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Ripheus23

The Darkness That Comes Before &c.

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I had been toying with the idea of writing a Lovecraftian fantasy epic, and what do you know! It already happened :P

Srsly though this series is like for cereal rerderculously gerd, ermagherd, is that an Inchoroi in my pants or am I just happy to be reading this?! :wacko: :ph34r:

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It's one of the most divisive fantasy series out there, and IMO easily one of the best.

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The Lord Ruler, the No-God, and Sauron walked into a bar. Then the world ended.

Now sadly, I have only read the first 3 "2nd Apocalypse" books, one that I bought at a thrift store, the other two from the library. I could probably interlibrary-loan the Aspect-Emperor ones.

What's weird is that I don't think I actually like* any of the characters, ultimately, except sort of Achamian. All the others are disturbing to me on some level, like even Kellhus when he's like "well you've got to execute 40% of your city for defying us," seemed gratuitous and

Spoiler

since he somehow knows what's up with the "let's block the Outside" Consult-plot, I would have expected him to try to dissuade people from committing massacres. (On that note, though, I feel like I missed him figuring out why the Consult wants to do what it's doing. I mean he just recites the idea to his dad like it's obvious but aside from spoiling the story for myself a year ago, I wouldn't have known in advance that indeed, reducing the human population to seal the Outside is the purpose of the No-God.)

Also I liked Zin

Spoiler

and then he... :( I was expecting him to end up Cishaurim!!!

*I also don't agree with the author's philosophy of no-free-will, seems a little elitist at least as far as the application goes, though I also feel like I understand where he's coming from with his proposal.

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43 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

Now sadly, I have only read the first 3 "2nd Apocalypse" books, one that I bought at a thrift store, the other two from the library. I could probably interlibrary-loan the Aspect-Emperor ones.

Same here. I have the Aspect Emperor series, I just have not gotten around to reading them yet. I kinda want to do them in one go when I do. 

45 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

What's weird is that I don't think I actually like* any of the characters, ultimately, except sort of Achamian. All the others are disturbing to me on some level, like even Kellhus when he's like "well you've got to execute 40% of your city for defying us," seemed gratuitous

*I also don't agree with the author's philosophy of no-free-will, seems a little elitist at least as far as the application goes, though I also feel like I understand where he's coming from with his proposal.

That's suppose to be the point, I believe. You have this terrible plot by this terrible race to annihilate life in order to avoid damnation,  but at the same time you have humanity which is very despicable as well. Who do you root for and why? 

As far as there not being free will, I think that's a bit simplistic. Sure, "what comes before determines what comes after," but the reason the Dunyain are trying to perceive the Logos is that through sufficient knowledge, you can be free. How free we are depends on how much we know.

The Inchori have other profane and obscene ideas about how to gain freedom, so one way to see the series is a conflict between the two extremes of reason and carnality as not only a means of gaining freedom, but also its relation to nihilism (the Inchori embrace the No-God, whereas Kellhus wishes to prevent its return).

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I envy you guys who have yet to read The Aspect Emperor.  While I think the first trilogy is overall better, the second set of books has more scenes that really stick with me.

Edited by Who Sharded?
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On 12/17/2018 at 1:42 PM, Ripheus23 said:

I had been toying with the idea of writing a Lovecraftian fantasy epic

Sorry I don't have much to contribute to Bakker, but I have been learning a lot about Lovecraft and and the type of story is was writing. Evidently it was classified as a "Wierd Story". Here is a somewhat lengthy definition:

"A “weird tale,” as defined by H.P. Lovecraft in his nonfiction writings and given early sanctuary within the pages of magazines like Weird Tales (est. 1923) is a story that has a supernatural element but does not fall into the category of traditional ghost story or Gothic tale, both popular in the 1800s. As Lovecraft wrote in 1927, the weird tale “has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains.” Instead, it represents the pursuit of some indefinable and perhaps maddeningly unreachable understanding of the world beyond the mundane — a ‘certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread” or “malign and particular suspension or defeat of…fixed laws of Nature” — through fiction that comes from the more unsettling, shadowy side of the fantastical tradition. With unease and the temporary abolition of science can also come the strangely beautiful intertwined with terror. Reverie or epiphany, yes, but dark reverie or epiphany — not the lightness of “I wandered lonely as a cloud” but the weight of, for example, seminal early twentieth‐century weird writer and artist Alfred Kubin’s sensation of being “overcome…by a dark power that conjured up before my mind strange creatures, houses, landscapes, grotesque and frightful situations.” Like what we loosely group into the genre of “horror,” The Weird can be transformative — sometimes literally — and it entertains monsters while not always see them as monstrous. It strives for a kind of understanding even when something cannot be understood, and acknowledges that failure as sign and symbol of our limitations. Usually, the characters in weird fiction have either entered into a place unfamiliar to most of us, or have received such hints of the unusual that they become obsessed with the weird. Whether It exists or not, they have fallen into dialogue with It; they may pull back from the abyss, they may decide to unsee what they saw, but still they saw it. Such stories can be terrifying, but do not always rely upon the scare central to horror fiction, nor the twist ending"

Anyways i am currently reading a mammoth collection of these type of stories called The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edition by Jeff VanderMeer, Ann VanderMeer. It may be of interest to you as well.

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