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Bakker XLIV: The Goddess of Negative Theology

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Regarding sales, the high prices of both the hardcover (33.76$) and the ebook (19.24$) on amazon.ca and the big lack of distribution in bookstores up here will probably have a negative impact in Canada.

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1 hour ago, Lord Patrek said:

Regarding sales, the high prices of both the hardcover (33.76$) and the ebook (19.24$) on amazon.ca and the big lack of distribution in bookstores up here will probably have a negative impact in Canada.

Now that you've had a couple days away from it, any particular impressions / revisions of opinions standing out? You know it's like morsels for those of us starving these past five years ... :)

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@ Pat, when do you think your review will be up?

@ Wert: Did you get your copy yet?

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If all goes well, my review will go up this week. :)

Just heard back from Scott and he's deep into the interview questions. Hopefully we can have that to sink our teeth into soon!

Now that I've had time to let everything sink in, there's nothing in particular that stands out more. TGO sets up what should be an unforgettable finale in TUC. But as part 1 of 2, it doesn't stand well on its own. In my humble opinion, had it been released as planned TUC would have been to Bakker what A Storm of Swords was to GRRM. It would have been the author's crowning achievement, his best work to date. A mindfuck of a book. Now imagine ASoS split into two books. Would part one be that exceptional?

Patrick

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In my humble opinion, had it been released as planned TUC would have been to Bakker what A Storm of Swords was to GRRM.

I'm confused - how can you say this if you don't know what the conclusions are?

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7 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

If all goes well, my review will go up this week. :)

Just heard back from Scott and he's deep into the interview questions. Hopefully we can have that to sink our teeth into soon!

Now that I've had time to let everything sink in, there's nothing in particular that stands out more. TGO sets up what should be an unforgettable finale in TUC. But as part 1 of 2, it doesn't stand well on its own. In my humble opinion, had it been released as planned TUC would have been to Bakker what A Storm of Swords was to GRRM. It would have been the author's crowning achievement, his best work to date. A mindfuck of a book. Now imagine ASoS split into two books. Would part one be that exceptional?

Patrick

For some reason, I think ASOS was in two volumes when i bought it. Although i was able to just buy both of them at the time.

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19 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

Now that I've had time to let everything sink in, there's nothing in particular that stands out more. TGO sets up what should be an unforgettable finale in TUC. But as part 1 of 2, it doesn't stand well on its own. In my humble opinion, had it been released as planned TUC would have been to Bakker what A Storm of Swords was to GRRM. It would have been the author's crowning achievement, his best work to date. A mindfuck of a book. Now imagine ASoS split into two books. Would part one be that exceptional

In quite a few countries, it is :) And no, it isn't. The Red Wedding is a few chapters into Part 2, the Purple Wedding isn't long after and then you'v e got the Battle of the Wall and the fall of Meereen. Probably the high point of Part 1 is Daenerys taking Astapor. But you need the set-up in Part 1 to make the revelations in Part 2 to work.

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@ Wert: Did you get your copy yet?

No. As of a couple of days back, Scott hadn't received a copy. I know it's been requested that the ARC be sent out to me, but I don't know if it has been yet.

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Note also that while ASOS was split in several countries both books came out at the same time. It was split mostly because it was huge. 

Having splits with breaks is not a good way to add more readers.

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

No. As of a couple of days back, Scott hadn't received a copy. I know it's been requested that the ARC be sent out to me, but I don't know if it has been yet.

Don't sweat it, Adam. If they sent it via regular or medial mail, it can take up to 4 to 6 weeks for a package to go overseas. Can't quite believe I got it that fast. Scott wasn't even aware that ARCs existed when he got my email.

Regarding how much of a clusterfuck things can be at Overlook, keep in mind that Scott learned that he had a publicist handling the book last week when I told him. And since they never bothered to get in touch with him, I just gave him her email address so he can contact her. Scott can't provide the Hotlist's extract (which is supposed to be the second half of that Achamian chapter) because he doesn't know what Overlook promised Grimdark magazine. So he needs to check with them before he can send me the file. . .

In addition, it appears that most of the delays into getting the book (books) published were contractual in nature. TGO as it will be released in July dates from a rewrite that was handed in in December 2013. But Overlook and Orbit then needed to agree to renegotiate Bakker's contract to split TUC into two volumes. It seems that this process wasn't easy, contractually speaking. 

Patrick

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How long would it take for Scott to successfully communicate with Overlook? Because it doesn’t seem like an easy feat based on this.

Doesn’t he have an agent?

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19 minutes ago, Hello World said:

How long would it take for Scott to successfully communicate with Overlook? Because it doesn’t seem like an easy feat based on this.

Doesn’t he have an agent?

He apparently does have an agent - who had to be bullied into getting his publisher to publish his book. IIRC, his agent was a guy that a friend of his put him in touch with when he first started out. It's not clear how good this guy is.

And as far as I can tell, Overlook is really, really incompetent at being communicative. Orbit is better but has their hands tied. And Bakker has never been all that good at it either. The end result is I think we have a lot of different parties that aren't super interested not talking to each other very often and not coordinating at all. 

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okay, so the publication is a miracle, all things considered, perhaps similar in magnitude to HITB.  which textual loci therefore have been inserted surreptitiously by the inchies to deceive us?

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Authors are usually in touch with their editors. Many of them, if asked, don't know which publicist is handling their books at any given time. There is a lot of movement among publicity staff, so this happens more often than you think.

Still, considering that they are offering giveaway copies and extracts, it is kind of weird that Scott hasn't been contacted yet.

Having an agent is not an issue here. Your agent negotiates your contract and secondary rights and whatnot. He or she is not in charge of the day-to-day stuff, and I've never heard of an agent getting involved in marketing issues unless there is a breach of contract involved.

For example, an unnamed author from an unnamed publisher wanted to post an extract from a forthcoming novel on the Hotlist. Said author never heard back from his editor/publicist, even following several attempts on my/their part to see if this was within the realm of possibilities. Since they didn't say no, we were wondering if we could just go ahead. After checking with the agent, the plan went down the crapper because we would have been in breach of contract. All the agent could do was get in touch with the editor and in a politically correct fashion tell them to get their heads out of their asses so they could help promote his writer's upcoming novel. Didn't work. And since there was nothing in the contract that legally forced the publisher to help promote the work in any way, there was nothing else the agent could do.

So the situation Bakker finds himself in is not that far out of left field, so to speak. But given that Overlook is a small press, it is weird that it's so difficult for them to get this to work. This usually happens with bigger publishers like Tor Books. . .

Patrick

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re-reading TWP right now, and a question emerged (one that I'm sure has been addressed hereabouts:) -- 

During the battle sequence around the midway point in the novel, a skin-spy masquerading as Kellhus seduces Serwe. She notes the gold haloes on the skin-spies' hands. What does this mean?

 

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I'm going to order an UK copy just to deliberately avoid Overlook.

If Bakker decides to write another book he'll hopefully try to find a different publisher. If the sales are good, that should be easier.

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1 hour ago, kuenjato said:

re-reading TWP right now, and a question emerged (one that I'm sure has been addressed hereabouts:) -- 

During the battle sequence around the midway point in the novel, a skin-spy masquerading as Kellhus seduces Serwe. She notes the gold haloes on the skin-spies' hands. What does this mean?

 

i think it has to be some kind of symbol that belief is meaningful in Earwa.  Serwe had started to see Kellhus as Divine and so sees the haloes even when it turns out it's not Kellhus.  But Kellhus may also gather power via mass belief. 

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1 hour ago, Gormenghast said:

I'm going to order an UK copy just to deliberately avoid Overlook.

If Bakker decides to write another book he'll hopefully try to find a different publisher. If the sales are good, that should be easier.

That's not good for Bakker, as he gets less money from international sales. For North American sales, his agent keeps 15% of all the money the author gets. For foreign sales, his agent splits 10%-10% with the international agent representing Bakker across the pond.

So if you purchase the Orbit edition, Bakker is actually 5% poorer. . .

Patrick

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Has anyone considered that Ishual might be a human factory that you can "call" and order a person and they'll send him to you?

What if that's what Moenghus did in the opening of Darkness? The serpent saying "send to me my son" is an analogue to a dick ejaculating for a son and the Dunyain who received the dream are the receptacles that give birth...

So Kellhus was born the day he left Ishual, and the memories he has of his childhood are all false. He's something like a skin-spy with a soul.

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