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Kyll.Ing.

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About Kyll.Ing.

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  1. I picked up Dune by Frank Herbert at some point this summer, and when I learned they had made a movie of it, it moved a bit up my reading list. It was alright. I don't think I'll bother with the sequels (as I've heard they become progressively worse), but I don't mind having read the first one, at least. It's an interesting tale, albeit a little more Fi than Sci, so to speak. What kept bugging me throughout the book is minor sciency stuff. Like how Arrakis is said to be bone dry to the point that every litre of water is guarded like a precious treasure ... yet polar ice caps are mentioned only in a throwaway sentence and never referenced again. Why aren't they mining the ice caps if water is such a big deal? Even a comparatively tiny ice cap - a few dozen kilometres across and only 10 meters thick - contains several cubic kilometers of ice, more than enough to satiate the thirst of millions for perpetuity given the Arrakeen recycling methods. There are more ways to get water to a desert planet as well (Hydrogen and Oxygen are among the most abundant elements in existence, so any solar system will contain vast amounts of it in the form of ice comets or planetary rings), which seems somewhat easy to do if they have the means of trivial interstellar travel. Just put rocket engines on an iceberg orbiting a Saturn-like planet, and let it rain, literally. And of course, it's mentioned that nobody has done an orbital survey of the southern half of the planet, which is ludicrous in a setting where space travel is ubiquitous. But again, it was enjoyable enough. A bit too much talking, perhaps, but that's just a matter of taste. I'd rate the book a 2 on a three-point scale.
  2. That's actually my go-to way of checking whether the book is out soon. I figure the forums would go down under the traffic if Martin made an announcement. Conversely, if the forums open without problems, the status of the book remains unknown.
  3. On the contrary, I think the publication of multiple endings would be inevitable if Martin passes away before finishing the series. ASoIaF is, after all, one of the most popular fantasy series ever. The books have captured the minds of millions, and the TV show was one of the greatest successes in TV history. If Martin doesn't finish the series, it would be the great unfinished tale of a generation. There would be hundreds of authors wanting to take a crack at piecing together an ending from the text of the published novels. Various unofficial continuations of the story would be widely circulated, some probably by quite merited authors. Something like it has happened many times before. Charles Dickens died halfway through the writing of a murder mystery. Hergé died with an uncompleted Tintin comic on his desk. Jane Austen's last book was never completed. Neither were those of Franz Kafka or Robert L. Stevenson. Wikipedia has a long article listing other examples. In many cases, even when expressly against the will of the authors, others have come along and published endings to those unfinished tales. Wherever there is a fanbase left hungry for a conclusion to a story (if not an official one, then at least a competently written one), authors will step up to supply it. An unfinished ASoIaF would be way too big a tale to resist such a fate. The heirs, copyright holders, and their lawyers could fight it all they want, but it would happen nonetheless. A century down the line, people would still be arguing which ending is the best one. I'm fairly certain they won't find that of the TV show to be it, even though it may be considered "the original".
  4. Haven't found time to comment in here in a while, but I consider Maskerade and Feet of Clay among my favourite Discworld novels. I must admit I'm not entirely sure why. It may have something to do with the atmosphere of these stories, the way they seem to take place in a world that lives its own life around them. Or it may have something to do with quantum. I'm not sure, but at least I know that I like them.
  5. It's crazy to think that this blog post came out closer to the release of ADWD than to the present day ... by more than a year. I say it often, but I remain so puzzled I cannot help repeating it, that Martin thought TWoW was months away from being finished when the process hadn't even reached its halfway point. I really, really wonder what the book looked like in summer 2015.
  6. Exactly. The intended story arc for some characters needs a gap of a few years, others need there not to be a gap at the same time, and this creates all sorts of problems in creating a coherent timeline. "Character A needs some time to pass for X to happen, before reuniting with character B ... but what is character B doing in the meantime? And what about event Y, which they both need to be present for, but which seemed so urgent when the two characters split up?" Except often it's not just characters A and B, but the entire Latin and Greek alphabets and then some. I suspect GRRM has long had some plans for what should happen to each character and what their story arcs are, but is having a lot of problems finding out what should happen when, and maybe even realizing that some events make others logically impossible. And some of those arcs were set in motion several books ago, so it's a little too late to change course at this point. Notably, I think, all the stuff that needs to happen before winter truly arrives. Some characters are supposed to be out of time to prepare for it already, while others need to experience some lengthy events (wars and suchlike) first, and winter is shown to begin more or less simultaneously all over Westeros with the white ravens and all. And that is just one of the many knots to untangle, without making any new ones. In short, it might not possible to build a coherent timeline out of all the intended pieces.
  7. On the other hand, it has been mentioned elsewhere that the five-year gap wasn't actually a plan worked into the story from the outset. I have a sneaky suspicion that's only halfway true. I'm starting to hypothesize that the story GRRM had envisioned for some characters involved a gap, while it didn't for others, and that much of the current trouble stems from trying to reconcile this disparity. Like, he might always have envisioned Sam to study at Oldtown for a few years, while Jon had a busy few months with the Others and Stannis struggled with his war in the north, with no immediate concern for how one story would have to happen in a much shorter time frame than the concurrent ones. Maybe a "we'll deal with that problem when we get there" approach to storyline inconsistencies is what's making progress so difficult. Hmm ... or rather, the question is, if that isn't it, then what else could it be? If the problems aren't rooted in chronology, it's difficult to envision what would take so long otherwise.
  8. Heh, I've toyed with that idea in my head too. I wonder if it would be easier for him to finish the series by starting over from a previous point and undoing some of the knots made in the past two books.
  9. My opinion is, let's cross that bridge when we get there - that is, if we get there. GRRM is still alive and kicking, after all. I wouldn't really want to discuss his replacement unless he makes it explicitly clear he's not going to finish the series.
  10. How about looking into Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles trilogy? I can pretty much guarantee that your worry of having to wait one year for the third book will not happen. Ten years, however? That's about fifty-fifty, I'd say. The other fifty being the odds of the book never being released at all.
  11. Uhh ... is it? At the start, Wade has to hitchhike with people he detest to farm XP against imps on remote noob worlds, and barely makes enough coin to afford a return ticket. Near the end of the story, he casually takes on a whole clan of professional egg hunters and slaughters them one by one. It seems clear to me that he advances significantly in terms of power level, and he even mentions grinding side quests to level up to level 99, whatever that means.
  12. For a certain interpretation of the word "is", and with a few spoiler warnings: Harry Potter.
  13. By the way, if the arguments of the OP manage to sway the admins in here, will this subforum be renamed "Not Literature", or just "Literature" in quotation marks?
  14. As long as the book ends up being published at all, I don't care much for how many parts it will be split into. Although I suppose the publisher would rather have people buy two books at $30 apiece than one book at $45.
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