudden and depressing too. I don't regret having read it, but I'm not sure how many times I'll bother to re-read it either. No hard feelings, but also not many soft ones.
  2. Kyll.Ing.

    What are you least looking forward to?

    The inevitable hype, the inevitable backlash, and the inevitable disappointment. And then years more of waiting for ADoS without being allowed to hold a conversation about how far along it is.
  3. Kyll.Ing.

    GRRM: Some folk got it right.

    On these forums, pretty much every possible branch of the story tree has been guessed at some point. Every unknown identity, parentage or other relationship has been paired with every known character. It has been suggested that every POV character interacts with every other character and goes to every point on the map. Every sentence of every book has been analyzed for possible clues, and given that these clues are meaningful, I don't think Martin himself could twist the story in a direction that hasn't already been the subject of half a dozen theory threads. We're the proverbial monkeys writing Shakespeare; exhausting every option by brute-forcing our way through the possibility space. The true solution has to lie in here somewhere.
  4. If he really wanted a Gordian knot cut, he could have Daenerys die from the bloody flux. There, whole Essos plotline resolved, no need for a second dance of the dragons, focus back to Westeros, never mention Slaver's Bay again. Makes me wonder if GRRM has ever considered (or indeed, gone through with) killing off a character just to make writing easier. He's writing like a gardener, and what would a gardener do if one of his biggest trees was blown over and toppled over the greenhouse in a storm? Sure, it would be a lot of work for a very anticlimactic payoff, but is that really worse than a lot of work for no payoff at all?
  5. Kyll.Ing.

    Dragonglass and valyrian steel

    For basically being large chunks of frozen flesh, wights have proven to be strangely flammable, comparable to a scarecrow during drought season. One swing with a lantern or a light poke with a fire arrow, and they go up in flames. One would think some sort of arrangement with a burning barricade and obsidian caltrops in a chokepoint area would be able to eat into an Others army like a massive meat grinder. The wights burn up while obsidian kills an Other with a single pinprick. Scatter them over a large area with catapults and you've effectively created an impassable minefield. If the legends of the Long Night are to be believed, obsidian must be a pretty hard counter to the Others. According to legends, the Others had kept a night going for a generation, covered vast areas in endless winter, killed most of humanity and driven them far, far south. Then the Children of the Forest give the battered and broken humans some obsidian, and suddenly the tables are turned immediately, the Others driven as far back as the Frostfangs, and subdued for eight millennia. That stuff must be like kryptonite, a gamebreaker even a civilization on the cusp of extinction can use to beat a far superior enemy so decisively they haven't been heard from in half a thousand generations. Something made the Others lose, and lose badly, when they were at their strongest and just at the edge of victory.
  6. If so, his editors would probably just make a book out of the chapters and get it released as quickly as possible. If they had the luxury of enough material to fill a book and a half, they probably wouldn't wait for Martin to write another half book and then sort it into two neat piles. Just as long as some storylines could end on cliffhangers, it wouldn't matter much if others are cut mid-stride. It happened in ADwD, it could be tolerated again. And by the way, as this thread nears the end of its twentieth page and thus its lifespan (which is a highly disagreeable forum rule, it has to be said), I have to say this to the moderators: It is clear that a TWoW writing progress thread is in demand at any time. It can exist without descending into chaos. Of all the things that could be talked about concerning the upcoming sixth book in the series, its very existence is a topic worthy of discussing. We all have our thoughts and concerns about TWoW's progress, and would both like to share them and to hear what others have to say. Please allow another thread to be created to discuss this issue (or let this one continue, there's really no reason to stop after 20 pages, I've never seen another forum do that nor an adequate explanation for why it's done here). It is, to be blunt, the only discussion that keeps this subforum active.
  7. It was wrong to forecast it in 2014. It was wrong to forecast it in 2015. Even though GRRM himself did. It was wrong to forecast it in 2016. In his blog post of January 2, GRRM said it was "at least several months" away. Almost thirty-five months later, still no book. It was wrong to forecast it in 2017. A new season of the TV show came and went without a trace of the novel. I'm not sure if anybody even forecast it in 2018, but they seem to have been wrong too. We shouldn't rule it out entirely, but there's very little year left and the book needs at least a few months to come out after the script is finished, so yeah, no book in 2018. By now, 2019 appears to be one of the many years that could become the right one. It's like playing the roulette. Sure, the ball could land on '19. Could also be '26. Somewhere in there. Just as long as it doesn't fly off the table entirely.
  8. That was my impression too. The series of events is well-written, by all means, but I really started wondering when something would happen. Only two of the characters have any sort of narrative arc, and for one it goes nowhere while the other takes all book to treat the simple question: "what am I going to do when I grow up?". Most of the characters don't even meet. I really like the series, but I hope the next book will be more like the first one (one definite story per character, plus more aliens present) or the second (two overarching stories) than this one.
  9. That would be an interesting way to write a whole series, actually. Starting at the end and then going backwards. Maybe a little hard to pull off, though. I've seen a game do it with great success (Return of the Obra Dinn - check it out!), which is a slightly different medium, but I suppose it could be done in a book series too. Instead of fans asking "and then what happens?", they would be asking "What led up to this moment?". Probably not a very good way to write a series that's halfway through already, though, with millions of fans well into the "and then what happens?" stage. It needs a narrative end point to start backwards from.
  10. Kyll.Ing.

    Untangling Meereenese knots, Gordian style

    Because that would be the quickest and easiest way to conclude her story arc without outright killing her. I mean, sure she could botch up her next hit and be slain by her target's bodyguard or something instead, but that would be quite unoriginal given the spirit of this thread. It's all about getting people out of the story to free up the author's attention, and killing them is a little too easy and gets repetitive in the long run. Here's another knot to cut, by the way: Just don't mention Doran or his court ever again. Pretend there never were POVs in Dorne. See if anybody notices their absence.
  11. Kyll.Ing.

    Untangling Meereenese knots, Gordian style

    Just thought of another one. End Arya's next chapter with: "...and then, Arya Stark became no one." Let that be the last we ever hear from her. Plotline concluded!
  12. Kyll.Ing.

    Still Looking for a Good Space Opera Series

    Going to throw in a little recommendation for The Wayfarer series by Becky Chambers. It has great interplanetary wars, warp holes, majestic craft travelling faster than light, fantastic alien races locked in battle against each other, a fading empire of galactic conquerors, desperate diplomacy, shady Martian arms dealers, and a mysterious race of hyper-advanced aliens that have begun to stir in uncharted corners of the galaxy. ...all of which, by the way, happens to somebody else. The series, starting with The long way to a small, angry planet, is about those living their day-to-day lives in this grand setting, with little to no influence on anything larger than their own lives and those of the people they interact with. The books take the fantastical space setting down to a very human scale, presenting it through the eyes of the folks on the street, those who aren't smack in the middle of the action or experiencing the great events of history unfold. That's not to say their lives are boring, or uneventful, the stuff they experience is still the exciting far-future life we readers can only dream about. It's the kind of book that helps calm you down if you ever find yourself too upset about every important, plot-driving character in Star Wars either being a Skywalker or has a close, personal connection to one.
  13. Kyll.Ing.

    Rothfuss XIV: The Slow Regard of Luna Lovegood

    :sigh: I''ve been foolish. I allowed myself to get my hopes up when I saw this thread had gained six pages in a week. "Major news must have broken!" I thought happily for a few moments. "Maybe the series in't completely lost after all!" But now, it's just the thread sinking to ...uhh ...not a new low, maybe, but a spurt of unrelated activity. And it still appears to be taken for granted that the Kingkiller Chronicle will never get anywhere. Shame. I liked the first book immensely, and the second was definitely enjoyable too, but then I discovered the status of the series' writing progress. Since then I've been wary of re-reading the books, since I don't need to fuel my enthusiasm for something that isn't likely to continue.
  14. Kyll.Ing.

    September '18 Reading - A Labor of Love

    Pretty much my reaction to the book too. Slow read, gets interesting at the end, but didn't bother with book two. Mostly because I haven't found book two in the same size paperback as book one. Whoever came up with the practice of printing books in the same series in different sizes? Has it something to do with which editions they are? If you pick up a series halfway through its publication, you're likely to get them in smaller sizes, in which case you can forget buying the next installments as soon as they are released, because they will be printed in this bigger format, and the smaller one won't be available for half a year or so. Or however long it will take McDonald's publishers to realize the two books will just look awkward next to another on any bookshelf. Oh, and the prose in the first book was a little too purple for me.
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