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Kyll.Ing.

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  1. Kyll.Ing.

    Libraries in fiction

    Aye, provided that the system has been in use for as long as the library has existed, or that the whole thing is continuously kept updated. Besides, any such system eventually breaks down when you start dealing with infinitely large libraries.
  2. Kyll.Ing.

    Libraries in fiction

    The strange thing about libraries in fiction is that there are often more books around than there plausibly are people who can read them, or for that matter, have written them in the first place. Take Discworld's Unseen University, where a couple hundred wizards have lived and worked for a few thousand years. If every wizard writes ten books during a sixty-year career, and all those numbers have been stable for six thousand years, it works out to a couple hundred thousand books provided every book is preserved. Give them 5 cm of shelf space each, that's 10,000 shelf-meters. Divide by five books in height, that's 2000 meters of bookshelves. It's a lot, but it's a number you can increase by a couple orders of magnitude before you get to a library so vast you need to prepare for a multi-day expedition to find the book you're looking for (at which point indexing them starts to become a real problem too, which The Kingkiller Chronicles went into in a little more detail). The library at Hogwarts faces the same issue, with a total magical population in Britain the size of a small town (I think the number 3,000 was floated around somewhere), few of which ever write books. Yet Hogwarts still has a vast library of exclusively magical nature. Or consider magical libraries filled with all conceivable books, every book ever written or every book ever not written. Finding anything of real value in those would be a futile task. Even the index detailing which rooms hold the shelves full of indexes of book indexes would by definition be infinitely long. Any given title pulled from the shelves could be a version of some book that for some reason has a page printed upside down somewhere. You'd come across vast sections of user manuals for Javascript version 1997. Poorly written fan-fiction. Notebooks filled with gibberish. Books written in languages nobody ever spoke. Assembly instructions for discontinued IKEA furniture. Phone books from long-since-lost cities. The Sears catalog, anno 1938. Magical libraries sound so enticing in theory, but once you start running the numbers few of them ever make sense. Then again, it tends not to be important unless you're making a meta-discussion on fictional libraries.
  3. Kyll.Ing.

    Rothfuss XV: Move along, nothing to see here

    If that's the case, the show really follows the books very faithfully.
  4. Kyll.Ing.

    Persepolis Rising (Book 7 of the Expanse) - SPOILERS

    I think the very first chapter of the series lists the numbers. I don't have the books here to check, but I think the main stations held a few million at most and a couple hundred thousand lived on smaller stations and rocks scattered around the Belt. Didn't the cloaked ships basically float around empty space without firing their engines until an enemy had been lured in? My memory of the details is slightly fuzzy, but I believe Julie Mao's ship was hijacked to use as bait for a larger ship (the Canterbury), which was nuked so a Martian battleship would come see what the fuss was about. Only then did the stealth ships light up their engines in hot pursuit. They were only stealth when everything was turned off, and I believe Holden was passingly familiar with the relevant technology already. Special hulls and internal heat sinks. I don't think they used any sort of revolutionary new technology, they were "merely" using top-shelf military equipment and took the Donnager by surprise with their firepower. The Martians weren't expecting any hostility with that level of organization, as relations with Earth were fairly good at the time and nobody else were supposed to have that type of equipment.
  5. Kyll.Ing.

    Good news? Bad news?

    Especially considering where he was four years ago, according to that blog post of early January 2016. By this time in 2015 he thought he would be finished by end of October that year. By August, he realized he wouldn't make it, but considered a two-month extension enough time to finish. Since then, three years have passed and then some. More than twenty times longer than that extension. The time of the deadline extension (August 2015) will soon be closer to the release of ADwD than to today. Evidently, something came along that set progress back really far, practically back to scratch considering how close he felt to the finish line. If GRRM ever finishes ASoIaF and feels like writing more, I think "The Cutting Room Floor of Ice and Fire" would be a very interesting read.
  6. Kyll.Ing.

    The Wayfarers Series by Becky Chambers

    Same here. The first book was just cozy, and I liked how it built a setting the characters lived in, but they didn't necessarily shape it. There was no saving the world or overthrowing the empire, or for that matter a grand hunt for treasure. Just a journey where characters learn about each other. The second book had more of an overarching narrative, but still played with all those alien philosophies in the same way, and the things that happened took a bit of a backseat to the people they happened to. But the third one was a disappointment. Its cast is almost entirely human, and almost nothing of note happens to any of them. The only character with anything resembling an arc is killed off halfway through. There are almost no exploration of how the world adapts to non-humans, or vice versa, which was one of the strongest points of the two previous books. It takes the "characters over story" approach to the extreme, and it doesn't pay off in my opinion. I sat the whole book waiting for something to happen, and it just didn't. I'd love to see more books in the series, because the setting has a lot of potential. But to be engaging, they need to build on the strong points: diversity of species, diversity of thought, and characters who have to take it all in. Not just sit around with the familiar, having characters of the same background and ability who barely interact with one another.
  7. Is it possible that George will release Winds in two parts at once? Maybe, if for no other reason than it being too long to bind as one volume. Is it possible that George will release Winds in two parts? Hardly, if so we'd have seen Part 1 already. Is it possible that George will release Winds? To be honest, I'm fairly certain he will. Otherwise, what have those past eight years been spent doing? Is it possible that George will? If the ending to ASoIaF is never published by GRRM, it will be the great unfinished fantasy work of this generation. Given that the copyright can be sorted out, I bet other writers would try to bring the saga to a conclusion their way, giving us several different endings to choose between. Is it possible? On a general basis, I'd say yes. Of course, the question is getting so short at this point it's hard to tell what it's even asking. Is it? Yes. Time to end this joke.
  8. Kyll.Ing.

    [Spoilers] Episode 806 Discussion

    I kind of liked the ending. Maybe not spectacular, but it wrapped things up neatly overall. Most of what I feel has been said by others in the thread already. A few random thoughts, though: What fell over King's Landing was clearly snow, not ash. You saw some of it hit Daenerys's face and melt. Had it been ash, the whole epilogue would consist of characters croaking over with pneumonia and lung cancer. Which, admittedly, would have made for quite a spectacle. I think the writers kinda forgot how many balls Sam had in the air. Gilly and the kids are not seen, there's the question of his inheritance to sort out, he has this Maester's degree he's been working on (wonder how he'll be welcomed in the Citadel again?), as the last surviving member of the Night's Watch he probably had some duties to clear up there too... and then he's made Grand Maester as well. Sam's various plot threads were just cut off and replaced with a new one, it seems. The guys who escort Jon to the wall were presumably the first two recruits to the new Watch. I can imagine there being a few Northern soldiers who lost their families in the battle for Winterfell (or before it), and had nothing to go back to. The Night's Watch would at least offer a roof, beds and food. That unknown lord at the seat was presumably from the Westerlands, which had no ruling family save for the prisoner Tyrion. As far as I know, Lannisport was not touched in the show, so he could theoretically be a Lannisport Lannister. It's strange that the moniker "the Six Kingdoms" was adopted. Iron Islands, Westerlands (Unknown), Reach (Bronn), Riverlands (Tully), Stormlands (Gendry), Vale (Robin) and Dorne (Unnamed prince) make seven. There were always more than seven kingdoms in Westeros, apart from that specific time right before Aegon's Conquest. With the North and Crownlands counted too, there actually were nine. The Night's Watch didn't serve as an effective guard force at the start of the series, it owed all its protective capability to the Wall. It arguably didn't serve the purpose of guarding the Seven Kingdoms particularly well in the first place, not for a few centuries, at least, and probably would carry on just the same without having to man the Wall other than for tradition's sake. Jon was effectively elected to lead a prison colony, and that's what he was sent back to do now. That being said, with the White Walkers gone and the Wildlings being friendly, he has a lot more room to define the mission of the Watch, and presumably more personal freedom than, say, Mormont had. He could pick the most capable-looking fellow among his new recruits, and tell him "You have the Wall while I go with the Voluntary Extended Ranger Force to establish some self-sustaining forward bases in the newly freed territories. It might take a few decades, but you guys can probably manage fine in my absence." There is some precedence for a Night's Watch presence north of the Wall, with the Fist of the First Men being an abandoned fort up there. Jon is merely surveying the northern territories along with some natives to guide him, a task that might go on for the rest of his life, and which he might fail to write a report about afterwards.
  9. So, the previous thread reached its 20-page limit, and it was suggested that I start the next one. Sure, it'd be an honour, and here we are. Other than that, see the thread title. It seems like the progress on the Kingkiller Chronicles is still exactly where we left it at the end of the previous thread. And the one before. And the one before. And a few earlier iterations of the thread too. Anybody have any interesting thoughts they'd like to share? It's not like anything else seems to be happening at the moment.
  10. Kyll.Ing.

    Purpose of the wall now ?

    I guess the Wall would now be a great landmark and possibly a cultural heritage site. They need a lot of manpower to keep up with the maintenance. I didn't see it as Jon leaving the Watch. He simply took an extended group of newly recruited rangers out on a great ranging to scout the lands north of the Wall, maybe to establish a few self-sufficient forward bases and ensure that the land is maintained responsibly. The mission might last for the rest of his days, but the other two guys should be able to take care of the castles and the Wall while he's gone. Or maybe they'll raise Mole Town again, the Master of Coin has expressed some willingness to support the re-establishment of businesses like that.
  11. Kyll.Ing.

    Independent North

    Unlike the other kingdoms, the North is both very remote and it had very little history with any of its neighbours. Getting to The Neck in the first place is straying outside the sphere of civilization, and from there you're barely halfway to Winterfell from King's Landing. The North was less involved in the inter-kingdom wars than the others were, less integrated with the central power in King's Landing, and presumably it didn't trade as much with the others either. It being independent wouldn't change much. As for why the others would not declare independence as well, I guess it's because they saw the benefits of centralized rule to a much greater degree. There would be fewer wars between the small kingdoms, it would be easier to trade and travel in the more densely populated parts of the country, and should another queen come across the sea with funny ideas, they could stand together and whoop her behind before she torches another city. I presume that Dorne and the Iron Island could get ideas of independence as well, being similarly isolated as the North, but Dorne was in no position to negotiate at this particular meeting, and Yara remembers how her father's rebellions went. Maybe the issue could be raised the next time the council gathers to elect a king, but for now neither of them could press the issue.
  12. Kyll.Ing.

    Why was Bran looking for Drogon?

    Or he went off to find a Red Priest, seeing as that they have been shown to literally work wonders for people with stab wounds in their chest.
  13. Kyll.Ing.

    Rothfuss XIV: The Slow Regard of Luna Lovegood

    By the way, it seems like we're due for a new thread soon because of that silly "max 20 pages" rule (for which I haven't ever seen a good justification, but I presume there is one). Are you taking suggestions for its title? I propose "Rothfuss XV: Move along, nothing to see here".
  14. Kyll.Ing.

    [SPOILERS] Another theory about what just happened

    Weird, I could have sworn... Mandela effect, I suppose. So there's still a sliver of hope...
  15. Kyll.Ing.

    [SPOILERS] Another theory about what just happened

    It could also have been possible that all she was doing while torching the city was screaming "Drogon, stop! Bad dragon! Baaaaad dragon! Stop the fire! Anti-Dracarys! Get me oooooofffff!" But the next episode's preview shows her smiling triumphantly among the smoking ruins, so it kinda removes all doubt about whether the mass murder was intentional.
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