NeilNjae

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NeilNjae
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  • Thanks! I realised after writing it that it doesn't tell you much about the book, but says a lot about my feelings about the book. Whether that's more or less useful, I don't know.
  • I get the impression that Severian wasn't aware of the time passing in the desert garden. At least, that's the impression i get from how he reacts to Agia telling him how long they'd spent there.
  • Yes, it's very picaresque with lots of things happening to Severian without him having any real say in it. There was me, thinking he'd be doing something after he'd left the guild, but he's still just reacting to events. The duel is interesting. …
  • It seems Gene Wolfe has died. Tor has an obituary: The science fiction and fantasy community has lost a beloved icon. We are extremely sad to report that author and SFWA Grand Master Gene Wolfe passed away on Sunday, April 14, 2019 after his l…
  • @Apocryphal said: "I mean to warn you against [the roads]. They are patrolled by uhlans under orders to kill anyone found upon them, and since they have permission to loot the bodies of those they slay, they are not much inclined to ask …
  • Chapters 13 to 16? Anyway, I'm with Clash: it looks like something's happening! OK, it's happening rather slowly, but there are events. There's also a lot of description which seems to be a combination of padding and Wolfe flouting his erudition,…
  • I read this a couple of years ago. As you say, short on characters but long, very long, on the big ideas. Well worth the read.
  • @Ray_Otus said: And I like how the torturers absolve themself of guilt by "just carrying out orders ... no more, no less." Very much reminds me of some of the excuses that captured Nazi's used after WWII. That's a very good point. The tor…
  • Oh, just to point out: in a contrast to the previous chapters, something actually happened in this week! Long may it continue!
  • Paul, I think your notion about a lack of empathy is spot on. There's just about none in any of the torturers. They have no empathy for their "clients", none for the armiger, and precious little for each other. But at the same time, none of the clie…
  • @clash_bowley said: Why does everyone but R. F. Kuang have asterisks after their names? Did they write it in a 162 game season?* "Second year of eligibility": you can get this award in the two years since your first published work.
  • We got some worldbuilding in these chapters, both about the long history of Urth (such as the paining of the astronaut on the moon, contrasted with its contemporary terraformed state) and the current political situation (the connections between Thec…
  • ...and finished book 2. That was a lot of fun! The pacing is even better in this book than the first. The author does a lot of placing Chekov guns above metaphorical fireplaces, which really builds the anticipation. You know the gun's going to be po…
  • @clash_bowley said: Bears were said (by Plato? Aristotle? Maybe some anonymous bestiary author?) to lick their cubs into shape - literally. They were initially shapeless lumps and the mother bear licked them to form them into cubs. I reca…
  • There's also the reference that the first underground chamber in the torturer's tower used to be the tower's propulsion system. So are these towers, or are they parked rockets? I hadn't realised that the main character in these books was a tortur…
  • @Ray_Otus said: @dr_mitch said: For instance, P.G. Wodehouse was a genius. Truth! Any way we can justify reading him in this club? LOL Yes! If nothing else, it connects to games like A Taste for Murder.
  • I've played it a few times. It's a fun little game. We tend to play with some conventions to help things along, such as having a fixed ordering of cards in the hand so that people know what I'll play or discard next, explaining my reasoning out l…
  • @Michael_S_Miller said: There's something also to be said about how the role that Ged grows into, as "wizard", affords him power and discretion to make his own choices. But the role thrust upon Tenar as "priestess" is entirely proscribed, with on…
  • I've just started book 2, The Kingdom of Copper. That creeping power level was a foreshadowing of a Major Plot Point in book 2, so that's fine. Let's see what she does with it!
  • The difficulty in translating it into a game (and perhaps translating the story to other media, such as TV/film) is that much of the meat of this story is internal to the character of Tenar. It's really a story of her growth and realisation of the w…
    in 6. Gaming Comment by NeilNjae March 6
  • I don't think of them as "characters" at all, but rather a force of nature that needs appeasing. It could be that the gods are actual gods, or it could be a human projection of personification onto a natural phenomenon. And that's fine: why should "…
  • I think the lack of visual description helped with the sense of place. Instead of knowing what the tombs were like, we got an insight into what they meant to the characters. And they meant something forbidding and unknowable, where human desires did…
    in 4. The Tombs Comment by NeilNjae March 6
  • OK, I see what you mean. The relationship between Ged and Tenar isn't something that grows naturally, it's something that's deliberately developed by Ged, in the same way that a man wooing a woman will set out to deliberately create a relationship. …
  • I think it's more interesting to look at Arha/Tenar's mentors. The priestesses are all about telling the girl what to do, how to behave, even denying her identity and forcing her into the role they've decided for her. Ged, on the other hand, is all …
  • @RichardAbbott said: Arha's life was extremely circumscribed and predictable, defined by the regular cycles of worship and religious discipline. I don't think Ged's life was ever predictable! Except. When we first see Ged in this book, hi…
  • We never really see Kargish society, so I guess that says something about how religion fits in: most Kargish don't particularly worship, or at least done worship the Nameless Ones. That's apparent from both the lack of outsiders in the story and the…
    in 2. Religion Comment by NeilNjae March 5
  • Oh, it's very much a coming of age story. Tenar starts as a child, accepting what she's been told and doing what she's told, such as never bringing a light into the labyrinth. She starts to explore what her position means even before Ged arrives, bu…
  • I'm guessing you know about the Bang-oriented, protagonist-play style of GMing? As in, the one mentioned in Sorcerer and Sorcerer's Soul. I tend to run this sort of situation from an R-map (with each NPC annotated with their goal) and a list of Bang…
  • Plenty of second-hand paperbacks available, especially the Fantasy Masterworks edition from 2000.
  • Oh, it's very much a more dubious background than the rest of the djinn. To the extent that he's well-known and notorious among all the rest of the djinni.