RichardAbbott

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RichardAbbott
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Games I like
Sundry, mostly board
Books I like
Science fiction, fantasy, some historical fiction

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  • I can't resist it... this is the end for Terminus Est But it was a good way to go. Other things I noticed: Even now, Baldanders might not be dead... Severian explicitly notes that he has confronted challenges from all four element…
  • @dr_mitch said: And yes, next week is the end of book 3. Nearly 3/4 of the way there. Who wants to organise the next slow read? Should some kind admin person set up a thread to chat about that? Two things occurred to me as possibilities…
  • @Apocryphal said: I was not at all surprised that Baldanders was the giant - he played the giant Nod in the play, afterall. That Dr Talos is a homunculus is more surprising. He was earlier portrayed as the brooding muscle of the duo, but now he's…
  • > @dr_mitch said: > I did like the two masks of the cacogens. And it seems they know Severian will become Autarch? But yes, it's something where the significance escapes me. > It just occurred to me that some of the travels and me…
  • For me, the main project is finishing my latest book, set in the universe of Far from the Spaceports, but a couple of decades on and with a completely different focus. It's called The Liminal Zone, 'cos after all you can never have too much liminali…
  • I suppose it shouldn't have surprised me, but I really hadn't expected the promised giant to be Baldanders - after all we have met or heard of so many giants that I was genuinely surprised when it turned out to be him. The whole conversation betw…
  • @clash_bowley said: Nothing anyone would be particularly interested in. A board game, an RPG, and another album. The usual crap. I imagine this secretly belongs in the other thread that @dr_mitch started... some kindly admin might move it?
  • @dr_mitch said: Time travel was essentially someone's consciousness travelling back to the time a suitably vivid memory in their past. That exact point in time. No physical movement, just them going back to literally relive that memory - and thei…
  • I realised reading the last few posts on this thread that I could not remember (if it was ever explained) how the specific target effect was selected - the individual in the chair had to identify a vivid memory, but I don't recall how that translate…
  • > @NeilNjae said: > @Apocryphal said: > @NeilNjae We've never done Brave New World. > But, [Brave New World is] a good and classic book, so perhaps we should read it? I've been meaning to reread it all this year - it must…
  • A great piece of speculative analysis! Seems sadly plausible to me. I wonder if the race to be the dominant nation would favour an individual leader or a small cabal? Also, on the basis that the universe tends to dispel any apparent advantage, …
  • @NeilNjae said: @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…
  • > @dr_mitch said: > At no point was violence or killing an actual solution to the problem. Sometimes it seemed to be, and made things better for a while, but then things always got worse. Except that the main trigger for the Chair to do…
  • > @BarnerCobblewood said: > I found the ending unsatisfying. I thought that it was simply shoe-horned in to produce a work of the 'right-size' to bear the price-point. I think you have identified a very common problem. It can happen bo…
  • I'm really enjoying this book right now I think this section integrates in a very interesting way with Typhon, the link being made by the net. Typhon tried to snare Severian with a magical/psychic net and failed... the hetman used a regular o…
  • Back in the sphere of writing, when I was studying poetics a few years ago I read up what various folk had to say about endings in poetry. Granted that this is a more structured form of writing than a novel, but some things carry over (and likewise …
  • > @Apocryphal said: > So yeah, I think RPGs should usually be more than just entertainment. But sometimes, 'just entertainment' is all one really needs. Well put - it reminds me of a friend from years ago whose kids were into highly d…
  • @NeilNjae said: 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 "s…
  • I'll come back to this one: meanwhile commenting to I get to see other replies
  • I thought a couple of things about the ending: 1) As mentioned in another thread, I was vaguely unsatisfied by Crouch's resolution which seemed a bit too ad hoc to me 2) An area the book (deliberately, I think) left untackled was that of indep…
  • Nothing to add about gaming: commenting so I see future replies But obviously the indy world exists in most areas of life these days - games, books, music etc. You could probably include at least some parts of the open source software movement t…
  • I can't really speak much about gaming, but I think that fiction, especially speculative fiction, works best when it tackles a contemporary problem in some coded way, ie not head-on explicit but indirectly so it encourages readers to engage with the…
  • Time travel is of course a favourite story device in film/TV series SF, and the various star trek series have done this lots of times - sometimes well and sometimes not so well. I especially liked Farscape's Different Destinations as a twist on the …
  • I liked the book and finished it very quickly - so clearly it had me compelled to get on with it. Like @Apocryphal I had some reservations about some aspects - I agree that the memory trigger was odd, and I didn't like the specific way he resolved t…
  • @NeilNjae said: ... Who's Typhon? Why was he here? Why hadn't anyone else stumbled across him before? The whole episode seemed utterly arbitrary over why it occurred. It's reinforcing the sense, for me, that there's no plot or direction to the bo…
  • Pace those who think otherwise, but I reckoned this was an exceptionally important encounter. Let's start with the name Typhon - I'm sure @Apocryphal will have more to say but Wiki has "Typhon was a monstrous serpentine giant and one of the deadlies…
  • I think we are saying the same thing - JRRT and CSL had very particular views about relationships, which they wrote consistently into their books. But even among the Inklings there was diversity - Charles Williams in particular had what could best b…
  • (Malacandra is not of course Narnia, but gives a clearer example of what I think is Lewis's general position)
  • Being of a more sceptical nature, as well as nerdy, my inclination is to see this as more like a simple reluctance on JRRT's part to deal in the narrative with the more physical side of relationships. He shared this with CS Lewis, who (in Out o…
  • This (rather belatedly) made me wonder if there was a link between Gene Wolfe and Teilhard de Chardin. And it seems that others have speculated about this too. For example "Like the theologian Teilhard de Chardin, Wolfe speculated that as cons…