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posts by Alric Auditor | joined 04 Aug 2004 | 147


Music of the now... posted 04 Aug 2004, 16:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

Right now, I've been listening to a lot of Jethro Tull / Ian Anderson. It's a phase I go through once every year. A current favorite of mine is Ian's recently released solo album - Rupi's Dance. It's a nice blend of sound and lyrical fusion. view post


Kim Stanley Robinson posted 04 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

I'm working my way through, for the first time, Robinson's Mars Trilogy. So far, I'm nearly done with Red Mars, which I've greatly enjoyed. Also, I plan on reading Ian MacLeod's The Light Ages and China Mieville's Iron Council. I just recently got both from Amazon and am excited to get started. view post


A couple... posted 04 Aug 2004, 18:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is/was/will be your college major? by Alric, Auditor

I currently have a BA in History and English. For History, I focused primarily on Roman and Early English history. With my current job, I get free tuition at the University of Minnesota, which will help in my plan to eventually get a MA and phD. Some day, I'd like to teach at a college level. Of course, I'd also like to be a writer, which I am working toward on a daily basis. I'm particularily drawn to writing historical fiction and historical fantasy, which shouldn't come as a big suprise. view post


posted 04 Aug 2004, 18:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

vile view post


Certainly posted 04 Aug 2004, 18:08 in Literature DiscussionAnyone read American Gods, by Neil Gaiman? by Alric, Auditor

I was one of the orginal recommenders back on wotmania. It was the first Gaiman book that I had read, and it interested and entertained me greatly. I've also read Perdido Street Station, The Scar, and "The Tain" by Mieville, who I think is quite talented and could potentially be truly great. I have Iron Council on my shelf, and I'm looking forward to that read as well. Next on my list for Gaiman is Neverwhere. view post


posted 04 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

I've heard good things about it, and I'll definitely post a review when I get done reading it. Ah, school does put a damper on book buying. Well, so does a whole bunch of other things. At least, you've got interesting classes to look forward to. view post


Re: Music of the now... posted 04 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Loof":sje1e7p4] Interesting, I used to be a big tull fan. Although nowdays it mostly comes in smaller waves sort of like you describe. When was this solo album released? Don't think i have seen it, is it worth looking for?[/quote:sje1e7p4] Loof, I imagine that the CD was released almost a year ago now. I picked it up this past winter. I think the album has some of the best music and songs from Anderson/Tull for quite some while. view post


posted 04 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Nippon view post


posted 04 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Literature DiscussionIlium by Alric, Auditor

Ilium... ah, it is a book that I truly love, as anyone who has been around wotmania during the last year probably knows. The blend of charcter, story and setting, not to mention blending together the Homer and Shakespeare, was marvelously done. I am a big fan of a lot of Simmons work, especially the excellent Hyperion Duology. As for Endymion and The Rise of Endymion, I would recommend them, though with the caveat that they are somewhat a lesser story than the first two. As for the reason for the second two book story, it really completes the underlying story that was merely brought to a major event at the end of Fall of Hyperion. It is the rest of the story about the Core, Humanity and freedom. Endymion, as a book, is truly excellent. view post


posted 05 Aug 2004, 16:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

[quote="The Consult":3sfovqdy]Pearl Jam - I Got Id. This is one of my fav PJ songs.....any fans here?[/quote:3sfovqdy] I'd call myself a semi-fan. I do enjoy a great deal of their music, and I have managed to catch two concerts. They are great live. view post


posted 06 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Literature DiscussionWhy read fantasy? by Alric, Auditor

Well, I don't think any one book is reponsible for my enjoyment of Fantasy, scifi, speculative fiction. But, I do account that my parents reading to me from The Chronicles of Narnia when I was very young played a part in my interest. The first fantasy book that I really read on my own was The Hobbit for a 7th grade reading class. Yes, it was the assigned text. So that was what, 15-16 years ago. One of the real reasons why I keep reading speculative fiction is that I enjoy the wider pallate it affords authors. Expectations, known quantities, mores, histories, facts, all become fluid in the hands of a gifted spec. writer. I think it causes the reader to follow closely, and work to create from their imagination a world crafted from only words. view post


A Wolf's Age (Prologue) posted 06 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Member Written WorksA Wolf's Age (Prologue) by Alric, Auditor

The attached is a short, very short, prologue to a story that I've been working on for quite some time. It is not in final edit form, so grammar/punctuation might not be all that it should be. Those of you from Wotmania, may have seen this before. But, I'd like to hear what others of you think. (Okay... attach doesn't seem to be working right now... so copy/paste) A Wolf’s Age (Prologue) At first there was nothing. Then, suddenly out of blankness came awareness, not of self, the body or a place of existence but an awareness of the void left by their absence. A thought bloomed in the emptiness of consciousness, flower-like in the form of a question –always a question comes first. [i:zvj3i0wq]Are there no answers at the end?[/i:zvj3i0wq] The question blazed; it burned his body back into existence quickening in breathless waves. He felt he struggled to wake from a dream that was no dream; he wrestled with nothingness. The flame continued to burn through his body. He hurt, but pain was good because it was something. Radiating pain cleansed his thoughts as pieces of him came back together, washed back into his mind. Slowly, his consciousness spiraled outward as it collected shards of memory and physical awareness. His body continued to burn…muscles rigid, squeezing his body as if it were in a giant’s grip…as his chest contracted defiant of the need for air. Confusion griped him also but not panic –his father wouldn’t allow panic. [i:zvj3i0wq]Courage! Laugh at fear. That is the gift of manhood.[/i:zvj3i0wq] The voice was only an echo but still ice. His body felt oddly heavy, weighted down, but yet somehow suspended; he realized his eyes were open because he only now registered the liquid-like light, stained reddish-gold, which was strangely translucent one moment and harsh the next. [i:zvj3i0wq]Am I dreaming?[/i:zvj3i0wq] he wondered again. A sharp seizure of pain rippled through his body moving from shoulders to feet and back convinced him he was very much awake. [i:zvj3i0wq]Salt?[/i:zvj3i0wq] His mouth, also open he realized, tasted strongly of the bitter stuff. Another wave of pain surged from his chest to crash at his feet and then recede. The push-pull of the pain coincided with the flickering light and a strange intermittent rushing sound. Now panic flooded in no matter what his father thought, dead as he was. His thoughts were clear but parts were still missing: his name, how he came here, and where in Hél and Thor’s hammer was he, or was this Hél? Push. Pull. The left side of his chest clenched in a searing spasm that threatened to rip him back to unconsciousness, but it also cleared his head allowing memory to seep back in…a momentary rush of air as he fell from the prow of his long-ship. [i:zvj3i0wq]I’m lying under water![/i:zvj3i0wq] The realization was sudden and thrilling. He could feel the waves push him against the rocky shore, the undertow threaten to pull him out to sea as the water surged over his face and receded. And then, he remembered himself. view post


posted 09 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Literature DiscussionAnyone read American Gods, by Neil Gaiman? by Alric, Auditor

Certainly will post a review. It'd be unlike me not to, actually. :wink: view post


posted 11 Aug 2004, 12:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Tull view post


posted 11 Aug 2004, 19:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

taunt view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionAges by Alric, Auditor

I'll be 28 this coming Christmas eve. view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

ouch view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

Just started reading Ian MacLeod's [i:39uxqgzn]The Light Ages[/i:39uxqgzn]. Also, yesterday I picked up Flann O'Brien's [i:39uxqgzn]The Third Policeman[/i:39uxqgzn], which comes highly recommended by Larry, aka Aldarion. I look forward to getting into both as I've heard many good things. Also, I'm hosting a discussion of Dan Simmon's [i:39uxqgzn]Ilium[/i:39uxqgzn] on September 13 over on the wotmania.com site, so I'll be rereading that gem. Oh, feel free to prepare and stop by for that discussion. view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionQuotes by Alric, Auditor

My new quote line is something my wife actually said after I made Bacon and Eggs for breakfast this morning. "Bacon is the ambrosia of meats." ~ my wife. I almost fell over I was laughing so much. view post


Olympics... posted 12 Aug 2004, 18:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Alric, Auditor

So, the Olympics are starting Friday (tomorrow), and I was wondering what the rest of you thought about the games. Do you still get excited for the Olympics? Do you have a favorite sport, event, athlete? Do you enjoy the opening/closing ceremonies? For me, I do enjoy the Olympics, both summer and winter. I actually enjoy the show of the Opening ceremony, though my wife really dislikes the ceremonies. Her favorite sport is gymnastics and track and field events. I enjoy swimming, decathalon, gymnastics. But, I think I prefer the winter Olympics to the summer as I'm a winter sports enthusiast. I am particularily looking forward to the Thorpe/Phelps swimming dual. How about you? view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 18:08 in Literature DiscussionIlium by Alric, Auditor

For those interested: September 13 on wotmania.com Other Fantasy MB: I'll be hosting a book club discussion of [i:2yxilsuy]Ilium[/i:2yxilsuy] by Dan Simmons. The discussion should be wide ranging, and everyone is invited to participate. I posted an announcement of the discussion on the wotmania OF MB, and I included sample discussion points to mull over. You all have a little over a month to prepare, so I hope to see you all there. view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 18:08 in Literature DiscussionWhy read fantasy? by Alric, Auditor

Come to think of it, I think a lot of what I watched on TV as a kid played a role as well. Cartoons: Voltron, Transformers, Thunder Cats, Silver Hawks, Robo Tech, He-Man, GI Joe V the TV Series Star Wars Star Trek Buck Rogers Galactica Quantum Leap Movies: Star Wars Trilogy Star Trek The Last Starfighter Alien Predator Logan's Run Blade Runner etc. I guess a lot of exposure, both in book and visual media did me in. view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 18:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Whine view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Alric, Auditor

Baseball... I always seem to miss those games. Sadly, I don't have the cable coverage I'd need to be able to watch all the sports that I'd like. I miss the old Olympics coverage of over a decade ago. They put everything they could on regular stations, as most people didn't have cable and were unwilling to pay to watch. Oh well. The baseball tourny should be interesting this year. view post


posted 12 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

dynamite view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 13:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Alric, Auditor

I usually start out the same way, looking for something to watch, but my tv just seems to get stuck on the Olympics. It's the nature of how they broadcast it these days, with the dramatic music and viginettes. Oh well, I'll miss some of the games because I've got tickets to a Vikings game on Saturday. :wink: view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 13:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

profit view post


posted 13 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Bacon (does participate in leftist bashing of conservative moneymakers) (Well, not much that is) :P view post


posted 16 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Alric, Auditor

It's been quite some time since I've seen fencing aired on the Olympics. Sadly, this year, I missed it. Sovin, how long have you fenced? view post


posted 16 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Titan view post


posted 16 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

In the Name of the Rose is a truly marvelous book. Eco's language is dense at times, but the stories are more than worth the effort. I truly enjoy both Rose and his [i:3lcwb6qz]Foucault's Pendulum[/i:3lcwb6qz]. Now there is a book that'll have your head spinning every now and again. Still, Eco is truly talented when it comes to blending history, philosophy, myth, legend, mystery and suspense, along with bits of humor to create memorable works of literature. view post


posted 16 Aug 2004, 18:08 in Member Written WorksA Wolf's Age (Prologue) by Alric, Auditor

Thank you. It is meant to be strange in a way, a certain sense of dislocation and oddity. Writing is a challenge for me as well. I enjoy it, but I so very rarely give it the time necessary to truly craft something. I just have to keep picking myself up from the couch, plop down at the computer and work away. Sometimes, I even get some place. view post


posted 16 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Refund view post


posted 17 Aug 2004, 14:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Alric, Auditor

ah, a footballer. It looks like a pretty good tournament shaping up for that sport. I'll be interested in how it turns out. Personally, I'm a bit distracted in that sport due to Micheal Owens leaving the Liverpool Reds for Real Madrid. Oh well, such is sports some times. view post


posted 17 Aug 2004, 14:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Web view post


posted 18 Aug 2004, 14:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Dungeon view post


posted 18 Aug 2004, 14:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Alric, Auditor

ha. yeah, I'd imagine that some marketing wizard came up with the "uniforms" for women's beach volleyball. view post


posted 18 Aug 2004, 19:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Kung-Fu view post


posted 18 Aug 2004, 19:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Alric, Auditor

I think money stains a great deal of all professional sports, in all places. I know it's the case here in the US. view post


posted 19 Aug 2004, 16:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Robin view post


posted 19 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Opera view post


posted 20 Aug 2004, 16:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

golf view post


posted 20 Aug 2004, 16:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

That is a good one, Larry. I was in the mood for guitar music today too... Satriani ~ Strange Beautiful Music view post


posted 23 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and crew... felt like a Jazz sort of Monday. view post


posted 23 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Ruby (as in Jack) view post


posted 23 Aug 2004, 18:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Templar (which makes me think of a certain book by Eco) view post


posted 24 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Cave view post


posted 24 Aug 2004, 21:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Alric, Auditor

[quote="NorthernPlato":2h0mcn66]Good afternoon all, I'm curious, what does a book club discuss? Would it be similar to book studies we all used to do in school? [/quote:2h0mcn66] Well, you can put a bit of that unease to rest. For the most part, book clubs are run in a bit more open fashion. A group of participants, or Gran in this case, might pick a book of interest. It'd be mentioned that a discussion of the book would take place at a certain date. When it comes time, we talk about what we liked, what we didn't, specific developments, philosophies, etc. view post


posted 24 Aug 2004, 21:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Alric, Auditor

Grantaire, I'd be willing to help out too if you need any ideas or have some questions. I've been tag teaming with Larry doing Book Clubs for a little over a year now. But, as this is your deal, make sure you put a bit of your own spin on this. Have fun with it. view post


posted 25 Aug 2004, 14:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Retro view post


posted 25 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionBook Club Talk by Alric, Auditor

Great to hear, Gran. Good luck with classes and the homework. And like I said, let me know if you want any help with anything. view post


posted 25 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Literature DiscussionBooks that have induced a mindfuck by Alric, Auditor

I'll reiterate... it's not a bad list though I'd agree with jfclark's assessment... if all of those books produced that claimed result on his mind, I'd question the guy's sanity. :wink: I've read all of or portions of a great many those titles. Still, I think you should link to the post ... Riffing off my earlier post. The books in that thread are a bit more interesting. view post


posted 25 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Literature DiscussionStephen Erikson's Books by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Orion_metalhead":105gggm1]i keep seeing the book at the bookstore and i always pick it up and i always read the little info in the jacket cover and i never buy it. it sounds great but i never had the urge to buy it. ill probably look on ebay for it cheap that way if i dont liek it i wont get angry at spending 26 dollars. where can i order the Warrior Prophet from? it seems all of you have read it but i cant even find it anywhere.[/quote:105gggm1] Well, I'd definitely suggest picking up Erikson, though I can understand the desire to save some money. Hardcover prices these days are steep. Gardens of the Moon is a very solid, very entertaining fantasy novel with detailed world building and interesting characters. The true reason to buy GotM is to get to books 2 and 3, really 2-5, because those are truly amazing fantasy novels, with engrossing action, captivating characters and emotion enducing scenes. As for WP, it isn't available in the states yet, but is available, along with all the published Erikson books, through Amazon.ca. The Canadian site has good prices on both books and shipping, just remember that it is in Canadian currency. view post


posted 26 Aug 2004, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Dizzy view post


posted 27 Aug 2004, 13:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Whine view post


posted 27 Aug 2004, 13:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

Yes... the 5 disk retrospective set released about 2 years ago. So, plenty of Yes. view post


posted 28 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Book ClubOfficial Book Club discussion nominations by Alric, Auditor

I'd agree with Larry. For the first working of the Book Club discussion, it would be a good idea to discuss a book that has been out and can be readily discussed. I'd lean toward [i:syao8w6j]Gardens of the Moon[/i:syao8w6j] personally, but the Martin pick would work as well. Another suggestion would be Gene Wolfe's more recent release... [i:syao8w6j]The Knight[/i:syao8w6j]. It is somewhat more accessible than his New Sun series. Plus, the second, and final, book in that series is set to be released toward the end of the year. That way we could be set to do a book club on a newly released book shortly after it comes out... [i:syao8w6j]The Wizard[/i:syao8w6j]. Still, Grantaire, feel free to blaze new pathways if you want to. This is your show, buddy. view post


posted 28 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

BFG view post


posted 28 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionOlympics... by Alric, Auditor

Well, good luck with it Sovin. You'll have to let us know how it goes. I've always admired the sport, and people who participate in it. view post


posted 28 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

I'm listening to the complete works of J. Cash today. Currently... Buring Ring of Fire. view post


posted 30 Aug 2004, 15:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Cement Block (long story) view post


posted 31 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Crazy view post


posted 31 Aug 2004, 20:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

Yardbirds were a great band, in most of their iterations. Great songs even if most people aren't familiar with them. Having a Dylan sort of day myself. view post


posted 01 Sep 2004, 21:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

mystery view post


posted 03 Sep 2004, 15:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Shock view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 18:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Pale view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 18:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat other sites are you active on? by Alric, Auditor

I'm primarily active on wotmania.com, where I am an admin of the Other Fantasy sections and the Writers' Message Board. I'm more active here than I am at the malazan forum, primarily because it's newer and really still developing. As for other places, I pop in many places every once and a while. Oh, Larry didn't mention this, but we have a Blog site as well that links to wotmania, OF Blog of the Fallen. It's a place that lets us approach topics and discussions in a different way than many of the sites we are active on. Check Aldarion's sig for the address. :wink: view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 19:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

Currently reading... Dan Simmons' [i:14ji6b99]Ilium[/i:14ji6b99], a re-read, in preparation for the Book Club discussion that I'm running on wotmania.com on 13 of September. Ian MacLeod's [i:14ji6b99]The Light Ages[/i:14ji6b99] it has been slow going due to my own lack of time. view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 19:09 in Literature DiscussionWhat subgroup of speculative fiction do you prefer? by Alric, Auditor

I'm not a big fan of categorization myself, and I rarely categorize in my own mind what it is I'm reading. A lot of what I read seems to fall between several of the generally accepted terms. Authors like Mieville, Gaiman, MacLeod, Simmons, DeLint, Wolfe, to name a few seem to be able to blend the boundries, create new rules and simply let the story flow where it may. So, what I most like to read are well-written stories. Whether or not the story is set in a dystopic, near-future or a mythical, magic filled created world of dragons doesn't matter to me as long as the story is well-written, well-crafted, populated with interesting and accessible characters. view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 19:09 in Literature DiscussionIlium by Alric, Auditor

A reminder: I'll be hosting a book club discussion of Dan Simmons' [i:3tiamjee]Ilium[/i:3tiamjee] on Monday, September 13, at wotmania.com. Below is a link to the announcement post I made on wotmania if you'd like to check it out, see some of the suggested discussion topics, etc. [url:3tiamjee]http://www.wotmania.com/fantasymessageboardshowmessage.asp?MessageID=104788[/url:3tiamjee] view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 19:09 in Book ClubAlright, our first book club discussion is going to be by Alric, Auditor

I'm not online at all on weekends. Though, with a smaller site like this, this discussion should last quite some time, so I can get in on the action a few days after it has been started. view post


posted 07 Sep 2004, 20:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Stand (as in The Stand) view post


posted 08 Sep 2004, 15:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Taliesin":dlkqi9av]And, I'm sort of reading [i:dlkqi9av]Gates of Fire[/i:dlkqi9av] by Steven Pressfield, about the battle of Thermopylae. Read 5 pages of that one while eating my lunch today.... School sure does screw up my reading schedule :wink: Though, it does bring about the interesting experience of simultaneously reading [i:dlkqi9av]Ilium[/i:dlkqi9av] and the Iliad.[/quote:dlkqi9av] [i:dlkqi9av]Gates of Fire[/i:dlkqi9av] is a very good historical fiction read. I think it should appeal to most fantasy readers, especially fans of Steven Erikson. As for reading Ilium and the Iliad at the same time, well, that should be interesting if nothing else. view post


posted 09 Sep 2004, 18:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

score (no) view post


posted 09 Sep 2004, 20:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Alric, Auditor

Interesting conversation so far. There has been a little bit of a whole lot expressed in the many responses. There has been Scientific Realism, Nihilism, Post-Structuralism, creationism vs evolution, even a little Christian Apologetics. Let me address the original question first. Are we inclined to believe in some sort of primary orginator(s) outside the realm of chance and chaos? Yes, I point to the overwhelming evidence of history to show that each and every society, that we have reasonable information on, had some sort of rationalization of existence that included a God or primary being. While these images and stories varied, the fact that humans of all sorts and in all locations held to these stories should weigh strongly on the nature of our thought process. We seem to be designed to seek out some source, some meaning or process that explains origination and purpose. Pre-scientific people obviously explained things mystically. Science is the active seeking of knowledge and understanding of the world and universe around us. Now, I have no problems admitting that I am Christian, and as such believe that God created all things. However, I am not one that ascribes to the literalization of Genesis to form a psuedo-sceintific "theory" known as creationism. Now if you want to get into the different discussions around the biblical texts, pre-scientific creation myth vs scientific fact (Genesis creation as a factual step by step account), differences in understanding within the Christian community... well, that is another series of posts. As a Christian, I have nothing against science, and in fact feel that science is a vital and important practice. I agree Scott, that science offers a great deal and that as an approach that is self-corrective, or at least it is when working properly, is a great deal more useful in discussion and study than blind fanaticism. However, science is not without it's certain delusional blind spots on occasion. All human endevours are, as we are truly incapable of true objective disconnection. Evolution is a wonderful theory, a theory that carries a lot of weight, a theory that is becoming ever more political within the scientific community it seems. Now, I certainly believe that animals/organisms can change and adapt over time due to genetic mutation, adaption, etc. However, I recognize that evolutionary theory has gaps in it as well. I look to some of the more recent developments and studies being produced by those supporting a somewhat newer scientific theory termed Intelligent Design. Now, I want to point out that this is not a Christian theory, though many Christian scientists do work in this area, but a scientific one where meta-physical discussion is left behind, at least for the most part. I do not bring this up to criticize evolution so much as I bring it up as a point that science does look at itself when new and conflicting evidence comes to light. It is really quite exciting. Anyway, I thought I'd weigh in since Larry (Aldarion) has been prodding me to get involved in these discussion. Thanks, Larry. :wink: view post


posted 10 Sep 2004, 14:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Grantaire":382p0sw4]Good to see you join in Alric :wink: [quote:382p0sw4]Now, I have no problems admitting that I am Christian, and as such believe that God created all things. However, I am not one that ascribes to the literalization of Genesis to form a psuedo-sceintific "theory" known as creationism. Now if you want to get into the different discussions around the biblical texts, pre-scientific creation myth vs scientific fact (Genesis creation as a factual step by step account), differences in understanding within the Christian community... well, that is another series of posts. [/quote:382p0sw4] If you don't mind my asking you, why exactly do you believe that?[/quote:382p0sw4] I'd be happy to, but you'll have to direct me to exactly which "that" you are referring too. There are several rather large discussion points in that smallish paragraph, so it'd be helpful if you point me in the right direction. :wink: view post


posted 10 Sep 2004, 14:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Cu'jara Cinmoi":wz4vgbj2] I realize this must sound horribly cynical, Alric, but the problems with intelligent design really are profound.[/quote:wz4vgbj2] Cynical, not at all. Critical, absolutely. And I find nothing wrong with that. As I said above, I didn't offer Intelligent Design as a rebuff of Evolution, but simply as an example of elements of the scientific community engaging in the very exercise that you called one of science's true strengths, critical self-evaluation. Your critique of Intelligent Design, as far as I can tell, is mostly valid. I am not a scientist, and would never claim a special knowledge or understanding of the finer details of any of the scientific fields. I am a historian and a reader of diverse materials, which is more than enough to keep me busy. Whatever you want to term it, Intelligent Design, is being studied and even furthered by predominantly non-Christian sources. Now, that certainly doesn't limit the level of idealism many of those indivduals probably have. As much as I know about Intelligent Design Theory, and admittedly it isn't much more than a simple survey of major points, it does revolve around the issue of complexity. There are a great many specifics in that search, complex proteins, fossil explosion, DNA/RNA functionality and information load. But that is neither here nor there. As I said, I did not offer ID as a thing to be believed, merely as sidenote. I am much more familiar and comfortable with discussions of evolution. Though, as I see it, a definite and not specifically related tangent to the question at hand. Oh, and nice to "meet" you, Scott. view post


posted 10 Sep 2004, 14:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Aldarion":2hah2bq5]You've been around me too long, haven't you Jake? ;) Nice reply there. Needless to say, I do wonder how one could discuss all of the possible pertinent points (say that three times fast! :P) in one measly wittle post. Wanna try, though? :P[/quote:2hah2bq5] Geez, Larry. I guess I could take a stab at a nice summary of the points. But, I'm not going to do it right now. I'm about 15 minutes away from leaving on a mini-vacation to the lake cabin with my wife. So, it'll have to wait. view post


posted 10 Sep 2004, 14:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

kick (to break up the saying) view post


posted 10 Sep 2004, 15:09 in ReviewsSusanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Alric, Auditor

Nice review. I read Clute's and another very similar one a couple days ago. It sounds pretty much as I expected. So, I'm happy that we've been keeping this title in the minds of people at OF and here. I look forward to starting my copy. ;) view post


posted 13 Sep 2004, 15:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

brilliant view post


posted 14 Sep 2004, 14:09 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Grantaire":7tx2m6m2]Alric, I'm referring to your christian beliefs. I don't know exactly what church you belong to, but why do you have those beliefs?[/quote:7tx2m6m2] Well, that is always a difficult question to answer briefly and in anything less than an actual live conversation. I will try to give you some sort of answer. I don't know whether or not this would be better handled as a private note or not. What do you think? view post


posted 16 Sep 2004, 18:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionTop 5 Sci-fi Series/ books by Alric, Auditor

A short list of my favorites: 1. Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe (really 4 books plus a 5th that followed later) 2. Hyperion & The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons 3. Ilium by Dan Simmons (the second book Olympos hasn't been released) 4. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Miller jr. 5. Dune by Frank Herbert Ilium might be my favorite book of the bunch, but Wolfe's is a true must read of the genre and any literature for that matter. view post


posted 23 Sep 2004, 14:09 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Stiff view post


posted 01 Oct 2004, 17:10 in Off-Topic DiscussionBad, bad book. BAAAD. by Alric, Auditor

Any book written by a Bronte woman. Terrible! Jude the Obscure was pretty awful as well. I couldn't stand In Legend Born by Laura Resnick, and I wish I hadn't spent $2 to buy it used. Not only was it highly cliche, but the writing was on the level of a bad romance novel. view post


posted 01 Oct 2004, 17:10 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

without view post


posted 01 Oct 2004, 17:10 in Literature Discussiondark tower? by Alric, Auditor

For those interested, I'll be hosting an impromptu Dark Tower Series discussion over at Wotmania.com on the OF page on 4 October. It'll be a loose post allowing for the discussion of each book in the series. If you're not familiar with the posting format at wotmania, you can post under different headings without fear of getting a spoiler if you haven't read the final book yet. I'll post a link when the time comes. view post


posted 01 Oct 2004, 18:10 in Book ClubA Game of Thrones book club discussion open by Alric, Auditor

On a few of the points... As a student of English history, I found Martin's use of the history of The War of Roses as a model. It allows Martin to get a firmer grasp on the grit and nature of a political struggle such as this. Toward this end, I think that Martin has made some brilliant decisions. Of all fantasy books out in recent years, Martin's has one of the best balances of political intrigue matched with moments of brute physicality. I enjoyed that. The fantasy aspects of this book... Well, I can understand why people would say that there was a lack, something missing to make this story and actual fantasy. However, the stark and fantastical prologue pretty much fixes the ultimate "other" sense in the reader's mind. That opening always stalked the back of my mind no matter how gritty and "real" the bulk of the action turned out to be. Martin is writting stories within a much larger story. Winter is coming, and there will be nothing mundane about this coming winter. Characters... I think the characterization in this book is the best out of the three. Let me break that into a few directions. The character that stands out most to me in the first book is Eddard Stark. He is both dynamic and solid. He is a man of action torn between his sense of friendship, his sense of duty and his love for his wife and family. He is quite excellently rendered. Also, the Imp comes alive as the book goes along. Now, I think the characterization in this book is the best because I think Marin forces his hand too much in later books, especially in some aspects with the Imp (battle prowess in the battle with the chains) and mostly with Arya. He is trying so hard to make us believe that she is a bad-ass character that it reeks of false effort. She is not consistent with what she does, thinks and accomplishes. As such, I tend to lose interest in Arya as the series progresses. The nature of the writing is strong in this book. The gritty focus on details and straight forward approach to telling the story wasn't over done in this book. In fact, it provided a great deal of the energy. It gets a bit overdone in the next two books, but that is a different issue. All in all, it is one of the best first books in a fantasy series that I've read in a long time. It helps that Martin was very much a vetern writer when he started this novel. It showed. view post


posted 28 Oct 2004, 16:10 in Off-Topic DiscussionPolitical Affiliation? by Alric, Auditor

I'd call myself a Kennedy Liberal, which is to say that I would have been a liberal many, many years ago. These days, I don't hold to an association as I think most of the "dyed in the wool" postions are 1 part right to 9 parts wrong. US politics is becoming ever more divorced from the reality of life, social, economic and even safety concerns. It's odd. view post


posted 28 Oct 2004, 16:10 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

ego view post


posted 28 Oct 2004, 16:10 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

At the moment, I'm reading [i:3gwoz2wy]The Third Policeman[/i:3gwoz2wy] by Flann O'Brien. The man was brilliant in his way. view post


posted 28 Oct 2004, 16:10 in Literature DiscussionAny horror fans here? by Alric, Auditor

If I have to use the genre classifications, I will... I just don't like them much. I haven't read much that would considered horror in today's standards. Oh, I've read some of the classics like Mary Shelly and Brom Stoker, plus some Lovecraft. I've read one King horror book, which I don't count the Dark Tower series... epic quest in that regard. I've read some by Dan Simmons. Those would be it for pure horror. Now, I've been reading a lot of the new generation books that are blending a great deal of these genre lines. One I can think of right off hand is China Mieville's [i:47f1d5of]Perdido Street Station[/i:47f1d5of], which blended a great many styles, including horror and supense. Alexander Irvine's [i:47f1d5of]A Scattering of Jades[/i:47f1d5of] is another good example. The story has several classic horror elements, good enough to win a International Horror Guild Award, but I wouldn't classify it as a horror. I enjoy the tendency of some authors today to thrill you with action and intrigue at one moment, and at the next frighten you silly with top-notch suspense and thriller. view post


posted 14 Dec 2004, 21:12 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

Recently finished Gene Wolfe's latest... The Wizard... which was excellent. Currently, I'm reading Stephen Brust's [i:2z29ztf1]Jhereg[/i:2z29ztf1]. view post


posted 14 Dec 2004, 21:12 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Celtics view post


posted 20 Dec 2004, 18:12 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

Jethro Tull at the Isle of Wight music festival in 1970. view post


posted 20 Dec 2004, 18:12 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

enemy view post


Re: Wanna vote in this year's Awards? posted 20 Dec 2004, 18:12 in Literature DiscussionWanna vote in this year's Awards? by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Aldarion":382moedg]Hey, not only am I a semi-regular here, but I'm also the main moderator/administrator over at the Other Fantasy section of wotmania.[/quote:382moedg] Ha! "... [i:382moedg]one of[/i:382moedg] the..." :wink: view post


posted 21 Jan 2005, 20:01 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

[i:2dtv0few]A Telling of Stars[/i:2dtv0few] by Caitlin Sweet I'm about 70 pages in and stuggling a little bit. Sweet writes beautifully, there is no denying that, but there are aspects that are a bit rough. The book is being told as a fable, which makes the feel of the story a bit odd. Also, this being a first book, the pacing and plotting don't work well together. The book feels rushed. Still, there is enough real quality to drive me onwards. view post


posted 21 Jan 2005, 20:01 in Literature DiscussionIlium by Alric, Auditor

Glad that you enjoyed the book, Sovin. It's one of my favorite novels published in the past decade. Ilium is definitely Simmons at his best... and that is saying much. view post


posted 16 Feb 2005, 18:02 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Union view post


posted 16 Feb 2005, 18:02 in Off-Topic DiscussionGood Book? by Alric, Auditor

I have to agree with Will on this one. There are some series that can be read out of sequence, though I'd never suggest it for the first time through. Erikson's Malazan series could be read, 1-3-2-4-5, with minimal spoilers for the out of sequence books. In a series like Bakkers, it's a bad idea to read the books out of sequence. A great deal of the weight and power of later books comes from the character development and mystery of the earlier books. Sometimes, a story needs time to build, wrap a reader up, before it explodes. If you skip to the middle or last book, you miss the careful preparations of the author, you miss the depth, and power of the actions, revelations and decisions. view post


posted 16 Feb 2005, 18:02 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

I just finished Alexander Irvine's second book, [i:3iyfhh55]One King, One Soldier[/i:3iyfhh55], which is a combination tale dealing with the Fisher King myth, Egyptian mythology, Arthurian Lore, and Templar Mystery. The book wasn't brilliant, I enjoyed Tim Powers Fisher King novel, [i:3iyfhh55]Last Call[/i:3iyfhh55], more, but it was quite good. You get an alternative view of history between 1890 and 1950 or so. Right now, I just started Tim Powers [i:3iyfhh55]The Anubis Gates[/i:3iyfhh55], which is a time travel book combining Egyptian Mythology, 1800's England, and strange collection of characters. The Prologue was quite thrilling. view post


posted 23 Mar 2005, 18:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

I just finished Tim Powers' delightful time-travel novel, [i:39c2ys9t]The Anubis Gates[/i:39c2ys9t]. Currenlty, I'm in the midst of K.J. Bishop's debut novel, [i:39c2ys9t]The Etched City[/i:39c2ys9t], which is quite interesting. In the near future, I'm going to switch veins and hit up a few gritty action novels... Stover's [i:39c2ys9t]Heroes Die[/i:39c2ys9t] is at the top of the pile. view post


posted 23 Mar 2005, 18:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

right at the moment... Jerry Garcia and David Grisman's - Acoustic Disc acd-2 view post


posted 23 Mar 2005, 18:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

random view post


posted 23 Mar 2005, 18:03 in Literature DiscussionStephen Erikson's Books by Alric, Auditor

I've enjoyed my recent chance to reread Erikson's series books 1 through 5 and both of the novellas released to date. Right now, I'm trying to be content waiting for the soon to be released prequel novel by Esslemont, who is a close friend of Eriksons. I'm interested in the novel both in concept and in content as it will span only a single day, or approx., and cover the events around the assasination of Dancer and Kellenved. Yes... patience. Of course, you could also head over to Malazan.com to catch the Prologue to Bone Hunters. [url:3pmi9i47]http://malazan.com/eve/ubb.x/a/tpc/f/930106197/m/352106879[/url:3pmi9i47] view post


posted 23 Mar 2005, 18:03 in Literature DiscussionFeast for Crows due this Summer by Alric, Auditor

I've adopted this approach to Martin... I'll read it when I see it. When it comes to Martin, I'm fully confident that he'll deliver a very worthy book... in his own time. I'm more than happy to let him have all the time he needs. view post


The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers posted 23 Mar 2005, 19:03 in ReviewsThe Anubis Gates by Tim Powers by Alric, Auditor

I've finished another book that I thought worthy of a full review. This book isn't new, and it isn't specifically a classic. Tim Powers' [b:2eh6nv46]The Anubis Gates[/b:2eh6nv46], published in December 1983, winner of the 1984 Philip K. Dick award, is a book that crosses many genres blended together in a way only Powers could manage. London, early 1800's, a mysterious duo with Egyptian ties attempt a desparate spell to reopen The Anubis Gates in order to strengthen magic and allow a flow across time. The spell goes amiss, but something happens. Holes have been punched through time. Technically, this book is called a time travel novel, but it really is so much more. Powers, an early pioneer of the Steam Punk style, blends action, adventure, secret history, science, fantasy, mystery, suspense and horror to create a truly unique novel. The players are an Egyptian sorceror, a disfigured clown, a body-switching "werewolf", a brain-washed Lord Byron, Samuel Coleridge, a young woman thought to be a young man, and the primary hero, Professor Brendan Doyle. The bulk of this story takes place in London of 1810/11, though parts take place in "modern" times. This is a quick-paced novel, that moves the reader into surprising directions. The writing is crisp, the ideas are creative and wonderfully realized. The characters are interesting and intriguing. This is a story of risks, mistakes, luck, terror and quick changes in fortune. Powers is truly gifted in the way he plots his novels, how the many different ideas, directions, characters blend together in an integrated whole. The beauty of this novel is that no one is ever entirely certain of what is going on. The characters make incorrect judgements of situations and other characters that lead them to actions and reponses that are surprising and completely entertaining. As the reader, you're never entirely certain of what will happen next even as you're aware of the mistakes the characters are making. While the novel was not exactly what I expected, I definitely recommend The Anubis Gates to anyone and everyone who might be interested in something different... even if you've sworn to never read a time travel novel. This book really has something for everyone... action, magic, suspense, tragedy, mystery, loss, love, secret history, humor, mythical characters, real characters. This novel, along with Powers later novel, Last Call, really need to make onto your "If I were stranded on a Desert Island" list. Thankfully, the book was rereleased in 1997 and should be generally available. [b:2eh6nv46]The Anubis Gates[/b:2eh6nv46] by Tim Powers view post


One King, One Soldier by Alexander Irvine posted 23 Mar 2005, 19:03 in ReviewsOne King, One Soldier by Alexander Irvine by Alric, Auditor

As I mentioned to a few people in passing, I've been reading Alexander Irvine's [b:1z4cxigz]One King, One Soldier[/b:1z4cxigz], on Locus' 2004 Suggested Reading List. Well, I finished the book a while back, and I've spent some time thinking it over. So, my review: The elements are all here, the puzzle awaits. Magic and poetry are at once in tension and one the same. Irvine's novle tackles the myths, themes and mysteries that others have tackled, most notably Umberto Eco in [i:1z4cxigz]Foucault's Pendulum[/i:1z4cxigz] and Tim Powers in [i:1z4cxigz]Last Call[/i:1z4cxigz]. This is the story and secret history of the Fisher King (Osiris, Arthur, etc), and it blends african, egyptian, arthurian legend, as well as the grail, the ark of the covenant and the Knights of the Temple (templars). This mix is both familiar and suprisingly new and interesting. The book is really found in the intersection of the stories of 3 different people, ranging from the late 1800s to the Korean War. Lance Porter, a young American wounded while in combat in Korea, finds himself out of the army and adrift in San Francisco, with nothing but a few hundred dollars and a mysterious and disturbing letter from his girl friend... and a bunch of odd people seeking him out. Arthur Rimbaud, a 30 something Frenchman, a one time solider, poet, explorer, is caught up in race to find the grail in imperial Africa in 1890. Following in his father's footsteps, he is about to play the game for himself, and cross both the templars and the heirs of King Soloman. George Gibson, a young American baseball player barnstorming across Nova Scotia in 1890 waiting to be called to the professional league. In a small game on a farm, he decides to go treasure hunting, and finds something that will forever change his life and the entire world. [i:1z4cxigz]One King, One Soldier[/i:1z4cxigz] is Irvine's second novel, and he has shown growth in his style and voice from his first, A Scattering of Jades. However, where as this novel is better shaped, and paced, it lacks some of the vivid creativity of the first. Also, Irvine opted for an ending that did not bring complete resolution. In fact, the resolution of the book leaves room for a possible sequel... not that I've heard of anything being planned. What it does have is vision and character. While you're never on firm ground as to what is exactly going on behind the scenes, you are alway on the edge as the reader. At 335 pages, Irvine manages to pack in a very dense and entertaining story in a relatively thin book. The climatic scene of each of the different stories, is powerful in an odd way, combining both belief and image into something that is compelling for both the characters and the readers. While the final resolution definitely is left in the air, Irvine does achieve a definite sense of completion and completeness. If you enjoy a creative mix of world myth, mystery and conspiracy, as well as reading fantasy books that include real places and events... George follows the Stanley expedition across the Congo... this book is more than worth a read. As is the case in this style of book, be prepared for alternate reasons for Franklin D. Roosevelt's illness, Italian interest in Ethiopia, the design of the Chartes Cathedral, etc. Are gay men the greatest magicians? All in all, this was a fun read. If you find yourself out on a desert island some time, [b:1z4cxigz]One King, One Soldier[/b:1z4cxigz] by Alexander Irvine, would be a nice change of pace from a Martin, Erikson, Bakker, Simmons, Vance. It's not the perfect book, but it is something worth reading. view post


The Dragon Masters by Jack Vance posted 23 Mar 2005, 19:03 in ReviewsThe Dragon Masters by Jack Vance by Alric, Auditor

Rounding out my recent focus of classic scifi novels, I finished reading, about a week ago, the hugo winning [b:18tklk2m]The Dragon Masters[/b:18tklk2m] by Jack Vance. As is the case with many classic scifi stories, this one isn't very long, about 150+ pages in trade form, and was package with another Vance story, the classic novella, "The Last Castle". However, for as short as the story was, Vance managed to capture a great deal of character, action and imagination. Of the few Vance novels I've read to this point, and that is admittedly few, this has been my favorite. Humans live in vales and valleys of a rocky and harsh world lost somewhere in space. Millenia ago, the Old Human Empire stretched forth throughout the Universe, controlling and populating many planets around many suns. That empire collapsed in war and strife. Now, this lone planet might be the last human dwelling in a universe were the word "earth" only refers to the mythical home planet of the human race. Joaz Banabek is the ruler of one of the more prosperous valleys. He is ambitious and eager to recapture some of the lost technology and knowledge from the past. He'd like to visit other worlds, find the lost human civilzation. His neighbor, Ervis Carcolo, is bent on domination of his own planet. Within the control of both men are powerful armies of dragons... itelligent, deadly and bred for specific duties. However, looming over them, is the ever present threat, or myth, of a vagrant planet, home of the dragons ancestors, who have invaded in the past and may again, with their genetically enhanced and changed human warriors. The writing is crisp, and the story flows quickly. There is an interweaving of PoVs and various plot elements that come together to create a rather fulfilling short novel. Vance is very good at capturing the imagination of his readers by linking strong images with interesting ideas and captivating action sequences. My only complaint is that the book really deserved to be another 100 to 150 pages longer. I think Vance had the story and material to give the world more development, push the characters more and make for a more complete novel. As is, it seems just a bit chopped. I've you're a scifi fan and are looking to read a classic, pick up Jack Vance's [b:18tklk2m][u:18tklk2m]The Dragon Masters.[/u:18tklk2m][/b:18tklk2m] view post


Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny posted 23 Mar 2005, 19:03 in ReviewsLord of Light by Roger Zelazny by Alric, Auditor

I’ve been trying to incorporate a few Science Fiction classics into my reading schedule. My latest read turned out to be a truly enjoyable experience… scifi classic and Hugo award winner, [b:1l567t6a]Lord of Light[/b:1l567t6a] by Roger Zelazny. It is difficult to read a landmark work, such as [i:1l567t6a]Lord of Light[/i:1l567t6a], for the first time and not think of the many stories and plot elements that it holds in common with books that I’ve read previously. Once one fixes in on the fact that this book came first, this book set the mold the others have followed, the reading experience becomes all the more amazing. [i:1l567t6a]Lord of Light[/i:1l567t6a] was published in 1967 and won the Hugo for best SciFi novel in 1968. [list:1l567t6a][i:1l567t6a] His followers called him Mahasamataman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the –ataman, however, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then, he never claimed not be a god.[/i:1l567t6a][/list:u:1l567t6a] Thus begins the tale of a man, a culture and an entire world. It is difficult to give a good description of the story without ruining some of the skill and beauty of Zelazny’s unveiling. However, there is much to tell. The story takes place on another world far in the future. The culture/religion is Hindu in nature and takes a great deal of depth and feel from the Hindu cultures of South East Asia. This is a story of colonization, of Gods, of war and revenge. The Hindu God’s walk on this world and Sam is known as the Buddha, counter-influence to the Hindu religion. But who are they? What are they? The time-line of Zelazny’s story movies along a bit unconventionally, and bit haphazardly, but this style allowed him to slowly unveil a greater feel and understanding for the history of the land, the people and the events being narrated. The depth and complexity of the story, the world building and the issues being portrayed are a perfect compliment to the intriguing and mysterious characters. The more we learn, the more we want to, and find we need to, know. The tone and style is at times serious, at times light, often tense and exciting. You'll find yourself thinking about some of the characters, what you'd do if you'd be in their place. What would your aspect and your attribute be? Where would you stand on the issues? This is a story to feed the imagination. I’ll offer only a few detractors, and those only in comparison to the real strengths of the novel. At first, the break in the initial timeline causes a good deal of confusion. It is set up, but the reality of the story shift is a bit difficult to follow. The good thing is that Zelazny continues to move his story and the readers follow along. You’ll fit the puzzle together when you need to. Secondly, and this is no fault of Zelazny’s, is that several aspects of the story are not that uncommon these days, though Lord of Light is responsible for starting some these trends and types. The ending, while completely satisfying and in keeping with the rest of the narrative, is more a leaving off than an actual ending, the reader is simply drifting out of the specifics of a story. Read this book. If you’re looking for a classic scifi novel, this is a great one to start with. If you’re not too crazy about scifi but want to try one out, this is a perfect novel to read. While the events, action and implements of this story are science fiction, the novel reads and feels somehow equal parts fantasy. You especially want to read this novel if you’ve enjoyed Dan Simmons’ [b:1l567t6a]Ilium[/b:1l567t6a] and Kim Stanley Robinson’s [b:1l567t6a]Red Mars[/b:1l567t6a]. LOL combines a lot of the themes and ideas, to different extentions and developments, that both those authors and texts have explored. [i:1l567t6a]Lord of Light[/i:1l567t6a] is a fascinating, exciting, quick and completely rewarding novel. Read this book. If you’re on that proverbial desert island, you’ll want Roger Zelazny’s [b:1l567t6a][u:1l567t6a]Lord of Light[/u:1l567t6a][/b:1l567t6a] as a part of your supply! view post


posted 23 Mar 2005, 20:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionI HATE PEOPLE... by Alric, Auditor

I get tired of the people who desparately cling to a certain, limited idea of what makes a story a fantasy. This is one of the reasons I'm not a fan of the genrefication of literature. Once you start classifying books by what things they have in common, it's too easy to lose originality and open expectations of quality. view post


posted 24 Mar 2005, 18:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

chaos view post


posted 24 Mar 2005, 18:03 in Member Written WorksConnolly by Alric, Auditor

It was... good. I think I need to read that again, so as to get a better feel for it. view post


posted 24 Mar 2005, 18:03 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Alric, Auditor

[quote="tellner":cl6jo7im]There's a G-d. I ain't Him.[/quote:cl6jo7im] That is one of the fundamental realizations in philosophy and self-awareness. Of course, it only creates more questions, but they certainly are interesting questions. view post


What is your favorite sport? posted 24 Mar 2005, 18:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is your favorite sport? by Alric, Auditor

I'm just curious which sports people enjoy around these parts. It's always fun to know who you can talk with about certain things. You know, it's a community building thing. :wink: My favorite sport is American Football, which I played for several years. I don't so much have a favorite team as I'm a hard-luck supporter for my local team, the Minnesota Vikings. They've managed to lose the championship game 4 times in their history while never winning. Secondly, I'd say ice hockey. It was my favorite sport to play, though I ended up being a goalie. While I was a good goalie, it was not nearly as fun as skating out. My favorite team... well since the NHL is canceled, I'll have to say my state's college squad... The Minnesota Golden Gophers. My third favorite sport... Football (soccer). I'm one of those odd Americans who enjoy the sport and follow the European Leagues. I'm a Liverpool supporter. So... anyone else? Or, do you quite dislike sports all together? view post


posted 28 Mar 2005, 15:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is your favorite sport? by Alric, Auditor

Well, CFL is more of a sport than Arena League Football. As for March Madness, the weekend's games were quite good. I've never seen as many close, overtime games. It was very entertaining. Of course, my bracket is completely shot now. view post


posted 28 Mar 2005, 16:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionErikson? by Alric, Auditor

I can't recommend Erikson enough. As the others have mentioned, there are currently 5 books published in Canada and the UK, though only 2 have been published so far in the US. Gardens of the Moon: Picks up 10 years into a war pitting the Malazan Empire with the free cities on the continent of Genebackis. Only 2 cities remain free from the Empire's control. The story is one of intrigue, betrayal, wonderful world building and excellent action. Who can be trusted? What is the mission? Deadhouse Gates: The story follows a few of the characters from GotM a few months after the end of book 1. They have sailed to a land on the brink of a Holy War/rebellion against the Malazan Empire which had conquered the land a decade or so prior. New characters and setting are extremely well done. The action is intense, the plotting is amazing and the story is truly excellent. One of the better epic fantasy reads of recent memory. Memory of Ice: Runs concurrent with Deadhouse Gates and picks up the story of the other main characters in GotM. Once again, the world building in this story is simply amazing. The action, plotting and pacing of this novel is again truly excellent. The characters, old and new, are thrilling. The armies of Malazan face a new and mysterious foe on the continenant of Genebackis. This book might even be better than Deadhouse Gates. House of Chains: This novel switches styles, a little, from the previous two. The first section exists almost as a novella about a savage character named Karsa Orlong. The remainder of the book picks up the story left off by Deadhouse Gates. The story is more character and overall plot driven, but it is still quite interesting. This is the story of the final clashes of the Holy War pitting the rebellion against the tattered and young Malazan army. Midnight Tides: This novel is interesting in that it takes place a couple decades prior to Gardens of the Moon and the other novels. It explains the prologue of book 4 as it is the story of one of the characters in HoC. This is probably Erikson's best written book, showing his range of excellent humor, engaging action, detailed characterization and world building. The story builds and enhances the readers overall understanding of the greater struggle that ties all the novels together. Bonehunters should be released toward the end of this year to early next year. There are also 2 novellas out, Blood Follows and Healthy Dead, which are prequel stories about a few minor characters that appear in MoI. Some of the other aspects of Erikson's books that make them worthwhile is that each stands as a lone novel. That isn't to say that you can read them in any order. I mean that each book is written in a way that it has a clear beginning, clear direction and a definite ending. The series is tied together, but each book doesn't have a complete cliff hanger at the end. The result is that the series is very satisfying to readers. view post


posted 29 Mar 2005, 16:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

mystery view post


posted 30 Mar 2005, 16:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionErikson? by Alric, Auditor

Well, enjoy it! GotM is a slow build, but a good book. view post


posted 30 Mar 2005, 16:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat's up with Terry Goodkind... by Alric, Auditor

That's a very good question. It even has some very specific answers. Goodkind is a mediocre author. He is capable, if he's willing to put the time and effort into a book, to write a decent enough fantasy novel. He's also proven that he can and will gladly write very bad fantasy. His plots are terribly derivative... even of each other. Nearly every book is a repeat of 2 or 3 primary plot points. Books 1 and 2, along with Faith of the Fallen show what Goodkind can do. Books like Blood of the Fold and Pillars of Creation show just how bad he can be. He writes very pointed political and philosophical opinions into his novels, which I don't agree with though some may. Still, that isn't the primary reason why people dislike Goodkind. He is generally reviled because of his attitude, ego and the way he interacts with people. He quite vocally claims to be the best author working in fantasy. He claims that every one of his novels creates new levels of thought and understanding for his readers. He scorns the rest of the genre, including Tolkien and other foundational authors. He claims to never read fantasy while his stories clearly bear the evidence of that lie. He is rude and insulting to those who have questions about his politics, philosophy or writing style. Goodkind is a mediocre writer with a few pretty decent books, along with a few pretty terrible books. It's his attitude and interactions with other people that make him generally disliked. view post


posted 30 Mar 2005, 16:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

obscure view post


posted 30 Mar 2005, 16:03 in Philosophy DiscussionWhat introduced you to philosophy? by Alric, Auditor

I think everyone who has ever been encouraged to think for themselves has been submerged in philosophy from that point on. However, there are always way points along our journey. My first formal introduction came by way of a discussion of Jung and eventually to the archetypes of human thought and expression as expressed in mythology. My first focused experience in philosophy was my first college course... an honors philosophy class for freshmen. I studied primarily Thomas Hume and Plato... an odd combination for a class. But, it was the nature of thought, self-knowledge and intelligence. It was quite difficult. view post


posted 30 Mar 2005, 16:03 in Philosophy DiscussionAMERICAN POLITICS... by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Cu'jara Cinmoi":1ps540mp]This comes back to my original question of what the [i:1ps540mp]purpose[/i:1ps540mp] of an economy is. I think it's clear that if it isn't working for everyone's benefit then it isn't working. Think about it. Anything with the word 'public' attached to it is in some state of fiscal crisis, and yet as a society, we're twice as wealthy as we were 30 years ago.[/quote:1ps540mp] Scott, can something as nebulous as "economy" have a true purpose? I think that organizations, institutions, individuals, etc. can take part in the economy for a desired and specific purpuse. In the same way, I think that those same entities can enter into the economy with intent to create some sort of purpose for it. Still, it seems to be a highly fractured purpose. I would venture as far as to say that the economy works exactly to the purpose of those who have the ability and desire to make it work for them, either the money, resources, ideas or ability to craft benefit out of the exchange of goods, services, capital, etc. I think it is more human failure that that system is manipulated for the good of the very few instead of a more inclusive, good of the whole. I live in an area that has been quite seduced my the "no new taxes, efficient government, cut-backs" type of platform being upheld by most conservatives. Year after year, I see the people who vote on that platform get exactly what they want. They don't get new state or federal taxes. But, they are losing public transportation, health care, affordable housing, pristine environment, quality education, adequate social services. It seems that a majority of people, even though they are not specifically getting richer, are happy with the illusion that they are better off because they don't have to pay an extra $100 a year in taxes. Of course, that doesn't stop people from complaining about health insurance or the quality of education in public schools. It's a frustrating mess. view post


posted 30 Mar 2005, 16:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

occult view post


posted 30 Mar 2005, 21:03 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

Gunslinger view post


posted 04 Apr 2005, 17:04 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

terminus view post


New Author Web Site posted 21 Apr 2005, 19:04 in Off-Topic DiscussionNew Author Web Site by Alric, Auditor

Hello, I thought I'd share with all of you the opening of a new author web site. Caitlin Sweet, [i:5eqmd335]A Telling of Stars[/i:5eqmd335] and [i:5eqmd335]The Silences of Home[/i:5eqmd335], started a web site exactly one week ago. Caitlin and Scott share publishers, and maybe even agents if I'm not mistaken. Anyway, Caitlin's book A Telling of Stars is a mavel in the creative and expert use of the English Langauge. The writing is almost lyrical, the scenes are vivid and sense-laden. From what I'm hearing from friends and critics, her second book, Silences, is even better. So, check out this new web site, along with the forum. The site design is very nice, with beautiful artistic work. Click the link. :D [url:5eqmd335]http://www.caitlinsweet.com/[/url:5eqmd335] view post


A Telling of Stars by Caitlin Sweet posted 02 Jun 2005, 20:06 in ReviewsA Telling of Stars by Caitlin Sweet by Alric, Auditor

I just recently finished a complete re-read of Caitlin Sweet's debut novel, [i:1ugijd5w]A Telling of Stars[/i:1ugijd5w], and felt compelled to share with you my thoughts and opinions. Still, it is difficult to know exactly how to start and what to say about this novel. The novel follows the story of a young woman, Jaele, on a continent-spanning journey. It is a journey of revenge after witnessing her family brutally murdered by a band of Sea Raiders, an event like what happened in her favorite childhood stories. We follow Jaele as she follows in ancient footsteps and as she adds a new chapter to an already ancient story of loss, war and revenge. As in all stories of journeys, this one is not simply a physical moving from one place to another. Sweet has created a moving and compelling story of discovery, both of self and the external world, as well as it is an emotional journey through every imaginable human condition. We see Jaele change with each new experience she has and with each person she meets. Sweet somehow manages to reach through the page and change us a little along the way. This is not a novel of high action and adventure, nor is this a gritty epic. The story is written in the form of a fable, a tale that intends to take its readers from one understanding to another along with the main character. The power of the book is from the magic of its language. Caitlin Sweet has written one of the most beautiful books that I've read in a very long time. The language is enthralling, poetic, lyrical. It is as if the book has been written as a verbal performance by a master storyteller. [i:1ugijd5w]A Telling of Stars[/i:1ugijd5w] was Caitlin Sweet's first novel, and it does show some of the expected shortcomings of a first novel. The novel's pace is very uneven, and while some of this is intentional, an aspect of this style of story, some of the pacing issues seem to be a result of storytelling difficulties. The first 40 pages are where it is most noticeable, and there are occasional times during the next 70 pages where pacing is uneven. The only other aspect of the novel that I felt a little troublesome was some of the ease of meetings and findings during the first half of the book. For a long while, especially after my first reading, I was certain that the novel's characterizations were also uneven and incomplete. However, I now hold the opinion that the characterization is as much a part of Jaele's overall journey of discovery as the rest of the novel. There are only a few characters that we see real completeness too, though all characters have a kind of depth and completeness when they are on the page with Jaele. In the end, I think this was more a victory for Caitlin than the weakness I originally, and mistakenly, assumed. I have to ask her forgiveness for early comments in this area. Ultimately, A Telling of Stars is a novel that tells its story through a complex weave of stories, of other Tellings. In this way also, along with beauty of language and vividness of image, does Sweet belong to a writting heritage that includes Gene Wolfe. The story is Jaele's telling, but her story is found in the intersection of the tales and stories of other people, history, unknowns. This is a story that depends on the power of the word, of memory, and understanding the connection between the two. I highly recommend this novel to those fans of storytellers such as Guy Gavriel Kay, Tad Williams, and Gene Wolfe. Caitlin Sweet has a style very much her own, but she certainly can stand with that company in her ability to weave together a compelling, complete story. For those of you interested in finding either of Caitlin's two published novels, [i:1ugijd5w]A Telling of Stars[/i:1ugijd5w] and [i:1ugijd5w]The Silences of Home[/i:1ugijd5w], the easiest and most direct way is to order from Amazon Canada. The price for the mass market paperback copy of Telling is $11 canadian, roughly $7 US, with a very reasonable shipping and handling, with no import fees. I got my book in just 3 days, so shipping is quite quick. Another option is to buy the book through the Used & New section of Amazon.com. Caitlin Sweet's [i:1ugijd5w]A Telling of Stars[/i:1ugijd5w] is certainly worth a place in most collections. The last 70 pages are amongst the most beautiful that I've ever read, in fantasy or anywhere. view post


posted 02 Jun 2005, 21:06 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Alric, Auditor

Cold Play ~ A Rush of Blood to the Head Can certainly see why they are being compared to U2... it's a quality album. view post


posted 02 Jun 2005, 21:06 in Off-Topic DiscussionMore about Erikson books... by Alric, Auditor

Midnight Tides acts almost as a stand alone novel, set in the same world and fitting into the overall plot arc, though set quite a few years before the start of GotM, having only one character in common with the rest of the series... of course, the novel is the story told by a character that is set up at the very end of HoC. So, you could read and completely enjoy the novel without real fear of spoilers. However, for the overall feel and flow of the series, I also suggest that you wait. I just found out today that my copy of Ian Cameran Esslemont's [i:22s80sdi]Night of Knives[/i:22s80sdi], the novel that depicts the day Emperor Kellenved and Dancer are killed, is shipping today. I'm rather excited about that. view post


posted 02 Jun 2005, 21:06 in Off-Topic DiscussionIt's true! by Alric, Auditor

It'll probably be 3 months in copy edit and final edit stage and then another month or so for production. So, I think the September/October call is a good one. I'm interested to see where some of those transitioning characters will fall... like Tyrion, where is that guy. I hope that Tyrion is in this novel. If he's not, then all I'm really interested in will be Jaime. view post


posted 02 Jun 2005, 21:06 in Literature DiscussionGates of Fire by Alric, Auditor

It is an excellently written novel. As a historian and historical fiction writer, I have to say that Pressfield managed a true gem with this novel. The characters and action really manage to draw the readers in, as well as giving them just a small feel of what it would have been like to stand that narrow strip of land at Thermopylae. view post


Olympos by Dan Simmons... posted 02 Jun 2005, 21:06 in Literature DiscussionOlympos by Dan Simmons... by Alric, Auditor

So, I managed to get sent an advanced review copy of Dan Simmons forthcoming [i:2vdghass]Olympos[/i:2vdghass]. I'm about 200 pages in on the almost 700 page trade paperback. It is quite good. So far, the first section focuses primarily on the war around Ilium and Mount Olympus. The narrative has just switched to earth and the old-style humans. I'll post a full review when I finish up... probably by early next week. view post


posted 03 Jun 2005, 17:06 in Literature DiscussionOlympos by Dan Simmons... by Alric, Auditor

You're a lucky man, Neil. I'm trying to get onto Advance Copy lists purely through my involvement in multiple web sites and a genre Blog. So far, I've managed a couple copies. Yes, Simmons can write a very good book. view post


posted 03 Jun 2005, 17:06 in Off-Topic DiscussionMore about Erikson books... by Alric, Auditor

I'll certainly post a reply as soon as I get through Night of Knives, which is currently only available through PS Publishing, the British company that put out the limited release, and through speciality stores like Clarkesworld. As the others have summed up, and the interview goes a long way in explaining, Esslemont and Erikson came up with the world and many of the characters together. Erikson put in a lot of work to finally get GotM published and get picked up by a major label. Esslemont's live went in other directions, moving around the world. Apparantly, Night of Knives was written sometime after GotM but before Deadhouse Gates. Esslemont is only now getting it published. If things work out, there are 5 full novels planned by Esslemont, based on how he and Erikson originally split up the world and the characters. You should definitely check out the interview. view post


Re: Quote posted 06 Jun 2005, 18:06 in Off-Topic DiscussionMore about Erikson books... by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Kidruhil Lancer":38zisef6]Obviously this guy hasn't read any of Scott's books. While the Malazen books are unquestionably more complex and on a larger scale than PoN, Mr Bakker is still a better writer than Mr. Erikson. Granted I haven't read books 3 and 4 of Erikson's series... but so far Deadhouse Gates is the only one that can compare to TDtCB or WP for style, ability, and pacing.[/quote:38zisef6] It's certain that Scott and Steve Erikson have different writing styles. TDtCB is certainly a more polished novel, in the sense of prose and style, than GotM. However, Erikson did write GotM nearly 6 years prior to writing Deadhouse Gates. I would certainly suggest holding open your opinion of Erikson until you get a chance to at least read book 3. Book 5 of his series is a very strongly written novel, his best written to date. Thankfully, it's possible to be fans of both, and enjoy their strengths and styles. view post


Olympos by Dan Simmons posted 17 Jun 2005, 18:06 in ReviewsOlympos by Dan Simmons by Alric, Auditor

At long last, I've finished Dan Simmons' yet to be released [b:3rhmpjge]Olympos[/b:3rhmpjge], the conclusion to 2003's [b:3rhmpjge]Ilium[/b:3rhmpjge]. Heck, I've been setting myself up to be a book reviewer simply to be able to get this book early, which it turned out to be my first Advanced Review Edition. So, here it goes: [i:3rhmpjge][b:3rhmpjge]Olympos[/b:3rhmpjge] by Dan Simmons[/i:3rhmpjge] is a massive book, both in size and scope. At the end of Ilium, war had truly been joined, war between the Gods and the Greek and Trojan heroes. War was coming to the old-style humans, or so promised Odysseus. The book starts 8 months after the previous book ends. Changes have come to the characters and the settings. Simmons adds new PoVs from characters we're already familiar with, and he adds, or increases roles of, several other characters. War has come, has been earnestly joined by all levels of people and beings. Fighting between man and man has grown to all out warfare between the powers behind the gods. Simmons has delivered a novel with an even larger scope, more action and entertaining developments than his previous novel. The story interesting and complex, and there are stories and histories behind the obvious. In these ways, [i:3rhmpjge]Olympos[/i:3rhmpjge] is a glorious success of a novel and conclusion to an excellent beginning. If you are at all familiar with Simmons' other works, [i:3rhmpjge]Olympos[/i:3rhmpjge] reminds me most closely of [i:3rhmpjge]The Fall of Hyperion[/i:3rhmpjge] in the style and tone of the narration. This is the book where the deeper issues and questions come more to the forefront. As usual, Simmons' is writing a tale about self-discover, or rediscovery, a what is it to be human story. He once again uses Shakespeare, Homer, Proust, Keats, Milton, as well as a host of other literary influences and direct involvements to work through his themes of art, genius, self-determination, self-destruction, and life. The scenes, emotions, characters and constructs are for the most part excellent. The book will have readers at the edge of their seats, flipping pages late into the night... and feeling good about it. [i:3rhmpjge]Olympos[/i:3rhmpjge] isn't perfect though. I trust that some of the textual errors will be cleaned up as I was reading an uncorrected proof, a text that hasn't passed final edit yet. However, I think the story in Olympos was too big at times for what Simmons' was attempting to tell. I think the result is a few superfluous and wasted PoVs, a further fragmentation of some plot elements and climatic scenes, and a few too obvious places where Simmons', as the storyteller, editorializes on politics, philosophy and current trends. Oh, there is also somewhat more sex and sexuality at display here, which sometimes is more than fitting and sometimes... somewhat odd. If you're reading closely, these things occasionally stick out. [i:3rhmpjge]Olympos[/i:3rhmpjge] also managed to surprise me in good ways. Simmons' depth and scope of creative imagination, as well as his ability to pull and combine elements of literature and philsophy, rise to an entirely new level in this novel, in this two book series as a whole. Some of the characterization, especially in scenes of extreme suspense or action, is truly amazing. I also rather enjoyed his envisioning of earth and humanity millenia in the future in a way that had both aspects of plausibility as well and meaningful and somewhat understandible aspects of creative history, growth, war, etc. Another aspect that I enjoyed was the way that Simmons plays and harnesses different narrative styles and PoV approaches to give readers a different relationship to different story arcs and characters. The ending... well the ending is interesting. Simmons' leaves the story like he leaves most stories, still in progress. He certainly ties up a great many of the plot elements, satisfactorily too, but not all of them. There is still some doubt, life continues and so does the eternal struggle. You'll just have to read it to find out. All in all, I certainly recommend this novel, and [i:3rhmpjge]Ilium[/i:3rhmpjge] before it, as a must read for any speculative fiction fan. Personally, I don't think the book is as strong as Ilium, either in total plotting or some specific characterization, but i think the two book combination is the best that Simmons has published to date. However, I'm fairly certain that some people will claim this novel to be Simmons' best, and I think they'd be justified in that opinion. [i:3rhmpjge][b:3rhmpjge]Olympos[/b:3rhmpjge] by Dan Simmons[/i:3rhmpjge] view post


posted 17 Jun 2005, 18:06 in Literature DiscussionOlympos by Dan Simmons... by Alric, Auditor

Well, I finally finished the book... posted a full review in the reviews section if you'd like to read my thoughts on the book. All in all, it was a pretty great book. I don't think that it's quite as good Ilium, but it's still a very satisfying read. All you Simmons fans should be happy. For those of you thinking about trying a new author... I'd certainly recommend Dan Simmons. If you're a scifi fan, start with Hyperion (followed by The Fall of Hyperion) or Ilium (followed by Olympos). If you're not a fan of scifi... Ilium is a book that has been enjoyed by a great many people who are not fans of scifi. So, there you go. view post


posted 22 Jun 2005, 17:06 in Off-Topic DiscussionErikson? by Alric, Auditor

[quote="Edge":33h2f47t]The Malazan Book of Ice and Darkness :wink:[/quote:33h2f47t] Ha! I like that title. view post


New Malazan Novel: Night of Knives by Ian Cameron Esslemont posted 22 Jun 2005, 17:06 in Literature DiscussionNew Malazan Novel: Night of Knives by Ian Cameron Esslemont by Alric, Auditor

So, have any of you been lucky enough to pick this book up yet? I finished reading it over the weekend, and I have to say that I was quite happy in my decision to shell out some money for it. As some of you know, Ian Cameron Esslemont is a friend of Erikson and is the co-creater of the Malazan world, along with some characters and story plotting. Years ago, Steve and Ian split up the world and the history. Steve got his 10 book arc and is writing a few novellas. Ian has 5 books planned. From the intro to the book written by Steve, he says that we should all know now why he hasn't written anything focused on the Crimson Guard. So, you can call me excited. The novella, or short novel really, weighs in at 284 pages, and covers about 12 hours of the day that Kellenved and Dancer are assassinated in Malaz City, the night Surly takes the imperial throne as Laseen... and a night where all hell breaks loose. The events take place several months after the very beginning of GotM, Paran's meeting Whiskeyjack atop Mock's Hold. The book is a quite and entertaining read, filled with action, interesting character, some insights and that truly great Malazan feel, which is an accomplishment since we're talking about a different author here. For a full review, click the link to my review at wotmania.com... [url:23kvh2zm]http://www.wotmania.com/fantasymessageboardshowmessage.asp?MessageID=130573[/url:23kvh2zm] view post


posted 28 Jun 2005, 17:06 in Literature DiscussionNew Malazan Novel: Night of Knives by Ian Cameron Esslemont by Alric, Auditor

It was quite expensive, especially for a 284 page book, but I get to have an impulse buy every once and a while. I'm sure the book will be published again, and not in a limited edition format just like Steven Erikson's novellas have. Of course, it might be a while before they are available again. I'm happy I spent the money because the story was a fun read. view post


posted 26 Jul 2005, 18:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionCrusader by Alric, Auditor

That's a rather good catch, and I'd imagine if you looked at some of the commentary in the Prince of Nothing sections you'll probably find some discussion around the 1st Crusade and the shaping of this series. It is rather obvious that the 1st Crusade is a model that Scott looked to when crafting the depth and polictical climate of his story. I have a degree in history, double focus of classic (Rome) and the medieval period (primarily pre-Norman England), I find novels that make an effort to incorporate the feel and complexity of history, from any period, tend to have a far richer and complete background for their stories. view post


posted 26 Jul 2005, 18:07 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Alric, Auditor

at the moment... Caitlin Sweet's [i:216h8owa]The Silences of Home[/i:216h8owa] after that... Peace by Gene Wolfe view post


posted 26 Jul 2005, 18:07 in Literature DiscussionEddings by Alric, Auditor

You might actually be the first person I've ever "met" who has claimed to actually enjoy, let alone prefer, The Redemption of Athulus. I read the Eddings series quite a while ago... 15 years ago or so. At the time, I quite enjoyed the Belgariad and The Mallorean. My favorite Eddings character is still Sparhawk from El and Tam. I've always characterized Eddings books as light, easy and entertaining. A friend of mine calls them cotton candy... meaning that they are enjoyable but very light and will leave you looking for something a bit more substantial. Great summer reads, I think. view post


posted 17 Aug 2005, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is your favorite sport? by Alric, Auditor

To steal from the old EA Sports ads... sport is when you can say, "I am better than you, and I can prove it." I think "sport" can be defined differently by just about anyone who you'd ask. I prefer a more general definition myself. Sport is where through physical skill, a person or team, is competing against other persons or teams. These might be decided by judges rewarding performance, by scores achieved directly against another. Now, this definition leaves a certain grey margin in the middle where people can certainly argue. Is darts a sport or a bar room entertainment? Why the heck does ESPN carry poker tournaments? What was that trampoline competition at the last olympics? For me, figure skating is a sport. Anything that is that physically demanding, precise and requires that much time and talent to perfect is a sport. The wonderful thing, you don't have to agree with me because there are plenty of sports out there for everyone. Heck, follow the wonderful Ashes this summer. view post


posted 17 Aug 2005, 17:08 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Alric, Auditor

guffaw view post


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