Extesian

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Extesian last won the day on September 6 2018

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About Extesian

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    Hive
  • Birthday 06/04/1980

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    Male
  • Location
    Canberra, Australia

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  1. Today I'd like to thank @Jazzy Kandra. Mare, as I'll always know her much to her eyerolling, is as versatile a member of the fandom as her kandra-iness would suggest, doing wonderful art, knowing a lot about the Cosmere despite pretending not to, being an Arcanist and being one of the most active people on Discord where she's fun, sharing and caring. So thank you Dani, for your art, for being a lovely person and a great contributor to the community, and for making me laugh
  2. Today I'd like to thank @Pagerunner for his level of dedication to the fandom. He's been around forever but takes a fairly minimalist approach, not posting heaps but posting utter gold when he does. But his dedication to the fandom encompasses massive amounts of reddit wob work, huge contributions to Arcanum (I'm guessing he may be the most prolific Arcanist other than Weiry), and for generally being a voice of reason and knowledge in all things Cosmere. So thank you Page, for being an amazing contributor to everything we love here.
  3. Today I'd like to thank @Chaos, for nothing less than this entire community. I don't need to say much about him, we all know him. And many others, historically and currently, put so much work in. But to me, Eric will always be the 17th Shard, his work and passion are tireless, he has just the amount of grump to be a great admin while still making people feel welcome in the fandom, and generally his services to Brandon and the fandom over well over a decade are unrivalled. Thank you Eric, for everything. Without you, it'd be Reddit
  4. Today I'd like to thank @Oversleep, my hivemate, for years of hearty laughs, and fantastic theorizing and wob hunting together, with Calderis and I. He's also done fantastic things for the community, including being a fellow pre-launch Arcanist and the work that involved, and large numbers of WoBs both asked and recorded before the days of Arcanum, when things were much more work. So thanks my man, many fun years.
  5. Love your signature! It took me until the end to figure it out. I’m glad to know that not everyone hates Kvothe!

    1. Extesian

      Extesian

      :D for all his flaws, that lad can turn a phrase!

  6. Today I'd like to thank @WeiryWriter for Arcanum. It was more than just him, Mestiv built it and Chaos did so much to pull everything together. But most people would have no idea just how much work and passion Ian put into it, from conception to transcribing and populating WoBs, a truly astonishing number (and as an Arcanist I know how much work that is), through to his ongoing work approving and running this. So thank you, Ian, for your enormous irreplaceable part in the best thing that happened in this fandom in the half decade I've been part of it.
  7. Today I'd like to thank @Argent. With the possible exception of Chaos (and only possible exception) there's probably noone in the fandom more widely known. And rightly so. Argent has the most WoBs in the community. He is a staff member and a feature of most shardcasts. He's one of the longest-time fans in the fandom. He's written up some of the best theories I've seen. There are few people who know more about the Cosmere, and more WoBs, than Argent. And he has put an amazing amount of time and effort into things like Arcanum, completely dwarfing my transcribing efforts. But mostly, he's just a larger than life personality, making people laugh, looking out for people who need it, being wilfully ridiculous. There are very few people without whom this fandom would just not be the same, but you're one of them Argent. So thank you for your contributions to the canon Argent, but even more so for your contributions to the community. We all need a good laugh nowadays, thanks for providing most of them!
  8. Today I'd like to thank @LadyLameness for contributions to the fandom (her coppermind word is amazing), for making Chaos smile more, and mostly for just being an uplifting breath of fresh air at all times. If there's someone who's struggling with something, she always has encouraging words, and shares her excitement of things in a way that somehow gives you a Tien-style ray of sunshine, like her love of bees. Thank you, Jess, for being Tien to the Kaladins of the fandom.
  9. Today I'd like to thank @Ravioli, who gives back to the fandom and to Brandon in a range of significant ways I won't go into. Ravi has also made massive contributions to the Will Wight fandom. Ravi always took the time to get to know me as a person, not just as a sharder, as he does with many people, remembering little facts about people that surprise them. Ravi, with Team Dragonsteel, also provided me out of the blue with an incredibly generous wedding present (even though I live in Australia) - the Elantris leatherbound, something that has since spurred me to get MB and Warbreaker, with SA to come! So thank you Ravi, for being a friend, for doing great but unsung things for the fandom, and for just being a generous and thoughtful guy all round. When I get to America, we'll have a drink.
  10. I'll start by thanking @Calderis who not only shared so much with me in our early days here in terms of learning the Cosmere together, but was always a friend, probably the first person I ever truly counted as a friend who I'd never met in person. So thank you Cal for being you, my Hivemate, my fellow theorizer and my friend.
  11. My Father passed away suddenly a few days ago after a devastatingly short battle with cancer. I'm trying to do what one often doesn't do, and actually say to people that I care for them, value them or am just thankful to know them. I'll try to do one of these each day, about members of the 17th Shard community. But it's not a thread about me, it's a thread about being thankful. So please, post here too if you have community members to be thankful for. Please keep it to community members though.
  12. I've been a 17 Sharder for almost half the life of this fandom, but it still feels like I'm pretty new and the old guard is anyone before me! But Brandon's books and this community have dominated the last 5 years of my life. I love everything about this fandom, the people, the moderation, the variety of expertise (from linguistic to scientific) and the humour. I have a lot of amazing memories, but I'll run through my highlights, themed! Administration ARCANUM!!! For those who weren't around before Arcanum, they were days where WoB knowledge was largely contained to a few people dedicated and experienced enough to understand trawling Theoryland, TWG, forum posts and reddit. I developed by WoBfu during these dark days. The creation of Arcanum changed it all, not just making it so easy to find WoBs, but to actually hear the audio, and in some ways most importantly to allow anyone in the fandom to transcribe. The effort of transcribing events amongst a few people is formidable. Arcanum changed everything. Special thanks to @WeiryWriter and @Mestiv for making it happen, and to the other Arcanists who transcribed so much, particularly Argent and Pagerunner from memory. Being asked to be an arcanist was a real honor at the time as well, even if I've not been the best arcanist. Discord! I used to use the forums crazily, doing 30 or 40 posts a day for a year or two, until I started to have less time and realised it's really hard to keep track of the forums. And then Discord came along! Now I can drop in and out of topics, give a quick answer rather than a detailed one, and opt in and opt out of conversations easily. I do almost all my sharding on Discord now. It's great to chat with a lot of the older members who really don't use the forums at all. WoBBot!! An add-on for Arcanum, for Discord, that itself transformed the use of Arcanum to enable extremely quick call-ups of exactly the WoB you want, beautifully presented. WoBBot also has the cuuuutest emojis, if you haven't seen them, ask an Arcanist to demonstrate (they can only be called up by Arcanum staff). Big thanks to @WireSegal for this amazing feature. Shardcast!!! We get some of the most knowledgeable (and funny) sharders weekly or bi-weekly to go over WoBs, theories and quizzes. It's fantastic and a highlight of my fortnight, especially as it's expanded to include outstanding newer staff like Argent, @Jofwu, @thegatorgirl00 and Paleo (yes, they're still new staff to me, even you Argent). People First callout is to the man, and then the men, that I felt so in tune with on activity level, theorizing and personal views that we ended up somehow becoming The Hive, one of the better known memes in this community. @Calderis and I spent our formative year with the shard (he'd been an inactive member for two years) bouncing off each other, becoming obsessed with the finer details of lore and realmatics, and making each other laugh. Doesn't hurt that we have the same shardversary date, and our birthdays are two days apart. There were many early jokes about us being the same person. Then @Oversleep became so in tune with us (also a member for longer) that together we became The Hivemind (or Hive for short). Many fun times, including our annual absurdity with Ookla where we share user pics and use each other's names all month until we finally all become Ookla the Hivemind. Makes people want to kill us every year, and I love it. One day we'll do a Hivecast. Second level callout is to the great theorizers/WoBbers/fountains of knowledge, the sharders that made me realise how deep the cosmere goes and how knowledgeable one can become. All people I've had great conversations with and who got me excited in the fandom (and there are many other fantastic newer members, but these are the people that contributed to my early formative Wisdom - @Argent, @Yata, @Pagerunner, @Blightsong, @Toaster Retribution, @Steeldancer to name but a few. Final callout is to the people I've just come to really enjoy and consider an integral part of the fandom, particularly through Discord interactions. R'shara (coz of your stupid name I can't tag you as I don't know how to do an upside down R), @LadyLameness, @Otto Didact, @Kon-Tiki, @Paleo, @Botanica, @asmodeus and one of my absolute favourite people here, @Ravioli, to name just a few. Canon I finished the cosmere books just before SoS, BoM and Secret History were released. Ooooooh boy was that a time to be alive, but to be someone who wasn't a member of the fandom and simply didn't know what so many knew. It's extraordinary to reflect on the fact that there has been 1, ONE, cosmere novel release since then, Oathbringer. Yes I don't count White Sand (and i essentially consider Edgedancer part of OB). Seriously though, 1. Lord I'm looking forward to Brandon restarting non-stormlight cosmere after taking a break my entire time as a fan. The Oathbringer preview chapters. What a wonderful time to be a fan. Killed me that all the reading and discussion would go on while I was asleep, and then at work, but just wonderful times. The release of the one other Cosmere thing, Arcanum Unbounded. Those essays are just amazing. WoBs. Just...all the WoBs. Some incredible events, some incredible questions. Far too many to name. They're my bread. And a final thank you to @Chaos, @Windrunner and @WeiryWriter in particular, for their years of truly dedicated service to the fandom, Ian in WoBs, Dave in Coppermind and Eric for everything. Edit - I'll add to this one thing in two parts - I was gifted the Elantris leatherbound by a wonderful, wonderful member of the fandom, I bought the Warbreaker leatherbound coz I adore it, and was just given for my birthday all three Mistborn leatherbounds and the Way of Kings leatherbound when it comes out! Just divine.
  13. Happy Birthday, @Extesian!

    1. Extesian

      Extesian

      Thank you!!

  14. Thanks @Elegy that's a really nice summary of Asimov. I'm looking forward to the rest, but read Foundation first as I always heard it was best and figured if the others aren't quite as good at least I'm treating them as prequels. But I'll certainly temper my expectations of Empire! Oh as a small update, I've since read the last Gods of Blood and Powder book and it was great. Brought back the series for me very well and I'm now looking forward to the next McClellan book more than I was after the end of Powdermage I think (not that the trilogy is better, but that it finished better and I think his writing is improving). Also read Ann Lecie's Raven Tower. Loved it. Really loved it. Strange book. I was quite sceptical of loving it, but i really did. The voice, the combination of fast and slow pacing, the PoV, the chronology, the worldbuilding. Such a simple magical premise (gods can only speak truth and must have the power to make their words true if not) taken to such interesting extremes. Interwining timelines. No chapters. Just an ancient, unmoving god recounting their history in between narrating events in the present day. It's stuck with me more than I expected. Started Black Leopard Red Wolf last night, enjoying the voice and worldbuilding and really enjoying the writing. Its showing promise.
  15. I put together my top 10 books I read during 2019, a way to remind myself of everything and relive some, and thought I'd share them. Note that it is a pretty artificial top 10, some are entire series, and not also it is read, not published, in 2019. The first book there is almost 70 years old... Feel free to post your top 10 from the last year! Foundation - Isaac Asimov (Original trilogy plus two sequels - yet to read two prequels, or the Robot or Empire series) There's a reason I've heard about it all my life, when it's from the 1950's, and why even though so many movies are made about his robot books, the Foundation books are still so well known. I haven't read scifi like it despite its age. Assuming you haven't read the Robot or Empire series (I haven't) it's just straight into a galaxy-spanning human empire some 30,000 years in the future that, unbeknownst to all but one mathematical genius, will soon collapse. He comes up with a secret plan to ensure that the time of chaos following that disintegration is minimized. It's epic, it's wonderfully written (it's not all about big battles but about the internal motivations of key individuals) and it's utter genius for something 60 years old. It's Asimov, right? Gotta read eventually, as I finally did. 10/10 Broken Earth trilogy - N K Jemisin Best known for being written in the second person perspective, like a Choose Your Own Adventure - "you" instead of "they" or "I". (FYI it's also in the first and third persons). A post-apocalyptic world (maybe Earth) with catastrophic tectonic activity. The magic is geological, which I've never heard of, and involves interacting with the planet. The lead characters are female and grippingly written. It's grim, but not grimdark (things are physically tough and emotionally brutal but it's not a story devoid of hope). And it is easily the finest written fantasy I've read outside of Gene Wolfe and Patrick Rothfuss (and even then Rothfuss writes more beautifully but maybe not with as amazing a literary style). Not everyone seems to like it but I think it's extraordinary, and I think once you finish the first book it reveals so much you want more. Oh and the author is an African-American woman, which is so unusual in fantasy but so great to be seeing. Read it if you love fantasy. Try it even if you don't. 10/10 Bobiverse trilogy - Dennis Taylor This came out of nowhere for me (or more accurately, from a youtube reviewer) and has a claim to be one of the most enjoyable set of books I've ever read. It's one of the most fun stories you've never heard of (and two sequels should come out in 2020). A dude, Bob, pays a company to freeze his brain when he dies, and he ends up as an Artificial Intelligence implanted into a spaceship designed to explore the galaxy, which has 3D printers and can self-replicate (a von Neumann probe). It's all written in first person, including when he clones himself...then his clones clone themselves etc until you end up with a few dozen first person perspectives from different Bobs. It's written in such an easy, humorous, optimistic and believable way that I was utterly immersed. All the science and technology is just so believable that you feel it's realistic - even down to not cheating with faster than light travel, but actually dealing in relativistic time scales - as they're AIs, they are immortal and the story takes place over centuries. And Bob is just a delightfully rational, selfless and positive guy that he carries the story even if you don't love the science. Not many battles, just a dude and his clones exploring the galaxy, coming across new planets and finding ways to make places habitable for humans. Read it. 10/10 The Body - Bill Bryson Bill Bryson was initially a travel writer and one of the funniest writers I've read. Years back he spent years writing A Short History of Nearly Everything, one of the best books I've ever read, exploring every branch of science, largely from the perspective of little biographical stories of the people who made breakthoughs. He followed it with At Home, a similar exploration of social development and invention through looking at the things in your house. His third such effort is The Body, about human biology. It's just as brilliant, going through every aspect of the human body and leaving you with wonderful nuggets of knowledge. Read it for human biology, At Home for inventions, Short History for science more generally. All 10/10. The Truth - Terry Pratchett I read a few Discworld books when I was young and never got around to the rest of them. But I tried The Truth. It's a discworld story but you don't need to have read any. It's barely even fantasy, it's a normal story set in a mystical world. It's about the development of the printing press, the realities of the media industry in terms of competition and changing editorials to make sales (or refusing to) and about the influence press publishers can have. It's all an incredibly insightful allegory for the real world (and history) but without ever being preachy. It's just a nice guy with a great invention trying to make his way. Brilliantly written of course, it's Pratchett. Great light read for soft fantasy with direct relevance to the real world. 9/10. Underlord - Will Wight (Book 6 of the Cradle series) I got into Will Wight last year after a recommendation from a friend. He has several series (one concluded) in an interconnected universe. This is the sixth book. It's progression fantasy (each story, as a general rule, the main character 'levels up' in power and the world gets correspondingly broader and more threatening), with an anime inspiration. I've loved the series since the third book, took some time to really get passionate. Now almost every book gets better (my order is 6, 5, 7, 4, 3, 1, 2). They're about a well meaning guy who wants to save his village from a future threat and so does what he can to get powerful enough to meet it. And I do mean what he can. You may know he'll keep progressing but ooohhh boy does he earn it. This is my favourite book of the series (his other great series, Elder Empire, involves each 'book' being two books from opposing protagonists' perspectives - one is a pirate, the other is a ninja, and it's amazing - but I didn't read it this year, so no more). And Will Wight is an amazing guy, one of the nicest in fantasy. Try him, 8.5/10 The Blood Mirror - Brent Weeks (Fifth and final book of the Lightbringer series - if I read the whole series this year, it would be number 2 on this list) The Lightbringer series is one of my favourite fantasy series. Books 3 and 4 were weak, and 5 (this one, the last) had its flaws, but books 1 and 2 were some of the most exhilarating fantasy I've read, and the final book at least does justice to the series, even if it's not the best. The series has one of the most wonderful magic systems I've ever read, one of my top 5 characters in all of fantasy, and is just so readable. Fitting, if not amazing, end to a spectacular if inconsistent series. 7.5/10 for the book but 9/10 for the series. Starsight - Brandan Sanderson (Book 2 of the Skyward series - not a Cosmere book - if it were any Cosmere book it would be number ) Brandon Sanderson is my obsession. I've read all his books multiple times, know the lore and magic systems intricately, engage in constant online theorizing - it's my thing. His adult books are mostly in a connect universe, the Cosmere, which is 10/10. This book is essentially scifi (though blending into fantasy - but its a scifi setting) and is not set in the Cosmere. It's actually Young Adult, but it's adult enough for adults. The worldbuilding in these books (the first is Skyward) is fantastic, and they're nicely written. The characters are a bit as you'd expect from YA (thought they're 16 or 17, not 13 or 14). But they're very enjoyable books. I recommend anything Cosmere first but these are a fun read - but would I read them if I didn't already love Brandon? Maybe not. Enjoyable, but not Cosmere - 7.5/10 The Rage of Dragons - Evan Winter Fantasy is all medieval castles and knights and such? This is African-inspired fantasy, the language, the dress, the weapons, the landscape, the culture. It's pretty fantastic, but moreover it's the dude's first novel and it's self-published (well, was, a publisher has now bought it), so for a debut self-published novel it's spectacular. Just wonderful worldbuilding, the whole setting and feel is so different from classic fantasy. Really looking forward to the next book, well worth a read if you're after non-typical fantasy or something with an African feel. 7.5/10 (but, for a debut self-published novel, 9.5/10). Books 1 and 2 of Gods of Blood and Powder - Brian McClellan (3 is out, next on my list) Brian McClellan's second series (the first is known as Powder Mage, and was really very interesting). Never grabbed me like the first one did, but the characters are compelling, the plot is quite good and you do get some interactions with certain characters from the first series that really lift it. Looking forward to the third book, which is out, but I delayed to read Foundation. Solid fantasy, read it if you've read everything else, 7/10 Uprooted - Naomi Novik This comes very highly recommended and well awarded. It's fantasy but in a very fairy tale manner. It's mystical and whimsical and the plot is very much like a fairy tale. I enjoyed it, and found some aspects of it very intriguing, but found it a bit forgettable. Very nicely written though. 6.5/10 for me (though note that that is for me - critically, I may give it more like 8, it was very nicely done).