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Tycho

Daniel Abraham

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Then I'm weird too, because I'm right there with you Ben! I always start with 'A'. :unsure:

I'll just third the weirdness. I do the same thing.

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I'll just third the weirdness. I do the same thing.

I'm torn on the subject, myself. I admit to spending little time in the A's. Generally speaking, I work from recommendations and purchase most books online, only because of a lot of the points I made in my previous post. With limited shelf space but tons of great authors, it's difficult, in a book store, to separate the wheat from the chaff. What's on the shelf because of popularity, and what's being shown due to quality?

Goodkind gets as much attention as GRRM or Jordan, real estate-wise. Some authors, like Feist, for instance, have a large selection of availability due to nearly 30 years of publishing, so it's not uncommon to see a whole shelf dedicated to the works of an author who covers the middle-of-the-road fantasy. Abraham, without the history or variety, will take much longer to gain the commercial attention he deserves.

There's not much variety available in the bookstores, so I'm as likely to skip the Fantasy section as I am to pass over the A's. There's no bias, but so few things change on a monthly basis that the spines of the books read more like a roll call than an opportunity for something new.

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Foreverland, you make excellent points and I do most of my book-buying online for the same reasons. If you think there's not enough variety of books where you live you should try and imagine my disdain at being unable to find most all of the books I want in the bookstores in this country. Still, the few times I actually physically get to a bookstore I tend to browse the sections I'm interested in alphabetically. I know which authors I like and what books I'm looking for but it never hurts to see if there's anything else out there that might grab my interest.

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Foreverland, you make excellent points and I do most of my book-buying online for the same reasons. If you think there's not enough variety of books where you live you should try and imagine my disdain at being unable to find most all of the books I want in the bookstores in this country. Still, the few times I actually physically get to a bookstore I tend to browse the sections I'm interested in alphabetically. I know which authors I like and what books I'm looking for but it never hurts to see if there's anything else out there that might grab my interest.

GASP! Dan's browsing the thread, yay.

Mashiara, out of curiosity, what does a fantasy section look like in Athens? I'd expect the big mainstays to be available, but are the shelves reduced to the most popular of established authors or is there more regional 'homegrown' fantasy over there?

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GASP! Dan's browsing the thread, yay.

I do see him reading the thread. :bow:

Mashiara, out of curiosity, what does a fantasy section look like in Athens? I'd expect the big mainstays to be available, but are the shelves reduced to the most popular of established authors or is there more regional 'homegrown' fantasy over there?

There isn't much regional fantasy to speak off. You can find some of the "major" authors translated in Greek these days but not any of the newcomers or the not so mainstream ones. I'm not interested in translations anyway. Regarding the actual English language fantasy section, the biggest bookstores downtown have a corner dedicated to it but the selection is really poor. You can often find the second or third book in a popular series, but not the first one. Not many of the "new" authors out there are to be seen. Limited space and limited demand make for slim pickings. You can always ask them to order a book for you, but why bother? I can always get it online. Even if I do find a book that's on my list, the price is often exorbitant. For a paperback that I can buy online from amazon or the bookdepository for 8 euros I'd have to pay 11 or 12 at an actual bookstore.

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Then I'm weird too, because I'm right there with you Ben! I always start with 'A'. :unsure:

off-topic

In one of Roger Zelazny's short story collections, he talks about being contacted by an editor at the Saturday Evening Post who saw an episode of "Star Trek", liked it, and decided she wanted to put a sci-fi story in the magazine. She went to the bookstore, picked a book at random, and it happened to be one of his, so she got in touch with him. Zelazny says he imagines she walked up to the end of the SF section, and his place in the Z's played a part in getting picked.

/off-topic

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I tend to browse from the middle because Waterstones, in my experience at least, tends to reserve the beginning of the row for short story collections and the end for tie-ins, neither of which I tend to look at unless I'm looking for something specific. So I go to the middle and work out.

Although really the first place I go is the 'recent releases' section on the end of the aisle and a quick glance at the special offers section on the table alongside, but I think that's beside the point here... Although maybe not because the new releases section is precisely why Abraham caught my eye in the first place and it probably would have taken longer if he'd been slotted straight into the 'A's.

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Ordered a copy from B&N.com. I don't usually like to order books over the internet, unless they're out of print or from overseas, but I can't find this at any of my local bookstores.

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Makes sense, thanks for explanation Mashiara. As any number of countries are represented by posters here at Westeros, I'm always curious to see what market conditions are like for a given region/country.

On an unrelated note, while everyone's waiting for their copy of Spring, we ought to play a little game. Who wants to come up with a name and idea for an andat that likely hasn't been attempted in the cities of the Khaiem? I'll start it off (or look foolish being the only one playing)

Water-Flowing-Hindways, nicknamed (obviously) Bidet

Not sure it'd do much for commerce, but I'd love to be a fly-on-the-wall when the poets are discussing the metaphysics and refinements of grammar. :lmao:

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So could someone give me a summary of what the Long Price Quartet is about? I'm goin to the bookstore tomorrow and am in need of books to buy (besides Prince of Nothing and Last Argument of Kings).

Long story short: In an Eastern-influenced realm, magicians/wizards/monks exist and are called Poets. These poets take concepts and ideas and make them real, creating andat(s). Andat are used for industry, the one introduced in the first book is called Seedless, responsible for removing seeds from cotton (the main industry of the city). The Long Price Quartet is a series of 4 books, each taking place 15 years apart, telling the story of the main character (and supporting cast) as they deal with the many problems and situations brought about by the andat over the decades.

Understand, I'm not doing the story or author any favors with this description, as I suck with summaries.

These books are short, sweet and to the point. You NEVER get bogged down with prose or exposition. The stories move at a great pace, but never feel forced.

If you can find A Shadow in Summer, pick it up. Most authors (and any number of readers) could learn a thing or 12 from Abraham's work.

WARNING: The spoiler in post #135 for A Shadow in Summer may very well spoil The Price of Spring, read at your own risk

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I see. Well I'll look out for Shadow tomorrow.

Abraham explores and develops the idea of the Andat very well, and that includes exploring all of the political, social, and economic implications (for example, if you have an Andat that can destroy the land of an enemy with just a thought, why bother training and equipping armies?).

Moving on the broader thread, you know what I like about this series (particularly with The Price of Spring, which reversed what I thought was a bit of a downward drift in the books before it)? The way that you can always see what decisions the characters make, and think "Was that actually a good decision?" There's no "obviously good" choices.

For example,

SPOILER: Entire Series, read at your own risk!!!
Would it have been better if Otah had not killed Heshai-kvo? You can say that it probably would have resulted in Maati ultimately becoming miserable to keep Seedless, and in the deaths of a decent number of Galts, but who is to say? Maybe Khai Sarakeyht would have "only" destroyed a number of Galts and Galtic crops, rather than all of Galt.

Would that have been better than the despoilation of the Khaiem due to Balasar's invasion, and the resulting disasters that were Sterile (which effectively prevented an entire generation from rising in both Galt and the Khaiate cities) and Clarity-of-Sight (which resulted in massive Galtic deaths, particularly in the cities)? Neither outcomes are particularly lovely, but which was better?

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Guardsman, did you just spoil Price of Spring for everyone? :unsure:

Looks like he did, well done. :bang:

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