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Cu'jara Cinmoi Author of Prince of Nothing | joined 26 January 2004 | 836 posts


Language posted 26 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

It's a working script (called 'keneic,' the standard script for Sheyic, which is the lingua franca of the Three Seas). David Rankine, the cover artist for the Canadian edition, actually used the script to transcribe one of the epigraphs in the book (in Sheyic), and then added some of his favourite lyrics (from a King Crimson tune, if I recall correctly). He's yet to tell me what he translated for the WP cover, though...

I do love those covers, especially for WP. I just found out that they'll be used for the US hardcover editions as well. view post


Language posted 27 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just realized I never fully answered your question, Sovin! No, the languages in the book are hypothetical, without much more than a short lexicon of terms and a distinctive sound pattern. I've studied several languages, which I draw on to try to make the languages of the Three Seas as consistent as possible, but I'm certainly no JRRT! The languages are all what they call 'inflected,' however, which is to say they're more like latin than english... view post


Language posted 27 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

It's an alphabet, though like most foreign alphabets it doesn't correspond perfectly with the english one. Once I finish all three books of PoN I hope to beat some coherent background material out of the knobby mountain of notes I've been accumulating all these years, including the various alphabets and syllabaries. I'm committed to finishing the books first though, since I know first hand how frustrating it can be waiting and waiting for sequels. I've been dying a slow death waiting for A Feast of Crows! view post


Language posted 27 January 2004 in Author Q & ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Damn, I forgot again... 'Cu'jara Cinmoi' is the name of the ancient Nonman King who waged the first wars against the Inchoroi before the coming of Men to Earwa. I know he's mentioned a couple of times in The Warrior-Prophet, but for the life of me I can't remember if he's mentioned in The Darkness... Hmm. view post


Men v. Nonmen posted 28 January 2004 in Author Q & AMen v. Nonmen by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I could...

I hate to be coy, but I there's some information I want to reveal gradually through the course of the story. Certain crucial facts regarding the Nonmen come to light toward the end of The Warrior-Prophet.

I hope this doesn't sound too cheesey, but I actually look at the story as a kind of striptease that gradually reveals the world - kind of like Gene Wolfe, though not so cryptic (or brilliant).

I can recap and clarify the info that's been given so far: the Nonmen are an ancient race, the 'original people' of Earwa, who are nearly immortal, and who fought both for and against the No-God during the Apocalypse. They are slowly going insane: their minds can only hold roughly four or five human lifetimes of experiences, and as the centuries pass the traumatic experiences they suffer crowd out their other memories, until now, almost all Nonmen remember only the pain and loss in their lives. And some, like the Nonman (Mekertrig) that Kellhus meets in the Prologue, have taken to creating traumatic experiences just so they can have something to remember... view post


Fantasy posted 02 February 2004 in Literature DiscussionFantasy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I've been a GRRM fan since reading "Sand-Kings" in grade 7. But he's had a special place on my shelf ever since reading aGoT made me realize that complex, demented, and thoroughly unsanitized epic fantasy was possible to publish. Until then, I never even thought of submitting TDTCB.

And I hear you on Tolkien. He may not be the first to have introduced Fantasy to the world, but he's the first, and perhaps the only, to truly have introduced it to Epic. It all comes to the languages. view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 02 February 2004 in Author Q & AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hi Mithfanion. Thanks for the kind words! As far as the release dates go, all I can say is 'you know you're a small fry when...' As far as I know TWP will heft in a little bigger than TDTCB - big enough to be useful in a potentially life-threatening situation. For the title for Bk III, I've been debating between When Sorcerers Sing and, as Wil mentions, The Thousandfold Thought. If I'm tending to TTT rather than WSS it's because of When Dragons Rage.

I'm not sure about the tpbk of TDTCB - I certainly hope they keep it in print. Otherwise, Overlook is using the same cover design for the US release. The colours we've discussed for Bk III are in the orbit of red, but we have no mock ups of it as yet. I think I'd have to be pretty lucky to have it look as cool as TWP.

If any of this changes, I'm sure you'll know before me! view post


Just wanted to say thanks posted 02 February 2004 in Author Q & AJust wanted to say thanks by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Thank you, DrB! And thank Tracy Carns at Overlook Press in the US for picking the books up... I almost found myself in Steven's boat of having to prove myself in every market other than the US market before they would pick me up. Strange how conservatism seems directly proportional to power... There's always more flexibility at the fringes of things. view post


Fantasy posted 02 February 2004 in Literature DiscussionFantasy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm with you on the Silmarillion, Mithfanion. The primary protagonist of all Tolkien's works is Middle-earth - I see the Silmarillion as ME's solo adventure.

The 'scarcity of magic' debate is a tricky one, and something I've pondered obsessively in my own work. It seems to me that if magic is over-used or haphazardly presented that it ceases to become 'fantastic.' The more scarce it is, the more exceptional it seems. But then, if you make too scarce, it starts to seem you're reading an 'alternate historical' rather than a fantasy. It's a tightrope. view post


Touring posted 02 February 2004 in Author Q & ATouring by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Penguin flew me out to Vancouver last year, but there's nothing firm yet about my spring itinerary. Overlook seems to be concentrating on the Northeast for this June and July - I don't think they have money for much more. Lord knows I don't! I give you updates as these things are confirmed. Anyone here going to Worldcon in Boston this year? When they're organized properly they're some serious fun. view post


Fantasy posted 02 February 2004 in Literature DiscussionFantasy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Consistency is king. Consistency conveys authenticity, which generates the suspension of disbelief, which makes possible the experience of AWE. Large or small, I think magic needs to be 'awe inspiring,' whatever that means. view post


Men v. Nonmen posted 03 February 2004 in Author Q & AMen v. Nonmen by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Many Nonmen wander Earwa and the Three Seas, searching for trauma - which is to say, memories. A few hundred serve Golgotterath. The majority of these are what are called 'Erratics' - Nonmen who've been driven mad by the accumulation of trauma.

The majority of surviving Nonmen, however, dwell in Ishterebinth - stonghold of the ancient Nonmen nation of Injor Niyas - where they struggle to keep the dwindling flame of their ancient civilization alive. Here the Quya and the Siqu masters continue their studies, developing techniques, sorcerous and otherwise, to keep their race sane.

There, I've gone and said too much!

Welcome to forum Loosecannon! Will I see you at the TWP book launch? view post


Fantasy posted 03 February 2004 in Literature DiscussionFantasy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Drawing a blank delavagus? How about ME getting published! Don't get no stranger than that...

During daylight at least. view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 04 February 2004 in Author Q & AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Oh, I've told them. I'll let you all know as soon as I get anything definite... The most it seems anyone can say is that it's coming out sometime between the end of April and mid-June. I'm pretty dismayed about all this - and embarrassed.

But then GGK told me once that stuff like this is pretty much the rule in the biz. view post


Magic posted 04 February 2004 in Author Q & AMagic by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hi Loosecannon. I knew I was going to get into trouble when you mentioned in an earlier post that you appreciated not getting a 'read and find out' response! Many particulars regarding the Schoolmen and their competing Metaphysics come to the fore in TWP, and I'm sure you despise spoilers more than 'read and find out!'

I can summarize the tidbits scattered through TDTCB, however.

The sorcery of the Three Seas, Anagogic (and Daimotic) sorcery, arose from its shamanistic roots without the benefit of the Quya, the Nonmen sorcerer caste, whose sorcery was ancient before the Tusk was even written. The Gnosis, the sorcery of the Ancient North, is the result of what was called the Nonman Tutelage, a period in ancient Norsirai history marked by cultural exchanges between Nonmen and Men. The Gnosis is simply what the Anagogis could be, if the proper conceptual leaps were made...

Differences between sorcerers sharing the same Metaphysics is determined in much the same way differences in any profession are: native ability, knowledge, training, and experience. view post


Magic posted 04 February 2004 in Author Q & AMagic by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hi Voland. Thanks for the kind words!

The issue of the Chorae threshold is also broached in TWP. There is, however, a limited grey zone, consisting of arcane keys, ciphers, and so on, which one of the Few can utter without suffering the bruise or Mark of sorcery. It's the Mark that determines whom the Chorae can kill. If one of the Few can recognize you, then so can those accursed Trinkets... view post


Dunyain posted 04 February 2004 in Author Q & ADunyain by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Greetings Priest! Kellhus is definitely one tough mother fo... At this point, comparing him strength-wise to Cishaurim or Schoolmen is kind of like comparing apples and oranges - especially since so much of his power derives from his intellect. I know this'll sound like a cheat, but your question actually becomes important to much of what happens in TWP. Crucial, in fact. And I hate being a spoiler as much as reading them. view post


Magic posted 04 February 2004 in Author Q & AMagic by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

They're almost as fatal to the Cishaurim as well, though the mechanics differ. The Inrithi would be in a whole heap of trouble otherwise.

I've actually structured the different sorceries of Earwa along the lines of different philosophical theories of language. For the Cishaurim, it's the THOUGHT, and not the utterance that is key, as it is in traditional sorcery. The Chorae are each inscribed with metaphysical contradictions, impossible propositions, that undo thoughts as readily as they undo utterances. view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 04 February 2004 in Author Q & AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Nothing for Scandinavia as of yet. S&S UK actually has Scandinavian rights for English publications. I'll ask my agent about the translation rights - though I thought most of you hyper-educated norsemen preferred reading your fantasy like your philosophy - in the original English!

As it stands, the book is being translated into Russian, French, and German. I'm intensely curious to see how these turn out.

If you don't mind, Voland, I'm very curious how many of the names strike your ear. English, which is a bastardized, mongrel language if there ever was one, has a curious hierarchy of sound-groups because of its history, with Germanic words (like 'good') at the bottom, French-derived words (like 'superb') in the middle, and Latinate words (like 'excellent') at the top (with Celtic and Scandinavian influences wriggling in from the side). What this means is that native English readers will more readily associate 'earthiness' with those names I derive from Germanic roots, and 'loftiness' with those names I derive from Latinate roots.

How do they strike you? view post


Dunyain posted 04 February 2004 in Author Q & ADunyain by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Sorry about that. Kellhus is actually a prodigy among even the Dunyain, though any one of them would have us raking their yard and taking out their trash (and loving them for it) inside of five sentences. view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 05 February 2004 in Author Q & AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just a note: I've confirmed that the official Canadian release date has been pushed back one month to the third week in May. Not so bad afterall I guess... view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 05 February 2004 in Author Q & AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

It was Penguin's decision to go with the trade paperback (with french flaps) after their beancounters priced the hardcover version at around $40 Cdn... A little steep for readers gambling on an untested author!

I love what they did as well. view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 06 February 2004 in Author Q & AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm guessing that TWP will weigh in at about 620 or 630. A little bigger than TDTCB. view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 06 February 2004 in Author Q & AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I haven't a clue. I'm pretty much a Scylvendi when it comes to my books. Moody and abusive. I've been kicking myself in the ass for beating up all my editions. They're so dog-eared they're beginning to look like cabbages. view post


Curious if you... posted 07 February 2004 in Author Q & ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

A couple of days back - thank you Dr.B! Totally unexpected, particularly since the only real negative review I received for TDTCB was from Locus (back last August). Second thoughts, perhaps? Or maybe a second read. I've always thought t myself that I wrote TDTCB to be read twice... view post


Curious if you... posted 07 February 2004 in Author Q & ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

When the galleys of TDTCB first came out, Penguin made a mistake and double shipped the box they were supposed to give me, so, hat in hand, I went on a web safari searching for interested reviewers, several of whom emailed me back to say they 'don't do High Fantasy,' or even worse, that if I sent them TDTCB that I should brace myself because they hated the subgenre. Despite my oh-so witty 'don't judge a book by its genre' reply, this pretty much convinced me (as the insecure author I still am) that I was going to be murdered when it came to reviews because of some kind of Jordan or Goodkind backlash. I just assumed this was the case with Locus. I'm glad to be mistaken! and I wouldn't be suprised if the MB 'buzz' played a hand.

It's strange the way the dialectic of popularity and scarcity plays itself out in all the different media. Radio, film, television, literature: you see the formation of the same kinds of cliques - from mainstream mania to iconoclastic chic. I'm amazed, for instance, by how many people suddenly seem to have a hate on for tLotR. I've heard everything from the standard 'PC checklist' complaints to the 'trials and tribulations of a band of lawn ornaments.' Outright dismissals always make me suspicious... view post


Curious if you... posted 09 February 2004 in Author Q & ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

What do you guys think of the way the Penguin edition 'blurs' Tolkien? You know, with the script on the covers, the maps (which my editor asked me to make 'Tolkienesque'), even the over-the-top blurb on the back, suggesting that TCTCB 'out-Tolkiens Tolkien' (as if such a thing were possible). It's something I'm still uncomfortable with, even though I don't think it necessarily counts as 'deceptive advertising.' view post


Curious if you... posted 09 February 2004 in Author Q & ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

If only there was a clear way to distinguish an homage from a knock-off. It's just one of many distinctions that marketers are making meaningless.

But that's the rub, I guess. Without revealing my bias, I recently polled my pop culture class asking them which cover they preferred, the S&amp;S or the Penguin one. To my surprise, they favoured the S&amp;S cover by an easy 2-1 margin - pretty much the opposite of what I expected! (There won't be too many people passing that course... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> )

I guess there's a good reason why they don't give authors much say when it comes to covers. We don't know squat when it comes to the 'buying public.' view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I think that's because Overlook (my US publisher) is a class act.

In the marketing discussions I've been privy to, the emphasis has been on marketing PoN as 'upscale,' as something that readily identifies itself as genre fiction with a literary bent. I think my marketing argument (which is that there's many, many readers out there (people like me!) who love the 'epic form,' but have become disenchanted with the sanitized, almost Y&amp;A content of some fantasies) has had some impact on the choices that have been made so far. Epic fantasy need not be something many readers 'outgrow.'

But then I always overestimate the impact of my arguments! Makes me feel rational... view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I agree entirely, though I took quite a thrashing for suggesting as much on a Talkback forum some time ago - by none other than M. John Harrison, no less!

Some seem to think that novelty and artistic merit consists in overturning conventions. The problem is that such moves tend to only be interesting once. I'm much more intrigued by the notion of making old machines do new things, to put preexisting conventions through their paces to see what they can do, and more importantly, what they mean. This is especially true of those conventions (like epic fantasy) that arise out of unreflective culture. Think of the popularity of the genre! It's obviously touching something very deep. And yet for so many literati, the question 'Why do people read that drivel?' is rhetorical, the implication being that people are morons (in comparison to themselves)...

This is probably a horrible over-generalization, but fantasy, it seems to me, is presently caught between two different Orthodoxies, one which defines itself by it's continuity with the past, another which defines itself by its dismissive opposition to the past (all the while claiming to be open and heterodox). Outright dismissal of the old is too easy - and far too flattering - to be trusted. It smacks of fashion.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just feeling defensive. No one wants to be a moron. view post


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