NeilNjae

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NeilNjae
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  • The Moorcock Elric books could be interesting: I've not read them yet. Illiad, Odyssey, and perhaps Beowulf would all be good. Dune would have enough depth to keep us going for a long read. I've tried Gormenghast and Long Earth, and didn't …
  • @Apocryphal said: Yes, that conversation was pretty confusing. It certainly seemed like it was meant to convey more than it did. Especially given the cacogens' comments to "think carefully about what we haven't told you and what we haven'…
  • @BarnerCobblewood said: I wasn't impressed with the conceit that our shared memories are the stuff that makes 'reality' and the timeline. I thought the whole story lacked a coherent explanation of the relation between perception / memory and actu…
  • @Apocryphal said: @NeilNjae We've never done Brave New World. Well, it was kind of a response to @BarnerCobblewood 's comment about entertainment being the modern opium of the masses; I was making an allusion to the soma of Brave New Worl…
  • @dr_mitch said: One things I like about the book club is that it gets me reading things I wouldn't normally read. Sometimes the choice of book doesn't work for me, sometimes it's fun but nothing enduring, and occasionally it's something I find fa…
  • @RichardAbbott said: So here... if computational and neural science has pretty much got to the chair anyway, and it just needs a little push to get there for real, it seems to me altogether likely that other groups would independently produce som…
  • @BarnerCobblewood said: I think we should take fiction and playing very seriously - they are how we construct our world, and shape what decisions are possible within it. … Our entertainment culture, and our art, is really monothematic, presenting…
  • @BarnerCobblewood said: seem to get addicted to genres, which suggests something, but I don't know what. I think it's conservatism. People find something they enjoy and want to stick with it, over trying new stuff and running the risk of…
  • @BarnerCobblewood said: Protagonists in these books are truly god-like in knowledge compared to the mooks, as always because they have the right machine and know the right people. I got no sense of care from our all-knowing female lead (Sophia), …
  • @RichardAbbott said: Except that the main trigger for the Chair to do its stuff was that someone had to die. I can't really think why this might be necessary in a biological sense, and I suppose the main reason was just to raise the stakes of t…
  • @dr_mitch said: Severian now says the person he was when younger is no more. He's a gestalt of Severian and Thecla. That was interesting, and how he doesn't seem to regret the passing of the old Severian. But he doesn't describe it as gro…
  • @Apocryphal said: Is the cop character a cipher for the author? http://sboydtaylor.com/2010/10/05/a-new-on-writing-one-of-my-best-o/ To be fair, SF has a long tradition of stories with lots of big ideas and dull, unengaging characters.…
  • @NeilNjae said: But going back to the original question title, the authors of our games are still very much the people sat around playing them. I strongly agree with a comment Chris Kubasik made several years ago that we probably have enough RPG …
  • @Apocryphal said: I've always maintained that the purpose of RPGs is not to tell stories, but to create experiences. So then what's the relationship between the game designer/author, the publisher, the fan community, and the people at the…
  • @RichardAbbott said: He gets to the Typhon statue, which so far as I recall is his geographic high point. He's also separated from human society, both supportive and hostile. He is in the realms of the supernatural. And at this place he also reac…
  • @dr_mitch said: I have one thought. The novel was about people, but they seemed more collections of experiences than personalities, especially for the major ones. For example, with the cop, I had a great sense for what he went through, but not wh…
  • Not much to add about the book's ending. I agree with @RichardAbbott that the chair is likely to be rapidly rediscovered, in one form or another, which would reopen the whole history-rewriting issue. As for gaming, just about all my gaming is at …
  • I'm with @dr_mitch in finding no difference between indie and corporate TTRPG producers: they're just about all "indie", with only a precious few people actually making a full-time living from the games. One of the problems of low barriers to ent…
  • Going back to the book, was it about dementia? Dementia was the motivation for one character, but I don't think the game was really about that. It was more about how our memories define us, and how our different memories of the "same" events can cha…
  • I think good fiction needs to be about something, to elevate it above a simple sequence of events: it needs to say something about people, or contemporary issues, or something like that. However, it's easy to lose sight of that in RPGs. It's very…
  • I think there's a couple of aspects to this question. One is about time travel, and the other is a wider point about narrating events out of order. The book could have followed Helena's subjective timeline from the start, only introducing Barry w…
  • Like others, I enjoyed it. I read it quickly, so it must have held my attention. The writing was clear and snappy. Like @RichardAbbott , I was underwhelmed by the deus ex machina ending: how was Helena able to discover a way to remove false memo…
  • @RichardAbbott said: Pace those who think otherwise, but I reckoned this was an exceptionally important encounter. Thanks for the comments: they've clarified why I said this encounter was "unnecessary." Yes, the encounter did show some de…
  • @Apocryphal said: Looking at the details, I did quite like the two-headed Typhon being, grafted somewhat improperly to his former slave, so that both had incomplete control of the body. Perhaps the penis episode was the slave signalling somet…
  • @clash_bowley said: Severian, why mention that Typhon was fondling his erect penis when it mean exactly zero to the story. That was just meaningless. Who the hell cares? I could say much the same about the whole episode. Why was it there …
  • And finished. That was fun. I enjoyed that.
  • @RichardAbbott said: I enjoyed Severian's comedown when he realised that his glib assessment of the magicians nearly proved fatal! Also the Conciliator is very explicitly linked to Christ. If the Conciliator is Christ (and I don't doubt y…
  • @Apocryphal said: Any comments on the story of Frog? I had trouble parsing it, but may re-read it. Definitely evokes Mowgli's story, It seems like the start of a story, and not the end. We get a lot of detail about how Frog was brought up…
  • @Apocryphal said: Never head of Halo Jones, but Dr Moreau springs to mind, though these are sort of like his animalian men in reverse. It’s the voluntary nature I find creepy. The first book of Halo Jones, a miniseries from 2000AD (Britis…
  • @dr_mitch said: To be fair, at every instance so far, Severian has more than justified your distrust and dislike. With every seemingly benevolent act, I can't help wondering what awful thing he's going to do next. It's going to take a lot to rise…