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rsbakker

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I liked it a lot and as others mentioned, it was an addictive read that was very hard to put down. The pacing was a bit too slow in between the big payoffs, I felt Momemn and Ishterebinth probably didn't need as many chapters as they got (although I'm clearly in the minority, if not all alone, about the latter). It was also overly depressing. I realize this is dark fantasy but the first trilogy had just enough humor and a good measure of glory and awe to balance it out. Maybe those things don't have a place at this point in the narrative but it's a lot to ask of the reader. I've read the goal of The Second Apocalypse is to bring its ideas to a diverse audience but at the end of the day, these books just aren't for everyone.

That said, I'd prefer you take as many pages as you need and go as dark as you can go for The Unholy Consult. That's the end of the road for The Aspect Emperor and you might as well not leave anything on the table.

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1) Just to answer the lingering question, I posted a comment on your latest blog post asking for confirmation you are @theRealRSBakker. 

2) I really enjoyed the book. It provided answers to many of the speculations that people here have spent years debating. But it left several key mysteries for TUC. 

3) The non men chapters were my favorite. Such an alien thought process and the conceit of Sorweel in the helmet was a very clever way to provide exposition seamlessly. 

4) Akka and Cnauir together again! Enough said. And seeing the Outside leaking through Cnauir . . . the birth of a Ciphrang. 

5) Agree with Lokisnow that Kellhus understanding the effects of a nuke explosion was jarring. Can imagine a few in story explanations that don't require Kellhus intuiting the effects in the spot, but that will need a mention in TUC if true. 

6) Is there a head on a pole behind you or is there a head on a copper tree behind you?

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Here’s a question for the Judging Eye, relating to a scene I will paraphrase to jog everybody’s memory:

Quote

“But first”, he said, his mighty branch resting on a pile of nubile Yekki girls, “we must deal with the matter of the sockpuppet.”

The implication was clear. He meant one of them.

Several gasped. Calibandar, the youngest of their number (and a political concession to the Netherlands) actually cried out.  Sologdin, with his piggish eyes and radish cheeks, reacted with an expression of bland logorrhea that he always used to conceal his clevrness. Kalbear, of course, nodded as though he’d known all along.  What kind of Oracle would he be otherwise?

 

When the sockpuppet in that scene is exposed, here is the (nonaltered) description:

Quote

Spectral walls parsed the charnal hall, the ghosts of Cyclopean bricks.

 


What the fuck? A Gnostic mage uses an allegorical ward? Is this just a mistake, or a very subtle hint at a hidden conspiracy that goes all the way to the innermost circles of the Swayali? You’ve heard it here first, unless eleva rsbakker can deny: the Secret Scarlet Sisters have infiltrated the Swayali Compact.

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Lokisnow--I'm glad you liked! All (2) requires is that Kellhus bumped into some ancient Nonman treatise, but there could be more nefarious explanations. (3) I'm not sure I understand--are you referring to the dream? The idea is that the character has been so savaged as to be beyond comprehending, but I can see what you mean.

Otherwise, the Crabhanded Boy, will have to suffice, I fear (because the boy has no name--he never needed any!)

For Kierkegaard (if I remember aright), the leap to the Absolute is the way the Absolute is manifested in the life of the conditioned. For the Survivor, it is the way to embrace Zero. 

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Bolivar: I'm glad you liked. My agent complained about the lack of humour in TGO as well, but I actually found myself laughing at quite a few turns. For the wrong reasons, I sure. The goal was never to write a book that would please everyone, as you note, but to write something so outrageously EPIC that everyone would feel compelled to at least take a crack at reading it. The proof is in the pudding of course.

unJon: It's me. Rob Lamb has a piece in Stuff to Blow Your Mind complaining about the radiation sickness bit. My thought writing it was that everyone would assume he had come across some ancient account of 'Scaldings,' because you know, this isn't the first time it's happened.

In the coffee shop I worked in, the way my screen reflected the plate glass window behind me created this image of a head on a pole that would vanish whenever I turned around to glimpse it's source. It creeped me out, and provided wonderful inspiration for the Outside flashbacks...

Happy Ent: C'mon. You're *still* happy? After all these years? Dude.

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3 minutes ago, rsbakker said:

Bolivar: I'm glad you liked. My agent complained about the lack of humour in TGO as well, but I actually found myself laughing at quite a few turns. For the wrong reasons, I sure. The goal was never to write a book that would please everyone, as you note, but to write something so outrageously EPIC that everyone would feel compelled to at least take a crack at reading it. The proof is in the pudding of course.

unJon: It's me. Rob Lamb has a piece in Stuff to Blow Your Mind complaining about the radiation sickness bit. My thought writing it was that everyone would assume he had come across some ancient account of 'Scaldings,' because you know, this isn't the first time it's happened.

In the coffee shop I worked in, the way my screen reflected the plate glass window behind me created this image of a head on a pole that would vanish whenever I turned around to glimpse it's source. It creeped me out, and provided wonderful inspiration for the Outside flashbacks...

Happy Ent: C'mon. You're *still* happy? After all these years? Dude.

So I can imagine the Outside as a giant Starbucks... perhaps more terrifying than any other idea put forth thus far.

:thumbsup: 

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20 minutes ago, rsbakker said:

My thought writing it was that everyone would assume he had come across some ancient account of 'Scaldings,' because you know, this isn't the first time it's happened.

Fascinating.  Oh, cagey too.  I think I see where you are going with that.

 

20 minutes ago, rsbakker said:

In the coffee shop I worked in, the way my screen reflected the plate glass window behind me created this image of a head on a pole that would vanish whenever I turned around to glimpse it's source. It creeped me out, and provided wonderful inspiration for the Outside flashbacks...

Geoffrobro at TSA had an intersting idea that got lost in a noisy Cast, drawing from the implication of the fact that Kellhus' eyes rolled back into his own head when he visited the Outside.  Indeed, I think this confirms it to a degree.  Fascinating.

On the book itself, if it suffers from anything, is that the Ishterebinth chapters are so good, it makes the rest of the book seem a bit uneven in comparison.  I don't know that there was anything that could be done, the story needing to happen as it does though.  I was a bit sad that we only saw Aurang for as brief a time as we did, but it was a fantastic bit as it was.  Then again, my favorite book so far was TTT and apparently I am pretty much alone on that, so as you say, you can't please everyone.  I think this book is a pretty good job at the best it could.

Indeed, at this point though, it would probably be nearly impossible if TGO "reinvented the wheel" to get those who hadn't picked up the series to do so.  If anything can do that though, it might be TUC, as a "conclusion" of sorts, I think it has a better chance, seeing as to how it can present itself the series as a "finished product" of sorts.

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Thanks, H. I put the most work into the Ishterebinth chapters, to be sure, but this seems to have made them unbearable for more action oriented readers--and to think I cut a good third of the detailing out to avoid any problem!

My favourite, and I seem to be alone in this, is the Momemn thread.

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9 minutes ago, rsbakker said:

Thanks, H. I put the most work into the Ishterebinth chapters, to be sure, but this seems to have made them unbearable for more action oriented readers--and to think I cut a good third of the detailing out to avoid any problem!

My favourite, and I seem to be alone in this, is the Momemn thread.

Well, in a way, I was most anticipating what would happen in the Momemn thread, but eager to get back to the intrigue of the Ishterebinth chapters.  I think some felt a little let down by how little there was at Ishual itself, but again, the story is as it is, there wasn't much to be had there any more.  I have a feeling that TUC will have a good bit more action for those who are more inclined toward that, if I am anticipating the thread of the strong correctly.  Like I said though, I think that is why TUC is really the key to TGO's success as little sense as that makes.

Or actually, maybe that makes perfect sense in the context of the series and Kellhus' Thousand-fold Thought (if I have gleaned it somewhat correctly).

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Thanks for dropping in,

Enjoyed TGO, the highlights for me were the Cunuroi / Sorwheel plot and Koringhus and the Zero God.  Cnauir was a true wtf moment.

Surprised your editor complained about the lack of humor, as TPON and the rest of AE are devoid of humor, which is how this series should be.

I was kind of disappointed by the Ordeal story and Momenm, pretty much along the lines of what Locke said.

 

Some questions:

Is Onkis the head on the pole?  What kind of magic did we see Inrau perform before his death?

How does Ajokli stay in the blind spots of the other gods?  And did the Nonmen shatter The God into fractions?

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Congratulations on a fine series of books Mr. Bakker. Best out there at the moment I would say. Loved TGO.

Looking forward to TUC and most of the questions I might ask are too closely connected to spoilers for me to want to ask them but... what the hell (outside)

1. Can you give us an idea of how many Non-men are still sane? Does the consult have a method of staving off erraticism other than committing atrocity?

2. Is Mimara's judging eye definitive or is she being deceived, or seeing what she has been conditioned to see?

3. Is the crabhanded boy the last of the Dunyain, along with his grandfather?

 

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H: The cleavage point is natural, with dramatic turns in all four threads, but I think it speaks to the narrative integrity of the series that everything still hinges on TUC. The more you feel the crazy shit around the corner, the harder it is to judge the merits of the room you're in.

larrytheimp: I'm glad you enjoyed... I really thought everyone would dig the Ordeal line, tho. To answer your questions, it's not Onkhis, and its a remembered scrap of Gnosis that Inrau uses. It's not Ajokli who's invisible, and no, the Nonmen didn't shatter God, God did.

Valandil: Thanks to you as well, Valandil, but these aren't the kind of questions I can answer, I fear, if only because they all have potential future relevance (if not actual relevance).

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29 minutes ago, rsbakker said:

 

Valandil: Thanks to you as well, Valandil, but these aren't the kind of questions I can answer, I fear, if only because they all have potential future relevance (if not actual relevance).

No worries, thought not. Had to ask!

How about a non-essential one? Was Lord Kosoter a ciphrang spirit in a mans body like what Kelhus did to the Zeumi emmisary at the end of TGO or was he just so weighed down with the sin of his deeds that the aura of the wrongs he'd done was starting to warp things, like Cnaiur (I assume).

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4 minutes ago, rsbakker said:

We're not finished with Kosoter.

Whoa.  Didn't really expect that.

57 minutes ago, rsbakker said:

H: The cleavage point is natural, with dramatic turns in all four threads, but I think it speaks to the narrative integrity of the series that everything still hinges on TUC. The more you feel the crazy shit around the corner, the harder it is to judge the merits of the room you're in.

Yeah, while plenty happens I can't help but feel like TGO is more set up than anything.

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14 hours ago, Triskan said:

Puts the odds that this is actually Pierce Inverarity at about 0.5%.

He actually confirmed on his blog to Unjon that it is actually him...  Consider my mind blown.

So anyways... Scott, In The White Luck Warrior; the WLW's point of view sees a notch in his blade that later causes his blade to shatter when Kellhus parries his blow allowing it to pass beyond his guard and lodge in his throat (or something along those lines... I quoted it in one of the myriad threads dedicated to TGO here).  However, in TGO during the climax of the confrontation, the WLW throws the blade while Kellhus is distracted by the earthquake.

Is there a reason for the discrepancy in the WLW's perception of what will happen/has already happened?

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I enjoyed TGO, though after five years, it felt rather incomplete. The feeling would be much more intense if I didn't know that the 2nd half is waiting in the wings, so to speak. 

After re-reading the series, I still prefer the first trilogy to this new quartet. In part, this is because final verdict of TAE hinges on the concluding volume, while each volume of PoN felt (relatively) more self-contained. 

There were some copy-edit issues I found in the text, and the writing came off more oblique in sections than previously. This didn't prevent me from reading the 2nd half in one session. Overall, the writing felt less *tight* that previous volumes, but I liked the book itself the best of TAE (so far).

A couple questions:

1) How long is TUC? You mentioned adding 4 new chapters. Is it about the same length as TGO, not counting the index? Is it longer? Shorter?

2) Will the index contain repetitions from TTT's index, or is it entirely new stuff? 

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Rhom: There is a rationale for this (and other discontinuities) but for the life of me I can't remember this specifically, so I'm going to say this is likely a continuity error, even though I poured over the WLW passages... (in which case I would remember, wouldn't I?)

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Kuenjato: At last count, the narrative weighed in just a few thousand words shy, TGO. With the EG, it'll be a good 60 or 70 K larger, all told. The EG itself will feature most all the entries from TTT, many of them revised and expanded (a couple drastically), and then of course with a raft of new material.

You know, I can't read the first books, especially WP and TTT, without cringing at how *loose* the prose feels! If I could afford to take the time, I think I would rewrite both of them. (I would rewrite TDTCB as well, but for different reasons).

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oh, so we have an authentic RSB in the house?  in that case, volume VI is kickass, best of the series so far.

 

want to know the identity of the in-setting author who writes the EG and the WHCB sections, as they are plainly laden with narrator perspective. was thinking that WHCB is AK, considering the overlap in the "went mad" language that iterates in AK's direct discourse in VI.

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