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Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

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18 hours ago, Dora Vee said:

Welp. He finally updated his blog. I wonder if the essay is a hint about what the No-God will be like.

In response to a comment on that post about how the next book is coming, Bakker said: “Just picking, sketching vignettes, snippets of dialogue. Nothing coherent yet, I fear.”

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That's certainly a reasonable point of view, though I suspect that both can be right; he can be happy about writing one day and full of ideas, and then iterate and find that they suck or aren't cohesive. That's often what happens when you're not sure where to go in a story or how you want to proceed, exactly. 

It's not surprising, mind you. The bad news is that this is much like the issue that GRRM has right now, save that GRRM has a number of specific endpoints in mind and has had them for 30 years. The good news is that there's probably nothing locking him in to anything in particular, so once he finds an idea he wants to run with very little is going to be there to stop him, and any narrative issues like logic and plot discrepancies can be brushed aside due to the prior narrative scope and framework. 

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I was dissapointed in the final book and ending, but I still enjoy the series as a whole and his writing. So, if I hear he's working on new shite, I'm happy :D

Both sides can exist I spose.

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Eh. My vitriol towards the man has been greatly overstated. 

I'm still fairly pessimistic that he'll be able to write any future novels, much less anything that gives the conclusion that so many others appear to expect. Part of this is that he simply isn't a prolific or successful writer, and that makes writing more difficult; part of it is that I suspect that he wrote what he wanted to all along, and he's now not got that drive to finish, as he finished.

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I was thinking Bakker should try his hand with something fundamentally positive even if the journey is brutal. Also, it should be non-SF.

IMO of the best parts of the second trilogy is the continual struggle with addiction. The rationalizations, the characters continually hitting a point where they claim they're done with quirri (sp?), but always going back. Of course it's a bit harder to draw an IRL parallel b/c without quirri they'd likely have died long ago.

A non-SF, single volume about someone who struggles to right the ship of their life would be something I can see Bakker doing. That or just pure unremitting, Lovecraftian/Luciferian horror...

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1 hour ago, Sci-2 said:

A non-SF, single volume about someone who struggles to right the ship of their life would be something I can see Bakker doing. 

The only way I can see Bakker committing to something like that with a 'good' payoff is if they turned to something even worse to replace it. I can't imagine that Bakker could look at addiction and actually write anything like a success story, especially something fairly physically addictive. I could easily see him exploring all the false promises, the slight beacons of hope that turn to ash later, and really mining that despair - but a happy ending? Nah. 

Also, I find his non-fantasy characters to largely be garbage. 

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I've been doing a reread (or listen in this case). After being really disappointed with his "neuropath" book I was worried my tastes had changed but book 1 is still an excellent first installment. It also doesn't seem as grim as I rembered although it was much more noticeable this time that all the female characters were either whores or described/seen as such which is unfortunate but does fit with the character's worldview. I did feel like akka's infatuation with esmenet was a lot less romantic than my previous reading. He has pretty derogatory thoughts about her and is often quite petty about his feelings towards her. This should make the next book interesting as I remember being angry at kellhus's betrayal and capture of esmenet. Now I'm not so sure how I'll feel as the relationship at this stage isn't that strong.

 

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I also recently re-read Neuropath. It was much more impactful to me in my early twenties, and now being in my thirties I can see some of the wonky writing/weird turns that stick out to me. Much like the end of The Unholy Consult, where a "twist" is force-fed in without feeling natural.

However, still a pretty short and enjoyable/somewhat horrific novel that I still enjoy.

As the others above, I'll still pick up whatever series comes out after, because the overall series (less the ending of The Unholy Consult) is still one of my favorites as far as world/scope.

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Heard a quote (from Gertrude Stein) that made me think of this Bakker series: “There is no there there.” 

Really sums up how I feel about much of the speculation that went on in these threads trying to find foreshadowing or guess meanings from the texts. 

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What frustrates me with the end of the Unholy Consult and many books in this genre is, it has become "cool and edgy" to end your story with total trash, ambiguous endings and call it "fancy", "artistic", or "philosophical". End of the day, it seems pretty lazy and lame. You have a story in mind, you are telling it, it is YOUR story. Ok, I get it. But the lame anti-climatic endings are played out in my opinion and it's hard to say if authors even care about the ending(s) they write (or maybe it's pressure to hurry up and finish a book/series or a host of other potential reason, regardless they suck). 

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YOU JUST DON'T GET IT
YOU EXPERIENCED MEANING IN A WHOLE NEW WAY BY NOT EXPERIENCING MEANING
IT IS SOOOOO DEEEP AND PROFOUND

LIKE A DRAGON TALKING ABOUT CUNNY

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I mean, I don't even mind an ending where the Consult "wins", seals the world, no one is damned anymore and a thunder dome type of world occurs where everyone is murdering everyone for survival. But this "limbo" ambiguous, non good guys winning but also no resolution and bad guys don't even win type of ending is dumb. Why tell the story?! 

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