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


The Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales posted 05 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Case of the Blind Brain and Other Strange Tales by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Friggin philosophy 101 over here. This is AWESOME.

Don't mind the jargon, Replay, it's just shop-talk. And always remember the one sure fire way to get a philosopher to shut-up: pay for your pizza and tell him to get the hell off your porch... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Curious if you... posted 05 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

They are too sexy! After the Toronto book launch I set one up on the hotel table and simply stared at it, thinking to myself, 'So this is what a stalker feels like.'

As far as I know, the only place that still has copies of the original tradepaperback at the original price is Bakka-Phoenix Books in Toronto. A quick Google will get you there. view post


Chapters? posted 05 July 2004 in Tour and Signing InformationChapters? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

The little London, I'm afraid. On Richmond Street just south of Oxford. view post


Michigan? posted 05 July 2004 in Tour and Signing InformationMichigan? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

My publicist had something set up for Ann Arbor, but it fell through for some reason. My guess is that I won't be doing much in the US until the second book comes out. It's a classic catch-22: you need to do events like book-signings to increase your audience, and yet without an audience, they really aren't worth the time and money.

Meanwhile the book seems to be languishing in the US. Not good. view post


Curious if you... posted 06 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm doing an interview with Rob right now in fact! He's a cool head. view post


London Free Press Article posted 08 July 2004 in Interviews and ReviewsLondon Free Press Article by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

The wedge of the wabyss!

Walking about, I've had several complete strangers congratulate me now. Unnerving, but it could be worse, I guess. They could be trying to strangulate me... <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


London Free Press Article posted 09 July 2004 in Interviews and ReviewsLondon Free Press Article by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Got the mane hacked off last night, actually. My stag's tomorrow and I don't want to catch fire... view post


London Free Press Article posted 09 July 2004 in Interviews and ReviewsLondon Free Press Article by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Substitute 'fatties' for 'pyres,' 'headbanging' for 'satyric dances,' and 'peeler-bar' for 'Dionysian,' and I'd say you're right on the money!

But I'm getting ahead of myself... It could just be vomit. Lots and lots of vomit. view post


London Free Press Article posted 10 July 2004 in Interviews and ReviewsLondon Free Press Article by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'll try, but there's just something about piss-grease smeared across your forehead and cheek... Tends to deflate the divine. view post


Symbol Question **WP Spoilers** posted 12 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ASymbol Question **WP Spoilers** by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I've always had in mind Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (I think that's how its spelled), only upside down. view post


On the subject of Chorae posted 12 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOn the subject of Chorae by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Same old problem: me assuming that crucial details will somehow leak through my elliptical descriptions! Chorae bowmen from different nations adopt different strategies, but in each case, what they fire is the Chorae itself fixed to the shaft or bolt. Physical contact with a Chorae grants an individual and their immediate effects immunity - nothing else. view post


Terminology posted 12 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ATerminology by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm not sure I've even heard of Ragnarok Online... view post


Private questions for Mr. Bakker. posted 12 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; APrivate questions for Mr. Bakker. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hi Soulwielder, and a cryptic welcome! This forum has private messaging... view post


Women In the Three Seas posted 12 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWomen In the Three Seas by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Yeah, I've taken some heat on this issue - which I suspected I might. Pardon the length of my response: good questions deserve thorough answers.

Most fantasy worlds, despite being patterned on various traditional milieus, are thoroughly sanitized - usually to make them more palatable to their audiences, I think. I wanted something unsanitary, through and through, both for authenticity's sake, and to explore a couple of different themes. I wanted to look this 'epic fantasy thing' in the eye - without blinking.

Up until a few decades ago, women were little more than chattel, at least in the dominant traditional cultures. They were the property of either their husband or their father, and they spent their lives fairly imprisoned by their reproductive systems. It's no accident that the women's rights explosion occurred during a time when women began working and began taking the pill.

Now many people gravitate toward epic fantasy, I think, because it offers them examples of what technological civilization has stripped from us: a clear and certain place in the social and cosmic orders. It's no accident that fantasy worlds tend to be ancient worlds: before science we were free to construct worlds - like Homeric Greece, Biblical Israel, or Vedic India - that confirmed our hopes and fears. The problem, of course, is that these worlds were also powerfully chauvinistic and authoritarian.

I'm just trying to give the good with the bad, to explore the object of our fascination - alternate, prescientific contexts - honestly. I chose the Whore, the Harridan, and the Waif as my archetypes because each, I think, is an expression of the way authoritarian patriarchal societies warp the feminine: each represents a real way a woman might cope. Warrior princesses do not (these, I would argue, are actually misogynistic). Of course Esmenet and Serwe have a 'neediness' about them. Neediness is the primary way human beings respond to helplessness. Abusive systems produce damaged people.

I hope this doesn't come off as me trying to make a bad thing look good after the fact, because it isn't. I was very deliberate in making the choices I did - and I think, or at least hope, that this becomes more clear in TWP.

Regarding the graphic depiction of sex, my answer would run along similar lines. Also, if you ever get a chance to reread TDTCB, watch for the recurring role and references to appetite. Carnal lust is but one more 'darkness that comes before,' and in the end, perhaps it's the most significant one. view post


London Free Press Article posted 12 July 2004 in Interviews and ReviewsLondon Free Press Article by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Could've been the whiskey,
Might've been the gin.
Could've the three/four six packs, I dunno,
But look at the shape I'm in... view post


London Free Press Article posted 12 July 2004 in Interviews and ReviewsLondon Free Press Article by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

At one point I found myself in a C&amp;W bar. Still tapping my toes, and hating myself for it.

Goddamn my head hurts.

Still. view post


Women In the Three Seas posted 13 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWomen In the Three Seas by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Pretty crazy, I know. Serial murderers are almost always serial rapists as well. I wanted the evil to be a real world evil, and once again I didn't want to blink.

I've been told that Anne Rice makes me look like a choir boy, though! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


Women In the Three Seas posted 13 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWomen In the Three Seas by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

But I think your last reason is the very thing that makes them scratch their heads. Simply because it's an alternate world, the patriarchal, misogynistic nature of the Three Seas is a matter of authorial choice. If the subtext is missed, it's pretty easy, I think, to jump to worries and conclusions regarding the author.

Thank God for the internet, I say. view post


FREE BOOK CONTEST posted 13 July 2004 in Author AnnouncementsFREE BOOK CONTEST by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

With Larry's guidance and invaluable advice, I've come up with the following contest with the aim of generating more awareness of TDTCB - especially in the US. Feedback is welcome, of course - especially if you find something cheesy!

I have seven signed, to-be-personalized, hardcovers of The Darkness That Comes Before, which I will send to the seven people who can best answer "What is the darkness that comes before?" in a single paragraph sent to <!-- e --><a href="mailto:Whatisthedarkness@rogers.com">Whatisthedarkness@rogers.com</a><!-- e -->. I'm not looking for any one answer in particular (because I'm not sure there is one), just responses that make me laugh or ponder - two things I need to do more of!

A valid email address is required in order for me to reply to the winners, and since there's no real way to police the number of submissions anyone makes, we'll have to go by the honour system: one per person, please.

I'll announce the winners at the end of August, just before the next Worldcon in Boston.

Feel free to Ctrl-c and post wherever! view post


Women In the Three Seas posted 14 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWomen In the Three Seas by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

You're certainly right, the picture is always more complicated, but I'm not sure that the examples you draw, which come from many different times and societies, point to anything one dimensional in the Three Seas, which is one time and one society, and certainly in line with the majority of historical precedents here in the real world. Don't you think?

I'm also not sure whether the backdoor access to power you speak of - which certainly occurs in the Three Seas as well - provides much in the way of compensation, no more than the power of palace eunuchs in the Persian Empire does anything to lessen the bite of institutionalized slavery. All it does is complicate a generally ugly picture.

Personally, I worry more that, if anything, I've done too much candy-coating, particularly with regards to Esmenet. I recently watched a couple of documentaries chronicling the lives of Thai prostitutes - the stories they told were more harrowing than anything I've encountered in fiction. Unrelenting brutality, and from all quarters: family, pimps, customers, police... It was numbing. One women was actually sold by her mother to Chinese businessmen who chained her naked in a 'leech pond.' Leeches fattened on the blood of young women is a delicacy in some circles, they said.

I'd like to go into the question of the Dunyain and gender, but believe it or not, the issue has a significant role to play in the greater story of the Second Apocalypse - I think I need to turn this 'no-answer answer' into a macro or something! Sorry Laughing

As I mentioned above, this is an important theme to me. I'm curious: What did you make of TWP on this score? view post


Women In the Three Seas posted 15 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWomen In the Three Seas by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

This is a just a general response (because legatus and saintjon are such crafty buggers! <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P --> ): If you think in evolutionary terms, then everything we do is 'about' reproduction - which is to say, sex. So the question is...

More specifically, I knew beforehand that more than a few people would find the book unreadable because of the sexuality. This is why I'm always careful to frame my goals when I pitch my book to people I know might have difficulty: I tell them I wanted to take a 'predigested' form (the well worn conventions of epic fantasy) and fill it with well nigh indigestible content.

Of course it rarely works. Digestion is digestion. view post


Dunyain posted 15 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; ADunyain by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Before the First Apocalypse the Dunyain were a heretical community of Kuniuric ascetics (originally based in Sauglish) who sought enlightenment (the Absolute) through the study and practice of reason (the Logos). They were a young movement, but they had already suffered sporadic persecution for some time. But since the Kunniat faith practiced by the High Norsirai was not hierarchical, no concerted effort was made to punish their atheism.

It's nice to be able to answer for a change! view post


On the subject of Chorae posted 15 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOn the subject of Chorae by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

But remember, though a sorcerous wind would blow mundane shafts away, it would have no effect on bolts fixed with Chorae.

If one the other hand, a Schoolman were to cause a low pressure cell that subsequently unleashed winds... Since sorcery interacts with the real world, it produces real effects that Chorae are useless against. view post


FREE BOOK CONTEST posted 15 July 2004 in Author AnnouncementsFREE BOOK CONTEST by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I thought it was a good number to get my toes wet with. I dunno... <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

The responses are starting to trickle in - all of them are AWESOME so far. It's going to be damn hard to choose, I can tell already. view post


Women In the Three Seas posted 15 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWomen In the Three Seas by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

At the same time there is a pretty big faction of fantasy afficionados who will love you like a brother for doing it.


This was the big Q way back when: How many people like their wings suicide, and their fantasy deep?

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


On the subject of Chorae posted 15 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOn the subject of Chorae by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

It's a good thing I didn't give you my 'Chorae +2' explanation! view post


Ayn Rand posted 16 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionAyn Rand by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

It's no coincidence that you'll find so many versions of 'be true to yourself' in so many commercial taglines - it's a central component of consumer ideology, what we celebrate as 'individualism.'

Two of the more illustrative examples, I think, are:

"Everything you need, comes from within." (Nike?)

and:

"Obey your thirst." (Coca Cola)

The first is an obvious falsehood (and yet one the vast majority take as gospel). We have never, in the history of humanity, depended so much on so many others, and yet we spend most of our time (in popular culture at least) congratulating ourselves on our 'self-sufficiency.' Likewise, we have never, in the history of humanity, needed an appreciation of communal interdependancy more.

The second, which amounts to 'be true to your appetite,' is simply the mantra of consumerism: 'consume now, worry later.' Advertising is propaganda, which is to say, a form of mass communication that systematically distorts the truth for the purpose of inciting action - in this case, frivolous consumption. Advertising is, in fact, the single greatest propaganda enterprise in history - it simply doesn't seem that way both because it's decentralized and because it's been so damn successful.

The next time you find yourself watching TV, try to imagine what an alien anthropologist would see.

The slogan should be, 'Know yourself.' This requires critically engaging all the things that 'feel true,' which are in the end, the product of a long process of socialization - in many cases corporate administered and motivated, thanks to the good old boob tube! Since this socialization constitutes our frame of reference, it simply seems 'natural and true,' when in fact it's every bit as peculiar as those you see on the National Geographic channel.

Ayn Rand is a classic apologist (and a very bad one at that - those looking for more robust apologia would be much better off reading Strauss or Nozick). Her intuitionist stance is simply a recipe for the continuance of a very problematic status quo. If you don't think it's problematic, consider these two FACTS:

We live in a society where a largely hereditary elite commands and enjoys the surplus labour of the masses.

We are becoming the largest extinction event the earth has witnessed since the Cretaceous, and thing are getting worse faster.

Or consider the following argument:

(1) The biosphere is a system.
(2) The atmosphere is a fundamental component of the biosphere.
(3) Transformations of fundamental components of a system generate transformations in that system.
(4) Murphy's Law (There's a million more way for things to go wrong than go right).
(5) The burning of carbon fuels has increased atmospheric CO2 levels by 30%.
(6) This rate is increasing at a greater and greater pace.
(7) There are no market viable alternatives to carbon fuels. (People are always surprised by this, but it's true, and it has to due with the sheer power fossil fuels in particular provide. If I remember correctly, you would have to cover an area the size of the state of Delaware to match the energy output of a mere 100 Exxon stations.)
/ 8: Odds are we're screwed.

And this is only ONE facet of the problem. We live in a system which not only encourages increasing rates of consumption (Remember Bush's patriotic reminder to Americans in the wake of 9/11? Go to the mall!), it fundamentally depends upon it. At the same time, it lionizes the pseudo-individual, rendering directed collective action 'uncool' (think about how many movies you've seen where the only way the hero can get things done is 'outside the law' or the institution he or she happens to belong to). Meanwhile we elect politicians who cry 'less government' (which is public, collective, and therefore uncool), thinking that 'private enterprise' (which through advertising has aligned itself with the 'individual') is better. Less government equals more corporation, and I don't know about you, but I've yet to elect a CEO.

To quote the man, 'You live in a dream world, Neo.' view post


Is the idea of a &quot;god&quot; inherent in our minds? posted 18 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a &quot;god&quot; inherent in our minds? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Every society develops an ideology to conserve the status quo. Since societies are, in the most fundamental sense, collections of people acting in systematically interrelated ways, and since desire and belief are the bases of all directed actions, stable societies, by definition, require that its members be socialized with the proper desires and beliefs. Religion has always played a pivotal role in this.

But the question of whether we're hardwired to believe in deity is a different one, I think. What seems to be the case is that human cognition is largely the evolutionary result of sexual selection: our version of a peacock's colours, you might say. We seem to be designed to understand one another more than the world, and as a result, we're predisposed to prefer intentional explanations - understanding by recourse to reasons and agency - over causal or functional explanations (which is why so much training is required for people to see the world from a scientific perspective - it's an accomplishment).

As a result, we seem predisposed to understand natural events in the same way we understand human events. We believe (falsely, it appears) that natural events have reasons. And since reasons belong to agents, we conjure quasi-human agencies to explain things. We anthropomorphize.

Given our hardwired preferences for simplicity and synthesis, it seems almost inevitable that the multiple agencies that characterize animism would, over time, be condensed into a single 'agent of agents.' God.

So I wouldn't so much say we're hardwired to believe in God as I would say we're hardwired to eventually arrive at Him. view post


Your education posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AYour education by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm ABD for my philosophy PhD, and unless I sell many, many books soon, I likely will be for the foreseeable future! I also have an MA in Theory and Criticism, and a BA in English Language and Literature.

My interests in highschool were painfully predictable... <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


Women In the Three Seas posted 19 July 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWomen In the Three Seas by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm not sure I really explore gender relations outside of Inrithi culture. A bit with the Scylvendi perhaps...

I just wanted to call into question the general tone of the thread which seems to assume that most of the history that we have of the past with regard to women is reality or accurate. I don’t personally believe in an objective history, but there are women’s personal realities.


Certainly not my assumption! But by same token, not all histories are equal, are they? Taking a hermeneutic approach to gender and history would provide a different evaluative framework, but I find myself wary of the threat of relativism even as I want to hear more. I can see how the portrayal of women as victims can be a further form of victimization, and I can see how I might even be guilty on this score, but things seem to become so ... circular at this level of meta-meta-analysis.

In the end, despite my skepticism, I am a moral universalist, and as such I do believe that, say, female circumcision in the Sudan is wrong is wrong, whether the victim would agree with me or not.

But still, I have that tickle... Let me mull this over a bit. view post


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