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Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

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I have to admit it takes balls to write a 7 book series that was basically the same as denstorebogs pink stretch riddle. 

It's also incredibly easy to write a story with hooks to make people think there are payoffs and then not pay those off. Doing it deliberately isn't that special. 

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17 hours ago, lokisnow said:

I was serious, Seconded.

Done.

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Failing intentionally, rather than unintentionally, is still failing.  You're welcome to declare that this failure, because it was intentional, is different, but to everyone else it just looks like failure. 

He talks about making people "uncomfortable" with the ending at Golgotterath, but the main reactions I had to TUC were irritation and disappointment.  That isn't some great achievement, I feel those emotions pretty regularly.  I could have listened to a choir of second graders and felt the same thing. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I have to admit it takes balls to write a 7 book series that was basically the same as denstorebogs pink stretch riddle. 

IIt's also incredibly easy to write a story with hooks to make people think there are payoffs and then not pay those off. Doing it deliberately isn't that special. 

It makes me wonder how often this was in the works, or to what extent. I'm sure the No-God rising was the intention from the beginning, but all the other messy stuff in TUC. It's been no secret that RSB despairs continually about how he never made it into the big-time, we had to hear about his hopes that he was on the edge of mass sales and various sabotaging forces--poor release schedules, his publisher, pirating--all conspired to keep him unrecognized and neglected. I wonder if the strain of that, along with the arguments he had with a few individuals 'round these parts, eventually led him to this fit of pique as articulated as a "final" novel, a final fuck-you self-sabotage perfectly in his wheelhouse of being a provocative troll from long ago. There are indications that something changed from TJE to the last two novels, when they are examined as a whole -- not just prose, but certain plot mechanics and emphasis.

Edited by kuenjato

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My suspicion is that the first three books were written somewhat in a standard way; there were expectations of revelations and then payoffs. Then the next 4 were written with a whole lot of ambiguity. To whit, every single title of the series is an expectation that is not particularly answered or paid off in any particular way. The Judging Eye? Has no relevance to the story. The White Luck Warrior? Also almost entirely irrelevant to the overall story. The Great Ordeal? Doesn't matter in the least. The Unholy Consult? They end up being a sidenote for a Dunyain on Dunyain fight with the gods in the way. In that way, I think it's entirely intentional of Bakker to do this lack of payoff, but again this isn't particularly difficult to do; hinting at payoffs and then not doing them is never difficult.

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Posted (edited)

Everyone character viewpoint and arc in the second series basically existed only for the sake of worldbuilding.   Removing Kellhus' PoVs ultimately damaged the books, if only because no one but Kellhus actually does anything.  But then it turned out that that wouldn't have mattered because Kellhus was possessed and wasn't actually doing anything either. 

But unlike most people, I don't dislike the series because of that. Ishterebinth was cool, Li'l Kel's arc was fine and I'm still hoping that we'll get some sort of explanation or payoff to the Achamian-Mimara storyline in the next series.  If the whole meta-series ends without any explanation of what the heck is going on with them, then I'll be peeved. 

Proyas and Esmenet could.. and probably should have ultimately been cut as PoV characters.

Edited by Ajûrbkli

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That kind of makes me wonder. If Proyas wasn't a POV character, would I have RAGE QUIT TUC? We may never know.

As for Esmenet, I wasn't bothered by her being a POV character because it was important to see how she coped being in the situation she was in, I was bothered by the fact that it was largely boring and repetitive. 

However, I think BOTH of them had POVs because they were both important to Achamian and Proyas' faith was shattered. I don't think that would have had as much of an impact if he didn't have any POV chapters.

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15 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Who the fuck is that?

IS NOT THE SPHINCTER INFINITE!

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Now what bugs me more is not the books not having payoffs; there are plenty of those, and we call those, in general, 'bad books'. It bugs me that the author repeatedly suggested big payoffs in various interviews, said that it shouldn't be judged until the series is done, implied answers when there were intentionally none, etc. That isn't engaging meaning-making circuits; that's simply lying about what you're going to do. 

It is pretty funny how the layers of revelation thing ended up being entirely, deliberately, completely wrong, and rewarding re-reads is essentially true because it allows you to add depth which isn't present. 

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@Darth Richard II I created the account sometime before TUC came out and after Trump started his Twitter tirades.  The original profile picture was Trump.  I tweeted out some pretty good rants there early on, then I shared the password with a few of the then frequent posters on this page.  I haven't done anything with it in a looooooong time and apparently someone changed the profile picture.

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33 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Now what bugs me more is not the books not having payoffs; there are plenty of those, and we call those, in general, 'bad books'. It bugs me that the author repeatedly suggested big payoffs in various interviews, said that it shouldn't be judged until the series is done, implied answers when there were intentionally none, etc. That isn't engaging meaning-making circuits; that's simply lying about what you're going to do. 

It is pretty funny how the layers of revelation thing ended up being entirely, deliberately, completely wrong, and rewarding re-reads is essentially true because it allows you to add depth which isn't present. 

Yeah I'm still waiting for the big revelation regarding feminism.

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2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Yeah I'm still waiting for the big revelation regarding feminism.

Didn't cha catch it? SuperSerwa vs. RedPill dragon, dude!

The "wait n' see" / "it's all addressed in the end" especially aggravates. Bakker was either a) engaging in a long con troll, or b) wasn't able to deliver, for whatever reason.

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I just think he tried way too hard to be subversive and there were too many "dead ends." Worse yet, there were subversion that could have worked, but they didn't happened at all. It's like he was subversive when he shouldn't have been, but when he should have been, he wasn't. 

Something like that. 

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I feel like Bakker just was completely unaware of the SFF scene/community past like, when was Dune released? 60s right? If I may pick on Richard Morgan for a sec, it reminds me when he thought everyone was going to be blown away by a dark fantasy with a main character was gay, when fantasy like that had been around for quite a while.

Or, to make a South Park reference, "EVERYBODY dressed as Chewbacca?"

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I guess that's what happens when you're a little TOO much of an "Ivory Tower" sort. 

Honestly, even if he was aware, I doubt it would have made a difference. 

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