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About thorongil

  • Birthday 07/17/1986

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  1. thorongil

    Shardcast: Trell

    Ian's idea about Autonomy splitting and ultimately being at odds with itself is very interesting. It brought Ann Leckie's Ancillary-series to my mind, where something very similar is the central premise - it works quite well in there and I could absolutely see Autonomy trending in that direction.
  2. I find it interesting, that Scadrial is always singled out in terms of innovation potential in the Cosmere. The only other planet where we have had multiple long books over an extended timeline is Roshar - and we see quite a lot of fancy new tech there as well. Which leads me to the question: Is Scadrial even such an outlier or are we simply not seeing enough of other places for long enough periods of time to witness their tech-jumps?
  3. This is a pretty contentious issue - and it has already provided a good debate and nice examples here. I'd like to share some more thoughts (history major, though I studied history to teach in schools, which is a bit different in terms of the curriculum where I live): I tend to agree with the view that war does not necessarily produce innovation. At least not more or quicker innovation than would have been created without any given war. Innovations in warfare until Industrialization were mostly about the tactial level and about the ability to field more soldiers. In terms of raw fighting strength most historians I know basically agree, that a Greek hoplite or a Roman legion could have engaged any given army up to Napoleonic times and be considered on equal terms or even superior. It is not before the Industrialization of warfare that this changes drastically. As has been convincingly argued, 'strife' is a wholly different matter - but one that heavily depends on the interpretation of the concept. There is little or even no scientific advancement without the questioning of existing concepts and even 'proven' things - something you could call strife. To me, however, 'strife' sounds a bit more belligerent in nature. I'd rather say that competition, a thirst for knowledge, an inherent drive to better one's lot and wanting to understand the world - all of which are crucial (but also relatively recent) concepts of Modernity - are the driving factors of progress in the way we understand it today. One additional aspect - which might be interesting in the context of the Cosmere - is the secularization of knowledge. It makes no sense to systematically question nature, divine forces, circumstances, etc... when you inherently believe that a divine being (or many divine beings) are there to rig/fix the world in which you live anyway. Once you take that away science as we know it today can begin to flourish.
  4. Okay, so that was an interesting experience. It has been a (RoW-)long time since I've read new Cosmere stuff and I've never read as many other books which were really out of my normal ballpark in between Sanderson-books. I really had to get used to Brandon's style again. And for the first time I noticed, that Brandon's writing can be really blunt and on the nose (especially compared to ultra-convoluted and obscure writers like Gene Wolfe). I didn't really much like it for the first couple of hundred pages, but once I got used to the style again I really felt back at home and the second half of the book was - once again - a blur as well as a blast for me. I really love Wayne's character arc. It does so much justice to the character I always suspected him to be and it is superbly written. Same goes for Marasi. Even though I couldn't understand her decision not to join the Ghostbloods I find it sensible and solid in hindsight. The Cosmere implications are very nice. I like that this book is really dense in terms of Cosmere. Overall, I also really like the nostalgic feeling of a prolonged goodbye to our Era 2-characters which ran throughout this book for me. Random observations: Kelsier being shafted by female protagonists he's trying to recruit seems to be a recurring theme. There were a couple of scenes which were extremely reminiscent of other works of fiction to me, most notably: The Community had very strong Fallout (the computer games) vibes to me. The Ghostblood-safehouse in Bilming gave me the feeling of being in Harry Potter (Order of Phoenix safehouse) again. I had trouble recognizing Shai. I thought of her as soon as Moonlight began talking about art, but somehow she seemed not as capable as I would have expected Shai to have grown since The Emperor's Soul. The aether-guy(s) was really nice, especially his gigaknight-mode was great. Some of Wayne's viewpoints had a strong vibe of Brandon trying to pander towards all the Wayne-criticism throughout the last years (although I have no idea how informed Brandon would be on this discussion).
  5. What makes you so confident to announce that these books will be available in print? The way I understood Brandon he explictly noted that there might not be retail print versions.
  6. Not podcasting myself I assume I overlook that every 2+ hour episode probably leaves material for double that time on the table. Maybe you can revisit it next Halloween.
  7. Thanks for this great episode! I really like it when you guys go a bit more into literary criticism from time to time. One thing I would have liked for you to explore (and maybe that could be a topic for similar future discussions) is the consequences of Brandon's use of horror. How does it change the texts? Why does Brandon use it the way he does? Why are some elements or sub-genres of horror more prevalent and why are others basically non-existent in Brandon's works? Other than that: I'm used to Eric ignoring "Sixth of the Dusk" but in a rare non-Eric episode that deals with horror I was quite surprised that none of you guys mentioned it. The shadows in the sea were already mentioned. More generally, the whole structure of "Sixth of the Dusk" is a quite bit of a horror-journey and liberally uses various elements of that genre.
  8. Great episode (as always), thanks for getting Brandon on there and for asking him so much interesting stuff.
  9. If I recall correctly I compared Oathbringer to a good red wine back in 2017 in that it just keeps getting better and better. Now this book is more like I imagine Rock's famous stew. It is heart-warming, firmly establishes a sense of community (with different peoples and characters) but boy its aftermath is taxing on the stomach. I really wanted to to go slow and easy on RoW and I actually managed to in the beginning. Courtesy of the curious intricacies of international shipping in 2020 I actually had the book in my hands four days prior to release. I then read books one and two in the first week and actually managed to put the book down for a week or so to give me some breathing space. After picking it up again, however, there was no putting it to rest and I finished it in a 3-day-frenzy. Let's start with the questionable: I had a hard time reading Kaladin in this book as - surprise, surprise - his depression is just so depressing. I also had a hard time reading Dalinar in this book as he is such a rock (no pun intended). He feels so static and at times slow-witted while reading - even though I have since realized that he actually has changed quite a bit during RoW. I also suspect that I am so used to young and unsettled characters in fantasy that Dalinar is an outlier who challenges my accustomed ways by virtue of his, well, actually being a fully-fledged adult. On the more clearly positive: I loved Kaladin's shift towards a civilian role and I actually had no problem with him reverting to his fighty-fighty ways later (I'm not Lirin, after all). The shift was enormously powerful and it was maybe the first time in a long while (ever?) that I felt there could be a positive future for Kaladin. Kaladin's arc also raised the enormously interesting question of what Radiants could achieve were they to use their powers in a civilian context. This is fascinating stuff to me because it hints at a future for Roshar (and possibly the Cosmere) which is not solely centered around different Shards using different non-Shard proxys (i.e. people) to fight each other. If Kaladin can a find a future without war - and I feel he can, even though he chooses not to during RoW - anybody can. I also loved Shallan's arc and found her character very relatable on many levels. She is so much the 18-year old who wrestles with stuff but has simply no grasp on her own personality. I understand that many people - me included - had a different experience during their teenage years, but it feels extremely relatable to me nonetheless. She just struggles and puts on the smiley-face whenever she needs to but in this book her shell is finally pierced and it is utterly heart-wrenching but also heart-warming. As for Navani: Great stuff with all her science, but I couldn't relate too much to her character-wise, since it was quite obvious that Raboniel played her the whole time. Her not seeing through (or not wanting to) this ploy felt a bit shallow for the lifetime Queen and mastermind of palace machinations, but, at the same time, it didn't bother me too much. On the other hand, I loved the context and social structure the Singers/Listeners but also the Fused have gotten. This really feels like a/several people(s) now. I had a hard time relating to them in Oathbringer but I can do so much better after RoW. The ending (I'm talking epilogue here) was the gut-punch and I still haven't digested that particular piece of the literary feast that is RoW. Well, three years aren't so long, I guess. Coda: Amazing stuff again Brandon; I can't and don't want to compare it to other Stormlight-books. It stands on its own weight and I feel that this blew the barn-door to the Cosmere wide, wide open. No closig it now.
  10. Oh my, I never thought that Cultivation's boon would still be in effect. If that is the case, Cultivation has effectively created an infinitely more dangerous variant of Whimsy...
  11. Why not Nale? He already switched to Odium's side, so he should be quite willing and his fighting skills are pretty sublime as we have seen in RoW. Also, it could make for an intriguing setup when Szeth goes up against his former master.
  12. Shouldn't be a problem for Lift to be perfectly healthy according to this WoB:
  13. I could totally see Kelsier having a bit of a crisis should he meet Shallan and recognize that he is fighting against someone who resembles Vin in many regards.
  14. I feel that one was more a plot device than anything. If there is no mystery about Ialai's murder, there is no reason to go spy-hunting which is the only thing Shallan does right until the very end of RoW.
  15. I only recalled that yesterday, when I wanted to make a thread about how we haven't seen Hoid in Sixth of the Dusk and whether that could hint that he doesn't survive the next Stormlight book. Yeah, he doesn't seem all too different in the Wax & Wayne books, his behavior and appearance are, I'd argue, consistent with what we have seen from him before, so the the damage done to him by Odium can't be that extreme (or he has since found a way to reverse the effects).
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