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Bakker LVIII HITB: A Literalist Interpretation (Spoilers for all books)


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On 6/1/2021 at 6:55 PM, VigoTheCarpathian said:

 fair warning, it’s nigh impossible to find a physical copy of the last two books, and I’m not reading it on a screen -

You can tell how much the series went out of fashion (or how badly the publisher was treating it) by how many physical copies of each volume are available in libraries.

In WorldCat, which includes data from many public and academic libraries all over the world, as of tonight I count the following number who say they have a copy of each of the four titles:

The Judging Eye:  564

The White-Luck Warrior:  451

The Great Ordeal:  278

The Unholy Consult:  154

It's normal for there to be more copies of earlier books in a series available, but the difference here seems a lot greater than normal.

I was able to buy a copy of The Unholy Consult for $8.90 including tax in June 2020 from BookOutlet.  It probably isn't readily available now. -- and I myself still haven't found a copy of  The Great Ordeal in at least "very good" condition for what I consider a reasonable price. On Amazon at the moment the cheapest one, which is only "good condition", is $149.73.

 

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2 hours ago, Ormond said:

You can tell how much the series went out of fashion (or how badly the publisher was treating it) by how many physical copies of each volume are available in libraries.

In WorldCat, which includes data from many public and academic libraries all over the world, as of tonight I count the following number who say they have a copy of each of the four titles:

The Judging Eye:  564

The White-Luck Warrior:  451

The Great Ordeal:  278

The Unholy Consult:  154

It's normal for there to be more copies of earlier books in a series available, but the difference here seems a lot greater than normal.

I was able to buy a copy of The Unholy Consult for $8.90 including tax in June 2020 from BookOutlet.  It probably isn't readily available now. -- and I myself still haven't found a copy of  The Great Ordeal in at least "very good" condition for what I consider a reasonable price. On Amazon at the moment the cheapest one, which is only "good condition", is $149.73.

 

Had no idea the physical copies were worth so much. Glad I kept mine

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I really enjoyed the first two books, the third was OK but I felt like they built up the mystery of Kellhus’s Dad a bit too much and the pay off wasn’t worth it.

The first and second of the next trilogy, I’ve never been so bored reading a climax. They’re in a cave, they’re in another cave, they’re in another cave, cave, another cave, yawn. Never bothered with the last two.

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1 hour ago, DaveSumm said:

.

The first and second of the next trilogy, I’ve never been so bored reading a climax. They’re in a cave, they’re in another cave, they’re in another cave, cave, another cave, yawn. Never bothered with the last two.

Ha!  Well there's another long cave sequence in in one of the ones you passed on if you ever feel the call of the karst.

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5 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Had no idea the physical copies were worth so much. Glad I kept mine

Looking at the UK editions, The Great Ordeal is now out of print and The Unholy Consult only seems to have tradebacks available (no mass-markets). The Prince of Nothing is still available and in-print though. So that's weird.

Amazon UK also has quite a few copies of the US version of The Unholy Consult and The Great Ordeal in print.

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1 hour ago, larrytheimp said:

Ha!  Well there's another long cave sequence in in one of the ones you passed on if you ever feel the call of the karst.

That cave sequence in book three really was some of the best in the series though. :dunno: 

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8 hours ago, Rhom said:

That cave sequence in book three really was some of the best in the series though. :dunno: 

Which one? There were several, IIRC. One was super cool. Another was kinda stupid. 

And in the fourth one there was a really, really dumb cave sequence and an unfortunately elided cave sequence that would have been really helpful in understanding what is going on. 

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13 minutes ago, Kalebear said:

Which one? There were several, IIRC. One was super cool. Another was kinda stupid.

I was thinking of the mansion.

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22 minutes ago, Kalebear said:

Yeah, Luigi's mansion was cool!

Liked using the vacuums on the ghosts...

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Very interesting discussion. I'll keep in mind all the points made while reading the next books.

Also, it's  really unfortunate about how poorly Bakker has faired publication-wise. Regardless of what the sequel series is like, I think Bakker's writing and ideas are rather unique, and he certainly adds value to the fantasy genre. 

At any rate, I'm going to open this thread up for spoilers of all books since it seems a waste to limit everyone to circumspect allusions of future events. Hopefully in a few weeks I can return to the discussion.

Thanks again, everyone!

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, IFR said:

Very interesting discussion. I'll keep in mind all the points made while reading the next books.

Also, it's  really unfortunate about how poorly Bakker has faired publication-wise. Regardless of what the sequel series is like, I think Bakker's writing and ideas are rather unique, and he certainly adds value to the fantasy genre. 

At any rate, I'm going to open this thread up for spoilers of all books since it seems a waste to limit everyone to circumspect allusions of future events. Hopefully in a few weeks I can return to the discussion.

Thanks again, everyone!

If you're really bored, the old threads on this board from 2010-2016 (and probably earlier) have some really good discussion speculation buried in them but there's also probably a lot of nonsense.  You'd also be looking at a lot of spoilers for The Judging Eye and White Luck Warrior.  There was a bunch of really cool riffing on math, philosophy, gnosticism, the metaphysics of Earwa, and a bunch of crackpot ideas, some of which were cooler than what actually happened in the books.  

Edited by larrytheimp
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4 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

 There was a bunch of really cool riffing on math, philosophy, gnosticism, the metaphysics of Earwa, and a bunch of crackpot ideas, some of which were cooler than what actually happened in the books.  

I think this is why the last two books were a bit of a disappointment around here. There was so much read into nuances that weren’t actually there.

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On 5/31/2021 at 2:14 PM, IFR said:

The world is extremely well done, and it is being revealed in an intriguing fashion (the third book literally took this from high fantasy to a crazy scifi mix with invading aliens and genetic engineering technology - that appendix is very long but welcome).

I forgot to mention this, it’s really weird that something so important is buried in the appendix. It’s all fantasy and then you hit the appendix ‘so, these aliens landed...’ ... WTF?

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6 hours ago, Rhom said:

I think this is why the last two books were a bit of a disappointment around here. There was so much read into nuances that weren’t actually there.

 


That always happens when something is as open to theorising as this, and tbh, since I didn't partake in the threads so hard I didn't find what did happen a problem. It wasn't a Lost situation or even a True Detective Season 1 situation. The only real issue I had was that one of the major antagonists there was a major showdown with ended up being described in a way that just made them feel... silly. Which took weight away from what was otherwise a well-written confrontation.

 

There are, however, hanging questions that do need a further subseries for a true end. This might have been where Bakker initially intended the story to end, but he definitely didn't write this sub-series with the intent or even the possible expectation of not writing more and as a result arcs are unfinished. If I ever become really stinking rich I'm anonymously paypalling him a cheeky half-milli to finish up.

 

 

On the appendix: he was definitely going for a LotR type 'it's there in the background notes' thing but possibly overcooked just how much he hid the SF stuff in the first trilogy. Still, HR Giger invades Tolien - not complaining about the end result.,

 

 

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Dammit... this thread has me distracted even when reading random sports tweets...

The Logos is the beginning and the end!

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5 hours ago, DaveSumm said:

I forgot to mention this, it’s really weird that something so important is buried in the appendix. It’s all fantasy and then you hit the appendix ‘so, these aliens landed...’ ... WTF?

I've often felt that Bakker hit on a brilliant idea here that could be used to great effect in another story. An epic fantasy story that opens with a massive alien spacecraft crash-landing and unleashing chaos is a pretty cool idea. LE Modesitt's Saga of Recluce had a similar idea, but in a different context (and we see the events on-screen in Fallen Angels).

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I'm currently trying to put together and then write a story that starts off with a massive alien spaceship crashing and unleashing chaos but it's only partly fantasy (well it's fully fantasy but the setting, if not the initial story which will probably be all planetside if I ever get anything done, is space empires etc).

If I ever finish it I will get back to you. :P

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