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About Fractalfire

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  1. This calls for Cinnamon rolls. And coffee Lots and lots of coffee. My poor students will never get their HW graded at this rate...
  2. Correct. I got an email about it, then it downloaded to my kindle a few minutes ago.
  3. Yay! Just got it. So if you have an Amazon Kindle order, it probably just was sent to you.
  4. Forgot about that; thanks!
  5. Could you please provide quotes or Wob for the shardplate statement? Any sources you've seen that I haven't would be nice to know about. I checked to see whether we had any confirmation that shardplate could be summoned before posting and found nothing solid in either coppermind or arcanum. The best I saw was that ancient shardbearers could instantaneously retract their visors, but that isn't proof that the armor can be summoned. The fact that dead shardblades can be summoned, but not (as far as we know) plate, seems to imply that there may have been differences. I see you are correct about the spren being unable to form two discontinuous objects. I should have double-checked before posting.
  6. Hmm... An interesting idea. I'm inclined to think the radiant spren could form into either a bow or an arrow, but thus far, we've seen no solid evidence that they can form into two, discontinuous shapes. Also, since they only seem able to form metallic objects, I don't know whether the bow would be able to actually be drawn. However, we know that the spren can form relatively small objects (i.e. shardforks) which could hypothetically be shot. I see nothing that would stop radiants from simply shooting a Shard Arrow at an enemy, then resummoning and reshooting it after the damage is done. Given this possibility, there seems to be little need for forming a shard-bow rather than using a normal bow. The main advantage of shard-weapons (their ability to cut through anything) would be underutilized in a Shardbow. (On the other hand, such a bow would not wear out, but this would only be a minor concern.) If you were also able to make arrows using lesser spren, then I suppose you would gain a slight advantage in being able to fire more arrows without having to wait for your Radiant spren to return (though you would have to able to reload and shoot awfully fast for that to make a difference). However, given that plate appears to not be summonable like shardblades, I'm inclined to think this would be a very bad idea. Sure, you could send armor piercing projectiles at your enemies, but those uninjured could then pick up and use those weapons. I think this would be poor strategy, since you would be handing them some of the only weapons that could pierce your own armor. In addition, if such arrows existed, they would be very powerful weapons, capable of potentially harming shard-bearers. They would also likely be difficult to destroy. Wouldn't we expect at least some to persist to the modern day? Personally, I speculate that shardplate is forged or made in some way, possibly out of lesser spren, and that this ability is granted by the fourth oath (for most orders). Thus, I'm inclined to agree with your speculation that such arrows could be made. I'm just not sure if the Radiants would want to use them. Slight Tangent: Out of curiosity, does anyone think that the following Words of Radiance epigraph could be referring to making shardplate? Some have suggested that this "making" is referring to "making judgments that separate the innocent from the guilty;" however, I'm disinclined to think "their rivals" (particularly Windrunners and Dustbringers) would agree that their judgments were good. In addition, the following Word of Brandon says they do not have such an ability.
  7. Realistic Supernatural Warfare Ideally, I would like to see how supernatural warfare works and how this effects things like tactics, strategy, supply-lines, goals, etc. I want to be shocked by Dalinar's military genius, horrified by Odium's countermove, and surprised when both plans fall apart. Really, the moment I'm looking for is the moment I got from the previous books where I go "OH, of course, that's how a magical war would go, why didn't I anticipate [exciting strategy/maneuver/important goal] before?!" Maps! Detailed explanations of battle strategy. How does the world adjust to technological warfare? Is it like WWI, when strategy was forced to change dramatically? Kaladin with Oroden (and Jasnah with Gavinor) I freely confess I am a sucker for family relationships in stories, particularly older brother/younger brother stories. Oroden and Gavinor are probably too young for too much to happen, but I do hope to see some touching scenes! Fabrial Science How does it work? What will we learn? What experiments will our main characters perform? I'm really looking forward to seeing some Sanderson-level ingenuity here. Can Radiant-spren work Fabrials? Do they have different effects? Ecological wonders I always look forward to the scenes in each book where new plants/animals and ecologies appear. The full aliveness of Roshar and all its wonders, as well as Shallan's drawings, are what made me fall in love with the Stormlight Archives and I want to see more! -- lots, lots more. I'm hoping to see more life cycles explained in this story. I have a feeling that there are some major, important ecological patterns that we haven't learned about. (Why don't we know what chasm fiends become when they pupate? Why was the ecological devastation of Aimia so important? Are there any animals with more complicated gemheart functions, like Singers? Does Roshar have an equivalent to the cat? In a world that's mostly water, what do the oceanic ecosystems look like?! What is crem, actually? Readers demand detailed answers to these important questions! Khriss I'd like to see her randomly and mysteriously walk in on Hoid, just to see him splutter in confusion for once. A Spren Being Born How precisely does this work? How do new "species" of spren emerge? More concretely, I would like to see if it's possible to cross two different types of spren. Do spren fall in love? Specifically, I would like to know if it's okay to vicariously continue my desire for a Kaladin-Shallan relationship by shipping Pattern and Syl. More on Chemoarish or Dai-Gonarthis I'm hoping to be horrifically surprised at an unfortunate moment. Adolin and Shallan having a marital spat (and making up) I don't buy the happy ever after in book three, so I'm anticipating problems that make people conclude the relationship is doomed, only for Adolin and Shallan to decide to work things out rather than just giving up. I want a twist up of the typical romance pattern. I'm hoping for a tale of two people realizing they ran into a marriage too quickly and screwed it up, but rather than divorcing, decide to try to make it work even though they aren't perfect for each other. Something going terribly right for Odium This is the fourth book in a five book arc; if he doesn't have things go his way at the end of this one, I will consider it a bit of a let-down. Ideally, I would like to end the book with my hopes brutally crushed, wondering how it is even possible for the heroes to survive the latest disaster. The more terrible, the better. The Annihilation of a City Ideally, I would like to see magic unleashed at a terrible scale, making the events of the Recreance seem more credible. (I'd prefer we had time to explore the city and get to now it's inhabitants first, so it will hurt more.) Jasnah Scheming I want to be impressed by Jasnah's cunning and clever plotting and see her out-maneuver everyone else in both politics and academics. New Forms for the Singers; Deeper Insight into the Rhythms Since this is a Singer book, I'm hoping to find out more about their culture, particularly their biology and history. Epic Rosharan Mythology Amazing myths; epic tales of wonder, with a hint of mystery -- preferably something from the Singers, or the Horneaters. I really love epic poetry and I think the Singers have to have some good poem-songs, so I'm hoping for something amazing. Renarin Point of View Chapters I don't know what to make of Renarin; he gets so little voice compared to the other characters that he's mostly a mystery to me. I don't understand his motivations or desires at all and I want to know more. Now that the big reveal has happened, hopefully he will become a bigger focus. I would very much like to see him make a critical academic discovery about fabrials that everyone else overlooks completely. On a side note, I want to hear more from Glys too... he doesn't have any personality yet. King Lunamor Rock the First You cannot make cryptic hints about a king uniting the peaks and not have it happen. Rock is the obvious choice! Long live King Numuhukumakiaki'aialunamor. More Kaladin, Bridge Four, and Syl I hope Kaladin continues to have a critical role in the plot and that we see him continue to grow. I'm hoping to see him adjusting from "Captain" to general in the war, being forced to take on more responsibility. I also hope to see him save someone important to him in this book. Have Venli move from unlikable to loved protagonist This one is critical. Currently, Venli is at 0.75 Moashes on my unlikability scale. She betrayed her people and her sister and was a prideful and shortsighted fool. I didn't even look for any redeeming features in her, because I didn't really expect her to be a main character. I hope by the end of the book that I will grow to like her as a person and she will move to at least 0.4 Kaladins. I hope to see her choices as a tragedy and less as a betrayal. I hope to see some touching moments between Venli, Eshonai, and their mother (and father?). I do want to see some heroism, and, since her order is focused on exploration, some amazing adventures. The Dawning Realization that the Twist was Oh so Obvious... and I Missed It...Again Otherwise, I would be forced to conclude that I have accidentally picked up a book by some other author.
  8. For me, the audiobook was somewhat jarring. I love the voices of the readers and how they change their voice for each character is extremely talented; however, this often clashed with the voice I imagined for the character. At other times, they added different inflection and emotions than I had envisioned. I think the most egregious were the scenes with Dalinar and Navani, where their "flirting" came across as extremely overdone and annoying, primarily because of the way the reader (I believe Michael Kramer) was interpreting her lines. (Every time Navani said "Oh Dalinar" in that overdone way I wanted to scream.) By necessity, reading by someone will add their own interpretation, emotions, and "acting skills" to that character, which can change the way the book feels and even completely change the meaning of a scene. Personally, I think I prefer books that are read without trying to make "voices" for each character. I would prefer a nice, unchanging voice, as when someone who is not a super-talented voice actor reads a book. Then, I can simply tune out the parts that make it "their voice" and substitute my own imagination, as I normally do when reading. That being said, I only think this was a problem because I originally read Oathbringer rather than listened to it. Had I listened to audiobooks from the beginning, it would not have been so difficult to stay in the story, because I would have associated those voices with the characters and I wouldn't have had a different interpretation of their emotions.
  9. Oh my... I just read his wikipedia page. I knew people were cruel, but I never realized it was that bad. It sounds like the fan backlash might have completely ruined his life. It certainly crushed his acting career, it appears, his spirit. That's depressing... It's kind of like a real life version of innocent kid becomes Vader... except instead of the dark side of the Force tempting him to villainy its the Dark side of the internet making his life miserable and leading to an unstable mind. (Then again, his mental illness and acting career may be casually unrelated, but according to Wikipedia, being bullied and using drugs can increase risk.) I think I'm going to be more careful in the future when I criticize things I dislike. It's one thing to point out flaws; it's another to be hateful or spiteful, and looking back, I haven't been the nicest when reviewing certain films/books...
  10. Honestly, I can never really understand the hate they received. Yes, they have flaws, but they were overall interesting and, to me, Star Wars would be unimaginably different without them -- to the point where I would not find it a series worth much contemplation without them. Growing up, I saw both series at once, and liked them more than the originals (which have not aged well, in some respects). The ancient-looking computers on the death-star looked silly, the duels were weak, and the battles were less interesting. Some of the plotting also comes across as a bit melodramatic... particularly Luke trying to redeem Vader and the Emperor "tempting" him to the darkside (did he actually expect that to work?!). For someone born after they were released, I grew up knowing all the twists before I watched them, so there was never anything particularly surprising to be had, though intellectually I know it was different for those who first watched it. I always thought the duel between Ben and Vader was rather ridiculous looking, particularly in comparison to the duel between Qui Gon, Maul, and Obi Wan in the Phantom Menace. The scale in the prequels is grander and explores more unique worlds while also giving us insight into the Jedi Order. In contrast, the originals show a depressing, monolithically human future that to me was inherently less interesting as a work of science fiction. I know, intellectually, that the prequels have acting issues and plotting issues and also that I really should find Jar Jar more annoying.... but I still enjoy Count Dooku, Obi Wan and Qui Gon, Mace Windu, the Battle of Geonosis, the Duel of the Fates, Naboo, the Senate on Coruscant, and so many, many other aspects. I really just can't bring myself to dislike them, despite the flaws. I asked my brother what he thought, I think he summarized the main issues in the prequels pretty well: the graphics were somewhat bad because they just hadn't advanced far enough yet, Jar Jar was a mistake, and Lucas apparently can't write romance well. Remove those three issues and I think most of my criticisms would vanish. Then again, this perspective is also colored somewhat by the fact that I read books and comics about star wars and the most interesting ones were about Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn, which were of course, set in a prequel-era republic with a functional Jedi Order, or else clone wars era books, which covered the struggles of the Jedi as they tried to stick to their values while fighting a war... In contrast, just as Luke basically fails at reviving the Jedi Order in the sequels, in the books I read, nothing he ever did post battle of Yavin ever amounted to much. The galaxy stayed broken, the Jedi never truly recovered their old glory, and they were always fighting the Remnants of the Empire -- I always thought they were less interesting to read and I stayed away from them.
  11. sa 4

    Brandon's newsletter contains what I believe is the fullest version (you can sign up on his website). Alternatively, the first two entries on this Arcanum page are fragments of the whole:
  12. For some reason I got the impression that Odium, as a mortal, was shorter than average. Another possibility is that, since he is trapped on Braize, Odium's influence on Roshar actually is fairly weak and small; Dalinar just doesn't realize that till he has another point of comparison.
  13. sa 4

    Which makes me wonder, what is Odium's endgame here, precisely? Is he just going to put the Singers back in charge? That seems rather tame for a Shard of hatred. He can't force them all back to Shinovar -- there isn't enough room for a population that large. Will he just start executing them all once he gets enough rounded up in concentration camps? Killing off all the people she's "cultivated" sounds like an excellent way to rile Cultivation. Shame on me. How could I ever forget the Crustacean Hulks of Unusually Lumpy Largeness?! Well, obviously Odium should just run back to Braize now. His doom was inevitable I tell you, inevitable!
  14. sa 4

    Well, now we know where Kaladin gets it from. I mean, I don't see why it couldn't be lost in a year, even if Radiants were involved. Right now, Odium's forces more voidbinders and, with the Skybreakers, more full Radiants than Dalinar has squires. I don't think there are enough windrunners in the world to perform an evacuation that large, but, even if there were, how do you know that's not what Kaladin is about to do in the next chapter? (Edit: Nevermind, toaster demonstrates why that's not such a great idea.)
  15. sa 4

    Even if Dalinar and co. were involved, aren't the initial losses inevitable? The situation currently: Odium has his magic users at nearly full power. The fused et al. are still the same experienced, powerful warriors they always were and are functionally immortal, in addition to being backed up by odium-spren, 7/9 unmade, the order of Skybreakers, Taravangian, and Odium himself. As of book 3, Dalinar currently has less than a dozen full Radiants -- he doesn't even have representatives from all the orders yet, much less truly organized, well-trained orders -- and he has multiple theaters in which he must now campaign, of which Herdaz is only one. His coalition is still shaky and probably barely functional at the best of times. He does not even know the full capabilities of his own Radiants, much less the enemy's full capabilities and powers, whereas the enemy knows basically everything. He's in a losing position, fighting a war in which he has inferior Investiture-power, man-power, information, and organization compared to his foe. The only major advantages he has going for him are that Cultivation appears to have something up her sleeve, he has (somewhat) superior technology in the form of fabrials, and he controls a major fortification (that's currently broken, but whatever). Frankly, they should be losing now. Badly. It would take some incredible military genius to keep from being crushed, much less to turn the tide in their favor.