dr_mitch

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dr_mitch
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  • I bounced off Ancillary Justice. It might be interesting to have another go, but I'm hesitant to commit to it for a slow read. The Elric books are disposable pulpy fun. I'm not sure that's what we want for a slow read. They're rapidly paced and b…
  • * The Stone Sky (N.K. Jemisin) Conclusion of the Broken Earth trilogy. It's excellent, a highly appropriate conclusion, and unremittingly bleak. It's revealed why the world is how it is - in a way, there's science fiction element here as much as fa…
  • 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. And yes, next week is the end of book 3. Nearly 3/4 of the way there. Who wants to organis…
  • I do think Severian has an inflated self-image. I don't think it's author wish-fulfilment (which is the impression I get from Conan, and which completely turned me off).
  • 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 their following life. S…
  • I remember really liking Brave New World, but it must be twenty years or so since I've read it.
  • 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 fantastic or the star…
  • One thought on violence in the story, which wasn't obvious to me while reading, but this discussion has brought it out. At no point was violence or killing an actual solution to the problem. Sometimes it seemed to be, and made things better for…
  • When it comes to RPG settings, I want not exactly originality but freshness. For example, the One Ring is a fresh take on Middle Earth, and is the first RPG that takes it away from D&Dish tropes- it's seeing it directly rather than through a …
  • @Apocryphal there are three themes that speak to me in particular in Mythic Babylon, and I think we brought out to explore. (1) Culture. It's role and meaning in life, and how different cultures clash and complement each other (eg: city and no…
  • @BarnerCobblewood said: I'm going to get back to all the discussions this evening, but in the meantime here's a little nugget from yesterday's news: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/10/dd-licious-wendys-now-has-a-tabletop-rpg-and-the-villain-i…
  • Somewhat relevant to the link, I didn't find the book unemotional; there was a strong emotional core and drive to it. It's more that it read to me as "everyman" type characters reacting to extreme situations - which as @NeilNjae says is a staple of …
  • 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 what he was like. …
  • The ending wasn't all that good, but not terrible. It didn't ruin the book for me. I've read books with worse endings. Most Stephen King novels for instance. In terms of RPGs, I get frustrated with campaigns that just sort of peter out rather tha…
  • I suspect the multi-media and branching into TV element was there because the author already had work adapted for television (Wayward Pines, though I've neither read nor seen it). As for gaming and the indie element, I'm not sure I distinguish be…
  • The social concerns in the book were there, but treated lightly. The big theme was abuse of science and technology, and how to close Pandora's box once opened. There are definitely parallels with nuclear weapons, and the question of a "good" use of …
  • Generally, in terms of narrative structure for tension, the freedom of gaming with everyone contributing means the central narrative has to be quite straightforward, for me at least. Flashbacks are fun though, whether for character moments or in som…
  • I really enjoyed this one. In terms of sheer enjoyment, it's one of my favourite book club reads. It felt a little like a Michael Crichton story at first, but much better written. And finished in two days, although with a break between the first thi…
  • And some thoughts and points to call out here: Severian now says the person he was when younger is no more. He's a gestalt of Severian and Thecla. Severian boasting to the reader about how many women he's made love to. He's not grown that much…
  • 32 - 34. Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien). And I'm counting it for three books. It was interesting to revisit more rapidly after the previous slow read. As usual I got something out of it and enjoyed the experience. 35. Recursion (Blake Crouc…
  • I suspect the "father of monsters" thing is the relevant part of the ancient Greek Typhon myth to consider. And @NeilNjae that's an interesting comparison to make with Great Expectations. Especially as Pip is not exactly a sympathetic protagoni…
  • I liked the horror note of the grafted head, and Piaton mouthing almost helplessly - but enough to give Severian instructions. I think it's also relevant that Typhon could have given a warning and saved little Severian but chose not to. As for Se…
  • I liked the Typhon episode.
  • Not finished yet, but so far I'm really enjoying this one. I should be finished in time for the questions. Wahey!
  • Ah yes, Teilhard de Chardin's concepts feature heavily in Julian May's Saga of the Exiles and Milieu Trilogy. That's where I first came across them. But I hadn't thought about de Chardin in the context of Book of the New Sun.
  • My first thought is that he's someone from that old TV series, The Prisoner.
  • You're both right...I read the creature as being a notule, but it's something different. The Conciliator feels very like post space-age Christ. Not the same as Jesus, but the same figure for a different era of history (and done infinitely more su…
  • 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 above that, and ma…
  • @NeilNjae said: @RichardAbbott said: And it was a real discipline stopping at the appointed chapter end and not rushing on to find out what happened next... (I thought chapter 20 was for next week, but it didn't take l…
  • Sorry for not getting back to this. I didn't have the capacity to read the book, though I still intend to and will say something later, when everyone else has forgotten. As for relation maps in gaming, I tend to find them okay as a memory aid (a…