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Tycho

Daniel Abraham

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[quote name='bram452' post='1507838' date='Sep 6 2008, 11.39']Oh, I have this whole rant about paranormal romance/urbanfantasy/the-genre-with-the-girl-and-her-tattoo-on-the-cover.

Unclean Spirits is the first of a maybe 10 book series. They're stand-alone books with an arc.

The original inspiration was Hellblazer #4, back in . . . what? '87? 88? Anyway, in that issue, John Constantine has a sister who's a serious religious freak. And he has a niece. Gemma Masters, I think the name was. I always dreamed of taking over Hellblazer for a year or so. First issue, I kill John Constantine. Issue #2? Gemma Masters, Hellblazer. Take a year figuring out who and what John Constantine *was*, then haul him back at the end so I wouldn't have done permanent damage to the series.

Unclean Spirits was my chance to do something like that. Only it's shifted. Partly because I think the paranormal romance genre is profoundly unhealthy in some really interesting ways. It's an entire genre based around the uncomfortable relationship between women, sex, and power. So yeah, I've got a 20-something heroine, and there's going to be vampires and werewolves and love triangles and all that stuff. Only not.

To misquote Rorschach: Their tropes. My perspective.

-- Daniel Abraham[/quote]
Well then, I see. Or maybe I don't. Sounds like you're writing an urban fantasy that showcases how paranormal romance [i]could[/i] be done, without all the focus on sex, killing, and killing after sex. A genre that on the surface seems to empower women, but really just turns them into killing machines who agonize like 14 year old girls about whether or not the cute boy likes them.

Lately I've become a fan of Urban Fantasy (thanks to Butcher), but I've been having a very hard time finding a series that doesn't focus on a super hot kickass chick who's always agonizing about how poor her sex life is even though she has two super hot vampire boyfriends, and a super hot werewolf on the side. I am hoping that your series will not be one of these blood soaked sexcapades.

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[quote name='bram452' post='1507828' date='Sep 6 2008, 12.23']Autumn War was a different structure, with the alternating storylines around Otah and Balasar that move slowly together until the end. I felt like the story worked better because of the focus. And Shadow and Betrayal could move a little slow. Pacing is always a bitch.[/quote]

That was it, mainly; it felt kind of like you (the reader) were sitting there, going through the book, but always

SPOILER: An Autumn War

When is Matti going to get the Andat going? When is Matti going to get the Andat going?

I'll give you one thing; I really liked the ending. I'm very, very curious as to how the Galts and Khaiem are going to work out their little problem. I don't suppose old Matti-kvo could create an Andat called "One-Who-Reconnects-The-Testicles? ;)


[quote]Anyway, give The Price of Spring a shot when it comes out. Of the four, it's the one that least stands on its own, but that's more because there's *so* much history and it's got the double job of telling its own, self-contained story and also tying up the whole quartet.[/quote]

I definitely will (I [i]eagerly[/i] await to see how the little conundrum I put in spoilers will get resolved). Like I said, it's not a [i]bad[/i] book, or even a mediocre one; it's still quite good on the absolute scale of books that I hold in my head from what I've read. I just don't think it was as good as the book preceding it.

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Nice to see you posting, Daniel.

I actually liked the books more as they progressed, although I also felt that the denoument/immediate fallout of Autumn War was a bit...hasty. But then again, given the environmental conditions, maybe thing would progress the way they did.

SPOILER: Autumn War
I mean, here we have an army bent on extermination and subjugation, and a people desperately fighting to not be subjugated...and then it's all "Ow! Dude, my 'nads hurt!" "Mine too!" And then for some reason the army bent on rapine is allowed to shelter from the cold, so soon after they were slaughtering people? I still don't buy that decision.


All that said, I'm quite eager to see how the story plays out.

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[quote name='Guardsman Bass' post='1508380' date='Sep 7 2008, 09.01']That was it, mainly; it felt kind of like you (the reader) were sitting there, going through the book, but always

SPOILER: An Autumn War

When is Matti going to get the Andat going? When is Matti going to get the Andat going?

I'll give you one thing; I really liked the ending. I'm very, very curious as to how the Galts and Khaiem are going to work out their little problem. I don't suppose old Matti-kvo could create an Andat called "One-Who-Reconnects-The-Testicles? ;)
[/quote]

SPOILER: An Autumn War
I think the andat Maati calls is going to be Returning-To-True. He mentions that he has been kinda lazily been working on Returning-To-True for some time.

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[quote name='Myshkin' post='1508646' date='Sep 7 2008, 16.10']
SPOILER: An Autumn War
I think the andat Maati calls is going to be Returning-To-True. He mentions that he has been kinda lazily been working on Returning-To-True for some time.
[/quote]

SPOILER: An Autumn War

"Returning-To-True" as in changing something back to what it originally was? Does that mean he could resurrect dead people and bring back old andats into existence (or change reality so that you can re-use all the old andats again)?

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[quote name='Myshkin' post='1508646' date='Sep 7 2008, 16.10']
SPOILER: An Autumn War
I think the andat Maati calls is going to be Returning-To-True. He mentions that he has been kinda lazily been working on Returning-To-True for some time.
[/quote]

SPOILER: Speculation
There may be a problem with Returning-To-True. If the andat are inherently unnatural -- and even involve the active, lifelong work of at least one person to keep them [i]existing[/i] an andat that embodies returning to the natural state may be a contradiction in terms. And even then, "Returning to true" is a pretty nebulous concept. The poet would have to deeply grok what "true" means. What is it about being in a deeply flawed and mutilated world that's "false"?

Now, there could be a way around that.

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[quote name='Guardsman Bass' post='1508710' date='Sep 7 2008, 16.19']
SPOILER: An Autumn War

"Returning-To-True" as in changing something back to what it originally was? Does that mean he could resurrect dead people and bring back old andats into existence (or change reality so that you can re-use all the old andats again)?
[/quote]
SPOILER: AAW
[i] [/i]I have no idea what it would be capable of, but it does seem ideal for the purpose of fixing the people hurt by Maati's last attempt.


[quote name='bram452' post='1508719' date='Sep 7 2008, 16.25']
SPOILER: Speculation
There may be a problem with Returning-To-True. If the andat are inherently unnatural -- and even involve the active, lifelong work of at least one person to keep them [i]existing[/i] an andat that embodies returning to the natural state may be a contradiction in terms. And even then, "Returning to true" is a pretty nebulous concept. The poet would have to deeply grok what "true" means. What is it about being in a deeply flawed and mutilated world that's "false"?

Now, there could be a way around that.
[/quote]
I like it. A sticky problem. And style points for a perfect usage of the word "grok".

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[quote name='Xray the Enforcer' post='1508407' date='Sep 7 2008, 10.39']Nice to see you posting, Daniel.


SPOILER: Autumn War
I mean, here we have an army bent on extermination and subjugation, and a people desperately fighting to not be subjugated...and then it's all "Ow! Dude, my 'nads hurt!" "Mine too!" And then for some reason the army bent on rapine is allowed to shelter from the cold, so soon after they were slaughtering people? I still don't buy that decision.


All that said, I'm quite eager to see how the story plays out.[/quote]


SPOILER: Autumn War
What I was trying for (however successfully or not), was the idea that the men of Galt were profoundly wounded. This wasn't a clean, nice magical vasectomy; it was [i]corruption[/i]. That's why I put in things like Eiah's collapse and Balasar Gice pissing somethign that smelled like rotten meat.

And what do you do after an armistice? What is a peace treaty but the agreement to pretend that the two sides didn't just wound each other terribly? It's a tentative and necessary kind of lie -- the sort that you try to believe in the hopes it may somehow become true. But you're right. It is still a lie.

The question for me was what makes some peace work (The US and Japan get along pretty darn well these days) and some fail (the whole damn middle east, it seems like).

Anyway. That was what I was shooting for. It worked. It didn't work. That part's not for me to say, right? :)

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Dammit! I am just getting near the end of the first book and there's all these tempting spoilers...must not highlight. Anyway, welcome to the board Daniel. Good to see that the summon author spell still works sometimes. I still don't understand how Lynch broke it but we'll get that bastard back yet.

I'd like to say again how much I am enjoying "Shadow". Magic system is quite unique, the characters are compelling and your gift at prose truly makes me hate you. Please stop writing so well.

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[quote name='bram452' post='1508731' date='Sep 7 2008, 19.37']
SPOILER: Autumn War
What I was trying for (however successfully or not), was the idea that the men of Galt were profoundly wounded. This wasn't a clean, nice magical vasectomy; it was [i]corruption[/i]. That's why I put in things like Eiah's collapse and Balasar Gice pissing somethign that smelled like rotten meat.

And what do you do after an armistice? What is a peace treaty but the agreement to pretend that the two sides didn't just wound each other terribly? It's a tentative and necessary kind of lie -- the sort that you try to believe in the hopes it may somehow become true. But you're right. It is still a lie.

The question for me was what makes some peace work (The US and Japan get along pretty darn well these days) and some fail (the whole damn middle east, it seems like).

Anyway. That was what I was shooting for. It worked. It didn't work. That part's not for me to say, right? :)
[/quote]

SPOILER: AAW
I think where I got hung up was not on the quick [i]volte-face[/i] of the Galtic brigade. After all, they are the ones stuck in a very dangerous climate with a serious physical and psychological wound. It was more the relatively speedy shelter offered by Otah that threw me. Maybe I am misinterpreting the time interval between the Gonad Apocalypse and when the Galtic forces were offered shelter in the mines? Or maybe [i]I'd[/i] still be bent on vengeance (had I been in the same position) and cannot possibly see Otah's side of things, no matter how well you present them (this is distinctly possible).

I do dig where you're coming from re: armistice as a question worth exploring. I'm going to reread the ending again and see if I can approach it from another angle, try to understand why Otah made the offer he did. :)

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[quote name='Xray the Enforcer' post='1508928' date='Sep 7 2008, 20.15']
SPOILER: AAW
I think where I got hung up was not on the quick [i]volte-face[/i] of the Galtic brigade. After all, they are the ones stuck in a very dangerous climate with a serious physical and psychological wound. It was more the relatively speedy shelter offered by Otah that threw me. Maybe I am misinterpreting the time interval between the Gonad Apocalypse and when the Galtic forces were offered shelter in the mines? Or maybe [i]I'd[/i] still be bent on vengeance (had I been in the same position) and cannot possibly see Otah's side of things, no matter how well you present them (this is distinctly possible).

I do dig where you're coming from re: armistice as a question worth exploring. I'm going to reread the ending again and see if I can approach it from another angle, try to understand why Otah made the offer he did. :)
[/quote]

SPOILER: End of Autumn War
What I was thinking (and again, my opinion only carries so much weight) was that Otah wants the peace agreement to stick. He needs to make the offered terms attractive enough that the Galts won't decide that their chances are better trying one last desperate attack. Heading out into a northern winter, wounded and dying of frostbite? Not the kind of terms the Galts are likely to accept.

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< groans > It's like watching a conversation of mute.

I can only buy so many books at a time and these will be in my next "wave". Until then, grrrrr with the spoilers!

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I would like to note that among Tycho's many accomplishments at WorldCon, we now have to add the achievement of "Bringing Daniel Abraham to the boards".

:thumbsup:

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Welcome to the board bram452 :cheers:

[quote name='bram452' post='1507828' date='Sep 6 2008, 12.23']As to the original question of who else to read, try:

[b]kop by Warren Hammond -- Science fiction noir[/b]

[b]The Dread Empire's Fall trilogy by Walter Jon Williams -- best space opera I've read in years[/b][/quote]

I'll lend my recommendations for these as well. In fact, I said that exact same thing after I read [i]The Dread Empire's Fall[/i].

[u]KOP[/u] has a very similar feel to Richard Morgan's [u]Altered Carbon[/u], but less super-powered and without the disturbing sex scenes. I can't wait for the second installment, [u]Ex-KOP[/u] to come out this month.

[quote name='Myshkin' post='1508090' date='Sep 6 2008, 19.22']Lately I've become a fan of Urban Fantasy (thanks to Butcher), but I've been having a very hard time finding a series that doesn't focus on a super hot kickass chick who's always agonizing about how poor her sex life is even though she has two super hot vampire boyfriends, and a super hot werewolf on the side. I am hoping that your series will not be one of these blood soaked sexcapades.[/quote]

Charlie Huston's [u]Already Dead[/u]!

Stop fucking around, and get to reading! :P

(if you haven't already read it that is ;))

[quote name='Mr. X' post='1510286' date='Sep 8 2008, 17.33']I would like to note that among Tycho's many accomplishments at WorldCon, we now have to add the achievement of "Bringing Daniel Abraham to the boards".

:thumbsup:[/quote]

Yehsss, Powerful in the [s]force[/s] summoning he is[/Yoda voice][/extreme nerdery]


SPOILER: the ending of AAW
Gonad Apocalypse :lol: but ouch, really ouch. That would totally sap the will to war out of an army. Otah, being the compassionate ruler that he is, provided a great mercy to the Galts because I cannot see them fighting (especially fighting well) at such an utterly total emasculation.

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[quote name='RedEyedGhost' post='1510620' date='Sep 9 2008, 03.16']
SPOILER: the ending of AAW
Gonad Apocalypse :lol: but ouch, really ouch. That would totally sap the will to war out of an army. Otah, being the compassionate ruler that he is, provided a great mercy to the Galts because I cannot see them fighting (especially fighting well) at such an utterly total emasculation.
[/quote]

SPOILER: AAW
;) Yeah, I think I am just too bloodthirsty these days (yesterday was "I feel like stabbing 40 people at random" day) to grok Otah's decision. In my milder days, I probably would have accepted the whole scenario much easier, because it does make some sense. Galt ain't going to be doing much loin-girding warring anytime soon, so might as well try to negotiate a treaty with them, and being magnanimous to the sniveling toads out there shivering in the cold is probably a wise move. I still wouldn't have done it, though. Let the rape-and-murder-happy expansionist bastards freeze and starve to death, curled around the fetid ruins of their manhood.

Now I just want to see who will sell their children the fastest. Since both societies seem to have an entrenched patriarchy, I see the Galts caving first. They will use the money, however, to build a giant steam-powered "seed machine" and breed themselves a Clone Army. :P

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[quote name='RedEyedGhost' post='1510620' date='Sep 9 2008, 00.16']Charlie Huston's [u]Already Dead[/u]!

Stop fucking around, and get to reading! :P

(if you haven't already read it that is ;) )[/quote]
I was all prepared to buy this a couple of weeks ago, but when I got to the book store and actually saw the book I couldn't bring myself to make the purchase. It was trade PB size, even though it was too short a novel to really warrant it being published in that size, it was printed on the lowest quality paper, and they wanted 14 bucks for it. I refuse to buy it simply because the publisher, by using cheap materials and printing it in trade PB, is obviously trying to squeeze out every last penny by ripping-off the readers. If they're going to put a piss poor product on the shelves, then they're not getting my 14 bucks.

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[quote name='Xray the Enforcer' post='1510733' date='Sep 9 2008, 06.32']
SPOILER: AAW
;) Yeah, I think I am just too bloodthirsty these days (yesterday was "I feel like stabbing 40 people at random" day) to grok Otah's decision. In my milder days, I probably would have accepted the whole scenario much easier, because it does make some sense. Galt ain't going to be doing much loin-girding warring anytime soon, so might as well try to negotiate a treaty with them, and being magnanimous to the sniveling toads out there shivering in the cold is probably a wise move. I still wouldn't have done it, though. Let the rape-and-murder-happy expansionist bastards freeze and starve to death, curled around the fetid ruins of their manhood.

Now I just want to see who will sell their children the fastest. Since both societies seem to have an entrenched patriarchy, I see the Galts caving first. They will use the money, however, to build a giant steam-powered "seed machine" and breed themselves a Clone Army. :P
[/quote]

SPOILER: AAW
I guess Otah's just a little more far-thinking than you :P The Galts will obviously be pissed that they no longer have functioning balls, but had they then killed all of the attackers... well, I just think that it was wise for Otah to begin the peace process as soon as possible. While the Galtic army was stunned, I think that they could rally and reek havoc on the Khaiem that is still not practiced in war. Otah beginning the peace process with Balasar allows them to learn the ways of war (with the help of mercenaries from Eddensea and the Westlands) and raise an army of their own - assuming the Galtic leadership doesn't decide to void the peace agreement.

I can see the Galt's new slogan: "The Galtic Army now with clones - Bigger, Badder, AND the Balls are Back!"


@bram452: anyway we can get you to tell us how many years separate books 3 and 4?

[quote name='Myshkin' post='1511511' date='Sep 9 2008, 14.17']I was all prepared to buy this a couple of weeks ago, but when I got to the book store and actually saw the book I couldn't bring myself to make the purchase. It was trade PB size, even though it was too short a novel to really warrant it being published in that size, it was printed on the lowest quality paper, and they wanted 14 bucks for it. I refuse to buy it simply because the publisher, by using cheap materials and printing it in trade PB, is obviously trying to squeeze out every last penny by ripping-off the readers. If they're going to put a piss poor product on the shelves, then they're not getting my 14 bucks.[/quote]

I agree about the odd choice of it being a TPB and the poor paper quality, but the content inside [b]more[/b] than makes up for it. You could always add it to your next Book Depository order - plus you would get the much cooler UK covers. I do believe they're also the TPB size, but I don't if the UK editions are of better quality.

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