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


Men v. Nonmen posted 22 February 2004 in Author Q & AMen v. Nonmen by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm actually waiting a couple weeks before digging into TTT (I'm still decompressing from TWP). I have the old, old version that I wrote some fifteen years ago, but I would be surprised if more than a few phrases survived in the final version. I tend to go underground for periods of frenetic writing and rewriting.

The big difference will be the relative density of the events. Many things start happening within a short span of time. Things hit the proverbial fan. There will also be a series of extensive glossaries dealing with Earwa. view post


Dunyain posted 23 February 2004 in Author Q & ADunyain by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hi Skyfell. In the original versions of TDTCB, the story started with three or four Dunyain sections, so I actually tend to lose track of what I did or didn't include in this final version! There's very much that I allude to that never appears in the book - I'm morbidly obsessed with subtexts.

I see the radical hygiene of the 'present' Dunyain not as the result of any single event, but rather many small insights and decisions over the course of many years. No matter how clean one is, one can always be cleaner, even if the soil at issue is history, custom, and animal passion. view post


The Inchoroi and the Sranc posted 23 February 2004 in Author Q & AThe Inchoroi and the Sranc by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

So far, precious little. This changes in a big way in TWP, however.

Lotsa juicy little revelations (he says, cackling and rubbing his hands in glee)... view post


Dunyain posted 23 February 2004 in Author Q & ADunyain by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Plenty <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 24 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Like I said, I'm an agnostic. <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) --> view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 27 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I think it's pretty obvious that animals don't have choice, at least not in any sense that entails responsibility. We human beings, on the other hand, simply HAVE to have choice, if anything is to make any sense whatsoever... view post


Eating Crow posted 27 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AEating Crow by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just received my February Locus magazine, and find myself eating crow. Carolyn Cushman, who in her respective capsule reviews more or less panned both TDTCB and A Telling of Stars by my fellow Penguin Caitlin Sweet, has also chosen them for her favourite first novel releases of 2003! I'm going to have to dig out my August Locus and reread her review... <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


Eating Crow posted 28 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AEating Crow by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

DON'T get me started. You'd think Canada must be overseas or something.

I reread the August review, and have decided it wasn't so bad afterall. We need a little smiley face with crow feathers sticking out its mouth... view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 28 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Actually, you're saying quite a bit more, aren't you Jack? You're saying that all morality (as opposed to just religion) is a social construct. At least that's what I understood.

It's coincidental that you should mention memes, Jonathan, since it was reading about memes back in the mid 80's (in Hofstadter's Metamagical Themas, if I remember aright) that the idea for Kellhus started germinating. It was the first time I ever encountered the notion of ideas behaving as 'mechanisms,' as things which make people DO things, as opposed to little windows on the world.

I really have no clue as to how responsibility could fit into a thoroughgoing memetic account, though. Don't the memes make all the choices? view post


More laudations... this time from a very important group posted 03 March 2004 in Interviews and ReviewsMore laudations... this time from a very important group by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Very cool beans. Now I know what the word flabbergasted means. view post


Other authors you enjoy posted 05 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOther authors you enjoy by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I still have to see the bloody thing (and I mean that literally - apparently, the screen Jesus bleeds enough to drain five men). I'm pretty cynical about all the 'controversy,' though. Smells like marketing to me... view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 06 March 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hi Norsirai! In answer to your general question: The Dunyain are engaged in something similar to a Husserlian epoche, an attempt to bracket the untoward influences of history. Kellhus would likely cite some version of the genetic fallacy: so long as the destination is true, the point of origin is irrelevant. view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 09 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AHello to the author and everyone... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Welcome Vanarys!

I have a tremendous amount of notes regarding Earwa that I've been accumulating since about 1980. And yet, I very rarely reference them - I've been living with the world so long it rarely seems that I need to. As far as world-building consistency goes, the only real MO I have is immersion and time. Being a dweeb helps...

As far as writing and writing advice goes, the single most important thing I think any writer can do is to join an online workshop (for me it was the old Del Rey Online Writers Workshop - the DROWW - which has since become independent and morphed into the OWW). There's so many skills that I learned there, and perhaps even more importantly, so many writers that I met.

As for the character-as-question vs character-as-answer issue. I really don't think there's an answer to which is 'best' - it all depends on what a writer is trying to accomplish. If, for instance, popularity and sales are the driving goal, then it seems to me that treating characters as answers is the best way to proceed. At least that's what seems to sell. For my own part, I try to let the story decide whether a character will be a question or an answer at any particular point. I actually look at Kellhus as an exception, in this sense. He is almost pure question - but then, THAT's the story! view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 09 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AHello to the author and everyone... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Anyone can join, though I think they now charge a modest monthly fee. It's definitely worth it, though.

This might sound pessimistic, but I wouldn't recommend that anyone make writing their primary career choice. The odds are nothing short of insane. Even once you get published, I think there's only something like a 1 in 10 chance that your book will succeed. I lucked into this gig, and even still, when I think back to it, it seemed that every mountain I scraped and scrambled up simply revealed another mountain to be climbed.

My advice is to approach writing as any other serious hobby - as something to be done for its own sake. This also gives you the freedom to experiment, to come up with your own voice, rather than relentlessly trying to stuff yourself into boxes built by others (if you join the OWW, you'll meet many, many people who'll try to convince you this is what MUST be done - but don't listen. If I had a nickel for every person who told me to avoid character interiors, purge all figurative language, etc...).

It's win-win if it's just a hobby, no matter what happens. Even if TDTCB hadn't been published, I'd still be working on the world - and loving it! view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 10 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AHello to the author and everyone... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Ayn Rand is a joke. Normally I'm loathe to say that of any thinker, but I've been convinced that she's nothing short of pernicious. We human beings are actually quite inept when it comes to knowledge, and quite good when it comes to duping ourselves - which is the whole reason why science requires such elaborate precautions (and still regularly trips up). We generally hate complexity, we feel threatened by uncertainty, and we love flattery. This is why you have so many different groups saying, 'We're the best X!' with such absurd conviction, where x = nation, faith, race, gender, class, and so on.

The best thinkers, it seems to me, cut against these tendencies, and so challenge the status quo. The worst thinkers, such as Ayn Rand, exploit these tendencies, and end up apologizing for the status quo - or even worse, arguing for more extreme versions of it. What you end up with is a very superficial but very appealing creed. view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 11 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AHello to the author and everyone... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

A good philosophical intro... hmm. As silly as it sounds, I think the Writers and Readers 'documentary comic books' series is actually a good place to get one's bearings.

What kind of questions are you interested in exploring? view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 12 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AHello to the author and everyone... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

They're introductory texts highlighting the basics of different thinkers in a quasi graphic novel format. To be honest, I'm not even sure they're publishing them anymore. I found them immensely useful as an undergrad. view post


The Series That Comes After? posted 18 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThe Series That Comes After? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Ah, the question I've been dreading. In the first few months of 2003 I took some time out to write a sleek little near-future psychothriller called Neuropath, which I intend to buff and polish once I finish TTT. I started NP thinking I needed a break from writing fantasy, only to discover that fantasy writing is, well... So much more damn fun!

So NP is next, hot on the heels of TTT. What comes after NP?

The Aspect-Emperor, another trilogy which returns to the demented cast (those that survive, that is) of PON some twenty years later. More than a few people groan when I say this, which is why I always feel the need to explain myself! First, I conceived and roughed out the greater cycle of stories (as a trilogy of trilogies) the year before WoT came out, so this is most definitely not a case of me slavishly following commercial precedents. This means, secondly, that every book in the series is motivated by STORY, and not money (if there is any in this business!) Third, PON is a complete tale, and not merely the first third of one. The relationship of AE to PON is more akin to the relationship between the Dune books, though the narrative arc that binds them - the story of the Second Apocalypse - is, I like to think, less ad hoc than Herbert's.

As strange as it sounds, I look at PON as my version of The Hobbit. view post


Few Questions posted 19 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AFew Questions by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hi Akrasi. The stories are nested within a greater narrative. What I mean is that each trilogy (as opposed to each book within the trilogy) will have a complete story to tell. At the same time, each trilogy will also tell part of a much, much larger story. Though most everything happens within Earwa, so things do spill in from the outside.

I actually think 'global world-building' is something of a mistake in creating fantasy worlds. One of the primary features of ancient understandings of the world, I think, is the incompleteness of that understanding. This is one of the things Tolkien does so well - even in the name 'Middle-earth': he conjures the sense of civilization encircled by mystery and darkness. view post


The Series That Comes After? posted 19 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThe Series That Comes After? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Ten years! Maybe I should think about this...

In answer to your question, Sovin, Robin Hobb has been on my must read list for some time. Any suggestions as to where I should start?

In answer to your question, Loosecannon, yes, the scope does become more 'epic,' though in ways that might be surprising. The story is BIG. view post


The Series That Comes After? posted 23 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThe Series That Comes After? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Thanks for the Hobb advice everyone. I suspect Amazon thanks you as well...

Welcome aboard Ifex! I do have a finished draft of PON, which I completed at the beginning of the eighties - back when I had far more ideas than ability. I only have outlines of the rest of the story, however.

As far as NP goes, TTT takes precedence, but with any luck I should have something for my agent to shop around by late this year or early next. Just when it'll hit the shelves probably depends on how well PON is doing. view post


The conditioning of Kellhus posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Welcome, both of you! I think you've both hit upon important nerves. The problem you mention, Euron - that of Kellhus being 'too outside' to effectively gain the power he does - was one that concerned me quite a bit in TDTCB - in fact you might say the entire prologue is concerned with it (though whether it does the job or not is a different matter). Remember that Kellhus 'suffered' emotions as a child, and that he uses his perfect recollections of these as the basis of his study of the trapper, who ends up being his first world-born test case.

As far as adequately understanding the roots, Replay, I think you're right. But I'll have to let Kellhus answer that one... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AHello to the author and everyone... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I absolutely loved the book, but I actually don't think Pirsig is that well versed in western philosophy - which is probably a good thing for the story! It really allowed the WONDER of questioning to come through - something which I think is lost in most philosophical meanderings. I thought the sequel, Lila, was horrible. Since he was arguing against as much as searching for, it screamed for a more philosophically nuanced approach. But from what I remember, it seemed that he hadn't actually read all that much. It's been awhile though. view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AHello to the author and everyone... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Very interesting... Though I'm not much on the metaphysics of things - apart from the sorcerous Schools that is! view post


The conditioning of Kellhus posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

There's the rub: belief (with desire) forms the basis of action, so even if it is a fantasy, you need some kind of consistency between what your characters believe and what they do - especially when their actions are extreme.

I should qualify: it depends on what your goals as a writer are. For me, epic fantasy is - in an important respect - about awe (or the memory of it), and an important condition of awe is believability. If your goal is, say, the exploration of a certain 'possibility space,' then these rules need not apply.

What's the founding premise? view post


A few questions posted 05 April 2004 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Welcome aboard Harren, and thanks for the kind words! With regards to your questions: yes, both Zeum and Eanna are inhabited, and both have roles to play in the darkness that comes after (forgive me - I couldn't resist!) - Zeum moreso. The excerpt on the website (which I hope to replace with something from TWP shortly, BTW - my webguy's gone working as a cybercrime detective for the RCMP and I'm ramping up to teach myself Frontpage) is actually from the Canadian edition of TDTCB. My original British editor, Darren Nash, asked for several changes, including splitting the Prologue in two, and getting rid of the nursery rhyme to avoid 'name overload' at the beginning of the book. To be honest, I'm not sure which version I like better... view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

So if you're right, and rightness and wrongness is just 'personal,' you're only right because... you personally choose to be? Isn't that incoherent?

I've always loved the following quote:

"Guilt? It's this mechanism we use to control people. It's a kind of social control mechanism - and it's VERY unhealthy." --Ted Bundy view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

"Morality is a social construct. It&#8217;s a necessity for the continued survival of that society."

In other words, morality is (as Bundy says) just a control mechanism, an illusion society uses to conserve its inherited structures of power. It's not that murder is wrong, it's just that - given the murder-averse society we happen to live in - it's pretty stupid, unless your goal happens to be incarceration or execution. In other words, morality is just window-dressing for power - which is to say, a version of nihilism.

Kellhus would approve! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

But there's a more difficult question: What makes YOUR argument right or wrong, Iceman? In order for you to be right, it seems to me that rightness and wrongness must be absolutes of some kind. But that simply contradicts your initial thesis, doesn't it? view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 06 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Is the latter part of this a reply to me, Iceman? The question of constraints makes me think so, but the 'apparent disgust' comment makes me unsure. Maybe it was the Bundy example? Bringing that up was a bad teacher habit, I'm afraid: I like collecting outrageous and interesting examples to shock my students.

When it comes to questions in moral philosophy, I take the old bumper sticker as my slogan: 'I used to be disgusted, now I'm just amused.'

Otherwise, before answering your questions, I'd ask that you answer my question from before first (here quoted): "What makes YOUR argument right or wrong, Iceman? In order for you to be right, it seems to me that rightness and wrongness must be absolutes of some kind. But that simply contradicts your initial thesis, doesn't it?"

Quid pro quo! <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 06 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just to clarify, Iceman: So you don't think all normativity is a social construct, that the rightness and wrongness pertaining to argument transcends social contexts, while the rightness and wrongness pertaining to morality does not? view post


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