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Mithfânion Didact | joined 01 February 2004 | 261 posts


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 01 February 2004 in Author Q & AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Mithfânion, Didact

Greetings one and all!

First, I must say I'm happy to see that this series has it's own forum at last, nice to be here at the beginning since I expect this series to become truly major once the UK and US releases have commenced, possibly even Erikson/Martin/Hobb scale. And tres cool that the author is posting here!

Anyway, I have two or three pressing questions regarding the release dates.

First and foremost, The Warrior Prophet. The April 27th release date that your website mentions, is that still correct? It seems not to be, because both Penguin.ca and amazon.ca now have a Mid-June release date. Some clarification here would be great. Also, I'm very curious about the size of WP. Same size as TDTCB?

secondly, what is the title of the third book and when in 2005 will it be released? Have you seen the cover art for that one yet ( more specifically, what colour is it?)

Thirdly, will the trade paperback of "The Darkness that comes before" go out of print once the small mass market paperback is released in April this year?

I'd really appreciate answers to these questions <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


Language posted 02 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Mithfânion, Didact

Ah, good taste is always a good sign in an author. Here's another lost soul who's been slowly wasting away waiting for Feast for Crows. As for Tolkien, what he did with languages is just Über-intelligent, I'm so big a fan of his that I've even read The History of Middle-earth series. view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 02 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Mithfânion, Didact

Thanks for the replies guys.

Well, I hope we'll hear something definitive about the Warrior Prophet release date very soon.

I've been been debating between When Sorcerers Sing and, as Wil mentions, The Thousandfold Thought

The Thousandfold Thought. Definitly <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> view post


Warrior Prophet synopsis *Possible Spoiler* posted 02 February 2004 in The Warrior ProphetWarrior Prophet synopsis *Possible Spoiler* by Mithfânion, Didact

As the Holy War continues its inexorable southward march, it is itself conquered from within-by the Warrior-Prophet.

Able to see thoughts through faces and to steer souls through word and expression, Kellhus strives to extend his dominion. The sorcerer Achamian and his lover, Esmenet, submit entirely, only to have their faith-and their love-tested in unimaginable ways. Meanwhile, the warrior Cnaiür falls ever deeper into madness, convinced Kellhus will betray their pact to murder Kellhus's father.

n the Holy War's most desperate hour, each will be forced to choose between their most desperate desires and the end of the world. Between hatred and hope. Between Anasurimbor Kellhus and the Second Apocalypse.


and:

Steering souls through the subtleties of word and expression, Anasûrimbor Kellhus gradually extends his dominion over the Men of the Tusk. Succumbing utterly to Kellhus, the sorcerer Achamian is reunited at long last with Esmenet, only to be abducted by a rival sorcerous school. He rejoins the Holy War in its most desperate hour, only to discover that Kellhus has taken Esmenet as his wife. Meanwhile, the warrior Cnaiur, convinced that Kellhus will betray their pact to murder Kellhus's father, turns to the agents of the Second Apocalypse and strikes an infernal bargain. view post


Warrior Prophet synopsis *Possible Spoiler* posted 02 February 2004 in The Warrior ProphetWarrior Prophet synopsis *Possible Spoiler* by Mithfânion, Didact

The publisher's site <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


Darkness that comes before synopsis posted 02 February 2004 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeDarkness that comes before synopsis by Mithfânion, Didact

In a world scarred by an apocalyptic past, untold thousands assemble for holy war. Among them, two men and two women find themselves ensnared by a mysterious traveller from lands long thought dead. Will they unravel his secret in time to prevent a second apocalypse? Will they see the difference between the passion that elevates and the passion that enslaves?

and


This is a history of a great and tragic holy war, of the mighty factions that sought to possess and pervert it, and of a son searching for his father. And like all histories, it is we, the survivors, who will write its conclusion.

In a world scarred by an apocalyptic past, untold thousands gather for Holy War, determined to wrest the Holy City of the Latter Prophet from the hands of their heathen kin. Among them walks Anasûrimbor Kellhus, a mysterious traveler from lands long thought dead, the product of two thousand years of breeding and a lifetime of training in the ways of thought, limb, and face. Steering souls through the subtleties of word and expression, he slowly binds all-man and woman, emperor and slave-to his own mysterious ends.
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Fantasy posted 02 February 2004 in Literature DiscussionFantasy by Mithfânion, Didact

I've never read "Sandkings", I've heard several people say good things about it but it's hard to find a Martin collection that carries it and is still in print. There is a Locus Awards book coming out in June which will probably contain this short story though, among many others.

As for ASOIAF, certainly it's a breath of fresh air. I'm very fond of it, love the brutality, the gritty feel of it as well as the dialogues and the characterization. Martin is adept at virtually all aspects of Fantasy writing. The only aspect which I have been less than satisfied with sofar is his very subdued use of magic. It is coming more to the fore with the books to come, but sofar it has been a bit too suppressed for me to be pleased by this aspect of his Fantasy books.

With regard to Tolkien, you just have to love his Elves. His history of the First Age is just so phenomenal, I really think it's mindblowing material . I personally find the Silmarillion a more exciting story than the LoTR because of the vastness of scope, the great inherent power of some of the characters, the sense of etherealness, the cruelty of fate, the drama of so many individuals in the context of the Great Wars, the remarkable beauty of Middle-earth. Hard to surpass that. view post


Fantasy posted 02 February 2004 in Literature DiscussionFantasy by Mithfânion, Didact

Agreed. People's mileage varies enormously when it comes to magic. I'm not looking for cheap Dungeons &amp; Dragons style stuff, but I have to say I love the signicant dosis of Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen.

There has to be consistency anyway, whether it is scarce or not. I think limiting powerful magic to a restricted few, and offsetting that against normal humans is probably a good way to add the mystique of magic to your tale.It's easy to make it too abundant, but as you say, you don't want it to become straight historical fiction or even alternative history either. view post


Best character posted 02 February 2004 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeBest character by Mithfânion, Didact

Who do you think is the best character of the series sofar, and why? view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 03 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Mithfânion, Didact

Any news yet regarding the release of WP? view post


About the books posted 03 February 2004 in The Warrior ProphetAbout the books by Mithfânion, Didact

Hi Bryan

A sense of awe is precisely what is missing in so many Fantasy books and hearing that this is one of your brother's fortes is precisely what I want to hear. view post


Woh! posted 03 February 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionWoh! by Mithfânion, Didact

I do, looks very nice. view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 03 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Mithfânion, Didact

It certainly is. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

Still, it is a bit confusing isn't it? Penguin and Canada saying it is June 11th or 13th, the website saying April 27th. I take it May 20th is definite then? view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 03 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Mithfânion, Didact

In that case it might be sensible to contact the publisher and alert them to the fact they have it listed one month too late. As long as they don't change the date we're unlikely to be buying any Warrior Prophets at May 20th. view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 04 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Mithfânion, Didact

Yes, it happens a lot. For instance Tad Williams's Shadowmarch was scheduled for Spring 2004, and now it's November. It's not often that it happens so close to the expected release date though.

No reason to be embarrassed anyway, you finished the book and can hardly be blamed for the strange behaviour on the publisher's part ( by strange I mean primarily postponing the book for no apparent reason and even more for not even telling the author, I would think he/she would be the first one to be informed). view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 05 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Mithfânion, Didact

No, it certainly isn't bad, in fact delays don't come much smaller than that. Excellent news in fact <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) --> view post


The Title posted 05 February 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Title by Mithfânion, Didact

I agree, that's why I prefer TTT as well. It's quite a marvellous title actually. Reminds me of Donaldson's Gap Cycle, that series has such cool individual titles as well. view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 05 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Mithfânion, Didact

Sovin, in case you didn't know, the US edition will be a hardcover <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

I prefer trade paperbacks myself, it's got the stature of a hardback but the nice (weighty) feel of a thick paperback. view post


The Title posted 07 February 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Title by Mithfânion, Didact

Good points Bandit. view post


The Title posted 07 February 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Title by Mithfânion, Didact

forum error. view post


Curious if you... posted 07 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

Alternatively, this book has had a lot of buzz on certain Fantasy forums. In case Locus actually gave it a bad review a few months ago, they may have yielded to the overwhelming amount of positive reviews by many readers, and listed it here. If they had wanted to fully endorse the book they could have listed it in the "Best Fantasy" category as well.

Not that I want to dampen any enthusiasm btw <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> view post


Curious if you... posted 08 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

I'm amazed, for instance, by how many people suddenly seem to have a hate on for tLotR.

It's the popularity, as you say. Some people seem to have an automatically negative response to things that quickly become popular. As an Orthodox Tolkienite ( <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> ) I can't say I'm too pleased with all the LoTR marketing and publicizing either, all coming forth from the dreaded New Line Hype Machine (LoTR dolls, cups, spoons, plates, action figures, medallions and perhaps worst of all, fake The One Rings), but I don't see why I should dislike the original for it.

But that happens often. Something becomes big with the masses and there are always people who will want to distinguish themselves by immediately assuming their contrarian opinions. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many of the sudden LoTR-naysayers hadn't even read the book (though I can see why they would dislike the films after having seen them). view post


Curious if you... posted 09 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

As I must have said before, I think the design is just tres cool. I simply don't exaggerate when I say that in terms of feel and design this is the best Fantasy book I own (and I own many). The script in particular is very nice. I have two editions of the LoTR, one of them is my favorite of all the many editions and has the Gandalf cover (of him arriving at Hobbiton, drawn by Howe), but even that doesn't rival TDTCB.

Having said that, I dislike quotes like the one you mentioned (out-Tolkiening Tolkien being pretty poor). I realize the boasting is all part of the marketing and books need to have some blurbs, but perhaps it's better not to reference to other authors and instead comment on the book's genre strengths. view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

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.

A correct assessment from the publisher I think.

I also agree that much of Epic Fantasy's ridicule comes from the sanitized content which makes even hardcore fans of Epic High Fantasy squirm and stutter. Authors who are able to step away from the extremely formulaic story and are able to provide a grittier story while still maintaining fantastic elements and a vast sense of wonder have the future imo (so as not the make the story simply bleak). I don't think Tolkienesque Fantasy needs to be abandoned (as New Weird writers like Mieville, Vandermeer, Ford, Cockayne etc do), but it needs to change. view post


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

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!

An M. John Harrison btw, whose dreary Urban Fantasy/New Weird books I find utterly uncompelling.

I'll just say that I am not at all surprised you would find yourself at odds with him. He is one of the prime writers of the New Weird style and that category dismisses quite a lot which you yourself seem to like. These are precisely the people who are entertaining themselves with being different, changing for the sake of change. It is no surprise to me that writers such as Harrison and China Mieville are dismissive of Tolkienesque Fantasy, it is precisely what they are trying to get away from. Ever heard Mieville go off on Tolkien? He really can't stand him, there are two or three "essays" of his on Tolkien, here's a snippet I dug up through Google:

"Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious - you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike - his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés - elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings - have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader..............Tolkien’s worldview was resolutely rural, petty bourgeois, conservative, anti-modernist, misanthropically Christian and anti-intellectual."

Of course, his political views are diametrically opposed to Tolkiens, which has everything to do with it.

Personally I really dislike the Urban Fantasy stuff they write. Why? Because it endeavours to be grotesque, to be bizarre, and everything is so horribly blurry, instead of inspiring a sense of true etherealness. The world feels dreamish, sometimes even having different blurry planes about which nothing at all is explained, perhaps even entered by whimsical magic mirrors and portals. It's translucent. I like decent worldbuilding with proper detailed and vast history, a world which takes me back to a different time. Also magic never works for me in Urban Fantasy. And I have yet to read a more overwritten book than Mervyn Peake's ghastly Gormenghast.

Anyway, I think that it is correct to say that Fantasy has arrived at something of a crossroads, perhaps it's even passed and made it's decision. There are those who will continue writing Tolkien clones, there are those who will try to re-invent Epich High Fantasy within the established context and there are those who will veer off into entirely different directions. view post


Curious if you... posted 11 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact



Well you're talking about the magic in Dungeons &amp; Dragons games and novels. I don't like that either, for a variety of reasons. Having said that, unlike you I prefer High Fantasy with greater amounts of magic to low amounts, for instance I prefer the use of magic in Steven Erikson's books to George RR Martin's.

I see what you mean about magic going overboard, but I think that the problem doesn't lie with large amounts of magic but rather with not showing the consquences of such abilities in a realistic manner. When you *do* show that, large amounts of magic are all the more impressive for it.

It's the same with fighters in for instance the RA Salvatore Forgotten Realms novels or Martial arts films in which warriors take twenty blows to the head and two knives in their chest and still don't go down.



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Curious if you... posted 11 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

As far as Urban fantasy with more magical/mystical elements, I like de Lint for that

Can you give any examples? I've encountered him a couple of times but the combination of him writing Urban Fantasy and the fact that he only writes books with a signifcantly female-dominated cast have put me off sofar. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 11 February 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Mithfânion, Didact

Part of the reason I was late with TWP was that I took the spring of 2003 out to write a short sci-fi psychothriller that had been gnawing at me for several years, the idea being to follow the hole all the way down - to horrify people intellectually as well as emotionally.

You have a penchant for going off on tangents <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->

What happened to the story? Will it come out?

now that science is making the neuroscientific inroads it is (mark me, in ten years time neuroscience will eclipse genetics as the social 'hot-button' issue), it's looking more and more obvious that we are no exception, that we're the last remnants of the fantasy world inhabited by our ancestors

Could you elaborate a bit? I'm not really up to date with this stuff though I want to be, but what neuroscientific inroads do you refer to and why do you think it will become a major issue, topping even genetics?

All I can say is that there's simply HAS to be something more (without being able to say what that 'something' is) if we're to be anything other than complex biomechanisms deluded into thinking purpose, morality, love, and so on, are anything but delusions.

I can't follow the phrase, I do apologize. If there is no God or something else higher than us, what do you think that means? That love and morality are delusions? If so, why do these emotions require the presence of a higher being? view post


Question to R.S. regarding release dates. posted 11 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; AQuestion to R.S. regarding release dates. by Mithfânion, Didact

I find it a bit disconcerting that Amazon and Penguin are still listing TWP as a Mid-June release. Perhaps they haven't updated yet? view post


Curious if you... posted 11 February 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious if you... by Mithfânion, Didact

All these notions of the carnivalesque, ontologically subversive doubling, the 'decentred self,' aesthetics of fragmentation, and so on, just strike me as trite.

I must admit, you've finally lost me there <!-- s:? --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_confused.gif" alt=":?" title="Confused" /><!-- s:? --> view post


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