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Rellion Candidate | joined 14 July 2004 | 22 posts


For a US Reader -- posted 14 July 2004 in The Warrior ProphetFor a US Reader -- by Rellion, Candidate

I recently had the pleasure of reading TDTCB, from Overlook Press, here in the US. I cannot praise Dr. Bakker enough on how good I felt that this book was, and I am glad to have read it.

I must compliment the cover artist on the dust jacket work, for that's what drew me to the single copy of it on the Barnes and Noble shelf while looking for a new book to add to my library. Opening it up and reading the synopsis and the Author Bio on the back flap, I thought, 'Hmm, a fantasy novel by a Ph.D. in Philosophy. This sounds interesting.' Lo and behold, it was.

What I would like to know (and excuse me if this is a repetitive question, but I did not see the answer for it when looking initially), is when The Warrior Prophet will be available in US release? Living in Texas, it's not easy for me to cross the border, go to a bookstore, and procure my own. Being a US reader, I suppose I'm fairly spoiled by having most novels I've read released (and their subsequent sequels) to the US market first most of the time.

All I know is that after reading the first volume, I am eagerly anticipating reading the second. view post


For a US Reader -- posted 14 July 2004 in The Warrior ProphetFor a US Reader -- by Rellion, Candidate

What's the difference, cost-wise, between purchasing a Canadian edition from Amazon.ca versus the normal hardback from a bookstore? I was able to get the Overlook edition for $25.95 at Barnes and Noble. Would it be substantially more, especially considering shipping and customs? view post


For a US Reader -- posted 20 July 2004 in The Warrior ProphetFor a US Reader -- by Rellion, Candidate

Neil,

I just ordered a copy of the TPB of TWP from your website. Thanks! view post


Fight! Fight! Fight! posted 03 August 2004 in Author Q & AFight! Fight! Fight! by Rellion, Candidate

I recently reached a point in TWP where the first true battle of the Holy War begins. It reminded me of reading Lamb immensely.

Seeing as I'd made a point of reading Lamb between TDTCB and TWP, I was very interested in how they read so similarly. It's a good narrative style and I had no problems imagining the battle in my head. Reminded me a lot of the first battle of Doryleum. view post


For a US Reader -- posted 03 August 2004 in The Warrior ProphetFor a US Reader -- by Rellion, Candidate

BTW, just a little feedback to Neil from Clark's World...

The book arrived in great condition, well packaged, and in good time. I'm very happy with my purchase, and recommend Clark's World to anyone needing the second book. Thank you! view post


Fight! Fight! Fight! posted 03 August 2004 in Author Q & AFight! Fight! Fight! by Rellion, Candidate

I found it on amazon.com actually, using one of their out of print dealers. It was 4.98 for a rough used copy with good condition copies running upwards of $30 US dollars. I got a copy for $5 US dollars with about the same amount for shipping. It is in decent condition, with some wear on the spine and some softness in the corners of the hard cover. The pages are somewhat yellowed, but the binding and glue is still strong and the insert photographs are still all there (there are photos of Bohemund's tomb, the first page of the Unknown's narrative, and some medieval maps).

The book is about 350ish pages in a small hardbound volume. It's very well written and while a very factual historical narrative, Mr. Lamb is very good with words. His introduction of a 'pale cheeked boy emperor' handing over his crown to a barbarian signalling the end of empire and the beginning of the Dark Ages at the opening is excellent and draws you right in. I've read similar works when I compare to Barbara Tuchmann's Guns of August (a WONDERFUL narrative of the first 4 months of World War 1) so I really got into it and enjoyed it. view post


Kellhus, Achamiam, and Emotion posted 05 August 2004 in The Warrior ProphetKellhus, Achamiam, and Emotion by Rellion, Candidate

By the title, you can probably already tell this will ramble, so bear with me. I have several thoughts I want to express about Kellhus as I just completed TWP, and still have them swirling about in my head. Also, lots and lots of spoilers. Stop reading if you haven't read TWP.

I had come to the conclusion about mid-2/3rds of the way through TWP that Kellhus is not a human being. I am not saying he is not a Homo Sapiens, but he does not contain any of the qualities or traits that indicate that he shares the human condition, that he is a person, a man, or something else we would identify with. By the beginning of Part 3, he had become to me what I would qualify as a 'thing'. This emotionless golem created by the Dunyain, uncaring of the consequences of its actions, so long that its inevitable goal was reached. The shortest path, as the Logos dictates.

As I read, I kept wanting or hoping for Kellhus to just stop and feel something, and be a human being and not a thing. I must credit Dr. Bakker for doing an excellent job of reinforcing Kellhus's lack of emotion during those scenes from his expression (describing a 'smile he did not feel' in one did wonders). I almost felt as he grew and gained in power that he was not fit to have any of it, that as beast as unreal as any of the Consult skin-spies he was just as unworthy to lead men. The Great Names seemed more honest in what they were than he was (even Conphas), and that's saying something. At least the failure, horror, or success of the Holy War would have been in the hands of men, flawed as they were, instead of being dragged like a dog on a leash by the hands of this thing that the hammers of Ishual's forges beat into the likeness of a man.

Achamiam always seemed to me to be the great protagonist of the book. He was the good man, human in his faults, and identifiable. I like the character of Achamiam a lot, and watching him mean for good but stumble and fail and falter he seems in retrospect to be such a perfect foil for Kellhus. He is the identifier of humanity, whereas Kellhus seems the rejection of it. I kept hoping that Achamiam would learn of the reality of what Kellhus was, as Cnaiur knew already.

Iothiah and Caraskand caused the two, as I read further, to push together suddenly even as Achamiam learned of Kellhus's betrayal. Achamiam lost much of what he had, unable to weep, eyes dry now to the suffering of others as Seswatha had protected him (and the Gnosis) during the interrogations by Iyolkus, while Kellhus lost control of his face, and finally wept, feeling grief (?), sorrow (?), pain (?), or loss (?) or some combination. Had Kellhus become more human? Had Achamiam truly lost some of what made him human?

I feel that I will have to read Thousandfold Thought to find out for certain. I eagerly anticipate it and will have to order it from a Canadian source as soon as it is published (darn not releasing in the US for many months Canadian publishers! Grr!). view post


Release Dates posted 05 August 2004 in The Warrior ProphetRelease Dates by Rellion, Candidate

I believe it has to do with Penguin Canada being the primary publisher. view post


The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant posted 06 August 2004 in Literature DiscussionThe Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Rellion, Candidate

I had read a lot of generic fantasy over the years up to the point that I read these novels at the behest of a friend of mine, as well as popular, but less than inspiring novels from other genres. I read Clancy, Weis/Hickman, King, and Rice (shudder) and happily plodded my way through the generic and average literature of the time. After completing the First and Second Chronicles, I have since held a much higher standard to what I like to read. Trundled off to the used book store are all my Clancy, Weis/Hickman, King, and Rice novels.

The story of Thomas Covenant and what happened in the world of the Land really got to me, and I do not believe I've felt as much emotion over the story in a book before. The setting was very original in detail, and the protagonist is not an individual that fits into any of the ready-made 'hero' molds.

For some very tough, harsh fantasy I do suggest picking up these two trilogies by Stephen Donaldson. I really enjoyed the journey of these books, and if you liked TDTCB, I think you'll find these books compelling as well. view post


The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant posted 09 August 2004 in Literature DiscussionThe Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Rellion, Candidate

To me, nothing in literature has equalled the scene where Covenant retells the tale of the giants of Seareach. It's heartwrenching, and you can tell that Covenant is a human being, and he did feel love for those great peoples, especially for Foamfollower.

Overall though, the entire series was very good. It completely spoiled 'generic fantasy' for me. I can't read most of the generic Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Salvatore, and similar books without thinking that a hack wrote them and tossing them. view post


Anyone read American Gods, by Neil Gaiman? posted 09 August 2004 in Literature DiscussionAnyone read American Gods, by Neil Gaiman? by Rellion, Candidate

I did pick up this book. I'm very fond of Gaiman and I thought it was an excellent novel with some very interesting interpretations on mythology. I would definitely recommend it and Neverwhere if you're just getting into him as an author. view post


The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant posted 12 August 2004 in Literature DiscussionThe Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Rellion, Candidate

Quote: "steve":cefncr5s
My friend swears by these books, he compares all new books to the Thomas Covenant books.[/quote:cefncr5s]

I don't think I would want to obsess *that* much over the TC books, but myself and the gentleman who introduced me to them have had many a long conversation about them and the meanings of the various events nad symbols within the books.

I am attempting to turn him on to TDTCB as well, and will be forcibly loaning him the hardback this weekend. <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post


What do you listen to? posted 20 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWhat do you listen to? by Rellion, Candidate

Personally, I listen to a lot of older rock. I keep it tuned to 93.3 The Bone here in Dallas most of the time. They play Zepellin, some older Metallica, Sabbath, AC/DC, Hendrix, some hair band ballads, ZZ Top, and other similar. My CD player has anything from the LotR soundtracks, to the Punisher soundtrack, and Aerosmith's Greatest Hits albums in it. I also really like Evanescense's music.

I did pick up a really cool CD I thought fit perfectly with the world of Earwa. Feast of Silence by Vas. It's a combination of Middle Eastern, Indian, and Bulgarian drum rhythmics with a Persian singer. Very interesting and thoroughly enjoyable. view post


sarah ash posted 20 August 2004 in Literature Discussionsarah ash by Rellion, Candidate

Spoilers ahead, don't read if you can't handle them.








I hate to say it, as it seemed this book had promise (the first, I refer to), but just did not seem to grab me. I will acquiesce that it may simply be a matter of taste, but when reading Sarah Ash's Lord of Snow and Shadows, there seemed to be a few things missing for me.

1) Madame Andar and Prince Eugene, as characters, did not appeal to me as I read their PoV chapters. I kept wanting to skip them and keep reading Gavril and KiuKiu.

2) Deus Ex Machina - KiuKiu's discovery in the storm by her grandmother. For the same reason I like Martin, I disliked this.

3) The world setting - It just didn't seem to come together. I pictured a Napolean era Muscovy and Prussia, but it didn't come alive. It seemed more backdrop, and less something that the characters interacted with.

It was a solid first effort. I've definitely read *far* worse, but it just didn't drag me in and I found myself having to forcibly make myself read it, and no book should make you have to do that.

I'll give it 2.5 stars out of 5. view post


Do You Play Any MMRPG's? posted 26 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ADo You Play Any MMRPG's? by Rellion, Candidate

I never did get a chance to play a lot of Avalon Hill's old library, but I can definitely say that these games (if you like Bookcase games) should be given a shot if you can find them:

Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Diplomacy (the best game to lose your friends at, and has a huge net community <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->)
Civilization (and Advanced Civilization; perhaps one of the finest bookcase games ever)
Wooden Ships and Iron Men (I think that's the name)

The new Axis and Allies theater games (Europe and Pacific) are exceptionally good for Hasbro products. I've heard good things about the new Axis and Allies general game too.

Also look for games by Reiner Kenzia (sp?) usually published by Rio Grande Games. Especially Samurai. That's a game that can keep you going for hours (fuedal conquest of Japan, done without a single die).

Great games all of them. And far better for you than any MMOG could ever be. view post


Do You Play Any MMRPG's? posted 27 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ADo You Play Any MMRPG's? by Rellion, Candidate

Diplomacy has always been my favorite as well, but I can only take it in doses, as I enjoy honest relationships with my friend. Playing it with strangers works well though, and I've run a few sessions of it at a local hobby shop. It's always amusing to find who the lambs and the wolves are when a group of new players start.

(as a side note, I'd *never* play this game with Kellhus in a million years. <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> )

Try Civilization and Advanced Civilization (By Avalon Hill) if you can find them. They've been out of print for a while though.

I've always been a fan of the 'diceless' style board games. More strategy, less chance. view post


Curious: What's the strangest fan request you've received? posted 27 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious: What's the strangest fan request you've received? by Rellion, Candidate

I'm still waiting on Scott to teach me how to peel back a face and show me how to read the features underneath the skin!

(kidding, I'm just kidding!)

(really..)

(stop looking at me like that)

(I mean it) view post


Thousandfold Thought in Dallas posted 09 February 2006 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThousandfold Thought in Dallas by Rellion, Candidate

Just a warning to any Dallasites and Forth Worthians out there. Currently the Borders Books and Music stores in North Dallas are not carrying TTT. They have them 'on order', but as of today are still not in. Barnes and Nobles, on the other hand, has copies already sitting on shelves. Save yourself a headache, hit up B&amp;N, and pick up the book.

I tried getting mine by preorder through Borders and after waiting 5 days past the release, I just walked into Barnes and Nobles and got a copy off the shelf. Most frustrating experience ever, as every day they'd tell me 'oh, it should arrive tomorrow'. view post


Free Speech and Tact posted 09 February 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Speech and Tact by Rellion, Candidate

The Iranian president is further claiming now that the Danish cartoons are part of a 'Zionist plot' in retaliation of the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections.

Daily Ireland Article[/url:lw06gy2o]

Never mind the fact that the elections took place in January and the cartoons were originally published in September. With the rhetoric coming out of the more extemist Islamist nations and leaders over these cartoons, it is very difficult to not believe they are being used as a tool to inflame rage against the West by those in authority.

It is very hard to believe, even in worst case scenarios, that any of the violence and property damage being perpetrated over these cartoons is a proper and justified response to what was drawn. The unjustified outrage stemming from these cartoons seems to be an endemic problem with the system of Islamist countries. Is it, then, a fundamental problem with the society of Middle Eastern nations where the populace feels that the only answer to what they feel to be any form of insult or disagreement is violence?

The answer I come to each time I ask myself the question is discomforting, and as a rational adult, I am forced to believe more and more of the stereotypes of the average Muslim are true. I know, individually, they can be very good, honorable people. I work with several who aren't burning Danish flags over the situation, and have maintained a sense of humor about it. They disagree with the contents of the drawings, but are able to seperate out that disagreement and realize that the Danish cartoonists also had the right to publish it.

Daryl Cagle, a political cartoonist for MSNBC, recently posted a cartoon in his blog of a skull called 'The Face of Muhammed' by Brian Fairrington, which had the words 'Death, Hate, Anti-Semitism' and other such things etched onto it. Someone who had seen this cartoon took it, modified it, and changed the name to 'The Face of Jesus' and added a few new phrases on the skull such as 'Bigotry' and 'Gay-Bashing'. (See the two pictured - [url=http&#58;//cagle&#46;com/news/BLOG/BLOGgifs/Fairringtonpirate350&#46;gif:lw06gy2o]here[/url:lw06gy2o]) Muslim writers, according to Mr. Cagle, expressed great distress and outrage through emails to him about Mr. Cagle putting the image on his site (<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://cagle.com">http://cagle.com</a><!-- m -->, for the unaware).

As a Christian, I disagree with the statements expressed by the 'Face of Jesus' rendition of the drawing. I can, as a rational adult, also understand where the sentiment comes from, view it as the criticism it is, and move on with my life. There is not sense of outrage and hate, and I am glad of that. I do not think that this makes me superior (it's my devilish good looks and charm that do! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> ), but instead marks me as a rational adult human being.

I will ask one question before ending this ramble which has gone on far too long. Does this mean that the middle eastern cultures we see today attempt to undermine the rational thought of their citizenry in an effort to fuel their own agendas? Or is this simply the fate of the organized religion of Islam and how it teaches its disciples to think - irrationally?
view post


Bad, bad book. BAAAD. posted 09 February 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionBad, bad book. BAAAD. by Rellion, Candidate

Eragon by Christopher Paulini.

Absolutely horrid. And the second book (Eldest) was worse. I got about 3 chapters into it before both books were sent to the used book store. The funniest part about it was that someone (I can't find the URL right now) took all the plot points from Star Wars and then showed every similarity with Eragon that existed. There were about 24 major events in the book and movie that were near identical.

Horrible, horrible, horrible books. That boy is NOT a genius. view post


Best Kick-in-the-Nuts' EVER!!! posted 09 February 2006 in Literature DiscussionBest Kick-in-the-Nuts' EVER!!! by Rellion, Candidate

Best 'Oh crap!' moments for me were --

1: ASoIaF Game of Thrones - The death of Eddard Stark. This had me grinding my teeth and going 'you bastard!' but it's also when I knew the series was going to be damn good. The Red Wedding I could feel coming several pages before it happened, so I wasn't near as surprised and it doesn't make its way onto this list for me.

2: 1st Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 1 - The rape of Lena by Thomas Covenant. I still refer to it as 'Page 86' due to where it is in my edition of it. I tossed the book across the room when that happened and didn't pick up the book again for a week. I finished the series and it is still one of the greatest trilogies I have ever read. After reading it, I could never bring myself to read Robert Jordan or RA Salvatore's novels again. view post


Free Speech and Tact posted 09 February 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Speech and Tact by Rellion, Candidate

Judgement, I think, is the wrong word.

I like to believe I have the rational capacity to form my own opinion and choose my own beliefs. In this my opinion has been further and further swayed towards the negative of the protesters in the middle east.

As I said before, the question is begged -- What causes it? The regimes and leaders of the region, or the culture and religion itself?

The former makes it a lot more easy to isolate and understand the cause, while the latter is much more troubling, in my opinion. view post


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