NeilNjae

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NeilNjae
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  • @Keith said: I enjoyed the scientific underpinnings of the book and how it built on existing physics weirdness to create interesting sci fi situations. I think that was the strongest aspect of the book. I liked that too: I could at least …
  • I felt that some of the worldbuilding was developing a rich universe that the characters lived in outside the novel. But I also felt there were several elements that seemed to be there to set up a theme or conflict in the novel, but weren't followed…
  • I wondered about the happy coincidence between the lightless cave home of Torobe and the requirement that wending be unobserved. Which came first? Did the Torobes first move into a lightless environment, then discover how to wend, or did they first …
  • Good points. I think Sara pretty much rejected her materialistic upbringing, perhaps finding a better home among the Wasters than the Plants and their predilection for money. I think Thora, at least at the start and end of the book, was trying to co…
  • @Apocryphal said: I agree, even though this theme was one of the first introduced, it wasn't fully exploited, perhaps. This is something I noticed in the book, and it seems you picked up on the same thing. There are lots of interesting id…
  • There was a strong thread of different ways of knowing. Sara was a more analytical person, Thora was intuitive. The notion of the Torobes as being fairies and hence other-than-human isn't one that occurred to me, but it's obvious now you point it ou…
  • She's using two bits of science. One is general relativity. Dark matter has mass and hence warps space-time; we see its effects in how galaxies move and interact, even if we can't see the matter itself. (Or we think we see dark matter: until we get …
  • I think the traveller/settler split is something the author put in as being a possible theme for the book, but she ended up looking at different aspects instead. It's also perhaps another instance of the duality you mention: is a society defined by …
  • Is there any science behind it? Nah, not really. I mean, you can wave your hands a lot and mutter about Schrödinger's Cat, but I don't think there's any real science there. Did the concept work for me? Yes, I could suspend disbelief enough to enj…
  • I think we were supposed to infer that the Escher had been hit by a fold rain, explaining the twisted topology. (I think the name of the ship was taken from the strange architecture, not the name it was originally given when launched.) It untwisted …
  • We got to know the three characters in very different ways: Sara was a viewpoint character in a standard third-person narration, Thora as mainly first-person reflection, and we didn't see Moth's viewpoint at all. I think they're quite different. …
  • In gaming terms, nkida make for great Fate Aspects! It's a common-enough trope, I think: the flaw that ends up saving the day. I don't think the concept was emphasised enough in the novel. Thora talked about her nkida but didn't really identify nkid…
  • I think there's two things going on here. One is our need to make mental models of things, using stories and metaphors to understand the world ("Oh, it's a forest"). That means our understanding of new things is based on what we relate it to. That, …
  • It's my first Gilman book (I'd not heard of her before). I liked it! Yes, I'd read another of her books. The characters seemed pretty realistic, not doing things for purely plot reasons. There was a good senseawunda in the initial exploration, even …
  • I got 100 pages into Arabian Nights and found it full of self-indulgent twaddle. Luckily, King Solomon's Mines arrived in the library, so I've swapped books. Hopefully King Solomon's Mines is better.
  • I love her style. By the time I get half-way through one of her books, I end up sounding like her too, with her rhythms and word choices.
  • Just finished it on a flight back home. It went in places that were different from what I thought was foreshadowed at the start of the book. A good read; I enjoyed it.
  • @dr_mitch said: A : Dune and some sequels (Frank Herbert) E : The Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien) B : The Foundation series (Isaac Asimov) F : Moby Dick (Herman Melville) I've already read all of these and would be happy to read th…
    in Slow Read Comment by NeilNjae January 30
  • On the strength of this review, I decided to get the copy from my local library. Only to find it missing, perhaps for a couple of years. So another copy is on its way from the other end of the country, and I've borrowed Shah's book on Morocco, Arabi…
  • @RichardAbbott said: > …My memory of Suldrun's Garden is that the whole of the land feels pretty much the same as regards people's interactions. Sure, there are the Ska who have a different battle ethic, but (to me, at least) they d…
  • @Apocryphal said: Is Lyonesse high fantasy or low? I've seen claims made for each. I'd call it high fantasy. It's about the fates of nations, the whims of powerful sorcerers, and the capricious actions of the fairy. Yes, there's politics …
  • I read it a few months ago. I enjoyed it! It seemed rather Asimov-like overall, in terms of language style, structure, and the science used in the plot. It was refreshing to read something that came from a non-Western culture.
  • By the same token, characters like Sauron fulfil the same role a serial killers in modern crime drama: they're so evil they're literally inhuman, so there's no need to reason with or about them; they just need defeating. The villains in Lyonesse, th…
  • @RichardAbbott said: Casmir's magical lab (and the room before it with the thrones / seats) seemed to me very much a Chekhov gun - we had a whole lot of build up on Suldrun's part about its potential, but in the end only the mirror actually came …
  • @Apocryphal said: @NeilNjae said: Oh, one thing to add about the writing style: it comes across to me as being a long-form fairy tale rather than something cleaving closer to a naturalistic retelling of events. Both the style and th…
  • @Apocryphal said: I'm dropping this here to explore later, but my post on the conflicts of Lyonesse had me thinking about the Wizards, who seem driven to manipulate people to get their way. And this, perhaps, is a side effect of their exposure to…
  • @clash_bowley said: These lands were not made up of whole cloth. They are various legendary places mentioned in Dark Ages and Early Medieval literature as if they existed, but which suddenly disappear from the record as it were. Thanks fo…
  • Not sure if this needs its own thread, but can we talk about the sexual violence in the book? I'm struggling to think of a female character who wasn't raped or threatened with rape, and how none of those offences was taken at all seriously by any…
  • If I tried adopting the tone of the novels to a game, I think I'd lose players very quickly. "Let me give you unusual and powerful magic items, then immediately take them away. Let me give you a quest, then immediately make it impossible for you to …
  • As I mentioned in the fairy thread, I like how magic is presented in the book. It seems to have its own internal logic, but it's nothing like the logic of the Enlightenment and science. I'd like to know more about the "rules" of magic that lead to t…