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Mandamon

20200615 - Fall of the Imperium Ch 25, Epilogue - 13100 words - Sub 36

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Whoo boy, this is the end! And it is very long: right around 13000 words for everything. I apologize and am perfectly fine if you take a couple weeks to get in responses. You can blame @shatteredsmooth and @Snakenaps a little, because I added about 300 words based on their feedback. ;-) However I think the ending is a lot stronger for it.

Chapter 25. The final battle!

Epilogue. Please let me know if this ties everything up satisfactorily.

I'm especially looking for fulfilled and broken promises, since this is the end of a trilogy. For you who have read all way through, and definitely if you've read all three books, are there any threads that are not tied up, or are you left with a  "completed" feeling at the ending? Do the last questions seem like ones that are ok to be addressed in a separate series, or several years after reading this?

Previously:
S/E/I arrive in the other facet with their news of the Elg. The Eff and court are there, E has problems with trust, and E/I learn about their folks. The Eff faints shortly thereafter. E battles the voices inside her as they travel to the Ari, and attacks S. In the Ari enclave, I struggles with his image, we learn of the Ari, and E and I use each other's houses for the first time.
M arrives with the society to the Imp and is attacked by Elg. People die and M finds himself with more and more responsibility as they attempt to figure out what's going on. They learn the Eff is also killed, and M makes clever use of a portal to save his life.
Ri and co arrive on HD's homeworld, gather themselves, then engage the Elg in the Imp. They barely escape, and find out where other refugees have gone.
S/E/I learn more about the Ari and find there's only one hammock in the bedroom. They all attempt to pass through the wall, but are stopped by the Elg. S devises a new plan and they try again, with disastrous results.
M leads his posse on a hunt, without success, and meets up with R and her posse. Many connections are made.
E lives as an Elg for a few days and learns how they work. She also wins over the voices inside. I, meanwhile, dons the diadem and learns the history of the Eff.
E/I appear in front of the rest of the cast and fill them in on everything. O gets some long overdue recognition and the whole crew starts planning to fight back.
Back with S, he learns about the HoT and what comes next. Then it's off to Re to see how he's working with/against the Ari.
M works with E/I on their connection, Talks to O, and E/I figure out their next steps. Then O talks with the hive and R with the Gr.
E/I visit Vae, still in her coma, and speak with the Ari leaders. S works out how the HoT works.
Re and N fight Elg, then team up with E/I and the Ari. R, M, and co make a first push toward the Elg, but are rebuffed, and are reunited with E/I, Re and N. Then S and WW find out where the Neth. really came from!

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Posted (edited)

Hoo-ha. My goodness. The end, of the book, and of the trilogy. I think I'll split comments over more than one post for some reason that is not immediately obvious to me. Maybe 3 posts.

Also, because I'm inserting LBLs and it's a long Doc, my page number are going to get pushed out at some point. Sorry about that.

Here we go. This is exciting.

Section 1

(page 2)

- "E and her other instance" - This is really cold. Why doesn't she call him In?

- "allowing them to hunt at their ease" - I tend to doubt any really felt 'at ease' in this situation. They are not soldiers, after all, and even if they were.

- "hit on a joined change" - Don't follow this phrasing.

(page 3)

- "throbbing mass of black and orange, like a nest of caterpillars" - shudder.

(page 4)

- "En leapt to stop her" - Ok, this is my first significant (small 's') issue. En and In knew this exact situation would arise, and easily would be able to forewarn Ri that a bunch of things that looked like El were going to arrive, but they were not. En even knew the timing of the event. So, this scene feels kind of deliberately dramatic, but the drama easily could have been avoided, which is the more likely thing for En and/or In to have done, surely.

- "El grew arms and legs" - chuckle. This is a laugh-out-loud line. In a very real sense, it's a case of the writing showing, but it's impossible for me not to appreciate this line.

- "Anything not El" - good line, reinforces the new paradigm wrt the Ar, and also the dire desperation of the situation.

(page 6)

- "those ones are new and different" - But the Ari are not new, also, there is serious baggage with the Ari, which there cannot be with the Gr. Not the best logic here, IMO.

- "Could they all fight the El together?" - For me, this is kind of vague and weak. I don't think it's a sharp enough and decisive enough thought for this late in the story. En's character is stronger than this somewhat timid thought.

- "She put action to word" - I think this means she extends a hand to Na, but it's not clear, IMO, and needs to leap to make that connection. I think it would read more positively if it's just stated outright. More importantly though, where does she get the authority to make such a call? Man is still in charge, is he not? I suppose he's not here.

(page 8)

- "patiently waiting to begin killing El" - I struggling a bit with the setting, in the sense that there is still a battle going on, is there not? I thought there were maj holding back a tide of El, the maj in their crescent formations. So, how do the Ar come through the gate? Are there not El between the Ar and the maj?

- Also, people are standing around talking again. An important debate, I accept, but I've lost the feeling of tension given that the enemy is present, and maj are fighting to stop them breaking through, (I thought).

- "unless no other outcome was possible" - This doesn't really chime against peace. No others outcome than what? Anger is not an outcome, as such.

- "It took another three light..."

(page 9)

- "They can’t keep fighting tonight" - Who can't?

- "the El have stopped coming" - When did this happen? I've been distanced from the conflict and what was actually happening. As above, I thought there was a battle going on, but I had no sense of the movements, where the threat was relative to the people standing around talking.

- "It will be better to attack again tomorrow" - Attack what? It was the El who attacked them from the city, surely. Have the maj done anything apart from repel the attacks of the El?

- "There is another movement in the N" - Vague, what does this mean? What is he sensing?

- "We’ll need to hold off the El off a little longer" - Huh? But what are their tactics? Okay, this is Big Issue Number 2. All these forces have come to the aid of the maj, but there are no tactics. We saw some tactics in the previous chapter, I think? (WRS), but now their strategy is to hold off the El and what...hope something happens? That is basically waiting for the end. They need to have a positive strategy, surely??? We've got Man, Ri, Or working together--and the speaker, but there is no strategy, no plan of attack?

(page 10)

- "their losses from today" - I remember now that the maj forces dropped the barrier and let the El out, effectively, but they never had a strategy for going in a trying to take back ground, or how to deploy forces. I don't need to know detailed strategy, but I think in the previous chapter, and here, I would just to know that they had some kind of plan. If it's WRS and it we there before, I need it to be reflected here too. The strategy failed, or whatever, but this POV seems directionless. The powwow they are having is not about strategy, but about whether to accept the Ar? That's completely moot if they are going to lose and be dissoluted out of existence anyway. 

OVERALL - Section 1

I just feel that this section has been quite directionless, and dwells overly on the arrival of the Ar and its significance for society when the biggest stakes surely remain the El and the Dis. I think Man would now that: I think Ri would know that. Or, I can see getting distracted, but the leaders I don't think would be distracted by what is really a side-show compared to the El. It's been identified that the El are doing something mysterious, but there is no discussion of that. The more I think about it, the more I think that the decision makers have, in this chapter, gone down a blind alley. IF, in this Council they are having, they are arguing about tactics against the El, I don't think that's clear, but I don't think this is the subject of their debate, I think it's the Ar, and that feels like the wrong stakes to me.

More to follow!

Edited by Robinski
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Wow, that was a lot of ground to cover! Nice work!

 

The beginning time skip was a bit confusing. It seemed like starting in the present, rewinding and then catching up without a clear, 'first, then, now'

"Two fingered ward." Sorry, I have no idea what this is.

About 25% "I will not betray my compatriots to you..." This sentence gets a little tangled for me with the speaker's verbal ticks. Maybe two simpler sentences?

War beasts: very cool

Time skip: the jump after the Ari meet up with everyone seems strange. As @Robinski commented, it really reduced the sense of tension for me.

"We'll need to hold off the Ev a little longer." I didn't get the impression that this is what they were doing. It seemed like they were just running raids and trying to figure out how to remove all of them. Are they aware of what S and WW are doing at this point? 

Around 45%: "We've got you, "I said, and S found his scaley snout..." Dang pronouns! To my knowledge 'his' always refers back to the most recent person so this reads as S's scaley snout.

A other noob question but just in case this is relevant: does closing the gaps in the Sym cost notes? Because I thought S was already tapped out but he's closing a lot of gaps.

Epilogue;

Paragraph starting, "The Sphere's design..." "What happened her" 'here' instead.

Satisfaction level: very high 

I can't speak to promises made in earlier books but this one seems wrapped up nicely with an ominous villain, a shadowy organization and massive rebuild waiting for future books. And a wedding! Although I really thought for a moment that the wedding is what we were seeing through R's eyes until S wasn't there. 

Both feet firmly sticking the landing! Well done

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Section 2 

(page 10)

- "combined forces pushed into the Imp" - Yes! This is what I felt I was missing in the last section, and idea that someone was thinking about strategy / the plan, and not just standing around arguing about Ar.

- "It’s an ambush" - I really don't think it's an ambush. The El don't seem to organise in that way, or form conscious strategies in advance. I feel it's been presented that they are reactive to what is in from of them. Ri could just be plain old wrong, of course, but I feel that she's seen enough of the El to come to this conclusion.

(page 11)

- "did have strategy. They just hadn’t shown it yet" - Mmm. They are digging around the Spi, so that shows intent, purpose strategy, but their movements around the Imp, I feel, have been totally reactive. What we have seen of them anyway.

- "can you handle them?" - Vague. Handle what? Also, I know Man is not a war commander, but it would be much more exciting and compelling if he was shouting 'Go get them!' I really don't think Genghis Khan shouted may questions to his troops ;) 

- "A spike of earth speared up and into an El" - Why has no one done this before? This is an incredibly effective tactic, and no one has thought of it? They could deal with dozens per hour if they could replicate this enough, in Strength, right?

(page 12)

- "following him into a grand thoroughfare" - POV issue: how do they see all the consequent actions? How do they see the W/Bs and Na acting?

- "chunks of the city" - this sounds like whole neighbourhoods. I struggle to figure the description.

(page 13)

- "I can’t hear the Symphony" - Excellent drama. Very tense moment.

(page 14)

- "They ran closer" - Closer than/to what?

(page 15)

- the noise level was overwhelming" - General comment about word choice. There quite a few instances when I think that the emotion / threat / stakes, etc. are downplayed by word choice, or rather suppressed. Maybe a better way to say it is that there are opportunities for stoking up these things. I know this is something that you tend to do on second or third pass, but being aware of the deadline, I thought I would flag what I thought were prominent ones in the LBLs.

Here, for example, 'noise level' sound to me like the buttoned-up Health & Safety manager taking sound readings in on office to make sure they are within guidelines, when we might have something like 'cacophony', for example, which I think is more emotive.

(page 16)

- "as if they were vines planted in a field" - Not the most effective metaphor, for me, not for something that is rolling, anyway.

(page 18)

- "It was clearer up here" - What was clearer? The air? The noise? Thought? The Symphony?

- "faster than thought" - Hmmmmm.

- "winged arms spread wide" - There was mention of thicker skin between the arms to pull them up, but if they are not actually flapping the wings to create uplift, that skin is just deadweight, surely. They do not seem to be flapping.

- En and In are going up really quickly, and S and WW are falling really quickly. Their closing speed must be huge. I think the judgement that En is employing needs to be more sophisticated. She mentions 'soaring toward S', but if they aim for a point at which S is (as this implies) S and WW will have plummeted away past them. I would think that they need to aim for a point well ahead of S and WW. 

Moreover, the description has been of En and In going upwards, but S and WW were specks some distance away, up, but also over lateral distance, I implied. That being the case, En and In have not closed any of the horizontal distance, and so will have a fair amount of flying to do to reach S and WW's vertical path. I think En should be more concerned about gaining enough height (which she does mention) to be able to fly horizontally to intercept S and WW's path while still having enough height to arrest their plummeting descent.

Overall - Section 2 

Sorry that took so long, I go interrupted by all sorts of things. Actually went into the office today :o 

Lots of good tension in this section, comments notwithstanding, this will be exciting stuff. S's intervention plays much better up here than it did when we saw him do it before. It really does not seem to inconvenience the good guys that much, only the baddies, which I kind of convenient. It feels too easy to me. S does something random that he doesn't understand and it works fine, melts the El, blocks the voice and everyone lives happily ever after. It's just too easy, IMO.

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Thanks @Robinski and @Sarah B!

On 6/15/2020 at 0:26 PM, Robinski said:

En and In knew this exact situation would arise, and easily would be able to forewarn Ri that a bunch of things that looked like El were going to arrive, but they were not. En even knew the timing of the event. So, this scene feels kind of deliberately dramatic, but the drama easily could have been avoided, which is the more likely thing for En and/or In to have done, surely.

Yep, good catch. I'll change this up so she tells when it's coming (or has a reason not to). I think there will still be plenty of drama with that.

On 6/15/2020 at 2:21 PM, Sarah B said:

The beginning time skip was a bit confusing. It seemed like starting in the present, rewinding and then catching up without a clear, 'first, then, now'

I'll try to clear this up. I had a bit of this same feeling when I read through it.

On 6/15/2020 at 2:21 PM, Sarah B said:

"Two fingered ward." Sorry, I have no idea what this is.

This is something from previous books, but I can put in a reminder.

On 6/15/2020 at 0:26 PM, Robinski said:

- "those ones are new and different" - But the Ari are not new, also, there is serious baggage with the Ari, which there cannot be with the Gr. Not the best logic here, IMO.

Fair. I'll try to work on a better comparison.

On 6/15/2020 at 0:26 PM, Robinski said:

- "patiently waiting to begin killing El" - I struggling a bit with the setting, in the sense that there is still a battle going on, is there not? I thought there were maj holding back a tide of El, the maj in their crescent formations. So, how do the Ar come through the gate? Are there not El between the Ar and the maj?

The tried to enter the city last time, but when they retreated, the Elg stayed in the city and didn't come after. I think this ties in with what you said last chapter about how the "plan" isn't well stated.

On 6/15/2020 at 0:26 PM, Robinski said:

- Also, people are standing around talking again. An important debate, I accept, but I've lost the feeling of tension given that the enemy is present, and maj are fighting to stop them breaking through, (I thought).

 

On 6/15/2020 at 2:21 PM, Sarah B said:

"We'll need to hold off the Ev a little longer." I didn't get the impression that this is what they were doing. It seemed like they were just running raids and trying to figure out how to remove all of them. Are they aware of what S and WW are doing at this point? 

 

On 6/15/2020 at 0:26 PM, Robinski said:

- "We’ll need to hold off the El off a little longer" - Huh? But what are their tactics? Okay, this is Big Issue Number 2. All these forces have come to the aid of the maj, but there are no tactics. We saw some tactics in the previous chapter, I think? (WRS), but now their strategy is to hold off the El and what...hope something happens? That is basically waiting for the end. They need to have a positive strategy, surely??? We've got Man, Ri, Or working together--and the speaker, but there is no strategy, no plan of attack?

Similar to above. I think I need to define what the army is doing better, and how they intend to proceed. The plan was to charge into the city and start taking out the Elg with overwhelming force, but that didn't work, so they dropped back and are trying a second plan. I'll work on clarifying all this. "Hold off" is not the best term. R/M & co are on the offensive, so more like they need to keep putting pressure on the Elg, before more come through the voids.

On 6/15/2020 at 0:26 PM, Robinski said:

I don't need to know detailed strategy, but I think in the previous chapter, and here, I would just to know that they had some kind of plan. If it's WRS and it we there before, I need it to be reflected here too. The strategy failed, or whatever, but this POV seems directionless.

Yep. I think I've got an idea of how to change this. Putting more pressure on killing as many Elg as possible before they recoup their numbers, while introducing the Ari to the rest of the facet.

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "combined forces pushed into the Imp" - Yes! This is what I felt I was missing in the last section, and idea that someone was thinking about strategy / the plan, and not just standing around arguing about Ar.

Yep. I'll detail the last section so there's more of an agenda.

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

"did have strategy. They just hadn’t shown it yet" - Mmm. They are digging around the Spi, so that shows intent, purpose strategy, but their movements around the Imp, I feel, have been totally reactive. What we have seen of them anyway.

Hm...so I was intending this to show that they were developing strategy, or at least using it, now people were actively attacking. I'll see if I can make it clearer.

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "following him into a grand thoroughfare" - POV issue: how do they see all the consequent actions? How do they see the W/Bs and Na acting?

Will add some detail!

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

- En and In are going up really quickly, and S and WW are falling really quickly. Their closing speed must be huge. I think the judgement that En is employing needs to be more sophisticated. She mentions 'soaring toward S', but if they aim for a point at which S is (as this implies) S and WW will have plummeted away past them. I would think that they need to aim for a point well ahead of S and WW. 

Good point. Will re-physics this section.

On 6/15/2020 at 2:21 PM, Sarah B said:

A other noob question but just in case this is relevant: does closing the gaps in the Sym cost notes? Because I thought S was already tapped out but he's closing a lot of gaps

That's a good point! I'll need to show S's fatigue better in here, or show why/how he can spend the notes.

On 6/15/2020 at 2:21 PM, Sarah B said:

I can't speak to promises made in earlier books but this one seems wrapped up nicely with an ominous villain, a shadowy organization and massive rebuild waiting for future books. And a wedding! Although I really thought for a moment that the wedding is what we were seeing through R's eyes until S wasn't there. 

Both feet firmly sticking the landing! Well done

Awesome! I can clarify what Re is seeing, but very pleased that you enjoyed it overall. It's been a slog since last October!

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

It really does not seem to inconvenience the good guys that much, only the baddies, which I kind of convenient. It feels too easy to me. S does something random that he doesn't understand and it works fine, melts the El, blocks the voice and everyone lives happily ever after. It's just too easy, IMO.

Well, it is the end of the book. He has to get something right eventually!

But I take your point. I think I can help boost this by figuring out the details of the last chapter a little better.

7 hours ago, Robinski said:

Sorry that took so long, I go interrupted by all sorts of things. Actually went into the office today :o

No problem at all! This is very long...

Hope everything went well at work. I've managed to stay away since April so far...

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Section 3 

(page 20)

- "roof to roof, faster than a cheetah" - This is tongue in cheek, but a cheetah runs circa 70mph on the ground, not going up buildings. Just seems a slightly mixed metaphor.

- "he grunted in pain" - I'd like to be reminded that S and WW are plummeting towards the ground. I know they have slowed, but still.

- "until she came abreast of them, and then above" - Hmm, right, Referring to my comments on Section 2, is it the case that the Gr only glide, and do not fly? Regardless of that, I think it's still the case that if she waits until S and WW are past them there is no chance of catching them, and that she should be diving off when they are still above. Looking at it another way, S and WW will have reached terminal velocity (although I appreciate they are then slowed from that by S efforts). Still, En and In will have to stop and push off, so they will be starting from a velocity of zero. If they wait until they are level with S and WW, I don't think they would have time to catch them. I'm tempted to break out some equations of motion here.

(page 21)

- "Then he and WW were enveloped" - Too fast!!! That is almost instantaneous. They were a speck in the sky when En saw them 'somewhere in the Imp'.

- "found himself sitting on the curb" - The deceleration to nothing happens too fast, IMO, to be believable. I think they would feel some Gees as they brake hard to a stop.

(page 22)

- "It was the Symphony" - WRS is hampering my recollection, but I thought it implied that it was a maj (which had contributed to the building of the Net itself). Now it is an actual (other) symphony?

(page 23)

- "they had only to build enough presence" - Why then are they so intent of looking for something at the spire, I wonder?

- "eyes still closed" - How did he see the El sinking then?

- "but there wasn’t time" - This is so blindingly obvious that it doesn't seem worth him articulating in thought. I think something even more all-encompassingly general  would work better, like 'but he could not.' Because he has the small matter of the Net to save.

- There are lots of good synonyms for 'noise', almost all of which are more emotive and expressive than 'noise', or 'humming': viz, tumult, din, racket, fracas, uproar, etc. Humming just isn't dangerous or scary, IMO.

(page 26)

- "to the brim" - I've never really had this sense.

(page 27)

- "Let’s take care of the others" - This is an unrealistic statement. There are hundreds upon hundreds, tens of thousands, I thought? They need every maj to be given this information. How many maj users are there? 1,000? Surely they need to do 50 to 100 El each. It can't just be a case of this group mopping them up. They are spread all over the place, for another thing. 

I feel it would be more appropriate if En's statement was, 'We have to get this knowledge to all the other maj.' If not, then finishing the El will be too easy. It needs to take hours and hours, IMO. There are too many for this one group.

- "a puff of white and green smashing together" - Ha! After all my bleating about raising the intensity through word choice, this one seems a bit over the top. I'm trying to imagine two puffs 'smashing' together. Smashing sounds negative to me in this context, although I suppose it is a destructive act. Still, puffs...

- "Other maj" - Going back to my earlier comment about numbers, setting aside the issue of logistics of clearing the Net, I would find it helpful to know ho many maj there are around here in this group.

And anything thing, can the same maj make the same change in the symphony so close together? How far away does the next target need to be to avoid the barrier of making the same change in the same location (this bridging of the gap in the symphony)?

- "would the El come right back?" - are there still drains appearing and dropping more El in?

- "his crest rose in nervousness" - Really? Why? Or is a tireless explorer and has faced many alien situations and forms, why is he suddenly nervous? Seems a bit out of character to me.

(page 28)

- "Yes, we do" - Great hutzpah: En has grown up alot.

- "mouthing “soon.”" - Meh, this felt a touch on the feta side to me.

(page 31)

- "That knife was imbued..." - Now that is interesting! Very interesting. 

(page 32)

- "From the wrinkles on their hands, S assumed they were older" - This coming at the end of the section feels off. It's a minor detail and doesn't convey anything to me. I think it detracts from the drama and portent of the end of the section.

OVERALL - Section 3 

Another good section, bringing people together. You maybe remember how I griped (cough, understatement) about various characters assuming the everything would be fine in the end some chapters ago. The same feeling emerges here, and it feels like the battle is winding down, BUT they have earned it here, earned the change to be optimistic about the future now that they have the upper hand and it appears they can banish the El. So, I have no problems with this.

But, with only 8 pages to go of the 'main book', there are still unresolved matters like the spire, and there has been no final confrontation between S and the voice, which I am expecting. I am slightly wary that we are just going to run down to the end without a big crescendo.

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Section 4 

(page 32)

- "dragged an anchor on his back with each step" - Is the point of dragging an anchor not that it is in the ground, and acting like an anchor, instead of just a deadweight on the back?

- "kept the El from moving" - the analogy was one of shaking a tree, and shaking them off, I thought, but the effect has been different.

- "shaken from this reality" - I thought they had to do the pinching thing to actually get rid of them, although only now I do remember that some which fell seemed to go through the floor.

- Can a hum roar? Seems a bit of a mixed description.

- "Once again, I’m no use" - I don't really believe that even S would think this. He then goes an immediately disproves it.

- "He was doing something" - And he showed them how to do it. I'm just not convinced even he would believe the initial thought. Seems a bit contrived.

- "garden around the Spire" - Whoa, whoa, whoa. Broken promise alert. It was carefully set up, more than once, that there was a big concentration of El around the spire, and they were digging a big hole, intent of finding something. (1) How can the garden still be here: where is the big hole?; (2) surely clearing the big, big concentration of El would be a task needing many maj, but it's been skipped over. I was seeing it as the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. At least, I thought it would get a mention; (3) mystery, what were the El looking for at the spire, we certainly need to know that.

(page 33)

- Ha-ha. Okay, I should have read on a sentence, but you know me, react first, consider carefully later :rolleyes:  Still, I thought we might get to at least hear about the titanic effort it took to clear the last massed force of El, the heroism of our key players. Maybe that is coming up too.

- "who had eaten into the Net" - I feel like the El are 'its', not 'whos'. They have no individual identity, and have been described as creatures.

(page 34)

- "Go get him" - This mystery feels contrived. Why would she not just say Fel? S is not going to resist in his state, and why would he anyway?

(page 35)

- "put together" - Surely In or En would just have told him this?

- "keeps them from opening new voids" - Ah, now. I raised this before: I don't think this was stated before.

(page 36)

- "popped out of the breach in the wall as they did, clambering up the pitted crystal and earth" - Confused. The hole in the wall and the pit were described as being different, but having Or and HD clambering up makes it sound like they're coming from the pit, IMO. They also say 'down there'. I thought the breach in the wall and the pit were different.

(page 37)

- "half-revealed in the crystal" - Not clear. I thought at first that the El had brought the device. Then I guess they are trying to excavate it, but I'm not sure the description is clear in that respect.

(page 38)

- "Perhaps it will provide answers we need" - I'm really quite underwhelmed with how this is dismissed by Man. "Oh sure, that looks interesting. Anyway, what was I saying?" I really wanted something like 'It's the lost Geegaw of the House of Radiation*?! Lost for a thousand cycles.' Or, 'Can this be an artefact of the founders themselves?!' Just, more really.

- "It looked like a rocket engine" - :o Okay, that will do nicely. I retract the above comment. I think this line should be in a paragraph of its own.

- "The Net had grown from the root, and the root looked very much like the cockpit of a spacecraft" - I don't remember either of these conclusion being clear from that chapter. I'm not convinced this is WRS: I'm sure I did not take those points away with me from the 'control' room.

- "plunged between two unis, piloted by the peers..." - :blink::wacko::unsure: - I just didn't get this from the narrative before. I really want more clues in that earlier section, and S is presenting this like he has already worked it out. If he did that off screen I am going to be annoyed, because that realisation has been withheld from me till now, which I feel is unreliable of S, which I'd say he has not been before.

(page 39)

- "but it felt like a pedestal growing underneath his music" - I don't follow. If he can't hear it, how can he feel it? Confused.

- "buoying it up from sinking below the waves" - I don't know what this means.

- "gently lowered his composition into the construct" - No, you've lost me completely. This construct is entirely of potential, which S cannot hear? How can is it he can use it, interact with it?

- Issue: was the original sound heralding the Dis not a chime? I feel both the problem and the cure are being described using the same term at point. By this point, I'm not sure if the chime was the bad thing and the hum is the good thing (I'm more clear about the hum, I think.)

- "no longer approaches so fast, but at a normal pace" - This reads clunky to me, and is less whelming than I would like.

(page 40)

- Endings are hard. I find this one, the very ending, disappointing. I feel like it's relying on the epilogue to do the heavy lifting in terms of emotional satisfaction. 'There's a lot of work to do': meh, verging on cliché. I want a cheer moment at the end, not a kind of don't get comfortable, there's lots of broken stuff to fix, which is how I felt.

It is not aided, I think, by the fact that the epilogue does not start on a new page, which I think is a must, for effect. We need to see that blank whiter paper after the last line.

Overall - Section 4 

I found a fair few things rather difficult to grasp, and I think an edit or two for flow and clarity would benefit this a good deal.

The epilogue stars a 10 day later, which is not much time at all. For me, it feels more like the final chapter. In the same way that a prologue is supposed to do things that one cannot do in the narrative flow of the novel itself, is a prologue not in the same sense, to deal with matters significantly discontinuous with the main narrative?

Anyway, back to the ending. We've just discovered that there is a big rocket crashed pointy end first into the Net (if I've understood correctly), but that is sidelined by some rather bland ending statements. For some reason, I'm thinking of the original Planets of the Apes, Charlton Heston on the beach, 'Drat you, drat you all to heck!' Okay, we're not in that kind of scenario, but I want to cheer at the end, and be uplifted, and I don't really get that. It's nice, and peaceful, but that's about as much as I'm feeling.

And another thing, there actually is a note of uncertainty as to whether they are actually safe, viz En's question: it's not certain, which strikes me as a bit off. I'd really like to be sure the Dis is over.

Speaking of that, WW's comments about it similarly leave me rather dissatisfied. 'The end of the world is still coming, just more slowly.' Oh good, I feel much better now. I know this is still the case, but can we not have the emphasis on the upside. Like S saying, we have hundreds of cycles to work on that. I know they don't, but society does.

Last batch of epilogue comments to come.

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Thanks again, @Robinski!

On 6/17/2020 at 4:56 AM, Robinski said:

I'm tempted to break out some equations of motion here.

I was trying to avoid that when writing this...I'll clean it up, though.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:56 AM, Robinski said:

I think they would feel some Gees as they brake hard to a stop.

I actually took some words out here, so I may need to put them back in.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:56 AM, Robinski said:

- "It was the Symphony" - WRS is hampering my recollection, but I thought it implied that it was a maj (which had contributed to the building of the Net itself). Now it is an actual (other) symphony?

The voice claimed this several times, but I'm not sure if I directly state it. It's sort of assumed. I wonder if this comes across in the epilogue? At any rate, my thought was the voice has been in the other universe so long, it's sort of taken over the Symphony there.

 

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "keeps them from opening new voids" - Ah, now. I raised this before: I don't think this was stated before.

Yep, ties back to not explaining what S was doing at the end of last chapter.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:56 AM, Robinski said:

- "Let’s take care of the others" - This is an unrealistic statement. There are hundreds upon hundreds, tens of thousands, I thought? They need every maj to be given this information.

My intent was for them to take care of the others by letting all the maji know and help. I'll clarify.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:56 AM, Robinski said:

I would find it helpful to know ho many maj there are around here in this group.

I think I gave a number at the beginning of the fight, but I could give a refresher.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:56 AM, Robinski said:

And anything thing, can the same maj make the same change in the symphony so close together? How far away does the next target need to be to avoid the barrier of making the same change in the same location (this bridging of the gap in the symphony)?

Might be a bit handwavy, but I'm giving this one a pass because they're not really making a change so much as connecting two parts of the Symphony, which then rushes in to fill the gap.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:56 AM, Robinski said:

- "would the El come right back?" - are there still drains appearing and dropping more El in?

No, they're all "frozen." Will clarify.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:56 AM, Robinski said:

"mouthing “soon.”" - Meh, this felt a touch on the feta side to me

Feta?

On 6/17/2020 at 4:56 AM, Robinski said:

The same feeling emerges here, and it feels like the battle is winding down, BUT they have earned it here, earned the change to be optimistic about the future now that they have the upper hand and it appears they can banish the El. So, I have no problems with this.

Good. Glad this part is (mostly) working. I'm wondering what you will think of the epilogue...

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "kept the El from moving" - the analogy was one of shaking a tree, and shaking them off, I thought, but the effect has been different

Yeah, I adjusted this metaphor once already. I'm still not completely satisfied.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

Still, I thought we might get to at least hear about the titanic effort it took to clear the last massed force of El, the heroism of our key players.

Hmmm..I sort of went from showing everyone how to do it to the aftermath. I thought showing all the effort would bring down the tension.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "keeps them from opening new voids" - Ah, now. I raised this before: I don't think this was stated before.

Check. Will add.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

I thought the breach in the wall and the pit were different.

I cleaned up the description already, but looks like I need another pass at it. There's a hole in the base of the Spire that goes all the way down into the crystal, so half the hole is in the stone and the other half in crystal.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

- I don't remember either of these conclusion being clear from that chapter. I'm not convinced this is WRS: I'm sure I did not take those points away with me from the 'control' room.

Hmmm...I'll look back at the description and try to clarify. I think some other readers got it, but it may not be clear enough.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

I just didn't get this from the narrative before. I really want more clues in that earlier section, and S is presenting this like he has already worked it out. If he did that off screen I am going to be annoyed, because that realisation has been withheld from me till now, which I feel is unreliable of S, which I'd say he has not been before.

Wasn't meant to be withheld, mainly S putting all the pieces together here. I think this goes to that same problem at the end of the previous chapter.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "gently lowered his composition into the construct" - No, you've lost me completely. This construct is entirely of potential, which S cannot hear? How can is it he can use it, interact with it?

I've described things like this in a couple other places, where the majus working with others can "feel" how the connection is placed. I'll see if I can tidy this up.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

Issue: was the original sound heralding the Dis not a chime? I feel both the problem and the cure are being described using the same term at point. By this point, I'm not sure if the chime was the bad thing and the hum is the good thing (I'm more clear about the hum, I think.)

Yeah, probably need to come up with another word.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

I feel like it's relying on the epilogue to do the heavy lifting in terms of emotional satisfaction.

That's sort of what happens. Maybe it's not an epilogue after all, but just the last chapter...

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

It is not aided, I think, by the fact that the epilogue does not start on a new page

That's just from copying over for submission. The actual text is on a new page.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

The epilogue stars a 10 day later, which is not much time at all. For me, it feels more like the final chapter.

Yep. Maybe this doesn't have an epilogue, but just a last chapter. Let me know what you think when you get to it.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

there is a big rocket crashed pointy end first into the Net (if I've understood correctly),

Not quite, probably because I didn't set it up enough. The engine is the other end of the cockpit. The Net grew out of the original spaceship.

22 hours ago, Robinski said:

I want to cheer at the end, and be uplifted, and I don't really get that. It's nice, and peaceful, but that's about as much as I'm feeling.

And another thing, there actually is a note of uncertainty as to whether they are actually safe, viz En's question: it's not certain, which strikes me as a bit off. I'd really like to be sure the Dis is over.

Speaking of that, WW's comments about it similarly leave me rather dissatisfied. 'The end of the world is still coming, just more slowly.' Oh good, I feel much better now. I know this is still the case, but can we not have the emphasis on the upside. Like S saying, we have hundreds of cycles to work on that. I know they don't, but society does.

This all is interesting. I'm thinking of feelings at the end of books I've read and wondering where the "cheer" moment comes vs. the "ending" moment. To me, the cheer here is where they realize the Elg are stopped, and the ending of the book is tying up all the other things. In terms of the Diss coming slower, I was imagining saying "the Earth is going to be hit by a meteor in days!" vs. "No, we stopped it. Yes, Earth will eventually be unable to bear life, but that's a long way off still." Dunno. Maybe I just need to state a firmer date ?

I'm thinking you will find some of the ending you want in the Epilogue, which is probably really the last chapter. Looking forward to what you think!

 

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Epilogue 

(page 41) - I inserted a page break, see above! ;) 

- A seventeen page epilogue? I go back to my point about whether or not this is in fact a chapter. I don't know that answer, but it feels more like a chapter to me, especially since the final chapter finished at the same pace, and without a particularly resounding moment. (I don't know if this is any help. It's just how I feel at reaching the end, not just of one book, but of three.)

- Transmission from whom, to whom, from where? None of the other epigraphs have been so vague, I think. Here at the end of the it all, the last thing I want is another mystery. I want answers, not questions.

Ri POV

(page 43)

- "R didn't argue with him." - I feel that this is the end of their story, and, again, I think it can pay off in a sweeter, more satisfying way. The absence of a response from her, or the expression of a negative at the end is--I feel--well, negative, not positive. I've made a suggestion in the LBLs.

It's a really nice, satisfying scene, and I very much enjoy where they have ended up, how they play against each other, and where they seem certain to be going. Nicely done. As I say, I just crave a more satisfying last line.

In POV

(page 46)

- Is it not more fitting for it to be 'Three paths in life? It's not as if En and In's have been the same.

Decent scene. I'm not bowled over, I have to admit. It was always going to happen, so it's not surprising. There's some sweetness in the moment, but I've always been more invested in Or and Ri's relationship, if I'm honest, from a romantic POV.

Re POV

(page 47)

- "A new Assembly" - What happened to the old building? Can they not just go back to that?

Good, reliably entertaining Re scene. I'm not convinced he's changed much over the three books. He has grown, a bit, I suppose, but I don't think his personality has changed. He has progressed in his profession, I suppose, but still seems to be an apprentice. 

Once again, the end of the POV, the last line; it's very prosaic. It doesn't leave my with any upswell of emotion, which is what I want at the end of an arc.

Man POV

(page 49)

- "could potentially usher" - vagueness, lack of investment. Here at the end, I think it's so important for clarity, optimism, etc.

(page 50)

- "But what was to be their purpose?" - Hallelujah. Glad my main...birdman is asking the same questions as me :) 

- "their universe is winding down" - This brings me back to my point about this being a chapter and not an epilogue. I would not expect to get the whole reason the story happened being revealed in an epilogue. Surely that should be in the main story?

(page 51)

- "subsume the maj" - This sounds like an evil masterplan. Subsume sounds like what the Borg do, or the Cybermen, the Sith, etc.

Good POV. I'd prefer a bit more of Man's impressions of certain other characters. I'd like him to think about Or (which he does), but also Ri. I guess we know his intention for her though. Mmm, okay, maybe not needed.

(page 52)

- "facets and reflections flashing by" - I think there has been insufficient wonder about this. All of these other facets with other creatures completely unknown to our characters.

Sa POV

- I really like the opening with him 'falling'. Great description, this place feels knew and fresh. I get some of that sense of wonder I was talking about before, about them knowing something radically different and new about their world.

- And here is the 'showdown' with the Voice that I felt was missing from the denouement. It just makes me feel more and more like this is a chapter and not an epilogue: it has major plot strands that are connected to the main story.

(page 53)

- "into that expanse" - I get no sense of an expanse, I get nothing concrete, just vague blurriness.

(page 54)

- "Two were missing" - :o yes!! Major payoff.

- "also two missing" - (where is the exploding head emoji........) exploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.png

- "Maybe they had been control devices" - No, no, don't you dare leave it there!!! Control of what? Used by whom? How did they get here (Other than in a buckle great rocket now buried to the neck in crystal)? Where did the rocket come from? How many people were on it?

- "after the Net grew from it" - exploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.pngexploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.pngexploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.pngexploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.pngexploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.pngexploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.png - I don't think I understood this before, in that scene before when S came here at first. There were too many distractions, too many other things I was trying to understand. Was I supposed to get this before? I kind of hope not, because I would then be expecting him to tell his friends about this very fact, which he did not. I think this can be a good point at which to explain clearly what this reveal is, I just can't remember how it played in the first scene, when he didn't know what he was doing.

- "into the slash of light" - I don't understand what this is, or really what it looks like.

(page 55)

- "push it back in" - The craft? But I don't get any sense that the craft has moved from its original position, that the voice was in any way progressing its goal, or approaching success.

- "I am the Symphony" - But, was not the Voice presented as (just) another maj? That's what I remember. But it has also been spoken of as the Symphony of the other universe. That seems at odds with it being (just) another maj, but rather more in tune with what I was hoping for, that the voice would be something beyond ordinary, something amazing, godlike, but ultimately misdirected in its aims. 

An another thing, this implies that the Symphony of the universe the contains for worlds of the Assembly also has a voice, but no one has heard it (yet). Doesn't it?

(page 57)

- "Push the plug deeper into the hole" - I've never had the sense that the plug was coming out of the hole.

- "the aura around his body grew too bright to look at" - POV issue: S doesn't need to look at it, he is it.

- "deeper into the rift between universes" - This is massive, monumental. There is no way this is a prologue, IMO. These are the immense, world-altering events that I expected at the conclusion of the novel and the trilogy. For me, an epilogue should be five cycles later, totally removed from the main events, with S, In and En living somewhere new and interesting and learning what they do now. Ri having been in charge of the SoTH for five years (oh, wait, issue), Ori questing out somewhere, and all the apprentices being full maj.

(page 58)

- "a ringing tuning fork had been stuffed into a vice" - I don't really get this analogy.

- "He suspected it would take longer to endanger the tree of the Net" - :( New concept on the last page. Tree of Net. What does that mean? It's been crystal for three books, how many hundreds and hundreds of pages? Now it's a tree? Hey, where's that rug that was under me a moment ago?

- "How many caverns..." - What? Eh? The language here is... When S came down here, he passed many, many facets. I asked a question about that. Many facets that we have no concept of. The variations near endless, that would take lifetimes to explore. Then he moves the rocket, and now there are hundreds and hundreds more? But there were already more than could ever be explored in ten lifetimes. Creating a bunch more seems...repetitive. I got the wonder of that concept on the way down here. Now, the same concept again, but I've used up my wonder on the way down, so this feels...ho, hum. More facets. Okay.

- "within it" - But there is no it, surely? There are hundreds and hundreds of new facets. What is 'it'? It is the Net? And the Net is one universe, but there are lots of new facets within that one universe, the Net?

- Great last one, but I'm coming back again one more time to me feeling that this is in the conclusion of the novel, when S faces his enemy and 'resolves' the situation. I really think this is contained within the arc of the novel, and this is a chapter, not an epilogue.

OVERALL 

- Why were the El taking the energy? I'm not sure I really understood the nature of the Net from the scene at the root. Also, the villain being some other maj us, and not some special, different, extraordinary creature. And we never saw their defeat, as it were, never saw them howling in anger, did we? I forget. The scene down in the root never felt like a great showdown. I'm not sure we really got a great climactic scene.

- Okay, the above point gets answered, but only in the epilogue. Also, I think there is insufficient wonder among other people about the HoT and the HoM. Completely new houses that no one knew anything about? Also, Did we establish where the HoT was, the one in Man's facet? I felt that would be a big thing. Maybe it doesn't  matter.

- Hang on, if Man wants to the SoTH to replace the Assembly and the Council, why has he put Ri in charge of it? That seems counterintuitive to me. Surely he would be at its head?

At the end of it all, my overriding emotion is confusion. I don't think the takeaway in relation to the nature of the universe, the facets, the Net, the root, the ship, the spire, the Voice, the tree, the caverns......... There are so many components that should, I think, at the end of the novel mesh together seamlessly, but that's not what I'm feeling. I really want the end to be tighter.

The last couple of paragraphs are spot on in terms of emotional tone, for me. It's what comes before that I am struggling with in its present form.

I know I will have more thoughts later, once I have processed this. Tomorrow, maybe. But, for now, thank you :) 

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6 hours ago, Mandamon said:
On 17/06/2020 at 9:56 AM, Robinski said:

"mouthing “soon.”" - Meh, this felt a touch on the feta side to me

Feta?

Sorry, that feta comment was a bit meta. I meant cheesy.

6 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I thought showing all the effort would bring down the tension.

Maybe, but even just a stirring recollection (for a paragraph?) of hopelessly outnumbered maj striving to whittle the impossible numbers down, protected by the remaining soldier, gradually turning the tide over lightenings of effort, bone weary, driving in on the invaders, decimating them, decimating them again, and again, and again. Maybe a maj or two still fall victim until finally the maj, the Gr, the Pi, the Ari stood the morning light and the last El was gone, and the Imp was freed. I just thought the final victory might get more of an acknowledgement.

6 hours ago, Mandamon said:

That's sort of what happens. Maybe it's not an epilogue after all, but just the last chapter...

Ah-ha. Funny you should say that...

Interesting what you say about the cheer moment when the El are vanquished. That's kind of what I was getting at, as noted above, that we didn't really see that moment of soldiers on the battlefield, finally lowering their swords, grim-faces breaking into smiles of realisation that they'd won. Weariness catching up to them, hugging each other in relief, etc. 

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Thanks again @Robinski!

23 hours ago, Robinski said:

Sorry, that feta comment was a bit meta. I meant cheesy.

Meta feta. Lol

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- Transmission from whom, to whom, from where? None of the other epigraphs have been so vague, I think. Here at the end of the it all, the last thing I want is another mystery. I want answers, not questions.

Didn't really intend this to be a mystery. Was it clear after you finished that this was a transmission from the ship entering the breach?

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

It's a really nice, satisfying scene, and I very much enjoy where they have ended up, how they play against each other, and where they seem certain to be going. Nicely done. As I say, I just crave a more satisfying last line.

Glad this one (mostly) works.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- Is it not more fitting for it to be 'Three paths in life? It's not as if En and In's have been the same.

I mean yes, but would sort of break the same/different duality built between E and I for the last two books...

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

Once again, the end of the POV, the last line; it's very prosaic. It doesn't leave my with any upswell of emotion, which is what I want at the end of an arc.

Looks like I'll be replacing all my ending sentences!

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "A new Assembly" - What happened to the old building? Can they not just go back to that?

I'll have to take a look at this. I was assuming people would be out of the city while rebuilding, and since M has set up a new base in P.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "subsume the maj" - This sounds like an evil masterplan. Subsume sounds like what the Borg do, or the Cybermen, the Sith, etc.

Fair enough. Can change.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "facets and reflections flashing by" - I think there has been insufficient wonder about this. All of these other facets with other creatures completely unknown to our characters.

Hmmm...intentionally didn't go into this any more for fear of cans of worms... Might just need to take it out.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "Maybe they had been control devices" - No, no, don't you dare leave it there!!! Control of what? Used by whom? How did they get here (Other than in a buckle great rocket now buried to the neck in crystal)? Where did the rocket come from? How many people were on it?

- "after the Net grew from it" - exploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.pngexploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.pngexploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.pngexploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.pngexploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.pngexploding-head.png.25e9c32d2ef29956949afe7096511289.png - I don't think I understood this before, in that scene before when S came here at first. There were too many distractions, too many other things I was trying to understand. Was I supposed to get this before? I kind of hope not, because I would then be expecting him to tell his friends about this very fact, which he did not. I think this can be a good point at which to explain clearly what this reveal is, I just can't remember how it played in the first scene, when he didn't know what he was doing.

So, this is generally consistent emotion with the other reactions I've gotten, which is excellent.

Does the "control devices" line get cleared up once you realized about the rocket? Is it enough? I was thinking if it's so old, there's basically no way to know the details.

N growing: I'm trying to remember what all I put where, but I this was definitely where everything was supposed to come together. I'll keep an eye on  this when editing to make sure it is revealed accordingly.

Does this explain the engine as well? Is that question answered satisfactorily?

(Now I sort of feel like Count Rugen. "I've just sucked a year of your life away--What did this do to you? how to you feel?")

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "push it back in" - The craft? But I don't get any sense that the craft has moved from its original position, that the voice was in any way progressing its goal, or approaching success.

Yeah, I don't think I made this clear enough. Maybe "push it farther in," or something. I'll ponder.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "I am the Symphony" - But, was not the Voice presented as (just) another maj? That's what I remember. But it has also been spoken of as the Symphony of the other universe. That seems at odds with it being (just) another maj, but rather more in tune with what I was hoping for, that the voice would be something beyond ordinary, something amazing, godlike, but ultimately misdirected in its aims. 

An another thing, this implies that the Symphony of the universe the contains for worlds of the Assembly also has a voice, but no one has heard it (yet). Doesn't it?

Not necessarily "just." The voice has disdain for modern maji. But yes, this is intended to say that the voice has become the Symphony of the other universe over time, and reworked it. I think I need to flesh this out a bit.

As to this universe having one too...I guess? It's probably a whole lot more cosmic, as this universe is a lot bigger and not dying... But it wouldn't have a personality like the other one.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "a ringing tuning fork had been stuffed into a vice" - I don't really get this analogy.

As in the vibration is damped so it's not as destructive. Might need to expand this section.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

New concept on the last page. Tree of Net.

Hmm..not intended that way. I was intended to allude back to "shaking the tree" in the last chapter, but I'll adjust the wording here.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "How many caverns..." - What? Eh? The language here is...

Probably just need to clean this up. I meant that multiple caverns (facets) HAD grown in the past with the Net. Might just take these mentions out to avoid confusion.

 

Overall:

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

These are the immense, world-altering events that I expected at the conclusion of the novel and the trilogy. For me, an epilogue should be five cycles later, totally removed from the main events, with S, In and En living somewhere new and interesting and learning what they do now.

On the epilogue, I can change it to the last chapter easily enough. But 5+ years later is where I intend to go in future books, so then...do I need an epilogue at all? I'd rather have this trilogy fairly tied off, and just end with this chapter.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- Why were the El taking the energy? I'm not sure I really understood the nature of the Net from the scene at the root. Also, the villain being some other maj us, and not some special, different, extraordinary creature.

Need to flesh all this out. The Elg are taking energy from or universe to the other, to extend its life, and help the voice cross back over. I think I said most of that, but will go over it again. I'll be sure to emphasize that the voice isn't "just" a maj.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

Also, I think there is insufficient wonder among other people about the HoT and the HoM. Completely new houses that no one knew anything about?

I was intending to save delving deep into this for later books. I think going into it too much here would dilute the story. No one knows anything about the HoM, and few about the HoT, so it's going to take time for all the maj. to learn about them.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

- Hang on, if Man wants to the SoTH to replace the Assembly and the Council, why has he put Ri in charge of it? That seems counterintuitive to me. Surely he would be at its head?

This was the reason for "subsume." M is planning to rebuild the Maj, starting with the model of the SoTH. A different organization, but including single-house as well.

On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

At the end of it all, my overriding emotion is confusion. I don't think the takeaway in relation to the nature of the universe, the facets, the Net, the root, the ship, the spire, the Voice, the tree, the caverns

This will definitely help me root out the confusion and get rid of it! I might pass a few small sections by you with rewrites, if that's alright, to see if I've cleared it up.

Thanks so much!

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16 hours ago, Mandamon said:
On 18/06/2020 at 7:03 PM, Robinski said:

- Transmission from whom, to whom, from where? None of the other epigraphs have been so vague, I think. Here at the end of the it all, the last thing I want is another mystery. I want answers, not questions.

Didn't really intend this to be a mystery. Was it clear after you finished that this was a transmission from the ship entering the breach?

I've just read it again:

- "scores" - This puzzled me a bit. On second reading, does it mean musical scores? I thought it meant mathematical scores, as in the readouts, the levels (of something), the scanner results.

- "I'm going farther in" - The word 'I'm', I guess, alludes to the rocket being a single-seater? I didn't take that the first time. All those consoles, but only one operator? Does that mean that the pilot of the rocket is the voice? I don't think I got that. Please bear in mind that I am not good at inferring (the correct things) from prose. The wrongs, sure, all day long. :lol: 

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:
On 18/06/2020 at 7:03 PM, Robinski said:

- Is it not more fitting for it to be 'Three paths in life? It's not as if En and In's have been the same.

I mean yes, but would sort of break the same/different duality built between E and I for the last two books...

I retract this comment. I've read the passage again and have come to the conclusion that I was talking a load of old ballhooks.

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:
On 18/06/2020 at 7:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "subsume the maj" - This sounds like an evil masterplan. Subsume sounds like what the Borg do, or the Cybermen, the Sith, etc.

Fair enough. Can change.

Just my opinion, of course. Other, less 'violently' demonstrative, opinions are available :rolleyes: 

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:
On 18/06/2020 at 7:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "facets and reflections flashing by" - I think there has been insufficient wonder about this. All of these other facets with other creatures completely unknown to our characters.

Hmmm...intentionally didn't go into this any more for fear of cans of worms... Might just need to take it out.

Oh, oh!

I really like the line, I just wanted a more powerful reaction in S. He's spent two books exploring the three-limbed species of another facet, and now here are dozens, hundreds of other facets, with maybe thousands of new species. I don't think that's can-of-worms (although undoubtedly there will be a worm facet, I'm sure of it :lol: ). I just thought it would have been nice to have one more sentence where S imagined going to another facet, and another, and another, uniting them for the greater good. (Murmurs 'The Greater Good').

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Does the "control devices" line get cleared up once you realized about the rocket?

So, there are rings and diads. The rings we've heard a lot about, as control devices for the HoT. I'm not thinking of them as anything other than that. The Diads? Well, I've sen what they can do, but I'm not sure what they are controlling. The are stores for memory. Is there a House of Memory, a House of Data? (Ooh! When are you starting the next trilogy?).

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Does this explain the engine as well? Is that question answered satisfactorily?

Yes? So, the rocket plunged into the gap between universes, and the control room ended up away down at the root, and the engine broke off, I guess, and remained 'at the surface', so to speak?

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:
On 18/06/2020 at 7:03 PM, Robinski said:

- "a ringing tuning fork had been stuffed into a vice" - I don't really get this analogy.

As in the vibration is damped so it's not as destructive. Might need to expand this section.

My feeling is that, if you put a tuning fork in a vice, it stops vibrating, straight away. unless you don't tighten the vice, in which case it'll just keep vibrating. A vice is not a device that allows for a great deal of fine tuning, IMO. Surely, a devices that dampen things tend to have soft, flexible surfaces. Not metal hard surface, like a vice.

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I was intended to allude back to "shaking the tree" in the last chapter, but I'll adjust the wording here

Yeah, I don't think I was ever completely sold on the 'shaking the tree metaphor'.

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

But 5+ years later is where I intend to go in future books

Now, I've certainly seen shows or movies that have epilogues, then return to events before those epilogues. I feel like I've read books in that vein too. but I take your point, if you show S and In and En 5 years from now, it's limiting. I dunno. If you called the epilogue Chapter 26, you could have an actual epilogue of Ori and Ri on some alien planet. Or, or, or, or, or, or, or...Ori and Ri would be just the folks to journey to one of more of those many, many other facets and feet all the species with six limbs, or two heads, or whatever. My point being, you can do a throwaway scene that you can 'deny' or brush over later than has no real impact on future books (maybe not this prospective one, because clearly I don't know where future books go. (Random thought*.)

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I was intending to save delving deep into this for later books. I think going into it too much here would dilute the story. No one knows anything about the HoM, and few about the HoT, so it's going to take time for all the maj. to learn about them.

Sure. I think I would have been entirely satisfied with a moment with Man standing in front of S (or WW) when they tell him about the HoM, and Man's mouth dropping open, and him going 'The House of What?!'.

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

A different organization, but including single-house as well.

Oh, so different from SoTH, and the Assembly, and the Council? I didn't get that, because, I'm pretty sure that he said earlier that he saw the SoTH replacing the Council (and the Assembly?).

16 hours ago, Mandamon said:

This will definitely help me root out the confusion and get rid of it! I might pass a few small sections by you with rewrites, if that's alright, to see if I've cleared it up.

Yes, definitely. It will allow me to recant where I have talked a lot of noise, if nothing else.

* - There was a scene before (maybe in Facets?) when S ends up on a beach and 'sees' his parents, or there is the implication that he's seeing his parents, or recounting a scene from his childhood, revisiting a location, maybe. I really, really thought that was a promise to the reader that S's parents were going to end up being involved, and that maybe S's dad was the voice, somehow. Am I mad, did that scene happen? I'm sure it did!!

** - 'buckle great rocket' should read 'muckle great rocket'. (It's Scots.)

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23 hours ago, Robinski said:

- "scores" - This puzzled me a bit. On second reading, does it mean musical scores? I thought it meant mathematical scores, as in the readouts, the levels (of something), the scanner results.

Yep, musical scores. Although music is math, so *shrug*

23 hours ago, Robinski said:

The word 'I'm', I guess, alludes to the rocket being a single-seater? I didn't take that the first time. All those consoles, but only one operator? Does that mean that the pilot of the rocket is the voice? I don't think I got that. Please bear in mind that I am not good at inferring (the correct things) from prose. The wrongs, sure, all day long. :lol: 

I think you just think too much ;-)

I didn't completely have the answer in mind when I wrote this. I imagined the pilot was the voice, but either others might have gone too and perished, or the voice was piloting solo for a special mission, or who knows...fodder for later writing.

On 6/20/2020 at 9:42 AM, Robinski said:

I really like the line, I just wanted a more powerful reaction in S.

Hmm...I'll see if I can add a line or two in without derailing things or opening the worm facet :lol:

On 6/20/2020 at 9:42 AM, Robinski said:

The Diads? Well, I've sen what they can do, but I'm not sure what they are controlling.

Yeah, maybe "interfacing" is better than "controlling." The diads could definitely be some sort of memory aid for starcharts or something...

On 6/20/2020 at 9:42 AM, Robinski said:

My feeling is that, if you put a tuning fork in a vice, it stops vibrating, straight away.

Probably right. I'll change this.

On 6/20/2020 at 9:42 AM, Robinski said:

Yeah, I don't think I was ever completely sold on the 'shaking the tree metaphor'.

And rework this.

On 6/20/2020 at 9:42 AM, Robinski said:

you can do a throwaway scene that you can 'deny' or brush over later than has no real impact on future books

Possible...I'll see what I feel like when I get through all the edits. I may just leave this one without an epilogue, as a sort of ending.

On 6/20/2020 at 9:42 AM, Robinski said:

Man standing in front of S (or WW) when they tell him about the HoM, and Man's mouth dropping open, and him going 'The House of What?!'.

There is a scene about this a few chapters back. I'll see if it goes better there or at the end.

On 6/20/2020 at 9:42 AM, Robinski said:

Oh, so different from SoTH, and the Assembly, and the Council? I didn't get that, because, I'm pretty sure that he said earlier that he saw the SoTH replacing the Council (and the Assembly?).

I'll work on making this consistent.

On 6/20/2020 at 9:42 AM, Robinski said:

I really, really thought that was a promise to the reader that S's parents were going to end up being involved, and that maybe S's dad was the voice, somehow. Am I mad, did that scene happen? I'm sure it did!!

Lol. There was a flashback with the parents in Seeds, but no, they're gone.

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

Just under the wire, and I am SO excited to see how this trilogy concludes!

Overall

Hmm, I have mixed feelings. I still really want to know how Earth comes into play with this, and how S got here. I was really confused in pages 26 through about 40 in terms of what was actually going on. I liked the wrap ups and such, and the action, but I think I'd have enjoyed it more if I understood more of what was happening as it happened. Mostly I remain grumbly about Earth.

I did like the Ori/R wrap up. That was a really cute beat. I'd have liked more of an arc with Re, since he was a decent sized player in this. The proposal was adorable, and I look forward to those three having more adventures in the future.

 

As I go

- Hmm. I think that epigraph here on the first page is problematic in terms of the language it uses. The 'taking responsibility for other people discriminating' has some uncomfortable parallels to our current world and the racism therein. 

- pg 5: The two fingered ward <-- is there supposed to be a hyphen in here? This sentence is confusing

- pg 8: they stand around a debate for three hours before moving forward? Aren't the E eating the Nether or something? This standing around business really kills the tension, and it was superb at the start.

- pg 14: The creatures blocked off all escape. Many would die. <-- this would be a lot more powerful if it just said: The creatures had blocked of all escape. It's stronger if we're left to intuit the deaths

- pg 23: we shake away all the worms infesting it <-- this is a really strange metaphor for me because worms do not climb trees, generally speaking. What about beetles? Crows? Cats?

- pg 26: randomly wondering in here--S was two house when he came to the Net, but now her has two new ones. Does this make him a four house maj???

pgs 26-31: I'd had some growing confusion up to 26, but here now at the scene break on 31, I am completely lost. S arrived and fell and was caught by the twins, check. He's sending the El back to their universe, check. How he is doing that, I am not clear on at all. 

- pg 32: so why were the El eating the Net? I'm still not completely clear on the motivations. The 'voice' wanted to destroy creation, yes? Start over? And the El were aiding by...eating things? Eating the Symphony?

- pg 38: I'm not certain what the rocket ship is foreshadowing. Is it that the villain also came from Earth, like S?

- pg 40: Our apprentices—if we can even be calling them that any longer—will not miss us <-- at this stage are they apprentices anymore? Those three did a heck of a lot more than the 'masters'!

Ori talking about romance is weird.

- pg 41: the 'come with me part' landed great though. This is very Ori

- pg 42: The music I started at the root will eventually cause damage to the Nether. I don’t want it to hurt you, too <-- I have no idea what he is talking about here. I think likely because I don't entirely understand what S did

- pg 42: Maybe there’s a way to shield it from the tremors running through  <-- shield what???

- pg 44: awww with the proposal! Though it strikes me that S is kind of young, yes? He's....20? 

- pg 46: I think I'd like a bit more wrap up with Re. I've always enjoyed his morally grey character and I'd love to seem him have a bit of a moral debate here, or show some additional growth

- pg 48: I appreciate the succinct explanations in here, but I think more clarity during the event would have been good, too.

- pg 54: still really enjoying the breakdown explanations, but would like more of this earlier

- pg 55: wait for what now??

 

 

Edited by kais
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7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I think you just think too much ;-)

You say that like it's a bad thing! Ah... :unsure:

7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

The diads could definitely be some sort of memory aid for starcharts or something...

They definitely could.

7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

I may just leave this one without an epilogue, as a sort of ending.

That's definitely no a crime. I wonder if epilogues are a bit overdone, certainly in the fantasy genre. I don't think this book (or trilogy) would suffer by to having a epilogue, because the 'last chapter' does a really good job of wrapping things up.

7 hours ago, Mandamon said:
On 20/06/2020 at 2:42 PM, Robinski said:

Man standing in front of S (or WW) when they tell him about the HoM, and Man's mouth dropping open, and him going 'The House of What?!'.

There is a scene about this a few chapters back. I'll see if it goes better there or at the end.

Yeah. I thought it was revealed earlier. The thought emerged here, somewhat after the fact.

Wow, was the parent scene that long ago. I do believe I would totally have accepted some kind of weird scenario where the voice turned out to be S's dad, and his parents had created the Net, but that's just my twisted fever dream.

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On 6/15/2020 at 9:26 AM, Robinski said:

I just feel that this section has been quite directionless, and dwells overly on the arrival of the Ar and its significance for society when the biggest stakes surely remain the El and the Dis.

I had a very similar issue.

On 6/16/2020 at 7:53 AM, Robinski said:

S does something random that he doesn't understand and it works fine, melts the El, blocks the voice and everyone lives happily ever after. It's just too easy, IMO.

The ease didn't bother me so much as since S didn't understand it, didn't understand it, so I had no idea what was happening

On 6/18/2020 at 11:03 AM, Robinski said:

At the end of it all, my overriding emotion is confusion. I don't think the takeaway in relation to the nature of the universe, the facets, the Net, the root, the ship, the spire, the Voice, the tree, the caverns......... There are so many components that should, I think, at the end of the novel mesh together seamlessly, but that's not what I'm feeling. I really want the end to be tighter.

YES this. I'm left with confusion, mostly. There are too many moving parts and they didn't sew together seamlessly and I really was looking forward to that.

 

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Thanks so much @kais!

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

I still really want to know how Earth comes into play with this, and how S got here.

Hm. I got one other question on this from another reader. S opened the portal to the Net. the first time around, just as any other new species would, but then doesn't remember enough to return. I thought I put enough call backs during the books to make it a "closed" issue, as in there's no real way he can get back, but it's something I could address in later books. Is there a particular part that made you want to know more about Earth?

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

did like the Ori/R wrap up. That was a really cute beat. I'd have liked more of an arc with Re, since he was a decent sized player in this. The proposal was adorable, and I look forward to those three having more adventures in the future.

Glad the O/R wrapup worked. Based on other comments, I think I'm going to add a little more with Re. And the three will definitely be stars of later books!

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

- Hmm. I think that epigraph here on the first page is problematic in terms of the language it uses. The 'taking responsibility for other people discriminating' has some uncomfortable parallels to our current world and the racism therein. 

Yes, I see what you mean. I'll reword or remove that.

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

- pg 8: they stand around a debate for three hours before moving forward? Aren't the E eating the Nether or something? This standing around business really kills the tension, and it was superb at the start

I'm going to do something to address this. Not quite sure what, but I need a pause for them to reassess how the first push didn't work. I think may deal with how the first plan wasn't clear enough.

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

- pg 23: we shake away all the worms infesting it <-- this is a really strange metaphor for me because worms do not climb trees, generally speaking. What about beetles? Crows? Cats?

Yeah, I think I'm going to have to rework the whole tree/shaking/bug metaphor.

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

- pg 26: randomly wondering in here--S was two house when he came to the Net, but now her has two new ones. Does this make him a four house maj???

Nope--still just two. The voice obscured it in the first book to make it look like he was Comm.

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

He's sending the El back to their universe, check. How he is doing that, I am not clear on at all.

Hoping to clear all this up in the previous chapter, along with the tree metaphor.

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

- pg 32: so why were the El eating the Net? I'm still not completely clear on the motivations. The 'voice' wanted to destroy creation, yes? Start over? And the El were aiding by...eating things? Eating the Symphony?

 

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

- pg 38: I'm not certain what the rocket ship is foreshadowing. Is it that the villain also came from Earth, like S?

 

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

- pg 48: I appreciate the succinct explanations in here, but I think more clarity during the event would have been good, too.

So does the wrapup on pg 48 clear up the confusion from why the Elg were eating and the rocket ship? I'm okay with readers guessing until they get to the very end, but I cna add some more clarity so it's not as confusing.

On 6/21/2020 at 4:06 PM, kais said:

- pg 55: wait for what now??

For the actual diss. I'll clarify.

On 6/21/2020 at 7:16 PM, kais said:
On 6/15/2020 at 0:26 PM, Robinski said:

I just feel that this section has been quite directionless, and dwells overly on the arrival of the Ar and its significance for society when the biggest stakes surely remain the El and the Dis.

I had a very similar issue

Hm. Will adjust. I can probably cut this down a bit.

On 6/21/2020 at 7:16 PM, kais said:
On 6/18/2020 at 2:03 PM, Robinski said:

There are so many components that should, I think, at the end of the novel mesh together seamlessly, but that's not what I'm feeling. I really want the end to be tighter.

YES this. I'm left with confusion, mostly. There are too many moving parts and they didn't sew together seamlessly and I really was looking forward to that.

This feedback helps me target that very well. I think I can clear all this up, and I'll probably run a couple short sections by you as well to make sure they make sense.

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

Is there a particular part that made you want to know more about Earth?

I think because this incident was the 'hook' for me into the series. So this has always been the dangling question in my mind, how does he get back and how does Earth play into this?

2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

The voice obscured it in the first book to make it look like he was Comm.

It did? Why? This is an aspect I completely missed and brings up more questions for me.

2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

So does the wrapup on pg 48 clear up the confusion from why the Elg were eating and the rocket ship? I'm okay with readers guessing until they get to the very end, but I cna add some more clarity so it's not as confusing.

Yes, but I think the battle and such would be a lot more powerful if we understood the reason as it was happening. Getting the DL after the fact takes a lot of punch out of the events for me

 

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On 6/23/2020 at 1:42 PM, kais said:

It did? Why? This is an aspect I completely missed and brings up more questions for me.

This was at the end of Seeds, so hopefully it's WRS...Not sure how much I can adjust it.

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